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NSA Top Secrets Theft Suspect Harold Martin Pleads Not Guilty to Charges

Globalsecurity.org - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 04:31
Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Harold Martin pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to stealing 50 terabytes of top secret intelligence in a federal court in Baltimore, Maryland.
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India successfully launches 104 satellites in single space mission

Globalsecurity.org - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 04:31
India on Wednesday created history by successfully launching 104 satellites in a single space mission, breaking the previous record of 37 satellites launched by Russiain 2014.
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India breaks global record in single-day satellite launch

Globalsecurity.org - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 04:31
The Indian Space Research Organization says it has "successfully" launched more than 100 satellites into orbit aboard a single rocket, setting a new global record.
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India Successfully Launches Record 104 Satellites Simultaneously - ISRO

Globalsecurity.org - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 04:31
Indian PSLV-C37 carrier rocket successfully launched 104 satellites, five times more than the 20 launched into space in June 2016, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said Wednesday.
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India Puts Record 104 Satellites in Space

Globalsecurity.org - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 04:31
An Indian rocket blasted off Wednesday morning from Sriharikota in eastern India putting a record 104 satellites into space in a single launch, surpassing Russia's previous feat of launching 37 satellites one year ago, according to India's space agency.
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North Korea rejects UNSC condemnation of missile test

Globalsecurity.org - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 04:31
North Korea has rejected the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)'s condemnation of its recent missile test launch, citing a "sovereign right" to such tests.
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Who Hired Deadly Assassins to Slay N Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un's Half-Brother?

Globalsecurity.org - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 04:31
Speculation is rife on who was behind the death of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who was killed in Malaysia on Monday.
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Norway and Germany start cooperation on submarine and missile deliveries

Naval Technology - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 01:00
Authorities from the Norwegian and German governments have initiated a comprehensive industrial cooperation on submarine and missile deliveries, thereby securing job opportunities in Norway.
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China's new PLA Navy battleships to conduct far-sea training exercise

Naval Technology - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 01:00
The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLA Navy) three new battleships have set sail to conduct a far-sea training exercise in the South China Sea.
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USMC Completes Instant Eye UAV Training | Textron’s G-CLAW Achieves Results in Testing | India’s DRDO Busily Making Deals & Collaborations

Defense Industry Daily - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 00:58
Americas

  • Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet Block 3 proposal will focus on adding firepower and an increased ability to network with other carrier-borne aircraft, such as the F-35C, in the US Navy. The new plan moves away from the company’s 2013 Advanced Super Hornet concept which focused on stealth, instead optimizing the Navy’s integrated network architecture. Under this proposal, Boeing believes the Navy could detail a plan to procure the Super Hornet Block 3 as soon as the fiscal 2018 budget proposal, and a fiscal 2019 buy would mean Boeing could have aircraft off the production line in the early 2020s.

  • The USMC has completed their training with Instant Eye, a new hand-held UAV designed to support reconnaissance missions in heavily clustered areas. Up to 300 marines from Task Force Southwest took part in the testing, and will now go on to train, advise and assist troops in Afghanistan later this spring. Unlike most UAVs, which require either a runway or throwing for launch, the Instant Eye’s rotary wings make it capable of taking off and landing at 90-degree angles, and it has been praised for its stealth and maneuverability.

  • Textron has announced that their G-CLAW precision-guided glide missile has been successfully tested. The October 2016 test saw the munition track and engage static and moving targets, confirming its lethality. Designed for anti-personnel and anti-materiel strikes, the missile can be integrated with various aircraft, including the company’s Cessna Caravan and Textron AirLand Scorpion jet. The company is currently participating in this year’s Aero India Expo.

Middle East & North Africa

  • Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) has awarded TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI) a contract to develop and manufacture a new indigenous turboshaft engine. The engine will be used in Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) new clean-sheet T-625 utility helicopter, as well as the TAI T-129 ATAK attack helicopter and TAI Hürkuş turboprop-powered trainer and light combat aircraft. At present, Ankara depends on foreign turboshaft designs, such as the General Electric T700, which require them to secure licenses and approval for exports.

Europe

  • A report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), claiming that the UK government failed to reach the NATO target to spend 2% of national income on defense, has been rejected by the government. The report stated that spending had fallen to 1.98% in 2016 as a result of the British economy growing faster than the defence budget. Also found in the report was that only Greece and Estonia spent 2% or more, with the UK falling short by about $471 million. A government spokesperson dismissed the figures as being “wrong.”

Asia Pacific

  • India’s Defense Minister has announced intentions to start a second production line for the HAL Tejas fighter within the next three months. Valued at $203.47 million, Manohar Parrikar said the line will produce 16 Tejas fighters for the Indian Air Force. News of the second production line points to the Indian government’s commitment to weaning itself from foreign defense products and encouraging indigenous industry, also known as “techno-nationalism.” This, however, hasn’t come without its problems after the Indian Navy rejected the navalized version of the Tejas for being too heavy.

  • India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has claimed to be close to a deal to sell their short range surface-to-air Akash missile to Vietnam. The sale would be the first of its kind between the two countries, following a steadily growing defensive relationship that has seen New Delhi already help the Vietnamese military with training and patrol vessels, as well as the granting of a $500 million credit line in order to buy defense equipment. A further deepening of ties manifested in the missile sale is expected to draw criticism from China, currently locked in a territorial dispute with Hanoi in the South China Sea, as well as their own border dispute with India.

  • A joint venture will be launched by MBDA Missile Systems and Larsen & Toubro in order to develop missile-based solutions for India’s armed forces. Called L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd, the venture will collaborate with the Defense Research and Development Organization to supply 5th-generation anti-tank guided missiles for coastal batteries and high-speed target drones. The partnership will see L&T own 51% of the joint venture’s shares, while MBDA will own the remaining 49% in accordance with the country’s regulations.

Today’s Video

  • 2015 flight tests of Textron’s G-CLAW:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

India’s Akash Surface-to-Air Test a Success

Defense Industry Daily - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 00:57

India’s new surface-to-air missile, the Akash, successfully struck an airborne target towed from a remote control aircraft in late November. The weapon is designed to hit aircraft up to 25 km away with a 55 kg warhead. Reuters: India Test-Fires Akash Missile

Update

February 15/2017: India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has claimed to be close to a deal to sell their short range surface-to-air Akash missile to Vietnam. The sale would be the first of its kind between the two countries, following a steadily growing defensive relationship that has seen New Delhi already help the Vietnamese military with training and patrol vessels, as well as the granting of a $500 million credit line in order to buy defense equipment. A further deepening of ties manifested in the missile sale is expected to draw criticism from China, currently locked in a territorial dispute with Hanoi in the South China Sea, as well as their own border dispute with India.

January 11/2017: Discussions are underway between the governments of India and Vietnam over the potential sale of India’s indigenous Akash air defense missile system. Hanoi is keen for negotiations to include a possible technology transfer, while New Delhi is leaning toward promoting an initial off-the-shelf purchase of the system prior to any discussions over technology transfer and joint production. Vietnam represents a growing market for Indian training and gear, with India already set to provide training to Vietnamese Su-30MKI fighter pilots, and they have already trained sailors on operating Kilo-class submarines.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Turkey Finally Lands Its Attack Helicopters

Defense Industry Daily - Thu, 16/02/2017 - 00:55

T129 ATAK
(click to view full)

Turkey has been looking to modernize its attack helicopter fleet since the mid-1990s, but the process has mostly served as an object lesson in how not to buy defense equipment. This competition faced many difficulties; after numerous snafus, technology transfer and production issues, and canceled competitions, all 3 invited American manufacturers had abandoned the competition entirely.

Even the “final” round seemed imperiled, following reports of the Turkish military’s deep dissatisfaction with the choices. Nevertheless, the competition survived long enough to pick a winner, and signed contracts with AgustaWestland. But Turkey didn’t just buy helicopters. They bought the A129 model – lock, stock, and rotor.

T129 Program Snapshot: Feb. 2014

T129 Prototypes
(click to view full)

The contract for 51 T129B ATAK helicopters (+41 options) was signed on Sept 7/07, with Turkey and TAI acquiring all design and future production rights for their derivative of AgustaWestland’s A129i scout/attack helicopter. The total value isn’t clear, but AgustaWestland placed its own share at around EUR 1.2 billion. Deterioration of Turkey’s existing attack helicopter fleet, coupled with pressure from Kurdish insurgents, forced an emergency purchase of 9 “Early Delivery Helicopter” configuration T129As on Nov 8/10.

The T129 was scheduled for official delivery and acceptance in 2013, complete with Roketsan’s Cirit laser-guided 70mm rockets, but that hasn’t happened yet. Cirit rocket deliveries have begun, and a January 2014 statement by Turkey’s defense minister said that Turkey’s UMTAS anti-tank missile had also completed qualification trials, so that isn’t what’s holding up the program. The Turkish SSM’s program page states that: “Currently, qualification phase is in progress and production of 6(six) helicopters has been completed.”

ATAK is an attack helicopter, but it’s smaller and lighter than classic competitors like Russia’s Mi-28 or the USA’s AH-64 Apache. Other competitors include Bell’s AH-1Z Viper, Denel of South Africa’s AH-2 Rooivalk, Eurocopter’s EC665 Tiger, and Russian Mi-35M /Ka-52 offerings. The T129 has started flying in foreign air shows, and is being marketed abroad, but doesn’t have any wins or contracts yet beyond Turkey.

