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  1. #231

    UK Bolsters Falkland Defenses to Counter Argentine Air Ambitions

    By Andrew Chuter 10:29 a.m. EST January 11, 2015

    The Giraffe radar is part of the British Army Land Environment Air Picture Provision system. The Saab-supplied Giraffe is also mandated for inclusion in the Falkland Islands ground-based air defense system.
    (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

    LONDON — British military capability planners are eyeing a major improvement to ground-based air defenses in the Falkland Islands amid continuing signs that Argentina is looking to update its Air Force with modern strike aircraft.

    Argentina and the UK fought a short but bloody war over the British territory in 1982. The dispute received new life recently by Argentinean President Cristina Kirchener's launching a diplomatic war of words in an effort to eject the British.

    Now it has emerged that the British have been planning to replace the aging ground-based system on the Falklands with a package including a battle management command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (BMC4I) system, a new missile and a radar.

    As recently as December, unconfirmed reports emerged that Buenos Aires was in talks with the Russians over the possible lease of a squadron's worth of Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer attack jets in a move that would threaten Britain's control of the skies locally.

    The reports drew a response from the UK Defence Ministry that it would adjust defense capabilities to the appropriate level to address any threats to the disputed islands, which the Argentinians refer to as the Islas Malvinas.

    Britain has maintained forces on the island since the war. The force includes four Typhoon jets, Rapier missiles, naval assets and around 1,200 troops.

    Last year, the British spent £63 million (US $95 million) for defense of the Falklands.

    "We are currently assessing options to meet the requirement for future [short-range air defense, ground-based air defense]," an MoD spokeswoman said.

    The BMC4I system will be "linked to the FLAADS(L) [future local area air defense system (land)] missile and launcher. This includes coupling to [Giraffe-Agile Multibeam] radars," she said.

    The spokeswoman said it was not possible to say when the Falklands system would enter service, as the project, which is fully funded, is in only its assessment phase.

    However, she was able to give some other key milestones for the project.

    "Invitation to negotiate for the BMC4I system is forecast for summer 2015 and contract award is expected in summer 2016," she said.

    "Our overall military posture in the South Atlantic is based on regular assessments of the threat and the Falkland Islands remain well-defended."

    A BMCI system similar to the likely Falkland's requirement entered service with the British Army last October. The system, known as Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP), was built by Lockheed Martin UK in a £100 million deal the company signed with the MoD in 2008.

    Industry executives said the limited number of LEAPP systems delivered may be the reason the MoD is pursuing a further procurement for the Falklands.

    Richard Muir, the business development director at the Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill site, which leads the LEAPP work, said the system could provide air-space management and surveillance from five kilometers to significantly beyond 100 kilometers.

    "The range of LEAPP is only limited by the radar," he said.

    Despite LEAPP coming into service only in the last few months, the MoD spokeswoman said the BMC4I element of the system would be competed rather than just tacked on to the end of the LEAPP contract.

    FLAADS(L) and the Saab-supplied Giraffe are mandated though.

    Certainly, Lockheed Martin UK will bid. Other possible contenders include MBDA and Saab.

    The Giraffe radar is already part of the LEAPP capability, although at the moment the sharp end of the system is provided by MBDA's aging Rapier missile.

    That's due to change around the end of the decade.

    The MoD spokeswoman revealed the ministry had signed a demonstration and manufacture deal with MBDA in late December for a replacement of the Rapier, which is FLAADS(L).

    The land weapon is a derivative of the missile company's common anti-air modular missile; a naval version known as Sea Ceptor, which uses the same missile, has already been ordered for Royal Navy Type 23 frigates.

    Argentina's neighbor, Brazil, and New Zealand have also ordered the naval weapon system.

    The British effort to bolster its air defense capabilities on the South Atlantic islands comes as Argentina continues efforts to find a way of updating an Air Force that is pretty much flying the same aircraft as it did when it attacked the Falklands.

    The financially hard-pressed Argentineans have made several attempts to buy second-hand combat jets, such as the Mirage 2000, without success.

    Recently, Buenos Aires signaled interest in acquiring Saab Gripen NG fighters from a production line being set up in Brazil.

    That came to nothing after the UK government warned they would block any sale by refusing to approve the export of the substantial amount of British technology used in the fighter.

    Although media reports that the Argentineans are looking at the Su-24 have been denied by Buenos Aires, analysts in the UK said an eventual purchase of a credible combat jet could alter the balance of power in the South Atlantic.

