Russian Black Sea Fleet’s warship group led by Moskva missile cruiser leaves for Atlantic

The warships will hold various exercises in the south-eastern part of the Atlantic, a source in defense and diplomatic circles said

MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. A group of warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet led by the missile cruiser Moskva has set off for the Atlantic to perform missions, Fleet spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachyov said on Wednesday.

“The missile cruiser Moskva, the frigate Pytlivy and the rescue tug Shakthyor and also the tanker Ivan Bubnov passed Gibraltar this morning and entered the Atlantic Ocean,” the spokesman said.

A source in defense and diplomatic circles in Moscow told TASS “the warships will hold various exercises in the south-eastern part of the Atlantic.”

Previous reports said the ships made water and fuel replenishments at the Spanish port of Ceuta. The warship group is sailing under the flag of Russian Black Sea Fleet Deputy Commander, Vice-Admiral Valery Kulikov.

The missile-carrying cruiser Moskva and the tanker Ivan Bubnov left Sevastopol on June 1 to take part in the Russian-Egyptian naval drills dubbed Friendship Bridge-2015.

The frigate Pytlivy and the rescue tug Shakhtyor were part of the Russian Navy’s permanent force in the Mediterranean Sea before joining the warship grouping.

Russia Completing Contract on Arms Deliveries to Syria

Yakovlev Yak-130

According to deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, Russia is observing its contractual obligations with Syria in delivering conventional weapons.

ULAN UDE/ Russia is observing its contractual obligations with Syria in delivering conventional weapons, a deputy head of Russia’s Security Council said Wednesday.

“UN sanctions do not affect the trade of conventional weapons from Russia to Syria. We are delivering these weapons in accordance with contracts that were signed earlier,” Evgeny Lukyanov told RIA Novosti.

Russia is so far not fulfilling an earlier signed contract on the delivery of Yak-130 (Mitten) jet trainer and light attack aircraft or the deliveries of S-300 missile defense systems, Lukyanov added.

Syria was reported to have made an advance payment of nearly $100 million for the first six aircraft, estimated to cost over $15 million each. The light fighters were to be delivered in three installments of nine units last year, 12 in 2015 and 15 in 2016.

A senior official with the Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut said in mid-April the contract to sell 36 Russian-made combat trainers remained suspended until the situation on the ground in Syria stabilized.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated a longstanding pledge last month to carry out arms deliveries to Syria. Moscow has maintained that its supply of defensive weapons to Damascus is in compliance with international law.


Sergey Lavrov does not think that decision on deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Iran was a political mistake


Rusya Dýþiþleri Bakaný Sergey Lavrov, Libya lideri Muammer Kaddafi'nin siyasi sýðýnma talep etmesi durumunda cevaplarýnýn olumsuz olacaðýný söyledi.

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov didn’t agree with a suggestion that decision on deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Iran was a political mistake, TASS reports.

“Deliveries of S-300 systems to Iran were never prohibited neither by UN Secutirty Council nor by unilateral sanctions imposed by USA and EU, – the minister reminded. – The contract was put on hold by Russia in response to request of our western partners, who said that this move will make Iran take a more constructive position in the course of negotiations”. “But it’s been a long time since that moment and we believe that positive results and agreements reached in Lausanne are good enough for us to encourage Iran to continue cooperation. But this time we are going to encourage them by lifting our unilateral ban instead of putting the deliveries of S-300 systems on hold. And by means of starting the implementation of this contract,” Lavrov said.

“In terms of the region’s security, these S-300 systems do not threat anyone, – the Russian minister noted. – They are not causing troubles to anyone unless someone wants to bomb Iran”. According to him, “such situations are possible and we saw it recently, for example, in Yemen”. “That is why defense systems, which prevent risks and decrease willingness to carry out military strikes, are in line with our position – for many years we have been promoting idea of creating a regional security system in the Persian Gulf region with the participation of all the Arab countries and Iran,” Lavrov explained.

Russia’s T-14 Armata MBT ‘has new-gen ERA’


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Key Points

  • The Russian T-14 Armata MBT has a new-generation ERA system, according to a Tractor Plants source
  • The new armour’s resistance to APFSDS rounds is significantly increased compared with previous ERA systems, according to the source

The new Russian T-14 Armata main battle tank (MBT) is equipped with a new generation of explosive reactive armour (ERA), according to a source at the Tractor Plants company.