Program and Finalists Beginning With An Own Goal in Mind

Rooivalk & Gripen
(click to view full)

At present, Turkey’s attack helicopter fleet is made of its 6 remaining AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, and about 20-23 earlier model AH-1 Cobras. The earlier model Cobras lack some useful modern capabilities. Worse, low numbers and age-related availability issues are straining the fleet’s capacity, making operations in Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdish regions more difficult.

The new AH-1Z had come out on top in a previous Turkish competition, but 4 years of negotiations with Bell Helicopter to jointly produce the AH-1Z Super Cobra failed in 2004. Major price differences and licensing demands sank the deal.

The Turkish SSM responded by opening a fresh international competition in February 2005, but did so in a way that magnified the problems again rather than solving them. They were immediately confronted by serious objections from global manufacturers, which forced the SSM to change the RFP in May 2005. Even then, Bell Helicopter and Boeing looked at Turkish demands, and dropped out.

Defense Minister Gonul made the Turkish perspective clear long ago when he noted that “the goal is to co-produce the helicopters, not to buy them off the shelf.” The Houston Chronicle reported that bidding rules also included full access to the aircraft’s specific software codes, and a written guarantee from the provider’s government that there would be no political obstacles to Turkish exports of the licensed helicopters.

T129: The Program

A129 pair
(click to view full)

In July 2006, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul announced that Turkey would continue talks with Denel of South Africa (AH-2A Rooivalk) and Agusta Aerospace of Italy (A129 International) for Turkey’s Land Forces Command’s Tactical Reconnaissance & Attack Helicopter (ATAK) Project. The Franco-German EADS Eurocopter (Tiger) and Kamov of Russia (Ka-50-2 Erdogan, with IAI) were eliminated.

Neither of the finalists had been exported before, and at the time, they were competing for co-production of 30 helicopters and options for 20 more. That projected $1.6 billion contract was still well short of the 91 attack helicopters originally called for when the program began, but it was progress. In the end, Turkey found a way to bridge the gap. A contract was signed in September 2007 for 51 “T129 ATAK” helicopters from AgustaWestland, plus another 41 on option under the same terms. Some of those options were exercised in 2010, when Turkey ordered 9 “Early Delivery Helicopter” T129s to reinforce its dwindling attack helicopter fleet.

The T129A EDH carries the nose-mounted 20mm cannon turret with 500 rounds, and 4 pylons for unguided rockets. The T129B version will add Roketsan’s MIZRAK (formerly UMTAS) missiles and CIRIT 70 mm Laser Guided Rockets, and Raytheon’s FIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles.

Turkish Aerospace Industries is the T129’s prime contractor. Aselsan and AgustaWestland will be the subcontractors, under a collaboration agreement in which TAI shares ownership of intellectual property rights for the new A129 configuration with AgustaWestland. TAI will also become the sole source for the production of the whole fuselage, including final assembly and flight operations, and will be responsible for marketing the “T-129 attack helicopters” to the world.

As of February 2014, initial inquiries have reportedly been received from Azerbaijan, Jordan, and Pakistan. There are less conclusive reports that Malaysia may be interested. Confirmed export losses include a public competition in South Korea, won by Boeing’s AH-64E Apache Guardian.

T129: The Winner

A129-I improvements
(click to view full)

The A129 Mangusta (trans. “Mongoose”) entered service with the Italian Army in 1989; AgustaWestland offered it as a base for the Franco-German Tiger partnership, but cooperation was declined in favor of a Franco-German R&D program. The current Italian service inventory is 60 machines, 15 of which are the more modern A129 International/AW129 standard with uprated engines (LHTEC replaced earlier Rolls Royce Gem) and rotors (5-bladed vs. 4), plus new weapons, avionics, and defensive systems. The other 45 Italian A129 CBT helicopters received rotor, transmission, weapon, defensive, and electronics upgrades under a multi-year contract signed in 2002.

This A129 family is notable for their low frontal profile, and offer a good mix of surveillance, gun and missile capabilities. A mast-mounted sight offers the potential for further improvements, but the type had not been successful in export competitions before the 2007 Turkish order. The A129 has seen service with Italian forces in Afghanistan, Angola, Macedonia, Somalia, and Iraq.

Like the A129I, the Turkish T129s are powered by 2 Rolls Royce/ Honeywell LHTEC CTS800-4A turboshafts, each generating 1,361 shp. They can drive the helicopter to speeds of 269 kph/ 145 kts, and allow hover out of ground effect to 10,000 feet. Endurance is about 3 hours, with a maximum range of 561 km/ 303 nm.

The Turkish ASELFLIR 300T will replace the AW129’s Honeywell surveillance and targeting systems. The helicopter always has its 3-barreled 20mm chin turret, and certified weapons for its 4 side pylons include its 12.7mm machine gun pods, 70mm unguided Hydra and guided Cirit rockets, anti-tank missiles (TOW, Spike-ER, Hellfire), and Air-to-Air Missiles (Stinger, Mistral). Turkey is also working to develop and then certify its own IIR-guided UMTAS anti-tank missile for the T129.

Contracts & Key Events 2013 – 2017

Possible interest in Brazil, Pakistan; Loss in South Korea.

T129 ATAK
(click to view full)

February 15/17: Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) has awarded TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI) a contract to develop and manufacture a new indigenous turboshaft engine. The engine will be used in Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) new clean-sheet T-625 utility helicopter, as well as the TAI T-129 ATAK attack helicopter and TAI Hürkuş turboprop-powered trainer and light combat aircraft. At present, Ankara depends on foreign turboshaft designs, such as the General Electric T700, which require them to secure licenses and approval for exports.

June 8/16: The newly appointed defense minister of Turkey, Fikri Isik and his Pakistani counterpart met to discuss increasing bilateral defense ties. Among last Friday’s discussions was the potential sale of Turkish developed T129 attack helicopters. Other potential deals include the purchase by Turkey of the Pakistani-made Super Mushshak basic trainer aircraft.

April 23/14: Delivery. Turkey formally delivers the first 9 T129 basic configuration models (q.v. Nov 8/10) to the Turkish armed forces.

It’s Turkey’s National Sovereignty Day and Children’s Day, when children take seats in Parliament and symbolically govern the country for a day. Erm… perhaps delivering these toys the day after might be wise? Just a suggestion. Sources: TAI, “Ulusal Egemenlik Bayrami’nda Egemen Urunumuz T129 ATAK’i Teslim Ettik…” | AgustaWestland, “Turkish Armed Forces Takes Delivery of T129 ATAK Helicopter”.

T129 basic models delivered

Feb 18/14: Industrial. Turkey’s SSM procurement agency announces the launch of a Rotor Technology Center (DKTM) to perform R&D, and train Turkish personnel in this area of aerospace technology.

It’s part of a June 2013 contract with TAI to create the country’s first indigenous helicopter, a 5-tonne twin-engine replacement for Turkey’s existing UH-1 Huey fleet. Even so, its scope ensures that it will affect the T129 platform going forward. Sources: Hurriyet Daily News, “Turkey gears up efforts for indigenous rotor production”.

Jan 29/14: Budget. Turkey’s 2014 defense budget projects a 7% increase, and Defence Turkey reports on aspects related to the T129:

“National Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz explained that within the scope of Attack Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter Project /T129, out of 13 Early Delivery Helicopters (EDH) that are to be purchased within the context of urgent need, 4 of them were completely produced and stated that their acceptance procedure continued…. Yilmaz mentioned that final qualification phase of the missiles developed as one of the main ammunitions of T-129 helicopter within the scope of Long-Range Antitank Missile Project was reached and added that being the modern tanks’ nightmare around the World with its armour piercing cap, UMTAS would contribute greatly to TSK’s firepower.”

Sources: Defence Turkey, “Turkey’s Defence Budget of 2014”.

Jan 16/14: Marketing. The T129 has begun showing up at air shows and performing flight demonstrations. The Bahrain International Air Show 2014 (BIAS) featured a flight demonstration, with a clear focus on the Mideast market. Arab states remain somewhat wary of Turkey, and many of them (Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE) have opted for the heavier AH-64 Apache instead, but opportunities remain. Bahrain, for example, operates older AI-1E/P Cobras, and GCC states Qatar and Oman don’t have any dedicated scout/attack helicopters in their force. These shows also reach beyond the Middle East, drawing interest and attendance from potential customers like Pakistan (q.v. Sept 16/13) and Malaysia (q.v. July 30/13). Sources: TAI, “TAI’s T129 ATAK Helicopter Performs Flight Demonstration at BIAS 2014”.

Sept 16/13: Pakistan. Pakistan is running short on AH-1Fs, in part because the money to maintain them has been funneled into various private pockets. A long-term improvement in corruption is unlikely under current leadership, and the Pakistani economy is weak, but the country needs attack helicopters.

Pakistan reportedly expressed interest in the T129 several years ago (q.v. Oct 1/09), but those talks have reportedly gained force. Any breakthrough would involve a Memorandum of Understanding, which would allow Pakistani officials and PAC engineers to discuss the mechanics and logistics of joint production.

