Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Malaysia to produce APCs for Asia-Pacific market

ANKARA: Malaysia is set to produce armoured personnel carriers (APC) for the Asia-Pacific region.

The country plans to buy 257 units of armoured carrier frames from the FNSS Defence System plant here and assemble components sourced from various countries.

Deftech Malaysia and FNSS Turkey signed a letter of agreement for the purchase of the main body frame of the armoured carrier here yesterday.

An APC is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.

Troop carrier: Najib being briefed on the capability of the armoured personnel carrier during his visit to the FNSS plant in Ankara. — Bernama

APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles or mortars. They are usually not designed to take part in a direct-fire battle.

FNSS chief executive officer K. Nail Kurt briefed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his entourage on the facilities at the company’s high security plant. Also present were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and army chief Jen Datuk Sri Zulkifeli Zin.

Speaking to reporters after the signing, Zahid said the carriers would be assembled at the Deftech plant in Pekan, Pahang.

FNSS is willing to accord Deftech its intellectual property rights that also allows it to export the assembled products to the Asia-Pacific region.

“We have an understanding that we can source the defence fittings from elsewhere,” said Zahid, adding that Malaysia plans to mix-and-match various technologies.

Najib later laid a wreath at the Anitkabir mausoleum as a mark of respect for Turkey’s founder and first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Najib also had a closed-door meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyib Erdogan.

The two leaders later witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Small and Medium Enterprises Corpo­ration Malaysia (SME Corp) and Turkey’s Small and Medium Industry Organisation (KOSGEB). SME Corp CEO Datuk Hafsah Hashim and KOSGEB president Mustafa Kaplan signed the MoU.

source : The Star, FNSS PARS

Thursday, February 17, 2011

FC-20 M-MRCA Emerges


FC-20 M-MRCA Emerges

China’s Sichuan-based Chengdu Aerospace Corp (CAC) and its affiliated 611 Institute has begun a hectic but structured flight-test programme for the FC-20 medium multi-role combat aircraft (M-MRCA), whose launch export customer is the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The PAF has an initial requirement for 36 single-seaters and four tandem-seat operational conversion trainers, and envisages a total requirement for 80 FC-20s distributed among four squadrons. The first single-seat FC-20 prototype was rolled out by CAC last December and it made its maiden flight last March. Derived from the CAC-built J-10A Vigorous Dragon M-MRCA, the FC-20 incorporates an undernose modified lightweight air inlet, redesigned vertical tailfin, strengthened underwing inner pylons designed for carrying standoff precision-guided munitions (PGM) like the glide kit-equipped LS-6, nose-mounted infra-red search-and-track (IRST) system, a glass cockpit equipped with a holographic wide-angle heads-up display (HUD), a pair of inverted-gull wings (with the inner upper portion extending slightly downward, while the outer portion extending flat), a fixed in-flight refuelling probe, a large vertical tail, twin ventral stabilisers for providing greater stability at high angles of attack, and a single AL-31FN-M1 turbofan engine rated at 132.4kN thrust with afterburning. In August 2005 China had inked a US$300 million contract in with Russia’s Rosoboronexport State Corp to acquire an initial 100 such engines. The entire R & D phase of the FC-20 is being carried out under the oversight of China’s state-owned China Aviation Industry Corp (AVIC).

The FC-20 will be able to carry 4.5 tonnes of weapons payload, and will come equipped with 11 hardpoints for carrying a wide range of air combat missiles (both within-visual-range and beyond-visual-range) and PGMs. The FC-20’s performance parameters include a maximum combat radius of 2,540km (1,370nm) in a hi-lo-hi mission profile, or of 1,310km (710nm) in a lo-lo-lo mission profile when carrying a 1,810kg (4,000lb) weapons payload.