The ERA, developed by the NII Stali research institute “can be described as an innovative one” the source said. “Its specifications exceed those of Kontakt-1, Kontakt-5, and Relict 9 [ERA systems]”. He did not provide IHS Jane’s with further details, saying only that the ERA has “no known world equivalents”.

The source said the new armour’s resistance to armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding-sabot (APFSDS) rounds was significantly increased in comparison with the older ERA systems. “The high protective characteristics of the new armour aren’t provided by the simple increase of explosive mass in its containers,” said the source. He pointed out that the detonation of an ERA box would not damage the electronics and other equipment installed under the armour.

Beijing Victory Parade to Showcase Latest Chinese Military Hardware

Chinese-made T-62 tanks

China will for the first time present new domestically-made military hardware during the September 3 parade in Beijing marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

A “relatively large” number of new domestically-made military equipment pieces will be for the first time showcased at the September 3 parade in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Second World War, according to the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).According to General Staff spokesman Qu Rui, “the demonstration of military equipment is a traditional part of parades in any country.”

“This parade will see home-made weaponry currently on service with the Ground Forces, the Air Force, the Navy and the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps.The share of the new military equipment, which will be demonstrated for the first time, is relatively large,” Qu said.

The upcoming military parade will be the 14th such event since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949; notably, the parade will be the first military march-past that is not dedicated to China’s National Day, which marks the country’s founding. The last such parade took place in 2009.

During the organization of the forthcoming parade, Chinese authorities proceed from the principles of “practicability, economy and efficiency,” according to Qui. He said that Chinese troops have already begun training for the parade at bases near Beijing.The exact number of servicemen involved in the parade has yet to be announced. Earlier, parade organizers specifically stressed the significance of inviting a number of foreign leaders to the event.

On September 2, 1945, Japan surrendered in a formal ceremony held aboard the USS Missouri, in what  heralded the end of World War II.


Russian Naval Flotilla Taking Part in Military Drills in Sea of Japan

Moskit supersonic anti-ship missile is launched from a missile boat during a training exercise for guard missile boats and artillery exercises held in the Sea of Japan

Russian Navy vessels are taking part in military exercises in the Sea of Japan, according to Russia’s Eastern Military District press service.

Russian Navy missile boats and minesweepers are taking part in military exercises in the Sea of Japan, Russia’s Eastern Military District press service said Tuesday.”Minesweepers practiced elements of anti-torpedo defense of a tactical vessel group. During the training, the crews practiced trawling and vessel navigation in areas considered hazardous,” the statement said.

The Eastern military district also noted that tactical groups made up of missile boats practiced a number of anti-ship defense tasks, having conducted several practice cruise missile launches.

The vessels’ crews also practiced using air defense to counter air raids by a simulated enemy.


Persian Might: Iranian Military Power Stops US From Attacking Tehran

Iranian navy troops march in a parade marking National Army Day

The development of Iran’s defense technology, military arsenal and growing preparedness of the country’s armed forces is keeping its deterrence power at its highest level.

Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan highlighted that Iran’s enemies do not dare attack Iran due to the military power of its armed forces.

“We have home-made weapons and equipment, and the preparedness of our Armed Forces caused the (US-led) coalition forces that were close to our borders not to dare to attack us,” Brigadier General Pourdastan said on Sunday, Iranian media reported.

“After September 11, 2001, the US had not come to only capture Iraq and Afghanistan…, but their main intention was Iran; but they could not do anything due to Iran’s power,” Pourdastan added.

The development of Iran’s defense technology, military arsenal and growing preparedness of the country’s armed forces is keeping its deterrence power at its highest level.

Iranian Commander General Mohammad added that the Iranian Armed Forces rely on indigenously developed defense equipment which has made the nation self-sufficient in the military sector.

He concluded by saying that the sanctions have made Iran’s defense sector independent of foreign countries.


Russia’s Su-35 Fighter: A Trump Card Up Beijing’s Sleeve in South China Sea

A Sukhoi Su-35 fighter seen during the final rehearsal flight over the Zhukovsky Airfield outside Moscow

Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 super-maneuverable multirole fighters will most likely become China’s trump card in its longstanding geopolitical game in the South China Sea, US journalist Zachary Keck noted.