Part of those mechanics may involve export clearance from the USA, as the T129’s LHTEC 800 engines are a joint product of Rolls Royce and Honeywell. The USA could use delays or even refusal as an underhanded tactic, and they do have a record of behaving this way in other competitions. On the other hand, angering both Turkey and Pakistan might be a higher diplomatic price than they’re prepared to pay, just to push Bell Helicopter’s AH-1Z. Rather than using export denial, the USA may have a better lever via military aid financing, which could be used to buy made-in-America AH-1Zs, but not T129s. If Turkey can offer good financing terms of its own, on the other hand, local anti-American sentiment and Turkey’s perceived political reliability may offer them some levers, too. Sources: Pakistan’s The National, “Pak-Turkish pact on combat copters on cards” | Defense News, “Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper Deal” | iHLS, “Turkey Angers the U.S. by Offering Helicopters to Pakistan”.

Aug 22/13: Brazil. Turkey and Brazil are forming a number of working groups on defense cooperation. Their release specifically mentions that the aeronautics working group will be studying the assembly of Turkish helicopters in Brazil. The T129 is the only candidate that fits. Note that Brazil already fields a handful of Russian Mi-35M attack helicopters, with a limited secondary capability as transports. On the other hand, they could definitely use more armed helicopters, and local production appeals. AgustaWestland just expanded its Brazilian facilities in Sao Paulo, with enough space to add a production line.

The flip side is that Turkey would be studying the assembly of Brazilian aircraft in Turkey. Embraer offers the Super Tucano, a number of military aircraft based on their ERJ 145 regional jetliner, and the KC-390 medium transport. Turkey is committed to buy 10 A400M medium transports, but they have 32 C160 and C-130 medium transports to replace, so a future KC-390 buy is possible. Other possibilities are more restricted, as Turkey already has projects or orders in those categories: KAI’s KT-1 for training, Boeing’s E-737 AWACS for aerial surveillance, and Airbus ATR-72s and CN-235s for maritime patrol. Sources: Brazil MdD [in Portuguese] | AgustaWestland Aug 14/13 release.

July 30/13: Malaysia. Malaysia hasn’t made a fighter decision as planned, and may even be backing away from a new fighter order altogether. During a press conference with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Malaysia’s Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak referred to a recent incursion in Sabah, Borneo by Philippine terrorists. He was quoted in the Malaysia Star:

“We have other hardware being considered, including the attack helicopter, and weapons of that nature. We are looking at some of the requirements, not just the multi-role combat aircraft…”

April 17/13: South Korea loss. South Korea announces that the AH-64E Apache Guardian has beaten the AH-1Z Viper and T129 ATAK helicopters for a 1.8 trillion won ($1.6 billion), 36-machine order. The attack helicopter decision had been due in October 2012, but was put on hold until after the elections. The ROK hopes to have the helicopters between 2016 and 2018.

The AH-1Z would have represented continuity with the ROK’s existing AH-1S fleet, and a September 2012 DSCA export request was already approved. The T129 would have been a reciprocal deal with a major arms export customer (vid. Aug 9/10, but Turkey has also bought South Korea trainers, tanks & artillery). A DAPA official is quoted as saying that the AH-64E’s superior target acquisition capability, power, and weapons load gave it the edge, and so South Korea will begin the acquisition process. The Apache is certainly much more heavily armored than its counterparts, and its combination of modernized optics and MMW radar or UAV control does give it an edge in target acquisition. Sources: Korea Herald, “Seoul to purchase 36 Apache helicopters” | Reuters, “South Korea to buy $1.6 billion worth of Boeing helicopters”.

Loss in South Korea

2010 – 2012

9 “basic” T129s as interim buy; AH-1Ws as interim buy; TopOwl picked as HMD; Prototype crash; Competing in South Korea.

A129 International
(click to view larger)

Dec 11/12: South Korea. The ROK government’s decision to delay their attack helicopter decision until after the Dec 19/12 elections is seen as a positive development for the T129. Its problem is that the country’s military is widely believed to prefer the AH-64 Apache. If true, TAI’s challenge is to find other decision centers within the government who might be swayed toward their product. Turkish Daily.

July 10/12: Weapons. Hurriyet says that deliveries of Turkey’s 70mm laser-guided Cirit rocket have begun. The Cirit is expected to be an important part of the T129s arsenal:

“Turkey’s missile maker Roketsan has delivered 100 laser-guided 70 mm rocket systems to the Turkish military, a defense source has told the Hürriyet Daily News.”

May 2012: South Korea. The T129 is shortlisted alongside Bell Helicopter’s AH-1Z Viper and Boeing’s AH-64D Apache Block III for South Korea’s attack helicopter competition. A decision is expected by October 2012. Source.

March 27/12: Turkey’s SSM procurement agency has unveiled their new 5-year strategic plan, with timetables for key acquisitions. The plan commits to begin delivery of the T129 ATAK by 2013, and CIRIT laser-guided 70mm rockets for the ATAKs by 2016. Hurriyet Daily News.

Oct 31/11: AH-1W stopgap. With Turkey’s fleet of serviceable AH-1F/W Cobra attack helicopters dwindling, demands from the Army for helicopters to use against the Marxist Kurdish PKK in Turkey and Iraq, and no arrival of even base configuration T129s before mid-2012, Turkey launches an official request [PDF] for 3 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters from US Marine Corps stocks. They’ll also get 7 T700-GE-401 engines (6 installed/ 1 spare), plus inspections and modifications, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, and U.S. Government and contractor support.

The estimated cost is $111 million, and all sale proceeds will be reprogrammed into the USMC’s H-1 helicopter upgrade program to build UH-1Y Venom armed utility and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of approximately 5 contractor representatives to Turkey for a period of up to 90 days, for differences training between U.S. and Turkish AH-1Ws helicopters. See also Oct 26/09.

DSCA request: 3 AH-1W Super Cobras

Nov 8/10: AgustaWestland announces a EUR 150 million contract for 9 “basic configuration”/ “partially armed” T129 combat helicopters, plus spare parts. The releases do not say, but it’s reasonable to expect only base AW129 capabilities, without provisions for new Turkish weapons like UMTAS. The stopgap attack helicopters will be assembled by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) and delivered by mid 2012, one year earlier than the 51 T129s already on order.

AgustaWestland says that the T129 program remains on schedule with both the System Requirements Review and Preliminary Design Review completed in 2009. The Critical Design Review will be completed shortly. Prototypes are being assembled in both Italy and Turkey, and they expect to start the flight test program in January 2011. AgustaWestland | Hurriyet Daily News.

Emergency buy: 9 T129 “basic configuration”

Aug 9/10: Korean Quid Pro Quo? DAPA aircraft programs director Maj. Gen. Choi Cha-kyu says that Turkey is actively considering a partner role in the K-FX fighter program as their indigenous fighter design project. Turkey would bear the same 20% project share as Indonesia if they come on board, with South Korea responsible for 60%. There are reports that in return, Turkey wants South Korea to pick the T129 ATAK helicopter as their future AH-X heavy attack helicopter.

Turkey eventually seemed to go their own way on their indigenous future fighter, and T129 lost South Korea’s attack helicopter competition. Korea Times | Hurriyet.

June 16/10: A129 interim. Turkey has launched “urgent” talks with AgustaWestland for 9 A129 Mangusta attack helicopters, as a stopgap measure to keep their attack helicopter fleet viable until 2014, when the first T129s are supposed to become available. The parties are expected to meet over the next few weeks to negotiate a price and delivery schedule, but reports say that the Turks are looking for deliveries within the next 2 years.

The Kurdish separatist PKK has stepped up attacks on Turkish targets this spring, and the military is finding existing resources inadequate. With Israeli heavy UAV options in question, attack helicopters become a very important military options in the mountainous terrain of Kurdistan and Iraq. Unfortunately, Turkey’s byzantine and bare-knuckled procurement process has delayed their efforts, leading to the current gap. See also Oct 26/09 entry.

Similar delays continue to hold up Turkey’s Utility Helicopter replacement program, which is a competition between AgustaWestland (TUHP 149) and Sikorsky (S-70i). Hurriyet | Defense News.

April 14/10: TopOwl for HMD. Turkey’s SSM procurement agency picks Thales as its helmet mounted display system partner. Their TopOwl HMDS already equips the US Marines’ new UH-1Y Venom utility and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, Eurocopter’s Tiger scout/attack helicopter, and the NH90 medium utility helicopter. Like TopOwl, Turkey’s derivative Helmet Integrated Cueing System (HICS) will incorporate latest-generation image intensifier tubes for tactical night flight; plus a wide-field (40°) binocular cueing system visor that will display flight and targeting data, symbology, and images from other sensors.

More precisely, Turkey picked state-owned Aselsan, who then picked Thales. Thales’ main competitor is Israel’s Elbit Systems, whose offerings range from the comparable JEDEYE to the less sophisticated ANVIS/HUD and IHADDS for AH-64 Apaches. Thales Group’s release quotes Aselsan Director of Airborne and Naval Programmes Metin Sancar:

“After a competitive process with the major suppliers of helmet mounted sights for helicopters, Aselsan was selected in partnership with Thales… more than 700 [TopOwl] units have been delivered to date. Turkish pilots who evaluated the system in flight were impressed by the comfort of the helmet system and fully appreciated the benefits of visor projection technology, and this played a role in the procurement decision.”

