Monday, January 6, 2014

DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: How The Su-30 MKI Is Changing The IAF’s Combat Strategy

Defense News: DTN News - INDIA DEFENSE NEWS: How The Su-30 MKI Is Changing The IAF’s Combat Strategy
Analysis: Internationally, a project for one year takes ten fold longer in India. Decisions are taken at a snail pace and time is wasted on unnecessary red tape bureaucracy. Defense procurement system is politically corrupt, as an example urgently needed Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainers for Indian Air Force, which took 30 odd years to acquire at the cost of hundreds of young Indian Air Force pilots life. India is the largest democratically governed country in the world as is an exemplary system for other nations to follow suit, but at the same time the system is a curse with too many voices and noises, NO ACTION. India should have for some period a system of administration similar to China, which is straightforward with no two way decision, would benefit for the betterment of the country at large. (DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News)
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources January 5, 2014 Rakesh Krishnan Simha
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 6, 2014: The versatile and constantly evolving nature of the Sukhoi enables the Indian Air Force to think big and strike far. With the induction of large numbers of class leading Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has not only made a huge technological transition from a MiG-21 dominated fleet, its war fighting doctrine has also changed, focusing on long-range and strategic missions.

Aggressiveness is a fundamental requirement of air combat, and the IAF has traditionally been an attack orientated force. For instance, on December 3, 1971 in response to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) raids on 11 Indian airbases, the IAF responded with initial air strikes the same night, which were expanded to massive retaliatory air strikes the next morning.

In previous wars, it didn’t matter if their opponents had better aircraft and radars, IAF pilots compensated for it with their superior training and ingenuity. IAF pilots truly internalised what Sergei Dolgushin, a Russian Air Force ace with 24 victories in WWII, said is a prerequisite to be a successful fighter pilot: “a love of hunting, a great desire to be the top dog”.

Long range and two fronts
It was with the MiG-29 Fulcrum that the IAF for the very first time acquired a superior aircraft compared with those operated by the PAF. However, the qualitative edge was marginal. On the other hand the Sukhoi-30 MKI is an “air dominance fighter” that is allowing the IAF to perform a multiplicity of missions required to keep in step with India’s rising global stature. The Sukhoi’s versatility – owing to its extended range, speed, firepower and super-manoeuvrability – has given the IAF considerable leeway in deploying the aircraft in offensive missions.

In April 2013 the IAF held its largest-ever combat exercise involving as many as 400 combat aircraft plus 200 transport planes and helicopters. The exercise was aimed at testing the IAF’s capability for a two-front war against China and Pakistan, by deploying “swing forces” from the western theatre right across to the east.

As part of the war games, Sukhoi-30MKIs flew 1800 km bombing missions from Chabua in Assam to the western front, with mid-air refuelling. This is possible because the Sukhoi has a range of 4.5 hours on internal fuel, and IAF pilots are known to lead missions over 10 hours.

BrahMos and the mini air force
The Su-30 MKI has 12 hard points for missiles and bombs. The IAF is carrying out structural modifications on the Sukhois to enable them to carry the air launched variant of the BrahMos cruise missile. If the contracting firms are able to reduce the mass and weight of the missile, the aircraft would be able to carry up to three of these missiles.

In previous wars the IAF avoided attacks on non-military infrastructure, preferring to target tanker farms and military bases. The decision to equip the Sukhois with the BrahMos creates new synergies and signals a new intent. The Sukhoi’s radar can detect tall buildings at a distance of 400 km and small building at 120 km. The BrahMos is a highly destructive missile and belongs to a class of Russian missiles that are designed to cut small warships in half. So in the next war expect a lot of damage to enemy infrastructure – dams, power stations and industrial clusters are all likely to be targeted.

There is another ominous angle. India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has asked for 40 nuclear capable strike aircraft to be used conjointly with land-based and submarine launched ballistic missiles. Although it’s not clear whether the IAF or the SFC will operate this mini air force, what is clear is that exactly 40 Su-30 MKIs have been converted to carry the BrahMos. That’s some coincidence.

A nuclear warhead on an air-launched BrahMos fired from a super-manoeuvrable Su-30 MKI won’t just further enhance the IAF’s strike capability and aircraft survivability, it would also complicate the enemy’s defence planning.

