Monthly Archives: February 2015

F-35B’s Petite Weapons Bay a Wee Too Wee | Polish Special Forces Get 45 MRAP M-ATVs

Americas China’s submarine fleet outnumbers that of the U.S., according to the U.S.’s deputy chief of Navy operations. Numbers aren’t everything, but Pacific based submariners will miss the days when all the Chinese boats could be shadowed. The F35B’s petite weapons bay is forcing some redesigns so that the Marines (and the U.K.) can enjoy the luxury of carrying SBD-II armaments. Carrying the bombs on the outside would negate the stealth characteristics for which the U.S. …

Air Force: 2019 Will Come Too Soon for New Rockets | Tricare Reform Gathers Praise, Critics

Americas In separate events, both the Army (to a defense writers’ group) and the Air Force (to a Senate panel) testified to their inability to perform their missions without budget increases. The Air Force is looking nervously at its capacity to meet the congressionally-mandated deadline of 2019 to stop relying on Russian rocket engines. …

Kongsberg’s NSM/JSM Anti-Ship & Strike Missile Attempts to Fit in Small F-35 Stealth Bay

NSM test launch(click to view full) Kongsberg’s stealthy new Naval Strike Missile (Nytt SjomalsMissil), which continues its development and testing program, has already shown potential in the crowded market for long-range ship attack and shore defense weapons. NSM’s Joint Strike Missile counterpart may have even more potential, as a longer-range air-launched naval and land strike complement to Kongsberg’s popular Penguin short-range anti-ship missile. The market for anti-ship missiles is a crowded one, and the distinction between anti-ship and precision land strike weapons is blurring fast. Aside from a bevy of Russian subsonic and supersonic offerings, naval buyers can choose Boeing’s GM-84 Harpoon, China’s YJ-82/C-802 Saccade, MBDA’s Exocet, Otomat, or Marte; IAI of Israel’s Gabriel/ANAM, Saab’s RBS15, and more. Despite an ongoing shift toward supersonic missiles, Kongsberg chose not to go that route. …

Kongsberg’s NSM/JSM Anti-Ship & Strike Missile Attempts to Fix F-35 Stealth

NSM test launch(click to view full) Kongsberg’s stealthy new Naval Strike Missile (Nytt SjomalsMissil), which continues its development and testing program, has already shown potential in the crowded market for long-range ship attack and shore defense weapons. NSM’s Joint Strike Missile counterpart may have even more potential, as a longer-range air-launched naval and land strike complement to Kongsberg’s popular Penguin short-range anti-ship missile. The market for anti-ship missiles is a crowded one, and the distinction between anti-ship and precision land strike weapons is blurring fast. Aside from a bevy of Russian subsonic and supersonic offerings, naval buyers can choose Boeing’s GM-84 Harpoon, China’s YJ-82/C-802 Saccade, MBDA’s Exocet, Otomat, or Marte; IAI of Israel’s Gabriel/ANAM, Saab’s RBS15, and more. Despite an ongoing shift toward supersonic missiles, Kongsberg chose not to go that route. …

Boeing May Have V-22 Export Customer | USS Constitution Bicentennial Upshot: First U.S. Frigates Were Smart Procurement

Americas Boeing told National Defense Magazine that they may have their first V-22 export client shortly; this coming just a day after reports of South Korea kicking the Osprey’s tires. The Air Force appears to have conceded that it is unlikely to kill off the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office, as it has tried to do over the past few years. It slated $6.5 million (a third of what was apportioned by Congress for 2015) to ORS. The office, responsible for spotting new needs and figuring out how to acquire assets to serve them, has been threatened with absorption into the glacially-paced Space and Missile Systems Center. The Government Accountability Office wrote a 55-page report (PDF) on its study that found that the Department of Defense should streamline its decision-making processes. …

Oshkosh’s M-ATV

Oshkosh M-ATV(click to view full) “The Government plans to acquire an MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). The M-ATV is a lighter, off-road, and more maneuverable vehicle that incorporates current MRAP level [bullet and mine blast] protection. The M-ATV will require effectiveness in an off-road mission profile. The vehicle will include EFP (Explosively Formed Projectile land mine) and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade panzerfaust) protection (integral or removable kit). …

Israel Gets Fire Sale Deal on F-35s, Upping Numbers | Germany to Lithuania: No Tanks for You

Middle East / Africa Israel will order another 14 F-35s for $110 million a piece, including logistical support, training, parts and maintenance, which appears to be a much better price than the U.S. itself has been able to manage. The 14 fighters will join an earlier order of 19 jets. An option to acquire 17 more has been secured, bringing the total to 50, which has been Israel’s goal in fielding two squadrons of 25 fighters each. …

India’s Project 17-A Stealth Frigates

FFG Talwar Class(click to view full) In July 2006, “India Orders 3 More Krivak III/Talwar Class Frigates” noted that the Talwar/Krivak Class were better described as modern multi-role designs, given the presence of contemporary classes with far better stealth features. The follow-on Project 17/ Shivalik class program offered improvements in that area, with 3 ships ordered and the possibility of more too follow. In December 2006, India Defence reported that India was looking to acquire up to 7 more frigates with stealth improvements, plus some level of joint development and technology transfer. The Request for Information (RFI) was reportedly issued to about 12 international firms, mostly in Europe and Russia. These “Project 17A” ships could be worth up to 45,000 crore (INR 450 billion, about $9.23 billion as of June 2009), according to a recently-approved budget. …

Russia Halting Torpedo Production Due to Loss of Ukraine Facilities | Lockheed Joins Raytheon for JSTARS Competition

Europe Russia has stopped torpedo production because of a reliance on a Ukrainian manufacturer. Deputy Prim Minister Dmitry Rogozin admitted (Polish) as much. Rogozin is putting the task to a Caspian Sea manufactory in Dagdizel to start producing the parts, but experts consulted seem to think this could still take two years, including tests. German ground force resources are reported (German) to be so poor that they had to resort to using painted broomsticks instead of guns during a NATO exercise in 2014. …