SU-30MKI Multi-Role Fighter

Indian Defence Deals Worth $42 billion

India is in the process of signing defence deals worth nearly $42 billion, including a $10.4-billion deal for 126 multi-role combat aircraft, making it one of the most attractive markets for both global and domestic arms industry, an industry study has concluded.

The joint study by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and audit firm KPMG has also assessed that India has already signed defence deals worth nearly $25 billion in the last four years.

"Our research indicates that deals worth $24.66 billion have been signed by the Indian defence ministry with global integrators in the past 48 months and another $41.99 billion worth of deals are in the process of getting signed," the study said.

The army, the navy and the air force are evenly poised as far as future procurement is concerned. While the army and the air force will buy over $14 billion worth of platform, weapons and systems, the navy is expected to sign deals worth $13 billion. All of these acquisitions are in progress at present. 

PLA Decommissioning of The Type 62 light tanks

 It seems that after close to 50 years of service, the PLA has finally ready to retire it's Type62 fleet.

Pakistan Navy to Participate in Aman 11 Exercise

The Pakistan Navy has augmented its patrols in the Arabian Sea in order to strengthen the security there, because of the rising terror and piracy threats.

The Navy is scheduled to participate in a 5-day naval exercise – The “Aman 11”. 39 countries will participate in this exercise and it will be launched from the 8th of March in the open sea. Similar exercises were held in 2007 and 2009 and the navies of very powerful countries participated in them.
The exercise in the open sea will greatly help the Pakistan Navy to assess its preparations to overcome the challenges in the region.

At the moment the security of the Arabian Sea is one of the most discussed topics in the world due to the fact that most of the world’s oil supply passes through there. The world military powers have taken the liberty to ensure the security of the Sea and the safe passing of the transporting ships.
Due to the rising threats in the region, the Pakistan Navy’s strategy was drastically change and preparations were made in order to ensure the safety of the country’s interests in the region.

The latest platforms are being indigenized and inducted in the Pakistan Navy in order to turn it into a potent force which will easily guard its sea territory. At the moment the PN is constructing frigates and missile boats, while earlier it has bought technology for Agosta class submarines.
More than 30,000 ships pass through the Arabian Sea each year and the Navies of NATO, EU and individual countries have taken the liberty to present their forces in this area and ensure the safety of the passing transport ships.

Pakistan and China to Cooperate on Defence Cooperation

The top Pakistan and Chinese defense officials held a meeting where the new projects to expand their military cooperation, were discussed. The timely completion of the current projects was also an important part of the meeting.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Pakistan Army Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne met Administrator of China”s State Administration of Science Technology and Industry for National Defence Chen Qiufa discussed the issues related to defense cooperation and the present and future projects that the two countries are involved together.

General Wynne is in China to take part in the eight round of Pakistna-China security dialogue and he publicly thanked Chen Qiufa for the support in all defense projects and showed his appreciation for the active of SASTING in ensuring the timely completion of all current joint projects.

At the moment the major supplier of weapon systems for Pakistan – China, is being involved in a list of defense projects which include the development of the new modern fighter – The JF-17 Thunder which is currently being produced in both countries and the engines for the fighters are being supplied by the Russian military.
China is also involved in the construction of Naval Frigates for the Pakistan Navy which has so far received three of those frigates and the fourth one is currently being constructed in the Karach Shipyard and Engineering Works with the cooperation of the Chinese navy.

Last year, the Pakistan Naval Chief Admiral Norman Bashir stated that the country was interested in the joint development of war ships and submarines. AT the moment it is unknown if those proposals were discussed in the talks between Wynne and Chinese defense officials. The two countries have also cooperated in the development of Al-Khalid tanks.
At the moment the China’s defense ties with Pakistan are very important for the country and they are doing everything they can to augment their good relations.

China is ready to contribute with the development of the mechanism of defense and security talks, deepen strategic cooperation and ensure the peace, stability and common development of Pakistan.

First EMB-145 Rolls Out For DRDO AWACS

Embraer presented the first of three EMB-145 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) platforms on Feb 21 to representatives of the Indian government at a ceremony held at its headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Based on the proven Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet, the aircraft features an in-flight refueling system, SATCOM capability, a significant increase in electrical and cooling capacities, and a comprehensive set of aerodynamic and structural changes. These improvements will allow the installation of the advanced electronic systems currently being developed by DRDO under CABS’ coordination.

DRDO Says Development of Improved Indian Arjun Complete

India's state-owned Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) claims that it has completed upgrades on the Arjun tank, replacing existing German engines and transmission systems with homemade systems.

The Mark-II Arjun will incorporate up to 90 percent of indigenous content, compared with 58 percent in the current model, a DRDO scientist said, and should be ready for induction by 2014.

The Mark-II also will feature superior missile-firing capabilities, the scientist added.

 Conceived in 1973, the Arjun tank was behind schedule by more than 15 years, resulting in the Indian Army choosing the Russian T-90 tank as its main battle tank. The Arjun had to go through a series of trials and retrials before the Army announced the tank fit for duty. Last year, the Arjun Mark-I had to be put on comparative trials against the Russian T-90, after which the Indian Army finally concluded that the Arjun tank performed to expectations.


Earlier, the Arjun faced problems concerning its fire control system and suspension, and its weight-restricted mobility.

