Weekly Mil-Tech Update

This week China has announced that it’s first aircraft carrier, the Shi Lang, will begin testing in July.  They are on schedule still for their target of being fully operational by years end.  This is all coming at a time when Vietnam and China are having disputes over the sovereignty of the Spratley Islands.  Depending on how these July tests go will ultimately determine whether the Shi Lang will be ready or not by 2012.

An MiG-29KUB scheduled for delivery to the Indian Navy crashed this week in Russia, killing both pilots and brings into consideration the legitimacy of the purchase for the Indian Navy.  It was reported in several Eastern European nations that the airframe of the MiG-29 is faulty and does not have the longevity once believed.  The Indian Navy went for the cheaper product, but the KUB upgrade sold them into buying it.  I imagine the Admirals are not pleased.

Army Wants More XM25s in Afghanistan

Army: More XM-25's

Power Down: Senate Zaps Navy’s Superlaser, Railgun

EMALS successfully launches first C-2 Greyhound

Investigation widens as F-22s stay grounded

Saab accuse BAE Systems of bribery in South African Gripen deal

Air Force Embraces Small Satellites As Budget Outlook Grows Dim

U.S. Navy Eyes Submarine-UUV Mix

Efforts Under Way to Harden Unpiloted Aircraft for Contested Airspace

Services Discuss Combining Rivet Joint and EP-3 into an EP-8

Russia orders more helicopter landing ships

 Russia signs contract to buy two Mistral-class BPCs

Military Investigates Killer Drones That Can Fit in Rucksacks

Night Vision Contact Lenses?

Norway Approves First Four F-35As

US Spends $28.1M on Titanium M240L GPMGs

C-130 Maritime Patrol Aircraft for the U.K.?

‘Zulu’ prepares for first operational deployment

Italian aircraft carrier in Libyan mission

A400M for USAF?

HMS Illustrious starts sea trials, now has new anti-torpedo system

Raytheon Re-Introduces 250-Pound Paveway Precision-Guided Munition

British Perseus AS missile said to be on track

RAF Typhoon pilots share Libya experiences

Unafraid But Not Alone

Raytheon Eyes Arsenal of Directed Energy Warheads For Its Missiles

RAND examines feasibility of laser power transmission for UAVs

Raytheon Begins Production of Airborne Hyperspectral Sensor for U.S. Air Force

Perseus, Peril at Sea

PARIS: Pratt & Whitney fixes STOVL problems on F-35B

Radar Revolution

Notes on Next Generation Jammer, GMTI

USMC Expect First F-35B In Service Early 2015

Marines want F-35B by 2015

South Korea looks at Iron Dome

US Military Orders More King Air 350ER Aircraft

RQ-4B Variant Makes Combat Debut Early

Successful Underwater Firing of French Naval Cruise Missile

Report: China plans aircraft carrier test in July

Norway Commits To Four JSF Trainers

DHS’ Sea Scanning Radar-Equipped MQ-9

U.S.: Israeli missile defense system can protect our Mideast bases

France transfers sensitive warship technology to Russia

Perseus, More Than Meets the Eye (with video)

Air Mules FanCrafts Could Be Operational in Four Years

ROK deploys missile that can hit Pyongyang

Zodiac Wins New Contract for 20 Commando RIBs and 4 Air Delivery Systems

Heavy metal vehicles roll out for Soldiers clearing combat environments

Navy Looks to Fry Electronic Eyes With Laser Blasts

Navy wants lasers to combat surveillance

Air Tractor Near Deal For More 802U Orders

PARIS: Alenia launches gunship variant of C-27J

Partners to Get Equal JSF Stealth

Meet the Civvie LEMV

Bell 212 supporting Apache test flight crashed

PARIS: Astrium Space in missile defence push

Paris Air Show Video: Combat

Video Tour of AH-1Z Venom

Missile or UAV? UVision Introduces the WASP

Watchkeeper UAV to make Afghanistan debut in December

Second Mesma AIP Ready for Shipment to Pakistan

The Fire Scout Downed in Libya

US Fire Scout crashed in Libya this week

Turkey launches armed, unmanned helicopter prototype

Raytheon unveils ground-based Evolved SeaSparrow Missile

Building The U.S. Navy’s Taj Mahal

Next-Gen Eurofighter E-Scan Radar to Enter Service in 2015

Spain aims at military-civilian satellites

Greece recovers Mirage 2000BG from bottom of sea

Raytheon Completes Perfect QELTA Tests for USAF

AW159 Wildcat: Britain’s Billion-Pound Future Lynx Helicopter Program

Army builds, tests future network during NIE exercise

Army Holding Anti-Armor Tech in Reserve

Senate Panel Barely Turns Back JSF Threat

"I got one, I got one!" What is it? "A Largemouth Mirage 2000!"


Weekly Mil-Tech Update:

Busy week here in the world of military technology.  An oxygen problem grounds F-22’s.  China still making headlines this week with more videos of their J-20 whizzing around.  Their carrier, the Shi Lang, is still on schedule to hit the water by years end.  Their drone capability is more noise than anything at this point.  Nice try, I would still buy Israeli though.

Precision mortar’s are going to change some routines for the Taliban this summer.  Link it up with target aquasition radar, which will locate directly where enemy fire is coming from, and you’ll raze some landscape, and raise the body count.

The aging F-15 is still wooing the crowds at airshows.  In Moscow, the Russians did not allow their new PAK-FA to fly, leaving the American bird to the spoils.  The T-50 is listed to fly later this summer in August.

