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International Military Discussion

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby rkhanna » 27 Jul 2017 15:39

Analysis of Turkish Leo 2 MBT experience (and losses) in hybrid SF and Armored Warfare in Syria


https://misterxanlisis.wordpress.com/ca ... vehiculos/

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 30 Jul 2017 10:31

Hwasong-14 launch video, July 28, 2017


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Jul 2017 21:23

Again, something that pre-planned and was known to occur this summer for close to a year now. One consequence of NoKo's latest ICBM test has been that South Korea has now allowed the remaining 4 THAAD Launchers to be deployed which takes would up the number of loaded interceptors to 48 for the battery currently deployed.

U.S. Conducts THAAD Intercept Amid North Korea Tensions


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. has scrambled non-nuclear heavy bombers and conducted another pre-planned Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) intercept in the wake of Pyongyang's second successful intercontinental ballistic missile launch.

In an early morning announcement on July 30, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said it has tested Thaad against an air-launched medium-range ballistic missile target, deployed from the back of a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.

The Thaad intercept was performed under realistic conditions by U.S. Army soldiers of the 11th Air Defense Artillery "Imperial" Brigade, stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. The test, designated Flight Experiment Thaad (FET)-01, was a data-gathering exercise to inform future system upgrades, rather any validation of the missile shield's effectiveness against a specific target type.

"In addition to successfully intercepting the target, the data collected will allow MDA to enhance the Thaad weapon system, our modeling and simulation capabilities, and our ability to stay ahead of the evolving threat," MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves said in a statement.This was the 15th successful Thaad intercept out of 15 attempts since the program resumed flight testing in 2005. It comes less than one month after Thaad successfully intercepted threat-representative intermediate-range ballistic missile target, also ejected from a C-17 transport aircraft.

"The Thaad system performed exceptionally today and continues to showcase its ability to intercept and destroy many classes of the ballistic missile threat to protect citizens, deployed forces and allies around the globe," manufacturer Lockheed Martin says.Despite being pre-planned, FET-01 coincides with North Korea's second test of the Hwaseong-14 (Mars-14) ICBM on July 28, which the nation's leader Kim Jong-Un claims can strike cities within the U.S. with nuclear warheads.The U.S. Defense Department confirms it detected and tracked a single North Korea ICBM launch from the north-western city of Mup'yong-ni, close to the border with China.

The Pentagon says the missile traveled about 621 mi. (1,000 km) before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, which corroborates North Korea's claims. The state-run Korean Central News Agency says the missile reached a maximum altitude of 2,315 mi. (3,725 km) and range of 620 mi. (998 km) before impacting the ocean. From launch to re-entry, the missile flew for 47 minutes and 12 seconds.

Pyongyang said the test validates the Hwaseong-14's performance, as recorded during the type's first launch on July 3. The two-stage, liquid-fuel rocket is the nation's first nuclear-capable ICBM, introduced to deter future military actions by the U.S.In response to North Korea's July 3 and July 28 ICBM tests and ongoing nuclear weapon development, the U.S. and South Korea have begun discussing "military response options," said U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.
On July 29, two U.S. Air Force B-1Bs stationed at Andersen AFB, Guam, were scrambled as part of a joint military drill with the South Korea and Japanese air forces.

The two bombers, which have been modified to only carry conventional weapons, flew into Japanese airspace and then over the Korean Peninsula. When near Japan, the bombers were escorted by Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Koku-Jieitai) Mitsubishi F-2 multirole fighters. While over South Korea, the B-1Bs flew alongside Republic of Korea Air Force F-15s. The bombers conducted a low-pass over South Korea's Osan Air Base before returning to Guam, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) reports.

"North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability," Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy said. "Diplomacy remains the lead; however, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.

"If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing."
If a nuclear-armed ICBM were to be launched against the U.S., Washington would attempt to intercept it during the midcourse phase of flight with Ground-based Interceptors positioned at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg AFB, California.
Thaad is designed to intercept short to intermediate-range missiles (621-3,417 mi. / 1,000-5,500 km) in the upper atmosphere during their final phase of flight. The U.S. military recently positioned a Thaad battery inside South Korea, but its deployment has been met with resistance locally and by China.
The U.S.'s first successful attempt at intercepting a North Korea-style ICBM occurred on May 30, when a Ground-Based Interceptor launched from California knocked out a target missile fired from the Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands.



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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 Jul 2017 00:56


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 11 Aug 2017 18:09

One of the most comprehensive articles on the US Minutemen III Replacement program -

Peacekeeper Missile Design Informed GBSD Bid

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 11 Aug 2017 21:02

Hans Kristensen‏ @nukestrat 18h18 hours ago

Interesting 2-warhead Trident D5 SLBM payload image from brief to SecDef Mattis during visit to Pacific SSBN base. Annotations by me.


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 15 Aug 2017 18:43

North Korea holds off on Guam missile plan


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 15 Aug 2017 23:03

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 15 Aug 2017 23:04

So US is saying either they de-nuke else we nuke them and Susan Rice says NoKo nuke tolerable both are Rep ?

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 15 Aug 2017 23:09

I do not know about the sarin gas, but what in the above that General McMaster said differ that from the erstwhile Communist Russia?

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 15 Aug 2017 23:17

To me the North Korea crisis looks all cooked up by Trump , its not that Trump comes to power and suddenly NoKo becomes a crisis when it was not the case for past 20 years ...His home rating is all time low and MSM is after him unjustly ......He cant Fight with Iran due to P5 nuclear deal even though Israel would like him to do that , that limits his option to North Korea ...He is teasing that chubby boy with strong statement and that Boy has a mind of trump and he is retaliating.

The other country dont want a war and can live with nuclear north korea more or less but Trump is itching for a war and hopes to win it even if it means using Nuke.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 22 Aug 2017 10:53

The financial cost of 16 years in Afghanistan

The most current estimate pegs the number at $841 billion. That comes from Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Cordesman, who served as a consultant to the Departments of State and Defense during the Afghan and Iraq wars, says that figure includes President Trump's budget request for next year.

Other estimates place the 16-year cost in the trillions of dollars because they measure a broader range of factors.

For instance, Neta Crawford, a co-director of the Cost of Wars Project at Brown University, has estimated that total war spending in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001 is approaching $5 trillion. Of that, roughly $2 trillion is attributable to Afghanistan. That includes some future cost obligations.

But even that higher figure leaves out some key expenses, such as the future costs of interest Americans will owe for the money borrowed to finance the war in Afghanistan. That alone could add trillions of dollars to the total tab.