Last year, the Indian Army ordered an additional 124 tanks, bringing the total to 248.

Indian Navy Will Get First Scorpene Submarines in 2015.

The Indian Navy will get delivery of the first of its six Scorpene submarines in 2015, a three-year delay from the original schedule of 2012, the Rajya Sabha was informed Wednesday.  'The first submarine (Scorpene) is now scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2015. As per the contract, the first submarine was scheduled to be delivered in December, 2012, and thereafter, one each every year till December 2017,' Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply during question hour.  The six Scorpenes -- Project-75 as the submarine construction programme is called -- are under construction at the Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) at a cost of $4 billion in collaboration with French firm DCNS. 

'There has been a delay due to initial teething problems, absorption of technology, augmentation of MDL infrastructure and procurement of MDL Purchased Material (MPM),' Antony said.  He was replying to a question on the delays in augmenting India's underwater combat capabilities.  He said the government constantly reviews the security environment and accordingly decides on the induction of appropriate defence equipment and platforms, including submarines for the navy.  'This is a continuous process undertaken for the modernization of the armed forces to keep them in a state of readiness to meet any eventuality,' he said.

'Any gap in submarine capacity is being addressed by modernisation and upgradation with the state-of-the-art weapons and sensors fitted on the existing submarines to enhance their combat-worthiness,' he added.  The defence minister also noted that the government had accorded approval for revising the cost of Project-75 on account of increase in the cost of MPM items, related sub-heads and additional MDL infrastructure.  Antony also said the government had already set in motion the process of constructing additional submarines under Project-75 (India).  To shore up its depleting submarine fleet, India will this year issue a $11-billion global tender for building six more next generation vessels under Project-75 (India), a follow-on to the six Scorpenes.  The navy issued the RFI for Project 75 (India) in September last year and some of the global firms that have responded to it are Russian Rosoboronexport, French DCNS/Armaris, German HDW and Spanish Navantia.  The Indian Navy operates 14 diesel-electric submarines at present after it decommissioned two Foxtrot class submarines last year.  Of the 14 submarines, 10 are Kilo class Soviet-origin vessels and the rest are HDW German-origin vessels.  India is expected to induct the 12 Project-75 and Project-75 (India) submarines in the next decade-and-a-half. The 12 vessels would now be inducted one after the other over 12 years beginning 2015.  The vessels are part of the 30-vessel submarine induction plans of the navy that was approved early in the last decade.  The number of navy's submarines is likely to be just the half of the current 14 vessels in 2015, as most of them are aging and would be decommissioned in the next five years.

Second Prototype Of the Russian PAK FA T-50 Stealth Fighter made its First Flight

The second prototype of a promising fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA) made its maiden flight, according to Interfax . The plane took off from the runway of Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association. The flight was successful. Fighter piloted by distinguished test pilot Sergei Bogdan Russia, in early 2010 flew the first prototype of the T-50.
According to Bogdan, all on-board aircraft systems worked normally. "Stability and controllability of the aircraft in the air got a good grade. All systems and aircraft engine worked flawlessly," - said an unnamed source agency in the military-industrial complex. Previously, the second prototype T-50 passed ground tests. Parallel tests were carried out and the first prototype of the T-50, which to date has made 40 flights.

As expected, the test airframe PAK FA will be completed in 2011-2012 and in 2013 the Russian Defense Ministry will conclude with the "Dry" contract for the supply of ten aircraft to test the weapons. The first phase of testing T-50 finish before the end of 2013. Continuous buying fighter jets will begin in 2016 and will be implemented under the state program of armaments for 2011-2020. Apart from an experimental batch of ten aircraft in 2016 is planned to buy 60 more such vehicles. On further procurement of aircraft while it is not known.

PAK FA made its first flight on Jan. 29, 2010. Technical characteristics of the aircraft are classified. It is only known that T-50 will be highly intellectualization of the board and be able to take off and landing on runways length of 300-400 meters. The aircraft will be capable of performing combat missions in any weather and time of day, and will also maneuverability.

Chinese Army to Develop New Missile By 2015

A new type of conventional missile being researched by the Chinese Army is set to be weaponised for entry into active service within five years, military sources revealed.

The China News Service has reported that China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) will complete research, production and delivery of the new missile by 2015.

A military source revealed that the mew missile is a medium and long-range conventional missile with a travelling distance of 4,000km.

Used in both defence and attack, the new missile will be capable of dealing with threats from land, sea, air, space and cybernetic attacks.
"The project will also entail a three-year evaluation period. It extends the range of China's missiles and will therefore greatly enhance the national defence capabilities," the source added.

China has already deployed the indigenous Dong Feng 21D missile with the army, which has a firing range between 1,800km and 2,800km.
People's Liberation Army National Defence University military expert Li Daguang said the real combat capabilities of the missile in complicated situations were yet to be proved.

Tejas Fighters Will Be Raised In Bangalore.

The first squadron of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will be raised in Bangalore.

The Aircraft and System Testing Establishment (ASTE) will conduct a series of tests before the aircraft is inducted into the Indian Air Force.
Commandant of the ASTE, Air Commodore BR Krishna said that two pilots have been identified by the Bangalore-based flight testing establishment for carrying out extensive tests.

