Sunday, July 31, 2011

Navy test pilot Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus brings F-35C test aircraft CF-3 into launch position on a test catapult.

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Navy test pilot Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus brings F-35C test aircraft CF-3 into launch position on a test catapult July 19. The test demonstrated proper catapult hook up in preparation for the first launches at Lakehurst, N.J., scheduled for later this month. CF-3 is the designated carrier suitability test aircraft. The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to eventual delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Navy test pilot Lt. Christopher Tabert takes to the sky in an F-35C test aircraft launched by a steam catapult for the first time.

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Navy test pilot Lt. Christopher Tabert takes to the sky July 27 in an F-35C test aircraft launched by a steam catapult for the first time. CF-3 is the designated carrier suitability testing aircraft, and is in Lakehurst for catapult and jet blast deflector testing. The F-35C is the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants. It has larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for slower catapult launch and landing approach speeds and deck impacts associated with the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to eventual delivery to the fleet.

INS Satpura to be commissioned on 20th August 2011

The Defence Ministry announcement of INS Satpura's commissioning is pasted below for your information.

INS Satpura Second Shivalik class Indigenous Stealth Frigate. Conceived and designed by the Indian Naval Design team to be the mainstay frigates of Indian Navy for the first half of 21 century. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned on 20 Aug 2011 by the Raksha Mantri at Mumbai. Some leading particulars are as below:-

Guided-missile frigate
Displacement: 6200 tons
Length: 142.5 metres (468 ft)
Beam: 16.9 metres (55 ft)
Propulsion: 2 x Pielstick 16 PA6 STC Diesel engines & 2 x GE LM2500+ boost turbines in CODOG configuration
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h), 22 knots (41 km/h) (with Diesel Engines)
Complement: 257 (35 officers)

Sensors and processing systems:

1 x MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D radar
4 x MR-90 Orekh radar1 x EL/M 2238 STAR2 x EL/M 2221 STGR1 x BEL APARNAHUMSA (Hull Mounted Sonar Array)ATAS/Thales Sintra towed array systems
Electronic warfare and decoys: BEL Ajanta electronic warfare suite


OTO Melara 76mm SRGM
2 x AK-630 30mm guns32 x Barak SAM9M317 (SA-N-12) SAM, total of 24 missiles8 x Klub cruise Missiles90R missiles (ASW)DTA-53-956 torpedoesKlub AS Missile2x RBU-6000 (RPK-8)Aircraft carried: 2 x HAL Dhruv or Sea King Mk.

China wants more aircraft carriers to compete with India

BEIJING: A serving Chinese military general is citing India's capabilities in his efforts to edge the government to have more than one aircraft carrier. General Luo Yuan, a senior researcher with the Academy of Military Sciences, said China needs at least three aircraft carriers to defend its interests in the face of neighbors developing their capabilities.

"If we consider our neighbors, India will have three aircraft carriers by 2014 and Japan will have three carriers by 2014," General Luo was quoted as saying by Beijing News. "So I think the number (for China) should not be less than three so we can defend our rights and our maritime interests effectively."

China recently confirmed it was revamping an old Soviet ship to be its first carrier. The state media broadcast footage of its first carrier in a rare public mention of the project. The moves added to worries in the Asian region about Beijing's military expansion and growing assertiveness on territorial issues.

The government tried to reassure neighbors that its first carrier would be used only for the purpose of training and research and there was no plan for aggression involved.

"We are currently re-fitting the body of an old aircraft carrier, and will use it for scientific research, experiments and training," defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told a news briefing.

The latest statement from General Luo shows there has been some rethinking, and Beijing is prepared to talk about using aircraft carriers for war preparedness. The general represents a government academy that plays a role in the military planning process.
China is worried that Japan's three carriers, which are at present used for helicopter operations, would eventually be converted into full aircraft carriers. The two countries have serious disputes over some islands.

The United States indicated it was happy China had taken a step toward better transparency by openly discussing the issue about aircraft carriers.

Friday, July 22, 2011

India Wants US Mk 54 Torpedoes for P-8I Neptune Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Friday of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India for 32 MK-54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $86 million.

