Defense update worldwide
India nears BrahMos submarine test firing
India plans to test fire the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile within weeks, in all likelihood from an upgraded Indian Navy (IN) Type 877 ‘Kilo’-class submarine.”The submarine version of BrahMos is ready to be tested, but we are waiting for the platform,” said BrahMos Aerospace Chief Executive Officer AS Pillai.The missile, which has been jointly developed with Russia, was successfully launched in April from a mobile launcher to its optimum range of 292 km.
UK RN’s first-of-class Astute prepares for launch
The UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) Astute-class submarine programme is nearing a significant milestone, with the first-of-class Astute due for launch on 8 June.Meanwhile, it has been revealed that some 35 per cent of the budget for a fourth, as yet unordered, boat has already been committed on long-lead items.The first three Astute-class submarines are being built at the BAE Systems Submarine Solutions shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, in northern England.Funding from the UK Ministry of Defence’s current equipment programme has been earmarked for seven Astute-class boats.
BAE Systems will not bid for majority stake in DML
BAE Systems has decided not to bid for KBR’s 51 per cent stake in Devonport Management Limited (DML), although it plans to “work closely” with the winner of the bid, according to a spokesman for the group.BAE Systems Director of Group Media Relations John Neilson told Jane’s on 8 May that the group “would not bid” for the majority stake in DML, which runs the UK’s Devonport Royal Dockyard, and that “the decision to announce came over the weekend”.
UK’s CVF faces further delay over BAE/VT joint venture
Progress on the UK Royal Navy’s Future Carrier (CVF) programme appears to have stalled again as details emerge of the proposed joint venture between shipbuilders VT Group and BAE Systems.Paul Lester, VT Group’s chief executive, warned that “there will be no deal” on industry consolidation unless the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) commits to ordering the two 65,000-ton aircraft carriers.His stance conflicts with the demands of UK defence equipment minister Lord Drayson, who told parliament in December 2006 that consolidation “is a pre-condition for signing” the CVF build contract.
GKN reveals US, Airbus ambitions
GKN Aerospace has revealed that the current focus of its acquisition strategy remains upon the US market and that the group would also “like to be a major provider for Airbus”. At a GKN Aerospace press briefing on 15 May in London, the company’s Corporate Director for Strategy Graham Chisnall said: “We are very positive about Airbus. It will be a successful company.”
Upgraded Indian ‘Mays’ missing vital systems, says watchdog
The first two of five Indian Navy (IN) Ilyushin Il-38 ‘May’ maritime reconnaissance aircraft (MRA) upgraded recently in Russia to the Il-38SD configuration remain without essential avionics and weapon systems, a government watchdog committee has found. These shortcomings are “seriously limiting their [the Il-38SD’s] operational capabilities”, India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) warned in a report tabled in parliament on 14 May
Israel hit by renewed Qassam barrage from Gaza
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have resumed firing salvoes of Qassam rockets into Israel, apparently spelling the end of a fraying five-month truce, writes Ed Blanche.The bombardment restarted at a time of Israeli concern that Hamas and its allies have been building up their armouries and extending the range of indigenous rockets.There have been sporadic Qassam attacks since the ceasefire which applied only to Gaza took effect on 26 November 2006. These were primarily the work of Islamic Jihad (IJ) and the Popular Resistance Committees
Ukraine improves Skif anti-tank missile launcher
Ukrainian state-owned Luch Design Bureau has developed an improved version of the Skif remotely controlled anti-tank missile system.Luch Design Bureau teamed with the Ukrainian state Ekrspetsexport company, which is licensed to sell Ukrainian-made military technology and products, and the Belarus exporting company Beltechexport.Beltechexport provides the thermal imaging device for the system. The commercial rights for the weapon system are divided between the two state-owned companies.
Source: Jane’s defense journal