The first squadron of LCA will be named Squadron 45. The squadron comprising 20 aircraft will be known as Flying Daggers and will later be moved to the Sulur Air Base near Coimbatore.

Made In Germany For Russia’s Army

Germany is joining a scramble among West-European producers of military equipment for Russian orders. NATO and the United States are silent bystanders to this growing trend, which challenges the Alliance’s defense posture and planning, as well as the US’s hitherto trend-setting role in the Alliance.

On February 9 in Moscow, the Chairman of Dusseldorf-based Rheinmetall Defense, Klaus Eberhardt, signed with Russian Defense Minister, Anatoliy Serdyukov, an agreement whereby Rheinmetall will plan and equip a troop training center in Russia. The center is to be co-located with Russia’s main artillery training range at Mulino near Nizhniy Novgorod on the Volga. It will enable Russian brigade-sized units to test combat readiness for combined-arms operations, using Rheinmetall’s state-of-the-art equipment to simulate realistic battlefield conditions and assess troop and staff performance.

In addition, Russia’s defense ministry and Rheinmetall agreed to negotiate the establishment of a joint enterprise on Russian territory for “maintenance, servicing, and modernization of armaments and military vehicles (‘tekhnika’)” (Interfax, RIA Novosti, February 9;

Rheinmetall becomes the first Western company to endow Russia with a modern center for troop training. According to Igor Korotchenko, chief editor of the Natsionalnaya Oborona [National Defense] journal and member of the advisory Public Council of Russia’s Defense Ministry, Russian forces will gain access to best-practice German training methods thanks to the Rheinmetall-equipped center (RIA Novosti, February 14).

Rheinmetall, one of Germany’s largest producers of military equipment, was also approached by Russia’s defense ministry in 2010 for the possible sale of a manufacturing license for armor plate. This may have some connection with the February 9 decision (see above) to negotiate toward a joint enterprise in Russia for modernizing military vehicles (the Russian military term “tekhnika” customarily denotes armored vehicles).

Rheinmetall can look back at a tradition of military cooperation with Tsarist and Soviet Russia, including on training ranges. In 1904-1905, the company supplied artillery ammunition for the Russian army during the Russo-Japanese war ( Following the 1922 Rapallo Treaty and 1924 Berlin Treaty of Friendship between Germany and Soviet Russia (both documents directed against Poland), Rheinmetall became one of the German concerns that started producing battle tank prototypes, for testing at Russia’s training range near Kazan on the Volga. Those prototypes led to mass production of German tanks after 1933 (

Concurrently with the Rheinmetall deal, Moscow has announced the intention to put Ka-52 combat helicopters on the French Mistral-class warships it plans to procure. France and Russia signed the inter-governmental agreement on procurement of the Mistrals on January 25 (EDM, January 26). Moscow made clear all along that it was interested in procuring the Mistrals as an offensive platform for Russian armored vehicles and helicopters. Russia’s military is currently testing Ka-52 helicopters for take-off and landing aboard amphibious platforms, preparatory to adapting that helicopter type for use aboard Mistral-class ships. The Ka-52 is equipped to carry 23 millimeter (mm) and 30 mm caliber cannon, anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles, and gravitational bombs of up to 500 kilograms. The Russian military has chosen to provide these details via a television channel specifically dedicated to Russia’s “near abroad” (NTV “Mir,” February 13).

Under Russia’s military doctrine and organization, naval forces are auxiliary to ground forces, to be used in support of ground operations in the event of hostilities. This indeed was the role of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the 2008 invasion of Georgia. In a hypothetical crisis or possible hostilities at some future time, Mistral warships would enable Russia to threaten some Black Sea or Baltic country with a coastal landing, in addition to a ground force attack. The mere prospect of opening a second front from the sea would tie down some defending forces there, thinning out the defenses against a ground attack. Essentially, the Mistral can become an instrument for maritime supremacy and intimidation vis-a-vis Russia’s maritime neighbors, including NATO member and partner countries. All this belongs in the realm of military hypothesis and contingency planning, which the Mistral deployment in the Baltic and Black Sea would significantly complicate for NATO.

While announcing the Rheinmetall deal, Russia’s defense ministry reconfirmed the go-ahead to implement the agreement with Italian Iveco to set up a joint enterprise in Russia for serial production of Lynx light multi-purpose armored vehicles (Interfax, February 9). These are gradually to replace Russia’s own BTR-80 and Tiger armored vehicles. Apart from the Mistral deal, France is negotiating with Russia over the “Felin” “soldier of the future” combat kit and Safran-Sagem avionics for Russian fighter planes. These deals would involve sale of batches of the French equipment to Russia, along with licenses for joint serial production on Russian territory (EDM, January 3, 4).

Some in NATO take comfort from assumptions that Russian personnel lacks the necessary training or even overall military competence for using advanced Western equipment effectively; or that the Russian military is incapable of waging a major war, or conducting two local wars simultaneously. This assessment was offered for discussion in NATO following Russia’s 2009 Zapad and Ladoga major offensive exercises near Poland and the Baltic States. The same assessment noted, however, that Russian forces are undoubtedly capable of conducting one conflict at a time on Russia’s western peripheries. According to documents just made public through WikiLeaks, however, a group of Allies including Poland, the Baltic States, the Czech Republic, and Romania criticized NATO’s passive response to Russian military exercises, and called for steps to reinforce the credibility of NATO defense guarantees. The US ambassador reported sympathetically to Washington about the Central European allies’ concerns, according to the WikiLeaks material (Die Welt, February 14).