The M-MRCA will have an empty weight of 9,750kg, maximum takeoff weight of 19,277kg, internal fuel capacity of 4,500kg, maximum speed of Mach 2 at high altitude and Mach 1.2 at sea level, takeoff run of 500 metres, combat radius of 1,100km, and a service ceiling of 18,000 metres. The FC-20 has a wingspan of 8.78 metres, overall length of 14.57 metres, height of 4.78 metres, and a gross wing area of 33.1 square metres. The airframe features high-quality welding, but is overwhelmingly of metallic construction, with composites accounting for only 12% of the fuselage area. CAC and its affiliated 611 Institute are now preparing to roll-out a tandem-seat deep interdictor variant of the FC-20, which, like the single-seater, will be equipped with a laser target acquisition/designation pod, laser-/GPS-guided PGMs, as well as PL-9C within-visual-range and PL-12 beyond-visual-range air combat missiles built by the Luoyang Opto-Electro Technology Development Centre. Design of this variant of the FC-20 is derived from the J-10B operational conversion trainer that made its maiden flight on December 26, 2003.

The FC-20’s tandem-seat variant will feature a stretched forward fuselage and a single-piece bubble canopy. Its dorsal spine will be enlarged to accommodate those avionics displaced by the rear cockpit. The PAF is widely expected to equip its FC-20s with the SELEX Galileo-built X-band Vixen 500E airborne active phased-array fire-control radar.

The glass cockpit avionics suite will includes a wide-angle holographic HUD with up-front control panel and a video camera, twin monochrome AMLCD-based multifunction displays, a single colour AMLCD head-down display, infra-red sensors for a helmet-mounted sight, hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls, ring-laser-gyro-based inertial navigation system, air data computer, ARW-9101A radar warning receiver, Type 634 digital quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control system using a MIL-STD-1553B digital data bus, and a digital fuel management system and stores management system.

The FC-20’s compound delta-wing configuration will offer two important aerodynamic qualities. The swept leading edge of the wing will stay ahead of the shock-wave generated by the FC-20’s nose during supersonic flight, thus making the compound delta-wing a very efficient aerodynamic wing shape for supersonic flight. The leading edge of compound delta-wing will also generate a massive vortex that will attach itself to the upper surface of the wing during high angle-of-attack (AoA) manoeuvres, resulting in very high stall points.

The FC-20’s leading edge extensions at the root of the leading edge of the main wings will remain out of airflow in cruise flight and will be used during high AoA manoeuvres to generate a high-speed vortex that will stay attached to the top of the main wing. This in turn will maintain a low-pressure zone over the upper surface of the wing, generating lift beyond what would have been the stall point for a single delta-wing. The compound delta-wing has another quality significant for the FC-20: this wing profile offers increased survivability by having increased structural and airflow stability.

The FC-20’s twin canard surfaces, unlike a conventional tailplane which they have replaced, will generate positive lift. During high AoA manoeuvres the canard surfaces will stall first. This will cause the nose of the aircraft to pitch down and prevent the main wing from stalling—a valuable feature for a combat aircraft. At the same time, however, the canard surfaces will create a downwash which will degrade the main wing’s performance. Canards will also make it very difficult to apply flaps: normally, extending flaps causes a downward movement of the nose, which is compensated by the tailplane. However, in the FC-20’s case, there is no tailplane and therefore there is nothing required to compensate for the effect of the flaps.

PGMs to be carried by the FC-20 will include China National Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp’s (CPMIEC) C-704 anti-ship cruise missile with 35km range, the C-802KD air-launched anti-ship cruise missile with 120km range, YJ-91 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile with 70km range and the YJ-98 supersonic anti-radiation missile with 200km range, 500kg FT-1 GPS-guided bomb, 250kg FT-3 GPS-guided bomb, and the LS-6 500kg bomb that is fitted with glide kit comprising twin pop-out wings. The LS-6 has a range of 40km when launched from an altitude of 30,000 feet.