March 19/10: Turkey’s T129 prototype crash-lands near Verbania in Italy. The 2 Italian pilots were injured, but their condition is not life-threatening. In a statement, TAI says that: “The accident is not expected to affect the ATAK program’s development timetable.” Defense News.

Crash

2006 – 2009

Competition finally ends, with T129 as the winner; 1st flight; Interest from Jordan & Pakistan; Turkey needs a stopgap.

AH-1W firing TOW
(click to view full)

Oct 26/09: Interim AH-1Ws. Turkey reportedly has just 6 of its original 12 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters in service, to accompany an estimated 23 earlier-model AH-1F Cobras. An interim attack helicopter buy was deemed necessary until the T129s are operational. A Sunday Zaman report quotes US Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey, who said that the USA has agreed to sell Turkey an unannounced number of AH-1W attack helicopters from the US Marines’ inventory. It adds that:

“Early this year Turkey sought the purchase of about 10 Cobra helicopters estimated to cost about $1.5 billion from the US to meet its stop-gap measures in the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Upon the US decision to sell an unidentified number of Cobras to Turkey, Sunday’s Zaman learned that Turkey has abandoned talks with Russia on the purchase of several Mi-28 helicopters.”

Oct 1/09: Export interest & Dates. Flight International reports that Jordan and Pakistan have both asked about the T129.

Within the program, AgustaWestland’s CEO says the T129 is on time and on cost. Turkey Unique Configuration prototype kits are scheduled for delivery to TAI in April and August 2010 for assembly and trials. Critical Design Reviews are scheduled for spring 2010, and handover to Turkey is scheduled for fall 2013. Sources: Flight International, “ATAK team outlines progress of Turkey’s T129 project, after first flight success”.

Sept 28/09: 1st flight. AgustaWestland announces the maiden flight of the T129 P1 prototype, during an official ceremony held at AgustaWestland facilities in Vergiate, Italy.

1st flight

June 1/09: Arabian Aerospace points out the secondary commercial benefits of AgustaWestland’s deal with Turkey:

“AgustaWestland’s opening of a regional business headquarters in Turkey in 2008 signified its intention to increase its presence in the Middle East market. The Ankara base is seen as an ideal platform to build on the company’s growing share of the market in Turkey and will also manage the Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack (ATAK) programme… Elsewhere, the AW139 is enjoying success in the region.”

June 24/08: Formal effect. The agreement between AgustaWestland and TAI formally comes into effect. The program is expected to last for 114 months (9.5 years), and the 1st “T129” attack helicopter will be delivered to Turkey in June 2013. Other international orders may follow, if TAI can win them. AgustaWestland release:

“AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that the contracts of the Turkish Attack and Reconnaissance Helicopter (ATAK) Program have become effective and the program has officially started at the ceremony held at the facilities of the Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) today… having the right to use and administer the intellectual property of the T129 ATAK Helicopter, TAI shall be the sole source for its work share under the ATAK program for all potential future worldwide sales of the T129 ATAK Helicopter. The Collaboration Agreement also provides TAI with the right to sell and market the T129 ATAK Helicopter worldwide.”

Sept 7/07: The Turkish SSM procurement agency announces the signing of industrial arrangements contracts with AgustaWestland:

“Within the framework of ATAK Program as per Defence Industry Executive Committee Decree dated 30th of March 2007, Contracts between SSM, TUSAS (TAI), AGUSTAWESTLAND and ASELSAN have been signed on 7th of September, 2007. Official signature ceremony will be held soon.”

Some unresolved questions remained, but both were cleared up by the Sept 17/07 TAI release. Defense-Aerospace reports that Turkey will take over the entire A129 Mangusta program, and transfer the production line to Turkish Aerospace Industries’ facility outside Ankara. This was confirmed.

The second question concerns the number of helicopters, which has now been resolved. Previous reports in the Turkish press gave figures of 30 helicopters + 20 optional, a far cry from the 91 originally desired. Finmeccanica’s Sept 11/07 announcement [PDF], set the number at 51 A129 helicopters, with an estimated value for AgustaWestland of around EUR 1.2 billion, and no mention of options. TAI’s Sept 17/07 release, however, clearly notes the deal’s structure of 51 helicopters + 41 options, for a total of 92.

T129 contract: 51 + 41 options

March 30/07: A129 picked. Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland anounces:

“The Turkish Executive Committee has announced today that it is to start contract negotiations with AgustaWestland, in partnership with Turkish Aviation Industry (TAI), for the Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter – ATAK Project – for the Turkish Land Forces Command. The estimated value of this programme to AgustaWestland is in excess of 1.2 billion EURO based on the requirement for 51 A129 helicopters.” [DID: then about $1.6 billion]

“…The AgustaWestland proposal includes significant industrial benefits for Turkey. Several leading Turkish aerospace companies, such as TAI and Aselsan, will be involved in the programme. Final assembly, delivery and acceptance of the aircraft will also take place in Turkey. The A129 is a multi-role combat helicopter designed for day/night and adverse weather combat operations. The A129, powered by two LHTEC T800 turboshaft engines, has a state-of-the-art cockpit…”

Note that the release merely announces the beginning of negotiations. While “preferred source” negotiations usually have a strong record of success, this is the exact stage in the process where previous acquisition attempts have failed. The Turkish News quoted an industry source some time ago, who reminded onlookers that:

“Our procurement history is full of illusions of victory… When a bidder wins a contract it thinks the game is over. It may not be so.”

Dec 2/06: Turkish Daily News reports that the competition is stalled, and will either be formally canceled or simply frozen into immobility:

“Under pressure from the end-user, procurement authorities will likely cancel the existing competition, defense officials admit. “None of the short-listed solutions fully satisfies the end-user,” said one official. “We may renew the competition, or go for an off-the-shelf purchase. That’s unknown for the moment…”

“Turkey’s top governmental panel that oversees procurement decisions will convene on Dec. 12 to discuss the attack helicopter program along with others, most notably a decision to opt for the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter F-35 fighter aircraft… The attack helicopter program will be discussed, probably with no full agreement. “There may or may not be an official announcement for the cancellation of the current bidding process,” a procurement official familiar with the program said. “But in any case it would not be realistic to expect any progress, with the military deeply dissatisfied over the existing bids.” The Defense Industry Executive Committee is chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and includes Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanıt and head of the [SSM] procurement office… Murad Bayar.”

Appendix A: “I Coulda Been A Contenda…”

Ka-50 “Black Shark”
(click to view full)

Boeing (AH-64 Apache), Bell Textron (AH-1Z Viper, who won the previous Turkish competition in 2004 until the deal fell through), and Sikorsky (S-70 Strikehawk variant of the Black Hawk utility helicopter in service with the Turkish Armed Forces) were uninterested in the production arrangement described above, and could not offer such guarantees under US export control arrangements; as such, none of them bid this round by the Dec. 5, 2005 bidding deadline.

EADS Eurocopter’s Tiger and Kamov/IAI’s KA-50/KA-52 were reportedly eliminated when the Turkish government chose the two lowest-cost bidders.

AH-2A Rooivalk
(click to view full)

The Denel Rooivalk (trans. “Red Hawk,” or more properly “Kestrel”) is a heavier attack helicopter, with fewer integrated weapons systems than the A129. One of its key features is that it has been designed to operate in very basic surroundings for prolonged periods without sophisticated support. At present, the only Rooivalks produced since the helicopter’s inauguration in 1999 have been 12 machines for the South African Defense Forces. The Malaysian Defence Force supposedly has plans to acquire Rooivalk helicopters “when funding is available,” and South Africa’s Port Elizabeth Herald quotes analysts who believe that a win in Turkey might also tip Pakistan toward the platform.

Middle Eastern Newsline offers a further report that South Africa has outlined plans to co-produce a range of platforms in Turkey as part of a defense partnership based on Ankara’s attack helicopter program. They said South Africa has offered one of the most generous offset deals as part of its offer of the Rooivalk attack helicopter to the Turkish Army. “Under the offer, Turkey and South Africa would create a strategic defense partnership that would rapidly develop out defense industries,” a Turkish official said.

On the flip side, the Turkish Daily News reported that Eurocopter who supplies the Rooivalk’s engines and some spare parts, has said that it would not guarantee a supply line for Turkey if Ankara chose the Rooivalk.

Note that both Agusta and Denel propose moving their production lines to Turkey.

Eurocopter Tiger HAC

The shortlist was something of a surprise to many observers; at the time, the Turkish Daily News reports that it may even lead to friction between the government and the military. Turkey’s military, which has a large political role as the de facto guarantor of Kemal Attaturk’s secularist vision, was reportedly split between the Eurocopter Tiger and Boeing Apache. The paper further noted that Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, the most critical military figure concerning the attack helicopter program and possibly the next Chief of Staff, was not present at the meeting.

Appendix B: Additional Readings & Sources

Readers with corrections or information to contribute are encouraged to Contact us. We understand the industry – you will only be publicly recognized if you tell us that it’s OK to do so. Thanks to reader Keith Campbell for his added precision in the translation of “Rooivalk”.