The Government of India has requested a possible sale of 32 MK-54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes, 3 recoverable exercise torpedoes, 1 training shape, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, transportation, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

The estimated cost is $86 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of a key important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia.
India intends to use the torpedoes on its Indian Navy P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft, which will provide enhanced capabilities in effective defense of critical sea lines of communication.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be The Boeing Company in St. Louis, Missouri, and a yet to be identified U.S. torpedo contractor. Details of a potential offset agreement in connection with the proposed sale are not known as of the date of this transmittal.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require U.S. Government and contractor representative in-country visits on a temporary basis for technical reviews, support, and oversight.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

Indo-Russia JV to service Talwar frigates

Rosoboronservice India Ltd (ROS(I)) has made a proposal to the Indian Navy to render the guarantee period after-sales service to the three new Talwar class stealth frigates currently under construction at the Yantar shipyard at Kaliningrad in Russia.

An agreement towards this is slated to be signed during Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma’s visit to that country this week. “A high-level delegation was in New Delhi to prepare the final agreement and logistics arrangements to ensure that this task can be accomplished effectively and efficiently,” sources told FE.

ROS(I) is a JV formed through a strategic alliance between eight world renowned original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of defence equipment from Russia and Krasny Marine Services Pvt Ltd as the sole Indian partner. It was created by a Russian presidential decree to render after-sales service to all Russian origin assets of the Indian Navy in 2005.

Under a standard company practice, ROS(I) will engage a number of ex-Indian Navy specialists to undertake the after-sales service, thereby ensuring retention of talent and availability of trained, experienced manpower to the Indian Navy.

The three Talwar class ships currently being built are the Teg, the Tarkash and the Trikand. All three will carry the supersonic BrahMos missile system. They would also be armed with advanced Shtil-1 surface-to-air missiles, 100 mm artillery guns and other equipment, as also a deck – based Kamov KA-31 helicopter. The frigates, having a top speed of about 30 knots, are powered by twin shaft gas turbines and fitted with state-of -the-art navigation, communication, anti-submarine and electronic warfare equipment.

Earlier, Russia had built INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar at the Balitiisky Zavod shipyard in St Petersburg.

Significant among the MoU partners of ROS(I) are Baltitsky Zavod, the builder of the Talwar class stealth frigates; Zvyozdochka, the leading shipyard that undertook refit and modification of Kilo class submarines of the Indian Navy; OKB Novator, designer of missiles; and leading aircraft manufacturers Kamov and Illyushin.

India commences work on 2nd N-submarine

Construction of India’s second nuclear submarine has begun at a classified facility in Visakhapatnam, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

This project was launched just 24 months after India’s first nuclear submarine INS Arihant was commissioned.

“The second programme took far lesser time than Arihant to reach the shipyard from the drawing board. This time we had a clear plan and we had learned a lot from our mistakes,” top sources told the daily.

Though exact details of the submarine’s progress have not been made public yet, it is learnt that fabrication of the hull and body has begun. The reactor is being constructed with Russia’s help.

The project is expected to be ready for sea trials by 2015. By that time India would have a Russian submarine and INS Arihant deployed.

The Akula-II class nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa, to be renamed INS Chakra, will be handed over to Indian Navy by Russian Navy in November-December on a 10-year lease.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

F-35C (CF-02) Jet Blast Deflector Testing Underway at Lakehurst

F-35C (CF-02) Jet Blast Deflector Testing Underway at Lakehurst

Harbour trials of Admiral Gorshkov to begin in Aug in Russia

Set for induction into the Indian Navy next year, harbour trials of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov are expected to begin by August end in Russia.These trials are aimed at testing the functioning of all the systems of the warship, senior Navy sources told PTI here.The harbour trials will be followed up by sea trials which are expected to start by November where the major systems of the warship including its weapon firing capabilities would be put to test, they said.The sources said that the warship is expected to be delivered as per the original schedule of December 2012.

The 45,000 tonne, 283-metre aircraft carrier, rechristened INS Vikramaditya by the Indian Navy, is undergoing refit and repairs at the Sevmash shipyard in Russia.During his recent visit to Russia, Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar was taken to the Sevmash shipyard and shown the progress in work on the Gorshkov.The contract for the warship was signed between India and Russia in 2004 but the cost escalation and price revision by Russia for retrofitting the ship were cited as reasons for the delay.After long negotiations, the two sides had settled on USD 2.3 billion as the price of the second hand warship.With only a lone aircraft carrier INS Virat being operated now, the Russian origin warship is key to India's plan of having one aircraft carrier each on both the seaboards.