Yet another air-launched PGM that will be carried by the FC-20 is the 500kg LT-2 laser-guided bomb, currently operational with the PLA Navy’s JH-7As and the PLAAF’s Q-5M tactical strike aircraft. Laser target acquisition-cum-designation for this bomb will be provided by a pod developed and built by CLETRI. The LT-2 is essentially a licence-built KAB-500L laser-guided bomb that has a nominal weight of 500kg (1,102lb), and comes fitted with a semi-active laser seeker and guidance fins, turning it into a guided, unpowered glide bomb.

Source : Tempur

China’s Latest Attack Helicopter: The ZW-10


China’s Latest Attack Helicopter: The ZW-10

11/08/09 - Tempur August 2009

Harbin Aviation Industry (Group) Co Ltd (HAIG), the China National Aero-Technology Import-Export Corp (CATIC), and the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI), located at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, are gearing up for launching the limited series-production a new-generation dedicated attack helicopter for the PLA Army Aviation Corps, called the Zhisheng-10 (ZW-10), which has successfully undergone extensive flight-testing by HAIG and Jiangxi-based CHRDI. Designed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Group (CAIG) and CHRDI, both based in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. The twin-engined, stepped tandem-seat 6.5.-tonne ZW-10, externally, bears a strong resemblance to DENEL Aerospace’s Rooivalk, and features upward-facing engine exhausts and a narrow fuselage with stepped tandem cockpits housing the weapon systems operator in the front seat and the pilot in the rear. It also has five main rotor blades made of composite materials and a four tail rotor blades. Powerplant comprises twin WZ-9 engines each rated at 1,250kW. The weapons package includes a chin-mounted 30mm cannon, up to eight HJ-9L anti-armour missiles and four TY-90 air combat missiles. A nose-mounted turret houses a thermal imager, TV camera, and a laser rangefinder-cum-target designator. The all-glass cockpits, integrated communications suite, ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system and the defensive aids suite are all integrated via a MIL-STD-1553B digital data bus. An initial two ZW-10 technology demonstrators were rolled out on April 29, 2003, and were followed by six prototypes in 2004. The first flight took place on April 29, 2003.
The ZW-10 has adopted a standard attack helicopter configuration featuring a narrow fuselage, with the gunner in the front cockpit and the pilot in the stepped-up rear cockpit. The fuselage has a stealthy diamond shape to reduce radar cross-section, while the twin engine exhausts are pointed upwards for greatly reduced heat signature. All mission-critical areas of the fuselage, including the cockpit and fuel tanks, are armour-plated. The first two ZW-10 prototypes were initially powered by twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-76C turboshaft engines (each rated at 1,250kW). The twin stub-mounted wings can carry up to eight KD-10A laser-guided anti-armour missiles that are housed within twin box-sized launchers. The chin-mounted 30mm cannon can be aimed via the gunner’s helmet-mounted day/night sight. In addition, up to four TY-90 IR-guided air combat missiles can be carried for self-defence against hostile attack helicopters and fixed-wing combat aircraft. The ZW-10 also features a large nose-mounted turret housing the FLIR sensor, TV camera, laser rangefinder and a target designator. Twin missile-approach warning system (MAWS) sensors are installed on both sides of the fuselage behind the nose turret section. Also fitted are an integrated communications/inertial navigation system, a defensive aids suite, and an integrated glass cockpit display system.