While the United States has a history of wartime taxation to finance military conflicts -- albeit uneven -- that tradition was broken with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to tax historian Joe Thorndike. Not only did Congress not pass a tax to finance the efforts, it opted instead to pass the Bush tax cuts.

The $2 trillion also doesn't include future spending on the Department of Veterans Affairs related to Afghanistan or the money paid by states and localities for services provided to returning vets.

Estimates vary widely because there is no clearly delineated, uniform way that money spent on wars is allocated or counted by the White House or Congress.

And, of course, no financial estimate can offer a measure of the true cost of war -- the loss of human life on all sides as well as the physical and psychological disabilities suffered by those who survive -- whether military or civilian.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 26 Aug 2017 18:53




5kW (Boeing) Laser Weapon on the Stryker is currently being demonstrated so is a 60kW (Lockheed) laser weapon on a HEMTT vehicle. Short term plans call for upping the Stryker weapon to 50KW by 2021, and taking the 60kW laser up to 100kW and shrinking it down so it fits on a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. These demonstrations are planned for 2022.

On the US Navy side things are moving faster as one would think given more access to space, weight, power and cooling margins..A 150kW laser weapon is currently being installed on a test ship and will begin demonstrations either late this year, or early next year. This will then be followed by a full fledged procurement program to buy and install a 60-150kW laser weapons on the Flight II DDG-51 destroyers.

Do note that unlike the large mega-watt class COIL that they put up on the 747, these are Solid State / Fiber lasers with operating efficiencies in the 40-50% range so don't require as much power, or heat elimination (and no need to store all that chemical). A 60 kW lasers could cover most of the Low Altitude Counter UAS missions along with a fairly big chunk of the Mortar and Rocket (minus perhaps the most stressing rockets) and even take down gliding PGMs, with a 5-kW weapon focusing on the really cheap Class 1 and 2 UASs. Those are pesky little buggers as one US Army officer recently reminded his USAF counterparts when he said - "below 1000 ft you do not have air-superiority". The 100kW and above systems should be able to handle simpler subsonic weapons and disable systems associated with higher performing manned and unmanned platforms.

Packaging is done depending upon tactical requirements. A 60kW laser weapon may require 150kW of power generation and in such a setup, for larger use requirements, you will integrate on a HEMTT with a 150kW power source whereas on an FMTV you may include a 60KW organic power support and store energy for a finite number of shots or laser_on_time. You would then provide a supporting vehicle with a larger power source if more is required. Same with the Stryker..You will carry a relatively small power source with storage and a shorter magazine but the power delivered would still be 50kW (just for less number of targets before it goes on a recharge).

A 60kW laser weapon running on a 60kW generator for example would require 3 minutes of charging for every 1 minute of operation. Use a 150kW power source you could run it constantly as long as you are able to eliminate heat. Tactically, a 100kW FMTV or HEMTT based system would be used for base protection, and would accompany larger air-defense batteries for protection against the cheap, low altitude C-UAS threats and other lower cost targets for which you do not want to waste interceptors (even at a stinger price point). A 5kW, and a 50kW weapon mounted on an armored Stryker or Bradley would provide C-UAS and Mortar capability to the maneuvering force along with Avenger systems likely mounted on the same platforms.

For protection against challenging subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles (even ARMs) you will likely need a 250-300+ kW class laser weapon and it will likely be possible to put something like that on an HEMTT by the late 2020s. General Atomics is working with DARPA and ONR to get to that 300kW sweet spot you need for Medium Range Air Defense Mission. It is quite likely that the 150kW weapon that goes onto a Navy test ship is the architecture that then scales up to 300kW on platforms and vessels that can carry it. Army HEMTT and Navy DDG-1000 are my likely guesses for that class of weapon.

The Navy is looking to buy a 60-150 kW high energy laser weapon system with an integrated counter intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance laser for non-destructive dazzling capabilities against unmanned aerial vehicle-mounted sensors, according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice.

The High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance project will "prioritize technical maturity and proven laser weapon concepts," the notice said.

The request for proposals seeks two test units to be delivered in fiscal year 2020, one of which is for an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, DDG 51 Flight IIA. The second unit will be delivered to White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico before being transferred to Point Mugu in California, Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman Colleen O'Rourke wrote in a Aug. 15 statement to Inside the Navy.

Asked if the Navy will consider equipping Flight III with the laser weapon system, O'Rourke said the service is only targeting Flight IIA.

The RFP also includes options for an additional nine ship-based systems, O'Rourke added.

"The HELIOS Test Units shall include all necessary power, cooling, and processing hardware and software, along with all cables, interfaces, and displays necessary to operate and maintain the system on both a Land Based Test Facility and on a DDG 51 FLT IIA," the notice said.

HELIOS has $63.2 million budgeted for FY-18; $83.8 million for FY-19; $60.2 million for FY-20; $45.9 million for FY-21 and $30 million for FY-22, according to the Navy's budget justification documents. Source - Inside Defense / Inside the Navy


Army: 50 kW Laser Stryker By 2021, 100 kW FMTV Truck By 2022

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: The Army keeps putting more powerful lasers on smaller vehicles. Battlefield lasers in testing today can shoot down snooping quadcopters and other small drones. By the early 2020s, however vehicles mobile enough to keep up with combat brigades – Strykers and FMTV trucks – will have power in the 50 to 100 kilowatt range. That’s enough not only to kill drones in less time and at longer ranges than today, but also to stop incoming rockets, artillery shells, and mortar rounds.

Army lasers are advancing on two fronts, said Adam Aberle, who heads high energy laser development and demonstration at the Space & Missile Defense Command. Lower-powered lasers go on eight-wheel drive armored vehicles called Strykers. Higher-powered ones go on converted cargo trucks, which have no armor and worse off-road performance than Strykers, but a lot more room.

n 2021, the service will test a 50 kilowatt weapon, the Multi-Mission High Energy Laser, on a Stryker. That’s five times the power of the 10 kW laser being installed on a Stryker for testing this November – which is itself double the 5 kW laser tested on a Stryker this March and five times the 2 kW tested last year. All these lasers are compact enough that the Strykers can still carry gear and troops for other battlefield tasks (hence “multi-mission”), a big plus for combat units. The 50 kW laser is a potential candidate for the Army’s Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (MSHORAD), effort, which needs vehicles that can move and fight alongside frontline forces.