However, West-European sales of advanced military equipment to Russia will further strengthen the latter at the expense of NATO members and partner countries, which Moscow regards as its “near abroad.” NATO Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, steadfastly opposes debate within NATO on military sales to Russia. The Obama administration seems to avoid this issue in order to protect its “reset” of relations with Russia. The  US Congress can, however, step into this vacuum of authority, and consider the impact of West European military sales to Russia on the security of US allies in NATO and partners in Europe’s East.

Russia’s Renewed Arms Sale to China

Tensions in the arms sales relationship between Russia and China have been visibly on the rise in recent years.  Yet, in November 2010, Moscow and Beijing announced a large new package of arms sales that appear to have turned a new leaf in this relationship. Much of the tension stemmed from the Chinese defense industry's practice of reverse engineering Russian weapons technology, indigenizing it and then reselling it in third party markets in competition with Moscow. In negotiations, China has long demanded that Russia sell it advanced technologies in its defense platforms or advanced weapons, something that Moscow has been loath to do regarding both the weapons and their components .  Russia has also always been concerned that China might ultimately employ these advanced technologies and systems against it or its friends in Asia. 

For example, in 2006 it refused to sell certain sensitive space technologies to China (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, December 27, 2006).  Nevertheless the restoration of arms sales appears to be connected with a new turn in Sino-Russian relations in China’s favor.  The fifth round of Sino-Russian strategic talks took place form January 23-25 and Russia’s arms sales organization, Rosoboroneksport, has announced that it sees China as Russia’s chief partner in Asia (Interfax, January 19).  This turn in Sino-Russian ties, probably dictated form the highest levels of both governments, appears to have overridden Russia’s mounting concerns about Chinese military developments.

Russian concerns about Chinese competition in Asian, African, and Latin American arms markets and the fact that China’s J-11B and J-15 fighter planes were essentially "clones" of Russia’s SU-27 and Su-33 fighter planes, respectively, are public and cited. Coupled with China’s own growing domestic capability, these factors contributed to a sharp decline in Chinese military purchases, mainly of air and sea weapons (Oruzhiye Rossii, September 29, 2010; Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2010).    Yet, whether or not China’s domestic capability had increased, there is little doubt of Russia’s anger over Chinese practices of copying its weapon systems, and the fact that there was no sign of Beijing stopping this practice.  Consequently both sides had reason to slow down arms purchases and sales.  Indeed, in 2009-10 China has reportedly not placed a major order with Russia and, according to foreign observers, at the Zhuhai Air show in November China displayed its biggest exhibition of aircraft for sale abroad, mainly built with Russian technology and a supposedly Chinese engine (Oruzhiye Rossii, September 29, 2010; Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2010).

China’s ambassador to Russia, Li Huei—at least publicly—attributes the decline in purchases to its own growing capabilities and claims that bilateral cooperation is actually moving to a higher phase while Russia is still implementing past contracts and transferring air, air defense, and naval weapons to China (Interfax, November 17, 2010).  In other words, Li refused to discuss the charges of intellectual piracy in public.  In fact, earlier this year Russia did send S-300 air defenses to China (Global Security Newswire, April 2, 2010; Reuters, April 2, 2010).  So before the meting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation there was no public yielding by either side.  Russian producers like Sukhoi openly proclaimed their desire to ask probing question to China about its cloning of their systems .  Likewise, Russian and French experts were equally frank in stating their concerns that Chinese ship-to-ship missiles might undercut them on price in third party markets .  Finally both Russia and China are competing to bring out as soon as possible their fifth-generation fighter planes (Jane’s Defence Weekly, December 9).

Yet from subsequent developments it seems clear that there were other concerns on Russian minds that led them to resume arms and technology transfers to China--albeit at a reduced rate.  First it is clear from the press record that China’s needs are changing.  Although it still needs and is buying aerial platforms, China now manifests a growing interest in obtaining engines and technologies to maintain the air fleet that it has acquired by sale or by piracy from Russia.  Russia clearly wants to sell China those engines and monopolize this situation, apparently believing that by doing so it will be able to keep selling it Russian aerial platforms and maintain its advantage in the Chinese weapon market (Interfax-AVN Online, November 17, 2010). Second, Russian arms sellers have found that the only way they can discuss their concerns about unlicensed copying is to actually have a relationship with China through formal sessions like that of the Intergovernmental Commission so they cannot simply cease and desist from selling weapons to China if they wish to influence its behavior (Interfax-AVN Online, November 17, 2010).

Third, the Russian government and defense ministry have announced ambitious plans to boost arms sales throughout the world in the next decade to finance concurrent Russian defense reforms.  In 2010 alone, Moscow reportedly sold a record figure of $10 billion worth of arms (RIA Novosti, December 14, 2010).  Yet at the same time Russian analysts fear that arms sales may actually drop because the markets that Russia found to compensate for reduced arms sales to China in the short run—Algeria, Vietnam, Syria, and Venezuela—cannot offset the size of the Chinese market over the long run (Trud, October 29, 2010).  So while China may occupy a lower place or ranking among the customers for Russian defense systems, Beijing is eager to take advantage of those opportunities that are available to Russia, largely in aerial systems and engines .  Fourth, even as Russian military policy is shifting (e.g. to make the Pacific Fleet the main Russian fleet) because of the Chinese threat, Moscow needs to keep an eye on Chinese military policy, and the best way to do so is to preserve arms sales contracts .

