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Intelligence Online - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 00:00
Categories: Defence`s Feeds


Intelligence Online - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 00:00
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

HONGKONG : David Holloway

Intelligence Online - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 00:00
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

QATAR : SOS International

Intelligence Online - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 00:00
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Kalashnikov USA Alfa - Tue, 10/01/2017 - 07:15

American Kalashnikov USA Alfa Semi-Automatic Rifle
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

US Department of Defense tests world’s largest micro-drone swarm

Naval Technology - Tue, 10/01/2017 - 01:00
The US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), in partnership with Naval Air Systems Command, has successfully conducted a micro-drone demonstration at China Lake in California.
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UK MOD signs £271m Wildcat support contract with Leonardo Helicopters

Naval Technology - Tue, 10/01/2017 - 01:00
The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has signed a deal worth £271m with Leonardo Helicopters to continue to support the Royal Navy’s Wildcat maritime helicopters.
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US Navy's Columbia-class submarine programme passes Milestone B review

Naval Technology - Tue, 10/01/2017 - 01:00
The US Navy's Columbia-class submarine programme has passed its Milestone B review and can now begin the design and construction phase.
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US DLA Contracts $403M to Harris to Support Radio Systems | Safran to Dev & Mftr Smart Bombs for the French | Nirbhay Gets 18 Months to Resolve Issues

Defense Industry Daily - Tue, 10/01/2017 - 00:59

  • Israel’s Elbit Systems has been contracted by the Brazilian Army to supply remote controlled weapons stations. Named REMAX, the system will be supplied over a five-year period and an initial production order worth $7.5 million. A REMAX turret is fitted on Brazilian VBTP-MR Guarani APCs, which includes a .50 machine gun, gives soldiers 360° capacity and is equipped with night vision, thermal vision, high resolution camera and zoom.

  • The USAF has issued a request for proposals to develop laser protection systems for their fleet of tactical fighter aircraft. Known as the Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE) project, researchers will investigate laser-based solutions for defending pilots from a variety of anti-aircraft threats. The product of LANCE will then be used for integration within an aerodynamic integrating structure for use during flight testing on tactical aircraft for self-defense research during Phase II of the Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHIELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD).

  • Harris Corp. has received a $403 million contract to provide spare parts to support various tactical radio systems for the US Defense Logistics Agency. The five-year agreement covers services for radios to be used by both the Defense Logistics Agency and the US Army. Harris has a variety of tactical radio systems in their catalogue, including systems with airborne, vehicular, and handheld applications. According to the company, the products are ideal for delivering high-speed voice, data and full-motion videos.

Middle East & North Africa

  • Renewed long-range missile development has been given the go ahead by the Iranian parliament, as part of approval for an increase in wider defense spending. The extra cash, amounting to an increase of 5%, will go toward the development of long range missiles, armed drones and cyber-war capabilities, and could put Tehran on an early collision course with the incoming Trump administration in Washington. Iranian missile development has always been a thorny issue with the US and further advancements may been seen as violations against promises to curb research into nuclear warheads.


  • BTR-3 APCs manufactured by Ukraine’s state-owned Ukroboronprom has been transferred to their military. 50 of the vehicles were produced as part of efforts by Kiev to boost BTR-3-related activities such as maintenance work and the production of new models. The 8×8 fully amphibious armored vehicle is equipped with hydraulically amplified power steering and armed with modernized weapon systems including 30mm guns and additional missile munitions. Since March 2014, the Ukrainian government has been fighting an insurgency against Russian-backed separatists in the country’s eastern Donbass region.

  • Safran will develop and manufacture smart bombs for the French government. The new modular ASSM air-to-ground block 4 bomb kits are aimed at cutting procurement costs without scrimping on performance. While details on the contracts value or unit numbers remain unknown, first delivery is due in 2019 and could be followed with further orders at a later date. The ASSM family of kits, used by France and other countries, give precision guidance to standard bombs and come in several versions, depending on the type of guidance: inertial GPS, inertial/GPS + infrared imaging, and inertial/GPS + laser.

Asia Pacific

  • The Indian government has given the team behind the Nirbhay cruise missile an 18 month extension in order to fix issues with the munition and finally deliver a successful test-firing. It was expected that the program would be wrapped up by the end of 2016, however most attempts to test-fire the missile have resulted in its veering off course and aborting mid-air. In conjunction with the extra time, New Delhi has also commissioned an inquiry by an independent technical committee in order to identify faults in the system that led to the missile’s failure during its fourth trial on December 21.

  • While Indian cruise missile testing stumbles, Pakistan has announced the successful firing of their first submarine-launched cruise missile. The nuclear-capable Babur-3 missile has a range of 450 km (280 miles) and was fired from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean on Monday. News of the test may flare long-running tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi, as Pakistan looks to develop “credible minimum deterrence” against Indian missile development.