Construction of another indigenous aircraft carrier is on in Kochi and is expected to be inducted into the navy by the end of 2014.

Russian frigate project for Navy likely to be delayed

Already hit by the massive delay in the Gorshkov aircraft carrier delivery, the Indian Navy may be in for another blow.

A top Russian official has said that the first of the new Talwar class frigates, ordered under a $1.1 billion contract in 2006 and set to be delivered by the end of this year, has been delayed.

While Russia has not formally conveyed any delay in the project for construction of three Talwar class frigates to India, concerns have risen after a senior official from the state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport publicly stated that a new deadline will have to be drawn. India ordered three of the frigates in 2006, with the first ship to be delivered in 2011.

“We have not yet been informed of any delay. We have a team in Russia that is overseeing the project and they will discuss the matter,” a defence ministry official said.

While the quantum of delay has not been specified, senior Russian officials have been quoted as saying that while dockside trials are on, the frigate will not be able to meet its deadline. Besides the delay, a price escalation is also likely as the Yantar shipyard that is constructing the warships has asked for an additional $100 million for the ships to factor in inflation.

Defence deals with Russia have been hit by a series of delays with the biggest example being the Gorshkov aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier which was to be delivered by 2008 has been delayed by almost four years and is likely to be delivered only by next year.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

F-35B test aircraft BF-4 rests the evening after a day of testing at the Naval Electromagnetic Radiation Facility

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- F-35B test aircraft BF-4 rests the evening of June 21 after a day of testing at the Naval Electromagnetic Radiation Facility. BF-4 is undergoing testing which simulates the shipboard electromagnetic environment to identify any potential issues prior to at sea testing this fall on USS Wasp (LHD 1). The F-35B is the short take-off, vertical landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners and is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.

F-35 carrier variant CF-2 flies to NAVAIR at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

F-35 carrier variant CF-2 flies to NAVAIR at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., June 25 for Jet Blast Deflector testing.

F-35C test aircraft CF-2 lands at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- Flown by test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Eric "Magic" Buus, F-35C test aircraft CF-2 lands at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey June 25. CF-2 and the F-35 integrated test team from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. are at the NAVAIR facility in Lakehurst for the first jet blast deflector (JBD) testing, in preparation for carrier shipboard testing in 2013. The team is at the JBD test facility to evaluate deck heating, JBD panel cooling, and vibro-acoustic, thermal, and hot-gas ingestion environments. The F-35C is the carrier variant of the three-service Joint Strike Fighter, and has larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to perform in the demanding carrier environment. The F-35C and F-35B are undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to eventual delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

The Navy has received its first P-8A production representative operational test aircraft

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – The Navy has received its first P-8A production representative operational test aircraft June 24.

The new P-8A arrived at NAS Patuxent River and it will join three developmental test aircraft already undergoing integrated testing in preparation for initial operational test and evaluation of the P-8A Poseidon.

The Navy entered into Low Rate Initial Production of the first six Poseidon aircraft in January 2011. These aircraft will be used to form the first operational P-8A squadron, which is scheduled for initial operational capability in 2013.

India to get anti-submarine torpedoes from US

India will get lightweight anti-submarines torpedoes to arm the eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft it is buying from the US, with the Obama administration notifying the potential sale to the US Congress on Tuesday.

The news was welcomed by the US embassy in New Delhi, which said the sale of Mk-54 torpedoes reflects the mutual benefits of the India-US security relationship.

The Pentagon has "officially notified" the potential sale of Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes to the Indian Navy.

The Mk-54 is the most advanced lightweight torpedo in the US Navy inventory and is intended to be employed with the P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, eight of which are currently under construction for India by US aerospace major Boeing.

The P-8I, equipped with Mk-54 torpedoes, will provide highly-effective long-range anti-submarine warfare capabilities for the Indian Navy.

"The final content and price for the deal will be determined during discussions with the Indian government," the US embassy said.