Mission capable
Such complex missions require powerful navigation systems. India has chosen to buy barebones Sukhois from Russia and then cram them with Israeli and French equipment. Plus, the already excellent Bars radar, which can track an aircraft at 125 km and a battle tank 40 km away, is being replaced with the Russian Zhuk active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars.

Another quantum leap the IAF is making is in beyond visual range (BVR) missiles for the Su-30 MKI. Complementing the Zhuk radar will be the Novator KS-172 air-air missile, with an estimated 300-400 km range and a speed of Mach 4. If Russia and India can bring this missile to production, the IAF will finally be capable of anti-AWACS and anti-satellites missions.

The Su-30 MKI has also given a fillip to the DRDO, which has designed and developed the aircraft’s electronic counter measures suite, including the radar warning receiver and frequency hopping radios and identify friend or foe system. Irkut President Alexy Fedorov says the Su-30 MKIs are being upgrade to the ‘Super Sukhoi’, which has features similar to a fifth generation aircraft.

Numbers game
It is a fact that quantity has a quality all its own. Including aircraft under order, India’s Sukhoi-30 MKI fleet is currently pegged at 272. It is an impressive number for such a high-end and expensive weapons platform. This shows a keen sense of judgement by the IAF, which realises that 100 per cent fleet utilisation is impossible and having a large number of air superiority aircraft around is the key to getting the job done.

With such numbers at its disposal, the IAF is now able to build a network of bases around the country. Earlier, because of the low range of its fighter aircraft and coupled with the fact that the IAF had to quickly deploy them in war, most Indian air bases – such as Adampur, Jammu, Amritsar and Jodhpur – were close to the Pakistan border.

But now Sukhois are also being stationed at places such as Thanjavur in the deep south, Chabua in the northeast and Pune in western India. Because of its long legs and speed the Sukhois can join battle at a few hours notice.

A worrying factor, however, is the planned force of 272 Sukhois falls well short of the 400 Sukhoi-30 equivalents and knockoffs in the Chinese air force. If the 126 French Rafales are inducted over the coming years, India should achieve at least quantitative parity with China. That is, until the Chinese stealth fighters arrive. 

*Related Images of Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI

*Link for This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources January 5, 2014 Rakesh Krishnan Simha
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. Waived Laws To Keep F-35 on Track With China-Made Parts

Defense News: DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. Waived Laws To Keep F-35 on Track With China-Made Parts
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 4, 2014: The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China's espionage and military buildup.

According to Pentagon documents reviewed by Reuters, chief U.S. arms buyer Frank Kendall allowed two F-35 suppliers, Northrop Grumman Corp and Honeywell International Inc, to use Chinese magnets for the new warplane's radar system, landing gears and other hardware. Without the waivers, both companies could have faced sanctions for violating federal law and the F-35 program could have faced further delays.

"It was a pretty big deal and an unusual situation because there's a prohibition on doing defense work in China, even if it's inadvertent," said Frank Kenlon, who recently retired as a senior Pentagon procurement official and now teaches at American University. "I'd never seen this happen before."

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, is examining three such cases involving the F-35, the U.S. military's next generation fighter, the documents show.

The GAO report, due March 1, was ordered by U.S. lawmakers, who say they are concerned that Americans firms are being shut out of the specialty metals market, and that a U.S. weapon system may become dependent on parts made by a potential future adversary.

The waivers apply to inexpensive parts, including $2 magnets, installed on 115 F-35 test, training and production aircraft, the last of which are due to be delivered in May 2014. Lawmakers noted that several U.S. companies make similar magnets.

Kendall said the waivers were needed to keep production, testing and training of the Pentagon's newest warplane on track; avert millions of dollars in retrofit costs; and prevent delays in the Marine Corps' plan to start using the jets in combat from mid-2015, according to the documents. In one case, it would cost $10.8 million and take about 25,000 man-hours to remove the Chinese-made magnets and replace them with American ones, the documents indicate.

Lockheed is developing the F-35, the Pentagon's costliest arms program, for the United States and eight countries that helped fund its development: Britain, Canada, Australia, Italy, Norway, Turkey, Denmark and the Netherlands. Israel and Japan have also placed orders for the jet.