For its part, China has entered into open rivalry if not confrontation with the United States over Southeast Asia, arms sales to Taiwan, the value of its currency, and the six-party talks with Korea. Beijing see the progress of the United States’ reset policy with Russia, and appears eager to improve its ties with Moscow and resolve outstanding issues, among which include the issues of piracy and the lack of arms sales.  China also clearly feels the need to continue acquiring foreign systems for those sectors where it has yet to create an adequate domestic base for its own production (OSC Analysis, FBIS SOV, December 3, 2010).  As a result, at the most recent meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission in November 2010 the two sides signed a protocol for resumption of sales of spare parts, engines for aircrafts, naval and aerial weapons systems and the design of defensive products in the interests of the Chinese side.  The two sides also established a working group to monitor developments growing out of the 2008 bilateral agreement on intellectual piracy (which has not stopped China from its ongoing "cloning" of Russian systems) .   According to Mikhail Dmitiriev, director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, the agreement "provides "the full picture of the contracts realization process and protects from unsanctioned capturing of our intellectual property," although China, he claimed has never transferred that property to a third country.

China is reportedly interested in buying at least 100 117-S aircraft engines (the upgraded version of the Al-31F engine intended for the SU-35 Fighter, the S-400 air defense missile, at least a 100 RD-93 engines, the existing Al-31F and Al-31FN engine for its existing Fighter component, consisting of SU-27s, SU-30s and its own J-10 (a knockoff of the Israeli Lavi Fighter).  Russia has offered it New Ilyushin-476 military cargo planes, MI-171E Helicopters, and the SU-35 Fighter and the Irbis-e radar station.  Meanwhile Rosoboroneksport, Russia’s designated arms seller, hopes to reach agreement with China on a formula for licensed arms production by Chinese firms of Russian arms that protects Russian intellectual property (Vedomosti Online, November 23, 2010; Interfax-AVN Online, November 16, 2010; Interfax-AVN Online, in English, November 18, 2010; ITAR-TASS, November 16, 2010; Interfax, November 15, 2010; RIA Novosti, November 16, 2010).  In other words, Moscow has agreed again to offer China some of its most advanced systems despite prior misgivings about doing so.  Yet, it is doubtful that the establishment of these mechanisms to oversee the proper enforcement of Russian intellectual property will be notably successful in preventing China from its long-standing and pervasive practices of copying Russian systems and selling them abroad after indigenizing them.  Too many vested interest groups and long-standing practices are involved in this process for it to stop just to please Russia, although it is likely that some cosmetic efforts will be made for a while.  In any case, Beijing has alternatives to Russia.  For example, China is already exporting tanks made with Ukrainian engines and Ukraine will participate in the modernization of China’s Y-5 aircraft, probably not the last such occurrence either (ITAR-TASS, November 23, 2010).

These trends suggest that China remains, to some degree, dependent on Russia for the provision of advanced weapons and defense technologies, notably aircraft engines.  This would also suggest a reason why Russian analysts profess not to be unduly alarmed at the unveiling of China’s fifth-generation J-20 stealth fighter.  They apparently believe that despite the hoopla attached to this unveiling, that China will remain behind Russia and the US in aircraft technology for a long time even if it will try to compete with Russia once it starts selling the plane (RIA Novosti, December 29, 2010).   It should be noted here as well that the Pentagon too has its doubts as to just how advanced the J-20’s technology is (Bloomberg, January 26). Meanwhile China also needs to ensure that Russia does not lean closer to Washington than it does to Beijing.  On the other hand, Moscow wants to ensure that a Sino-American rapprochement does not occur at its expense and, more importantly, it still has no means of controlling what China does with its systems. Despite Moscow’s successes in selling arms to smaller countries like Algeria and Vietnam in the global arms market, Moscow still needs to be able to sell in large quantities to China. Furthermore, it needs a friendly China on its border even as there are growing signs of alarm in Russia about China’s economic and military prowess.

The strain in the bilateral arms sales and geopolitical tension between a rising China and declining Russia still remain. Yet for the time being the two sides appear to have reached a mutual accommodation.  A close examination of the accords reached here, however, suggests that Russia really cannot control China and furthermore that it needs Chinese cooperation more than China does Russian cooperation.  The overall turn in the relationship indicates China’ growing ability to induce Russian cooperation even as it infringes on Russian interests.  This could lead to more tension if Russia strives to break free of Chinese power.  While there may be an agreement for now, one should not be unduly complacent about it lasting for a long and, more importantly, untroubled time.