"This sale reflects the mutual benefits of the U.S.-India security partnership. For India, the combined sale of the P-8I aircraft with the Mk-54 torpedoes will add to India's anti-submarine capability, as it expands its ability to protect India and the critical sea lanes of the Indian Ocean," it said.

"The offer highlights the US commitment to share cutting-edge technology with India and to ensure that both nations enjoy the benefits of a secure and stable South Asia," it added.

In addition to the US Navy, the Mk-54 torpedo is also in service with the Royal Australian Navy.

India May Ground MiG-29K Trainer

India may ground the MiG-29KUB in the wake of the twin-seat carrier-based fighter crashing in Russia on June 23.

“We have sought clarifications from [Russian Aircraft Corp.] as the aircraft was still with them and was being flown by their own pilots,” says India’s naval chief, Adm. Nirmal Verma. “At the moment, we have not received any feedback, but if there is a technical reason that demands grounding, we will do that.”

The MiG-29KUB, which was manufactured for the Indian navy and was part of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft-carrier deal, crashed in southern Russia’s Astrakhan region, killing its two-member crew.

The Indian air force also operates a variant of the MiG-29 and these, too, have been plagued with problems, with nine aircraft crashing since 1997. The air force has been striving to counter the public allegations about MiGs being “flying coffins.”

India ordered 16 MiG-29Ks from Russia under a program worth over $900 million in 2004. The deal envisions delivery of 12 MiG-29Ks and four MiG-29KUBs along with training and the delivery of simulators and spare parts. The contract also provides another 30-aircraft option to be delivered by 2015.

In early June, India received its third batch of MiG-29s, bringing the number of aircraft received so far to 11. The first batch, comprising two MiG-29Ks and two MiG-29KUBs, arrived in 2009, while a second batch of one each was received in late 2010.

Of the 16 MiG-29s India has purchased, 12 are single-seat fighters and four are twin-seat trainers. India has so far fielded nine MiG-29Ks with an extended range of 3,000 km (1,900 mi.) and capable of firing air-to-air and air-to-sea missiles.

The MiG-29KUB is the trainer version of the -29K that the Indian navy will operate from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (the erstwhile Admiral Gorshkov) when it joins the fleet in 2013.

These aircraft are operating from the Goa Naval Air Station until the INS Vikramaditya is delivered to the Indian navy by Russia’s Sevmash shipyard, which is carrying out a refit of the warship.

Verma says an Indian navy team was present in the MiG Corp. factory to oversee the aircraft’s manufacturing.

The Russian defense ministry has already grounded its entire MiG-29K fleet until the crash investigation is completed.

Navy to procure new multi role helicopters

Augmenting its fleet of multi role helicopters, the Navy is looking to procure more such choppers for carrying out anti-submarine warfare and Special Forces' operations.

In a Request for Information (RFI) issued recently, the Navy has said it intends to procure new Naval Multi Role Helicopters (NMRH) for anti-submarine, anti-surface and Special Commando operations roles.

Interestingly, the Navy has shown its intent to procure these choppers at a time when it is already planning to start the trials for buying 16 MRHs from the two contenders Sikorsky S-70B and European NH-90 next month under a separate tender.

Navy officials told PTI that the earlier tender process will continue and the trials would be carried out as per the original schedule.

In its requirement for the next batch of helicopters, the navy stated that the basic chopper for performing all the specified roles should be same with common airframe, engines, avionics and it should be capable of changing roles with ease.

"The NMRH should be of contemporary design with modern, reliable and fuel efficient engines and fully integrated advanced avionics and weapons suite employing the latest concepts for detection, identification, classification of surface and subsurface targets along with the ability to detect air targets," it said in the RFI document.

The Navy also wants the chopper to have the air to air refuelling capability for enhanced endurance and reach.

The vendors taking part in the contract will also be required to invest back at least 30 per cent of the worth of the contract as offsets into the Indian defence, civilian aerospace or the homeland security sectors.

Possible contenders for the deal include NH-90, Sikorsky and Lockheed martin's MH-60 Romeo, which was not selected for the early tender as it was being offered through the Foreign Military Sales route.

The navy at present relies on its fleet of Sea King helicopters which were inducted in tow different phases in the 80s.

