Russia Prepares for President-S Onboard Defense System Deliveries to Egypt

Kamov Ka-52


Russia is preparing for short-term deliveries of its President-S onboard defense system (ODS) for civil and military aircraft to Egypt, a senior Radio-electronic Technologies Concern (KRET) executive said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – ODS is designed to protect planes and helicopters from being hit by missiles, air defense and anti-aircraft artillery. The defense system is currently installed on Ka-52, Mi-28 and Mi-26 helicopters.

“The contract is there and we are working within its framework. Deliveries are about to begin. All our plants are now fulfilling the partnership order,” first deputy director Igor Nasenkov told reporters.

Nasenkov specified KRET was not the “contract holder” in the deal.ODS includes a control device, a radar warning receiver station, laser and missile attack warning stations, an air dispenser for aircraft consumables, settings for active radio-interference stations, as well as a laser optical-electronic suppression station.

The system allows automatic detection of a rocket launching in the vicinity and initiates passive and active interference in infra-red and radio frequencies, to disrupt a rocket’s targeting system.

The ODS system can be located inside an airframe fuselage or as an external unit on helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

KRET, Russia’s largest radio-electronics company, was founded in 2009. The umbrella company, part of Russia’s state technologies corporation Rostec, unites over 95 individual business entities.


Turkish Media Fears Russian-Armenian Air Defense Could ‘Heat Up Caucasus’

Defense Ministry's antiaircraft missile battalions on combat alert duty


Turkish media appears to be ill at ease over the creation of a Russian-Armenian system of a regional joint air defense, suggesting that the agreement could mean trouble for Ankara and lead to growing instability in the region.

On Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan signed an agreement on the creation of a joint regional air defense system for the Caucasus region.

The agreement was one of several CIS Defense Ministers’ Council cooperation plans for 2016 inked in Moscow, with negotiations ongoing for regional air defense agreements with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. A joint air defense agreement was reached between Russia and Kazakhstan in 2013, Moscow recently handing a S-300 SAM platform over to Astana. Russian and Belarusian air defense systems have already been unified.

Armenia hosts two Russian military facilities, including the 102nd Russian Military Base, located in the northern city of Gyumri. Operating under its aegis is the joint-basing airfield at Erebuni, about 120 km north of Yerevan. According to open sources, the two bases are believed to hold between 4,000-5,000 Russian personnel.Earlier this month, the Erebuni base was reinforced with six Mi-24P assault helicopters, along with several Mi-8MT transport helicopters. Two weeks earlier, seven Mi-24s and several Mi-8MTs were deployed to the base.

Commenting on the Russian-Armenian agreement, Turkish English-language media worriedly hint that it could be connected to Turkey’s downing of a Russian Su-24M bomber over Syria last month, as well as the presence of US bases in the country.

In his interview for Russia’s RIA Novosti, cited by Turkish English-language media including Today’s Zaman and Hurriyet Daily News, former deputy commander of the Russian Air Defense Forces Alexander Luzan said that he believed the decision to create a joint air defense system was “connected with events in Turkey,” with Ankara’s dangerous maneuvers, US bases, and Russia’s desire to protect its Armenian partners all playing a role.Commenting on Luzan’s analysis, Today’s Zaman suggested that “the increasing Russian military presence in Armenia, a landlocked country in the South Caucasus bordering Turkey, will likely stir uneasiness in Ankara.”

For its part Hurriyet Daily News went further, warning that that the Turkish government believes that deal threatens to “heat up the Caucasus.”

Speaking to the paper, an anonymous official said that “Russia and Armenia [need] to abstain from actions that would jeopardize regional peace in the Caucasus,” with Ankara fearing that “Yerevan’s attitude would boost the risk of clashes in the region,” presumably referring to intensifying clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

For its part, the official suggested, Ankara is in favor of continuing with its ‘good neighbor relationship’ in the Caucasus.

Turkey’s ‘zero problems with neighbors’ policy has been seriously strained in recent months by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s apparent ambitions for regional hegemony, from his support for anti-government militants in Syria, to the shootdown of the Russian Su-24 last month, to Turkey’s illegal intervention in northern Iraq earlier this month.


Russian Warplanes Hit 1,093 Terrorist Targets in Syria Over Past 6 Days

A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria


Russian warplanes have conducted 302 sorties and hit 1,093 terrorist targets in Syria over the past six days, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

“Jets from the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic have conducted 302 sorties and hit 1,093 targets in the provinces of Idlib, Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, Hama and Homs from December 18 to December 23,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that Russian jets destroyed a terrorist training camp in the Syrian province of Idlib hosting fighters from Turkey and CIS states.