Background: ATAK Program

Background: Ancillary Systems

News & Views

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Study - Civilian and Military Personnel in CSDP Missions and Operations - PE 578.035 - Subcommittee on Security and Defence

The workshop was organised on January 26, 2017 at the initiative of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) with the aim to highlight trends, challenges and recommendations regarding civilian and military personnel deployed in CSDP missions and operations in particular in the areas of force generation, training and the national follow-up on crimes and offences perpetrated during deployment. Annalisa Creta is research fellow of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, specialised in civilian crisis management with a particular focus on training issues. Petteri Taitto is affiliated with the Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland as principal scientist. Alberto di Martino is full professor of criminal law at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy.
Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP

Slovenian Minister visits EDA, signs transport hub project agreement

EDA News - Wed, 15/02/2017 - 11:58

Andreja Katič, the Defence Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, today paid her first visit to the European Defence Agency where she was welcomed by EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq.

A wide range of topics related to European defence cooperation were discussed, including the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, the Commission’s recently adopted European Defence Action Plan and the implementation of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration.

Slovenia’s role and participation in EDA projects were also discussed at length during the Minister’s visit. Mrs Katič was presented with detailed updates on a range of ongoing projects in which Slovenia is actively involved such as the Multinational Modular Medical Unit (M3U) or the Collaborative Database (CODABA). The Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), which Slovenia is expected to join soon, the project on Diplomatic Clearances as well as other ongoing EDA programmes and projects were also raised.

EDA Chief Jorge Domecq thanked Minister Katič for her visit and Slovenia’s involvement in the Agency’s activities, and he encouraged the country to get involved even more in the future. “The Agency serves Member States of all sizes equally”, he stressed. “EDA services and activities may even primarily benefit Member States of smaller size by providing them with defence capabilities they need and by generating savings as well as cost-efficiency in defence spending”.

 

Transport hub project agreement

Minister Katič also signed the project agreement on Slovenia’s participation in the EDA transport hub project. The project, which was launched in December 2014, is designed to enhance and ease the military deployment, movement and transportation capabilities of the contributing Member States. The ultimate objective is to develop a European Multimodal Transport Hub Network which can serve both CSDP missions and other Member States’ purposes (day to day business and exercises) through harmonised regulations, procedures and processes as well as pooling and sharing of movement and transport assets and infrastructure in Europe.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Afghan Exodus: Afghan asylum seekers in Europe (2) – the north-south divide

The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) - Wed, 15/02/2017 - 03:00

The situation and number of Afghan migrants in Europe differed from country to country in 2016. The division lay, roughly, along the Alps. To the south, the number of incoming migrants, though still high, dropped but requests for asylum continued to rise in some countries. Living conditions, meanwhile, deteriorated sharply. To the north, much fewer new Afghan migrants arrived – particularly after the March 2016 EU-Turkey deal on migration – while the number of asylum requests also grew in certain countries while they fell sharply in others. The general treatment of and sentiment towards migrants became less generous. Among those Afghans stuck along borders in the south or threatened with deportation in the north, hopelessness has been growing. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig gives an overview. (See part 1 – on figures, trends and a changed environment here: Afghan Exodus: Afghan asylum seekers in Europe (1) – the changing situation). Part 3, a case study of Germany, will follow in two days.)

The following colleagues provided detail, mainly about their home countries: Kaisa Pylkkanen (Finland), Fabrizio Foschini (Italy) and the Guardian’s Sune Engel Rasmussen (Denmark); AAN colleagues Martine van Bijlert (Netherlands), Kate Clark (UK), Jelena Bjelica (Serbia, Romania, Croatia and Hungary) as well as Sari Kouvo and Ann Wilkens from the AAN advisory board (Sweden).

The research for this dispatch is funded by the Kabul office of the German foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and is a part of a dispatch series for a joint publication with FES. See also the paper ‘We Knew They Had No Future in Kabul”: Why and How Afghan Families Decide to Leave’ that was part of an earlier project with FES.

The situation for Afghans in Mediterranean countries

As a result of tighter border controls and stricter migrations policies, many refugees are now stuck between the almost hermetically closed outer borders of the EU as well as between individual EU countries. A significant number of them are Afghans; most of them are now stranded in Turkey, Greece and Serbia. (The countries on the Iberian peninsula do not play a role here as they are too far from the main entry route across the Aegean Sea in the eastern Mediterranean region.)

Turkey

Turkey hosted between 111,000 and 160,000 Afghan migrants in the summer of 2016. (1) As AAN reported in September 2016, they came with different strategies and aims. Many thousands of them have stayed in Turkey and built an expatriate community that both aids and exploits those passing through. Some of them diversified their ‘business’ following the EU-Turkey deal, branching out into a broad array of activities, from renting out accommodation and arranging jobs for their compatriots, to drug-running. Others have opted for legal resettlement in Turkey. The country operates several ‘deportation centres’, including in Pehlivanköy in the European part and Erzurum on the north coast (see here) as well as in the extreme east, near the borders with Syria and Iran. Access for UNHCR, journalists and volunteers is limited.

Greece

Greece has become one of the main victims of the EU’s failure to develop a distribution system for arriving asylum seekers among its member states. While more asylum seekers arrived in 2016 (although in lower numbers than in 2015), only a small number of them were relocated to other EU countries (for more figures, see part 1 of this dispatch).

As a result of this failure – as well as the fences built along parts of its Turkish land border near the triangle with Bulgaria – there were 63,000 migrants stuck in Greece as of December 2016, 49,000 of them on its mainland in over forty camps. Around 3,000 of the total were children. Accommodation facilities are overcrowded, with people sleeping outdoors and many without access to drinking water. This is particularly the case on the Greek islands near the Turkish coast from where most of the Afghan migrants in 2015 crossed over into the EU, but also in the capital, Athens. (This website has some vivid visual impressions about the situation on the Greek mainland) It has been repeatedly reported how under-age refugees, among them Afghan boys, have been forced into the sex trade. The EU, according to this report, does not want Greece to ferry any migrants to its mainland, as this could be interpreted as a reopening of the Aegean route.

The overcrowded conditions have led to several riots in camps, growing tensions with parts of the local population and attacks by anti-immigrant groups. According to a media report in December 2016, 13,000 of those registered in Greek refugee camps are unaccounted for and could have slipped further north into Europe, according to European immigration officials. At the same time, there is still a wide array of volunteer support for the migrants (see here and here).

Again, there is no official data on how many Afghans are among the migrants in Greece (read here or here). The number of Afghan asylum seekers was relatively low, along the 2015 figure which was 1,545. (2) But given what is known, Afghans make up a more significant number of those staying there.

According to the UNHCR, one measure by the Greek asylum authority was important “for Afghans in particular”: a re-registration campaign that was started on 8 June 2016 open to those who entered Greece between 1 January 2015 and 20 March 2016. As a result, over 15,500 asylum-seekers on the Greek mainland received temporary cards, valid for one year, that allow them to reside legally in Greece while awaiting a final decision on their asylum applications. It also gives them the right to access services and should help identify those eligible for family reunification or relocation. The particular importance for Afghans point to their significant number, but also to their dire situation as, according to the UNHCR, the initial entry documents of most of them, known as “police notes,” had expired. As a result, their presence in Greece had technically become illegal, which could have resulted in arrest and possible deportation. A likely result of this was that Greece had the second largest number of Afghans voluntarily returning to their country in 2016 after Germany; this number rose from 152 in 2015 to 1,257 in 2016, according to IOM figures.

Many Afghans are thought to have applied for these cards mainly to avoid possible deportation to Turkey, as many still aim to travel onwards if the chance arises. Deportations from Greece to Turkey have, however, not happened – apart from a few exceptions – as Greece does not consider Turkey a safe third country.

Italy

In Italy, Afghans have not even been among the top 10 nationalities of asylum seekers since 2012 (here, p 89). Their numbers have grown steadily, however, over the last few years, peaking in 2015 with 3,975 applicants. The closure of the Balkan route in early 2016 stopped that trend again. Asylum requests by Afghans per month fell from 665 in January 2016 to 118 in August. Although their number started to grow again in later months, altogether fewer Afghans are likely to have applied for asylum at the end of 2016, compared to 2015.

Numbers of Afghan asylum seekers may be relatively low, however the recognition rate for them in Italy is high (over 97 per cent in 2015, with 3,280 Afghans granted protection). Most of the Afghans arrive and apply for asylum in north-eastern Italy. Trieste, and on a smaller scale Udine and Gorizia, on the eastern border with Slovenia, host a comparative majority of Afghan refugees. (3) Afghan asylum applicants usually wait around six to nine months before their asylum hearing. After the recognition, the duration of state support can vary from a few days to more than a year, depending on the area and the type of reception facility the refugees are hosted. (4) Some Italian prefectures allow them to remain in the reception system with the same benefits granted before the hearing for up to six months after the recognition, while others urge them to become fully independent the very day they are issued their asylum documents. Only a fraction of those who receive the protection can, once they exit this primary reception system, access specific projects known as SPRAR, that provide refugees with additional state support of up to one year and spread across the country.

In addition to the Afghans who travel directly to Italy, there is a sizeable back-flow of “Dublin cases” (5) from central and northern European countries. The BBC reported in September 2016 that in the northern province of Udine alone, there had been about 5,000 migrants entering from Austria since the start of that year alone, “about 90% of them… from Pakistan or Afghanistan and “the overwhelming majority” young men. Most of these Dublin cases eventually obtain protection in Italy, at the price of longer waiting times and considerable stress over the fear of being sent back if there is another country of first entry, from where they would often face a further deportation to Afghanistan.