Russian Military Build-up in the Pacific May Not be Aimed at Japan

 Russia seems to have found a place to deploy its two most modern French-built assault helicopter-carrying ships – in the Far East to help defend the Kurile Islands. The first Russian Mistral will be built by the end of 2013, the second by 2015 and together will reportedly cost some 1.4 billion Euros ($1.9 billion) (RIA Novosti, February 9). Defense Minister, Anatoliy Serdyukov, earlier this month inspected the Russian garrison (the 18th machinegun/artillery division) entrenched in Cold War era bunkers on the southern Kurile Island of Kunashir (Japanese name –Kunashiri) and Iturup (Japanese name –Etorofu), under Russian rule since 1945 and claimed by Japan together with the Habomai islets and Shikotan as the so-called Northern Territories. Serdyukov promised to reinforce and rearm the Russian garrison (ITAR-TASS, February 4). After that a flurry of controversial statements followed, apparently, indicating disagreement about concrete details of the planned military build-up.

One “high-ranking source in the General Staff” told the semi-official news agency, Interfax, that the 18th division will be transformed into a brigade, though the number of service personnel will remain approximately 3,500 and that there was no need to send to the Kuriles long-range S-300 or S-400 antiaircraft missiles. According to Army-General (retired) Yuri Yakubov, the former commander of the Far East Military District, the garrison of the South Kurile Islands already has relatively modern T-80 tanks, but it needs new light armored vehicles and additional helicopters (Interfax, February 15).

Another “high-ranking source in the General Staff” told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency: “There is no need to reshape the 18th division. New brigades are intended for maneuverable warfare, which on the South Kuriles is absolutely impossible. The 18th division is perfectly formed as an entrenched fortress garrison, but it will be reinforced by an air-space defense missile brigade, possibly with S-400 missiles” (RIA, Novosti, February 15).

Of the 45 permanent readiness antiaircraft missile regiments in the Air Force Antiaircraft Missile Troops presently only one with S-400’s has been deployed to defend Moscow. This week a second S-400 regiment officially received its missiles and other equipment. The new regiment will have two divisions, each with eight launchers, and each launcher has four missile tubes. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the second S-400 regiment, the chief of the Air Force Antiaircraft Missile Troops, Major-General Sergei Popov, told journalists: “it does not make sense to send S-400’s to the South Kuriles” adding that shorter range Buk missiles could do the job. According to Popov, during the Cold War an antiaircraft radar regiment was deployed on the South Kuriles, a fighter regiment on the nearby Sakhalin Island and “its planes could intercept any target in minutes.” Of course, Popov added, if orders are given, the S-400’s will be sent (RIA Novosti, February 16).

The threat of Japanese soldiers storming the Kurile beaches to retake the Northern Territories by force seems remote, but revamping the Russian garrison seems sure to go ahead. Serdyukov has announced the airstrip at the Buryvestnik airbase on Iturup will be extended to receive heavy Il-76 transport planes to facilitate troop reinforcements in a time of conflict (Interfax, February 9).  During a meeting with Serdyukov and the minister for regional development, Viktor Basargin, Medvedev pledged to fully support efforts to boost military capabilities and civilian infrastructure in the Kuriles (, February 9).

In 2006, a special federal program was approved to spend 18 billion Rubles ($612 million) from 2007 to 2015 to develop civilian infrastructure in the Kuriles. According to Basargin, 9 billion rubles ($306 million) have been spent and the Kurile federal program “is one of the few that were not cut during the financial crisis.” Basargin requested an additional 8 billion rubles ($273 million) to add to the Kurile program, including 1.5 billion ($51 million) in 2011 and Medvedev agreed. Officially, the Russian population of the South Kuriles is 16,400 which apparently include several thousand military personnel and families (some 3,500 in the 18th division plus the air force, the navy and border guards). The Kurile federal program has been tentatively increased to 26 billion rubles ($885 million) and may exceed $1 billion – according to Basargin, the governor of Sakhalin to which the Kurils administratively belong, has asked for an extra 13 billion rubles ($443 million) (, February 9). This does not include defense spending on rearming and developing military infrastructure in the South Kuriles, the building of a facility to harbor the Mistral assault ships on the Russian mainland and other costs. Taking into account the sparse population of the South Kuriles, the overall investment is huge and clearly reflects a massive strategic commitment overruling other urgent infrastructural problems in Russia at a time when the federal budget is in deficit.

Russia’s First Deputy Defense Minister, Army-General Nikolai Makarov, told journalists: “We need such ships [Mistrals] to defend the Kurile chain that is now defenseless. The army was there before, but now there is no one and we need mobile capabilities to bring in forces rapidly to close gaps in time of need” (Interfax, February 9). But the South Kuriles are already defended and reinforced. Makarov seems to mean the Kurile Islands north of Iturup that Japan does not claim, which housed military bases during the Cold War, and are now abandoned. With the exception of the northern island of Paramushir with reportedly 2,400 inhabitants; the Kurile Islands from Iturup to Kamchatka are uninhabited. It seems the deployment of the Mistrals in the Pacific Fleet is not against Japan, but that the US in preparation for conflict could “leap-frog” the fortified South Kuriles into the undefended and uninhabited central Kuriles to invade the Sea of Okhotsk. To defend the Sea of Okhotsk as a safe haven for nuclear strategic submarines, the Russian military is deploying capabilities to reinforce the entire island chain.

The South Kurile visits by Medvedev and other top officials that have provoked the present diplomatic spat with Tokyo may have been mainly high-level inspections to see that vast federal infrastructural expenditures have not been all stolen, as often happens in Russia. Japan is not a first-class priority in Russian politics or strategic planning. The strategic build up in the Kuriles and of the Pacific Fleet capabilities may not be aimed at Japan or China per se, but the US – Russia’s true present number one strategic concern.

