India Withdraws Request for 126 Rafale Fighters From France

A Rafale fighter jet

 

India has withdrawn its request for 126 multirole Rafale fighters from France, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said Friday.

NEW DELHI (Sputnik) – Parrikar said in late May that New Delhi required only 36 Rafale fighter aircraft instead of the previously planned 126. A month earlier, the French and Indian leaders announced a scaling down of the 2012 contract on the supply of 126 jets.”The Request For Proposal (RFP) issued earlier for procurement of 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) has been withdrawn,” Parrikar said in a written reply to the Indian upper house of parliament.

He added that the Indian government intends to acquire 36 jets “in fly-away condition as quickly as possible.”

The multibillion dollar project has long been clouded by uncertainty due to high cost and French manufacturer Dassault Aviation’s unwillingness to guarantee the performance of ther aircraft licensed to be produced in India under transfer of technology agreements.

The terms of the latest deal include aircraft configurations, capable of reconnaissance and nuclear strike missions, to be tested and approved by India and a longer maintenance responsibility by France.

Last week, Parrikar said a government team has been set up to negotiate the terms and conditions of the Rafale contract.

Egypt’s Participation in Army Games-2015 to Boost Military Ties With Russia

Egyptian soldiers

 

Egypt has decided to participate in the International Army Games-2015 in Russia. Cairo believes it will strengthen military cooperation between two countries.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova – Egypt strongly believes that its participation in the International Army Games-2015 in Russia will contribute to the strengthening of technical-military cooperation between the two countries, an Egyptian Embassy defense attache told Sputnik on Thursday.

“We have a deep belief that our participation in it [Army Games-2015] will improve our bilateral military cooperation with Russia,” Colonel Walid Hegazy Mohamed said.

The games are being organized by Russia’s Western Military District between August 1 and 15. According to the Defense Ministry, the competition will feature 13 contests.

Egypt plans to participate in two contests — Masters of Air Defense and Safe Route, he said, stressing that Egypt may broaden its participation in the competition next year.The embassy official emphasized the importance of the event and thanked Russia for its professional organization.

Commenting on the quality of Russian weaponry, Walid Hegazy Mohamed underlined that, “no one in the world can deny that Russian weapons are very powerful and efficient. You cannot deny this fact as you cannot deny the fact that the sun will rise in the morning.”

Sixteen countries will participate in the International Army Games-2015, in addition to Russia itself. Participating nations include China, India, Venezuela, Belarus, Egypt, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Armenia, among others.

More than 2,000 foreign troops are expected to take part in the games, with 400 foreign observers also due to attend the event.

Serbia to Buy Military Helicopters From Russia, Germany

Russian Mi-8

 

The helicopters due to be delivered are perfectly equipped for search and rescue operations, the Serbian defense minister said.

Serbia will buy four military helicopters from Russia and Germany in the near future, the country’s Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic said Thursday.”We are approaching the final stage of the purchase of two Russian and two German military helicopters. The first delivery [of the helicopters] is expected soon,” Gasic said in an interview with Tanjug news agency.

According to the minister, the helicopters that are due to be delivered have excellent performance capabilities and are perfectly equipped for carrying out search and rescue operations, even at night.

Gasic specified that the purchase of the first two helicopters was planned for 2015 with two more to be bought in 2016, adding that their procurement was a priority for the Serbian Army.Commenting on the possible renewal of the country’s fighter jet fleet, he said such a move would require huge sums of money.

Belgrade is also currently involved in negotiations on the purchase of a transport aircraft from Airbus, a French-based aircraft manufacturer.

Moscow Hopes NATO Participates in Future Army Games

The Angolan crew driving a T-72B tank during the Tank Biathlon 2014 world championship. The competition took place at the training ground of the 2nd Guard Motorized Rifle Taman Division in the village of Alabino

 

Russia’s deputy defense minister said he believed that Western European countries and the United States will join the Army Games in the future.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov expressed hope on Thursday that the United States and other NATO members would, at some point, participate in the Army Games international contest.The International Army Games, organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, will be held in various locations in Russia August 1-15. According to the Defense Ministry, it will feature 13 contests. NATO member states were invited to take part in the contest, but declined, citing political reasons. The competition will gather 57 teams from 17 countries.

