How Good Are Russia`s Fighters?



How Good Are Russia`s Fighters?
MICA (P) 150/03/2007
How Good Are Russia’s Fighters?
Attack helicopter market turnaround?
Asian Air Power Directory 2008
T H E R E I S O N E IM P O R TA N T W O R D : H O W.
Flexible. Affordable. Intelligent. Open. Requirements to support today’s naval demands. Words that define our C2
combat systems. Bringing battlespace management to the high seas is all a question of how. And it is the how that
makes all the difference.
DRA Photo
05 A whale of a year ahead, by Dzirhan Mahadzir
06 ROK sea-based missile defence awaits US decisions
07 India eyes new defence exports drive
08 Indonesia appoints new military chiefs
08 Thai Gripen deal gets Swedish approvals
Essays and Analysis
10 How Good Are Modern Russian Fighters?
by Dr Carlo Kopp
16 A slow road ahead – The India-Russia fifth
generation fighter programme, by Keith Jacobs
24 Balancing Asian naval power in the 21st century,
by Norman Friedman
18 Waiting time for Asian attack helicopter market,
by Peter La Franchi
29 Networking core for future maritime operations,
by Robert Brooks
38 Asia’s Air Power 2008, prepared by Keith Jacobs
37 Blackwater, by Nick Merrett
Australian Army Tiger ARH
MICA (P) 150/03/2007
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Robert Brooks
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Vladimir Karnozov
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MICA (P) 150/03/2007
ISSN 1834-6928 Singapore
Our front cover image is of a single
seat MiG-29 air defence fighter and a
MiG-29UB twin-seat operational trainer
taking off from RSK MiG’s Lukhovitsy
aerodrome. Both carry standard
Russian air force markings.
Photo VladimirKarnozov.
High oil prices, the US economy and military environmentalists are giving Asia the jitters
s we enter the early months of 2008, it is already clear that Asia is facing
down a dynamic economic and geo-strategic security environment.
The continuing rise in oil prices is likely to result in defence spending in the
region either increasing or decreasing depending on national circumstance.
Individual governments may see a greater urgency in ensuring energy security
and outstanding issues of overlapping maritime claims over areas that potentially
hold oil and gas deposits will be of greater priority in the region. As such there
will be a need to have the means to enforce such claims, resulting in countries in
the region seeking to build their maritime and air forces which in turn would be
a boon to defence manufacturers.
However in turn this could also result in more tensions or confrontations over
regional energy ‘hotspots’. The three focal points for such concerns are the
Spratly Islands claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines and
Brunei; the East China Sea between Japan and China; and the Ambalat sea
region contested by Malaysia and Indonesia.
Currently all parties involved in these disputes are committed to peaceful
negotiation, however domestic development priorities may yet play a role in
encouraging governments to take more assertive measures to secure their
sovereign interests. Likewise regional governments may wish to take a more
assertive approach to the securing the sea lines of communication for energy
supplies of which naval and air forces play a key role. Underwritten by such
domestic pressures, any associated military capabilities by one nation could
result in a ripple effect with neighbouring nations seeking to match a build-up
by one nation.
The flip side of such a scenario is that defence spending in the region may
move in the opposite direction and the security focus may be internal rather
than external. Rising energy prices may not only affect government spending,
particularly in nations which maintain a fuel subsidy but also have an effect on
the domestic economy which in turn could increase domestic discontent.
Coupled with the potential fallout from an expected recession in the US
economy, and given that much of the economy in Asian countries are
interdependent upon the United States, such scenarios could lead to slowed
growth in Asian countries. In combination with rising energy prices, the scenario
of discontent on the streets in Asian cities could manifest itself in more complex
For some regional governments then, maintaining control of internal order will
take on a stepped up level, even in those countries where such measures are
already a reality. Thailand has only made the transition from military to civilian
rule though that transition remains tenuous at best, while religiously motivated
violence in Southern Thailand continues unabated. The Philippines continues
to suffer from an ongoing insurgency and coup attempts to depose President
Arroyo. Indonesia has largely achieved a modicum of stability but given its large
populace, is vulnerable to any economic dislocation along with ethnic and
religious conflict. In Malaysia, demonstrations on various issues pertaining to
the governance and economic situation of the populace have already become a
semi-permanent fixture in the capital.
Internal security does not however mean increases in government spending
on paramilitary and defence requirements.
Marching in sync with the other two primary
trends flowing from economic conditions is
the potential for rising energy prices and an
affected economy leading to less spending
on defence precisely because governments
fear antagonizing their citizens. Spending
on military equipment when the population
faces economic difficulties can have its own
incendiary effects, and sensitive political
planners well understand the need to find
alternative ways to maintain domestic order
and security.
But as well as economic factors, the region has its own very real threats in
the form of Al-Qaeda, its various affiliates and other Muslim extremist groups.
Although security forces across the region have achieved notable success in
combating terrorist activities, the threat still remains. In Pakistan already, the
assassination of Benazir Bhutto – and whether this occurred at the hands of
government or extremists’ remains to be seen - shows how terror acts can
make a volatile political situation even worse.
There is also another form of militancy which is beginning to make itself felt
in regional terms, that of militant environmental organisations. Recent incidents
involving Greenpeace, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a Japanese
whaling vessel in the Great Southern Ocean clearly illustrates the danger that
environmental groups may choose to carry out violent actions against economic
interests their causes oppose. Given the respective political leanings of such
activists and the embracing of globalisation and economic development by
most Asian countries, there is a need for far clearer international guidance and
rulings on when such actions constitute a legitimate protest or is a criminal
act. The newly elected Australian government, headed by prime minister Kevin
Rudd, may have set a dangerous precedent by indirectly condoning the activists’
position in the incident.
The Australian government position also contrasts with the silence from the
Japanese government has not responded directly to the activists, other countries
in the region are less likely to be very tolerant should any environmental group
harass their citizens or economic activity and may respond with force. There is
a regional precedent here in the form of the 1985 French intelligence services
bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, a ship operated by Greenpeace.
The Rudd government should consider carefully how far it wants to take its
pro-environmentalist stance in the region. Indirect support of actions by such
groups may not directly affect bilateral relationships between Australia and other
Asian countries that are the focus of activist efforts, but may actually encourage
such groups to adopt more extreme positions and attempt to undertake more
radical measures. The Rudd government is obviously a new player in the regional
security environment, but says it wants to consider national security in a holistic
manner through a new white paper due for release later this year. Q
Dzirhan Mahadzir.
Peter La Franchi
ROK sea-based missile
defence awaits US decisions
ockheed Martin says that it expects ongoing
interest by the Republic of Korea in fielding a
sea based terminal missile defence capability
will now depend on decisions by the US Navy on
whether it decides to modify the Raytheon SM6 Standard Missile or the Lockheed Martin Patriot
PAC-3 to meet similar operational requirements.
The ROK Navy publicly confirmed its interest 16
January in possible acquisition of SM-6 option as the
basis for an endo-atmospheric intercept capability
operating from its KDX-III destroyers, but with further
studies required.
Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin vice president
for sea based missile defence says that the Korean
sea based terminal missile defence is expected to be
heavily shaped by the joint US navy and US Missile
Defence Agency competition for the far-term seabased capability programme. “That selection that
will take place in the US will probably shape where
the South Korean Navy then wants to go with the
The ROK navy has already selected the SM2 Block 3B as its standard air defence interceptor
aboard all three KDX-III ships, coupled with the
NATO Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile to handle close
range threats.
The US far-term sea-based capability programme
will see a restricted competition being ran this year
by the Missile Defence Agency between SM-6 and
the US Army’s PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement
(MSE) interceptor.
SM-6 is being developed as a naval long range air
intercept weapon; while PAC-3 MSE is intended to
support both that role and a ballistic missile defence
capability in a ground launched profile. Both missiles
would require modification to perform the maritime
terminal phase engagement role.
“What has to be done with the PAC-3 MSE is it
has to be marinised for use with the Navy. In the case
of the SM-6 you have a USN interceptor that has to
be adapted for the mission; and in the case of the
PAC-3 MSE you have a missile that already performs
Japan staged its first exo-atmospheric engagement of a ballistic missile surrogate on 17 December. South Korea wants to
develop an endo-atmospheric capability for its KDX-III ships.
Key points:
Korea has reiterated
interest in an SM-6 buy for
terminal phase seaborne ballistic
missile defence.
fielding SM-6 in that role
depends on whether the US
Missile Defence Agency elects to
upgrade that weapon or marinize
the Patriot PAC-3.
is planning a second
exo-atmospheric engagement
demonstration late this year
using SM-3 Block 1A
the mission and has to be adapted for use on a navy
ship” says Carvalho.
“The Korean navy and the Korean government
have always been interested in a sea-based terminal
capability. So now that the Missile Defence Agency
is looking at accomplishing this competition this year,
I think the Korean navy is watching that with a keen
amount of interest”.
The first KDX-III destroyer is to be delivered to
the ROK navy in December this year. Lockheed is
currently supporting design phase work by Daewoo
Shipbuilding for the second ship in the class.
Meanwhile Japan is to conduct a second test of
exo-atmospheric engagement of a surrogate ballistic
missile in November as part of ongoing efforts
to qualify its Kongo class destroyers in the role in
cooperation with the US navy and the US Missile
Defence Agency.
Japan conducted its first ever SM-3 Block 1A live
ballistic missile engagement trial on 17 December,
destroying a representative target vehicle in space
over the eastern Pacific ocean.
Carvalho says the test “was the JDS Kongo
demonstrating her capabilities. This year it will be
the Japanese destroyer Chokai that will come out
and do the test. You can think of it as a kind of
qualification test, to make sure that the capabilities
are installed properly, the system work end to end,
by consummating a live engagement. I believe it will
again be a medium range target which is what the
Kongo intercepted.”
Similar tests are planned with JDS Myoko in
2009, with Lockheed awarded a US$40,4 million
contract 14 January this year to modify the ships
existing Aegis system to support ballistic missile
defence capability. JDS Chokai is currently receiving
similar upgrades under a US$33 million contract
awarded in August 2007. All four Kongo class are
to have been upgraded by 2010 and conducted
live fire engagements by early 2011. Contracts for
the last of class to be modified are anticipated later
this year. Q
India eyes new defence exports drive
Boeing joins Indian
exceedingly complex and exacting process.
“This involves collaborative and network
techniques so as to ensure that the output of
research establishments are effectively translated
into viable, state-of-the-art products…
The SODET conference saw proposals
for the development of long term research,
development road maps to guide new defence
technology priorities for India. Antony said that
the proposals “would be most welcome in
defining the milestones and goals which need to
be achieved.”
Improved cooperation between government
and private sector research activities is critical to
evolution of the national technology base he said.
“As we increasingly globalize and cooperate
across international borders for the development
and production of defence products, as the
number of entities involved in defence material
production and management grow rapidly, and
as the number of players, particularly from the
private sector, increase with the introduction
of the off-set policy, it becomes all the more
important that all players are enabled to network
“In such a scenario, collaborative and networked
defence R&D can go a long way in enabling the
nation address technology gaps, match global
standards and promote indigenization” he
said. Q
ndian defence minister Arackaparambil Kurian
Antony wants domestic firms in that country to
step up efforts to develop a defence exports
market based on locally developed technologies,
including non-lethal defence equipment.
Opening India’s first ever national seminar on
defence research, development and technology
management 29 January, the minister said “while
India has so far been a major destination for
defence exports, it is about time that we try to tap
into the international defence product market.”
The Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM) is
looking at providing active support for the “export
of non-lethal defence products” said the Minister.
Antony told the conference, organised by the
Indian Society of Defence Technologists (SODET)
that defence exports are an “area which warrants
serious attention”
He said that increased coordination of India’s
defence research, development and technology
base is required to support domestic military
requirements as well as underwrite any exports
“Serious initiatives are being taken by
Government towards strengthening our defence
research and development base through the
increased involvement of all players, whether
private or public, Indian or foreign. Defence
research and development and its integration
into product improvement and development is an
public private initiative
Boeing Company is to participate in India’s
first public-private aerospace research
consortium in cooperation with the Indian
Institute of Science (IISc) and two Indian
private sector firms.
The new Aerospace Network Research
Consortium (ANRC), announced 29 January,
will develop wireless and related technologies
for aerospace sector applications over an
initial four year period.
Bangalore-headquartered Wipro Technologies and HCL Technologies, based in Uttar
Pradesh, will support the initiative. Boeing will
be represented by its Phantom Works and
Commercial Aircraft divisions.
Naveed Hussain, Boeing’s India-based
vice president for engineering and technology
describes the deal as “part of Boeing’s
strategy to leverage top research capabilities
anywhere in the world”
He said that the company has “a great
need for advanced affordable aerospace
network research and development”.
our Global Reach Maintaining
our Values
S H Tr u c k C o r p .
ti onal®
Militar y a
S H Tr u c k C o r p .
John B. Haseman
Indonesia appoints new military chiefs
n a major reshuffle of senior military leaders,
Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
has installed a new armed forces commander-inchief as well as new chiefs of staff for the army and
air force.
Former army chief of staff general Djoko Santoso is
the new Indonesian armed forces (TNI) commanderin-chief. The 55-year-old army officer succeeded
air chief marshal Djoko Suyanto, who reached the
mandatory retirement age of 57. General Santoso is
a long time associate of the president.
General Santoso’s successor as army chief of staff
is lieutenant general Agustadi Sasongko Purnomo,
who had been secretary to the coordinating minister
for political, legal and security affairs. Air force vice
chief of staff, air vice marshal Soebandrio, was
elevated to the air force chief of staff post, replacing
the retiring air chief marshal Herman Prayitno.
The Indonesian president formally installed the
three officers to their new posts in a ceremony at
the National Palace on 28 December. Change of
command ceremonies for the three posts were held
in early January. Both lieutenant general Purnomo and
air vice marshal Soebandrio received promotions to
four-star level, with general Santoso already holding
that rank.
The appointment of general Santoso as armed
forces commander-in-chief returns Indonesia’s top
military post to the army, which traditionally held
the post for decades. Since 1998, however, as part
of the TNI’s reform processes, the position is now
rotated among the three military services. There is no
specific rotation schedule, but in recent years a naval
officer and an air force officer have each held the TNI
commander-in-chief posting.
During “fit and proper” hearings before the
Indonesian parliament, general Santoso told
legislators that his friendship with the president would
not affect the neutrality of the armed forces in politics.
“My vision for the TNI is that the military should remain
as a professional force whose role is solely to defend
the country and to stay out of politics,” he said.
“My main tasks are to protect Indonesian territory
and people from internal and external threats, move
the military closer to the people [and] improve
soldiers’ professionalism and welfare.”
General Santoso is seen as a professional
officer without political aspirations. Although not
perceived as an activist reform-minded officer,
he told parliamentarians that he is committed to
modernisation of the military within Indonesia’s
Army Chief has
clean record
Indonesia new army chief of staff, general
Agustadi Sasongko Purnomo, has a solid
reputation as a professional, non-political
officer. Born in 1952 and a native of Surabaya,
he finished first in his class in the Indonesian
Military Academy’s class of 1974 and was
the most senior of the six officers formally
announced as candidates for the army’s top
post. The bulk of his tactical assignments
were in the Army Strategic Reserve Command
(Kostrad) and territorial commands. While he
served in East Timor, Aceh, and West Papua, he
is free of any allegations of human rights abuses
- a key political consideration in contemporary
Indonesia. He is a long time associate of
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - JH.
Thai Gripen deal gets Swedish approvals
Gripen International photo.
The Swedish parliament gave approvals 24 January for Saab to negotiate an expected US $590
Nordic warriors headed for Asia: Gripen
million contract with Thailand for six JAS 39 Gripen fighters, a Saab 340 Erieye airborne early
and Erieye are to enter Thai service.
warning and control aircraft and a second but unconverted Saab 340 turboprop.
Saab says the JAS-39 order, announced in December, will comprise two C model aircraft and
four D models. Pending negotiation outcomes the order is expected to see first aircraft deliveries to
the Royal Thai air force from early 2011.
Saab president and chief executive officer Ake Svensson describes the order as a “milestone and
a very positive reinforcement for Saab. This means that there are now customers in six countries
who have chosen Gripen. It is also very satisfying that the deal involves several other products
from Saab, such as Saab 340, the Erieye surveillance radar and advanced command and control
Swedish defence minister Sten Tolgfors says the deal is evidence that “the Gripen system is very
cost-efficient and I am pleased to see growing international interest in its acquisition.”
The new fighters are to be based at Surat Thani AB and operated as part of 7 Wing, 701
Squadron. The wing is currently equipped with Northrop F-5E/F Tiger IIs.
The Thai parliament approved the acquisition plan in October, including a second phase buy of a further six Gripen’s and modification of the second Saab 340
to carry Erieye. If progressed, those fighters would be delivered to 21 Wing, 211 Squadron at Ubon Ratchathani AB, again replacing F-5s.
Analysts expect the RTAF to retain low fatigue life F-5s to be transferred to 904 squadron during the JAS-39 phase-in period – Peter La Franchi and Keith
Keep out of reach
Lock on to MBDA solutions
by Dr Carlo Kopp
How Good Are Modern Russian Fighters?
ussia’s military aircraft manufacturing industry is riding high at this
time, with massive and ongoing orders for hundreds of modern fighter
aircraft since the end of the Cold War, primarily delivered to clients in
Asia. India is acquiring what is likely to be in excess of 200 Su-30MKI Flanker
H, China has cumulative orders for more than 400 Su-27SK/J-11A Flanker
B, Su-30MKK/MK2 Flanker G, Su-33 Flanker D, and Su-27SKM Flanker B+,
Malaysia is receiving its first Su-30MKM Flanker H+, Vietnam and Indonesia now
operating mixes of Su-27SK/Su-30MK Flanker B/G, Venezuela has ordered the
Su-30MK, as has Algeria. Speculation continues over Iran’s claimed intent to buy
250 Su-30MKM, while India assesses the new AESA equipped MiG-35 Fulcrum
F. Rosoboronexport is diligently marketing the new Su-35 Flanker E+, recently
unveiled at the MAKS2007 air show.
Western analysts remain divided over the explosive growth of Russian fighter
sales. Some still see these aircraft to be in the class of Cold War designs, lagging
behind Western equivalents, others are often uncritically enthusiastic about these
aircraft. Where does the truth lie?
Aerial combat in the coming decades will be dominated by players who have
command of information over their opponents, and are able to exploit that
advantage offensively. Information has become the new high ground in the
game of aerial combat. Globally, and especially in Asia, this has been reflected
by sustained high levels of investment in capabilities historically operated only
the US and NATO nations, such as AWACS/AEW&C and networking of combat
aircraft, AWACS/AEW&C, and ground based surveillance systems.
Concurrently we have observed strong investment in counter-ISR systems,
intended to render AWACS/AEW&C impotent. Such systems include very long
range air to air missiles such as the Russian R-37/AA-13 Arrow and R-172/
K-100 intended to destroy AWACS/AEW&C, but also capable ground based
jamming systems like the SPN-2/4/30 series, Pelena 1, Topol E and supporting
ELINT systems like the Orion/Vega 85V6 series.
There are two fundamentally different views currently espoused in assessing
the future of aerial combat.
One view, popular in some Western defence bureaucracies is the ‘asymmetrical
model’ of aerial warfare, which makes the assumption that Western nations will
have a one-sided advantage in combat conferred by the possession of AWACS/
AEW&C and networking, which is uniformly assumed not to be a future capability
operated by any potential opponents. On this basis, it is then assumed that fighter
aircraft can have low performance as their role in aerial combat will be primarily
as stand-off missile trucks, shooting at opposing combat aircraft in long range
beyond visual combat. As the opponent is assumed to always be dumb, and
neither fields AWACS/AEW&C or networking, nor is capable of understanding
the situational picture, the low capability fighter is assumed to prevail most of the
time. The best regional example of this philosophy in practice is the Australian
Department of Defence which has elevated the low performance F/A-18F and
JSF above the F-22A Raptor using the ‘asymmetrical model’ as a justification.
The much more conservative view of future aerial combat is the ‘symmetrical
model’, which assumes that all substantial players will own and competently
operate AWACS/AEW&C and networking, and will deploy ground based jammers
and long range counter-ISR missiles to threaten all airborne ISR capabilities. The
most visible proponents of the ‘symmetrical model’ are the US air force, who
have invested heavily in the very stealthy super cruising F-22A Raptor precisely
to be able to penetrate deeply into hostile airspace and kill off an opponent’s
AWACS/AEW&C, and other ISR and counter-ISR assets. In practice, we can
expect the ‘symmetrical model’ to play out across the battle space, with both
sides jamming each other’s ISR and networks, and aiming to shoot down each
other’s ISR platforms. Whether an AWACS/AEW&C platform is killed by a 200
nautical mile range R-172 missile or an F-22A armed with an AIM-9X or AIM-120D
is an entirely academic argument. It is entirely possible that in some conflicts the
attrition or high risk of attrition of ISR platforms may force both sides to withdraw
them rather than lose them, leaving fighters to fend for themselves, creating an
environment not unlike the air battles of the 1940s.
Vladmir Karnozov
The Su-34, evidence of the sophistication of Russian front line fighters.
The US air force are seeking around 400 F-22A Raptors for precisely these
reasons, but have been repeatedly frustrated by the Washington defence
bureaucracy who are unwilling to release the necessary funds. While we have
seen little in the way of rational argument to support this conduct to date, what
little argument is visible tends to be manifestations of ‘symmetrical model’,
i.e. “advanced F-15Cs are good enough since we have AWACS and
networking ....”.
Analysts who have studied Russian technology exports and counted the
ongoing sales of fighters, missiles, AWACS/AEW&C aircraft, networking, ELINT
and jamming equipment, uniformly share the view that the reality of future air
combat will be much closer to the ‘symmetrical model’ than the ‘asymmetrical
model’ seen over Iraq in 1991 and 2003, and over the Bekaa Valley in 1982.
Nevertheless defence bureaucrats in many Western nations remain firmly wedded
to the ‘asymmetrical model’, with its implicit assumptions of Russian inferiority in
all basic technologies used for air combat.
In sizing up Russian combat aircraft against their Western rivals, the nature of
future air combat is critical, since it determines what priorities should be applied
to specific capabilities and performance parameters in fighter aircraft, their
systems and weapons.
Basic technologies determine what kind of airframes, propulsion, systems and
weapons can be employed by either side in a conflict. The side with a significant
lead in basic technology will prevail, all else being equal, due to the performance
and capability gains that lead confers.