“Russian Su-34 bombers destroyed a major terrorist training camp in the Idlib province. A large group of experienced instructors from neighboring states had been stationed in the camp. Information about this camp, where the majority of terrorists arriving from Turkey were citizens of CIS countries, was received from representatives of the Syrian patriotic opposition about a week ago.”

Moreover, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said that Su-34 aircraft have destroyed two oil storage facilities and dozens of fuel pumps in the Deir ez-Zor province.A Russian Su-24 bomber launched an attack on Daesh military equipment in the Syrian province of Homs, destroying six off-road vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns and three militants’ trucks.

“Russia’s Su-24 bomber conducted airstrikes against a concentration of Daesh military equipment in the Homs province.”

A Su-34 jet also destroyed a Ahrar ash-Sham militant group’s command post in the Aleppo province, Konashenkov said.


Russia, Armenia Sign Agreement to Create Joint Regional Air Defense Systems

A serviceman stands near an S-300 surface-to-air missile system. (File)


The Russian and Armenian defense ministers on Wednesday signed an agreement on creating a joint regional air defense system in the Caucasus.

Russia is currently working on the creation of a similar system with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. A contract on creating a joint regional air defense system was signed between Russia and Kazakhstan in 2013, and Russia and Belarus’s systems have already been unified.Aerospace Forces Commander-in-Chief, Lt. Gen. Pavel Kurachenko, has estimated the regional air defense system incorporates 19 aviation units, 47 antiaircraft missile units, 19 radio-technical units and three separate electronic warfare battalions.

The Russian Defense Ministry’s Southern Military District delivered six modern attack Mi-24P and transport Mi-8MT helicopters to its Erebuni base in Armenia on Monday. Two weeks earlier, seven Mi-24s and Mi-8MT were deployed to the base 7.5 miles southwest of the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

The Russian and Armenian ministers additionally signed a 2016 defense cooperation agreement.


Russia Delivers Free S-300 Air Defense Systems to Kazakhstan

An S-300 surface-to-air missile system


According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Russia delivered S-300 air defense systems to Kazakhstan free of charge.

    The contract on free deliveries of Russian S-300 air defense systems to Kazakhstan is fulfilled, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.”We have completed the project on free of charge S-300 air defense system deliveries to Kazakhstan,” Shoigu said at a meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Imangali Tasmagambetov.


US Syrian Rebel Training Program to Fight Daesh Doomed From Start – Media

A group of Syrian rebels supported by US politicians for their “moderate” position, and who received US military equipment, has disbanded after heavy losses.


Despite attempts by the US to blame the failure of its extremely expensive anti-Daesh (ISIL/Islamic State) train-and-equip program on Turkish intelligence, Syrian militia and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the true reason for the flop is Washington itself, an investigation by an independent US media outlet unveiled.

Several interviews with Syrian participants of the US-initiated effort to fight Daesh extremists revealed that the program was “chaotic from the beginning,” as no one could clearly identify the goals of the project, and there was no organized allocation of resources, including food and weapons, among the troops, McClatchyDC reported.The investigation detailed that the Syrian recruits participating in the program and their American allies were not supportive of the effort.

Trainee commander Amin Ibrahim stated that the “whole idea was wrong.” A Turkish security official suggested that Ankara was skeptical of the program as well, saying, “the Americans live in a fictive world.”

At the beginning of the $500 million program, a Syrian recruit, identified only as Mahmoud, told McClatchyDC, that the “training was high quality.” The daily schedule included well-organized physical exercise, classroom instruction, and weapons training.

Troubles began when it was revealed that there weren’t any lessons on operating the TOW anti-tank missiles, considered to be the most effective means to deal with common Daesh weapons, including vehicle suicide bombs. Soon after, only two of 54 trainees were taught to call in airstrikes. During the training, Americans provided their combat students with just 200 pounds of rice and 200 pounds of kidney beans. Although this amount of food would be enough to feed the troops for two weeks, it wouldn’t be enough to feed their families, which at that time were suffering a critical lack of basic human resources, including food.Americans broke their promise to provide an armed escort of a thousand soldiers for the 54 graduates of the program during their travel to the battlefield. Only 200 troops were allocated to support the Syrians, and they left the graduates on their own, without ammunition, food or money, Mahmoud said.

When it came to fighting, genuine disaster struck. An al-Qaeda affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, captured the commander of the US-trained Syrian faction, along with seven of his soldiers, on July 29 and another 10 trainees on July 31.The final nail in the program’s coffin happened two weeks later, when a second group of trainees was found to have surrendered their weapons to the al-Nusra Front.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, later tried to save face by listing program achievements.

“We were able to train over 150 Syrian fighters in the program, many of who remain active in the fight [against Daesh],” he explained in an email to McClatchyDC. “But over time [we] assessed the program was not working out as we had hoped. So we decided to end it.”