Today’s Video

A look at PT Sari Bahari’s munitions:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

VBTP Guarani: A New APC for Brazil

Defense Industry Daily - Tue, 10/01/2017 - 00:57

VBTP concept
(click to view full)

In December 2009, Brazil signed a EUR 2.5 billion deal with Italy’s Iveco that aims to renew its wheeled armored personnel carrier fleet, and revive Brazil’s land vehicle defense industry in the bargain. The 6×6 Guarani Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal, Media de Rodas (VBTP-MR) is envisaged as a vehicle family that can replace Engesa’s wheeled vehicles. Their EE-9 and EE-11 have suffered from age-related problems, questionable protection levels, and a shortage of ready spares since Engesa’s 1993 bankruptcy.

Iveco is best known around the world for its trucks, but its Iveco Fiat Oto Melara joint venture has designed and fielded the core of Italy’s tank, wheeled APC, and tracked IFV fleets. The firm already has the new Puma wheeled 6×6/ 4×4 APC in its offering set, but the VBTP will offer them a new market, a new joint venture, and new export opportunities.

VBTP: The Need

EE-11 Urutu
(click to view full)

Brazil’s armored vehicle fleet is currently dominated by a set of Engesa’s vehicles. The EE-11 Urutu wheeled 6×6 APC was popular with a number of foreign clients, as well as Brazil’s own forces. It is named after a local pit viper, per Brazilian tradition (bothrops alternatus, also known as Jararaca and Yarara). The EE-9 Cascavel 6×6 armored vehicle is easily recognizable by its 90mm gun, and was produced for Brazil and for numerous foreign clients. That warning silhouette is replicated in its choice of name, which refers to the South American Rattlesnake (crotalus durissus).

By the early 1990s, however, Engesa’s main client was Iraq under Saddam Hussein. The 1991 Gulf War, and subsequent international embargoes on weapon sales to Iraq, destroyed the firm. With its main client gone, no orders of consequence forthcoming in its home market, and its innovative Osorio medium tank elbowed aside by Saudi Arabia in favor of the American M1, Engesa went bankrupt in 1993. When it did, Brazil’s impressive local defense industry lost the heart of its advanced vehicle capabilities.

It also lost the main source of parts and maintenance for Brazil’s armored vehicle fleet. Brazil continues to operate its vehicles, and despite the EE-11’s weakness against some armor-piercing small arms rounds, it has been used in missions like the UN operation to stabilize Haiti. Even so, it was clear to the Brazilians that a replacement was needed. The combination of a rising resource economy and local threats have also driven 2 key trends in Brazil. One is a very significant increase in Brazil’s defense budgets, which have led to recapitalization programs for fighter jets, helicopters, air transports, and submarines. The other is a determination to restore Brazil’s decayed local defense industry, now that the Cold War’s inherent geo-political advantages for NATO and Warsaw Pact affiliated defense firms have vanished.

VBTP Guarani: The Vehicles


The new VBTP-MR is currently envisaged as an 18-tonne (about 20 ton) vehicle at full recommended weight (GVW), with amphibious capacity up to 17.5 tonnes. It will be powered by a FPT diesel engine coupled to an automatic gearbox, and is designed to carry a crew of 10 dismounts plus the driver. Outline specifications include dimensions of 6.9m long x 2.7 m wide x 2.34 m high, which allow its to fit into a C-130 Hercules or forthcoming Brazilian KC-390 transport aircraft dimensionally, as well as by weight.

The vehicle can be fitted with a variety of remote-controlled weapon stations for additional firepower, including Elbit’s ORCWS UT-30BR, with its 30mm cannon and ability to carry anti-tank missiles. Standard UT-30BR armament is a 30mm cannon, 7.62mm co-axial machine gun, and smoke grenades, along with a panoramic commander’s sight and a laser warner.

VBTP-MR concept
(click to view full)

Because the vehicles are currently under development, all figures should be considered provisional. The work is being carried out jointly by the Brazilian Army (through the project Mobility Strategy and the DCT – Department of Science and Technology) and Iveco. By late 2009, around 30 million Brazilian Reals (EUR 12 million) had been invested in vehicle definition with “major specialist Brazilian companies.”

VBTP: Contracts and Key Events 2017

“Tropa de Elite 3” trailer?

January 10/2017: Israel’s Elbit Systems has been contracted by the Brazilian Army to supply remote controlled weapons stations. Named REMAX, the system will be supplied over a five-year period and an initial production order worth $7.5 million. A REMAX turret is fitted on Brazilian VBTP-MR Guarani APCs, which includes a .50 machine gun, gives soldiers 360° capacity and is equipped with night vision, thermal vision, high resolution camera and zoom.

2012 – 2014

1st deliveries, production ramp-up.