The Army is putting heavier lasers on cargo trucks. Eventually, such vehicles might be part of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC), a truck-mounted system designed to set up behind the front line and defend large areas against incoming fire. In 2022, the Army will test a 100 kW laser on a truck, the High-Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle, based on three-axle, 10-ton FMTV. The FMTV is an unarmored support vehicle, but it’s much smaller and nimbler than the current laser truck, a four-axle, 20-ton HEMTT now being fitted for a 50-kW laser. (IFPC uses the FMTV truck as well).

For comparison, the original HEMTT-mounted laser installed in 2012 was just 10 kW. That’s same firepower that fits on the much smaller Stryker today. The power-to-weight ratio is ramping up radically.

Power matters because every time you double a laser’s output in kilowatts, you halve the time it takes to burn through a specific target at a specific distance, letting you quickly wipe out waves of incoming threats. Or you can double the power, keep the target and time to kill the same, but shoot it down 40 percent farther away. Or you can keep the time and distance the same, but burn through harder targets.

It’s not all about power, however, Aberle emphasized in a roundtable with reporters at the Space & Missile Defense Symposium here. The 100 kW laser on a truck will take a year longer than the 50 kW laser on a Stryker, he said, in large part because its beam control system is more ambitious.

Beam control is about focusing a laser’s power on the target and on a specific spot on the target: A well-built laser can pinpoint a specific weak point, allowing it to have far greater effects than its power alone might indicate. Engineers also need to optimize beam quality so the laser can penetrate the atmosphere without losing power. All lasers also require sophisticated software and powerful optics, which incidentally make great telescopes for surveillance when the laser isn’t firing.

The beam control and quality equations look very different when firing from a ground level in relatively dry air, a naval craft in humid sea air, or an aircraft surrounded by turbulence in the thin upper atmosphere. That is part of the reason the services all have their own programs, though they compare notes all the time, said Aberle.

In the near term, all the services are looking at relatively low-powered defensive laser. Aircraft already use lasers to confuse the sensors of incoming surface to air missiles, while the Navy’s 30 kW laser tested in the Persian Gulf was designed to deal with drones and approaching Iranian attack boats. The near-term lasers in development can burn down dangerous but relatively fragile targets ranging from ISIL drones, to Taliban mortar rounds, to Syrian barrel bombs, to Russian artillery rockets. But in the not too distant future, increasing power and precision could take out incoming cruise missiles, helicopter gunships, and strike aircraft. At that point, modern warfare starts to change dramatically.



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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 30 Aug 2017 05:50


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 05 Sep 2017 15:47

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 05 Sep 2017 19:53

Kalbir Launch Today agaist ISIL Targets in Syria




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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 05 Sep 2017 22:54

In just 11 years the NOKOs have gone from a piffling sub kiloton nuke to a 100KT thermo nuke. All with a tiny scientific and industrial base—a fraction of what India has. The Indian ~45KT thermo nuke in 1998 (much disputed as a failure) took how many years?

You don't think the PRC proliferated do you? A plausibly deniable way to get it into Paki hands without them having to test it.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Lisa » 05 Sep 2017 22:58

^ India developed its bomb and BM's. China did not help us unlike North Korea. (IMHO).

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Sep 2017 00:06

vasu raya wrote:
brar_w wrote:On cost, yes it is costly ($70-$80 K range). But cost is relative to need, alternatives and other costs not factored into the equation.


Thanks brar, would it be possible to breakdown the cost components?

so, these laser guided or mmW sensors are g rated for an artillery shell, incredible!



Without a BOM, it would not be possible to break the cost down since this is procured as an AUR and not an added kit. The PGK which is procured independently and not as part of an AUR costs approximately $8500 based on 2016 contract awards so there you are probably looking at a sub $10,000 full round including the legacy shell and the kit.

Regardless, when close air support picture doesn't look like the one depicted in the gif below, it is handy to be able to call in field artillery support even if you are in close proximity to the enemy position you want taken out. It as an option is a good thing but naturally, not to be used under all scenarios.

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There is also the Precision Extended Range Munition which is a mortar based solution using the concept of the Excalibur but providing precision strike ability to infantry.

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so, these laser guided or mmW sensors are g rated for an artillery shell, incredible!


A number of firms have been working on advanced communication and seeker concepts for the HVP. Among the ones that are known to be interested ar BAE, Orbital, Lockheed and General Atomics. GA has advanced so far as to have tested a communication link b/w its munition and the 10 MJ railgun and will actually be doing a surface to air live demonstration (against a cruise missile) in 2018 to validate command guidance. A mmW sensor for an artillery round launched from an army or navy weapons is something likely enabled by that goal.
Last edited by brar_w on 10 Sep 2017 01:03, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2017 07:24

Brar, Diehl was working on a laser guided deployable fin package for 120 mm mortars.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Sep 2017 07:45

ramana wrote:Brar, Diehl was working on a laser guided deployable fin package for 120 mm mortars.


Would that be the same program where they partnered with Lockheed for a US Army program? I believe there GPS or dual mode (GPS/SAL) was preferred over purely laser guided for the APMI program, but I can see advantages of a dual mode weapon if the enemy relocates especially at the higher ends of the range envelope (20km). Lockheed and Diehl team missed out on the APMI where ATK was selected as fielded a GPS weapon for the Army. The PERM is a USMC program, but the US Army has recently launched a program to field a dual mode, high explosive guided mortar with production expected to begin in the 2021 timeframe.

https://www.army.mil/article/183491/arm ... ion_mortar




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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 11 Sep 2017 05:37

The last quote at the bottom of the slide puts into context the comment from Major General Toney Stricklin I had posted earlier in the Artillery thread
With the M982, ‘danger- close’ is a technique that may be no longer necessary.


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 13 Sep 2017 23:06

WikiLeaks‏Verified account @wikileaks https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/907970125910953984

Public records reveal that the Pentagon is shipping billions of dollars of arms to Syrian insurgents

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 22 Sep 2017 15:03

Russia's Intervention in Syria: Lessons Learned


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Sep 2017 17:25

Would be interesting to see if they insist on AN/SPY-6(V) and not the legacy radar since this has been reported to be one of the sticking points.

Japan evaluating sites for Aegis Ashore missile defense system


Japan is evaluating locations to base the Aegis Ashore land-based ballistic missile defense system of which it has expressed interest in acquiring to better defend against North Korean ballistic missiles.

According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which quoted Japanese Defense Ministry sources, Japan is looking at placing the Aegis Ashore on two sites along the country’s western coast to give complete coverage against North Korean ballistic missiles.