Perhaps the most foolish of the popular
misconceptions of Russian basic technology is
that which assumes that the US and European
Union maintain the technological lead of 1-2
decades held at the end of the Cold War. Alas, nearly two decades later, in a
globalised, digitised and networked world, the US retains a decisive lead only
in top end stealth technologies, and some aspects of networking and highly
integrated systems software. The Russians have closed the gap in most other
areas, but importantly, have mastered the difficult embedded software technology
so critical for radar and electronic warfare systems, as well as sensor fusion,
networking and engine and flight controls. The Russians are working very hard at
closing the remaining gap, with the planned PAK-FA fighter to be properly shaped
for low observable and very low observable stealth capability.
The latest Russian MiG-35 Fulcrum F and Su-35-1 Flanker E+ both illustrate
this in a very convincing manner.
Radar – the MiG-35 Fulcrum F is equipped with a Phazotron Active Electronically
Steered Array (AESA) which is the same basic technology used in the F-22A’s
APG-77, the F/A-18E/F’s APG-79, the F-16E’s APG-80 and the Eurofighter’s
AMSAR. The Su-35-1 Flanker E+ is currently intended to carry a 20 kW hybrid
ESA Irbis E radar, which is comparable to the technology in the Rafale, but boasts
the largest antenna in any agile fighter, and peak power and range performance
claimed to be competitive against the F-22A’s APG-77. The Russians have also
invested considerable effort into modern radar pseudo-noise waveform coding
techniques, a key feature in recent US radars. In terms of technology the US
now has only an incremental lead in active TR module technology and software,
and the European Union little if none. Given the larger size of Russian radars
compared to their US peers, in terms of raw range performance the Russians
equal or better all except the F-22A’s APG-77.
Radio frequency threat warning – RF threat warning systems, comprising
radar warning receivers, radar homing and warning systems, and electronic
support measures, have seen aggressive growth over the last decade with the
advent of high density Gallium Arsenide or GaAs chips, commercially used in TV
and mobile telephony. The most capable Western system is the F-22A’s ALR-
94 which is a channelised receiver, while the latest Russian Khibiny M system
intended for Su-35-1 Flanker E+ is also a channelised receiver. What incremental
lead the US and European Union retain is primarily in GaAs chip packaging and
Radio frequency jammers – the most important developments over the
last decade have been the advent of digital radio frequency memory (DRFM)
and towed decoy technologies. The Russians have mastered the former and
have offered it for export (MSP-418K) some years ago, and are now offering the
Lobushka towed decoy, claimed to be comparable to the US ALE-50. Some
Russian jamming equipment is much more refined than Western equivalents,
the KNIRTI Sorbstiya jam pod carried by numerous Flanker subtypes boasts
a wideband phased array RF stage, much more effective against monopulse
emitters, and more sophisticated than the wideband horn or lens emitters in
Western equivalents.
Monolithic thermal imagers – the European Union holds the lead in this
technology with production dual band quantum well imaging photo detector
(QWIP) technology, unlike the US and Russia still in the latter development
stages. In deployed systems, the US generally still retains a lead with midwave
InSb technology. Given the commercial accessibility of such devices, Russia is
likely to be integrating them into systems within 3-4 years.
Supercooled engine blades – the Russians announced over a year ago
low rate initial production (LRIP) of the AL-41F engine, designed originally as a
supersonic cruise equivalent to the F-22A’s P&W F119-PW-100. The hot end
technology used in the AL-41F core has since migrated also into the AL-31F117C variant for the Su-35-1. Cited performance
figures for these engines indicate the Russian industry
has closed much of the gap the US opened with the
F119/F135 family of the engines.
Full authority digital engine control systems (FADEC)
are now available for a range of more recent Russian engines, including the AL31F-117C. Whatever lead US and European Union manufacturers may have is
now only incremental, and mostly in maturity of software.
Thrust vectoring nozzles (TVC) – to date the only full production Western
air combat fighter with TVC capability is the F-22A, while the Russians have
exported 2D TVC in the Su-30MKI, and offered 3D TVC for other types. Russian
TVC is integrated with the flight controls, not unlike the F-22A arrangement.
Digital flight control systems (DFCS) – the Russians demonstrated their
first quadruply redundant DFCS in the Su-37 during the 1990s and now offer
it as an option for the Su-30MK series, Su-35 and likely as an MLU option for
Su-27SKM rebuilds. The only incremental advantage held by US and European
Union manufacturers is in greater maturity of embedded software, an advantage
which will not last.
Radar absorbent materials and structures – the US still retains a lead in
this technology, but the Russians continue to make robust advances in coatings,
laminates, and other controlled impedance technologies. Much of the Russian
effort to date has been focussed on reducing the signature of conventional
aircraft, rather than the US focus on fully shaped new designs. Russian
Kazantsev laminates have demonstrated 100 fold signature reduction in the Xband, and recent citations indicate that robotically applied inlet tunnel coatings
(Flanker) have achieved a 30 fold reduction in X-band signature. These are
significant performance achievements, insofar as they challenge existing reduced
signature US designs like the F/A-18E/F. While the US still leads at the top end
of this technology, the Russians have closed much of the gap in ‘commodity’
technologies for treating conventional and legacy fighters.
Airborne datalinks and networks – the Russians have long been users of
digital datalinks, primarily for GCI and AWACS support of interceptors. During the
1990s they invested heavily in intraflight datalink technology intended to network
flights of fighters, and the TKS-2 system currently exported on Flankers provides
“…the US retains a decisive lead
only in top end stealth”
the capability to share sensor data between multiple aircraft. The Russians are
now offering an equivalent to the JTIDS/Link-16 system on their latest fighters.
What advantage the US and European Union retain in this technology is primarily
in the maturity of software and protocol designs, another gap which will not last.
Inertial and satellite navigation equipment – the advantage held by
the US over Russia at the end of the Cold War has largely evaporated in this
area, in part due to the wide availability of RLG and GPS technology in the
global market. The US still retains a strong lead in wide area differential GPS
The US introduced active matrix LCD panel displays during the early 1990s,
with the Russians closing this gap using commodity technology some years
ago. All current production Russian fighters use
glass cockpits, and the Su-35-1 will employ two
large area panels emulating in AMLCD technology
the projector screen arrangement in the Joint Strike
Active radar guided missile seekers – At the
end of the Cold War the US led globally with the
digital AIM-120A/B AMRAAM and AIM-54C Phoenix missiles. Since then the
Russians have closed much of this gap with the R-77 Adder’s Agat 9B1348, and
its derivative 9B1103M for the R-27 missile. The most recently reported subtype
of this seeker uses the same Texas Instruments TMS320 digital processor as is
used in most Western radars and seekers. What technology gap remains is in
the maturity of embedded software and packaging.
Electro optical guided missile seekers – the latest scanning digital
seekers used in the R-73/R-74 Archer series of heat seeking missiles are a
generation behind the seekers in the AIM-9X, Python 4 and ASRAAM, but given
the ease with which Rafael produced the EO guided Python 5, this gap could
close very quickly. The lack of Russian investment in this area suggests that the
capability of the late model R-73/R-74 is regarded to be adequate.
Since the end of the Cold War the Russians have widely expanded the technology
they employ in smart bombs. The KAB-500/1500 series is a hybrid of aerodynamic
features from the US HOBOS and Paveway series, available with lock on before
launch electro-optical correlator guidance comparable to the EGBU-15 series,
semi-active laser homing guidance comparable to the Paveway series, and
most recently satellite/inertial guidance comparable to the JDAM series. The only
decisive technology lead the US holds is in the GBU-39/B small diameter bomb.
All of the mature US, European Union and Israeli guided bomb types are now
matched by a range of Russian equivalents.
What this excruciating survey of basic technology tells us
is that there is little to differentiate the basic technology which
goes into a current MiG-35 or Su-30MK/35 and that being put
into a current production F-15SG or F/A-18E/F Block II Super
Hornet. In most technologies the Russians have matched
and in some instances even outperformed US and European
Union manufacturers. The main advantages still held in most categories by the
US and European Union are in maturity, and this is only a short term advantage.
In turn, what this tells us is that in most of the sensor, systems and weapons
technologies which go into a conventional fighter, the Russians have caught up
with and in some areas exceeded the capabilities of the US and European Union.
Comparing then fighters type by type, accounting for comparable systems and
weapons, the determinant of superiority will lie in conventional metrics such
as sustained top speed, acceleration, climb rate, specific excess power, and
instantaneous and sustained turn rate.
“…the Russians have closed
much of the gap in
‘commodity’ technologies”
USMC Photo
East meets west: The balance of technological leadership is no longer a US prerogative.
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In terms of type vs. type comparisons, the most problematic issue is the vast
range of variants, subtypes and unique configurations across the US, European
Union and Russian made fighter fleets. Asking whether a Flanker is better than
an F-15 raises the question of which Flanker and which F-15? Su-27S, Su27SK, Su-27SKM, Su-33, Su-30, Su-30M, Su-30MKK, Su-30MKI, Su-30MKM,
Su-35, Su-35BM or Su35-1 vs. F-15A/B, F-15C/D, F-15E, F-15I, F-15J, F-15K,
F-15SG, and all of the specific blocks and configurations thereof?
If we compare a late model AESA equipped F-15K/SG subtype against the
late model Su-35BM/Su-35-1, both likely to be rolled off a production line at
the same time, these Flankers will outperform these F-15s in much of the flight
envelope, especially at transonic speeds. With the AL-41F engine the Flanker
will be able to sustain decent supersonic speed on dry thrust, giving it an energy
advantage throughout the envelope. How much super cruise capability the
hybrid AL-31F-117 series engine will provide remains to be seen. With conformal
fuel tanks the F-15 will have comparable range to the Flanker with external PTB2000 drop tanks. Equipped with the Irbis E the Sukhoi will achieve a first look
/ shot capability over the F-15 with an APG-63(V)2 AESA radar. In terms of
electronic warfare self protection capability, the Sorbstiya jammers will deliver
better EIRP than the legacy ALQ-135 series, and the
Khibiny-M will be comparable to the ALR-56M series.
An area of uncertainty is how much of their newer
radar signature suppression technology the Russians
will incorporate in export Flankers.
In performing an overall summary, the Flanker
will outperform or match the F-15 in most cardinal
parameters and capabilities.
The other production Boeing fighter is the F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet
with its much vaunted APG-79 AESA radar. The Su-35BM/Su-35-1 outperforms
it on all cardinal parameters, including radar range, but excluding the somewhat
academic measure of clean radar signature – academic since in combat external
stores must be carried by both fighters.
Lockheed’s F-16E / Block 60 subtype with AESA and conformal fuel tanks is
not competitive against the Su-35BM/Su-35-1 on any parameters, the Sukhoi
cleanly outclasses it across the board.
The Lockheed-Martin F-35 JSF will be outclassed in all cardinal performance
parameters, with the exception of radar signature when the JSF is flown clean
with internal stores only. That advantage may also be entirely academic if the
Flanker is networked with low frequency band radar to cue it to the JSF. It is
also not entirely clear whether the radar signature of the export variants of the
JSF will be low enough to deny lock-on by the powerful Irbis E at useful missile
The Eurofighter Typhoon with AMSAR will compete with the Su-35BM/Su35-1 in terms of close combat agility and dash speed, but it does not have a
decisive advantage in systems and sensors and cannot match the radar range
of the Irbis E, and will not match a super cruise engine equipped Flanker.
The Dassault Rafale share many qualities with the Typhoon, but is smaller, and
much the same comparisons apply to the Su-35BM/Su-35-1.
A key advantage the Flanker will possess against all but the conformal tank
equipped F-15 is combat persistence, which provides far more flexibility in
choosing engagements and the opportunity to run an opponent out of gas.
The smaller MiG-35 shares the high agility of the Su-35BM/Su-35-1, but
lacks its brute force in raw performance, combat persistence, radar range, and
internal volume for mission avionics. All of the Western fighters will compare
more favourably against the MiG-35 series, but this may be another entirely
academic comparison given that none have been ordered as yet.
The only Western fighter which offers a decisive
advantage in all cardinal parameters over the Su35BM/Su-35-1 is the Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor.
On internal fuel and subsonic profiles the Flanker will
outrange the F-22A slightly, and it is likely that in high
alpha low speed manoeuvre the Flanker may perform
better. However, in the classical high altitude high
speed long range missile combat regime the Raptor
will beat the Flanker every time due to the generational advantages of all aspect
wideband stealth and supersonic cruise.
In conclusion, the notion that contemporary production Russian fighters
are inferior in technology, performance and overall capability to their US and
European Union peers is largely nonesense, predicated on assumptions about
Russian technological capabilities which ceased to be true a decade or more
ago. The disdain toward the Flanker shown by many senior bureaucrats in
Western defence establishments reflects, sadly, nothing more than their lack
of insight and understanding as to how far the Russians have progressed since
1991 in a globalised high technology economy. Q
“…the Flanker will outperform
or match the F-15 in most
cardinal parameters”
Jean-Michel Guhl
MiG29M OV, also known as the MiG-35, fitted with Klimov RD-33MK vectoring exhausts.
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By Keith Jacobs
A slow road ahead
Geopolitics and budget realities raise real questions about the future of the proposed
Indian-Russian fifth generation fighter programme.
Indian Air Force MiG 29
ast years Indo-Russian “fifth generation” fighter
memorandum of understanding and parallel
selection of MiG Corporation as New Delhi’s
preferred strategic partner for the development
programme marks a second major investment in
future aircraft programs between the two countries
– the other being the twin-engine 60-ton MTOW
multi-role transport aircraft (MRTA) programme. But
will the agreement fulfil the hopes of the Indian air
force during the next decade and beyond? There are
a lot of questions – more than answers – regarding
this understanding and what it might lead to over the
coming decade.
The Indian Ministry of Defence confirmed the
launch of the programme on 29 August with a
statement advising that “co-development of a Fifth
Generation Fighter Aircraft has been identified as an
important area of cooperation between the Indian
and Russian Government.
“Technical discussions to work out the details are
in progress. Efforts are on for finalizing the draft Inter
Governmental Agreement in this regard.”
As well as the strategic relationship with MiG, the
MoU also support discussion on supply and licensed
production of Sukhoi Su-20MK1 and T-90 main
battle tanks.
India’s defence minister Arackaparambil Kurian
Antony has publicly described the MoU as “major
landmark” in cooperation between the two nations.
India’s selection of MIG Corp as its strategic
partner is itself interesting given Moscow’s previous
preference Sukhoi to be selected for the same
role. For the past two years Moscow has been
flagging full-scale development of the Sukhoi T-50
fifth generation light fighter design to replace an
assortment of 3rd and 4th generation fighters either
in active or reserve status. While there are indications
that some re-evaluation is being done over future
requirements for the Russian air force, Moscow has
sought to lock down a development partner for the
effort to reduce overall development costs.
Russian fifth generation fighter exploration initially
commenced in the early 1980s in response to moves
by the US air force to advance its then Advanced
Tactical Fighter (ATF) programme – pitting the
Lockheed YF-22 against the Northrop YF-23 – into
a full scale development effort. The Russians also
had a lot of older aircraft to replace, ranging
from the Sukhoi Su-15 heavyweight
interceptors to the MiG-21 single-engine
light interceptors. The result was two
provisional designs emerging out of two
parallel projects: the MiG Mikoyan Design
Bureau Project 1.42 multifunction fighter (or MFI),
and the Lyogkiy Frontovoy Istrebitel or Light Frontline
Fighter (LFI) initiative intended to develop a combat
aircraft with respectable air-to-ground capabilities.
Commonality between the two programmes was
explored throughout the life of both efforts; however
the larger twin engine MFI design was probably
intended to also carry some very long-range air to air
missile options which would have been beyond the
capabilities of the LFI aircraft. That likelihood is also
reinforced by the inclusion in the MFI programme of
a new thrust-vectored engine development effort,
undertaken by Lyulka OKB (NPO Saturn).
First blueprints for MFI appeared in 1986. The
advanced engine – the AL-41F now being sold to
China for its J-10 fighter programme – was flighttested onboard a Tu-16LL (Badger-A) and later Mig25PD (Foxbat-E) testbed aircraft. The first official
rollout of a demonstrator aircraft occurred in January
1999 or more than three years later than MiG had
been planning, and within a year was cancelled.
Sukhoi’s OKB I-90 programme for the LFI
requirement took a different approach – one that
followed the early-80s successful flight testing of
Grumman’s X-29A forward swept wing, twin tail,
and single-seat design. Early on the Sukhoi aircraft
took the unofficial name Berkut (Golden Eagle) but
was first officially designated the SU-32, with the final
evolution known as the SU-37. The twin-tail design
promised great aerial agility with the first SU-37
demonstrator aircraft powered by modified D-30F6M turbofans. The aircraft advanced to flight-testing
in September 1997 and made its first open public
appearance during the August 1999 MAKS-99 air
show in Moscow. While Sukhoi never called the Su37 anything other than a research aircraft, the bureau
clearly held great hopes for the design.
Despite the considerable efforts involved with the
two projects, neither MFI nor LFI were advanced
to meet Russian air forces requirements primarily
because of the combination of long development
lead-times resulting in obsolescence before they
could advance to maturity. In parallel the air force’s
own requirements changed in the post-2000
be comparable to the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block
40/50, where losses are not catastrophic in budget
terms and would allow procurement to occur in
relatively large numbers as occurred with India’s Mig21 programme. The Sukhoi T-50 is not that aircraft.
In a broader, more political and strategic view,
India faces several dilemmas over the coming
decade. India currently has 386 fighters and about
380 fighter-attack aircraft – more than one-half will
require replacement over the next decade.
Its Mig-21 and BAE Systems Jaguar fleets are
rapidly becoming obsolete, a move which will not be
offset by the current acquisition effort for 128 new
multi-role fighters. Nor will this be offset by the low
rate production of 20 Tejas between April 2009 and
December 2011.
The ‘upper end’ is better off, with 18 Su-30K and
36 MK1, 48 Mirage 2000H/HT, 74 Mig-29B and 65
Mig-29A Fulcrum, 49 Mig-23BN, plus 18 Su-30MK13. Under a US$600 million deal, the Su-30K/MK1
are being returned to MPK (Irkutsk) and 140 KDK
production aircraft will be delivered between 2014
and 2017, as well as another 40 more under a 2006
purchase. While lacking advanced phased array
radar, the Su-30 Flanker series are expected to fulfil
the air forces heavyweight multi-role
aircraft for the next two decades.
The lightweight, utility fighter-attack
aircraft therefore represents the primary
focal point for future efforts once the
multi-role requirement is satisfied, with
Indian manufacture a clear government priority.
Whether a domestic programme is affordable
however is another question entirely.
The selection of MiG as a strategic partner for
the programme clearly provides India with access
to technological prowess, but remains dependent
on the political influence of Russia and its own
geopolitical aspirations.
Russia also has a long history of weapons
deals with China, which is itself India’s primary
strategic competitor in the greater Asian region.
That geopolitical hurdle is also clearly illustrated
by the recent squabbles over Indian concerns in
Russia’s selling MMPP Salyut-built Klimov RD-93
turbofan engines for the Sino-Pakistan FC-1/JF17 programme. That precedent alone is enough to
suggest that while aspirations may run high in New
Delhi and at MiG, past history raises real questions
on whether a fifth generation fighter can be expected
to emerge from the relationship. Q
“Whether a domestic programme is affordable
however is another question entirely…”
The brief programme history of these two aircraft
is provided because it is likely to have some bearing
on the Indo-Russian programme – it is a lesson in
how much time and effort, along with costs, become
involved in such new aircraft development efforts.
Few can afford such efforts with the hard lessons
of undertaking research, development, test and
evaluation of new fighters already clear to India
from its own Tejas lightweight fighter aircraft (LCA)
The consensus is that the Russian Sukhoi T-50 is not
the design preferred by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The
T-50 design, from publicly released documents and
statements, will be slightly larger than a Mig-29 but
dimensionally smaller than a Su-27/30 series aircraft,
with a weight range between the two designs.
In contrast IAF requirements appear to be settling
on a light, relatively inexpensive design which would
Waiting time for Asian
attack helicopter market
Asia remains a slow market for new attack helicopters despite longstanding interest reports DRA
editor Peter La Franchi.
hile Asia has remained an important
focal point for military troop lift and
utility helicopters over the past decade,
corresponding development of an attack configuration
aircraft market has been slow in emerging.
That situation may partially turn this year, led by
standing North Asian requirements. South Korea is
looking to relaunch its long delayed attack helicopter
programme while Taiwan is expected to make a final
decision this year on whether to acquire the Boeing
AH-64D Apache Longbow or the Bell AH-1Z Super
The Taiwan requirement is predicated on delivery
of an anticipated 30 aircraft from 2010 with an overall
budget of some US$7 billion. The project received
initial political approvals early in 2007
Taipei currently operates Bell AH-1W Super Cobra’s
and OH-58D’s equipped with Lockheed Martin
AGM-114M3 Hellfire II missiles. The replacement
programme is expected to be undertaken as a
US foreign military sales acquisition rather than
open competition with selection of Apache widely
anticipated if the project does now advance. It should
be noted however that Boeing closed its Taipei office
in March 2006 and now handles all defence related
business for that country from Singapore.
The expected resumption of the South Korean
competition is likewise expected to be an Apache
versus Super Cobra showdown, with both aircraft
short listed in the previous round of competition in
2001. However Seoul’s decision making process
may turn towards an indigenous solution on the
back of the formal launch early in 2007 of the joint
Korea Aerospace Industries-Eurocopter Korea utility
helicopter (KUH) programme.
KAI and Eurocopter both advise they anticipate
a government decision on an attack configuration
derivative this year.
But counterbalancing the potential shift of the
South Korean and Taiwanese requirements into
a live acquisition are questions about the relative
importance of the attack helicopter as part of North
RSAF Boeing AH-64D Apache: Southeast Asia’s
only operational attack helicopter.
Asian inventories on the back of Japanese plans to
halt its licensed domestic production of Boeing-Fuji
Heavy Industries AH-64D Block II aircraft.
Japan had intended to field a fleet of 62 locally built
Apache’s to replace its existing Fuji Heavy Industries
– Bell AH-1S fleet. However only ten aircraft had
been built by late 2007 with plans for construction
of a single aircraft in the 2009 financial year deferred
due to costs of production.