Source : Tempur

JH-7A’s Evolution Continues


JH-7A’s Evolution Continues

China’s Aviation Industries (AVIC) has further developed the existing JH-7A ‘Flying Leopard’ deep interdictor/strike aircraft into two specific dedicated airborne platforms: one for suppressing hostile air defences (the SEAD role), and another for undertaking ELINT functions in lieu of launching SEAD-based air campaigns. To be employed by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), these two variants have been in production since 2006. The original tandem-seat JH-7A bomber, which began entering service with the PLAAF in late 2004, comes equipped with a CETC-developed and built JL-10AG monopulse pulse-Doppler X-band multi-mode radar, digital fly-by-wire flight control system, and twin WS-9 ‘Qinling’ turbofans (certified in July 2003) that are fully indigenised afterburning variants of the Rolls-Royce Spey MK202 turbofans. The JH-7A has 11 hardpoints, including six underwing, twin wingtip-mounted (for carrying within-visual-range PL-9C air combat missiles), two under the engine air intakes, and one centreline pylon. Together, these pylons can carry can carry the PL-9C, the 70km-range YJ-91/Kh-31P Krypton supersonic anti-radiation missiles, LT-2 laser-guided bombs and FT-/LS-family of GPS-guided bombs. A data-link pod carried underneath the portside engine air intake provides enemy radar emission/direction-finding cues to the YJ-91/Kh-31P. For all-weather strike sorties, the JH-7A comes equipped with a belly-mounted K/CDC-01 target acquisition/laser designator pod to paint targets for 500kg and 1,000kg laser-guided bombs. Other guided-missiles carried by the JH-7A include China National Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp’s (CPMIEC) C-704 anti-ship cruise missile with 35km range; the YJ-83K/C-802KD air-launched anti-ship cruise missile with 120km range (already operational with the Xian JH-7A bombers of the PLA Navy’s 28th Air Division, based near the eastern city of Hangzhou); GPS-guided precision-guided munitions like the 500kg FT-1 bomb and 250kg FT-3 bomb; and the LS-6 500kg bomb that comes fitted with glide kit comprising twin pop-out wings. The LS-6 has a range of 40km when launched from an altitude of 30,000 feet. Yet another air-launched PGM qualified for the JH-7A is the 500kg LT-2 laser-guided bomb. Laser target acquisition-cum-designation for this bomb is provided by a pod developed and built by CLETRI. The LT-2 is essentially a licence-built KAB-500L laser-guided bomb that has a nominal weight of 500kg (1,102lb), and comes fitted with a semi-active laser seeker and guidance fins, turning it into a guided, unpowered glide bomb. The LT-2 is 3.05 metres (10 feet) long and weighs 525kg (1,155lb). Its warhead comprises 450kg (990lb) of the total weight, of which roughly 50% is the blast-effect high-explosive warhead. It has a CEP of 7 metres (23 feet). Since the early 1990s, CLETRI has been developing laser designation pods as well as low-level flight navigation pods, whose existence was revealed only in June 2005. Despite this, the PLAAF and PLA Navy have both imported an initial 10 SAPSAN-E target designation pods each from Russia’s Urals Optical and Electromechanical Plant for their Su-30MKK and Su-30MK2 combat aircraft. The SAPSAN-E pod weighs 250kg, and its two-axis gimbal-stabilised sensor section contains a TV (thermal imaging) channel, ranging channel, laser designation channel, and a temperature control system. It will be used primarily for designating targets for the KAB-1500T TV-guided bomb and the Raduga Kh-59ME turbojet-powered anti-ship cruise missile whose flight qualification trials for China were concluded by December 2005. The Kh-59ME comes fitted with an active radar seeker and advanced inertial guidance systems, and a special computer interface allowing it to use targeting data from the Su-30MK2. It has a range of 288km (186 miles).
The SEAD version of the JH-7A comes equipped with the KJ-8602BC radar warning receiver (operating in the 2-40GHz frequency range), the internally-mounted KG-8605A noise/deception jammer (operating in the 8.5-18GHz frequency range), and up to two underwing-mounted KG-300G jamming pods (both operating in the 6.5-17.5GHz frequency range). Also carried are up to four ramjet-powered YJ-98 supersonic anti-radiation missiles each with 200km range. The YJ-98’s operational clearance trials were successfully concluded in 2007 at an instrumented missile firing trials range located in the Bohai Bay. It features a liquid-fuelled ramjet propulsion system, and a wideband seeker that covers all the required frequencies in a single unit. Series production got underway last year, following which it was also flight-qualified on the Shenyang J-8IIM combat aircraft.