The newspaper reported that the sites under consideration for the northern system are either the Kamo sub-base in Oga, Akita prefecture, and the Sado sub-base in Sado, Niigata prefecture; for the system covering the southern part of Japan, either the Unishima sub-base in Tsushima or the Fukuejima sub-base in Goto, both in Nagasaki prefecture.

These sites are all part of Japan’s current early-warning and ballistic missile-defense radar network operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, operating a mixture of J/FPS-3, J/FPS-5 and other older radars.

The Asahi Shimbun reported that Japan plans to have its Aegis Ashore systems operational by 2023, although this could be pushed forward if the regional security changes. The newspaper quoted Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera as saying that “we want to introduce the system at the earliest possible schedule”.

Japan’s Defense Ministry had requested funds to prepare for the introduction of the Aegis Ashore in its budget request issued in late August, and when operational, would add another kinetic dimension to Japan’s BMD network and reduce the need for two of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s four Kongo-class destroyers to be out at sea to provide BMD coverage for the entire country.

Japan is also operating PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles for defense against ballistic missiles and plans to upgrade a further two Aegis-equipped destroyers with BMD capabilities with two more destroyers due to be added to the fleet by 2021. It also plans to acquire the improved Raytheon SM-3 Block IB/IIA and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles.

In a related development, Onodera said in a Sept. 22 news conference that he has suspended the study on Japan acquiring the capability to launch counterattacks on enemy bases on the instructions of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Oct 2017 01:20

I see this request cover 5 operational batteries, one spare FAU, and one radar deployed in EW mode. All 7 radars will be using the current generation Raytheon GaN X-Band T/R modules. During Trump's visit there some in the media circles had speculated that much like Qatar's THAAD purchase a dedicated EW radar would be set up but it appears to not have been the case, or is something being negotiated outside of the THAAD deal.

Saudi Arabia – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Related Support, Equipment and Services


WASHINGTON, Oct 6, 2017 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and related support, equipment and services for an estimated cost of $15 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of forty-four (44) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers, three hundred sixty (360) THAAD Interceptor Missiles, sixteen (16) THAAD Fire Control and Communications Mobile Tactical Station Group, seven (7) AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars. Also included are THAAD Battery maintenance equipment, forty-three (43) prime movers (trucks), generators, electrical power units, trailers, communications equipment, tools, test and maintenance equipment, repair and return, system integration and checkout, spare/repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel support services, facilities construction, studies, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $15 billion.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a friendly country. This sale furthers U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, and supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian and other regional threats. This potential sale will substantially increase Saudi Arabia’s capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region. THAAD’s exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia’s layered missile defense architecture and will support modernization of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force (RSADF). Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors for the THAAD system are Lockheed Martin Space Systems Corporation, Dallas, TX, Camden, AR, Troy, AL and Huntsville, AL; and Raytheon Corporation, Andover, MA. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Chinmay » 07 Oct 2017 07:58

brar_w wrote:I see this request cover 5 operational batteries, one spare FAU, and one radar deployed in EW mode. All 7 radars will be using the current generation Raytheon GaN X-Band T/R modules. During Trump's visit there some in the media circles had speculated that much like Qatar's THAAD purchase a dedicated EW radar would be set up but it appears to not have been the case, or is something being negotiated outside of the THAAD deal.

Saudi Arabia – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Related Support, Equipment and Services




We discussed this deal back in June. You were on the money then, but hell that's a lot of ABM capability. Five (possibly six?) full up batteries with spares and maintenance. Its also more expensive than predicted, with earlier estimate being 13.5 billion USD. This is in addition to the S-400s. :shock: :shock:

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Oct 2017 15:38

Chinmay wrote:
We discussed this deal back in June. You were on the money then, but hell that's a lot of ABM capability. Five (possibly six?) full up batteries with spares and maintenance. Its also more expensive than predicted, with earlier estimate being 13.5 billion USD. This is in addition to the S-400s. :shock: :shock:




This is an FMS announcement where usually a nation requests the absolute maximum that they require so that they don't have to go back and request additional resources. Actual firm orders could be for less. 5 batteries is a lot, but so is the footprint given that they would want to cover a lot of their high value targets which besides military bases, one would assume, also covers their oil infrastructure. If it materializes as announced, will put them as the second largest THAAD operator in the world, behind the US that operates around 8 batteries.

THAAD is a 200 km ranged Terminal defense system, and as such requires a lot of batteries to cover even a medium sized country. The US can get away with fewer since they are providing terminal defense to a much smaller defended area such as the island of Guam, or to its troops deployed in SOKO, or somewhere in CENTCOM AOR. It is a theater based anti-raid system hence the very large missile to launcher count.

As I have previously mentioned if you mix a THAAD battery with a Patriot Advanced Capability 3 Battery (non MSE rounds) you get a whopping 112 interceptors before requiring a reload and these will cover both lower reaches of the exoatmopshere and much lower altitudes and at the lower altitudes even air-breathing threats. This is obviously tailored to US threats where they envision a US troop concentration over a relatively small to medium sized area in an expeditionary environment where the enemy can focus in on with a large barrage of ballistic and cruise missiles (with the intent of saturating defenses) but I guess it also applies to a nation like Saudi Arabia where they may have such high value targets such as military bases and their energy infrastructure in addition to large cities.


Its also more expensive than predicted, with earlier estimate being 13.5 billion USD.


Cost comes with a very large services contact for most ME nations that want everything done for them even at the depot level. But regardless, this capability is unique and is not cheap. THAAD comes with the most capable tactical TBM radar, which for them will be a GaN based system (offers much improved performance as I had mentioned earlier) and the unique Exo-Endo capability of the interceptors is not cheap either. Add to that the fact that Saudis are likely to request unique C2 changes and things get expensive. But keep in mind that they are buying in excess of 350 interceptors for just 5 deployed batteries and this isn't usually seen with other systems where the missile to battery count is much less. A THAAD battery deployed with full complement of launchers has 48 ready to launch 200 km range interceptors.

Also, keep in mind that unlike other dual-purpose air-defense system where interceptor range and envelope is often cited in reference to an Air Breathing threat, the THAAD range of 200km is strictly against a TBM threat as it is not capable of going after any other type of threat. The TBM intercept range of a PAC-2 for example reduces to about a fourth of its 160 km advertised maximum range which is against an air breathing threat. Similarly, the Sea-Based Terminal ballistic missile defense range for the SM6 (a 350+ km ranged missile against aircraft threats) is still in the 50-100 km only. THAAD is designed to get very high, very fast to cover the envelope it does since it is only designed with ONE threat in mind. What also helps is the dedicated X band radar which provides the best possible discrimination that reduces PIP errors allowing for optimized launches.