    Francis Tusa, the editor of Defence Analysis here, said recently the Gripen issue highlighted that if a deal of this nature went ahead, it would "dramatically and dangerously" change Britain's situation on the Falkland Islands.

    Email: achuter@defensenews.com.
    Last edited by buglerbilly; 11-01-15 at 08:15 PM.

  2. #232

    UK Signs Deal For New Air Defense Missile

    By Andrew Chuter 12:25 p.m. EST January 12, 2015

    (Photo: MBDA)

    LONDON — The British Army is to get a new ground-based air defense missile to replace the aging Rapier system following the signing of a development and manufacture deal by the Defence Ministry and MBDA last month.

    The contract for the land-based future local area air defense system (FLAADS) has yet to be publicly announced, but an MoD spokeswomen confirmed a program worth £228 million (US $343 million) had been signed with Europe's leading missile maker just before Christmas.

    The spokeswomen said the MoD "anticipated the introduction of FLAADS into service towards the end of the decade."

    One of the first deployments for the truck-based missile system could be to bolster British air defense in the Falklands.

    The weapon has been mandated by the MoD for inclusion in a new ground-based air defense system planned for the islands.

    The FLAADS (Land) deal has been completed, even though MBDA is only 12 months into to a £36 million, 18-month assessment phase effort.

    The MoD did not respond to questions about whether the demonstration and production signing had been brought forward to avoid getting delayed by the upcoming general election in May and a following strategic defense review and potentially heavy budget cuts.

    One industry executive said it was a possible reason for the apparent acceleration of the contract award.

    He pointed to an unexpected £3.5 billion production deal in September with General Dynamics UK to build a family of Scout armored vehicles as another example of a key program being nailed down ahead of the election and other issues.

    FLAADS (L) uses the same MBDA common anti-air modular missile as the weapon already ordered by the Royal Navy as part of the Sea Ceptor system being fitted initially to Type 23 frigates.

    The ongoing FLAADS (L) assessment phase work is looking at other parts of the ground-based requirement such as command and control, vehicle type and other equipment required for the land environment.

    An early demonstration vehicle showed a vertical launch system mounted on a MAN truck.

    Email: achuter@defensenews.com.

  3. #233

    UK MoD eyes BMC4I capability for the Falklands

    Robin Hughes, London - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

    18 January 2015

    The British Army declared its new LEAPP (Skykeeper) capability operational in December 2014. Source: LMUK

    Key Points

    • LEAPP-type solution is expected to be acquired to provide air defence for the Falklands by mid-2016
    • LMUK likely to position SAMS for Falklands and Australian requirements

    The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is expected to imminently issue a Dynamic Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (DPQQ) for the procurement of a new battle management command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (BMC4I) capability for the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), akin to the British Army's recently operational Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) system.

    While the MoD is understood to be still determining its BMC4I requisites for the Falklands - which will include a multirole surveillance radar capability - a contract is expected to be awarded by mid-2016, with full funding already assigned.

    The new Falklands requirement is expected to be an iteration of the LEAPP solution for the British Army's battlespace management and situational awareness provision for the Land Component Commander. LEAPP is delivered by a Lockheed Martin UK (LMUK)-led consortium, through its Skykeeper Air Airspace Management & Surveillance (SAMS) system, under a GBP100 million contract awarded in April 2008.

    The first capability of its kind for the British Army, LEAPP (also known by LMUK as Skykeeper) is a scalable, networked, open-architecture system, interfacing ground sensors with real-time data from advanced air surveillance assets, required to provide a near-real-time, correlated air picture for the land environment. It can serve as either a standalone asset or as part of a networked integrated air defence system, from very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) and SHORAD to the medium-range air defence (MRAD) domains.

    "It is scalable from small-scale contingency operations all the way up to a full-scale divisional capability," Graeme Myers, head of mission support at LMUK told IHS Jane's . "So you can have this capability with a single radar, a single trailer, and a couple of operators, or you could scale this up and inter-network all of the control nodes and air picture trailers and all the radars. You scale it to fit the scale of the operation you are running."

    The army's LEAPP solution comprises five Saab Giraffe AMB (Agile Multi-Beam) 3-D surveillance radars, four LEAPP control nodes mounted on MAN HX60 4x4 trucks, three Air Picture trailers, and a Data Link 11 access node. Falcon Block C (a separate British Army Royal Signals Regiment programme for the evolution of the Falcon communications system) provides the communication bearer.