India issues RFI for multi-role naval helicopters

India has issued a request for information for a naval multi-role helicopter (NMRH) to complement its existing fleet of Westland Sea King 42 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters.

The RFI calls for helicopters with a maximum all-up weight of between 9t and 12.5t. The NMRH, which will be expected to serve for 30 years, should have the capacity for 10% weight growth throughout its service life without hurting performance.

The navy foresees three primary roles: ASW, anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and special operations. Secondary roles include electronic intelligence, search and rescue (SAR), external cargo carrying, casualty evacuation and combat SAR.

Candidate helicopters must be able to operate from ships as small as the navy's Godavari-class frigates. They also need to be able to fit in shipboard hangars with a length of 15.5m (50.8ft), a width of 5.5m and a height of 5.3m.

"The NMRH should be a contemporary design with modern, reliable and fuel-efficient engines and fully integrated advanced avionics/weapons suite employing the latest concepts for detection, identification, classification of surface and sub-surface targets along with the ability to detect air targets," the RFI said.

It also outlines performance requirements for two variants: one focused on ASW/ASuW and the other for special operations.

For the former variant, India seeks an aircraft that can autonomously locate and destroy submarines, compile an integrated picture of the situation above and below the surface, and operate in all weather conditions.

The special operations variant needs the capability to carry unguided rockets and guns.

Possible candidates for the requirement could include the Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R and NH Industries' NH90. The deal will require a minimum 30% offset obligation under Indian laws.

India not worried about China's aircraft carrier

China's declaration that its first-ever aircraft carrier will begin sea trials towards the year-end has caused tremors around the world. But even as it jostles for the same strategic space in the Indian Ocean region, India is not too unnerved by all the brouhaha.

For one, even if the carrier becomes ocean-worthy by 2012-2013, it will take China a few years to master the complex art of operating fighters from a moving airfield on the high seas and then converting the entire package into a potent offensive weapons platform.

India, of course, has been in the business of operating "flattops" for five decades now, commissioning as it did its first carrier INS Vikrant with its Sea Hawk jets way back in 1961. As of now, the Navy operates the 28,000-tonne INS Viraat, even though it's left with only 11 of its Sea Harrier jump-jets.

"Aircraft carriers, which can travel 600 nautical miles a day, are no doubt game-changers. But it takes a lot in terms of fleet doctrines and tactics, training and technology to operate them effectively," said a top Navy officer.

Interestingly, China has got its first carrier by refurbishing a rusting half-completed `Varyag' 67,500-tonne carrier, which was first built in the Soviet Union of 1980s and was then bought by China from Ukraine in 1998 on the pretext of running it as a floating casino.

For another, India has already launched preparations for the "integration" of MiG-29Ks, the first-ever naval supersonic fighters it's now inducting, with the 44,570-tonne INS Vikramaditya or the refitted Admiral Gorshkov it will get from Russia in early-2013.

Moreover, the 40,000-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), being constructed at Cochin Shipyard, will finally be "launched in a few months" now after some delay to ensure it's ready by 2015 or so.

India aims to have two "carrier battle or strike groups" (CBGs), with their accompanying fighters, patrol aircraft, destroyers, submarines frigates and tankers, by 2015. Incidentally, the US has 11 CBGs to project power around the globe.

"Vikramaditya will give us serious maritime strike capabilities for the first time. With mid-air refuelling and double the combat radius of operations as well as BVR (beyond visual range) and guided anti-ship missiles, smart bombs and rockets, MiG-29Ks will provide a four-fold capability jump over Sea Harriers," said an officer.

Navy has already inducted 11 of the 45 MiG-29K fighters ordered from Russia for over $2 billion. India, of course, will now get Vikramaditya in early-2013 after agreeing to the revised refit cost of $2.33 billion after three years of bitter wrangling with Russia since the earlier agreement inked in January 2004 had earmarked only $974 million for it.

"Vikramaditya should begin sailing by the end of this year after steaming and basin trials. Extensive sea-trials will follow thereafter. Over 150 Indian officers and sailors are already in Russia for training. The next batch will go in January," he said.

Indian Navy all set to welcome INS Vikramaditya

The Indian Navy is all set to welcome the INS Vikramaditya. The navy set the ball rolling to integrate the aircraft carrier (earlier known as the Admiral Gorshkov) with its fleet as the warship, being redone at a Russian shipyard, readies to sail home in early 2013.