Also, cost of contracts and FMS announcements need not be the same. Singapore recently placed an order for AESA radar where the unit cost was roughly 1/2 of the one announced a couple of years earlier in the FMS notification. There are components included in the FMS notice that need not be part of the final contract since that aspect is negotiated between the end user, the OEM and the US Service/Program Office as the intermediary.

Cost wise, if you want to effeciently cover a nation with the lowest cost systems you have to go into space based mid-course intercepts where the defended area is very large (and so is the missile cost but overall system cost is less). This is the main reason Japan is interested in the AEGIS ashore as they would require many times the THAAD batteries for the same deployed footprint since the SM3 IIA has an envelope that is many times that of the THAAD interceptor. This they have deemed as unaffordable even though THAAD is probably a better suited system for the type of threats they are dealing with.

Here is more on the performance bump on the TPY-2 with he switch from GaAs to GaN. As mentioned earlier, all TPY-2 production (domestic or export) has switched to GaN with the first radar being delivered before the end of the year.

TPY-2 will now be built using GaN modules just like Raytheon's SPY-6(V) for the Arleigh Burke-class of guided missile destroyers and the new enterprise air surveillance radar (EASR) for future Ford class aircraft carriers and amphibious ships. GaN is also a key component in the new Patriot radar that includes an Active Electronically Scanned Array and is used in the Next Generation Jammer.

GaN is a wideband gap semi-conductor so it has a higher voltage breakdown, which provides radars a higher power density on the radio frequency (RF) MIMIC amplifiers that Raytheon builds.


GaN enables the search volume to be greatly enhanced and the range increased by upward of 50%, Bedingfield said. "And you can increase the discrimination capability."

It is also possible to decrease a radar's aperture size because the system is operating more efficiently. "You could package the same capabilities into a smaller aperture size"; however, TPY-2 is not going that path, Bedingfield added. ~ Jane's International Defence Review October/2016



Some of this additional range will be a result of moving to more efficient power amplifiers which would allow them to get higher performance at baseline power levels. To realize the full capability increase enabled by GaN they would likely have to modify the PPUs unless there is surplus capability sitting that is untapped. This is a MW class system and one will likely see PPU upgrade RFIs being floated around shortly as the US and international customers absorb these new radars.

The range increase enabled by GaN has been largely seen as serving two purposes - One to benefit the radar as it operates as a stand alone asset in forward based mode (where it provides early warning and discrimination to US AEGIS vessels out at sea), and as a performance bump in anticipation of future THAAD-ER interceptors. The baseline system will benefit (in the short-medium term) from the improved discrimination and better thermal performance which would result in lower LCC and higher reliability. Baseline GaAs range is already many times that of the interceptor ability so that was not what was driving this transition.

Five (possibly six?) full up batteries with spares and maintenance.


If they stretch this out they could actually deploy all 7 as batteries if need be. But of course a battery is more than an equipment, it requires a manpower footprint and training to boot so 5 operationally deployed batteries with one FBM FAU and one as a spare is likely closer to their ability to deploy. Things could change if they order an EW radar like Qatar did but then they don't need something like that for the type of threat they are expected to encounter (neither did Qatar but with ME operators logic need not necessarily apply :) )

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Chinmay » 07 Oct 2017 20:03

Thanks for the comprehensive answer brar. Much appreciated. As you mentioned, with the PAC3-THAAD combo, they cover most of the envelope, with the Improved Hawks handling the remaining air breathing targets. So isnt the S400 deal pointless, given that it cannot integrate with the THAAD-PAC3 combo? It seems that the Saudis are just throwing money at everyone in order to buy political alliances.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Oct 2017 20:11

Chinmay wrote:As you mentioned, with the PAC3-THAAD combo, they cover most of the envelope, with the Improved Hawks handling the remaining air breathing targets.


There really isn't much of an aircraft threat to them given the wide gap between their Air force and that of their regional threats. Primary air based threats will be dealt by AWACS and Typhoons, F-15s etc, secondary by PAC-2's that have a 160 km max range against the threat type. If PAC-2 goes active that should make it a 200+ km missile since the range is not kinematically limited but is so by the TVM guidance. Raytheon has not decided on what to do with the PAC-2s but Saudis can very easily fund an SM2 like active seeker upgrade given their deep pockets.

Their threat, much like the US is primarily driven by ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles and more so towards saturated attacks from a combined salvo aimed at diminishing their ability to conduct air-operations out of air-bases, or going after their economic targets.

PAC-3's have around a 70-80 km range against an air-breathing threat (they are really designed around fast intercepts of TBMs so don't loft as high as the PAC-2s) but against the threat type the cheaper PAC-2 is a better missile since it has a larger envelope. Hawk is questionable against a credible target with ESM so I don't think it is a viable system going forward. The entire Patriot user base around the world needs SHORAD and this will be a major investment area. Systems like NASAMS, Avengers, and IFPC will be gap fillers.

o isnt the S400 deal pointless, given that it cannot integrate with the THAAD-PAC3 combo? It seems that the Saudis are just throwing money at everyone in order to buy political alliances.


If it ever materializes, it would be largely pointless given a lack of integration and the tighter control both parties are likely to exercise as far as opening up the system to integrate with the two. Politically, it may be advantageous in order to develop better relations with Russia to reduce the influence of Iran etc etc. I stopped rationalizing ME arms procurement decisions long ago..Most of them have to do with buying influence and political ties.

Having said that, S400 and PAC3/THAAD are designed around very very different missions. The latter very much concentrates on overcoming salvos of advanced ballistic and cruise missiles while the former is more balanced, with modernization focusing on all mission areas. US over the last few decades (ever since the gulf war really) has been driven by the TBM threat given how much their main concerns have invested in that capability (Iran, NoKo and even the Chinese MRBM and IRBM threat). Lately, this has extended to IAMD aimed at the cruise missile threat leading to integration through IBCS and IFPC like SHORAD options. The aircraft threat is still meant to be taken care of by the Air operations and the Army only expected to deal with the threats that are either too low (class 1 and 2 UASs flying below 5000 ft) or the leakers.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Oct 2017 16:31

Avenger 3.0 - No upgraded Stinger shown yet but UAS shoot down with Aim-9s, and Hellfire's:


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Oct 2017 17:18


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 21 Oct 2017 05:16

A by-product of DARPA's investment into guided bullets. Posting excerpts, full article can be accessed using the link below.