FHI has been receiving Apache airframes in
kit form from Boeing for local assembly, with the
Japanese ministry of defence buying all other
systems, including engines and sensors, direct from
other suppliers. The first aircraft was only delivered
in March 2006.
The delays in the manufacture programme has also
seen the Japanese aircraft becoming susceptible to
problems in configuration management as Boeing
shifts its own production focus to the AH-64D Block
3 from 2012 with initial work commencing in 2009
to meet US Army requirements. Japan’s defence
acquisition system is restricted to year by year
production decisions, meaning if the full Apache fleet
does proceed, it would take at least two decades to
meet the contracted requirement, involving multiple
aircraft build standards.
In Southeast Asia Singapore remains the only
regional nation to field an operational attack
helicopter capability. The Republic of Singapore air
force ordered 20 AH-64D Longbow model Apaches
in 1999 in a US$617 million deal with the first aircraft
handed over in 2002. Deliveries of the final 12 aircraft
occurred during 2006 with basing of three aircraft in
Singapore in January 2006. The bulk of the fleet is
located at a training facility in Arizona in the United
Malaysia continues to express interest in an
acquisition programme despite having selected
and then walked away from purchasing the Denel
Aerospace DSH-2 Rooivalk. That move, coupled
with the rejection of the design by Turkey last year,
has effectively ended prospects for the type in the
global market.
Denel ceased manufacture of Rooivalk in 1998
after completing 12 production standard models for
the South African air force. That programme however
has had a flow-on with the avionics suite adapted by
the French-South African ATE venture as the basis
for its Super Hind Mk II concept for upgrades of the
Mil Mi-24 assault helicopter.
Longer term, Indonesia and Thailand continue
to show interest in buying but with manned
fighter projects taking precedence in current
air capability development plans.
In West Asia, India and Pakistan remain
long term markets while Afghanistan
remains largely focussed on Russiandesigned solutions to meet its own national
requirements. India is currently giving priority
to an Army requirement for a light reconnaissance
helicopter with Bell pitching its Model 407 against
the Eurocopter AS550. The bulk of that production
effort is to be carried out in-country by Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited. Any long term attack helicopter
programme would carry similar indigenous
production requirements, however HAL has also
flagged potential development of a gunship version
of its Dhruv advanced light helicopter to provide an
initial capability. Pakistan operates ageing Bell AH-1s
but internal political problems mean any replacement
effort is unlikely until well into the next decade.
AS332/532 series Super Puma and Cougar transport
helicopters. While introduction of the EC725 and
Tiger would provide some measure of commonality
with those existing aircraft, the attack helicopter
component is likely to require additional funding
allocations compared to the Agusta and Russian
The Brazilian competition will be decisive for the
Finmeccanica-owned AgustaWestland if it is to
extend the market footprint of its A129 Mangusta
international configuration after locking down a
firm US$1.2 billion order from Turkey in September
2007. Based on 50 initial aircraft, the design build
programme is being undertaken in cooperation with
Tusas Aerospace Industries.
announced June 2007, with the overall integration
effort expected to take 54 months, leveraging similar
work already carried out for Australia’s 22 aircraft
Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter programme.
Flight testing of Hellfire aboard French HAD aircraft is
due to commence in March this year with operational
fielding from 2012.
Australia’s Tiger acquisition project is currently two
years behind schedule because of closely related
delays on aircraft and system certification on the
Franco-German programme, as well as problems
with simulator development and aircrew training
The Australian Defence Materiel Organisation,
which manages the project, suspended payments
to Eurocopter subsidiary Australian Aerospace on 1
June 2007 after the company failed to achieve
its contracted initial operational capability
target. That target is based on delivery of 12
aircraft and support services, and completion
of training of sufficient aircrews to allow for
commissioning of one squadron. Seven aircraft
had been delivered by the end of 2007 with
this expected to rise to 14 by June this year.
Australian Aerospace currently targets completion of
all deliveries by mid-2009.
Eurocopter’s experience on the Tiger programme
is expected to directly influence the Europeanheadquartered company’s input into the proposed
attack helicopter version of the Korea’s KUH.
Eurocopter was selected as the development partner
for the utility aircraft in late 2005 with a $1.3 billion
research and development contract signed in June
2006. The full utility aircraft programme is expected
to cost about $5.4 billion by 2011. Production is
expected to begin in 2012 and continue through the
next decade. Eurocopter and KAI signed a follow on
agreement last October to establish a joint venture to
market the aircraft internationally, with world demand
forecast at some 300 units.
Eurocopter influence is also being seen in Chinese
development efforts. Unofficial photos of the Chinese
Changhe Aircraft Industry Company (CHAIC) WZ-10
attack helicopter appearing on the internet during
2007 show close similarities between that airframe
and Tiger. However both Beijing and Eurocopter
management remain silent on any underlying
cooperation arrangements.
The WZ-10 replicates the Tiger stepped tandem
crew seat arrangement, under nose 30mm cannon
and stub wings for anti-armour missiles. The
independent US defence analysis organisation
Globalsecurity says the WZ-10 airframe is believed
to make extensive use of composite and radar
absorbent materiel, and twin MTR 390 turboshafts.
Its fire control system may also be derived from
French systems. Q
“…sales of the T129 may be possible
in Asia with Malaysia and Pakistan
seen as potential targets”
Outside of Asia, but with significant potential
to influence Asian region thinking on its future
requirements, a current competition in Brazil for a
combined purchase of 12 attack and 12 medium lift
helicopters is due to advance to source selection by
late year.
The combined competition is being competed by
AgustaWestland, offering its EH101, A109 light utility
and AW129 attack helicopters; Eurocopter, offering
EC725 and Tiger; and Russia’s Rosoboronexport
arms agency with the Mil Mi-171V and Rostvertol
The Brazilian defence ministry is understood to be
leaning towards a single supplier deal for the US$395
million combined requirement, with this reflecting
a wider international trend towards homogenised
helicopter fleets to reduce through life and in-service
support costs.
The Brazilian air force already operates Eurocopter
The Turkish T129 version will be powered by
the LHTEC T800-5 engine with avionics supplied
by Askeri Elektronik Sanayii. Initial deliveries are
planned from 2012 with options for another 41
aircraft included in the production contract. The
co-production effort will see extensive transfer of
design and manufacturing expertise to Turkey, giving
AgustaWestland a high profile reference programme
not only for Brazil but also Asia’s slowly developing
next wave of acquisitions. Turkish sources have
already suggested that follow on sales of the T129
may be possible in Asia with Malaysia and Pakistan
seen as potential targets.
Eurocopter commenced test flights of the first HAD
or attack configuration Tiger – a Spanish aircraft - in
December. The HAD version is being developed on
behalf of France and Spain. The aircraft incorporates
enhanced ballistic protection and a new electronic
warfare self protection suite.
Spain has ordered 18 HAD versions and will also
upgrade its six HAP reconnaissance configuration
series aircraft to HAD configuration, giving a final fleet
of 24. The aircraft used in the December flight tests
will be delivered in-country during 2009 to support
development and acceptance testing, with series
delivery of the full fleet commencing from late 2010.
France has ordered 40 HAD aircraft, which will be
fitted with the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire
II missile and M299 series launcher. Integration of
the weapon is being supported by a direct contract
between Eurocopter and the US manufacturer
multi-purpose ship
oday, numerous naval forces worldwide face a complex array of military
and civilian challenges. Possessing a national navy is not only a matter
of prestige, but absolutely critical to a country’s self-defence. Few countries
in the world have the research, engineering and manufacturing capabilities to
independently design and build warships. The Severnoye Design Bureau has
been successfully working in this area for almost 60 years.
While constantly analysing new developments, naval products and market
demands, the Severnoye Design Bureau uses new design solutions, applying stateof-the-art technologies to offer for export the most sought after designs for surface
combatants, destroyers, frigates, corvettes, medium landing ships and boats.
The Severnoye Design Bureau now offers the Project 21956 class destroyer
with an approximate displacement of 9,000 tons. The ship is designed to
counteract surface combatants and submarines, support anti-submarine and air
defence operations of ships and vessels in ocean and sea areas in surface groups
and task forces.
The ship solves the following combat tasks:
O combat operations in ocean and sea areas against the main hostile naval forces
O observation of tactical surface and underwater situation and collection of data
for employment of strike missile and anti-submarine weapons
O automated support to helicopters of naval aviation, included in the forces, to
detect hostile surface and underwater forces and employment of strike missile
and anti-submarine weapons
O destruction of hostile surface combatants, vessels and landing means
O air and anti-boat defence of ships and transports
O preparation and analysis of tactical situation in real time
O fire support to landing forces
O patrolling and combat service jointly with other ships.
The ship’s hull is designed with a short forecastle and round bilge hull shape.
There are two knuckles on the surface part of the hull: the first starts from the
transom and is hidden one-quarter of ship’s length from the fore; the second
passes under the forecastle at the upper deck level. The aft part of the transom
is substantially forward-inclined making the ship’s silhouette streamlined. Hull
lines and a sharp stem provide the best sea keeping abilities. The structure and
strength of the hull, armament, machinery, gears, systems and hull fittings do
not restrict safe navigation of the ship during storms with running and heading
allowed as per navigability conditions.
To improve navigability, conditions of armament use, and crew comfort, a
stabiliser with fixed rudders is used on the Project 21956 ship. When compared
to the earlier applied stabilisers, with retractable rudders, the new stabiliser is in
the form of a single unit taking up much less space in the ship’s compartments.
Navigability of the ship with the operating stabiliser allows use of armament
and machinery without limitations at up to Sea State 5 levels.
Magazines for storage of strike and anti-aircraft guided missiles are located
in the aft and fore parts of the ship, under the deck with added structural
protection for the magazines.
Optimal arrangement of radars on the foremast and mainmast enables the
ship’s radars to be used to their maximum tactical and technical capacities.
A hangar and helo deck for landing and storing a helicopter weighing up to
12.5 tons are provided in the aft part of the ship.
There is a bulb dome in the fore part of the ship, where the sonar system is
located, for the detection of submarines and torpedoes.
The ship’s futuristic design is defined by new developments with the
armament systems, aimed at further increasing their efficiency by limiting
their mass and size. This is crucial as it enables a ship of this class to be kept in
a set displacement range. Other design achievements have been made in the
ship’s power engineering, stealth characteristics.
control. This allows to maximally use its combat capabilities and to improve
efficiency of weapon joint deployment. To solve these tasks a Combat
Management System (CMS) has been installed onboard the ship. This system
enables information exchange with surface and airborne weapon carriers.
Collection and distribution of operational information between specific
addressees is also carried out by the CMS. The main feature of the new
CMS is its use of a wide computer network with reserve information buses
that provide a higher degree of survivability when compared to ordinary
centralised computer systems.
Apart from provision of combat task solutions, the system is easy to
maintain and easy to operate for crew. This requirement is met by means of
simulators designed for crew training, general system monitoring, automation
of weapon control systems and effective communications.
Airborne and surface targets can be detected by multi-purpose Fregat and RifM type radars fitted with phased-array antennas.
The Poima-E integrated system for processing radar information was
acquired for outputting target distribution and target designation data to
the ship’s weapons. Surface targets can be detected by the Mineral-ME radar
system, Ka-31 helicopter, navigation radar and two electro-optical sights.
Underwater targets can be detected by the Zarya-ME-03 sonar system,
Vinyetka-ME system and Ka-28 antisubmarine helicopter.
Physical fields of the ship have been minimised to increase its stealth
characteristics. Concerning its surface parts, a decrease in the radar
cross section (RCS) has been provided through a new special hull and
superstructure architecture design. Because of this, the RCS has decreased
several times in comparison with ships of similar class with traditional
architectures. This has decreased the ship’s detection range by hostile radars
while increasing the operational efficiency of its active and passive electronic
warfare systems. Structural stealth measures, together with the use of
electronic armament and antiaircraft-guided facilities, have substantially
increased the ship’s protection against anti-ship missiles.
Arrangement of antennas of radio-technical facilities and firing systems has
been implemented taking into account the necessity of provision of scanning
patterns. To provide electromagnetic compatibility of radars and control
systems for anti-aircraft guided and artillery systems, an electronic suppression
system that protects all the ship’s radio-technical facilities has been installed.
Planning automation and centralisation of a joint safe weapon deployment
system are one of the most important factors in the improvement of combat
The principal strike missile weapon of the Project 21956 ship is the integrated
Club-N missile system designed for defeating large surface targets at large
The Club-N comprises the under-deck, 3S-14E vertical launch systems for
16 -54E type missiles and the 3R-14N fire control system.
The system’s capabilities are as follows:
- Large range (up to 220 km) enabling it to combine tactical and operational
capabilities as well as performing a containment function
- The combat stage is separated at the flight speed of no less than 700 m/sec
and flight elevation at approach to target within 5-10 metres
- High probability of cruise missile (CM) 3-54E self-vectoring at the
final section of the flight, homing head high interference protection and its
- Ability to select CM flight route including direction of CM approach to
- Automatically plan CM combat employment and calculate firing efficiency
key figures (access probability and detection probability of marine target by
homing head, calculation of number of CM required to achieve the assigned
level of destruction etc).
For firing against all types of submarines, the ship is provided with two
missile-torpedo launchers that accommodate 91RE1 anti-submarine missiles
or UGST or UETT universal torpedoes.
Employment of 91RE1 (91RE2) anti-submarine missiles as part of the
Club-N integrated missile system broadens submarines access zone while
maintaining quite high destruction probability which increases combat
facilities when solving anti-submarine defence tasks of for protected ships.
91RTE2 anti-submarine vertical missiles can be arranged in the unified 3S14E launcher. Whether 3-54TE or 91RTE2 missiles are loaded into launcher is
defined by the ship’s combat employment tasks.
The integrated Club-N missile system’s incorporation of the ship’s 3R-14N
firing control system enables it to control both strike and anti-submarine
weapons as well as anti-torpedo weapons.
To repulse attacks from aircraft carriers at large ranges with the purpose of
moving off employment line for air weapons, anti-aircraft and anti-ship cruise
missiles, anti-radar missiles, Rif-M anti-aircraft guided missile system is fitted
on the ship.
Missiles are launched from vertical launchers comprising six turrets, each
designed for eight 48N6-2 type missiles with a strike range of up to 150 km,
or for 32 9-96 type missiles with a strike range of 40 km (a packet of four 9-96
missiles is loaded instead of one 48N6-2 missile).
To repulse anti-ship missile attacks, the ship is fitted with the Kashtansystem that can hit targets 10km away.
To fire against sea and shore targets as well as to provide fire support for
landing assault troops, the ship is equipped with 130mm-130 artillery system
with a firing range of up to 23km.
To perform electronic warfare, the ship’s weaponry comprises the K-25E
electronic warfare system and K-308-5 chaff launching system.
The integrated gas turbine unit comprises two cruise and two boost turbines,
cruise reduction gears and cruise reduction gear adapter.
The total power of gas-turbine unit makes 74,000 hp (54,420 kW) that enables
increase of the ship speed up to 30 knots. Cruise range is about 5,800 miles.
The ship’s power plant comprises four diesel generators with a total capacity
of 5,000 kW and one autonomous diesel generator with 600Kw capacity for
power supply to the ship’s gears, for controlling the vessel’s motion and control,
for its weapon systems, damage control means and for the domestic needs of
the crew.
Onboard accommodation (including for flight crews) provides resting space
for approximately 300 crewmembers for 30 days at sea.
The futuristic Project 21956 destroyer is superior to similar class
ships with the same combat capabilities. This is achieved by having
installed new, integrated multi-functional weapon systems that meet
the most modern technical, armament requirements for naval vessels
Engineering solutions used for the Project and high upgrading
potential can form the basis to create new versions which take into
consideration customer’srequirements at most.
F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N : The S e vernoye D esig n Bureau, 6 Korab elnaya str, 198096, St . Petersburg , Russia
Tel.:+7-812-7847344, 7841140 Fa x :+ -812-7831277, 7848312 Ema il : SPK [email protected] il.seanet . r u www. S e verno
By Norman Friedman
Balancing Asian naval
power in the 21st century
The slow maritime arms race in the Asia Pacific region parallels wider international trends but
threat evolution, including piracy, can be balanced by networked technologies.
Maritime security in East Asian waters requires naval forces to prepare to deal with a wide range of disparate challenges that are technological as well as cultural.
he eastern Pacific rim region is a busy place for navies. The Indian Navy
awaits the delayed completion of its ex-Russian carrier, and the Indian
press is full of rumours, probably false, that the United States is to sell
it the old carrier Kitty Hawk. An Indian carrier is to be built, but its projected
in-service date keeps sliding, while the ancient Viraat, laid down during World
War II, soldiers on. At the other end of the region, Japan has built its first post
World War II carrier, albeit only a small one intended to operate helicopters, and
also designated a helicopter-carrying destroyer. Those suspicious of Japanese
motives have suggested that if the region does not erupt over this development, a
real carrier will follow. Japanese policy is becoming more assertive as it becomes
clearer the country must rely on its own capabilities to deal with some regional
threats, like that of North Korea.
Rumours of future Chinese carrier construction persist. Without some means
of projecting air power China cannot hope to dominate either the South China
Sea or the sea area East of Taiwan through which the island receives most of
its sustenance. Both Korea and Japan have built large-deck amphibious ships,
which in other navies have served as STOVL carriers, and Australia is about to
follow suit. China has built a large amphibious ship, but it seems less focused on
air capability. Bizarrely, no STOVL fighter is currently in production to equip these
ships. Development of the British Sea
Harrier ended years ago. Although a
few Harriers are still in service, work on
the key component, the engine, was
abandoned. The Russians gave up
on their Yak-141, although from time
to time they still say they can supply
it. The future seems to belong to the
STOVL version of the US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Much heavier than a Harrier,
it probably cannot fly from many of the nominally air-capable ships in the region.
Aside from the Kitty Hawk, which probably is not for sale, this leaves ships relying
on ski-jumps to launch conventional aircraft with limited payloads.
The Royal Australian Navy is to buy three and possibly four Aegis missile
destroyers. Japan already has this system, and Korea is building its own Aegis
destroyers. Some see the phased arrays on board the new Chinese Type 052C
destroyers as part of an Aegis-like system, although more likely they serve a
high-performance point defence weapon. However, two Chinese destroyers do
carry the Russian Aegis-like S-300 area defence weapon (the SA-N-6 and its
derivatives). Singapore’s Delta class frigates carry the French PAAMS, which
offers some of the quick-reaction multi-threat capacity of Aegis, albeit at short
ranges (it might be compared to the Aegis system on board the new Norwegian
frigates). Activity in new submarine construction is more limited, though the
most important development emerging in late 2007 was the Indian lease of two
nuclear submarines still under construction at Komsomolsk-on-Amur which were
left over from Soviet days.
From a weapon point of view, perhaps the most important development has
been the increasing adoption of supersonic rather than subsonic anti-ship missiles.
The Russians have had them for years. Now they arm some Chinese warships
(although the Chinese themselves still produce only subsonic ship-launched
missiles) and the Indians are collaborating with the Russians in developing
BrahMos. In the United States, Raytheon has proposed a relatively inexpensive
supersonic follow-on to Tomahawk as an alternative to more exotic supersonic
cruise missiles under development. Russian sale of the supersonic rocket-ramjet
Kh-31 to both India and China has been confirmed. One consequence is that any
navy facing either country must take into account the possibility of considerable
numbers of supersonic attack missiles. That is what the US Navy faced from the
Soviets in the 1970s and 1980s – and that would have been massed attacks
directed against carriers screened by missile cruisers, not smaller and less
capable ships. Neither India nor China has any equivalent to the escort jamming
and chaff-laying aircraft the Soviets deployed, nor does it have the same sort
of ocean surveillance. Then again, no country in the region can put up the sort
of integrated defence the US Navy had even before it deployed Aegis and the
Grumman F-14 and Raytheon Phoenix combination.
Taiwan now has a supersonic follow-on to its Hsiung Feng II medium-range
anti-ship missile. Hsiung Feng III will be carried on board frigates, and it is
presumably suited to aircraft. It offers Taiwan something like the threats the PLAN
poses. Not many PLAN ships are very well protected against such weapons.
There are only four destroyers with
anything like modern anti-aircraft
systems. Apparently the only other
systems of much value in PLAN service
are the Russian SA-N-7 (despite its
appearance, roughly equivalent to Sea
Sparrow) and its equivalents to the
French Crotale Naval, a rather elderly
point defence system.
In addition to its air- and surface-launched threats, China has an underwaterlaunched version of its C-801 missile, offering a threat much like that presented
during the Cold War by the Soviet Charlie/SS-N-7 combination. India has a
comparable weapon which is Russian-supplied, while Pakistan has a nearmatching capability with its submarine launched MBDA Exocet missiles. The
Indian example suggests that any country with cash and “Kilo” class submarines
can develop much the same potential. These weapons are formidable because
they offer so little warning. In theory the submarine can be heard opening its
missile tubes, but it is too far from its target for detection to be very likely.
This threat has been developing for some time, and the Aegis destroyers and
Delta class frigates offer the combination of quick reaction and anti-saturation
capacity that seem appropriate. The vertical launch MBDA Sea Wolf system in
recent Malaysian frigates offers quick but short-range reaction, but less antisaturation potential. The NATO Evolved Sea Sparrow system in some modernised
Australian ships should offer much the same capacity of PAAMS in the Delta
class. For any other navy, the new missiles are a real problem. The minimum
for self-defence is probably something like Vertical Sea Wolf or either Enhanced
Sea Sparrow or SM-2 backed by an Aegis combat direction system. India has
tried both the Israeli Barak and the Russian SA-N-9 for this purpose, and it is
“…the most important development emerging
in late 2007 was the Indian lease of
two nuclear submarines”
Singapore’ s RSS Steadfast, one of the island state’s new Delta class frigates
equipped with the French PAAMS system, which offers some of the multithreat capacity of Aegis
apparently buying more Israel Aerospace Industries Barak missile. Barak is a
command-guided weapon broadly comparable to Sea Wolf in that it can engage
one target at a time, but the version now being developed jointly by Israel and
India is likely to be a more capable wide-area weapon. No other country in the
region has bought Barak, and it is not clear that the future version will be offered
for sale.
The missile solution by nature is largely focussed on medium and long-range
maritime self defence. To deal with inner layer defence, technology options are
largely focussed on close-in guns but in the future will include laser weapons.