The integration plan was discussed at a recent meeting of naval commanders in New Delhi as some key "firsts" are associated with the ship. More than double the size of existing aircraft carrier INS Viraat, it will be the biggest warship ever to be operated by the Indian Navy. The second crucial aspect is that for the first time, the navy would be operating supersonic combat jets from the flight deck. Once it arrives, the naval fleet will have to be arranged around it, as the Vikramaditya would become the central platform.

The fleet rearrangement is also necessitated by the fact that the navy is in the middle of a modernisation drive as many warships are under construction. It is estimated that by the time the Vikramaditya joins the fleet, the navy would have added the remaining two of the state-of-the-art multirole Shivalik-class stealth frigates, the first of which has already been delivered. It would also have at least two new antisubmarine warfare corvettes. The navy will also get three new potent Talwar-class frigates, being built in Russia. In fact, close to 40 new warships are under construction at various shipyards in the country. This means that the fleet will not only grow in numbers but will also have modern warships.

India receives combat management systems for Scorpene submarines

French shipbuilder DCNS has delivered two highly sophisticated combat management systems for the first two Scorpene submarines being built in India. The system forms the "brain" of the vessel.

DCNS India Managing Director Bernard Buisson told India Strategic defence journal that
both the systems had been delivered to Mazagon Docks Ltd. (MDL), which was in the process of integrating the first one at present. There are about 20 to 25 French engineers
assisting in technology transfer and work at MDL was maturing to mutual satisfaction.

The first Scorpene submarine, under the Indian Navy's Project 75, will be launched end-
2013 and commissioned in 2015. The second one would be a year later. Buisson said that MDL was actually doing some work, at different levels, regarding all the six submarines under the project and that all the six submarines would be delivered by 2018.

MDL had built the hulls of first and second submarines, and begun work on the hulls of
third and fourth submarines. Simultaneously, other systems were being tested and installed on them progressively.

Buisson said that DCNS has had technical discussions with the Indian Navy on installing

air independent propulsion (AIP) systems on board the last two submarines. There would be
a cost, but the AIP would increase the submergence of the vessels by three to four times,
thereby making them hidden and more lethal.

The company was awaiting the navy's response, as well as an order for the new line of six
or more submarines under Project 75-I, all of which would be equipped with he AIP systems. DCNS had already responded to the Indian Navy's request for information (RfI) in this regard.

Buisson said that DCNS' AIP system was based on the MESMA steam AIP used on board all the French nuclear submarines. France as only nuclear-powered submarines and accordingly,
proven for technology, he added.

Asked about local participation in the Scorpene project, Buisson said that DCNS was also
talking to private shipyards as per the new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and offset requirements.

"We are also in the process of finalizing the selection of our industrial partners for
indigenization of MPM (Mazagon Purchased Materials from other companies) items," he said.

MPM items include pumps, valves, air conditioning equipment and various sub-systems.

Pilots Should fly British naval Rafale on Charles de Gaulle

According to British newspapers, five pilots of the Royal Navy are taking French lessons Already with this goal.

Pilots 'top gun' Royal Navy are Being forced to take French lessons, so flying Rafale fighters from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle , The French Navy. The information is the British newspapers The Telegraph and Daily Mail.

Pilots Royal Navy Should Communicate With Their French counterparts Marine Nationale Both the air and aboard Charles de Gaulle , In joint training with the Rafale, while waiting for delivery of new ITS F-35, Which Should not be ready before 2020.

The first five British naval pilots, a total that is expected to reach thirty, are Already receiving French lessons in Interarmées College of Defense (CID) in Paris. Will be 16 weeks learning the language, before Beginning the training period of three years in the embarked air group Charles de Gaulle, in order to gain experience in the Rafale, Whose best riders, or 'top guns' are known as "les chevaliers du ciel' - Knights of the sky.