Orbital ATK progresses new medium calibre munition development



Orbital ATK is developing a range of new advanced medium-calibre ammunition variants for use with its 30/40 mm calibre MK44 XM813 and 30 mm calibre lightweight XM914 Bushmaster Chain Guns. The new ammunition types – command-guided, proximity fuze, and air burst – are intended to deliver enhanced capabilities for a wide range of land and air combat platforms.

Development of the 30×173 mm command-guided round leverages technologies evolved by Orbital ATK for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) programme.

The EXACTO effort has resulted in a guided .50 calibre round – equipped with real-time optical sensors and aero-actuation controls – that improves sniping performance in long-range, day/night engagements. The EXACTO system combines a manoeuvrable bullet with a complementary laser designator-equipped fire control system (FCS) to compensate for weather, wind, target movement, and other factors that can reduce accuracy.

The sniper uses the laser designator to determine and track the target. Once fired, actuators inside the bullet – which can correct its movement up to 30 times per second in flight – receive data from the optical sensor to guide it to the target. For the new 30×173 mm guided round, the target is locked with a radar sensor, while a networked FCS delivers updated course correction and target information via a data-link to an unspecified command guidance sensor located in the back of the munition.

Strusz said that Orbital ATK will demonstrate the command guidance technology in a larger calibre round in December; the 30 mm guided round will undergo extensive testing during 2018, with firing trials of an all-up round scheduled to follow thereafter.

In parallel, the company is also developing a proximity fuzed 30×113 mm round for the M230LF Chain Gun. The round will provide the weapon with a next-generation air bursting solution. This effort will be integrated into the M230LF kinetic kill capability – which, combined with the electronic attack capability of the Blighter AUDS counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS), was demonstrated as an integration on an US Army Stryker 8×8 infantry carrier vehicle at White Sands range in New Mexico in September.

Orbital ATK will conduct a C-UAS demonstration in December 2017 with an all-up round, while qualification of the round is expected in 2018.

Development, integration, and qualification of both the guidance and proximity fuze technologies are supported through internal research and development (IRAD) funding. Strusz said that the development roadmap for the 30×113 mm round will lead to the integration of both technologies in a single round, significantly enhancing the M230LF/AUDS system in the C-UAS role while delivering enhanced stand-off survivability.
--
He added that both technologies will also be migrated to Orbital ATK 40 mm munitions for use with the XM813 Bushmaster Chain Gun. Beyond these current initiatives, ATK Orbital is also considering an individual technology insertion of the command guidance solution to the 30×113 mm round to augment its one-shot kinetic kill capability.
--
Separately, is expecting internal qualification of its 30×173 mm MK310 (MOD 1) Programmable Air Bursting Munition (PABM) round by the end of 2017. Using IRAD funding, the company has conducted a series of successful tests and internal demonstrations of its MK44 cannon with PABM ammunition to defeat UAS platforms in a tactical scenario.

--
Technological insertions of these advanced ammunition types are intended to rapidly introduce advanced capabilities to existing land, air, and sea-based weapons platforms. For example, technological breakthroughs such as command guided munitions will bring new capability to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and AC-130 gunship.....


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Oct 2017 16:05

BAE Systems presents Bradley M-SHORAD air defense AUSA 2017


BAE Systems showcases new M-SHORAD (Mobile Short-Range Air Defence) solution mounted on Bradley M2A3 tracked armoured IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) at AUSA 2017, the Association of United States Army Exhibition and Conference in Washington D.C.

With this new Bradley M-SHORAD, BAE Systems will showded the advantages of integrating the SHORAD capability onto the Bradley Fighting Vehicle to provide a full-spectrum air defense solution to the Armored Brigade Combat Team Maneuver Formation.

The Bradley M-SHORAD is fitted with the Israeli-made pMHR surveillance radar mounted all-around the turret. The pMHR radar is a lightweight version of the MHR (Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar), enabling the portability of the system, and is an ideal solution for force protection missions on the move.

The turret is equipped with three type of weapons which can be used against drones, and different aerial threats as helicopters and low-flying aircraft. To fight the drones, the Bradley M-SHORAD is fitted with radio interference systems mounted on the top of the turret.

Image

Image

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Philip » 02 Nov 2017 11:21

http://www.defencenews.in/article/Pakis ... ips-444264
Pakistan Orders Two Corvettes From US-Based Swiftships

So much for the US punishing Pak for its sponsorship of terror!

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Kartik » 03 Nov 2017 02:01

New long range AIM-120D replacement program has been in the works for the past 2 years

New long range missile project emerges in US budget

The existence of a two-year-old project to develop a new air-to-air missile capable of intercepting targets at great distances has emerged in US budget documents.

The Office of the Secretary Defense (OSD) launched a two-year engineering assessment of a new long-range engagement weapon (LREW) designed with the goal of “maintaining air dominance”, according to budget documents released last March.

Analyses of the design, engineering and kill chain requirements were expected to be complete in the last fiscal year, although details are classified. “When successful, LREW will transition to multiple services,” the documents show.

..

The LREW also emerges as Chinese and Russian militaries reportedly are pursuing new air intercept missiles with ranges significantly longer than the AIM-120D. The range of the AIM-120D is classified, but is thought to extend to about 100mi (160km).

The US Air Force also is developing two short-range weapons – the small advanced capabilities missile (SACM) and the miniature self-defence munition (MSDM).

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Kartik » 03 Nov 2017 04:07

Image
Taurus attacks with a shaped charge first (Green bucket shape in image) then a steel penetrator (black shape extending aft of wing)

Taurus Missile Consortium Proposes Compact Bunker Buster
Aiming at hardened targets, Seoul considers a lighter Taurus
Aviation Week & Space Technology Oct 25, 2017 , p. 58
Bradley Perrett, Kim Minseok Seoul
Drilling Down

A war on the Korean peninsula would see many a split-second contest between reinforced concrete and high-velocity steel, as Pyongyang’s enemies hurled bunker-busting munitions at its hardened command, communications and weapon installations.

The tool in South Korea’s arsenal that can punch farthest through concrete is the Taurus KEPD 350 air-launched missile, made by a consortium of MBDA and Saab. The Taurus can be carried by the 60 Boeing F-15K Eagles of the Republic of Korea Air Force but is too heavy for the 60 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 light-attack aircraft. And while each of the air force’s forthcoming 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightnings should be able to lift a pair of Tauruses, the missiles will have to be carried externally, ruining the fighters’ stealthiness.