The program is already years behind schedule and 70 percent over initial cost estimates. At the time Kendall was granting the waivers, officials were acutely worried that further delays and cost increases would erode the foreign orders needed to drive down the future cost of each warplane.

In the documents, Kendall underscored the importance of the F-35 program to ensure continued U.S. military superiority and counter potential emerging threats from nations developing their own stealth fighter jets, including Russia and China.

He said additional delays would force the United States and its allies to keep its legacy fighters flying longer, which would result in higher maintenance costs. It would also leave them with older jets, which Kendall said "cannot match the offensive and defensive capabilities provided by F-35."

The Pentagon first disclosed problems with non-U.S. magnets in a little-noticed written statement to Congress in the spring of 2013. But the statement did not name companies involved and did not disclose that some of the parts came from China.

Officials at Northrop, Honeywell and Lockheed declined to comment on the issue, referring queries to the Pentagon.

Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) at the Pentagon, said the office was committed to ensuring that federal defense acquisition laws were strictly followed.

"There was never any risk of technology transfer or other security breach associated with these manufacturing compliance issues," he said. "The JPO is working with industry to put in place long-term solutions to avoid the need for future waivers."

In his statement to Congress, Kendall said he took the matter "extremely seriously" and said Lockheed was told to take aggressive steps to identify any further cases, and correct its compliance process.

Bill Greenwalt, a former senior defense official and now an analyst with the American Enterprise Institute think tank, said the risk to national security appeared low since the magnets in question had no programmable hardware.

However, he added: "This is an area that will need considerable due diligence in the future to ensure that components for more high-risk applications are safe from potential tampering and foreign mischief."


Since 1973, U.S. laws have banned the procurement of specialty metals produced outside the United States for use on U.S. weapons. A separate 2006 law also bans the purchase of end-use items and components that include such specialty metals.

The documents reviewed by Reuters show that Northrop first discovered the use of non-compliant Japanese magnets on the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar it builds for the F-35 in August 2012, alerting the prime contractor, Lockheed, which then told the Pentagon.

A subsequent investigation of all parts on the F-35 turned up two more cases in which non-U.S. specialty metals were used on the F-35's radar, and on target assemblies built by Honeywell that are used for positioning doors and landing gear.

Northrop's radar was also found to contain $2 magnets made by Chengdu Magnetic Material Science & Technology Co, in China's Sichuan region, according to the documents.

The magnets used on the Honeywell target assemblies were acquired through Illinois-based Dexter Magnetic Technologies Inc.

Dexter and Chengdu Magnetic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


In June, the House Armed Services Committee asked the GAO to determine whether the companies involved "knowingly and willfully" supplied non-compliant magnets, and how the Pentagon investigated that question. The committee also asked GAO for recommendations on potential changes, such as fines or penalties for non-compliance to deter future problems, as well as suggestions for beefing up Pentagon supply chain management procedures.

In a document approving use of Chinese magnets on the batch of 32 F-35 fighter planes now being built, Kendall said neither Lockheed nor Northrop knowingly allowed the parts to be used.

In his waiver, Kendall wrote that Northrop's initial mistake, involving magnets built in Japan, was an "administrative oversight" and noted the firm quickly reported the matter when it was discovered in August 2012. It led to the comprehensive review that found two additional issues involving Chinese-built magnets.

It is not clear from the waiver documents whether Kendall determined that Honeywell's use of Chinese-built magnets involved a similar mistake.

(Editing by Michael Williams, Tiffany Wu and Grant McCool)

*Link for This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources Reuters
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

DTN News - NEW YEAR 2014 CELEBRATIONS: Bali, Indonesia Celebrates New Year 2014

Defense News: DTN News - NEW YEAR 2014 CELEBRATIONS: Bali, Indonesia Celebrates New Year 2014
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by K. V. Seth 
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 2, 2014: Women wearing traditional costumes and headdresses gather on New Year's Eve during the traditional parade to mark the year's final sundown on the island of Bali.

Photograph: Firdia Lisnawati/AP

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*Link for This article compiled by K. V. Seth
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News