Existing guns such as Phalanx and Goalkeeper were designed to deal with
subsonic threats like Styx and its Chinese equivalents. They use closed-loop
spotting to put enough bursts of fire close enough to the target to hit it and,
hopefully, to penetrate and burst its warhead. As the incoming missile closes
at higher speed, the number of bursts the system can put out per target falls.
Even if the hitting probability per burst does not fall off, the overall probability of
success inevitably does. As these guns represent the practical limit of firing rate,
what can be done?
One possibility is to use guided shells, one of which has been developed for
the popular OTO-Melara 76mm gun. Another is to use a more exotic gun firing at
a higher rate, like the Australian Metal Storm weapon, however its problem is that
although it puts more rounds out in each burst, it cannot fire so very many rounds
altogether. The introduction of exotic next-generation directed-energy weapons
such as lasers remains under close study, and it should be noted that electron
beam weapon concepts have been tried in the past.
The other possibility is decoying, preferably using off-board devices such as
active decoys like BAE’s Siren, plus measures to reduce a ship’s radar cross-
section. These measures should be effective against the threats described here.
However, the future may not be so happy, because some missiles already use
GPS mid-course guidance. As long as the missile itself must detect and steer into
the target, decoying should be effective as long as it defeats counter-countermeasures in the missile seeker. But if the target is detected and tracked by an
external wide area surveillance system, which in turn commands the GPS unit on
board the missile, decoying will remain ineffective and the ship will be hit. If this
seems to be science fiction, remember that in 2004 the US Air Force hit a drifting
ship with GPS-guided bombs. All it took was a simple data link to the bombs
and an effort to track the hulk well enough to predict its movements over a short
period. If this is the future, then much current effort to achieve stealth in ship
designs is pointless. The only meaningful inner-layer defence will be sufficiently
tough construction that, as in the past, a ship can be expected to survive a few
hits and keep fighting. That in turn means that ships are likely to grow larger,
though not necessarily much more expensive.
As for several years, the most spectacular underwater threat is the high-speed
Shkval torpedo, developed in the old Soviet Union and perhaps exported. China
and Iran are both said to have imported the weapon, though perhaps in such
small numbers that it is irrelevant. As it currently exists, Shkval was conceived
as a nuclear-tipped straight-running torpedo with a time fuse. Because it is
exported without a nuclear warhead, Shkval is in effect a super straight-runner.
The effective range of such a torpedo is limited by the possible motion of the
target while the torpedo is in the water, hence cannot correct for that motion.
Since Shkval is about four times as fast as most straight-runners, it should have
four times their effective range, which brings it into the same category as slower
homing weapons.
For years the main torpedo countermeasure
has been a noise-making decoy. Whether or
not such devices work (and there is some
controversy), they are irrelevant to a straightrunner. If – a big if – Shkval becomes a standard
weapon, the only reasonable countermeasure
will be a hard-kill anti-torpedo weapon. Such
a weapon would also be the best counter to a wake-following torpedo – which
is the only type of anti-ship torpedo available for “Kilo” class submarines. It is
also increasingly available from other sources: for example, the new Black Shark
offers wake-following capability, as does the German Seahake. At this stage it
appears there is no current decoy capable of deceiving a wake-follower. Only
the Russians currently claim they have the requisite weapon, a rocket-launcher
which fires a salvo into the area the torpedo is likely to cross. Many outside
Russia find those claims less than credible.
There have been many unsuccessful Western attempts to develop hardkill anti-torpedo weapons. The current US hope is that a new ultra-lightweight
6.75-inch torpedo may be effective. Note that it probably would not be effective
against Shkval. Some years ago the US Navy experimented with electromagnetic
launchers capable of firing supersonic projectiles a few hundred yards. Perhaps
such a device could become a close in weapon system against something like
Shkval. Among the challenges that would have to be met would be unambiguous
detection and location of the incoming weapon.
It may be that the only real counter to something like Shkval is a combination
of deterrence and large-scale confusion. The torpedo may not be decoyable, but
the launching submarine has to find the right target before it can fire. Indeed, it
needs a much better fire control solution than with a homing torpedo, because
the weapon will not compensate for any mistakes. That suggests that unmanned
surface vehicles may have an interesting defensive role. If the warships become
quiet, then it does not take much to make the unmanned craft sound like a
warship. A frigate can probably carry several such craft; they may be wanted in
any case to assist in mine countermeasures. Even a decoy towed far enough aft
of the ship might make targeting difficult.
The deterrent aspect is that Shkval is so noisy that it makes the firing submarine’s
position obvious. If the submarine commander knows that the frigate or other
target can quickly counter-attack, then he may hold back, spending more time
trying to be sure of his target – and laying himself open to attack. For that matter,
the noise strobe of the torpedo may so alert the target that it can manoeuvre out
of the way. “Combing the tracks” probably still works. Instant reaction suggests
a need for an underwater equivalent to Aegis: a system which automatically
forms a tactical picture and recommends – in some cases, takes – the necessary
action. No such system seems currently to exist, but the success of Aegis and
other anti-aircraft systems suggests that one can be built.
The corollary of the torpedo threat in underwater warfare terms is the mine.
The most important counter development, ongoing for some time, is clearly
networking and the separation of the act of mine detection from the act of mine
destruction. If mines are detected by a number of unmanned vehicles, they can
act in parallel because their weak signatures probably will not trigger mines (and,
if they do, the consequences are limited). If – a major question – the detectors
can specify the positions of the mines accurately enough, then mine destroying
charges can be sent to those positions. A single mine hunter or mother ship can
search a much larger area than in the past. The pioneer in such operation has
been Norway, with its Hugin underwater vehicle and its Minesniper destruction
device. Whether or not this combination is ideal, it is probably the only affordable
means of countering future minefields.
All classic methods of mine clearance involve significant numbers of mine
hunters. Because the hunters have to enter the minefield, it is essential that their
signatures be minimised, and that, as well as the equipment they carry, makes
each hunter far too expensive for a small navy.
It is also possible that the mine reconnaissance
can be done by unmanned underwater vehicles
launched by submarines, but that is likely to be
far more expensive, and few of Asia’s regional
powers have large enough submarines to
support such operations.
All of these comments apply to classic threats: navy against navy. It would,
however, be ludicrous to omit the most current threat, local subversion, most
likely in connection with the current war against terrorists.
Singapore has probably gone furthest in seeking local defence, with an evolving
system to defend her vast harbour against attacks by midget submarines and
swimmers. The usual sonar’s are linked together to create situational awareness
across the harbour, and any targets the system detects can be engaged by
fast boats vectored towards them. If the Singaporean system works, it would
seem essential for other countries in the region, all of which depend heavily on
seaborne trade. Governments are already well aware of the threat to shipping in
narrow waters presented by pirates, and they have been taking countermeasures
for some time. They include new patrol craft. However, it is not as clear to what
extent governments have invested in command and control systems to tie
together their coastal patrols and surveillance. This is more a coast guard than a
traditional naval role, although at one time Royal Navy patrols in Southeast Asian
waters were a primary deterrent to pirates.
Navies in the Asian region may find US work on the Coast Guard’s Project
Deepwater a useful source of guidance. While that modernisation project has
suffered bad publicity in recent times concerning its new cutters, the real core
of the project is a Lockheed Martin sourced command and control system. That
capability creates a wide-area picture of maritime activity and is keyed to law
enforcement rather than to the usual combat action. This system or an equivalent
may be the most important investment regional countries can make in maritime
“The only meaningful inner-layer
defence will be sufficiently
tough construction…”
US Navy
Warships from India, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and the United States
participating in Exercise Malabar 07-2 in September 2007.
security given that it tremendously increases the value of constituent surveillance
systems. Likewise, more surveillance assets can be built up after the picturekeeping system is in place. It is much more difficult to put a system together the
other way.
A Deepwater-type system would also be vital to countries trying to enforce
their exclusive economic zones with limited numbers of ships and aircraft.
Instead of patrolling offshore, hoping to
catch poachers and other miscreants,
a ship directed by a central system is
vectored towards its objective. In that
case high ship speed and the ability to
despatch a helicopter beyond the ship’s
horizon become valuable. These factors
explain why the US Deepwater cutters were designed to carry helicopters and
helicopter-type UAVs, and also why fast interceptor boats were an important part
of the overall programme.
What, then, is the best kind of surveillance sensor to serve a Deepwater-type
system protecting an EEZ? One possibility is over-the-horizon HF radar, like that
Raytheon installed to protect the Canadian fishery in the Grand Banks. That
system has managed to detect trawlers moving at 10 knots. However, Australian
experience with similar radar, initially developed by the former Marconi company
and later completed by BAE Systems and RLM Systems, a joint venture of
Lockheed Martin and Australia’s Tenix Defence Systems, raised the question of
whether OTH can detect small wooden boats. Presumably most EEZ criminals
use larger steel ones.
Another OTH possibility is ducting radar, which reaches a shorter range than
HF, but requires much less in the way of an antenna. Alenia and the Russian
Taifun company offer ducting radars: the Alenia RAN-30X/I and the Russian
Mineral, the latter intended more to target
anti-ship missiles. Mineral is the device
inside the ‘Band Stand’ radome on some
Chinese ships. It incorporates an X-band
ducting radar plus a tropo-scatter OTH
radar for longer range and ESM detectors.
Although it undoubtedly reaches remarkable
ranges (over 100 miles), it is not clear how solid the coverage is. At least in theory,
the point of a wide-area command and control system like Deepwater is that it
provides deployed patrol craft with over-the-horizon information. If such craft
have their own long-range radars, they can better exploit such information, and
they can direct their own helicopters and interceptor craft. It should also be noted
that the Alenia radar has been sold for OPV use. Q
“Project Deepwater…or an equivalent may
be the most important investment regional
countries can make in maritime security”.
All comments are the author’s, and should not be ascribed to the US Navy
or to any other organisation with which he is or has been associated.
Robert Brooks
Networking core for future
maritime operations
A host of new technologies and new concepts are driving rapid evolution of naval communications.
or naval forces, like their ground and air
brethren, much has changed in recent years
as a result of the revolution in military affairs.
The move towards network centric warfare (NCW)
has driven a change in a variety of areas of naval
technology, none more so than communications.
Communication between ships and other naval
assets has exploded at the same time with the
need to share increasing amounts of data between
platforms in the networked battlefield.
In many ways, the communications officers
of today’s warships are as removed from their
counterparts 40-50 years ago as those officers were
removed from the communications specialists of
a century before (before the advent of radio). Even
in the last 20 years there has been a sea change
in naval communications with reach back to home
bases becoming standard. It was only during the
Falklands War that, for the first time on forward
deployed operations, the Royal Navy was able to talk
to officials back in Whitehall on a daily basis.
Secure and protected radio communications at sea
are more important now than ever before. Industry is
moving to supply mobile naval forces with the reliable,
resilient, secure voice and data communications that
they need to carry out operations in the networked
battle space. Naval communications networks today
are not only about voice radio, but also the tactical
datalinks that can distribute the vast array of sensor
and weapons information around a taskforce giving
even the smallest vessels the same eyes and ears as
their larger counterparts.
Another challenge for modern naval forces has
been to integrate submarine communications into
this fused network. The nature of the environment
in which they operate makes communication with
submarines difficult: only when their communications
laden sail is above water are submarines truly
integrated within the battle space. However,
acoustic modems are giving rise to the opportunity
for increased integration, as are advances in radio
frequency (RF) technology.
The old way evolves: USMC communications officer with a PRC-117
radio and SATCOM antenna aboard the USS Nassau in December 2007.
Naval forces make use of the full spectrum of
RF including VLF, LF, HF, VHF, and UHF for
communications within the fleet. Further reach
back capability is given via UHF, SHF and EHF
satellite communications (SATCOMS). Navies have
always been at the forefront of machine-to-machine
communications, driven by the needs of the
environment in which they operate, with the US and
Western naval forces embrace of the NCW concept
leading the transformation.
The technologies now being employed by these
Western forces are also set to rapidly permeate the
rest of the naval sector. As Western naval forces
continue modernising their fleets with life extension
programmes, equipment upgrade programmes and
fleet expansion, the worldwide naval communication
market continues to grow, especially in the AsiaPacific where these programmes are most prevalent.
This increase in demand has sparked an
intense competition across the industry, with many
established companies offering fully integrated
command, control, communications, computers,
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR)
systems that include an integrated communication
module. At the same time, smaller communications
companies have also started to penetrate the market
with communication systems of their own, with an
aim to breakdown the monopoly created by larger
The US Navy is actively involved in the development
of Link 22. The development of Link 22 started in
1992 as the NATO Improved Link 11 (NILE), with
the goal of replacing the aging Link 11 standard
and being interoperable with Link 16 networks.
Link 22 transmits data in fixed-format, nine-byte
long datagrams. The format is compatible to that of
Link 16. Like Link 16, communication channels are
shared using TDMA protocols. The difference being
that like Link 11, Link 22 will be able to run over HF
bearers, but at the same time being more robust and
fully encrypted, unlike its predecessor.
The other avenue being explored is Link 16 Joint
Range Extension Application Protocol (JREAP).
The protocol allows transmission and reception of
digital data over communications media not
designed for those specialised data formats, including
SATCOMS. JREAP is a concept for extending the
range of nets exchanging tactical data beyond the
range of tactical communication terminals. However,
question marks remain over the throughput for
JREAP given the high network overheads of the
existing Link 16.
A WCS-3 UHF satellite terminal
aboard the amphibious assault
ship USS Tarawa.
The naval communications market in the AsiaPacific is set to boom as opportunities arise for
both new build vessels and upgrades to existing
ships. Among the major build programmes in the
region include Malaysia’s MEKO-class corvettes,
new air warfare destroyers and landing helicopter
dock amphibious ships for the Royal Australian
Navy (RAN) and ongoing build-ups by China,
Taiwan and others in the region.
Although source selection for the communications
systems for the major RAN projects is still some
way off, is clear that the government anticipates
some local industry to provide some of the content.
Contenders now positioning include BAE Systems
Australia, Thales Australia and Rohde & Schwarz.
Rohde & Schwarz is providing its Integrated
MEKOs. This will encompass the supply of HF, UHF
and VHF radios (for voice and data), antennas,
high-speed modems, message processing
and LAN infrastructure. Local partner Sapura
Technologies is providing systems integration,
switch development, training and long-term
logistic support.
For modern navies the main objective, in terms of
communications, is to link the various sensors and
shooters within a task force to optimise the capability
of the various platforms. This is achieved through
the various tactical datalinks available to the force.
Currently, NATO navies use Link 11 and Link 16.
Link 11 is older and can still handle the necessary
volume of data being transmitted but will be phased
out within the next 10 years.
More critical for the future and increasingly adopted
as the standard beyond NATO forces, particularly for
any nation wanting to increase operability with the
US, is the Link 16 datalink. Link 16 allows various
units to exchange their tactical picture in near real
time. The datalink also supports the exchange of text
messages, imagery data and provides two channels
of digital voice. Link 16 is a TDMA-based secure, jamresistant high-speed digital data link that operates
over-the-air in the L band portion (969–1206 MHz) of
the UHF spectrum. However, by definition, this limits
the exchange of information to users within line-ofsight of one another.
To get tactical, beyond line of sight datalink
capability, navies are pursuing a number of avenues.
However, the datalinks themselves are only one part
of the communications picture and need to be built
in to large distribution and dissemination systems
that allow naval forces to build the operational
picture they need. A number of companies are
working on solutions in this area. BAE Systems and
Rockwell Collins have joined together to form Data
Link Solutions (DLS).
DLS provides the Joint Tactical Information
Distribution System (JTIDS), which is an L band
TDMA network radio system used by the US military
and its allies to support data communications needs,
principally in the air and missile defence community.
It provides high-jam-resistance, high-speed, cryptosecure computer-to-computer connectivity in
support of a variety of military platforms including
naval vessels.
JTIDS provides real-time jam-resistant secure
transfer of combat information and relative navigation
data between widely dispersed battle elements.
According to Rockwell Collins JTIDS Link 16 users
gain situational awareness by exchanging voice and
digital data over a common communication link that
continuously and automatically updates in real time.
Used by NATO and allied countries around the world,
JTIDS is the first-generation fielded system that
provides terminal configuration Link 16 capabilities
for airborne, ground and shipboard users.
L-3 Communication Systems-East has developed
the MarCom system, which is the foundation of
the US Navy’s newest digital integrated voice/data
switching system for affordable command and
control equipment supporting communications and
radio room automation. According to the company,
MarCom uses the latest commercial off the shelf
digital technology and open systems standards to
offer the command and control user a low cost, user
friendly, solution to the complex voice, video and
data communications needs of present and future
joint / allied missions.
The system requires just a single terminal for
each operator thereby reducing shipbuilder costs,
weight and space while increasing operator
making it a suitable system for smaller navies. The
company believes the system has the flexibility to
support integration with both legacy and modern
communication systems like automated radio rooms
based on network radios like the Joint Tactical Radio
System. Applications of MarCom include: shipboard/
mobile interior and exterior communications; radio
baseband circuit switching; air traffic control; secure
switching; and command and control centres.
Looking beyond the tactical distribution of
information, one of the communications capabilities
many navies now desire is a reach back capability
allowing them to communicate with home bases.
For a variety of reasons even regional
navies are straying further from home
and the established communications
networks they have hitherto relied on.
For major players like the US or UK,
SATCOMS are a standard part of the
communications equipment aboard their vessels.
They can also rely on their service being secure
and reliable based on their own networks of military
communications satellites.
The latest development in terms of SATCOMS
is the move towards Advanced EHF capable
satellites. Being pursued by the US, the Advanced
EHF Program is the next generation of global,
highly secure, survivable communications system
for warfighters within all services. Advanced EHF
satellites will provide 10 times greater total capacity
and offer channel data rates six times higher than
that of Milstar II communications satellites. The
higher data rates permit transmission of tactical
military communications such as real-time video,
battlefield maps and targeting data.
To accomplish this, Advanced EHF adds new
higher data rate modes to the low data rate and
medium data rate modes of Milstar II satellites. The
higher data rate modes will provide data rates up to
8.2 million bits of data per second (Mbps) to future
Advanced EHF Army terminals.
But Advanced EHF presents challenges in the
naval environment. Although launched sometime
ago, only this year did Raytheon announce that it
was ready to deliver the Navy Multiband Terminal
(NMT) satellite communication system to the US
Navy for formal tests to begin. The NMT system is
a system of submarine, shore-based and shipboard
communications terminals that will allow the Navy to
access Advanced EHF from 2010.
Not all countries, however, can afford such
dedicated infrastructure, or are able to secure
services from allies. Until recently that meant they
were unable to rely on SATCOMS as a way to link in
to home bases. Advances in commercial SATCOMS
mean that even for ships underway it is now possible
to get access to such service. Two main companies,
Iridium and Inmarsat, dominate the commercial
SATCOMS sector and both offer naval applications.
Iridium supplies both voice and data connections.
Voice services are provided via dedicated handsets,
or through a variety of installed communications
systems onboard ships, aircraft and land-based
vehicles. Increasingly incorporated into hundreds
of applications, Iridium’s 9601 short burst data
(SBD) transceiver provides packet data connections
to every corner of the Earth, transferring location
information, weather reports, email, or any other data
requiring a reliable, global, two-way connection.
Similarly, Inmarsat, which had its origin in providing
satellite communications specifically in the maritime
The US Navy has also been one of the first to
explore how it can more effectively integrate
submarines with the surface fleet. Among the
projects currently underway is an effort to install
network-based communications architecture
aboard US boats in order to use available
bandwidth more effectively. Dubbed the ‘Common
Submarine Radio Room’ (CSRR) system it will
modernise communications the navy’s submarine
fleet. Through the project the submarines will no
longer be limited to 64kbps.
Lockheed Martin is managing the project for the
US Navy. It says the capabilities and functionalities
of the CSRR system will bring multiple benefits
to submarines as compared to prior submarine
external communications systems. Software in
the system automates all processes in submarine
radio rooms including voice, video and data
processing. Additionally, the software automation
will improve flexibility when operators need to
switch between types of communication in the
short periods of availability.
Among the other technologies being developed
for submarine applications are better acoustic
modems and innovative RF technologies that will
allow submarines to stay connected
to the fleet even when they are
submerged. In 2000 the US Navy
successfully demonstrated the
ability to communicate while
submerged and underway, using
an acoustic modem. While cruising at a depth of
130m, the USS Dolphin was able to transmit data
up to a distance of 5km, far enough to transfer
data to and from submarines working alongside
a surface fleet.
Since those initial experiments a niche industry
in acoustic modems has developed to service
what potentially could become a large market,
especially if the potential of unmanned underwater
vehicles is to be fully exploited. However, the data
rates of acoustic modems are limited making
them unsuitable for delivering large amounts of
information. Additionally, one of the submarines’
best weapons is stealth, making the constant use
of such systems unworkable.
One further solution being pursued in the UK with
possible defence application is underwater RF.
Wireless Fibre Systems has begun to successfully
demonstrate the ability to use certain frequencies
to allow radio communications underwater. In
recent demonstrations the company also showed
that its technology could propagate across the
air/water boundary. Although data rates remain
low and the solution is not a silver bullet for
underwater communications it does offer real
potential in a variety of areas. Q
“…advanced EHF presents challenges
in the naval environment”
environment, offers a number of solutions. In one
of its newest ventures the company has rolled out
a broadband service for the naval environment.
Inmarsat’s Fleet Broadband is the first maritime
communications service to provide cost-effective
broadband data and voice simultaneously, through
a compact antenna on a global basis.
One of the latest systems utilising the Fleet
Broadband service is Thrane & Thrane’s SAILOR
system. According to the company, its new
SAILOR 500 Fleet Broadband and SAILOR 250
Fleet Broadband terminals represent an enormous
advancement in the area of marine satellite
transmission speeds. SAILOR 500 Fleet Broadband
has a data speed of up to 432KB/s with ISDN
capability, while SAILOR 250 Fleet Broadband has
a data speed of up to 284KB/s.
The key features of Fleet Broadband include:
standard IP addresses for email and Internet/
intranet access, including secure VPN connection;
streaming IP (guaranteed service quality; ISDN;
and use of voice and data simultaneously. Although
designed primarily for the civil market Thrane &
Thrane’s solution offer an inexpensive alternative for
some naval applications and as a back up to military
Shmel-M Infantry
for the 21St Centu
Assault Weapon
and–held anti–tank grenade–launchers and
flamethrowers provide a powerful reinforcement
asset for motorised infantry, landing troops and
other units in various combat scenarios. Their
effectiveness is best demonstrated when the use
of artillery and or armored materiel is severely hindered by the
prevailing environment, such as in urban operations, forests, or
mountainous terrains. Their effectiveness in counter-subversion and
anti–terror operations is also clearly apparent.