For the most part, Afghans asylum seekers in Italy were until now transitory refugees many of whom, even after they had obtained their asylum documents, continued to try to reach Scandinavian countries, Germany or the UK. Apart from some early Hazara refugees who came in the 1990s, Italy does not have a large Afghan diaspora into which substantial numbers of newcomers could easily integrate and access the job market. Although this may slowly be changing, especially in big cities such as Rome or Milan, these communities’ capacity may not be sufficient to accommodate the growing number of Afghans with Italian asylum documents who have returned in the last two years after facing increasing difficulties in finding residence and work – even informally – in other European and who, in Italy, are now quickly being exited from the reception system.

Serbia

Serbia hosted between 6,200 and 10,000 migrants by the end of November 2016, as more continued to arrive despite the closure of the Balkan route in early 2016 (see AAN reporting here). By 31 October 2016, the Serbian Asylum Office had registered 10,201 individuals who expressed their intention to seek asylum, of whom 4,447 were Afghans. According to Serbian policy, a foreigner can express “the intention to seek asylum”; s/he is then “recorded” (rather than registered). The asylum seeker then needs to report to an asylum official or asylum centre within 72 hours to register the actual request (see also here).

A recent media report from Belgrade said that, according to the local branch of Save The Children, on average 100 additional refugees had entered the country per day throughout December 2016, many of them Afghans. In total 40 per cent were children and one quarter of these children were unaccompanied; an estimated 75 per cent of the unaccompanied children came from Afghanistan. The newspaper reported about a group of children who were respectively three, nine, ten and eleven years old. In August 2016, it was reported that “a hunter” in Serbia had shot a 20-year old Afghan refugee who had illegally crossed the Bulgarian border.

UNHCR Serbia, in its updated report of December 2016, said it and its partners had “encountered” around 6,900 refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in the country. Over 5,500 (ie 80 per cent) were accommodated in thirteen governmental facilities, while the remainder were sleeping rough in Belgrade’s city centre or at the border with Hungary. UNHCR Serbia estimates that 25 per cent of the former (ca 1,500) are Afghans, while they constitute a majority of the latter (ie at least 700).

Bulgaria

Bulgaria, where a small part of the border with Turkey has not yet been fenced, has become one of the last entry points into the EU from Turkey. But it is not an easy access route. The Politico blog called the country “Europe’s most hostile port of entry.”

By November 2016, Bulgaria reportedly had 13,000 migrants within its territory, “most of them Afghans.” There is a growing number of reports about sub-standard government facilities for them as well as about maltreatment by security forces. Human Rights Watch, Oxfam and other organisations have reported how Bulgarian law enforcement officials subject asylum seekers to violence at the Turkish, Romanian and Serbian borders; refugees regularly report beatings and dog bites, having their money and personal belongings stolen and a “lack of adequate food and unsanitary conditions” in detention facilities. A number of migrants AAN encountered in Belgrade in June and November 2016 reported similar incidents (see reports here and here)

The Bulgarian government, like the Hungarian government, further condones paramilitary vigilante groups, some of them self-employed, others funded by the government, which hunt illegal migrants. These groups even attract activists from other EU countries’ right-wing nationalist groups and are regularly accused of violence against migrants.

In November, riots broke out at Bulgaria’s largest camp, Harmanli, near the Turkish and Greek border. It was inhabited, at that point, by 3,000 people, most of them reportedly Afghan. The place had been beset by anti-immigrant groups, and the authorities had reacted by curbing the migrants’ right of movement. Following the riots, the Bulgarian government took a number of measures to lower the number of migrants. Similarly to Greece, Bulgaria started urging incoming migrants to apply for asylum upon arrival. As a result, applications increased by 82 per cent from the second to the third quarters of 2016, to an absolute figure of 6,365 – almost half of the new applicants (3,145) coming from Afghanistan. It also started pushing for a bilateral readmission agreement with Afghanistan that would allow it to send back rejected asylum seekers. According to media reports, Bulgaria cooperates closely with Turkey: Turkey takes back refugees who pass the bilateral border illegally, are picked up on the Bulgarian side and immediately returned. It is unclear which refugees are allowed in to request asylum and which are immediately returned.

Romania

EU member-country Romania did not play much of a role as a transit country, as long as the Balkan route was open. Reaching Romania via Bulgaria would require crossing the River Danube. Throughout 2015, 96 Afghans filed an asylum application there, out of a total of 1267 applicants (see here and here). Figures dropped even further in 2016, with only ten Afghans applying in each of the first and the second quarters, and 30 in the third quarter of 2016.

Romania could potentially become part of a secondary route, due to the daily changes in the movement strategies in the Balkan countries, as it has not yet closed its borders. Romania – in line with Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – voted against compulsory EU reception quotas for asylum seekers in September 2015 (see here for political background). On a national level, however, measures were taken to raise the capacity on the border and to offer basic supplies as well as medical and humanitarian aid, in case more migrants started coming.

Croatia

Croatia was a major transit country along the Balkan corridor, but has become relative quiet again following its closure. There is some permeability at the border between Serbia and Croatia (see AAN reporting here), but only a small number of Afghans applied for asylum in Croatia in 2015. Of the six who did so in 2015, four were rejected, one was give refugee status, and one case seems to be pending. In 2016, the number of applications rose to 370 (first to third quarter).

The central divide: Austria and Hungary

Austria and Hungary constitute a divide between the south and the north, but at the same time the Balkan route extends into both countries. Both countries were among the top receivers in 2015 and were still processing large numbers of that year’s asylum seekers in 2016. Hungary adopted a very harsh attitude to prevent new arrivals from coming in, while Austria took a comparatively more moderate stance (more detail on legal changes in part 1: here). Germany also belongs in this group (more detail in the case study in part 3).

Austria

In 2015, Austria received the fourth-highest number of asylum applicants (88,900) from all countries of origin (see here), following Germany, Sweden and Hungary. In 2016, although numbers of all asylum seekers – including Afghans – dropped, it remained the fifth largest recipient country, and the second largest for Afghans in terms of new asylum requests. It was unclear how many of these large numbers of individuals ended up staying in the country; in 2015, half of all migrants entering Austria subsequently left the country again, according to official government figures.

Numbers of Afghan asylum applicants went down by more than half, from 24,480 in 2015 (among them 4,000 unaccompanied minors in the first half of the year alone) to 11,289 by the end of November 2016. The number of unaccompanied minors dropped particularly sharply, to 287. Afghans – of whom there is a 35,000-strong community in Austria – are relatively well integrated. 3,800 of them (11 per cent) had a taxable job, ie one not in the low-wage sector, in mid-2016.

Hungary

Hungary, in 2015, received a total of 174,400 asylum applications – the second-most of any European country – of which 45,600 came from Afghanistan. Most of those who had entered Hungary in 2015 never intended to stay, transiting Hungary on their way to Western Europe, without ever registering.

In 2016, Hungary dropped out of Europe’s top ten, receiving 28,803 asylum applications, 38 per cent of them from Afghans (almost 11,000) (source: here). This decrease was largely a result of Hungary’s decision to fence its entire southern borders (with Serbia and Croatia) to implement toughened laws that, in essence, violate EU legislation. In July 2016, a new law came into force that allows the Hungarian police to automatically ‘push back’ anyone who is caught within eight kilometres of the border – without registering their data or allowing them to submit an asylum claim. In early 2017, the government introduced mandatory detention for all migrants that begin the asylum procedure.

Of the 2015 applicants, only 146 were granted asylum, according to government statistics quoted in this report. Another 362 were permitted to stay, but unlike recognised asylum seekers, they do not receive state subsidies. The comparatively low number of asylum applicants given by Hungary is very likely limited to those who managed to enter illegally, were caught and then asked for asylum.

With the border closed on the Serbian side, Hungary has still allowed a small ‘opening’ through which migrants can enter to apply for asylum – but in very limited numbers and under extremely harsh conditions. Since October 2016, a decreasing number of migrants – currently 20 migrants per working day (a maximum of 100 per week, down from originally around 700 per week) – are allowed to register an asylum request at the Horgoš and Kelebija border crossings. The process prioritises families with children and unaccompanied women, as they have the greatest chance of success, while largely overlooking single men (who constitute the majority of Afghans in Serbia). The number of overall asylum cases registered in Hungary amounted to 1,610 cases in the third quarter of 2016, dropping significantly from the first (6,830) and second quarters (14,915).

These asylum claims at the border can, according to Human Rights Watch, be dismissed under Hungarian law without any consideration of the merits of the case, and often are, within the space of a single day, since Hungary has declared Serbia a safe third country – so far, the only EU country to do so. In early 2017, reports emerged that migrants were being kept in the ‘no-man’s land’ right next to its fence in freezing temperatures.

Afghans in selected ‘northern’ EU countries

After the closure of the Balkan route and the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal in early 2016, the number of asylum seekers – and Afghan among them – dropped significantly in the EU countries north of the Alps. This includes the three Nordic EU member-countries, the three Benelux countries and Austria, all of which had registered particularly high numbers in 2015, as large numbers of migrants were ferried through the Balkans and into the EU.