Of $500 million invested by the US in the training program some $384 million was spent, Warren said, adding that only 145 of the trained graduates remain active.

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Russia reinforces its miltiary air base in Armenia with 6 helicopters

Six modern Mi-24P attack and Mi-8MT transport army aviation helicopters have been delivered from a military field in the Krasnodar Territory

Mi-24 helicopters

Mi-24 helicopters

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. The Russian air base in Erebuni in Armenia has received a new batch of six helicopters, the press office of Russia’s Southern Military District reported on Monday.

“Six modern Mi-24P attack and Mi-8MT transport army aviation helicopters have been delivered from a military field in the Krasnodar Territory,” the press office said.

“A squadron of army aviation helicopters has been established in the Russian unit in the Trans-Caucasus and work is under way to assemble aviation transport means,” the press office said.

The helicopters will stay on temporary suitable sites of the military aerodrome until the construction of organic helicopter pads, the helicopter base and service infrastructure is completed. The flights of Mi-24P attack gunships and Mi-8MT transport helicopters will start in the first quarter of 2016, the press office said.

The Russian air base in Armenia received 7 Mi-24P attack helicopters and Mi-8MT transport rotocraft earlier in December.

The air base at the Erebuni aerodrome in Yerevan was established in 1995. Russia’s MiG-29 multipurpose fighter jets were delivered to Armenia in 1998. In 2001, the units based in Erebuni formed the basis for the air base, which became the air component of Russia’s 102nd military base in Gyumri.

French Defense Minister Wants to Ask Russia to Boost Anti-Daesh Operations

Tu-22 strategic bombers of Russia's Aerospace Defense Forces set to hit Daesh targets in Syria


French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday that he would ask Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to intensify activities against the Islamic State (IS, or Daesh in Arabic) militant group.

    On Monday, Le Drian is expected to visit Moscow to discuss anti-terrorist cooperation with Russian leadership.

“We will have an exchange [of views] on what we consider to be terrorist groups, and how Russia could strengthen its activities against our only enemy — Daesh,” Le Drian said, as quoted by the French Ouest-France newspaper.

Le Drian and Shoigu are also expected to discuss the exchange of information on Daesh fighters from France and Russia.

Russia and France are interested in intensifying their cooperation against the terrorist group after it took responsibility for the deadly terror attacks in Paris on November 13 as well as for the October 31 Russian A321 plane crash over Egypt.Moscow has been carrying out precision airstrikes against Daesh, outlawed in Russia, in Syria since September 30, at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Paris has been bombing Daesh positions as part of US-led coalition of some 60 nations in both Syria and Iraq.


India May Buy Over $7Bln’s Worth of Arms From Russia During Modi’s Visit

India could purchase more than $7 billion’s worth of weapons from Russia, local media reported Monday.


India could purchase more than $7 billion’s worth of weapons from Russia, local media reported Monday.

   In late November, the Indian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit Moscow on December 24-25.

According to the Kommersant newspaper, breakthrough deals in the military-technical sphere could be expected from Modi’s visit. The total package of contracts is estimated to be worth more than $7 billion.

A source close to the Indian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti last week that an agreement on joint Russian-Indian production of Ka-226T helicopters was likely to be signed either during or after Modi’s visit. An ambassadorial source told the media outlet that India’s arms purchase committee had approved the purchase of five S-400 air defense systems which could be worth around $5.8 billion.Russia and India have enjoyed mutually beneficial strategic relations, especially in the field of defense and military cooperation, since the 1960s. Russia is among India’s foremost weapons suppliers. Over two-thirds of the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy military equipment is Russian- or Soviet-made.


Kremlin Denies HRW Allegations Russia Using Cluster Bombs in Syria

A Su-34 strike aircraft


Moscow denies allegations its Aerospace Forces have used cluster bombs in the fight against terrorism in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

  Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report Sunday that Moscow and Damascus had used cluster munitions, which are internationally banned weapons, in fight against militants in Syria.

In response to the report, Peskov told journalists:

“Russia is conducting its operation in strict compliance with the principles and norms of international law, including all parts of international law that regulate the use, non-use, or prohibition of one or another type of weaponry and no one should have any doubts about this.”

Syria has been in the state of civil war since 2011, with the core of the conflict being a struggle between troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposition forces, as well as terrorist groups, including the Islamic State, known as Daesh in Arabic, which is outlawed in Russia and many other countries.On September 30, Russia launched airstrikes on Daesh positions in Syria following a request from Assad. According to the Russian military, all their targets are chosen based on intelligence collected by Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran. High-precision weapons are used in the anti-terrorist operations.