The representative type of this weapon is the Shmel infantry
rocket flamethrower designed by KBP Instrument Design Bureau.
The system was first introduced into service with the former Soviet
Army in the 1980s, where it proved to be an effective means of
engaging enemy combat materiel, various defence installations and
heavily manned, fortified enemy fire assets.
The basic characteristics of this class of weapon are its combat
lethality, range, hit accuracy (grouping), and the weight of the
grenade in the container (round weight).
The hit accuracy of this class of weapons is largely determined
by the ballistic trajectory. If the maximum speed of the grenade is
determined by the length of the container tube, hit accuracy at the
range of direct fire, as a rule, corresponds to the accuracy of the
artillery systems, which totals 1–1.5 mils.
However, if grenade acceleration continues after it leaves its
container during flight along the trajectory (due to the sustainer),
the aforementioned accuracy is virtually impossible to achieve
and sharply drops due to the deviation from thrust misalignment
and wind.
In order to provide high firing accuracy it is necessary to provide
acceleration for the grenade within the container only. But the
burning out of all explosive for just a short distance and brief moment
(5–15 ms) sets a rather difficult technical task, that is dependant on
the availability of quick–burning powder, as well as the ballistic
throwing pattern which in turn determines the engine design.
This task was solved in the Shmel–M PDM–A infantry rocket
flamethrower by applying a fundamentally new “rocket–active”
throwing pattern which allowed the following performance (in
comparison with the Shmel infantry rocket flamethrower): combat
lethality – 1.5 – fold; direct fire range – 1.5 – fold; maximum range
– 1.7 – fold. The weight of the round gets a 1.36 – fold decrease.
Assault Weapon
and–held anti–tank grenade–launchers and
flamethrowers provide a powerful reinforcement
asset for motorised infantry, landing troops and
other units in various combat scenarios. Their
effectiveness is best demonstrated when the use
of artillery and or armored materiel is severely hindered by the
prevailing environment, such as in urban operations, forests, or
mountainous terrains. Their effectiveness in counter-subversion and
anti–terror operations is also clearly apparent.
The representative type of this weapon is the Shmel infantry
rocket flamethrower designed by KBP Instrument Design Bureau.
The system was first introduced into service with the former Soviet
Army in the 1980s, where it proved to be an effective means of
engaging enemy combat materiel, various defence installations and
heavily manned, fortified enemy fire assets.
The basic characteristics of this class of weapon are its combat
lethality, range, hit accuracy (grouping), and the weight of the
grenade in the container (round weight).
The hit accuracy of this class of weapons is largely determined
by the ballistic trajectory. If the maximum speed of the grenade is
determined by the length of the container tube, hit accuracy at the
range of direct fire, as a rule, corresponds to the accuracy of the
artillery systems, which totals 1–1.5 mils.
However, if grenade acceleration continues after it leaves its
container during flight along the trajectory (due to the sustainer),
the aforementioned accuracy is virtually impossible to achieve
and sharply drops due to the deviation from thrust misalignment
and wind.
In order to provide high firing accuracy it is necessary to provide
acceleration for the grenade within the container only. But the
burning out of all explosive for just a short distance and brief moment
(5–15 ms) sets a rather difficult technical task, that is dependant on
the availability of quick–burning powder, as well as the ballistic
throwing pattern which in turn determines the engine design.
This task was solved in the Shmel–M PDM–A infantry rocket
flamethrower by applying a fundamentally new “rocket–active”
throwing pattern which allowed the following performance (in
comparison with the Shmel infantry rocket flamethrower): combat
lethality – 1.5 – fold; direct fire range – 1.5 – fold; maximum range
– 1.7 – fold. The weight of the round gets a 1.36 – fold decrease.
Shmel-M PDM-An infantry
rocket flamethrower
Shmel infantry rocket
Round weight, kg
Maximum velocity,_/s
Grouping, mils
1 - 1.5
1 - 1.5
1 - 1.5
Relative complex criterion
Table 1 shows the significant superiority of the Shmel-M PDM-A infantry rocket flamethrower over its counterparts.
Basic performance characteristics
Shmel-M PDM-A flamethrower
Direct fire range against a target 3.5m high
Sighting range, m
Maximum range, m
Fire density at direct fire range - vertical deviation, side deviation, m
less than 0.5
Maximum velocity, m/s
Weight, kg: round
Weight, kg: grenade
Weight, kg: WH explosive
Caliber, mm
Length, mm
Table 2: Basic performance characteristics of Shmel-M PDM-A flamethrower
Range, m
Shmel infantry rocket flamethrower
Shmel-M PDM-A infantry rocket flamethrower
Ammo expenditure for engaging vehicular target with
probability of 0.9
Table 3: Ammo expenditure for typical target engagement at various ranges
Table 1 features the basic technical characteristics of the Shmel-M PDMA infantry rocket flamethrower in comparison with the Russian-made
Shmel infantry rocket flamethrower and US-made SMAW-D rocket antitank grenade-launcher.
The Shmel-M PDM-A infantry rocket flamethrower, featuring increased
range and lethality, was accepted into service with the Russian army in
December 2003, having undergone fundamental firing trials, and is now in
series production. The basic performance characteristics of the Shmel-M
PDM-A flamethrower are given in Table 2.
The lethality of the thermobaric warhead is equivalent to 5-6kg of TNT,
which is what gives it its versatility against such a large variety of targets.
Absence of a fragmentation area allows its use for point engagement,
including urban environments.
High accuracy and firing range reduce ammo expenditure for standard
target engagement at ranges over 300m by more than two-fold (Table 3),
allowing the flamethrower to be used from ranges inaccessible for effective
retaliatory fire by conventional enemy’s small arms.
New technical solutions incorporated in the Shmel-M PDM-A
flamethrower provide for a significant boost in development of unguided
close-in combat weapons by affording them with greater accuracy, system
reliability, firing range and warhead lethality. Such combat versatility and
simplicity allows various combat units, special force troops and police
formations to be equipped with the new flamethrower.
The Shmel-M PDM-A flamethrower is a powerful assault weapon able
to serve as the basis for a new-generation, unified assault weapon for the
infantryman of the 21st century, which will also be able to solve a number
of combat tasks for the weapon of this class. Superior to its counterparts in
terms of its combat capabilities, the Shmel-M PDM-A sets new standards
for infantry rocket flamethrowers and rocket anti-tank grenade launchers.
This piece is based on an article by Shipunov.A.G., Kuznetsov V.M., and
Blagov S.G.
he release of Jeremy Scahill’s expose on
the Bush administration’s unprecedented
privatisation of warfare after September 11
and the rise of ‘the world’s most powerful mercenary
army’, Blackwater USA - who the Iraqi government
are now expelling and seeking to try after Blackwater
guards killed 17 civilians in Baghdad in October raises many evocative questions on whether such
armed security contractors constitute a revolution
in military affairs, as the current US government
believes, or a new ominous threat to American
democracy and governance.
Published by Nation Books, Blackwater begins
with a look at the local business empire built by
Edgar Prince (who patented the first lighted car
sun visor) in Holland, Michigan- the father of Erik
Prince, who used his father’s wealth after his death
to build a private military training camp near the
Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina. The Prince
family, and Blackwater’s leading executives, are
Christian supremacists, having generously funded
the religious right’s war against secularism and
liberalism. The Blackwater name spread rapidly
across the law enforcement community – initially
becoming a popular firearms training centre for
US Navy personnel who had inadequate facilities
of their own and Special Weapons and Tactics
(SWAT) team officers from various states after the
Columbine High school massacre – and took a huge
leap forward when it won its first General Services
Administration contract in February 2000, opening
Blackwater’s doors to the entire federal government.
The company then only had to politick well enough
to win contracts, says Scahill.
The events of 9/11 provided Prince and his
Blackwater colleagues with ‘a blank canvass on
which to paint a profitable future for the company,
seemingly limited only by imagination and personnel’.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had come into
office determined to greatly expand the role of private
companies in US wars, with 9/11 fast tracking this
agenda. Blackwater’s fame began in 2002 after the
formation of Blackwater Security Consulting, when
it first offered twenty soldiers-for-hire to protect
the CIA’s new station in Kabul in Afghanistan. The
contract was reportedly won through Prince’s
fathers’ friendship with A. B. “Buzzy” Krongard,
the new executive director of the CIA at that time.
Pentagon officials have been unhappy about the CIA
acting independently ever since - operating in war
zones without coordinating their actions with local
commanders. In early 2004, Blackwater was hired
by the Pentagon to train an elite Azeri force modelled
after the US Navy SEALs (Prince had served in the
SEALs earlier in his life) to help protect American oil
interests (Bush administration-linked corporations
including Halliburton, Chevron-Texaco, Unocal,
ExxonMobil, Bechtel) in the Caspian and establish a
forward operating base for a possible attack against
The (graphic) death of Blackwater contractors
in Iraq in 2005 and early 2007 has translated into
(billions of dollars) more financial support from the
US Senate for ‘security’ and the mercenary cause
in Iraq and Afghanistan, with private contractors
officially recognised in the Pentagon’s Quadrennial
Defense Review as part of the US military’s “Total
Force” – its active and reserve military components,
its civil servants and its contractors.
Blackwater has been able to rake in profits while
serving the political and religious agenda of the Bush
administration: Scahill says its recent push to deploy
into Sudan – a country with over 1.6 billion barrels
of proven oil reserves - provides a vivid glimpse
into Blackwater’s future corporate strategy, of
repackaging its mercenaries as peacekeepers.
In America, Blackwater has won border security
contracts – deploying its surveillance balloons – and
was the first emergency law enforcement group
to respond to the anarchy in Louisiana after it was
destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
From around mid-October, between 90 and 120
individuals working for Blackwater began leaving
Baghdad every day in an American military aircraft.
Meanwhile, some 5,000 personnel from Chilean,
Colombian and Jordanian security companies
- who reportedly have a good record with their
security work and whose contracts are with coalition
authorities, not with the Iraqi government - may
expand their operations in Baghdad to replace the
American, Australian and British firms forced to now
leave the country.
Afghan authorities in late October also shut
down two private security companies, Watan and
Caps, with 10 more now also being closed. There
are thought to be around 10,000 private security
guards in Kabul. The Afghan Interior Ministry says
59 Afghan and international security companies are
registered with them, but another 25 are thought to
be operating in the country. Ultimately, as long as the
security situation in Iraq and Afghanistan continues
to get worse these governments cannot ask foreign
private security firms to leave.
Reviewed by Nicholas Merrett
Asia’s airpower 2008
The 2008 Defence Review Asia air power directory extends the baseline first established in our inaugural 2007 guide, providing
updated and enhanced data on the capabilities of 24 nations. The past year has seen a significant wave of acquisition activity
within the region, particularly in terms of 4th generation front line fighters with Australia ordering 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super
Hornets while Thailand is now negotiating an initial Gripen International JAS-39 Gripen purchase of six aircraft. Singapore has
given the green light to additional Boeing F-15SKs. At the same time a major debate is emerging on the potential for introduction
of fifth generation fighters by Japan, South Korea and Australia against a backdrop of ever more capable Russian supplied fighters and China’s own indigenous development efforts. Directory prepared by Keith Jacobs.
Afghan National Army Air Corps (ANAC)
Fighter: 1 MiG -21L Fishbed (Baghram, non-op)
Training: 5 (3 operational) L-39C Albatros
Transport: 6 AN-32 Cline, 3 AN-26 Curl
Helicopters: Attack: 13 (5 operational) Mi-24V/25 Hind
Helo Transport: 6 Mi-8 (1 Mi-8PS), 16-plus Mi-17V (Hip-H)
Note: Czech Republic donation of 6 Mi-24V and 6 Mi-17 from late-2007 to early2008 included in above totals. Russia donated US$30M in 2007 to return AN-32
and An-26 to service, plus two Mi-24 and spares; prior deliveries included two
L-39C and spares. US plans to transfer 186 aircraft and helicopters to ANAC by
2012. Afghan MinDef has requested A-37B Dragonfly COIN and T-37B/C Tweet
– no response from Pentagon on this request. Plans for up to 20 Alenia C-27A
Spartan aircraft to be transferred from US inventory made public January 2008
with deliveries targeted for 2009.
RAAF Chinook
Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF]
Strike Aircraft: 17 General Dynamics F-111C (to be retired in 2010)
Fighter-Attack: On order: 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet
55 Boeing F/A-18A; 16 Boeing F/A-18B (both upgrading under Air 5376
programme); 4 Pilatus PC-9 (FAC mission)
Reconnaissance: 4 General Dynamics RF-111C
(scheduled for retirement in 2010)
Maritime Patrol: 18 AP-3C Orion (upgrades continuing)
ELINT/SIGINT: 1 EP-3C Orion (Joint Australia-US codename is Project
Peacemate); 1 EC-130H Hercules (common mission systems to Peacemate
AEW: 6 Boeing 737-700 Wedgetail AEW&C (on order with first deliveries in
March 2009. IOC planned for mid 2010)
Aerial Refuelling: 1 Boeing 707-338C Stratotanker (No.33 Sq. due to be
retired June 2008;). On order: 5 Airbus A330-200 MRTT (Multi-Role TankerTransport) – first due for hand-over 2008
Transport: 2 + 2 Boeing C-17A Globemaster III (first handover December
2006; Final deliveries by mid 2008); 12 C-130J-30 Super Hercules; 11 C-130H
(upgrade or replacement planned); 14 DHC-4 Caribou (SLEP underway); 3
Canadair Challenger CL604 (VIP; leased from Qantas); 2 Boeing 737-700 BBJ
(VIP & trooping; leased from Qantas);
Training: 33 BAE Hawk Mk.127 (midlife upgrade planned); 61 Pilatus PC-9
(replacement programme in development)
Royal Australian Navy [RAN]
ASW: 11 Kaman SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite (delivered but not due to be
operational until 2011); 16 Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk (upgrade or replacement
in planning)
Utility: 6 AgustaWestland Sea King Mk 50/50A (to be replaced by 6 Eurocopter
MRH90 from mid 2010)
Training: 13 Eurocopter AS.350B Squirrel (12 operational and one held for
attrition purposes); 1 Bombardier Learjet EW trainer (leased).
Australian Army
Helicopters: 6 Boeing CH-47D Chinook (planning underway for acquisition of
an additional 6 aircraft); 34 Sikorsky S-70A-9 Black Hawk (some aircraft modified
to support special force operations); On order: 40 NH Industries/Australian
Aerospace MRH-90 (as Black Hawk replacement with initial service entry in 2011)
Reconnaissance: On order: 22 Eurocopter Tiger ARH (9 delivered as at Jan
2008 with acceptance continuing. Full deliveries to complete in mid 2009)
Utility: 25 Bell-Textron Iroquois (retiring late-2007/early-2008);
Training: 41 Bell-Textron 206B-1 Kiowa (4 on operational detachment in East
Transports: 3 Beech King Air 350 (leased)
Bangladesh Air Force
Fighter/Ground Attack: 14 F-7BG Fishbed (acquired 2005), 18 F-7MG
Airguard, 18 A-5C Fantan III
Transport: 4 C-130B (E) Hercules, 3 An-32 Cline
Training: OCU: 2 Chengdu FT-7BG
8 Chengdu FT-7, 11 FT-6 (JJ.6) Farmer, 12 Aero L-39ZA Albatros, 31-39
T-37B/C Tweet (confirmed11-B+19-C; some ex-Pakistan), 35 Nanchang
CJ-6/BT-6 (one lost 9Apr2007 at Nawapara fm No. 11Sq.)
Helicopter: 11 Mi-171 Hip (3 added via Russia 2006; new type selection
pending), 15 Mi-17, 11 Bell 212 Jet Ranger
Training: 2 Bell 206L-4 Kiowa
VIP: 2 Mi-172 VIP (acquired 2006)
Training: Utility: 2 CM-170 Magister (retained for misc duties, in orange day-glow
Note: Aircraft Replacement plan: PT-6/CJ-6 (ASAP), FT-6 (dual-seat Farmer) and
A.5C – 2008; T-37B/C – 2010; L-39ZA – 2010-12.
J-7G designated F-7BG locally, ordered 2005 under US$93.6M and delivered in
2006. Earlier F-7M Airguard are locally designated F-7MB/MG.
Eight (8) MiG-29s were withdrawn from service in 2002, due to high operating
costs, except for dual-seat UB retained active). Phase out of A-5C (2008)
followed phase out of F.6 Farmer last year. Replacement with Western fighter
design is planned, focused on F-16A/B OCD (or MLU) aircraft via US.
C-130: Upgraded to E-standard by Lockheed-Martin (airframe/engines) and
Derco Aerospace (avionics).
Mi-17V: Prescient Systems & Tech Pte, Ltd (Israeli-owned firm) providing Mi-17
flight Simulator under 2005-06 contract. All Mi-8s retired.
Bangladesh Navy
MPA: 2 (+2) King Air-350 MPA (via Singapore; second pair likely in 2007)
Note. Two (further) King Air MPA planned for 2007-08 acquisition.
Royal Brunei Air Force
Maritime Patrol: 3 CN-235-110MP
Transport: 1 CN-235M
Helicopters: 4 S-70A-5, 10 Bell 212 Jet Ranger, 1 Bell 214, 5 Bo-105 HOT
VIP: 1 S-70C (VIP),
Training: 2 SAIA SF-260W, 4 Pilatus PC-7Mk2, 2 Bell 206B
Royal Cambodian Air Force
Fighters: 2-3 (+11 stored) MiG-21bis Fishbed-L/N (one IAI modernised)
Transport: 2 BN-2A Islander (but only 1 operational), 2 Harbin Yun-12
VIP: 2 An-24RV, 1 Cessna 421, 1 Falcon 20E, 1 AS-350, 1 AS-365
Council of Ministry VIP: 1 Dassault Falcon 20E, 1 Beech 200, 1 Cessna 421, 1
Cessna 402, 1 Eurocopter AS.365 Dauphin, 2 Eurocopter AS.350B Ecureuil
Helicopters: 2 Mi-26 Halo,
Training: 5 Aero L-39ZA Albatros (IAI modernised), 5 (3 non-op; 1 IAI
modernised) MiG-21UM Mongol, 5 Tecnam (P-92) Echo
People’s Liberation Army Air Force [PLAAF]
Bombers: 222
1 prototype Hong-6K (H-6K) LACM (carries up to 6 DH-10 ALCM; first flew Jan
2007) – production anticipated beginning 2008.
1 + Hong-6H (H-6H) LACM (carries 4x KD-63 LACM, 200+km range) – in
production, 2007. 140 Hong-6E/F/H Badger (some nuclear capable)
40 H-5 Beagle (bomber crew training)
Fighters/Air Superiority: 105 J-11/J-11A Flanker (current series ended
production end-2005), 72 Su-27SK Flanker, 1 prototype J-11B Flanker (fitted
with KLJ-4 radar, PL-12 ARH & PL-8 AAM, Yingji-91 (YJ-91) ARM – maybe
developed into specialised SEAD version)
120-140 J-10 Vigorous Dragon (+ prototype J-10S)
18-20 J-8F Finback (current production since 2004; PL-12/SD-10 BVR AAM
fitted; PD/PLJ-2 radar), 30-36 J-8H Finback (fitted with PD/KLJ-1 look-down/
shoot down radar; upgrading to J-8F standard), 40-48 J-8D Finback, 90-100 J8B/C Finback
48+ J-7G Fishbed (current production since 2003; PD/KLJ-6E (EL/M2001) radar,
PL-5C AAM), 28-32 J-7D Fishbed (night fighter use), J-7B/C Fishbed.
Fighter/Ground Attack: 1,252 + 1,169 fighter-attack
1 prototype J-11B Flanker (production expected to being 2007), 68 Su-30MKK
Flanker (four known losses); 24-28 JH-7A Flying Leopard II 18 +prototypes JH-7
Flying Leopard;
4 prototypes (+10-12 u/construction) FC-1 Thunder Dragon (PLAAF JF-17)
24-32 Q-5E/F Fantan III (SEAD role/cooperative targeting J-7F model with ground
targeting pod), 96+ Q-5D Fantan III, 170+ Q-5C Fantan III
800+ (reserve) J-6 (MiG-19) Farmer
NB: Joint Fighter-17 (JF-17/FC-1) ordered by Pakistan and China 2005 with
Chinese version powered by WS-9 Qinling turbofans, have 11 hard-points for PL8/PL-5 AAM and YJ-81 (ASM) and Kh-31P (YJ-91) ARM plus bombs, etc. China
is due to produce 250 to replace Q.5 series – but controversy over Russian RD93 (up-rated RD-33) turbofan; 4 prototype PLAAF + 2 PAF prototypes; Chinese
version fitted with Israeli Elta EL/M-2032 fire control radar, PL-12 (SD-10) BVR
and PL-9C AAM, 11 pylons for varied ordnance.
Flanker Engine Upgrade: According to Salut and Saturn engine builders,
China plans to upgrade its Su-27/Su-30 fleet with new AL-31F-M1 turbofan with
increased thrust (122.58 to 133-kN) or AL-31FP, with first order for 52 engines
(US$180 m.) to upgrade 20 Su-27SK and 6 Su-27UBK) in 2007-08, and that
whole fleet of 273 Flanker fighter fleet, involving a US$2bn investment.
Command & Control: 1+ Yun-8 C3I [Yun-8 conversion with extensive
SATCOM antenna complex atop fuselage and vertical fin], 1 Boeing 737-3Q8
AEW: 6 (2 + 10) KJ-2000 Mainring; production begun in 2005 as developed by
Nanjing Research /14th Institute & 603 Institute. [Added IL-76MD being acquired
in Russia for conversion to KJ-2000 AWACS], + 1 prototype A.50I.
1 + 2 KJ-200 (‘Balance Beam’) [one crash June 2006; radar based on copied
PS-890 Aireye)
3+3 Yun-8J [Sky Master L-band radar for MPA/AEW roles; 6-8 radars via Racal,
1996 fitted in nose; expect further three aircraft conversion by Shaanxi (SAC)]
1 Yun-8 AWACS (conversion with rotodome; aircraft #TO518) – test and
development aircraft, for poss. lower cost AWACS for Yun-8 or Yun-9 airframe.