The Pace of Military Aerospace Development In The People's Republic Of China

The Fascinating Emergence of China's J-20 next-generation combat aircraft demonstrator in late 2010 has refocused attention on the pace of military aerospace development in the People's Republic. The carefully stage-managed revelation of the large and unconventional 'new Chengdu machine 2001', or J-20, as many are calling it, seems to confirm that China has grand industrial ambitions and attention-getting operational requirements.

Whether the '2001 programme' will fulfil any of those aims remains to be seen. At this early stage there is still more than a hint of amateur dramatics surrounding the aircraft and the speed with which this secret project has been exposed to the outside world. All early assessments of its capabilities should be restrained, but the 2001 programme is nevertheless the fourth or fifth new combat aircraft development project in China - as many as those from the rest of the world combined.

Even before the arrival of the J-20, China was heavily engaged with the Chengdu J-10 multirole fighter and what could be a significantly enhanced successor in the shape of the J-10B. At Shenyang the J-11B has emerged as an 'indigenised' Su-27 with combat capabilities that far exceed China's original Sukhoi Su-27SK and baseline J-11 aircraft.

China Looks To Boost Maritime Power

China's ambitions for a domestic aircraft carrier programme and its achievement of an initial operating capability (IOC) for the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) were both revealed in December 2010.
The DF-21D, based on the CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile, is a two-stage weapon with an effective range of 810 n miles (1,500 km), according to the US Department of Defense's 2010 assessment of Chinese military power.

The ASBM has undergone extensive testing that Jane's understands has resulted in a status akin to what western services would call IOC, however it is unclear if the missile has actually completed overwater testing and US analysts believe that trials will continue for another several years.
China has spent considerable time and energy developing the DF-21D, which is believed to be a land-based, solid-propellant ASBM designed to accurately strike ships under way

India's Nirbhay Subsonic Cruise Missile Will Make Its First Flight During 2012

India's Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile will make its first flight during 2012,
with systems integration work under way, says Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Saraswat.

To be fired eventually from a variety of land, naval and air platforms, the
Nirbhay is planned as a supplement to the larger Indian/Russian BrahMos
supersonic cruise missile.

With a planned launch weight of around 1,000kg (2,200lb), the Nirbhay will use aterrain-following navigation system to reach its
target at distances up to 1,000km (540nm).

Theweapon will carry multiple warheads, according to
the DRDO.

Russia's second S-400 Missile Unit To Enter In Operational Service

The strategic command of Russia's space defense forces took delivery of its second unit of S-400 Triumf missile systems on Wednesday, which will be based in the Moscow Region, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said.

Until now, the Russian forces have had only one unit of S-400s, based at Electrostal, near Moscow.

"The handover ceremony for the second S-400 will take place at the state firing range in Kapustin Yar from February 16-19," Drik said.

The unit will consist of two regiments, each consisting of eight launch points, each with four missiles.

The S-400 has a maximum range of up to 400 km at an altitude of 40,000-50,000 meters. The system uses a range of missiles, optimized for engaging ballistic and cruise missiles and hypersonic vehicles, Drik said.

J-20 Black Eagle 5th Genarational Stealth Fighter Pride For Chinese Nation

India Aims To Start Making Its Own Commercial Aircraft

 India said Thursday it aims to start making its own commercial aircraft in a bid to cash on a boom in the domestic civil aviation sector.

Officials from the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) told reporters the state-owned firm will present a detailed report to the government within three months seeking clearance to manufacture a 90-seater passenger aircraft.

"There is potential for short-distance, low-cost carriers as operators are looking for cost-effective and right-sized aircraft, while passengers want lower air fares," NAL director A.R. Upadhaya said.

"The proposed 90-seat civil aircraft can make this happen," he said at Aero India in Bangalore, South Asia's largest airshow, where global aviation firms are vying for a slice of India's burgeoning civil and military market.

The planned aircraft would be ready for commercial operation by 2017 if cleared for production. India has in the past made a 16-seater aeroplane but it was intended for governmental rather than commercial use.

Upadhaya said various international aerospace companies were interested in becoming partners in the 50-billion-rupee ($1 billion) project, the first attempt by India to develop a civil aeroplane of that size.

Citing a government assessment, he said India would require about 1,000 aircraft by 2025 in the 90-seater segment.

Europe's Airbus expects India will need more than 1,000 aircraft over the next 20 years at a cost of $138 billion.

India's passenger numbers will expand by 15 percent annually over the next five years, making it the fastest-growing market in the world, Dinesh Keskar, president of Boeing's India subsidiary, forecast earlier in the week.

The expansion of India's middle class, spurred by the country's growing economy, has fuelled air travel.

US Doubts HAL's Capability For MRCA


Washington has expressed serious doubts on the ability of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to handle projects like the MMRCA, dubbing it "untested and suspect". This drew a sharp response from a defence ministry official, who pointed out the defence PSU was already engaged in producing a frontline "air dominance" fighter like Sukhoi-30MKI with Russia's help.

As per the MMRCA contract, which India hopes to ink this year, 18 jets will be bought off-the-shelf from the foreign vendor finally selected, while the rest will be manufactured by HAL in India after transfer of technology.