AVIC has also developed for the PLAAF’s JH-7A and J-8IIM the Xi’an twin-engined H-6U aerial refuelling tanker. For the PLA Navy, however, this aircraft is called the H-6DU. Fitted with a hose-and-drogue refuelling system comprising twin underwing-mounted RDC-1 aerial refuelling pods, the H-6U and H-6DU were inducted into service in the mid-1990s. It was during the ASIANDEX defence technology exhibition in Beijing in mid-1988 that China first revealed the scale-model of an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft using the H-6 intermediate-range bomber’s airframe. The first H-6U prototype made its maiden flight in 1990. The first successful aerial refuelling sortie involving the H-6U and a J-8IIM followed a year later, with the first 20 operational H-6U being inducted into service in 1996. During the 1999 National Day military parade held in Beijing, two H-6Us escorted by four J-8Ds flew over the Tiananmen Square. The H-6U’s newly built airframes lack the glass-built nose section found on the H-6 bomber. Each H-6U/DU tanker carries two RDC-1 hose-and-drogue refuelling pods under its wings, which are capable of refuelling two J-8IIMs or two JH-7As simultaneously, and up to six J-10A/B M-MRCAs in one sortie. Like the H-6K medium-bomber, the H-6U/DU comes with glass cockpit avionics, ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system, nose-mounted colour weather radar, and a TACAN for all-weather navigation out to a distance of 200km. The aircraft’s electronic countermeasures suite includes a radar warning receiver and countermeasures dispensers. The PLAAF’s Leiyang air base-based 8th Air Division based in Hunan Province operates around 10 H-6Us, while the PLA Navy’s 9th Air Division, operating from Lingshui Air Station in Hainan Island, flies three H-6DUs tankers. Both the H-6U and H-6DU can each carry 37 tonnes of aviation fuel inside its internal tanks and can transfer 18.5 tonnes of fuel to the combat aircraft. The RDC-1 refuelling pod has been developed by AVIC’s China Institute of Aero Accessories. The pods’ operator station is located inside the original tail gun turret on the H-6. The aircraft has a three-man aircrew complement, maximum internal fuel capacity of 37 tonnes, refueling capability of 18.5 tonnes, maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.75 (786kph), maximum range of 6,000km, and a service ceiling of 13.1km. In future, the H-6U is likely to be exported in limited numbers to the air forces of Iran and Pakistan.

source : Tempur

Airshow China 2010: A Mighty Spectacle


Airshow China 2010: A Mighty Spectacle

The 8th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, held in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province between November 16 and 21, played host to about 70 aircraft from 35 countries, and more than 600 domestic and foreign exhibitors. VVIPs attending the expo included the Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) Guo Boxiong, Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie, Chief of General Staff for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Gen Chen Bingde, plus official delegations from more than 50 countries hailing from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Formation aerobatics this time were performed by the PLA Air Force’s Bayi (August 1) aerobatic team (flying the Chengdu Jian J-10 medium multi-role combat aircraft), and by the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) ‘Sherdil’ aerobatic team flying the Karakoram-8 primary jet trainer (PJT).
The principal highlight of the expo was the detailing of China’s multi-tier space exploration roadmap, which includes the deployment of a manned space station around 2020. Prior to that, Beijing will launch a space laboratory before 2016 to master key technologies such as living conditions for astronauts on board the manned space station. It will subsequently develop and launch a core cabin and a second laboratory module around 2020, which would be assembled in orbit into a space station. The station would study technologies concerning long-term manned space flights. China has already announced plans to launch two unmanned modules next year, which are expected to undergo the country’s first space docking—an essential step towards building the space station. China sees the manned space station programme as a symbol of its global stature, growing technical expertise, and the Communist Party’s success in turning around the fortunes of the formerly poverty-stricken nation. China became only the third country in the world to put a man in space—after the US and Russia—when PLA Air Force Col Yang Liwei piloted the one-man Shenzhou-5 space mission in 2003. And in September 2008, the Shenzhou-7 mission, piloted by three astronauts, saw China carrying out its first space walk. China is also making strides in lunar exploration, aiming to become the second country to put a man on the moon. It launched its second lunar probe on October 1, and hopes to bring a moon rock sample back to Earth in 2017, and has planned a manned mission to the moon for around 2020.