A senior Royal Navy officer said, 'Who Say That would more than 200 years after the Battle of Trafalgar, we would be the French to train Asking our naval fighter pilots? Our relationship with the French was always a little tense, then this is a great test of Cooperation. For decades. our perception of the French has always Been That They Arrive When the battle is over. Now David Cameron (British Prime Minister) forced us to join forces, take French lessons, and eat your food. "

Speaking of food, instead of bacon and eggs for breakfast the British ships, the British will have to get used to coffee with croissants. The quality of the food is, Should this not be a problem: Those who have embarked on French ships That states meals on board are far better served in the British ships, with dinner Being the highlight of each day. Cheeses and wines are fine Also on the menu, the Latter Replacing the beer and vermouth and gin and tonic traditionally eaten by officers britâncos gaps in service.

The UK has already sent pilots to train with the U.S. Navy (U.S. Navy), but is the first time the French That Were Asked to train British naval pilots.

According to Capt.. Jock Alexander, the British fleet will need to have a group of Experienced naval fighter pilots before the Royal Navy ITS receives two new large aircraft carrier, the end of this decade.

According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence United Kingdom, 'the relationship with France is of Strategic Importance, and discussions are underway for Royal Navy personnel is based on Charles de Gaulle The part of the bilateral agreement Between the two countries. This will allow us to keep our skills and help the upper Develop Ability to attack from aircraft carrier in the future. "

China aircraft carrier confirmed by general

China's aircraft carrier is seen under construction in Dalian, Liaoning province (April 2011) (above) and on Google Maps

The 300m (990ft) carrier, under construction in Dalian, is thought to be nearly finished

The head of China's General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has confirmed that China's first aircraft carrier is under construction.

Gen Chen Bingde refused to say when the carrier - a remodelled Soviet-era vessel, the Varyag - would be ready.

A member of his staff said the carrier would pose no threat to other nations.

The 300m (990ft) carrier, which is being built in the north-east port of Dalian, has been one of China's worst-kept secrets, analysts say.

Gen Chen made his comments to the Chinese-language Hong Kong Commercial Daily newspaper.
Symbol of power

The PLA - the largest army in the world - is hugely secretive about its defence programme.

The carrier was constructed in the 1980s for the Soviet navy but was never completed. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the rusting hull of the Varyag sat in dockyards in Ukraine.
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The giant, grey hulk of China's newest warship, 60,000 tonnes of steel, sits at a dockside in the port of Dalian, almost ready to set sail”

A Chinese company with links to the PLA bought the Varyag claiming it wanted to turn it into a floating casino in Macau.

The carrier is thought to be nearly finished, and is expected to begin sea trials later this year.

But the BBC's Michael Bristow in Beijing says that does not mean it will then be ready to undertake operational duties.
Size comparison of world aircraft carriers. List of aircraft carriers by country: US 11, Itay 2, France 1, India 1, Spain 1, UK 1, Russia 1, Brazil 1, Thailand 1

Learning how to operate it - and fly planes off it - will take a few more years to master, our correspondent says.

Lt Gen Qi Jianguo, assistant chief of the general staff, told the Hong Kong Commercial Daily that even after the aircraft carrier was deployed, it would "definitely not sail to other countries' territorial waters".

"All of the great nations in the world own aircraft carriers - they are symbols of a great nation," he was quoted as saying.

Lt Gen Qi said China had always followed a "defensive" principle for its military strategy.

"It would have been better for us if we acted sooner in understanding the oceans and mapping out our blue-water capabilities earlier.

"We are now facing heavy pressure in the oceans whether in the South China Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea or the Taiwan Straits," he said.

China is engaged in maritime border disputes with several countries - including Vietnam and the Philippines.

The US, which has 11 fully-capable carrier strike groups, has also expressed concern about its rising naval ambitions.

The PLA has invested heavily in submarines. It is believed to be close to deploying the world's first "carrier-killer" ballistic missile designed to sink aircraft carriers while they are manoeuvring at sea up to 1,500km offshore, and it is building its own stealth fighter aircraft along with advanced carrier-based aircraft built from Russian designs.

All of these can target US bases, US ships and US carriers in Asia.

India is another emerging power pursuing a similar path - with an ex-Soviet carrier being modified for the Indian Navy, and work already under way on a first home-built vessel as well.

Over time, these developments will affect the maritime balance of power in Asia, says the BBC's defence and security correspondent Nick Childs.

China says other countries have nothing to fear, but its recent assertive diplomatic and military muscle-flexing has created waves in the region, he says.