Aug/Sept 2014: State of the program. At the end of September Iveco delivered the 100th of a total of 128 vehicles to be delivered by the end of 2014 (16 pilot VBTPs, 86 evaluation vehicles + 26 addons). The 2015 budget sets aside BRL 200M ($82M) for 56 vehicles.

An entry on the Brazilian Army’s weblog explained in August how the Guarani was “finally operational.” The 33º BI Mec (Batalhão de Infantaria Mecanizado – Mechanized Infantry Battalion) received its 1st 13 vehicles back in March 2014 and should have 42 of them by 2015. They are being tested in the southern state of Paraná near Paraguay and seem to meet expectations. The vehicle can cross streams as expected, though it has a slight tendency to sink further on its right due to the engine’s position.

Sources: “Iveco Latin America construye el blindado VBTP-MR Guaraní número 100” | Exército Brasileiro: “Guarani finalmente operacional” [in Portuguese].

Feb 12/14: Sub-contractors. Brazil picks Thales’ Sotas vehicle communication system as their armored vehicle communications system. Sotas will form the core of all voice and data communications in the Guarani, integrating various sensors, data terminals and radios. This follows a small 2011 purchase for testing purposes.

The Sotas system will also be retrofitted to EE-9 and EE-11 wheeled vehicles, and to tracked M113s, as part of their refurbishment programs. Initial systems under this contract will be delivered in June 2014, and Brazilian firms and depots will be trained to perform most maintenance thereafter. Sources: Thales, “Brazilian Army selects Thales’s intercom systems for vehicles”.

VBTP fires UT30-BR
(click to view full)

Dec 16/13: 26 more. A contract for BRL72 million ($31M) adds 26 Guaranis in Lote de Experimentação Doutrinária (LED – i.e. evaluation) configuration to the 86 ordered in August 2012.

Oct 24/12: REMAX RWS. Elbit’s Brazilian subsidiary Ares Aeroespacial e Defensa Ltda. announces a $25 million contract to supply its stabilized REMAX remote weapon stations to the Brazilian Army. This is the 1st production order, and deliveries will be made from 2012-2014.

REMAX was designed to be part of the VBTP program, and seems to be characterized by a simple and easy to maintain design. The small-caliber RCWS has already completed testing, and can be mounted on a range of suitable vehicles. Elbit Systems.

Sept 13/12: UT-30 RWS. Elbit’s Brazilian subsidiary AEL Sistemas S.A. receives an initial $15 million production order for UT-30BR 30mm remotely operated turrets, to equip VBTP Guarani vehicles. It’s an order under the Jan 6/11 umbrella contract. Elbit Systems | AEL [in Portuguese].

Aug 7/12: +86. Brazil and Iveco sign a BRL 240 million (about $119 million) contract for 86 VBTP MR Guarani evaluation vehicles, for delivery from 2013-2014. The contract allows Iveco to start production beyond the current 16-vehicle pilot batch (vid. Dec 18/09 entry), and get ready to produce the Army’s main order.

The Guaranis will be produced at a dedicated Iveco factory in Sete Lagoas, Mato Grosso state. Large-scale production should begin in early 2013, and the supply chain involves 110 direct and 600 indirect Brazilian firms. The production rate for Brazil alone is expected to reach about 100 units per year over the next 20 years, and exports are likely. Argentina has already indicated interest in about 14 Guaranis as a peace-keeping buy.

Defence Minister Cesar Amorim says that 48 of these 86 vehicles were included in the government’s Growth Acceleration Program (PAC infrastructure/ stimulus) financing, as part of a wider BRL 1.527 billion military program that will also buy 4,170 trucks and 30 Astros 2020 missile launch Vehicles. The transfer of the funds money was authorized in late June 2012, through a Provisional Measure signed by President Rousseff. Now, if only the Army could do something about having enough ammunition for just 1 hour of war… Brazilian MdD [in Portuguese] | Mercopress.

86 evaluation vehicles

June 15/12: Brazil takes delivery of the 1st pre-series Guarani from Italy’s Iveco Defense Vehicles, during a formal ceremony at the Eurosatory 2012 exhibition in France. UPI.

1st delivery

May 10/12: REMAX RWS. ARES light RWS turret is featured in the Independence Day parade, mounted on a Guarani armored vehicle. ARES.

2009 – 2011

Program getting started.

VBTP mockup, LAAD 2009
(click to view full)

Sept 7/11: UT-30 RWS. Elbit Systems announces that the 1st UT-30 unmanned turret has successfully completed VBTP acceptance testing in Brazil.

Aug 18/11: REMAX RWS. Elbit subsidiary ARES announces that the first phase of tests for the REMAX 12.7mm Remote Weapon Station have been successful, with a follow-on round of firing tests beginning later in the year. REMAX was developed by ARES under CTEx requirements, and would become the first Weapon Station manufactured and developed in Brazil.