“I believe, there will come a day when our colleagues from Western European countries, the United States will venture upon an open competition. If you will, it is in a way a challenge to our colleagues from NATO countries, Western Europe to compete at our ranges,” Antonov told reporters.

The deputy defense minister noted Russia’s readiness to visit NATO ranges to demonstrate during the games “who is better, who is more powerful, more trained and qualified.”

Relations between NATO and Russia deteriorated sharply amid the Ukrainian crisis, with the alliance blaming Moscow for its interference in the Ukraine internal conflict, a claim that Moscow has repeatedly denied.

Indian Officer Says India Will Keep Buying Russian Weapons

Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft flies past during a parade at an airbase in Tezpur, India, Friday, November 21, 2014.

 

An Indian military official praised Russian arms for high quality.

India has no intention to stop purchasing Russian arms, an Officer of the Mechanised Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army, Lt. Col. Vivek Suryakant Badve, said Thursday.”I would rather disagree,” Badve told RIA Novosti, commenting on an opinion voiced by some experts that India will gradually stop buying Russian armament, replacing it with weapons of domestic production and purchasing with other countries.

He added that Russian military equipment was of high quality and widely used in India, including for training.

Russia and India are major military commerce partners. Over 70 percent of Indian Army weaponry is of Russian or Soviet production.

Russia sells about $4.5 billion worth of military equipment and weapons to India annually, according to Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation estimates.

Combat Trimarans: a promising development for the Russian Navy

An innovative Corvette-trimaran, ‘Rusich-2400’, was unveiled at the St. Petersburg Naval Show in 2015. The vessel is now merely a prototype, but its developers are convinced that the trimaran has a promising future and this unique corvette will be useful not only for the military, but also for emergency services, oil, gas and environmental enterprises

Combat Trimarans: a promising development for the Russian Navy
Corvette Rusich-1500. Source: TV Channel Zvezda

“The Americans are already building warships of this type, the English have been building them, even the Chinese have them in service. Here in Russia, the question of military use of trimarans is in the discussion stage. … Our company – Zelenodolsk Design Bureau continues to develop versions of combat trimarans, we already have about 20 preliminary designs,” Stanislav Rudenko, chief designer of multihull vessels and ships at JSC Zelenodolsk Design Bureau, told ‘Zvezda’.

Trimaran is a boat with three interconnected hulls. It features high level of stability and seaworthiness. Single-hull ships are inferior to trimarans in seaworthiness, safety, habitability and armoury. Trimaran first appeared in the Soviet Union. The invention has been patented and served as basis for a number of warship creating concepts.

Promising model

“The innovation of the design of our trimaran consists in having located the engines outside the main hull, on the side ‘floats’, called outriggers, due to their unconventional shape. Both their shape and size are fundamentally different from the side hulls of traditional trimarans,” Rudenko said.

Testing a number of models has shown that, in comparison with single-hull boats, during a Force 6 storm, the roll amplitude is reduced by 5-6 times, vertical overload by 2.5-3 times. According to the head of the combat trimaran project, the habitability of his ship enters a qualitatively new level.

“Liberating the hull from the engines causes a chain reaction of important positive effects. It enables taking aboard the ship 1.5-2 times more payload (arms) without increasing its size,” Rudenko said.

Corvette Rusich-1500

The most advanced of the two dozen preliminary designs of Zelenodolsk DB is Corvette Rusich-1500. This ship is designed for combating surface, underwater and air enemies in the coastal and ocean areas, setting minefields, radio reconnaissance, search and rescue operations.

The chief designer of the projects at Zelenodolsk Design Bureau Alexey Kharitonov told Zvezda about the weapons and the advantages of this battle trimaran.

“Last year, we built and tested a large self-propelled model weighing 3.7 tons and 12 meters long. It performed much better than conventional single-hull boats. Should the results be projected on a full-scale boat, we will be able to effectively use weapons in a Force 6 storm, making it a unique feature of our Corvette.”

Corvette Rusich-2400 has two helicopter docks for helicopters Ka-28 (Ka-31), shock weapons of ‘Club’ type missile, SAM of ‘Redoute’ type, 130 mm artillery guns, powerful anti-submarine, sonar weapons and mine weapons. The boat can carry four UAVs.