Precision mortars will cause high casualties for insurgents this summer

Phantom Ray first flight video: link 

New Video of China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter: link 

MIRACULOUS new AIRSHIP set to fly by 2013: link 

EXCLUSIVE: Northrop Grumman’s Firebird: link 

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Almost Complete: link 

Data Dump: Army Black Tip Ammo: link

Americans help complete Iraqi air defense: link

Army transferring JHSVs to Navy: link

After Grounding Raptors, USAF Eyes Other Jets’ Oxygen Systems: link

Sbirs Launches!: link

Grunt Tech IED Finder: link

Taiwan to Deploy Supersonic Missile on Warships: link 

Northrop Grumman Unveils Latest Spy Plane: link 

Turkey says it could build an aircraft carrier: link 

PICTURE: Improved AirMule resumes flight testing: link 

F-15E somehow steals Moscow air show from PAK-FA: link 

China rejected North Korea’s request for JH-7, C-801 and C-802: link 

China Tests Helicopter Drone: link 

Taiwan estimates Varyag to be operational after 2015: link 

Mistral talks stumble over sensitive technology: link 

Cyber Terrorism May Accelerate!: link 

Solar Updates Marines’ Arsenal: link 

Phantom Ray flies again: link  

Will Firebird Hit The Market Suite Spot?: link 

Israel’s F-35s could be delivered in 2018:link 

Scaled Brings Speed to Northop’s Firebird: link 

GRAPHIC: Beyond AMRAAM, AIM-9X: link 

Israel to invest $1 billion in Iron Dome: report: link 

Military Wants to Read Satellite Info by Playing Dance Dance Revolution: link 

First F-35A formally delivered: link 

Delivery of long-delayed spy planes to start next year: link

Sbirs Executes First LAE Burn: link 

‘Green bullet’ as effective as M855 round consistently?: link 

General Dynamics demonstrates tactical version of 120mm Roll-Controlled Guided Mortar: link 

Precision Mortars Maturing in Combat: link 

Britain Orders Dual Mode Brimstone Missiles: link 

Army Outfitting Afghans with Russian Helos: link 

Iran gets another nuclear fuel batch from Russia: report: link 

Stuxnet, Wikileaks and the militarisation of the Internet: link 

PICTURES: UAE receives first C-17 transport: link 

Finnish Defense Forces Criticise Sisu Vehicle Quality: link 

South Africa Ordering Umkhonto Mk.2 Air Defense Missiles: link 

Turkey gets approval to buy six C-130Es from Saudi Arabia: link 

Army producing enhanced Stryker with double-V hull:link 

A Peek at BAE’s TAP-V Submission: link 

Special Ops Looking for New UAVs: link 

Handheld Spy Drone Too Wimpy for Iraq’s Marines: link 

Army Revisiting Idea of Drone ISR Helicopters: link 

F-35A may need mods to fix range shortfall: link 

Spook Central: Stealth Helo HQ?: link 

‘Numerous export enquiries’ for Meteor missile, says UK MoD: link 

First test flight for biggest China drone: link 

The Coming Age of Smart Armor: link 

Artillery tested for rapid deployment: link 

Israeli Company Debut Stealth Armor: Making Vehicles Disappear?: link 

More Bushmasters for Afghanistan:link 

Qatar nears Gozcu mini UAV deal: link 

First Chinese Aircraft Carrier Scheduled to Launch Before Year Ends

Shi Lang to be ready before the end of the year

She was first bought from Ukraine in 1998 as one of the two Kuznetsov class aircraft carriers ordered for production by the Soviet Union in the 1980s.  Due to major budget cutbacks at the collapse of the USSR, the “Varyag” was up for auction to the highest bidder.  The purchase, originally under the conditions that it was going to used as a casino and hotel by a Hong Kong travel agency, quickly changed when the agency was denied access to rest in the Macau harbor.  Government officials stepped in and it was now in hands of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.  After slowly towing through the Black Sea, down the Suez canal, through the Indian ocean, and up the Chinese coast, she finally made the long journey to Dalian, where the Varyag was put into dry dock for examinations and refurbishment could begin.

China has made it clear that it wants a more powerful influence in the Pacific and the ability to stretch even further.  Essentially from a green water Navy (operations are limited close to shore) to a blue water Navy (the ability to reach anywhere on the globe, like the US Navy).  According to Taiwan official Tsai Teh-sheng, head of the island’s National Security Bureau, said “Varyag – a half-completed Soviet-era aircraft carrier Beijing obtained from Ukraine in 1998 – is expected to make its maiden voyage before the end of 2011.”  It is also ready to begin live training exercises in that same time.  PLAN pilots have already begun training on a mock land-based flight deck of the Varyag at Dalian.  Defense systems were finished this year, giving her the ability to defend at incoming surface to surface missiles.

I don’t believe there is going to be much to expect from the Varyag.  What is interesting though is the newly reported name, “Shi Lang“.   Shi Lang was a Chinese admiral who conquered Taiwan in the 17th century.  If that doesn’t send a message to the Taiwanese, I don’t know what does.  I don’t think the PLAN is really that stupid to rush this project into completion.  Training pilots to fly and perform carrier operations is no easy task, even with modern technology.  Ask any country who operates aircraft carriers and they will tell you it ain’t easy.  You better have some money and lives, which the Chinese certainly do at this point.  It took Americans around 20 years and a lot of lives, when operating with a prop plane to get it right, and around ten years and even more dead men, with jets.  It will be interesting now that as Americans learn how to safely operate drones from carriers, the Chinese with jets.  A race into a next capability of warfare for both sides.  I suggest America step it up.

The Chinese are going to take their time.  Construction on an indigenous carrier is underway.  She will likely be built by seeing what they liked, and what they didn’t like, and what worked, and doesn’t work on the Shi Lang.  The Shi Lang is probably going to be more a of a political statement (making the inhabitants of Formosa lose sleep) than an actual factor in international policy.  They will use it to train and operate on in preparation for the next decade to come, while constructing new carriers.