Next year will see the launch of the TG-1 TianGong-1 space module. TiangGong-1 is expected to accomplish the country’s first space docking and is regarded as an essential step toward building a space station. Weighing about 8.5 tonnes, TianGong-1 will be able to perform long-term unattended operations, which will be an essential step toward building a manned space station. The unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft will achieve China’s first space docking. The docking manoeuvres are going to be controlled from the ground. Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10, the two other spaceships to dock with Tiangong-1, would carry a crew of two or three. TG-1 TianGong-1 is going to be launched by a modified CZ-2F Chang Zheng-2F launch vehicle, sometimes referred to as CZ-2F/G Chang Zheng-2F/G, sporting 170 technological modifications, including 38 major refinements. China is also advancing on the development of the CZ-5 Chang Zheng-5 series of satellite launch vehicles with the building of a launch vehicle production base in the northern municipality of Tianjin. This development has a total investment of Yuan10 billion and covers an area of more than 1 million square metres. The base will be capable of producing 12 launch vehicles a year, and after the first phase of construction is completed in 2011, the base will be able to produce two launch vehicles. Earlier reports point to the first launch of the CZ-5, with a maximum payload capacity of up to 25 tonnes, in 2014.

Combat Aircraft Updates
One of the most significant revelations coming out of the exhibition was official confirmation of the existence of two parallel R & D programmes aimed at fielding a fourth-generation M-MRCA—the Jian J-14—by 2014, and the fifth-generation Jian J-20 air dominance combat aircraft by 2018. Both these new-generation combat aircraft are being developed by the PLA Air Force’s Nos 601 and 611 Institute, with Chengdu Aircraft Corp’s Plant No132 (CAC) acting as the prime industrial contractor. The J-14 will be twin-engined version of the existing single-engined Jian J-10A (140 of which are presently operational), and will feature enlarged wings and a twin vertical tail structure. Powerplant for the J-14 will be two WS-10G turbofans (each rated at 147kN maximum thrust) developed by the Liming Aeroengine Manufacturing Corp (LAMC). The J-20, on the other hand, will be powered by twin uprated WS-10Gs, each of which will offer a maximum thrust of 155kN. It was on November 9 that the PLA Air Force’s Deputy Commander, Gen He Weirong, confirmed the existence of both the J-14 and J-20 by saying that the former will soon be rolled out, while the latter will begin entering service by 2018. The J-20’s design will be characterised by three ‘S’ capabilities: stealth, super cruise, super manoeuvrability and short take-off. Gen He also confirmed that flight-tests of the J-10B M-MRCA (also known as FC-20) will ‘soon’ enter series-production and it too will be powered by a WS-10A turbofan. Pakistan will be the first export customer for this M-MRCA, having ordered 36 of them on November 10, 2009 under a $1.4 million contract. In another development, the PLAAF has already completed flight-tests of a J-11B (licence-built Su-27SKM) powered by twin WS-10A turbofans (each rated at 132kN) and equipped with an indigenously designed glass cockpit. The WS-10 family of turbofans has been developed under the ‘Taihang’ project by the PLAAF’s 606 and 624 Institutes. The WS-10A has a maximum thrust rating of 13,200kg and a 7.5:1 thrust-to-weight ratio. It is a 12-stage low-bypass ratio engine. During the engine family R & D process, China reportedly achieved some 300 breakthroughs in aviation technologies and materials, such as transonic turbine, air-film cooling blade, integrated fan rotor by electron beam-welding, squeeze-film damper, metal-brush seal, high-energy igniter, variable camber inlet guide-vanes, and convergent-divergent nozzle. The combined cooling blade of the turbines use hi-tech materials like single-crystal nickel-based turbine blades, and directionally solidified eutectic super-alloys. All members of the WS-10 family are equipped with FADEC fuel-flow control systems. Presently, an asymmetric thrust vector control (TVC) nozzle is undergoing testing. In addition to the WS-10A/G, there are two more types of turbofans being developed by China. LAMC and the Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corp (GAIC) have co-developed the WS-13 Taishan turbofan, which is designed to power the JF-27 Thunder/FC-1 Xiaolong MRCA, thereby replacing the existing Klimov RD-93 engine. Designed to have a total technical service life of 2,200 hours, it is currently rated at 86kN, but this will be increased to 100kN over the next five years. One JF-17 prototype has been flight-testing the WS-13 since last March. Yet another turobfan under development is the WS-15, also designed by 606 Institute, which is projected to have a thrust rating of 180kN with afterburner.