ELINT: 6+ Tu-154M/D (Careless) – one synthetic aperture radar (SAR) fitted;
2+ Yun-8(DZ) ELINT [Yun-8 conversions, adding KZ800 ELINT system; maybe
partly attributable to EP-3E gear captured; Shaanxi (SAC) conversion work]
ECM: 1+ Yun-8 ECM [extensive ECM antenna; first flew late-2001], 12-15 HD-5
(Beagle) EW/ECM
SIGINT: 1 Yun-8 SIGINT prototype conversion by Shannxi Aircraft (SAC)
Tankers: 2 IL-78T Midas, 16-20 Hong-6U (H-6U), Hong-6DU (H-6DU) (Badger
conversion; support for J-8D, J-8H and J-10) – also used by PLAN/AF.
Reconnaissance: 53
20+ J-8R (JZ-8) Finback-R [fitted with LOROP (KA-112A) centreline pod; poss.
J-8F airframe conversion], 100 JZ-6, 40 HZ-5, JZ-7, 3-4 Yun-8E (WZ-5/CH-1)
drone-carrier [2xWZ-5/CH-1 drones], several Yun-8H for aerial surveying.
UAV: Tactical: Xian ASN-207, Xian ASN-206, WuZen-5/CH-1
Transport: 296
20+ IL-76MD Candid-B [direct support 15th Airborne Army]
30+ Yun-8A/C/F-400/-600,
5 Tu-154M (ex-China United Airlines), 15+ Y-7H (MA-60/AN-26 variant), 9 Boeing
737-300, 5 CRJ-200BLR Regional Jet (VIP) (at Nanyuan AB, Beijing), 2 IL-18
(reserve), 250 Yun-5B (AN-2), 1 IL-76 engine test bed aircraft (at CFTE).
Pending: Yun-9 in a number of configurations (transport, aerial refuelling, ELINT,
SIGINT, AWACS) are planned; updated WJ-6C turboprops with JL-4 six-blade
propellers in slightly smaller airframe design based largely on current Yun-8. First
shown in model form in September 2005. Capacity:106 paratroops or 20-tons
cargo, or 15-tons at 2,200km maximum range.
Trainers: 2 prototypes (+10-12 in production) J-10S Vigorous Dragon dualseat trainer, 18-20 Q-5J Fantan (based on Q-5D), 3 prototypes JL-9/FTC-2000
Mountain Eagle [potential JJ-7 replacement w/Mach 1.6 speed; improved
reworked variant first prototype flew Aug 2006
50+ Karakorum JL-8 (KJ-8) Mighty Eagle (to replace JJ-5, JJ-6), 1 K-8V R&D
1 prototype JL-15 Falcon [similar appearance & features of Yak-130; joint
development between AVIC II and Yakovlev OKB; announced 21Aug2007 joint
development with maiden flight planned 2009 based on Yak-130.
several hundred JJ-7 Fishbed, JJ-6 Farmer, JJ-5 Fresco,
several Yun-7H (Y-7HL) navigation trainer [replacing HJ-5/Beagle – also in PLAN/
AF], 30-40 Yun-5B (parachute training), 170 CJ-6
Helicopters: SAR: (several) Mi-17 Hip VIP: 6 AS.332 Super Puma, 4 Bell 214ST
People’s Liberation Army - Army Aviation Corps
Helicopter: Attack: 8+ prototypes Z-10 (similar appearance to A.129; armed
with HJ-8 (four) or HJ-9 (eight) ATGM + cannon) – low-rate production expected
to begin 2009; 1+ prototype Z-9WA (Z-9G) night attack variant (similar to
AS.565CA Panther) 40-50 Z.9W Dauphin (four HJ-8A ATGM) (based on license
AS-365N) 8 SA-342L Gazelle (ATGM: HOT replacing with HJ-8)
Reconnaissance: 1 prototype Z-9WZ variant (first flew Dec 2004),
1 prototype Z-11WA (new variant; first flew Dec 2004)
Transport: 25 Mi-17-V7 Hip (high altitude, used in Tibet & Xinjiang; 2003-04),
25+ Mi-17-V5 Hip (solid nose, TV3-117VM engines), 100+ Mi-17/Mi-171 Hip,
13 S-70C-2 Blackhawk (several lost; limited service), 24-30 Mi-8,
2+12x Z.8A Super Frelon, 20-24xZ.8/Z.8E Super Frelon (SA-321Ja)
80-90 Z.9A/B (AS.365N) Dauphin, several SA.316B Alouette III.
Training: 8+ HC-120 Colibri (Army Aviation Training School, 2005; Sino-French
deal similar EC-120) – in production
30-35 Z-11 (CHAIC AS-350B Squirrel variant)
Note: Mi-17/-171: 24 Mi-17 imported 1991; 35 Mi-171 in 1995; several
contracts since, with over 100 in-service by 2007. Z.8F Super Frelon powered by
3 P&W Canada PT6B-67A turbine engines maybe developed.
People’s Liberation Army Navy Aviation [PLAN/AF]
Fighter: 48+ J-8A/B/D Finback, 250 J-7E Fishbed, 26 J-7C/MF Fishbed-C
[Reserve: 100-120 J-6 Farmer], Originally 263 J-7E built for PLAN-AF.
Fighter/Ground Attack: 2 (0 + 48-50) Su-33 Flanker carrier-based (ordered
late-2006) 23 Su-30MK.2 (Flanker) multi-role combat aircraft [2003 order fm
Russia] 36 JH-7/7A Flying Leopard, 40 Q-5D/E (Fantan)
Bomber: 22-24 (+6) Hong-6M (H-6M) ASM (carried four ASM, poss. YJ-83K
ASM); 50+ Hong-6D (H-6D) ASM (carries four YJ-6/C.601 or newer YJ-61/C-611
ASM); 20 - 24 Hong-6H (H-6H), 30 + 70 reserve H-5 (Beagle)
Recce: 7 HZ-5 (Beagle) light bomber conversion
Special Mission/Intelligence Collection: 1 Y-8DZ ELINT (prototype), 12-15 HD-5
(Beagle) light bomber conversion
Tanker: 3 H-6DU (Badger conversion)
Maritime Recce/ASW: 0 (+12) Beriev 200 amphibious (ordered 2006)
4 Yun-8X (Xun surveillance; APS-504(V)3), 4 SH-5 amphibious
NB: Yun-8J fitted with Sky Master L D-band radar acquired from Racal, 1996.
Limited on-board C2 capability; aircraft are AN-12 conversions by Shaanxi (SAC)
Helicopter (ASW): 10 Ka-28 Helix (with VGS-3 dipping sonar)
25 Z.9C Dauphin 2 (with KLC-1/Agrion 15 radar with Yun-7 torpedoes) – in
production, 20 AS 321G/J Super Frelon (with HS-12 dipping sonar), 8 AS-565
SAR: 6 Ka-28 Helix, 1 prototype Z-8E Super Frelon (delivered Dec 2005)
Test & Development: 1 H-6X (YJ-83/C.803 integration development)
1 Sukhoi T-10K (Flanker) prototype (via Ukraine)
Transport: 8 Yun-8, 2-4 Yun-7, 2 YAK-42, 6 AN-26, 12-15 Yun-5 (AN-12)
Training: 12-15 QJ-5 (Fantan), JJ-7, JJ-6. 50+ PT-6
Indian Air Force
Fighter-Interceptor: 386, 36 Mirage 2000H/TH (four known losses);
74 MiG-29B, 64 Mig-29A Fulcrum-A (one lost 8 May 2007, Adampur AB);
49 MiG-23BN Flogger, 165 MiG-21L/N-bis Fishbed (120 to 125 upgraded to
Mig-21-93 ‘Bison’ standard), 18 MiG-21FL Fishbed-D (due to retire with No. 8
Sq. at Bagdogra AB early-2008), 55 Mig-21MF/PFMA Fishbed-C (half in reserve,
to retire by 2010).
Fighter/Ground Attack: 380, including 0+40 Su-30MK1 Flanker (contract
signed 10 Oct 07 under US$1.6bn; to be supplied as KDK and assembled by
HAL Nasik plant before 2010; would bring total Su-30s to 230).
36 Su-30MK.1 Flanker (returning to Russia: (18 Su-30K, 18 Su-30MK)
8 +13+40 HAL-NPK Su-30MK.1 Flanker (total prior contracts include 150
assembled by HAL)
98 MiG-27ML Flogger (14 HAL upgrade +28 pending, 60 to retire by 2010),
15 MiG-23MF/BN Flogger (one lost 1Apr2007 fm Halware AB)
63 Jaguar 1S (GA.1) (one lost 26 Oct 2007)
4 +4 prototypes +20+20 Tejas (Light Combat Aircraft - LCA)
Note: Su-30: Under US$600m, agreement the IAF will exchange 18 Su-30K and
Su-30MK for equal number of Su-30MK1 version with Russia. India requesting
moving forward delivery dates from MPK, Irkutsk, with 140 completed by 2014
vice 2017, includes added order for 40 more aircraft in 2006.
MMRCA: RfP released 28 Aug 2007 under US$10.25bn (420bn rupee) nextgeneration multi-role fighter contract. RfP states 18 aircraft acquired direct from
chosen manufacturer, remaining 108 to be built in India, with 50 percent offset
contracts under new Indian law.
First batch delivery by 2012. Final contract will carry option on further 64 aircraft.
RfP responses due 3 March 2008. Scheduled to replace MiG -21, MiG -27 and
Jaguar in IAF service. Leading contenders are considered Mig-35 Fulcrum-F and
Tejas/LCA: HAL completing 8 prototypes and IAF has ordered 20 low-rate
production aircraft for April 2009-December 2011 completion;
Mig-21L/N ‘Bison’: sources differ on number upgraded; upgrade includes new
HUD, HOTAS controls, Phazotron Kopyo multi-function Doppler radar; Thales/
Dassault Electronique EWS-21 RWR and 2xKh-25MP (AS-12 Krypton) ARM
missiles or up to 6xR-60MK or 4xR-73E (AA-11 Archer) provisions,.
ECM: 24 MiG-21M Fishbed (EW jammer-fitted)
AEW&C: 0+3 Beriev A-50Ehl (Elta EL/M-2075 Phalcon, pending delivery late2007 under US$1.1bn contract, conclude in 2008).
ELINT: 2 Boeing 707-320C ELINT, 2 Gulfstream IV SRA, 2 Boeing 737, 5 HS-748
Maritime Strike: 10+ Jaguar S.(I) with Sea Eagle ASM
Recce: 11 (or 12) Canberra PR-57/-67, 26 Mig-23MF Flogger, 36 Mig-21R
Fishbed-H (last MiG-25R/U Foxbat retired, 2006)
Special Mission: 2 Learjet 29
Tanker: 6 IL-78Mk1 Midas
Transport: 288; On order: 6 C-130J Super Hercules (order 25 May 2007)
25 IL-76MD Gajraj, 112 An-32 Sutlej (Cline),
1 +2 prototype (PT1-3) HAL ‘Saras’ twin-engine light transport (prototype uses
2xP&W Canada PT6A66 engines; production aircraft will use PT6A67 turboprop
45 Do-228-200 (25+ HAL-built), 4 Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy
28 (up to 60, including storage) BAe/HS-748 (most are inactive; replacement
Note: Russian (Irkut)/Indian (HAL) Tactical Transport Aircraft (TTA) program for
new 18.5-ton cargo capacity, 55-ton GTOW, 6,000-km range, 82 troop capacity
twin-turbine aircraft will be available 2015-2020 to meet IAF and Russian market
needs to replace An-24, An-26, HS-748 aircraft category aircraft; 45 for IAF.
Indian Army Aviation Corps
Helicopters: (Pending Contract): 197 Light Observation Helicopters;
On Order: Dhruv Attack (fitted with THL 20 gun, MBDA Mistral AAM;
Trooping: 20 + HAL Dhruv, 60 HAL Chetak, 110-114 Cheetah (SA.319B
Alouette II variant; one lost 24May2007 at Satlej), 12 HAL Lancer
Light Observation Helicopter (LOH): next major helicopter programme to replace
11 squadron of Cheetah, Chetak, Lama, Chetan/Alouette AS.316B Alouette III;
involves 197 helicopters.
Note: First upgraded Army Dhruv powered by Shakti engine flew 16 August
Indian Navy
Multi-Role: 2+30 Mig-29K Fulcrum (deliveries begun July 2007 of first batch
of 16 aircraft (US$740.35m, scheduled deliveries through 2008; unit cost:
Fighters: 16 Sea Harrier FRS Mk 51
Maritime Reconnaissance: pending: 8 P-3C Update 2.5 Orion (via US)
5 Il-38N (SD) Sea Dragon (May), 8 Tu-142MKE Mod.4 (Bear-F Mod.4), 27 D0228-212 MPA (with AM.39 Exocet), 6+ BN-2 Maritime Defender
Communications: 10 Do-228-200
Transport: 10 HS-748
Training: (On Order): 0+4 (RAC) Mig-29UB; 16 HJT-36 Sitara;
3 BAe T.60 Harrier (one lost 5 April 2007 off Goa, Dabolim/Goa AB)
11 Kiran I/II, 8 HPT-32, 12 HJT-16, 3 Britten-Norman BN-2T, 24 CPM Shadow
micro-light primary trainer.
Helicopter: 29-32+6 Sea King Mk 42A/B (6 ex-USN SH-3 sold 2007, US$39m)
6+ HAL Dhruv ASW, 10 Ka-28 Helix-A, 8+ Ka-25PL(BSh) Hormone-A, 22
Vladimir Karnozov
UAV: Tactical: Searcher -2
Trainers: (On Order): 6+60 BAE Systems Hawk Mk.132 (first delivery 8
November 07)
1 prototype + 15+16 (ordered March 2006) HAL HJT-36 Sitara
40 MiG-21U/UM/US (6–UM recently via Ukraine), 9 MiG-29UB, 14 Jaguar B (I)
27 Mig-21UM (via Kyrgzstan), 120 HAL Kiran I, 56 HAL Kiran II, 44 TS-11 Iskra,
100 HPT-32, 80 (or 88) Zenair CH701 STOL light trainers
Note. HJT-36: Twelve approved in 2006 to begin fulfilling 211 aircraft
Intermediate Jet Trainers (HJT) requirement, including 24 for Navy. Awaiting
Russian UMPO AL-55 Saturn turbofan planned for future aircraft.
Note: HJT-36 Intermediate Jet Trainer: prototype damaged in February 2007, will
be repaired and continue flight development. Production aircraft will be powered by
NPO Saturn AL-55I turbofan engine, due to fly 2008; IOC early-2009.
Hawk 132: 24 to be built by BAE Systems at Warton (UK), 42 by HAL at Bangalore.
VIP: (On Order): 3 Boeing 737 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ)
2 Boeing 707-320C, 2 (or 4) Boeing 737-200, 3 Gulfstream III, 6 Astra SPX, 2
Learjet 29, 7 BAe-748 (retiring), 6 Mi-8 Hip
Note: AEW&C Programme: Earlier development failure of DRDO and HS.748
crash, India contracted with Embraer EMB-145 Legacy turbofan transport in
February 2006 for joint development. IAF earlier bought 5 EMB-145 for various
agencies. This follows earlier contract with Russia for initial 3 Beriev A-50Ehl
aircraft under US$1.1bn, fitted with Elta EL/M-2075 Phalcon phased-array radar
in fixed dome.
Helicopters: 296-300;
On Order: 80 Kazan-Mi-171 Hip (US$662m to replace Mi-8 fleet)
Attack: 40+ Mi-25/35 Hind (25 IAI Taman upgraded; 11 Mi-24V
Trooping: 4 to 6 operational Mi-26 Halo, 73 Mi-17 Hip, 56 Mi-8P/T
Utility: about 70 Dhruv (ALH), 38 Chetak SA-316B, 139 SA-316B/319 Cheetah/
Alouette III (one lost 11 April 2007, 114HU Sq. at Amar)
Note: Dhruv: production rate: 18 in 2007; 24 in 2008; 33 in 2009 (total, for all
Light Combat Helicopter (LCH): armed-Dhruv in-development, scheduled first
flight 2008; to be armed with ATGM and rocket/MG pods.
Mi-8: some sources state Mi-8 inventory as high as 102; apparently without
account for losses over last decade of service.
MiG-29K, Russia wants to sell more warplanes in a whole package with most advanced missiles.
This MiG is surrounded by R-77 (RVV-AE) air-to-air, Kh-35 Uran anti-ship missiles
SA.319B Chetak, 25 SA-316
Note: first upgraded Dhruv navy version with Shakti engine few 16 August 2007.
AEW: 9 Ka-31RLD AEW with E-801 Oko airborne radar (assigned INAS 339)
UAV: 6 Searcher II, 1 Heron.
Note: IL-38N(SD) upgrade (US$250 M) with Leninets Morskoy Zmey “Sea
Dragon” (Novella) combat data management/weapons control system during
2003-06, including provision for using PJ-10 BraMos-B, P3T Sea Eagle and
AM.39 Exocet ASM should complete 2008. Upgrading Tu-142MKE was to begin
in 2007, under contract to Russia, with similar systems and weapons similar to
P-3C – 2 P-3C scheduled delivery (2006) failed to be fulfilled due to contract
negotiation problems and delivery timeframe after Indian requested modifications.
New MPA RfP has been released, and appears written for selection of Boeing P8A MMA aircraft from the US; however, the navy faces significant delivery delays
whether they select Boeing or Airbus A319/320 aircraft option – as the Airbus
candidate is still only a paper project.
Training: Sea Harrier training is now concentrated within Naval Air Squadron
(INAS) 552, assuming the training role previously conducted in the UK and
INS 551SHOFTU squadron in India. Mig-29K carrier-landing training is being
conducted as NAS Pensacola, Florida by the first group of carrier pilots assigned
to the future Fulcrum carrier-based squadron.
Indian Coast Guard
Coastal Surveillance: 24 HAL Do-228-200
Helicopters: 17 HAL Cheetak
Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU)
Fighter: On Order: 3 Su-27SKM and 3 Su-30MK1 (MoU 21 Aug 2007 valued at
US$300-325M, delivery due late-2008 to 2012)
2 Su-27SKM Flanker
7 F-16A Block 15OCU Falcon, 10 F-5E/F Tiger II (one in storage)
Fighter-Attack: 2 Su-30MK1 Flanker (+ 3 on order, see above)
27 BAE Hawk 209, 11 BAE Hawk 109 (retiring: 12 A-4E/H Skyhawk,
6 OV-10F Bronco
Maritime Patrol: 3 Boeing 737-2X9 Surveiller, 8 CN-235MP
Transport: 20-22 C-130B/H Hercules, 31 CN-235-110M, 6 Transall C-160NG,
3 Transall C-160P, 7 F-27M-400M Troopship, 2 DHC-5D Buffalo, 5 NC-212-200,
several C-47D Dakota, 4 CN-212-200, 1 BN-2 Islander,
Note: C-130s requiring overhaul were provided servicing and spares as a result
of the lifting of the US embargo embargo. Six overhauled under ST Aero/MRO
VIP: 3 Fokker F.28-100, 1 BAE-146 Series 100 (VIP)
Liaison: 2 Aero Commander 680, 2 Cessna 207
Training: 3 F-16B Block 15 OCU, 5 BAE Hawk Mk.53, 2 F-5F Tiger II
7 KIA KT-1B Woongbee, 19 SIAI Marchetti SF.260W, 17-22 T-34C,
2 Cessna T-41D
Helicopter: Trooping: 16 NAS-332 Super Puma, 11 SA.330/L Puma, 8-10,
Observation/liaison: 12 Hughes-500, 2 Bell 204B, 37 Agusta-Bell AB.202
Bravo, 10 Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri
SAR: 4 NBO-105C
Note: Jet Trainer Replacement RfP: TNI-AU ACoS said new jet trainer was
short-listed to Aero L-159, Hongdu K-8 and KAI KO-1B aircraft.
Future Light Strike Aircraft RfP: ACoS announced review underway on RfP to
replace F-5E, OV-10F and Hawk 53 aircraft; possible release early-2009.
KT-1B: Seven KT-1B sold in 2003 under US$60m contract, including training
instructor pilots and maintenance personnel. More are likely to follow.
F-16s: Following lifting of US military relations embargo, F-16s received overhaul
and restored to operational service in US.
Indonesian Army (TNI-AD)
Transport: 6 IAe NC-212M-200, 1 Britten Norman BN-2A Islander
VIP: 2 Rockwell (Aero) Commander-680, 2 Cessna 310
Helicopters: Attack: On Order: 5 Mi-35P (pending Sukhoi contract)
2 Mi-35P Hind
Trooping: On Order: 9 Mi-17V-5 (pending Sukhoi contract)
17 IAe/NBB BO-105C/CB, 6 IAe/NB-212 Jet Ranger
Utility/Training: 10 Bell 205A-1, 17 Hughes-300C, 10 PZL Wilga 32
8 Soloy-Bell 57G
Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL)
Maritime Surveillance: 12 CN-235 MP, 6 NC-212, 38 N-22/-24 Search
Master L, 5 Piper PA-38 Tomahawk
Transport: 10 C-212M-200 (+ liaison)
SAR: 2-4 Grumman HU-16 Albatross (reserve)
Liaison: 3 Rockwell (Aero) Commander-100, 2 Beech F-33A Bonanza
Helicopters: ASW: 25 IAe/NAS.332F Super Puma (3 with AM39 capability),
8 Westland Wasp (retiring)
Transport/Utility: On Order: 2 Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri;
7 PZL Mielec M-28B-1R1 (MPA), 3 PZL Mielec M-28B-1TD1 (transport)
4 PZL Mielec M-28-05
7 Mil Mi-17 Hip, 10 IAe/NBO-105CB, 4 IAe NB-Bell-412S,
Training: 5 EADS Sicata Tibagi GT
Note: Pending delivery of 14 Mil Mi-2 – only two delivered – under legal
arbitration over payments and embargoed.
Japan Air Self Defense Force
Fighters/Air Superiority: 60+31 Mitsubishi F-2A/B, 210 F-15CJ Eagle, 20 (+
70 reserve) F-4EJ-Kai Phantom
Note: F-2A: Original plan was 130 aircraft; current plans likely to end at 81.
F-15CJ Eagle: upgrade programme underway for total of 80 aircraft; 2 prototype
upgrades funded in 2006.