In the northern and some north-western EU countries, the numbers of Afghan asylum seekers dropped significantly between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. This seems to have been a result of both border controls reinstated in late 2015 (while further south, mainly in Germany and Austria, migrants continued to arrive in large numbers) and, possibly, a more speedy registration process than in 2015. Between 2015 and 2016, numbers in Finland decreased by 89 per cent, from 4,300 to 490; in the Netherlands by 69 per cent, from 1,950 to 600; in Denmark by 58 per cent, from 1,680 to 620; and in non-EU Norway by 97 per cent, from 4,905 to 150. Over the second and third quarters, these figures dropped even further: in Finland to 60 and 80; in Norway to 80 and 85; in Denmark to 280 and 130; in the Netherlands to 170 (third quarter figures were not available, as Afghanistan was not in the top-five countries of origin anymore). The same was true in Sweden, although on a higher level, where numbers dropped by over 90 per cent, from over 41,500 in total in 2015 to 2,969 in 2016.

Sweden

Sweden closed its borders and tightened its asylum laws in general leading to a general drop in asylum applications, including from Afghans. The 2016 figure of Afghan asylum seekers was closer again to the 2014 level when 3,104 Afghans lodged such an application. The January 2017 this figure was at 193 applications, suggesting that the 2016 level has stabilised. In the peak year of 2015, Sweden had a particularly high number of Afghan minors who applied for asylum. These 23,480 cases represented more than half of all Afghan cases (see earlier AAN analysis here). This figure dropped to 665 in 2016.

Asylum seekers in Sweden from 2010 to 2017

Between January and October 2016, in 44 per cent of Afghan asylum cases, residency permits were granted. For January 2017 (with 669 cases decided) this rate was almost unchanged at 45 per cent. In the same months, the acceptation rate for minors was at 82 per cent (with 191 cases, Afghanistan representing almost half of all 439 asylum cases of minors). By 1 February 2017, the country had altogether 36,895 Afghans living in the reception centres of the migration authorities, among them 17,195 unaccompanied minors. (Find a table showing the number of Afghan asylum applicants in the country between 2000 and 2015: here)

A reassessment by the Swedish government of the security situation in Afghanistan (in the form of a directive from the migration authority, see here), however, concluded that security had deteriorated overall, but that the conflict affected different parts of the country and different population groups in different ways. At the same time, the Swedish publish perception about and compassion with Afghans in Sweden has deteriorated due to the involvement of Afghan asylum seekers in some highly publicised crimes, including battering and sexual offences (media reports here, here, and here).

For some in the particular group of unaccompanied minors, the government brought improvements on the way in 2016. It suggested that the minors whose asylum applications had been rejected and who would be deported when they reached 18 years of age, could stay to finish their secondary schooling (see here). They would also be granted residency if they had been able to find employment. By the end of November 2016, around 1,600 asylum applications by minors were approved, while around 500 were rejected. The government’s suggestion would only apply to those who were already in secondary school. The suggestion needs parliamentary approval. By the end of November 2016, around 1,600 asylum applications by Afghan minors were approved, while around 500 were rejected. This indicates a substantive backlog of such cases that still need to be processed.

The tighter asylum laws in general, together with increasing tendency by the asylum authorities to carry out age reviews resulting in ‘minors’ being re-defined as ‘adults’ and thereby eligible for deportation, has put increasing pressure on young, Afghan asylum seekers. The fact that some of the Afghans resided in Iran before attempting to seek asylum in Sweden, but will be deported to Afghanistan if their asylum claims are rejected adds to the pressure. Groups working with asylum seekers, including the non-profit organisation Ensamkommandes förbund and the network of Vi står inte ut have warned against depression, suicide attempts and suicides among especially young, Afghan male asylum seekers. Reuters reported about one case of a young Afghan already last year. In April 2016, Mustafa Ansari committed suicide in the centre for young asylum-seekers in the southern Swedish village of Svangsta. The report said: “Ansari, who had no papers […] was described in the autopsy as 17” and that “he was suffering from depression and bipolar disorder. Friends say he desperately missed his family. He waited months for a meeting to process his claim, but the agency cancelled one meeting and messed up the venue for the other” (see here). Later in 2016, one of the main Swedish newspapers, Dagens Nyheter reported that close to 40 per cent of the unaccompanied minors (many of whom are Afghans) seeking psychiatric support with health services in Stockholm had suicidal thoughts. Reuters quoted Swedish migration agency records that showed asylum-seekers threatened or attempted suicide at least 500 times between January 2014 and end-August 2016.

The trend has continued in 2017. Ahmad Zaki Khalil, an Afghan working with asylum seekers in Sweden told the BBC’s Farsi service on 8 February 2017 that the three last suicides happened in January, and on 4 and 7 February. He was quoted as saying that he believed the lack of papers that proof they were minors might have been the reason for the three youth’s suicides. On 9 February 2017 the website Norway Today quoted Mahboba Madadi from Ensamkommandes forbund as saying that “in recent weeks, seven people attempted to commit suicide and three of them succeeded. They were all from Afghanistan, all boys […]. The migrants were all under 18 and were at different housing centres across Sweden. Khalil was quoted as saying he believed that the lack of papers proving their status as minors may have be the reason for the recent suicide attempts. In early February, the Swedish mainstream daily Göteborgs-Posten (one report here) raised an alarm that the suicides were not only planned individually, but that “group suicides” among “refugee children” were planned over social media.

Netherlands

The Netherlands had a relatively low number of Afghan asylum seekers. During 2015, a total of 2,680 Afghans requested asylum (6.0% of all 45,035 cases) according to government figures. This number includes first-time asylum requests (2,550), repeated requests (310) and requests for family reunification (85). In 2016, until 30 November, the total number of asylum requests had dropped by more than half, to 18,695, while Afghan cases decreased slightly less by percentage – to 1,345 (7.2%). Of these, 1,010 were first requests, 335 were repeated requests and 50 were family reunifications. Afghan asylum seekers were, for a brief while, in the Dutch top three countries of origin in the first quarter 2016 (with 600 applicants), whereas they were not even among the top five throughout 2015.

With around 44,000 people, the Netherlands hosts one of the largest Afghan communities in Europe. There are 33,058 (76%) first generation arrivals, while 10,674 (24%) are second generation, meaning they were born in the Netherlands (this figure is from 1 January 2015). The Netherlands (together with Germany) hosts a relatively high proportion of the PDPA elite, many of whom left Afghanistan in the 1990s. Due to a strict implementation of article 1F of the Refugee Charter, all Afghans who worked for KhAD, the intelligence service under the communist government, or who are otherwise suspected of having been part of a chain of command responsible for torture, have been blocked from receiving asylum. The Dutch government has, over the years, tried to deport several of these Afghans. There have been several cases of trials for alleged war crimes (see AAN analysis here).

The Netherlands has a specific policy in place for ‘westernised girls’ who come from countries like Afghanistan: girls over ten years of age, who have not been given a protection status but who have spent at least the last eight years in the country and who are now so westernised they would face problems if returned, can be allowed to stay, together with their families (this is, however, not a given rule; decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis). This policy came into being in 2011, after an upheaval over the intended deportation of a teenage Afghan girl. The Dutch minister responsible for asylum policies estimated in April 2011 that, at the time, there were around 400 girls who might match this criteria.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom remained relatively untouched by the massive 2015/16 influx of migrants, due to its geographical position and to earlier efforts to deter migrants (made after peak numbers of asylum applications, circa 84,000, in 2002, see here). However, for many refugees, the UK was their destination of choice. Thousands of them gathered at the mainland entrance to the Eurotunnel, near the French city of Calais, seeking to illegally board lorries and trains (here a media report where this resulted in an Afghan fatality). This included many Afghans, among whom a proportionally large number were minors. In October 2016, the UK took in 750 children, including many Afghans, from an unofficial camp near Calais known as the ‘Jungle’ when it was closed by French police amidst violent protests. This was highly unusual. The UK normally only accepts claims for asylum from people who have reached Britain.

Between January and September 2016, the UK had registered the highest number of asylum applications of all nationalities in the first three-quarters of a year since 2004, with a total of 33,960. This is a reflection of the Europe-wide developments since 2015. Although relatively few migrants reached Britain compared with other countries, there was still a noticeable boost in UK numbers. In the fourth quarter of 2016, this trend ceased, though, with numbers lower by more 25 per cent compared to the second quarter of the year (from 10,231 to 7,146).

Those seeking asylum in the UK are encouraged to make a claim as soon as they arrive. Decisions usually should take a matter of weeks. While waiting for an asylum decision, there is no automatic state support. Those whose bids are successful are given ‘refugee status’ or, if the application is on human rights grounds, ‘humanitarian protection’: they have the right to work and claim state benefits as well as to seek family reunion (not available for under 18 year-olds). After five years, if it is still considered unsafe for applicants to return to their country of origin, they can apply for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ in the UK.

Those whose claims are rejected can appeal in a hearing before an immigration judge. If that is rejected, they can usually only make a second appeal if they can present fresh evidence. If a claim is rejected, people are expected to make arrangements to leave the country, or they may be forcibly deported.