Moscow will most likely sell its advanced Su-35 fighter jets to China by the end of this year, US journalist Zachary Keck emphasizes, adding that the sophisticated multirole aircraft will allow China to project its power over the South China Sea more efficiently.

The Sukhoi Su-35 (Su-35BM), an advanced multirole air fighter dubbed Flanker-E by NATO, boasts high maneuverability (+9g), enhanced avionics, more powerful engines, and a longer range than its predecessor Su-27 jet fighter.

The aircraft is equipped with high-capability weapon systems and can reach Mach 2.25 speed (2,390km/h).

The journalist pointed out that such Su-35’s features as high fuel capacity and long range are also important for China, as they obviously will allow the geopolitical player to strengthen its positions in the South China Sea region.

“Currently, Beijing has trouble maintaining a regular presence over the enormous waters, which are roughly 1.4 million square miles (2.25 million square kilometers),” the journalist elaborated.

Indeed, currently China’s PLAAF fighters can carry out only limited patrols of the South China Sea’s areas, as their fuel capacity strictly determines the time of the mission. In contrast, the Su-35’s range and speed may solve this problem, the journalist noted.

Remarkably, the Su-35 fighter jet is not only on par with the US-made F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and the new F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter, but is even outpacing them, according to the flight and weapons tests.

It is expected that China will buy 24 advanced fighters of this type by the end of this year, according to Russian jet manufacturer Yuri Slyusar, a chairman of United Aircraft Corp.

“Our position is that we still believe that we will sign the contract to sell 24 aircraft this year,” Yuri Slyusar said, as quoted by Mr.Keck.


Ukraine Receives More Obsolete Armored Vehicles From UK

A Ukrainian weapons system installed on a British Saxon military armored personnel carrier during a presentation of new samples of Ukrainian-made weapons for the Ukrainian Army at a military base in Novi Petrivtsi outside Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 4, 2015

A second batch of redundant Saxon APCs arrived in Ukraine earlier this week, a senior adviser to President Petro Poroshenko announced on Saturday.

“Well, 55 Saxons have reached Ukraine. 20 will be converted for use as frontline medical evacuation vehicles and the rest – as armored command vehicles,” Yuri Biryukov said in a Facebook post Saturday.

“The Saxons cost us around 51,000 pounds apiece. With proper use we could be getting a whole lot of them. They are better than the (Russian-made) UAZ-452, or UAZ-469, aren’t they?” Biryukov added.

In March General Sir Richard Dannatt, who served as Britain’s Chief of the General Staff between 2006 and 2009, said he believed the Saxon armored vehicles were “quite useless.”

“My concern is the inadequate nature of these vehicles which I ordered out of British Army front line service when I was Commander in Chief Land Command 2005-2006. They were withdrawn from Iraq and never deployed in southern Afghanistan,” Dannatt told The Daily Telegraph.

The UK no longer uses the Saxon — but they are still utilized by countries including Nigeria and Bahrain for moving troops around.

Ukraine accepted delivery of 20 Saxon armored vehicles from Britain in February to be weaponized and put into action by the army.

Russia, Iran Negotiate Terms of S-300 Non-Delivery Lawsuit’s Withdrawal

An S-300 surface-to-air missile system


Tehran and Moscow continue negotiations on the mechanism of a lawsuit withdrawal for non-delivery of S-300 air defense systems, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Murteza Sarmadi told Sputnik Sunday.

 Russia and Iran sealed a contract for the delivery of the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems in 2007.

Three years later, then-President Dmitry Medvedev put the deal on hold after the UN Security Council had introduced an embargo on arms deliveries to Iran over the alleged development of nuclear weapons by the country.

Following the move, Iran sued Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport at the OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in Geneva.

“We continue to negotiate with the Russians on recalling a lawsuit on S-300 that was filed by Tehran after Russia refused to transfer the systems on a specified date.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on S-300 deliveries in April shortly after the P5+1 group of international negotiators and Iran had reached a framework nuclear agreement.A source familiar with the situation said in mid-June that Russia and Iran were in talks on resuming the implementation of the S-300 delivery contract. According to the source, Russian officials insisted on the withdrawal of the lawsuit and signing of a new contract instead.

“We touched upon the issue of [introducing] amendments to the contract, the new prices to be set, and discussed the mechanism of the lawsuit withdrawal,” he added.