Fighter/Ground attack: 20 F-4EJ-kai Phantom II (about 70 additional in
Recce: 12 RF-4E/EJ-kai Phantom II (held in reserve; fitted with Raytheon APQ172 radar and Thales Astac ELINT pod)
AWACS: 4 Boeing E-767, 13 Grumman E-2C Hawkeye
EW: 4 YS-11EL, 1 EC-1 (refitted with T64 turboprop engines)
Tanker: 1 + 3 Boeing KC-767
Transport: 30, including 16 C-130H Hercules, 20 C-1A, 10 NAMC YS-11E,
VIP: 2 Boeing 747-400
Plan: C-X planned to replace C-1 and augment C-130; first prototype delivery
2008, IOC 2011 – expect 28-32 aircraft eventually to enter service.
SAR: 25+2 Raytheon U-125/-A (+1 in 2006, 1 in 2007), 4 Mu-2J/S (retiring)
Helicopter: SAR: 31+4 Mitsubishi UH-60J Black Hawk (+2 in 2006, 2 in 2007),
10 Kawasaki KV-107 (retiring)
Utility: 15+2 CH-47J Chinook (+1 in 2007, 1 in 2007)
Training: 20 F-15J/DJ, 208 Kawasaki T-4, 24 Fuji T-3 (upgrade plans),
23+3(+33) Fuji T-7 (3 in 2006), 13 Raytheon T-400 (retired; 20 T-2 but stored)
Liaison/Misc: 3 U-4 Gulfstream IV, 3 YS-11FC navaid calibration aircraft.
Note: During December 2007, all F-15CJ/DJ Eagles were grounded for
inspections, leaving all air defence missions to remaining F-4EJ Phantom II
Stealth Fighter: MOD Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI)
unveiled a engine-less mock-up ATD-X (Advanced Technology Demonstrator)
concept aircraft if recent inquires to US regarding acquisition of F-22A Raptor
variant are rejected at anytime during approval process.
Japan Ground Self Defense Force
Attack helicopters: On order: 2+22+36 (60 total) AH-64DJP Longbow
Apache, 89 AH-1S Cobra (based on US Army AH-1F)
Observation: 10+4 Kawasaki OH-1/XOH-1 (+2 in 2006, 2 in 2007), 120 OH6D Kiowa (up to 30 maybe in storage, raising total to 150)
Transport: 55 + 2 CH-47J/JA Chinook (+1 in 2006, 1 in 2007 – one lost 30
March 2007 on Mt. Amagidake)
20+ 2 Fuji/Sikorsky UH-60JA Blackhawk (+1 in 2006, 1 in 2007)
Utility: 146+16 UH-1H/J Huey (+16 in 2007)
Transport: Liaison: 5 (or10?) LR-2 /King Air 350, 10 Mitsubishi LR-1 (MU-2)
VIP: 3 AS-332L Super Puma
Training: OH-6D, UH-1H/J, AH-1S
Note: 1st Longbow Apache delivered 15 January 2005 and subsequent
assembly by Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) after KDK delivery from Boeing
Helicopter. Fitted to fire Stinger AAM.
AH-1S: 89th delivered December 2000; from 73rd on, refitted with C-Nite FLIR
system for night operations. Air Mobility assigned eight AH-1S helicopters.
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force
Maritime Recce: 80 Kawasaki P-3C Orion (to be reduced to 75 under FY
2005 budget; 16 already retired and in storage)
EW: 5 Kawasaki EP-3D Aries II, 2 (+3) OP-3D LOROP camera reconnaissance
(both 81st Sd.)
Transport: 7 or 8 NAMC YS-11M/TA, 1 UP-3C Orion
Helicopters: ASW: 3+8 Mitsubishi SH-60K Seahawk (36 planned),
95 Mitsubishi SH/UH-60J Seahawk, 39 HSS-2B Sea King (retiring)
MCM: 2+12 Agusta Westland EH-101, 10 or 11 MH-53EJ Super Stallion
SAR: 17 UH-60J Seahawk
Utility: 2 AgustaWestland CH.101 (Arctic support), 3 Sikorsky S-61A
12 Kawasaki OH-6D Kiowa, 8 OH-6DA Kiowa (training)
SAR: 1+3 Shin Maywa US-2 (prototype testing), (6 (or 7) Shin Maywa US-1A Kai
Training: 34+1 Fuji T-5 (+1 in 2006), 34+2 Beechcraft LC/TC-90 King Air (2 in
2007), 1 Kawasaki UP-3C, UP-3D, EP-3D (EW training), 4 Learjet U-36A Learjet
missile engagement/simulation training.
Note: EH101: Fourteen ordered in 2003 under US$583m contract and fitted
with FADEC RR Turbomeca RTM322 turboshaft and assembled by Kawasaki
(KHI) to replace 11 MH-53EJ and three S-61A mine countermeasure helicopters.
US-1A-kai: first -kai, upgraded with fly-by-wire controls, composite wings, R-R
AE100J turboprops, pressurised upper hull, flew in December 2003 and handed
over the JMSDF March 2004 for tests. All US-1A aircraft are to be upgraded.
P-3C include 75 percent Update II.5 standard, remainder Update III/UUU+
standard. All P-3 are armed with either Type 91 or AGM-84D Harpoon ASM.
Replacement for P-3s, designed P-X is to be based on Air Force C-X transport,
with first flight due late-2007 at earliest. Eight squadrons to be established from
110 aircraft, with squadrons formed 2011-21.
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Ref : Defence Review Asia
Coast Guard Aviation
Maritime Patrol: 0+3 Canadair Q.300, 5 YS-11A, 10 Beech
SAR: 2 Dassault Falcon 900, 4 Saab 340 (two used added early-2006), 2
Raytheon-Beech B200T Super King Air, 10 Raytheon-Beech 300, 7 Beech 200T
King Air
Utility/Liaison: 2 Cessna 206G
Helicopters: New SAR/Utility Helo: 0+0+24 AgustaWestland AW139
Sikorsky S.70C Blackhawk, 4 Aerospatiale AS332L Super Puma, 8 Bell 412, 26
Kawasaki-Bell 212 Jet Ranger, 4 Bell 206B
Note: New MPA: In December 2006, Japan CG ordered 3 Canadair Q300
Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), with Sojitz Corp. as prime contractor and Field
Aviation Canada (Toronto) as avionics and systems integrator. Q300 scheduled
to replace five serving YS-11A MPA during 2008.
New SAR/Utility Helicopter: September 2006 selection of AgustaWestland
AW.139 helicopter destined to replace Bell 206/212s during next three years.
Korean People’s Air Force
Bomber: 82 Harbin H-5 (Il-28 Beagle) (some fitted with ASM)
Fighter: 299, including 35 MiG-29C Fulcrum (see NB), 46 MiG-23 ML/U
Flogger, 30 MiG-21bis (L/N) Fishbed, 120 J-7B/MiG-21F-13/PF/PFMA Fishbed.
Fighter/ground attack: 211, including 18 Su-7BMK Fitter-B, 40 Hongdu A5C Fantan, 34 Su-25 Frogfoot, 159 Shenyang J-6/Mig-19 Farmer, 107 J-5/MiG17F
Transport: 318
Trooping: 3 IL-76MD, 6 An-24 Coke, 270 An-2/Yun-5 Colt
VIP: 4 Il-62M Classic, 4 Tu-154M, 2 Tu-134 and 2 Il-18
Helicopters: 306
Attack: 24 Mi-24 (may have acquired added small numbers from Central Asia)
Special Operations Forces: 70-80 Hughes 500D
Trooping/Utility: 15-20 Mi-8/17 Hip, 140 Mi-2 Hoplite, 48 Z-5/Mi-4 Hound
ASW: 10 Mi-14
Training: 5 MiG-29UB Fulcrum, 6 U/UMMig-21 Mongol, 35 FT-2/MiG-15UTI,
2 Su-25UBK Frogfoot, 10 CJ-5, 7 CJ-6 (Yak-18), 170 Yak-18
Note: Fuel cost rises during 2007 severely curtailed flight training.
9 : DPRK is the only foreign country to have purchased licence
manufacturing rights and the only non-Russian air force to have received
the Fulcrum-C but lack the Gardeniya-IFU active jammer system. Reports of
additional 10 aircraft assembled from component parts bought from Russia.
1bis: 30 Kazakhstan air force aircraft purchased several years ago. Three
air regiments of MiG-21s based at Koksa (86th AR + unknown) and Toksan
(56th AR).
Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF)
Fighter-Interceptor: 210 total; 93 KAL KF-16 Block 52D, 44 KAL KF-16
Bock 52D (one lost 20Jul2007 fm Seosan), 29 F-16C Block 32 Falcon, 9 L-M
F-16D Falcon
Fighter Ground Attack: 283;
3+36 Boeing-MD F-15K Strike/SLAM Eagle (one lost in flight accident)
70 F-4E Phantom II (32 refitted to carry AGM-142 Popeye AGM)
60 F-4D Phantom II with AVQ-26 Pave Tack guidance pods,
117 F-5E Tiger II (about 35 in storage), 47 F-5F Tiger II
COIN: 22-24 A-37B Dragonfly (to be replaced by KAI A-50)
AWACS: 0+4 Boeing 737-700 Wedgetail (contract not yet announced)
Forward Air Control: 10 O-2A Skymaster, 10 O-1A (retiring, about 10 storage)
Recce: 57, including 18 RF-4C Phantom II, 5 RF-5A Tigereye,
SAR: 7 Ka-32, 4 Bell-212, half-dozen UH-1H Huey
Transport: 34, including 10 C-130H Hercules, 8 IAe CN-235-220M,
VIP: 1 Boeing 737-300, 2 BAe HS-748, 3 Rockwell Commander 520/560
Helicopters: 6 Boeing CH-47 Chinook
Utility: 3 Bell 412ST, 7 Bell 212 Jet Ranger, 5 UH-1H Huey
SAR: 7 Kamov Ka-32 Helix (with IAI Lahav radar)
VIP: 0+3 Sikorsky S-92, 3 AS-332L Super Puma, 3+3 VH-60P Blackhawk
Trainers: 8+12+5 (25)+50 (Batch II) KAI KT-50 Golden Eagle, 25 F-5B, 15 F-5A
Freedom Fighter, 30 T-38 Talon, 18 Hawk Mk.67, 23 T-37C Tweet (retiring),
85 KAI KT-1, 1+24 KAI KO-1 armed trainers, 20 Ilyushin T-103 (IL-103), 2 Mudry
CAP 10B (T-41B Mescalero retiring)
Republic of Korea Army (ROKA)
Observation/Liaison: 10 Cessna 01
Helicopters: Attack: On Order: 18 AH-64C Apache;
60 AH-1F/S Huey Cobra, 45 Boeing/Hughes 500MD TOW, 12 Bo-105
Trooping: 18 CH-47D Chinook, 6 MH-47E SpecOps, 128 UH-60P Blackhawk
(2 lost 5 November 2007 at Inje AB)
50+ Boeing/Hughes 500MD/TOW, 130 Boeing/Hughes 500 Guardian, 20 UH1H
VIP: 3 AS-332L Super Puma
Note: Future Plans: procurement of 245 helicopters in joint Eurocopter/KAL
partnership. January 2005 National Defence Council approved plans for
an indigenous helicopter to be developed, with production objective of 300
helicopters by 2010 and 200 attack variant by 2012. Korean Multipurpose
Helicopter (KMH) will likely be developed as a light-to-medium weight aimed
at replacing UH-1 and MD-500 fleets as first objective, with cost estimates of
US$7.6-12.4bn total programme.
Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN)
ASW: Plan: 8 P-3B Lot II (see NB), 8 P-3C Orion Update III, 15 S-2E/F Tracker.
Patrol: 5 Reims/Cessna F406 Caravan II
Helicopters: ASW: 13 Super Lynx Mk.100, 17+7 Super Lynx Mk.99 – armed
with Sea Skua ASM or Stingray lightweight ASW torpedoes
22-25 Boeing/MD MD-500MD armed with KT-44 or Mk.46 Mod.1/2 torpedoes
Trooping: 10 S-70B Blackhawk, 10 UH-1H Huey
Liaison: 9 Eurocopter SA.316B/319B Alouette II/III
Utility: 2 OH-58A Kiowa, 2 Bell Textron 206B Jet Ranger
UAV: AAI Shadow 400 – numbers unknown.
Note: Plans exist to acquire 8 ex-USN P-3B Lot II Orion and modernise them
to Update III standard in a contract to Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) valued
at US$489m. Upgrade contract also involves L-3/IS (Texas) in providing new
sensors and communications equipment. IOC anticipated 2010.
Lao People’s Liberation Army Air Force
Fighter/ground attack: 29 MiG-21bis/2xMiG-21UM (most are nonoperational)
Transport: 1 AN-74, 5 Xian Yun-7-100, 2 An-26, 3 An-24V/RV (maybe stored),
6-10 AN-2 Colt
VIP: 1 Yak-40
Helicopters: Trooping: 12 Mi-17 Hip-E, 9 Mi-8 Hip-C, 1 Mi-6 Hook
Utility/SAR: 6 Kamov Ka-32T Helix, 3 SA-360
Training: 8 Yak-18
Royal Malaysian Air Force [RMAF]
Fighters: 2+6 Su-30MKM Flanker (first 2 delivered 24 May 2007 at Irkutsk; to
operate at re-furbished Gong Kedak AB with No.17 Squadron; total 18 ordered
Vladimir Karnozov
including options in August 2003; 4 more due by early-2008)
8 F/A-18D Hornet, 6 F-5E/F Tiger II, 14 MiG-29SE and 2 MiG-29UB [retiring to
storage due to pilot shortages]
Note: IAPO began construction at Irkutsk of Su-30MKM aircraft in 2006, first two
delivered late-2007.
Ground Attack: 14 BAe Hawk 208 (one lost 4May2007 fm Kuantan AB)
Reconnaissance: two RF-5E Tiger Eye [reserve, in storage]
Maritime Recce: 6 CN-235 MPA, 4 Beech King Air T200 [on behalf of navy]
Aerial Tanker: 2 KC-130H Hercules [former C-130H MPA]
Transport: On Order: 4 A400M (2 to be delivered in 2013 and 2 in 2014)
6 C-130H-30 Super Hercules, 4 C-130H Hercules (1 ex-H-30 MPA reverted to
transport configuration), 6 CN-235-220 [10 DHC-4A Caribou retired]
VIP: 2 IAe CN-235 (2nd delivered 2006), 1 Airbus A.319-115X, 1 Boeing 7377H6 BBJ, 1 Bombardier CRJ700 Global Express, 1 Falcon 900, 1 F28-1000
Liaison: 12 Cessna 402B,
SAR: 2 Grumman H-16 Albatros (being stored)
Trainers: On Order: 8 Alenia MB-339CM, 11 MB-339A,
5 Hawk 108, 5+5 PC-7 turboprop (delivery complete during 2007)
Flight Training College with 33 PC7s, 8 PC7 MK II Turbo Trainer and 10 Bulldog
102, 20 MD3-160;
Helicopter training unit with 7 Bell 47, 2 Alouette III.
Helicopters: Trooping: 22 Sikorsky S-61A-4 Nuri (rebuilt; six receiving Auto
Hover upgrade),
Utility: 7 Bell 47G, 2 Mi-17 fire-fighting
VIP: 2 Sikorsky S-70A Blackhawk, 1 Agusta A 109C
Note: MB-339CM Contract: 8 Alenia MB-339C ordered, US$117M.
Nuri Replacement: On July 19, deputy PM announced RfP tender will be
developed to replace ageing Sikorsky S-61A Nuri fleet, after helicopter lost July
17th. Eighteen have been lost since 1968.
RMAF Su-30MKM taxiing after its first flight in Irkutsk, 2007.
Malaysia Army Aviation
Helicopters: Reconnaissance: 8 + 3 A.109 LOH
Utility: 26 SA316B Alouette III, 2 Eurocopter EC120
VIP: 2 Agusta A109, 2 Sikorsky S-70A Blackhawk
Note: First Agusta Westland A109 LOH delivered Dec 2005; eight due by mid2007. Operated at Kelang.
Royal Malaysian Navy
Helicopters: ASW: 6 Super Lynx Mk300, 6 AS555SN Fennec
Transport: 6 Fennec AS550MN Fennec
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Mongolian Air Force
Fighter: 36 MiG -21PFM Fishbed (majority non-operational or in storage)
Transport: 3 AN-26, 4 AN-24, 4 Harbin Y-12, 10 An-2 Colt
Trainers: 2 MiG -21UM Mongol (stored), 12 Yak-18
Helicopters: 11 Mi-24 Hind (some stored), 11 Mi-8MN (one lost 19 June 2007),
3 PZL-104 Wilga
Myanmar Air Force
Fighters: [on order] 0+12 F-8H Finback (J.8H)
10 MiG-29B Fulcrum, 21 F-7E Fishbed (J.7E)
Note: F-8H Finback: 2006 order for new Chinese-built J.8 Finback are
likely the newest J-8H variant, featuring KLJ-1/Type 1492 airborne radar
with look-down/ shoot down capability for PL-11 semi-active AAM, and
PL-12 (export FD-60) BVR 70-km range AAM, and Yingji-91 (YJ-91/Kh31) ARM and YJ-81 and YJ-85 ASM.
India has agreed to overhaul and upgrade of all of the MiG-type (Mig29) aircraft in Myanmar air force service, according to a February 2007
Fighter/Ground Attack: 22 A-5M Fantan, 48 A-5C Fantan
COIN: 5 Soko G.4 Super Galeb, 15 PC-9, 7 PC-7
MPA: 2 Britten-Norman BN-2B Defender (via India, 2006)
Transport: 2 (or 4) Shaanxi Yun-8D, 3 Fokker F-27-200 troopship,
4 Fairchild FH-227, 2 CASA C.212 Aviocar, 5-7 PC-6A/B Turbo Porter
Training: 2 MiG-29UB, 8 Guizhou FT-7, 12 Karakorum-8 (K-8), 9 PC9, 12 PC-7
Helicopter: 11 Mi-17 Hip, 10-12 PZL W-3W Sokol, 15-18 Mi-2US/URN
Hoplite, 6 Bell-206 Jet Ranger, 12 Bell 205A-1, 8 SA-316B Alouette III
Liaison: 1 Cessna Citation II, 4-6 Cessna 180
Royal Nepalese Army Air Wing
Transport: 1 Short Skyvan 3M-400; 1 BAe HS-748-200 (grounded);
1 Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander
On Order: 2 Xian MA-60 (AN-26) – due delivery in early 2008.
Helicopter: 2 HAL Dhruv ALH; 1 Mil Mi-17H Hip;
1 Eurocopter AS350BS Ecureuil; 2 Eurocopter SA330C/G Puma; 2 HAL Chetak,
2 Bell-Textron 206L Jet Ranger
Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF)
Maritime Patrol: 6 P-3K (uprade by L-3 Communications underway)
Transport: 5 C-130H (upgrading by L-3 Spar), 2 Boeing 757-2K2 (upgrade
contract to ST Aerospace for cargo provisions and avionics upgrade), 8 Beech
King Air 200 (leased)
Trainers: 13 PAC CT-4E Airtrainer (lease agreement)
Helicopter: 0+5 AgustaWestland A109LUH (contracted 30Oct 2007; in service
2010); 0+8 NH Industries NH90 (IOC 2010), 14 Bell-Textron UH-1H Huey, 5 Bell
Note: No.3 Sq. at Ohakea AB Bell 47GB trainers to be replaced by A109LUH
Royal New Zealand Navy
Helicopters: 5 Kaman SH-2G (NZ) Super Seasprite (operated onboard RNZN
Anzac frigates)
Pakistan Air Force
Fighter-Interceptors: 0+36 J-10A (FC-20) (Pakistan parliament approval, late2006), 0+18 F-16C (12)/D (6) Block 52 Falcon,
26 (+23) F-16A Block 15OCU (upgrading to MLU standard; first two of 13 F-16A
and 15 F-16B handed-over 10Jul2007 at Sargodha/Mushaf AB)
2 prototypes+2+8 (total 125) Joint Fighter 17 (JF-17/FC-1) Xiaolong (Thunder)
50 Chengdu F-7PG (with Grifo-7 radar), 75 Chengdu F-7P/FT-7 (several with
Grifo-7 upgrade), 43 Mirage IIIO, 16 Mirage III/EP/DP, 34 Mirage 5PA/PA-2/PA-3
(Sagem updated) – estimate 106-110 Mirage aircraft total – one lost 25Apr2007
near Shorkot, Punjab Province)
Fighter-Ground Attack: On Order: 4 prototypes +150 Joint Fighter-17 (JF-17)
42-47 Hongdu A-5III (A.5C) Fantan
Reconnaissance: 11 Mirage IIIRP
AEW: 0+5 S100B Argus (Saab 340AEW-200; first delivery early-2009)
Transport: 16+4 C-130B/E (12), 3 IAe CN-235-220, 4 MFI-17B Mushak,
VIP: 2 Boeing 707-320C, 2 Fokker F-27-200, 1 Dassault Falcon 20,
1 IAe CN-235-220, 4 HAMC Yun-12, 1 Gulfstream IVA, 1 Rockwell Commander
680, 1 Beech Super King Air, 1 Beech Bonanza, 1 Cessna Piper PA-34 Seneca,
4 Cessna 172N
Note: Six rebuilt/upgraded C-130E as part of US$75m contract with Lockheed
in wake of Kashmir earthquake; five are ex-RAAF aircraft traded-in for C-130Js.
Training: Combat: 10 F-16B Block 15 (upgrading to MLU), 9 Guizhou FT-7P,
7 Mirage IIIOD, 2 Mirage IIIDP, 6 Mirage 5DPA (Sagem updated)
General: On order: 20-24 MFI-17B Super Mushak (turboprop)
12 K-8 Karakoram, 14 Shenyang FT-6 (one lost 8Jun2007)
25 Shenyang FT-5 Fresco; 30 T-37B/C Tweet,
63 PAC MFI-17B Mushak (license-built MFI-17)
Helicopters: Attack: 5+ Mil-35 Hind
Trooping: 16+12 Mil-17V7 (order for dozen Ulan Ude 2005),
12 SA-316B Alouette III, 8 SA.315B Lama
SAR: 4 Mi-171Sh Hip; VIP: 1 SA.330L Puma
Note: F-16C/D Transfer: US-Pakistan deal November 2006 provides for 18 F16C/D Block 52 (12 single-seat, 6 dual-place) aircraft for completion in November
2010, with option for a further 18. US will monitor aircraft systems every 6
months to insure agreement restrictions. Contract includes 7 spare APG-68
radars & turbofans, 36 ARC-238 SINCGARS radios (Have Quick), 36 Link-16
MIDS-LVT, 36 APX-113 IFF, 36 un-contracted for ALQ EW system, and one Unit
Level Simulator Trainer.