So the consortium, Taurus Systems, proposes to develop a compact version of the missile light enough for the FA-50 and, it thinks, probably small enough for F-35 weapon bays—a feature likely to catch the attention of other Lightning operators.
Considering South Korea’s relentless determination to exploit its defense budget to promote industrial development, the company proposes the new version be developed and built in the country with a local partner.

Thanks to new materials and smaller electronics, a compact Taurus of perhaps 1,000-kg (2,200-lb.) mass would offer the same penetration as the 1,400-kg standard version, says the president of the South Korean branch of Taurus Systems, Christoffer Drevstad. Length could be reduced to 4 m (13 ft.) from 5 m—though it may need to be shorter still to fit inside the F-35. Range would fall only a little from that of the full-size Taurus, which the manufacturer says exceeds 500 km (300 mi.).


If the project goes ahead, the full-size Taurus will probably be improved by applying the new technology to its warhead, says the company. Penetration would presumably increase.

South Korea began receiving Tauruses a year ago. Improved from earlier versions, they have the designation KEPD 350K. The manufacturer and defense ministry are negotiating for a second batch. Taurus Systems will not disclose how many units are under discussion, except to say that the second batch would be slightly smaller than the first, which local media reported amounted to 170 units. The potential follow-on development program, for the compact KEPD 350K2, could equip the KAI KF-X fighter as well as the FA-50.

The defense ministry’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) will begin developing an indigenous bunker-busting air-launched missile in 2018, according to the newspaper Asian Economy. Development will cost 300 billion won ($270 million) and production of 200 units until 2031 a further 510 billion won. It is unclear whether this is the Taurus KEPD 350K2 or an all-new missile that is seen as an alternative.

Hanhwa or LIG Nex1 are the only realistic candidates for making the compact Taurus or a new ADD weapon. Taurus Systems sees a good chance of its proposal going ahead next year. Development could take 3–4 years, Drevstad said at the Seoul Aerospace & Defense Exhibition, held Oct. 16-22.

The warhead of the KEPD 350 comprises two munitions: a shaped charge that attacks the target first and a steel penetrator that punches through the concrete and earth with kinetic energy, carrying a charge of nearly 100 kg that the fuse detonates after determining that the required number of layers has been pierced. The fuse is the only one in service that is known to count layers; other bunker busters burst after a set time delay.

The striking velocity of a Taurus depends on its terminal maneuvers. If the missile climbs high in the last tens of seconds and dives steeply, it strikes at nearly Mach 1; the speed is limited by the need to remain under control and therefore subsonic.

The Taurus can pierce 6 m of concrete, according to South Korean media reports that would have been based on official briefings. Taurus is surely capable of destroying a bunker of typical design, one with three layers of concrete and, between them, two layers of sand that absorb blast. It would not be surprising if the weapon can go through bunkers with more or unusually thick layers.

The effect of introducing a high-performance bunker buster into service is not just to render vulnerable what an adversary previously thought was safe; the adversary will probably go to the expense of building even tougher structures and reinforcing some in place.


But that is probably not the end of the cycle of attack and defense. The precision of modern weapons raises a quite realistic possibility that successive rounds can be sent into the same hole, drilling ever deeper. Official videos show Tauruses striking around 50 cm (20 in.) from their target points. If that represents dependable precision, a second shot would hit close enough to the striking point of the first to work its way into the original hole, because intervening concrete would crumble. If a second hit were not enough to do the job, a third could be used. And a fourth.



The Taurus compact version could possibly be carried by Tejas Mk1 and Mk1A as well, since the weapon's weight of ~1000 kg would allow 2 Taurus compact bunker busters to be carried on the inner pylons or 1 to be carried on the center pylon. With Tejas Mk1's mid-pylons being plumbed to carry drop tanks, even more flexibility gets added in terms of range with heavy stores on inner and center pylon.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Philip » 03 Nov 2017 13:00

V.Sad.These are war graves and must be left alone.FRom the report it appears that the looting and scooting is Chinese driven.In fact the global community shoudl take measures to destroy Chinese piirates! So much for China pretending to fight pirates in the Arabian Sea.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-in ... shipwrecks
The world's biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WWII shipwrecks
Exclusive: the unmarked graves of thousands of sailors are threatened by illegal metal salvagers
By Oliver Holmes, Monica Ulmanu and Simon Roberts
Friday 3 November 2017 T

Dozens of warships believed to contain the remains of thousands of British, American, Australian, Dutch and Japanese servicemen from the second world war have been illegally ripped apart by salvage divers, the Guardian can reveal.

An analysis of ships discovered by wreck divers and naval historians has found that up to 40 second world war-era vessels have already been partially or completely destroyed. Their hulls might have contained the corpses of 4,500 crew.

Governments fear other unmarked graves are at risk of being desecrated. Hundreds more ships – mostly Japanese vessels that could contain the war graves of tens of thousands of crew killed during the war – remain on the seabed.

The rusted 70-year-old wrecks are usually sold as scrap but the ships also contain valuable metals such as copper cables and phosphor bronze propellors.

Experts said grave diggers might be looking for even more precious treasures – steel plating made before the nuclear testing era, which filled the atmosphere with radiation. These submerged ships are one of the last sources of “low background steel”, virtually radiation-free and vital for some scientific and medical equipment.

Crews pretending to be fishermen have scavenged the waters around Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
At depths reaching 80m, some wreck sites are accessible to divers.
In recent years, many shipwrecks have been mysteriously and illegally salvaged for metal.
Wreck sites are often considered war graves. Here are the ships known to have gone down with over one hundred lives lost.
The Guardian revealed last year that the wrecks of some of Britain’s most celebrated warships had been illegally salvaged, leading to uproar among veterans and archaeologists, who accused the UK government of not moving fast enough to protect underwater graves.

Three ships – HMS Exeter, HMS Encounter, and HMS Electra – contained the bodies of more than 150 sailors. All sank during operations in the Java Sea in 1942, one of the costliest sea skirmishes for the Allies during the war.

In 2014, the wrecks of the HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales and the graves for more than 800 Royal Navy sailors were found to have been damaged by scavengers.


The UK’s Ministry of Defence demanded Indonesia protect the ships in its waters. “A military wreck should remain undisturbed and those who lost their lives onboard should be allowed to rest in peace,” a ministry spokesperson said.

Since then, divers in Malaysia have sent photos to the Guardian showing the destruction of three Japanese ships that sank off the coast of Borneo in 1944 during the Pacific War. And one of Australia’s most treasured ships, light cruiser HMAS Perth, has also been ripped up.