Trimaran prospects

In 2011, trimarans were positively assessed and recognized as promising warships for use as water patrol corvettes.

However, 3 years later, the Russian Navy Command abandoned the concept of patrol corvettes in favor of ​ patrol ships; with fewer arms but with greater autonomy and flexibility, including the ability to perform long distance sails.

This decision again determined the fate of Russian military trimaran. But the trimaran features claimed by Zelenodolsk designers and confirmed by numerous tests raise hope that innovative domestic designs will be included future research and development activities.

Russia to re-start launches of ‘Satan’ ICBM

Russia plans to re-start trial launches of the RS-20 Voyevoda Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, after converting the Dnepr missile, also known by NATO as “Satan.” Russia now possesses 60 such missiles which, over the next five years, will be withdrawn from service. The plan is to use the Voyevoda missiles for civilian purposes, for commercial launches, to avoid having to destroy the expensive missiles

Russia to re-start launches of ‘Satan’ ICBM

 

The Dnepr is the converted R-36M (in various modifications) Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). It is being offered on the market for rocket launches by the Kosmotras company, founded in Moscow, on the basis of an agreement between the Russian and Ukrainian governments. The R-36M was has been withdrawn from service since the beginning of the 1990s and has been transferred to Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine) for conversion to launch satellites, with direct Ukrainian involvement. The military and political crisis, however, has brought confusion to Ukraine’s international space cooperation with Russia. This ambiguity has also affected the Dnepr rocket delivery programme.

Missile for civilian purposes

Earlier, in winter 2014, Russian officials said they were reviewing Russia’s participation in this programme. However, on July 23, the Russian Defence Ministry said Dnepr rocket launches would continue, and conversion of the missiles would be undertaken by the government’s Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau at Miass, in the Urals. Kosmotras has, since spring, been denying that there are any problems surrounding the Dnepr. The company will also assist the launch of two communication satellites for the American company Iridium Communications Inc. in autumn 2015, and in 2016-2017. It is set for another five launches.

Russia has around 60 R-36 ICBMs, which are due to be withdrawn completely from service in the 2020s if their service life isn’t extended. Between 1999 and 2015, 22 launches were made (21 successful) using the Dnepr. Competition in the rocket design industry is growing both globally and within Russia, but the demand for placing satellites in orbit is also growing.

The Dnepr occupies an important niche here: with its assistance in 2003-2012, 22 % of all micro-satellites (10-100 kg) and 18 % of all nano-satellites (1 to 10 kg) have been launched. These are, so far, the best indicators within this particular segment, and the rocket itself is extremely reliable. The technology for such devices is being developed by dozens of universities and companies around the globe, enabling one to expect stable growth in their number over the next few years.

The approximate cost of a single Dnepr launch ranges between US$24 and US$30 million. If, over the next few years, the cost of delivering satellites into orbit does not markedly decrease, then these rockets have a good chance of being used through to the 2030s, as satellite delivery is an alternative use for the missiles.

Temporary replacement for the Angara

However, the withdrawal of Ukraine from the project, and the transfer of the R-36M conversion to the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau will require company resources and will be accompanied by risks, since it will be necessary to resolve two interrelated problems: conversion of an unfamiliar rocket, and avoiding a rushed job.

Redesign work is necessary for both the R-36M’s control system (carried out by Kharkiv company Khartron), and for the upcoming launch of Iridium this autumn. The company has completed its part of the work. In Russia there are at least four companies working on the onboard electronics of the space engineering systems (including the Leninets Central Scientific Production Company, Pilugin Scientific Production Center of Automatics and Instrument Making among others). However, should their Ukrainian partners completely refuse to cooperate, this will cause a problem for them, which no one previously predicted and was not avoided in their manufacturing plans.

In any case, the six launches which have been announced for 2015–2017 must take place regardless of approaching complications, since Russia’s reputation as a provider of aero-space services is on the line. In the long term, however, Russia will be involved in perfecting and minimizing costs of the Angara launch vehicle, which could fill the Dnepr’s niche. The approximate cost of a single Dnepr launch ranges between US$24 and US$30 million. Source: mil.ru