    Rockwell Collins provides the FlexNet-Four software-defined radio (SDR) broadband, ground-networked communications capability. LEAPP is deployed at formations headquarters and provides its air picture to all users via NATO Link 16 and Link 11 and will take information from any Link 16-equipped platform/asset.

    "LEAPP has an extensive communications data hub, including combat net radio, trunk networking, Link 16 tactical datalinks, encrypted satellite communication, and ground-to-air voice communications. Advanced audio distribution will allow operators access to any available voice channels and provides an internal intercom capability," Myers said.

    He added that LEAPP will also be able to talk with Morpheus, the next iteration of the army's Land Environment Tactical Communications & Information System (LE TacCIS) capability, which will address critical system obsolescence and introduce capability improvements for improved command and control capability.

    The entire LEAPP capability has now been handed over to the British Army, with all deliveries completed by October 2014. "Throughout 2014 there were a series of trials - a combination of acceptance trials plus important user trials, including Exercise 'Joint Warrior' in Scotland [in March 2014] and 'Wessex Storm' [November 2014] on Salisbury Plain. That led to the British Army declaring full operational capability on 1 December 2014," Myers said.

    LMUK is now executing a GBP12.7 million LEAPP five-year maintenance and support contract awarded by the UK MoD in November 2014 to maintain currency and offer software capability insertion. Lockheed Martin considers it likely that there will be additional post-development support tasking on top of that.

    Myers said LMUK will position SAMS for the prospective Falklands BMC4I requirement when it is competed. In the interim, the company is considering a number of international opportunities for similar requirements, including Australia, and has additional "active interest in our system from the Balkans and the Middle East".

    "There is direct relevance into Australia where they are looking at a very comparable system to LEAPP and adding on the weaponisation, so again that brings it into line with the Falklands requirement," he said. "We've been working with the Australian government for the last 18 months or so, and they have actively followed the UK LEAPP programme. They are now beginning to formulate what they want as their own system and it is very much based on where the UK is headed [with LEAPP]. The UK is still seen as leading the pack in terms of this type of capability."


    The United Kingdom is also understood to be looking to enhance the kinetic elements of its ground-based air defences in the Falklands, replacing the ageing Rapier Field Standard C surface-to-air missile system currently deployed there.

    The rest of the British Army is to be resupplied with the new Future Local Area Air Defence System (Land) - FLAADS(L) - capability currently being developed by MBDA, and although it is officially unconfirmed, it is considered very likely that the MoD will mandate that system for deployment to the Falklands as well.

    FLAADS(L) is already well-advanced and leverages off work done on the UK Royal Navy's Sea Ceptor system with which it shares the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM).

    In fact, in December 2014, the MoD awarded MBDA a GBP228 million development and manufacture contract for FLAADS(L) some six months ahead of the scheduled completion of an 18-month Assessment Phase contract awarded in January 2013.

    (942 words)

  4. #234

    Finalization of the Evaluation on the BODLUV 2020 Project

    (Source: armasuisse; dated Jan 16, web-posted Jan 19, 2015)

    (Issued in French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

    The BODLUV 2020 (BODengestützte-Luft-Verteidigung 2020) ground-based air defense project aims to replace the Swiss army’s anti-aircraft defense systems, which are reaching the end of their useful life. The preliminary evaluation was completed as scheduled in late 2014, as part of the ongoing project work.

    The ground-based anti- aircraft defense available today to the Swiss Army consists mainly of Stinger light guided missile systems, Rapier mobile guided missiles, and 3(mm anti-aircraft guns.

    The purpose of the BODLUV 2020 project is to replace these aging systems in service with the Swiss Army.

    The BODLUV 2020 project consists of one short-range and one medium range systems. BODLUV 2020 will also establish the requirements for an integrated air defense.

    The initial screening assessment as part of the 2020 BODLUV project was completed at the end of 2014. Based on an initial list of manufacturers, a short list of candidates has been established for a medium-range system after analyzing the bases, concepts and interviews conducted: they are the Diehl BGT Defence GmbH & Co (Germany), MBDA UK Ltd (UK) and Rafael Advance Defense Systems Ltd. (Israel).

    The acquisition of BODLUV 2020 medium-range system is already provided for in the Armament Program 2017.

    The next step is to look for a Swiss company with the skills required to function as prime contractor. The company will receive the DDPS the mandate to proceed with the preparation of the acquisition (risk reduction pahse) in 2015 and 2016.