At Zhuhai, officials from both CATIC and CETC confirmed that the PLA Air Force has selected the twin-engined tandem-seatJH-7A ‘Flying Leopard’ to perform an electronic attack (EA) role similar to Boeing’s EA-18G Growler. The JH-7A can carry a 6.5-tonne payload, and has a long ferry range of 3,650km. Thus far, only one JH-7A from the PLA Air Force’s 28th Air Attack Division has been shown equipped with twin underwing broadband jammers. Meanwhile, Chief Designer of the JH-7A, all problems pertaining to WS-9 Qinling turbofan (a reverse-engineered Rolls-Royce Spey Mk202), have now been resolved. At the same time, efforts have been underway since 1998 to develop the WS-15 Qinling-2 turbofan, which is similar in technology and performance to Snecma Moteurs’ M53P2 turbofan. Initial bench-tests of this turbofan in October 2008 were reportedly successful.

New Designs
In addition to combat aircraft, China’s vast aviation R & D establishments have also developed advanced flying training aircraft, and are now focusing on fielding a new generation of strategic airlifters, aerial refuelling tankers, tactical transport aircraft, and force multipliers like AEW & C platforms. Shown at Zhuhai for the first time was the L-7 basic trainer, whose design is derived from, the Russian Yak-152K. The tandem-seat L-7, developed by Hongdu Industrial Aviation Group (HIAG), comes equipped with conventional flight instrumentation and is powered by a M-14X piston engine. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,290kg, maximum level speed 335kph, maximum climb rate of 11 metres/second, g-load sustenance of +9g/-7g, service ceiling of 6,500 metres, and a maximum range of 1,000km. For lead-in fighter training (LIFT), HIAG along with Russia’s Yakovlev OKB, has developed the tandem-seat, twin-engined L-15 Falcon, which features twin glass cockpits, HOTAS controls, and a three-axis quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control system. The L-15 is being offered with a choice of two Ukrainian powerplants: the Ivchenko-Progress AI-222-25 turbofan, and the AI-222K-25F with afterburner for supersonic flight capability. The L-15 has a maximum takeoff weight of 9,500kg, maximum speed of Mach 1.4, maximum climb rate of 150 metres/second, load sustenance of +8g/-3g, service ceiling of 16,000 metres, loitering time of two hours, and a structural airframe life of 10,000 flight hours.

For aerial refuelling, AVIC Defense has developed the H-6U, some 10 of which are assigned to the PLAAF’s 8th Air Division (or possibly the 48th) at Leiyang air base in the Guangzhou Military Region. The H-6U has two underwing pods developed by the China Research Institute of Aero Accessories, and also a TACAN system that provides ‘mutual detection’ (azimuth and range information) between the tanker and receiver within 200km and is intended to facilitate en route rendezvous. It is believed that all H-6U pilots log in only 80 flying hours a year, which allow for one three-hour training sortie every two weeks. A typical operational sortie would have twelve J-10As supported by two H-6Us on three combat air patrol (CAP) orbits (one flight of four aircraft per CAP) at 1,200km

source : Tempur

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Sooner Boomer: DoD OKs SSBN-X

Well, it’s happening. About a month before Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled his budget plans that emphasizes strategic weapons, the Pentagon gave the Navy the green light to start developing technology for a 21st century fleet of ballistic missile subs.