The number of Afghans among asylum seekers in 2016 was low compared to other countries, with 2,567 applications, around 7.5 per cent of all applications, but this still made them the fourth largest group (they had ranked only sixth a year earlier, in September 2015). Among unaccompanied, asylum-seeking children, however, as in Sweden, Afghans represented the largest national group, with 783 cases registered by September 2016 (circa 25 per cent), out of a total of 3,144. Many, perhaps most of those had come from the ‘Jungle’ in Calais.

France

France is also an outlier in the trend in 2016, as the number of asylum applicants did not drop as in most other European countries. Throughout the year, it had constantly had the third-highest number of overall asylum applications per month between 6,120 and 7,655. As a result of Europe-wide events, Afghanistan was back in the top ten of France’s main countries of origin in 2015 (ranked at number ten) with 2,122 registered Afghan “requests for international protection” in total; the protection rate was high, with 80.3 per cent. In 2014, Afghanistan was still on rank 31, with only 472 Afghans claiming protection (see here, pp 6, 37, 42, 54). In 2015, Afghanistan also was the most important country of origin for asylum seeking minors (14.6%) for France.

In its 2015 annual report, the French asylum authority OFPRA accredited the increase in asylum applications from Afghans also to the influx into the Calais ‘Jungle’ and Paris. When these camps were shut down in 2016, those inmates not allowed in by the UK were forced to apply for asylum in France. Also, as AAN heard in Italy, many Afghans prefer France over Italy as a destination, also due to relatively high recognition rates for Afghans. This contributed to the increase of Afghans applying for asylum. Their figure by the end of the third quarter in 2016, 4,455, already surpassed the 2015 total. According to IOM figures, 118 Afghan asylum seekers returned voluntarily to their country from France in 2016 (2015: 9), and there were no forced returns from France since 2009.

A brief outlook

With numbers of incoming migrants having dropped significantly, many European countries have speeded up the processing of the large backlog of asylum requests (1.2 million in total), while requiring those still not registered to do so. It can be expected, therefore, that the overall number of rejected asylum seekers will continue to grow. Although all applicants have the right to appeal, which, if exercised, would extend the duration of their stay considerably, also the number of Afghans with a last instance rejection will grow; as a result, the numbers of returns – voluntary or not – is likely to grow throughout 2017.

For those stuck between closed borders in southern and south-eastern Europe it has become almost impossible to reach their favoured destinations north of the Alps, mainly Germany, northern countries or the UK. If the EU remains unable to agree on a distribution quota for all countries, and with the Dublin regulation increasingly being applied again, the danger of so-called ‘chain deportation’ arises once again. If some countries chose to deport asylum seekers across outer EU borders (as Hungary does in the case of Serbia), they might once again end up in the country they had tried to flee from. The German Institute for Human Rights had already warned this might happen in a position paper published after the EU-Turkey deal was concluded – not only for Syrians (pushed back by Turkey to Syria), but also explicitly for Afghans (working translation by AAN):

For non-Syrian asylum seekers, who, for example, had fled from Afghanistan or Iraq, there also is the danger that they might be deported from Turkey back to their countries of origin, in breach of the Geneva Refugee Convention and the European Human Rights Convention.

Italy and Greece, both in economic crisis, will continue to have to carry the biggest share of the burden of accommodating asylum seekers. This might further strain their social systems and possibly result in a negative change of attitude among larger parts of the population vis-à-vis the migrants, with comparatively small but vocal xenophobic movements already active.

 

(1) An AAN dispatch by guest author Noah Arjomand in September 2016 pointed to UNHCR statistics according to which there were 3,109 Afghan refugees and 107,655 Afghan asylum seekers in Turkey at the end of July 2016. A July 2016 report by Amnesty International (AI) report said that “Turkey hosts more than 400,000 non-Syrian refugees“ while a European Parliament document from December 2016 estimated that 40 per cent of non-Syrian refugees in Turkey were Afghans. Putting these two figure together, that would bring the number of Afghans in Turkey to over 160,000.

(2) Eurostat only publishes the top three countries of origin for each EU member-state per quarter. There, Afghanistan was in the top three for Greece only in the third quarter (with 670 applications); in the first and second quarter, Afghanistan had less than 480 resp. 620 applications.

(3) One unlucky Afghan asylum seeker was killed in the summer 2016 earthquake in Amatrice, in central Italy.

(4) In Italy, there is no uniform reception system. Governmental first reception centres can be managed by public local entities, consortia of municipalities and other public or private bodies specialised in the assistance of asylum applicants (more detail here).

(5) This term refers to asylum seekers in the EU who, according to a EU regulation, can be sent back to their first EU country of entry (if registered there) in case they apply for asylum elsewhere. This regulation was adopted in Dublin in 2003 (see more here).

 

 

 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Fincantieri begins construction of Italian Navy's multipurpose offshore patrol ship

Naval Technology - Wed, 15/02/2017 - 01:00
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has held a steel cutting ceremony for the Italian Navy's multipurpose offshore patrol ship (PPA) to mark the start of construction works on the unit.
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US Marine Corps tests new Instant Eye sUAS capabilities

Naval Technology - Wed, 15/02/2017 - 01:00
A team of four Task Force Southwest marines has tested the capabilities of a new small unmanned aerial system (UAS) at US Marine Corps' base camp in Lejeune, North Carolina.
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UEC to offer technical support for Indian Navy's RD-33MK engines

Naval Technology - Wed, 15/02/2017 - 01:00
Russian company United Engine Corporation (UEC) has designed a comprehensive after-sales technical support programme for the Indian Navy's RD-33MK fighter engines.
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UH-69V Black Hawk Files Fledgling Flight | Germany Nattys Up to NATO Neighbors | South Korea Talks Tit-for-Tat Test

Defense Industry Daily - Wed, 15/02/2017 - 00:58
Americas

  • Northrop Grumman has announced the first successful flight of the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter. An upgrade from the UH-60L model, the latest configuration includes a digital cockpit provided by Northrop, and fitted with the Future Airborne Capability Environment standard, allowing integration of new avionics equipment in the future. The modernization program will be carried out on the US Army’s UH-60L helicopter fleet, and based on the AH-1Z and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye upgrades performed for the USMC and Navy.

Middle East & North Africa

  • An Israeli Defense Ministry report has revealed that Israeli manufacturers have earned about $1.03 billion since 2010 from projects related to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Last year saw a total of $258 million in contracts, mostly for fighter helmets, representing a 33% increase in procurement over previous years. Big winners in 2016 were Elbit Systems and its US partner Rockwell Collins, which are jointly manufacturing the state-of-the-art helmet for the F-35.

Europe

  • German initiatives to deepen defensive ties with its neighbors continues as it moves forward with a plan set up a joint fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp C-130J transport planes with France and join a Netherlands-led fleet of Airbus A330 tanker planes. The plans join other collaborative agreements with Norway, Romania and the Czech Republic, and come at a time when NATO members face increasing pressure from the United States to spend more for their own military and reach NATO’s target of devoting 2 percent of gross domestic product to defense spending.

  • Airbus will breath a sigh of relief after an investigation into an oil leak that grounded a A400M transporter which was carrying a German government minister on board does not point to a fundamental new problem with the plane. Initial reports suggested that the leak appeared to be linked to the hydraulic system used to adjust the turbine blades in one of the four powerful A400M engines. However, it is now suggested that the leak had been found between the propellers and the nacelle, or engine housing, which are part of the power system but not components of the engine itself. Last week’s breakdown was on a trip that was meant to showcase the aircraft’s capabilities as Airbus seeks to win back confidence in the troubled A400M project.

  • A subsidiary of the state-run Ukrainian defense manufacturer Ukroboronprom -Artem- has recently test-fired new missiles from MI-8MSB helicopters. Built for the Ukrainian Air Force, the 80mm weapons are designed to integrate with attack helicopters to engage ground targets as well as air platforms, including enemy rotorcraft. Testers fired new missiles individually using starter kits to hit pre-determined targets. The kits have a ripple-fire capability, which can discharge all units in half a second.

  • Engine-maker Rolls Royce has posted a record headline loss of $5.8 billion on Tuesday, as a drop in Sterling after Brexit and a fine to settle corruption charges ended a rather difficult year. The company had already undergone restructuring following a series of profit warnings. Rolls said that the company will now need to make further cuts after stating that its underlying profit halved to $1.01 billion last year, which actually beat analysts expectations.

Asia Pacific

  • The South Korean military is considering its own test of a precision-guided cruise missile in response to Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile test, a military official confirmed on Monday. It has been suggested that Seoul may offer the public a behind-the-scenes look at the Hyeonmu missile, in order to demonstrate how North Korea would be punished for any further provocation. Seoul is also considering moving up the scheduled live-fire drill involving a long-range air-to-surface high precision guided missile in another show of force against the North.

  • India’s Ministry of Defense has announced their successful interception of an incoming ballistic missile in the exo-atmosphere as they develop a two-layered ballistic missile defense system. The target mimicked a hostile incoming ballistic missile and was launched from a ship in the Bay of Bengal, with the interceptor launched from Kalam Island. Additional details of the test remained undisclosed.

Today’s Video

  • Ukraine’s new 80mm air missiles:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

PM-84 Glauberyt

Military-Today.com - Wed, 15/02/2017 - 00:55

Polish PM-84 Glauberyt Submachine Gun
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