Monthly Archives: October 2012

ONR shows off latest high-tech projects

(Staff writers) The brainiacs over at the Office of Naval Research recently touted their latest and greatest gadgets, unmanned equipment and ship improvements as part of the Science and Technology Partnership Conference and the American Society of Naval Engineers Expo held in October outside Washington, D.C.

FLCV: Canada Looks to Upgrade Its Armor

Latest updates: TAPV: major sub-contract to Rheinmetall. LAV-III: stuck (click to view larger) In late November 2008, Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) announced its intention to combine 3 programs into one general set of upgrades to its armored vehicle fleets. The C$ 5 billion meta-program would include: (1) “Close Combat Vehicles” that perform as tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles or Armored Personnel Carriers, alongside Canada’s new Leopard 2A6 tanks. The wheeled LAV-IIIs showed limitations in Afghanistan, and keeping them in the field requires a lot of maintenance. …

P-3 Orion’s SMIP Program Keeps on Rolling

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P-3 Orion, armed – note Sidewinder (click to view full) The P-3 Orion remains the USA’s main maritime patrol aircraft, and is also finding use in overland surveillance roles despite the fleet’s age. Earlier DID articles have noted the extra effort required to preserve the USA’s P-3C Orion maritime surveillance & patrol aircraft, along with radar and weapons upgrades to improve the fleet. Lockheed has even opened a new production line, to deal with planes whose wings that are so aged and worn that they need a full replacement. The SMIP (Sustainment, Modification, and Installation Program) is intensive depot-level inspection and repair process that includes P-3 airframe and component inspection, identification of problems, and corrective maintenance. …

Canada Preparing to Replace its CF-18 Hornets

Latest updates: Don’t believe the head of the Air Force, believe the government! CF-18, 20-year colors (click to view full) Canada originally bought 138 “CF-18s” from 1982-1988, but accidents and retirements have reduced the fleet to about 103, with only 79 upgraded F/A-18A/B aircraft still operational. The “CF-18” Hornets are expected to be phased out between 2017 – 2020. Until then, maintenance and upgrades will remain necessary…

Rapid Fire Oct. 31, 2012: J-31 Maiden Flight

According to the usual blogs dedicated to watching (or intentionally leaking?) China’s military efforts, AVIC’s J-31 prototype jet fighter made a short maiden flight earlier today. However the Chinese will have to spend dearly to develop competitive homegrown engines. The Philippine’s Coast Guard is finalizing the purchase of 5 French patrol vessels for a total of $4.8B pesos (around $116M). Manila Standard. …