Weapon orders include: 500 AIM-120C, 200 AIM-9M-8/9 Sidewinder, 500
JDAM kits, 700 BLU-109 2,000-lb bombs, 1,600 GBU-12/24 Enhanced GBU.
Also, 34 F-16A/B in-service will get MLU and additional 25 Block 10/15 MLU
aircraft will be transferred later. PAF contracted with NG Electronic Systems for
54 AN/APG-68(V) 9 airborne radars (US$99.5m) for Block 50/52 and retrofit to
other’s. F-16 fleet modernisation valued at US$5.1bn includes 60 upgrade kits
for older A/B models. MLU upgrade includes JHMCS helmet-cueing systems, 21
ALQ-131 Block II EW pods, 10 spare APG-68 radars, and AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispensers, US$78m contract to ITT Avionics AN/ALQ-173(V) integrated
EW system for all F-16s released March 2007.
Joint Fighter-17 (FC-1) joint manufacturing programme with China due to begin
Pakistan manufacturing in January 2008. First two Chinese-built prototype
arrived Pakistan in March 2007. Was mired in turbofan engine dispute over
Russian-provided Klimov RD-93, which also powers Indian AF Mig-29s (RD-33)
and justified by saying RD-93 not allowed to compete in markets where Russian
aircraft are competing for contracts, resulted in temporary embargo by Russia
after Indian protests. Deal on RD-93 appears concluded with agreement signed
April 27th. Serial production began in China in January 2007.PAF version to be
fitted with Galileo Grifo S7 fire-control radar, common with F7s in-service.
Saab S100D (Saab 340AEW-200) Erieye (PS-890) under US$1.15bn contract
covers 7 AEW versions for PAF and seven Saab 2000 for commercial services;
number reduced to five.
Jean-Michel Guhl
General Ehsan-ul Haq has stated high-low mix intention on AWACS, indicating
possible acquisition of No.38 Research Institute KJ-2000P (Pakistan) conversion
of IL-76D airframe is still possible PAF acquisition (S100D being ‘low-mix’).
Alenia C-27J Spartan at Paris Airshow 2007.
Pakistan Army Aviation
Helicopter: Attack: about 36 AH-1S Huey Cobra
Transport: On order: 9+17 Bell 412EP
27 Mi-17 Hip-H, 10 Mi-8 Hip-C, 32 AS330J Puma, 10 Agusta-Bell AB-205A, 10
Bell 206 Jet Ranger, 10 UH-1H Huey, 13 AS315 Lama,
20 SA315B Alouette III, 10 AS350B3 Fennec, 12 Bell 47G (OH-13G)
Training: 10 Schweitzer 300
NB: Bell 412EP: 26 covered under US$230m-plus contract for mix missions
(disaster relief, trooping, VIP and other missions)
Negotiations for up to 40 US-built LOH remain unconfirmed.
UAV: (on order) 0 +20 Galileo Avionica Falco (4 systems, 5 UAV each)
(several) Border Eagle II (Integrated Dynamics)
Liaison: 1 Fokker F-27-200 (VIP), 2Yun-12
Observation: 96 MFI-17 Mushak, 25 (maybe up to 40) Cessna O-1E Birdog
Note: AH-1F/S – first 20 AH-1S in 1984; 12 spares in 2002 plus 6-8 loaned;
2004: 40 AH-1F via US Grant Aid – deliveries underway – 8 arrived February 1,
2007 fitted with C-NITE infrared systems, under US$50m aid package.
Pakistan Navy
Land-based Maritime Patrol: 2+6 P-3C Update 2.5 Orion (ex-USN; overhauled
prior to delivery) + 2 P-3C Orion (overhauled modernise to Update 2.5 by OGMAIndustria Aeronautica de Portugal, 2006; returned to service.)
3 Atlantic Mk I with Ocean Master radar,
1 F-27 Mk 400M with Ocean Master radar
AEW: 0+3 P-3C Orion AWACS (contract finalised in Februry 2007; E-2C 2000
with APS-145 radar, with options contract worth US$855m)
Transport: 4 F-27 Mk 200M, 2+2 HAMC Yun-12-II and 2 Britten-Norman BN-2T
Defender light transports
Helicopters: 5 Sea King Mk 45/45C with dipping sonar (ASW), Mk.46Mod.2
torpedoes or alternative AM 39 Exocet ASM, 3 non-op) Lynx HAS.3
On order: 6 Harbin Z.9C (part of F22P frigate order)
SAR: 7 SA-319B Alouette III (several added for liaison duty; total 10-12)
Note: P-3C Orion to be upgraded to Update 2.5 standard (US$186.5m) under
US-Pakistan 2005 agreements, plus transfer of 8 ex-USN aircraft (US$970m).
Configured for ASuW mission with AGM-84, Yingji-82/C-802 or AM.39 Exocet
ASM. Aircraft taken from AMARC, AZ storage; 7 upgrade contracted for.
P-3 Orion AWACS contract is to provide over-water AEW coverage and aircraft
likely to be configured similar (but updated) to US Customs AEW and surveillance
aircraft. 12 Air Force Mirage V equipped with AM 39 Exocet ASM are tasked for
maritime strike.
Maritime Security Agency (MSA)
Coastal Patrol: 2 Pilatus-Britten BN-2T Maritime Defender (No.93 Sdn)
Philippine Air Force
Fighter Interceptor: (9 non-op) F-5A/B Freedom Fighter (stored)
COIN: 4 Sia-Marchetti S-211 (air support & training), 34 OV-10A/C Bronco
Upgrade, 19 OV-10C (ex-Thai–donated), 33 SF-250TP (armed trainer)
Transport: (US Grant Aid): 2 C-130E Hercules (transfer pending)
4 (2-MPA configured) C-130K Hercules, 14-17 C-130H Hercules,
6 F-27 Mk200/400 Troopship, 12 N-22B/SL, 1 F-28 (VIP)
Helicopters: Attack: 20 MD-500MG Defender
Trooping: 14 (several non-op) S-76B/AUH-76 Eagle, 4-6 Bell 412,
59 + 10 (via US Aid) UH-1H/V Huey (20 UH-1V via Singapore in 2005;
STA overhauled; five more requested fm Singapore; one lost 2Ma2007 at
Kabangkalan AB; one lost 10Jun2007 in Besao, Mountain Prov.; one UH-1V lost
2April 2007 from No.210 Sq. Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island )
VIP: 1 Sikorsky S-70A-5, 1 SA-330L Puma
Training: 18 SIAI-Alenia Aeromacchi SF-260 (delivery complete during 2008)
34 T-41B Mescalero (ex-ROKAF; delivery complete by 2008)
3 (1 op) SF-260MF, 5 T-41D Mescalero
Philippine Army Aviation
Liaison: 1 Beech Queen Air, 1 Cessna 190, 1 Cessna 172N, 1 Cessna 170
Philippine Naval Air Group [NAG]
Maritime Patrol: 2 C-130K Hercules MPA (operated by PAF; see NB)
3 Fokker F-27 Mk.200 Maritime Enforcer, 7 (4-5 non-op) BN-2 Maritime Defender
Helicopters: SAR: 4 BO-105C
Utility: 5 UH-1H Huey (4 Huey II Upgrade - modernised)
Training: 1 Cessna 172, 1 Cessna 152
Note: Two former-RAF C-130K were configured during Lockheed Martin
overhaul to temporary MPA configuration (similar to earlier Malaysian C-130MPA).
Plans: Armed Forces (Philippines) Modernisation Plan (AFPMP) 2006-11 includes
buying a new MPA on behalf of the Navy. Final selection due early-2007 between
Bombardier Dash Q300 variant and Lockheed Martin (believed to be C-27J
Spartan MPA variant. If funded delivery expected in late-2007 or early-2008, to
replace assigned C-130K aircraft. A Batch 2 will deliver after 2012 to enhance
MPA force, funded under next 6-Year Plan (2012-18).
Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)
Fighters: On Order: 12 F-15SG Strike Eagle (option taken on 8 + 4 more; fitted
with APG-63(V)3 AESA radar; deliveries begin late-2008);
42 F-16C/D Block 50/52 Falcon, (Storage: 12+ F-16A/B Block 15OCU; seven to
NB: Block 50/52: Acquired under Peace Carvin II and Block 15OCU under
Peace Carvin I programmes.
Fighter-attack: 20 F-15SG Strike Eagle fighter-bomber [fitted with APG63V(3) AESA radar]; 28 F-5E/S Tiger II (upgraded designation), 9 F-5E/T; 40 A4S/A-4SU Super Skyhawk (20 No.150 Sq. at Cazaux, FR + others in reserve in
Note: TA-4SU Replacement: RoI released 22 August 2007 by DSTA to replace
TA-4SU aircraft at Cazaux ABm France with options to provide flight training on
either purchased on leased aircraft by winning contractor. RfP expected to be
released by mid-2008.
Maritime Patrol: 4 Fokker F-50 Enforcer II
Refuelling RAAF F-111s.
Republic of China Air Force [ROCAF]
Transport: 5 KC-130H Hercules, 4 KC-130B tankers [refuel only F-5, A-4s],
5 Fokker F-50 transports
NB: Singapore Technologies Aerospace has been awarded multi-phase contract
to SLEP and upgrade all C-130/KC-130 aircraft to be completed by 2010.
Aerial Tanker: 4 KC-135R Stratotanker (2 in US)
Liaison: 9 Cessna 172, 3 Cessna 402C
AEW: On order: 0+4 Gulfstream G.550 (similar to Conformal AEW for Israeli air
force; to replace E-2Cs); 4 E-2C Hawkeye
Helicopters: 8+12 AH-64D Apache (3 in Singapore; 5 at Marana, AZ in training)
Trooping: 6 CH-47D Chinook, 18 AS-322M Super Puma (incl. 5 SAR),
5 AS-532UL, 6 AB-205A [No.120 Squadron UH-IH Huey stood down July 2005]
Utility: 20 AS 550A2/C2
Training: 0+5 Eurocopter EC120 (under US$120m contract in 2006)
UAV: 40 IAI Searcher, 24 Chukar III
Fighter-Interceptor: 293
47 Mirage 2000-5EI
1 prototype Xiong Ying-2 (rolled out March 2007)
128 F-CK-1A Ching Kuo (IDF),
Fighter/Ground attack: 128
116 F-16A/B Block 20 Fighting Falcon
90-plus F-5E/F Tiger II (half in storage; one F-5F lost 11May2007 over Hsinchu)
22 AT-3A/B
Recce: 8 RF-5E Tigereye (8 RF-104G Starfighter storage)
AEW: 4 E-2T Hawkeye 2000
EW: 2 EC-130H Hercules, 2 CC-47D Dakota
Transport: 39
20 C-130H Hercules, C-119G and C-47 (in storage)
VIP: 1 737-800, 4 727-100, 10 Beech 1900C-1, 3 Fokker F-50, 1 S-62A (VIP)
Helicopters: 35
3 CH-47D Chinook, 13 S-70C-1A Blackhawk, 4 S-70C-6, 4 UH-1H Huey
Training: 12 Mirage 2000-5DI, 30 F-16B, 28 F-CK-1B Ching Kuo, 56 AT-3A/B
Tzu Chang (also light attack), 42 T-34C Mentor
SAR: 17 S-70C Seahawk
Republic of Singapore Navy
MPA: 5 Fokker F.50 MKII S Enforcer [owned by Navy, but are flown and
maintained by RSAF]
Helicopter: On Order: 6 UT/Sikorsky S-70B to equip Singapore’s La Fayette
frigates will be delivered between 2008 and 2010.
Sri Lanka Air Force
Fighter/Ground Attack: 8 IAI Kfir C2 (6)/C7(2), 3-4 MiG-27M Flogger, 3
Chengdu F-7BS
COIN: 3 SF.260TP (mostly training)
EW: 1 Super King Air 200 (SIGINT)
Transport: On order: 4 An-32B Cline (from Aviant, Ukraine)
2 C-130K C.Mk.1 Hercules, 3 Harbin Yun-8D Cub, 7 (3-4 airworthy) An-32B,
2 BAe-748 Avro, 3+3 spare Yun-12-II
VIP: 1 Cessna 421C
Helicopters: 12 Mi-35 Hind, 1 (+6 non-op) Mi-24 Hind, 7 to 11 Mi-17 Hip,
12 Bell 206 Kiowa, 9 Bell 212 Jet Ranger
VIP: 4 Bell 412 (fitted with RWR)
Training: 2-3 IAO Kfir TC.2, 1 MiG-23UB (Flogger), 1 Guizhou FT-7 (Mongol),
4 Hongdu K-8C, 2 Guizhou FT-5, 8 Nanchang PT-6, (2 non-op; SF-260W retired
from flight training, as are Cessna-150)
Note: MiG-27M: all currently or will be overhauled in Ukraine.
Oct 22nd attack by LTTE on Anuradhapura AB destroyed one K-8 Karakorum,
one Bell-206 Jet Ranger, one Mi-24, two Mi-17, two Nanchang PT-6, one Beech
2007 King Air HISAR aircraft, plus two Blue Horizon II UAV. Damaged aircraft
included four retired Cessna 150s.
Republic of China Army
Attack: 63 AH-1W Super Cobra
Trooping: 9 CH-47SD Chinook, 39 OH-58D Kiowa
79 UH-1H Huey (one lost 3 April 2007 near Kaohsiung)
Training: 30 TH-67
Republic of China Navy
Maritime Strike: 50 AIDC A-3B/AT-3B Lui-Ming fitted with Hsiung I/II SSM
Maritime Reconnaissance: 20 Grumman S2T Turbo-Tracker, 8-plus
Grumman S-2E/G Tracker (training & reserve), 2 Grumman S-2E EW-Tracker
On Order: 12(?) C-27J Spartan MPA (announced July 2003)
Helicopters: 30 (11/19) Sikorsky S-70C(M)-2/-1 Thunderhawk, 12 MD-500/
Note: P-3C Orion: Acquisition legislation passed Jun 2007 to acquire 12
aircraft under US$1.96bn contract, if all options exercised. DSCA notification
to Congress pending, including provision to acquire 3 surplus TP-3A aircraft as
spares support. Contract would include MIDS on-ship terminals, 14 data link
terminals and 19 MIDS /low volume terminals. Approval expect in 2008.
Marine Corps Aviation
Helicopters: 6 MD-500 Defender reconnaissance and utility
w w w. a p d s e x h i b i t i o n . c o m
[email protected]
+44 (0)1628 660566
AgustaWestland Thai Navy.
Royal Thai Army
Transport: On order: 1 Embraer ERJ-135LR (ordered Nov 2007)
2 C-212, 2 Short 330UTT, 3 Beech 99, 2 Beech 1900C, 2 Jetstream 41, 1
Beech King Air, 10 Cessna 206
Liaison: 18 T-41A, 25 O-LA, 4 U-17B
Training: 10 T-41D, 18 Maule MX-7-235
Helicopters: 10 CH-47D, 2 Sikorsky UH-60L, 7 S-70B Blackhawk, , 56 Bell
212, 6 Bell 206, 65 UH-1B/D/H (upgraded 2003-2004).
UAV: IAI Searcher
Royal Thai Navy
Royal Thai Air Force [RTAF]
Fighters: 36 F-16A/B Block 15 Falcon, 17 F-16AOCU Block 15 Falcon
On Order: 12 JAS.39 Gripen (planned – negotiations underway for 6 with
Fighter-Bomber: 32 F-5E/F (upgraded with new fire control systems and AAM);
14 F-5A/B Freedom Fighter (mostly used in proficiency training)
COIN: 43 L-39ZA/MS Albatross (COIN + training), 22 AU-23A Peacemaker
(Fairchild-Pilatus Turbo Porter conversion), 4 AC-47A Spooky gunships, 5 GAF N24A Searchmaster-L (formerly used in anti-piracy patrol)
AEW: 2 Saab 340 Erieye (planned – contract in negotiation)
Recce: 3 RF-5A camera-reconnaissance, Survey: 2 Learjet 35A, 3 Merlin IVA, 3
N-22B Nomad
Transport: 10 Indonesian Aerospace CN-235; 6 Lockheed Martin C-130H-30
Stretched Hercules; 6 Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules (Communications and
air traffic control upgrade underway on all C130 types); 6 Alenia G222); 8 EADS
CASA C-212-200 Aviocar, 6 C-47TP (Basler) Turbo Dakota, 6 Short SD-330200UTT (C-23A), 22 N-22B Nomad (bulk non operational), 3 C-123K Provider
VIP: 1 Airbus A.310-324, 1 Boeing 737-200, 5 HS-748, (BAe 748 Series 208),
3 Merlin IV
Note: Ten CN-235 will be allocated 6 to Air Force, 4 to Ministry of Agriculture but
available for military missions in emergency.
Training: 20 Alphajet (via Germany), 23 PC-9, 24 CT-4
Helicopters: 6 Bell 206B Jet Ranger
Liaison: 3 Commander, 1 King Air E90, 2 Queen Air, 3 Cessna 150, 12 T-41D
Helicopters: Attack: 4 AH-1F Huey Cobra
Transport: 16 UH-60L/S-70B Blackhawk, 56 Bell 212 Jet Ranger, 19 Bell
214ST (Super Transport), 18 Bell S-58T Turbo Cochtah
VIP: 3 AS.532A2 Puma, 2 AS.332L Puma, 2 Bell 412ST
Border Police Aviation: 14 Bell 206A/B Jet Ranger (armed), 18 + 26 Bell 205
Jet Ranger/UH-1H (armed)
2 AS.332L Super Puma MK.II (VIP) (Border Police Aviation)
Note: JAS39C/D: Two phase acquisition planned in conjunction with Saab 340
Erieye. Sale approvals granted by Swedish parliament in January 2008 with
contracts still to be finalised. Total project value placed at US$1.086bn.
Fighters: 7 AV-8B Matador (2 operational), 2 TAV-8S Matador (Harrier)
Maritime Strike: 18 A-7E/TA-7E Corsair II (retired; in storage)
MPA: 3 P-3B (T) Orion ASW/MPA, 4 CN-235MP Persuader, 6 Do-228-212
Maritime, 3 Fokker F.27 Mk.200 Maritime Enforcer ASW/MPA, 8 S-2F Tracker
ASW/MPA, 9 N-22MA Nomad (Search Master-L) MPA
Transport: On order: 1 Embraer ERJ-135LR (ordered 5Nov2007)
3 Fokker F-27 Mk.400M Troopship (via Netherlands/US),
14 C-47B Dakota (+1 EC-47B ELINT)
SAR + Fire Fighting: 2 Canadair CL-215-111 water bombers
Observation: 5 Sentry 02-337 (Cessna 0-2) (formerly anti-piracy patrol)
Helicopters: ASW: 0+6 Sikorsky MH-60S (ordered mid-2006 under US$
58M contract to delivery first two – delivery due 2009; total US$246 M
contract will fund remaining helicopters, spares and training package)
5 S-70B7 Seahawk, 2 Super Lynx 300, 6 SH-2F Seasprite, 8 Bell 212AB
SAR/Utility: 4 Bell Textron UH-1H Huey, 4 Bell Textron 214ST (all
temporarily grounded 25Mar2007 after crash)
Super Lynx 300: First entered service February 2006 with No.203
Squadron onboard RTN Taksin.
Vietnamese People’s Air Force [VPAF]
Fighter-Interceptor: 7 Su-27SK Flanker, 35 MiG-23MS Flogger-E, 36 MiG
-21SM Fishbed-J, 54 MiG -21PFM Fishbed-F (mostly reserve; poss. 120 MiG
-21s in total.)
Fighter-Ground Attack: 4 Su-30MK1 Flanker (option on 8 more), 17 MiG 23BN Flogger-F, 50 Su-22M4K Fitter-K, 28-32 Su-22M3K Fitter-C;
Reserve: Shenyang J.6 (Farmer), MiG -17C Fresco.
Transports: 70+ including civil use; 35 AN-26 Curl, 9 AN-24 Coke, 30 Li-2/C47 Dakota, 1+ PZL Mielec M-28 Skytruck, 20 An-2 Colt
VIP: 14 Yak-40 (also light feeder commercial use)
Aerial Survey: several AN-30 Clank
Helicopters: Attack: 26-30 Mi-24/Mi-24U Hind
Trooping: 10 Mi-6 Hook, 2 Kazan-built Mi-17 Hip-E, 49 Mi-8 Hip-C, up to
30 Mi-4 Hound, several UH-1H Huey (ex-South Vietnamese air force) remain
Utility: On Order: 0+ 4 PZL Swidnik W-3W Sokol
ASW: 10 Ka-27 Helix-A, 12-15 Ka-25BSh Hormone-A (maybe retired or
storage), 6 Mi-14, 10 Mi-4T (Z-5) Hound (retiring)
SAR: 2+ Kamov Ka-32
Trainers: 5 Su-27UBK Flanker, about 24 Mig-21UM Mongol, 7 Su-22UM3K
Fitter, 25 Aero L-39C Albatros (910th Training Regiment – one lost 5 June 2007
at sea off Phuoc Dinh, Ninh Thuan Province, south Vietnam); several Mig-17F
4 Aero L-29RS, 10 Aerostar Yak-52 and 30 Yak-18
UAV: 2+ M-400 tactical (first flight September 2005)
Note: MiG -21s: Equip nine air regiments, including two at Phu Cat-based Air
Academy; 370th AD (Da Nang and Bien Hoa AB); 372nd AD (Kien An AB); 371st
AD (Noi Bai, Kep and An-Bai air bases). Q
The Asia Pacific region is undergoing major growth in
defence and aviation, with the budgets in many countries
continuing to rise and an ever increasing level of
sophistication in technologies, equipment, systems and
operational methods.
Leading the way to access these important markets every
two years is the Australian International Airshow and
Aerospace & Defence Exposition staged at Avalon Airport,
Geelong, Victoria.
First held in 1992, the biennial Australian International
Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition is one of the
Asia Pacific’s most prestigious aviation, aerospace and
defence events.
In 2009 it will again present a unique opportunity to
showcase products, technologies and services to an informed
target audience and to demonstrate a marketing presence in
this vibrant and vital region.
Contact - Bob Wouda, Head of Sales
Telephone: +61 (0)3 5282 0500
Email: [email protected]