The service received the go ahead, called Milestone A approval, after the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer Ashton Carter and the Defense Acquisition Board approved the project on Dec. 9.

Now, the Navy can figure out exactly what it wants the new class to do in terms of operational requirements and determine what technology will be needed to meet those requirements. This will pave the way for the purchase of the initial ship of the class by 2019, according to a Navy announcement.

The effort, which was sent back to the drafting room after it looked like its costs could balloon out of control, aims to replace the current fleet of 14 Ohio class boomers with a fleet of 12 boats able to carry 16 ballistic missiles. The Ohio class subs can carry 24 nuclear tipped Trident D5 ballistic missiles and some have been modified to carry Tomahawk cruise missiles, instead of nukes.

If the sea service wants to field a new class of boomer that quickly, it is almost sure to look at using existing technology to field the subs, much the way the Air Force is doing with its new bomber program. This may mean the Navy’s idea to develop the new boomers based on something like a modified Seawolf class attack sub design could win out over the alternate plan to develop an entirely new missile boat. This will be all the better given the cost-conscious environment we’re living in, especially considering that some estimates place the purchase price for the boats at $40 billion and total lifecycle cost for the new subs at about $100 billion.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

RM6b beli kapal TLDM rasional

Oleh Nor Azizah Mokhtar


Kos dibelanja Malaysia tak boleh disamakan dengan AS, New Zealand

KUALA LUMPUR: Peruntukan RM6 bilion bagi membeli enam unit kapal peronda generasi kedua (SGPV-LCS) bagi kegunaan Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) disifatkan sebagai rasional dalam usaha meningkatkan keupayaan ketumbukan itu.

Panglima TLDM, Laksamana Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar, berkata pembelian kelengkapan dan peralatan baru itu juga menepati keperluan semasa, khususnya dalam keadaan tugas melindungi kedaulatan perairan negara yang semakin mencabar.
“Belanja RM6 bilion itu munasabah kerana ia bukan saja merangkumi kos pembinaan setiap unit kapal berkenaan, malah turut mengambil kira kos pemasangan sistem persenjataan, teknologi radar dan peralatan lain berkaitan.
“Jadi, tidak wajar membandingkan jumlah perbelanjaan itu dengan kos dikeluarkan negara lain untuk membeli kapal. Amerika Syarikat, New Zealand, Perancis dan Australia mempunyai kepakaran sendiri dalam membina peralatan ketenteraan, termasuk kapal peronda berbanding kita,” katanya kepada pemberita, di sini semalam.

Beliau berkata bagi menyangkal dakwaan Ahli Parlimen Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Pua dalam blognya berhubung kos dibelanjakan kerajaan untuk membeli enam SGPV-LCS adalah 870 peratus mahal dari negara lain.

Beliau mendakwa peruntukan RM6 bilion itu amat tidak munasabah berbanding perbelanjaan dikeluarkan negara seperti Amerika Syarikat, Ireland, Jerman dan Israel.

Ahli Parlimen DAP itu mendakwa pembelian kapal peronda pesisir pantai (OPV) oleh Tentera Laut Diraja New Zealand tahun lalu hanya bernilai NZ$90 juta (RM210 juta) setiap satu.
Kapal Roisin Class buatan Ireland dikatakan hanya bernilai AS$34 juta (RM103 juta); Super Vita dari Greek bernilai AS$108 juta (RM329 juta); Type 130 dari Jerman (AS$188 juta atau RM572 juta), manakala Saar V dari Israel bernilai AS$260 juta atau RM791 juta.

Abdul Aziz berkata, kos dinyatakan ahli pembangkang itu tak tepat kerana ia tidak merangkumi semua kos pembinaan dan pemasangan pelbagai peralatan diperlukan dalam sesebuah kapal peronda atau kapal perang.

“Perbandingan harga juga tidak munasabah kerana kos dibelanjakan negara terbabit bukan pada kadar terbaru,” katanya.

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