    RUAG, Thales and Rheinmetall Air Defence Switzerland will be invited to take part in the tender for the prime contractorship, and will have the opportunity to submit to the defence ministry in the first half of 2015 their offers for various configuration variants of BODLUV 2020 medium-range system.

    The ground-based air-defence forces have as their mission the protection of objects, traffic and transport routes, other infrastructure assets, the population and other military assets against air attack in all threat situations. For the execution of this mission, the air-defence forces are supported by Swiss Air Force aircraft.


  5. #235

    Russia in Talks With Iran on Tor-M1 Missile System Modernization

    © AP Photo

    16:27 29.01.2015(updated 17:02 29.01.2015)

    Tor is designed to detect and engage modern high-precision weapons, including cruise missiles and guided bombs. The Tor-M1s are deployed to protect Iranian state and military facilities from air attacks.

    MOSCOW, January 29 (Sputnik) — Russia's Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol is in talks with Iran on modernizing the short range Tor-M1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) surface-to-air missile defense systems, the plant's assistant director general told RIA Novosti Thursday.

    "Iran has been operating a large number of our Tor-M1s. We [Iran and Russia] are holding talks about a possible modernization of the Tor-M1. We provide [Iran] with spare parts and train personnel. The work continues," said Vyacheslav Kartashov, liaison for military-technical cooperation and government contracts.

    According to Kartashov, Iranian experts "professionally operate" the Tor-M1 missile systems, and provide for its maintenance.

    "The equipment is in an excellent combat condition. Perhaps, this is one of the factors withholding the potential aggressor," he said.

    Tor is designed to detect and engage modern high-precision weapons, including cruise missiles and guided bombs. The Tor-M1s are deployed to protect Iranian state and military facilities from air attacks.

    Russia completed the delivery of 29 Tor-M1 missiles to Iran in January 2007. In September 2010, Moscow joined the UN sanctions against the country, prohibiting almost all arms trade, in response to Iran's controversial nuclear activities.

  6. #236

    Poprad SAM system ordered by Poland

    David C Isby, Washington - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

    08 February 2015

    The Polish Army plans to procure 77 indigenous Poprad surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems at a total cost of about PLN700 million (USD227 million).

    Designed by the Warsaw PIT-Radwar plant of the Polish Arms Group (PGZ), Poprad will integrate the Grom launcher and SAM (and those of the upgraded Piorun system) with the 50km-range Sola mobile tactical radar and an IFF system. A four-round Telesystem-Mesko Grom launcher and an onboard fire-control computer will be installed on the AMZ Kutno Zubr P armoured vehicle.

    The system is capable of automated operation, using the radar inputs to cue and direct the Grom's electro-optical/infared (EO/IR) sensor which can start tracking a target at 6-10 km range.

    (112 of 341 words)

  7. #237

    Tor-M2U to be given better anti-UAV capability

    David C Isby, Washington - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

    08 February 2015

    A new version of the Tor-M2U version of the Tor (SA-15 'Gauntlet') surface-to-air missile (SAM) system is being developed by the Joint Stock Corporation (JSC) Izhevsk Electromechnical Plant Kupol. According to Vyacheslav Kartashov, the company's assistant director for military-technical co-operation and government orders, it will have a larger engagement envelope, and improved performance against unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other low-radar cross-section targets.

    Work on the planned naval version of the Tor-M2 system, which was announced at the 2013 IMDS naval exhibition at St Petersburg, is still in progress and the system is due to be shown at this year's IMDS.

    (101 of 252 words)

  8. #238

    Diehl Demonstrates Full Performance and Achieves Missile Qualification with Three Successful IRIS-T SL Firings

    (Source: Diehl Defence; issued Feb 09, 2015)

    Following system validation one year ago, Diehl Defence’s IRIS-T Surface Launched (IRIS-T SL) demonstrated its full performance as the most advanced Short to Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM).

    During this final firing campaign, concluding guided missile qualification at the Overberg Test Range in South Africa in January 2015, three guided firings were executed in different short- to medium-range and very low- to high-altitude scenarios. All of them resulted in direct hits of the target drones. To prove the capabilities of IRIS-T SL, jet target drones of different sizes were used performing a large variety of realistic evasive maneuvers.

    The first target was engaged at a distance of more than 30 km. The IRIS-T SL missile flight time was about one minute reaching an altitude above 12 km. Despite an evasive maneuver involving changing direction and altitude, a direct hit of the target was achieved proving the medium range capabilities of IRIS-T SL.