Dan Tehan, Australia’s minister for veterans’ affairs, told the Guardian: “The HMAS Perth is the final resting place for more than 350 Australians who lost their lives defending Australia’s values and freedoms, so reports the wreckage has been disturbed are deeply upsetting and of great concern.”

James Hunter, from the Australian National Maritime Museum, was one of the divers who discovered the Perth was “60 to 70% gone”.

Born in the mid-western US, he had been diving with his father since he was nine and worked as a maritime archeologist for close to two decades, including on the archaeological team that investigated the American civil war submarine H L Hunley.

Throughout his career, Hunter had heard of piecemeal salvaging of wrecks – stealing propellers and guns, or sometimes personal items of the crew. But last year, the museum heard stories from the diving community in Indonesia that ships were being destroyed whole-scale.

“I’ve been in this field for 20 years, and I have never heard of a historic wreck, especially a large 8,000-tonne steel hull, being completely removed. I couldn’t believe it. I almost refused to believe it,” he said.

But a month later, staring through the silty water in the Java Sea, Hunter saw how the salvagers had “ripped [the Perth] from one end to the other”.

“You may as well just go into a war cemetery and dig it up. It’s no different to me, at all,” said Hunter, who comes from a military family. “I was completely horrified.”

The US military has sent several delegations to Indonesia to try to protect its wrecks, several of which have been targeted.

Thousands of sailors rest at the bottom of the sea, and veterans argue that the vessels must be preserved as underwater war graves.

Large “crane barges” have been photographed above wreck sites, often with huge amounts of rusted steel on their decks. At the seabed, divers have found ships cut in half. Many have been removed completely, leaving a ship-shaped indent.

Cambodian, Chinese and Malaysian-registered vessels have been spotted above shipwrecks. In some cases, their crews have been arrested. In one case, the looters had acquired a letter from a Malaysian university which said the work was authorised as “research”.

The illicit business, which appears to have rocketed in the past 18 months, remains shrouded in mystery, with some archeologists suggesting selling corroded scrap metal was not worth the costly process of removing it from the sea bed.

“If you look at the amount of money you would be spending to salvage on this scale, the return you would get just to get a bunch of corroded metal, it just doesn’t seem like it adds up,” said Hunter, the marine archeologist.

Another point of confusion is the fact that plenty of accessible modern wrecks in the area have not been targeted. “If you’re simply looking at steel to melt down, go after a modern wreck ... I don’t understand why you would target a ship that is 75 years old and has got marine growth all over it and the metal is all corroded.”

Salvaging can take several weeks for larger ships. Here is how it’s done.
Archeologists believe the criminals might be turning a profit because the hulls are one of the world’s few remaining deposits of “low-background” metals. Having been made before atomic bomb explosions in 1945 and subsequent nuclear tests, the steel is free of radiation. This makes even small quantities that have survived the saltwater extremely useful for finely calibrated instruments such as Geiger counters, space sensors and medical imaging.

Some ancient ships, often centuries-old Roman vessels in European waters, have also been salvaged for their lead, which is also low-radiation and is used in nuclear power stations.

Martijn Manders, the head of the maritime programme at the cultural heritage agency of the Netherlands, has been looking at mystery of three Dutch wrecks that disappeared in the Java Sea.

“We still have people who are living and served in the Battle of the Java Sea or were directly involved in other ways. They see that the ships are being torn apart, which is very painful.”

While there might be small amounts of lead on the second world war wrecks, looters appeared to be more interested in the thick steel hulls, he said, pointing to the fact that salvagers dumped a large part of one ship, the HNLMS Kortenaer, back on the seabed.

That vessel was a lighter destroyer type and its hull was much thinner and more corroded. “All the iron in that ship was extremely rotted and of no value whatsoever,” Manders said.

Others said a booming demand in China for scrap metal might make the salvaging profitable without selling low-background metals. Even poor quality steel can bring in about £1m ($1.3m) a ship, according to some estimates, especially with the added brass from pipework, valued at about £2,000 a tonne, and copper wiring, roughly £5,000 a tonne.

Whatever the motives for destroying historical treasures, hundreds more wrecks that sit in south-east Asian waters are at risk from illegal salvaging.

Many ships from the second world war – some with possibly up to 5,000 dead sailors entombed inside – lie several hundred metres down, way below safe diving limits and have not been assessed since the new wave of salvaging started. But Hunter warned equipment was becoming available to remotely salvage these ships.

“Now we’ve got technology that is enabling people to find and potentially salvage wrecks in extremely deep water. This threat is getting bigger,” said Hunter. “And as the technology develops and as it gets cheaper and as it gets more accessible, I honestly believe this going to become a bigger problem.”

Sources: US Navy, Royal Navy, Australian Department of Defence, Dutch Ministry of Defence, wrecksite.eu, combinedfleet.com

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Nov 2017 14:48

Kartik wrote:New long range AIM-120D replacement program has been in the works for the past 2 years



Its been ongoing for years with both Boeing and Raytheon working hard at both internal bay carriage, range and speed challenges. They even developed and tested VFDR configurations that would solve the Meteor's biggest shortcoming (lack of super-packing on aircraft like F-22 and F-35)

The current line item cited by Flight, and the misleading headline posted by Pirate (that the blogosphere is now running with) isn't/wasn't the biggest spend as there were other larger investments that involved flight demonstrations and even seeker and warhead concepts being tested. In fact, all this program does is study an architectural makeup of the concept so that the individual services can use it to inform their internal or joint decision making. It is not a weapons program.

A medium term weapon will likely complement the AMRAAM-D since it isn't going anywhere but a new program only emerges this year (FY18) and is exploratory in nature. The Next Gen. platform and its CONEMP need to be defined first if a "True" next gen. AMRAAM replacement is to be pursued, or they both need to be studied concurrently. It doesn't help to define the weapon first since so much would be dependent upon how they will C2 in the post 2030 time-frame (USAF is loosing interest in a true AWACS replacement for the offenisve m) and how the weapons systems on its next gen. platforms will be configured.

Until then they would need to optimize missiles for 5th gen. carriage and that means concurrent production of AMRAAM and SACM/CUDA like concepts.

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They have mature, off the shelf solutions for longer/extended range needs for legacy F-15Cs and Es if anything over and above the Aim-120D is needed on those fighters.

Austin
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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Austin » 04 Nov 2017 13:15

Latest Tu-22M3 and Kalibr strikes:



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