Two American fighters, F/A-18 'Super Hornet' ( Boeing) and F-16 'Falcon' ( Lockheed Martin), are in the race to bag the project, which is the largest fighter deal going around the world at this time. The other jets, which have undergone the gruelling field trials by IAF, are the Swedish Gripen (Saab), French Rafale (Dassault), Russian MiG-35 (United Aircraft Corporation) and Eurofighter Typhoon (consortium of British, German, Spanish and Italian companies).

The Financial Times on Friday reported that US ambassador to India Timothy Roemer, in a confidential cable last year, had held India's aviation industry as "two to three decades behind the US and other western nations" despite some advances.

"The potential for HAL to successfully partner with US firms on a truly advanced aircraft remains untested and suspect," said Roemer, in the cable now leaked by WikiLeaks and "seen" by the British newspaper.

After a trip to HAL facilities in Bangalore in February 2010, Roemer also expressed surprise at the lack of automation and safety precautions at the HAL plant. US companies need to "approach partnerships carefully to understand the management and technological experience of Indian firms", he said.

Indian Navy Will Issue A Global Tender For Six Next Generation Submarines

The Navy will issue a global tender for procuring six next generation submarines worth over Rs 50,000 crore by the end of this year.
"The government has cleared Project-75 India which is the next lot of six submarines... At the moment we are going with the Request for Information (RFI) process, I hope within this year we would be able to push off the tender," Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told reporters on the sidelines of a submarine seminar.

Project-75 India is a follow on of the Scorpene submarine project, six of which are being built by the Mazgaon Dockyards Limited (MDL) under a Rs 20,000 crore deal with French company DCNS.

With a depleted submarine strength, the Navy is planning to induct over 12 submarines in the next 10-12 years. The plans have also suffered a setback in view of the delays in the construction of the Scorpenes in Mumbai.

Talking about the capabilities of future submarines, the Navy chief said, "It will be a different boat in the sense that we are revising its Qualitative Requirements. Along with better sensors it will also have better hiding capability, improved detection range and combat management system."

He said the Navy would go for the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems for the submarines, which would enhance their capability of remaining submerged in water for a longer time period.

Advanced Version of MBT Arjun Mark-II To Undergo Serial Production in 2014

After more than 90 upgrades, an advanced variant of the indigenous Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun will undergo serial production in 2014.
The tank, Arjun Mark-II, will be equipped with an indigenous engine a year after the start of its serial production to replace its German power plant, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials told PTI.
"The advanced Arjun will be equipped with Explosive Reactive Armour and missile-firing capability from its main gun and better night-vision capabilities," they said.

The officials said that the gear box of the tank too would be upgraded to improve its performance.

Meanwhile, the DRDO has decided to go ahead with the first phase of the tank''s trial in June this year. "The user-Indian Army- would be involved in the trial from the phase one itself. The second phase would take place sometime early next year," said the officials.
124 Arjun Mark-I tanks, comprising two regiments, have already been inducted into the Army after being manufactured in Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi. The regiments are based in the western sector.

Bangladesh Navy has Ordered 3 large Fast Missile Crafts From China

According to BMF, Bangladesh Navy has ordered 3 large missile crafts from China. Currently two are being built in China.

New 3 large missile crafts of 600 ton displacement.


1 x Chinese AK-176M 76.2 mm, 4 x 2 C-802A anti-ship missiles, 2 x 6-cell RDC-32 ASW rocket launchers, 2 x CIWS.

Separately 5 of 300 ton displacement are being built in Bangladesh Navy's own dockyard.

Russia Says Foreign Power Behind The Loss Of Country's Most Modern Military Satellite Geo-IK-2

The Russian Space Agency Says On Monday that a Foreign Power  behind the space accident that disabled one of the country's most modern military satellites earlier this month.

Russia on February 1 launched a high-tech Geo-IK-2 craft to help the military draw a three-dimensional map of the Earth and locate the precise positions of various targets.

News reports said the satellite was a vital part of Russia's effort to match the United States and NATO's ability to target its missiles from space.

But the craft briefly went missing after its launch only to re-emerge in a wrong orbit that left the craft unable to complete its assigned task.

The Russian military and space agency set up a joint task force to probe the accident but it has presented no official results thus far.

One unnamed space official told Interfax however that initial evidence suggested that the craft went off target after one of its booster rockets inexplicably reversed course.

"The probable cause may involve electromagnetic intrusion on the automatic controls," the unnamed space official said.

The official did not identify the country he suspected of trying to derail the Russian military mission. But Moscow frequently accuses Washington of attempting to "militarise" space.

The space official conceded that there may have been other reasons for the launch failure. These included the wrong operations being programmed into the guidance system and other software mistakes.

But the Russian source stressed that the accident occurred between the first and second burns of the Briz-KM upper-stage booster rocket -- an area in which the craft makes no contact with ground control.
The official suggested that the electromagnetic pulse may have been aimed at the Russian craft "from a land, sea, air or space vehicle."

The Geo-IK-2 mishap came less than five weeks after President Dmitry Medvedev fired two top space officials for a launch failure caused Russia to delay the deployment of its own navigation system.

Investigators said that accident was caused by a basic fuel miscalculation that made the craft too heavy to reach its required height.

The three Glonass satellites would have completed a system whose research had been started by the Soviet Union in 1976.
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