Jan 6/11: UT-30 RWS. Elbit Systems’ Brazilian subsidiary Aeroeletronica Ltda. (AEL) receives a 440 million Real (about $260 million) framework contract to supply “a few hundred” of their 30 mm Unmanned Turrets to the Brazilian Army’s Guarani Project.

This is the full production follow-on to the April 13/09 award, but the exact number of orders isn’t clear yet. Orders will take place over a number of years, per Brazilian decisions and funding. Elbit Systems.

UT-30BR RCWS contract

Dec 18/09: Contract. The Brazilian Army signs a 6 billion Brazilian Real (about EUR 2.5 billion) umbrella contract to supply up to 2,044 base model VBTP-MR 6×6 wheeled APCs, to replace the old EE-11 Urutu in Brazilian service. The contract will run for over 20 years, and also includes manufacturer support.

The first prototype is under construction in Brazil, and is still scheduled for the first half of 2010. Another 16 units of a pilot batch will be produced by Iveco in Brazil between 2010 – 2011. Full production is planned to run from 2012-2030, and all production, including engines, will take place in Brazil. To that end, Iveco LA supported by Iveco Defence Vehicles will prepare a defense dedicated unit in Brazil, including Research, Sales & marketing, Production, Quality, and Aftersales service groups. The local supply chain is expected to involve more than 100 direct suppliers, and hundreds of indirect suppliers. Iveco release.

Umbrella contract: 2,044

April 7/09: Iveco announces that they will will present a mock-up of the new Brazilian 6×6 VBTP-MR at the April 14th Latin America Aero & Defense (LAAD) Exhibition. The company promises that a prototype will be delivered by the end of 2009, for army testing beginning in April 2010. Another 16 additional units are slated for production and testing up to 2011, when a decision is expected on a final VBTP-MR fleet order for the Brazilian Army.

Iveco’s production plan would produce the initial 16-17 vehicles using imported components, but local content would gradually increase to over 60%. The company already has a growing supplier base in Brazil, where it produces around 15,000 trucks per year plus diesel engines. Iveco release at Defpro | Defense Update LAAD 2009 report.

VBTP with UT30-BR
(click to view full)

April 13/09: UT-30 RWS. Elbit Systems Ltd. announces a contract to supply its UT-30 unmanned turrets to the Brazilian Army, for installation on the VBTP-MR. The company says they were selected as a result of a competition including leading global manufacturers in the field, but adds that the contract amount for the program’s first phase is not material to Elbit Systems overall results. That would change, of course, once orders are confirmed for full-rate VBTP production.

The ORCWS UT-30 unmanned turret is a complete system, incorporating an automatic cannon up to 30mm, a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, a Laser Warning System (LWS), commander panoramic sights, and smoke grenade launchers. A fully stabilized dual axes and an automatic target tracker keep weapons on target from the remote weapons station inside the vehicle. The turret does not crowd out space inside the vehicle, and offers light weight and a fold-flat capability for air transport.

Elbit’s ORCWS systems have been sold to a number of customers around the world, and equip several models of wheeled and tracked APCs. The Israeli firm is also an important local supplier to Brazil’s defense force, through its Brazilian subsidiary Aeroelectronica Industria de Componentes Avionicos S.A (AEL). The firm’s avionics equip most of Brazil’s fighter fleet, and it also sells and services a variety of defense-related electronics and optronics.

Elbit’s UT-30 turret picked

December 2007: IVECO L.A. and the Brazilian Ministry of Defense agree to co-develop a wheeled medium APC. The project will be supported by IVECO Defence Vehicles in Northern Italy, but VBTP-MR will be developed and manufactured at IVECO LA’s Sete Lagoas plant in Minas Gerais (Brazil).

Initial agreement

Additional Readings

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

China's H-6K bomber shows new strike capabilities

Jane's Defense News - Mon, 09/01/2017 - 02:00
Images posted in Chinese online forums in late December 2016 show for the first time a Xian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) H-6K bomber carrying what appear to be six 250 kg bombs on each of its six under-wing pylons for a total of 36 bombs: a new demonstration of the aircraft's strike capabilities.
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Minotor Service offers PT-76M upgrade

Jane's Defense News - Mon, 09/01/2017 - 02:00
Belarus-based Minotor Service has developed an upgrade package for the PT-76 light amphibious tank, which was originally manufactured at the Volgograd Tractor Plant. The upgraded PT-76 is designated the PT-76M by Minotor Service, and the enhancements are focused on mobility and firepower. The
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NORINCO launches new tank destroyer

Jane's Defense News - Mon, 09/01/2017 - 02:00
China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) has expanded its armoured vehicle portfolio with the development of the ST2 tracked 105 mm Tank Destroying Vehicle (TDV), which is understood to have been developed specifically for the export market rather than the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The
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