    The second firing was at very close range to the launch point to prove the missile´s short range engagement capabilities. During this firing, IRIS-T SL jettisoned its aerodynamic cover shortly after launch immediately initiating a hard turn-over maneuver towards the low flying target. The entire engagement lasted less than 10 seconds also ending with a direct hit.

    The third firing was carried out against a very small, fast and agile target drone featuring high agility and extreme maneuvering capability. A direct hit was achieved at 12.5 km range and 1.5 km altitude even though the drone performed aggressive dive/pull-up evasive maneuvers.

    The performance demonstration firings concluded a series of test firings as part of the IRIS-T SL system development. Having been contracted by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr for Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), representatives of the BAAINBw as well as the German Air Force witnessed IRIS-T SL’s impressive performance in full accordance with the requirements of the German Air Force.

    IRIS-T SL is planned to be a component of the future German Air and Missile Defence System (TLVS).


  9. #239

    Published: Monday, 09 February 2015 14:18

    MBDA delivers the first PCP and IMCP air defense command and control systems.

    At the beginning of December 2014, MBDA delivered the first PCP (Platoon Command Post) and IMCP (Improved Missile Control Post) air defence command and control (C2) systems destined for an export customer. Production of the remaining systems currently under order will be spread over the next two years.

    MBDA I-MCP (Improved Missile Control Post)

    These PCP and IMCP systems will form the first air defence sections enabling the operation and coordination of Mistral and/or VL MICA systems. The PCP module is used for the command and control of multi-layered surface to air units. It provides the interface with systems or other sources responsible for coordinating the air space as well with other PCP modules deployed in neighbouring zones. Equipped with the latest 3D radar capable of detecting and identifying aerial targets at ranges of up to 80km, the IMCP module provides the detection, identification and target tracking functions for PCP.

    At the heart of the range of surface to air C2 systems offered by MBDA, the combination of the new PCP and IMCP systems will allow a greater flexibility in adapting the number and kind of effectors to meet the requirements posed by the particular threat and the mission.

    With 70,000 surface to air missiles, more than 4,000 firing units and around 2,000 C2 systems sold over the last 50 years, MBDA covers all the elements of an air defence system.

    Antoine Bouvier, MBDA’s Chief Executive Officer, said : “ The PCP and MCP systems which we are delivering today are at the forefront of C2 technology. The fact that MBDA is able to deliver these first units within the timeframe announced at the launch of the programme in 2011, is another proof of the company’s unequalled experience in the air defence domain”

    At the beginning of December 2014, MBDA delivered the first PCP (Platoon Command Post) and IMCP (Improved Missile Control Post) air defence command and control (C2) systems destined for an export customer. Production of the remaining systems currently under order will be spread over the next two years. Inside view of the PCP Platoon Command Post

  10. #240

    Published: Tuesday, 17 February 2015 10:20

    Indian military to be strengthened with six new squadrons of Akash air defense missile systems

    The Indian military has raised six new squadrons of the Akash Air Defence System which is developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and private firms. The squadrons will be inducted in the Indian Air Force. The top IAF officials were quoted as saying by TOI that IAF already has two operational squadrons of the all-weather, point/area missile system.

    India's Akash air defense missile system

    "It protects vulnerable points and vulnerable areas with a slant range of 25-30km at altitudes up to 20km. It can destroy high-speed targets like fighter aircraft and UAVs," an official said.

    Barring the final action of firing the missile or pressing the 'destroy' key, all major functions are done electronically by the computer running on the weapon system software.

    While paperwork for immediate procurement of seven squadrons (14 units) is progressing at the highest level, the IAF is likely to place additional orders for 49 firing units in a phased manner.

    Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories Board and Bharat Electronics (BEL) in India. The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. A nuclear warhead could potentially give the missile the capability to destroy both aircraft and warheads from ballistic missiles. The Akash missile is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.

    An Akash battery comprises four 3D passive electronically scanned array radars and four launchers with three missiles each, all of which are interlinked. Each battery can track up to 64 targets and attack up to 12 of them. The missile has a 60 kg (130 lb) high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead with a proximity fuse.

    The order for the existing two squadrons placed in 2008 is valued at about Rs 1,200 crore ($192.8 mn).

    "An order for six more squadrons worth around Rs 3,500 crore ($562 mn) was placed in the late 2010 and the manufacturing of the same is complete and will be delivered this year," a BEL official said.

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