Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Australian Army Abrams 

I havn't been updating this blog as much as I would like..so my first update is about the "new" Australian Army Abrams we just bought..

M1 Abrams Chosen as Australian Army’s Replacement Tank.
The Government will equip the Australian Army with a fleet of 59 United States M1A1 Abrams Integrated Management main battle tanks to replace the ageing Leopards, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today. The project cost is about $550 million. The Abrams tanks are significantly more capable than the current tank and will contribute to the Army becoming more lethal in future close combat. The Government accepted Defence’s advice that the Abrams is the best capability and the best value for money with the lowest risk of the three replacement tank options examined.

Official Government Release.

The M1A1 AIM tank was selected for the following reasons:

The M1A1 AIM has the best overall survivability of the options considered. It offers battlefield proven protection for its crews.
The M1A1 AIM in Australian service will be very similar to the remainder of the large user community. It is part of a large fleet with stable, known operating costs, which will be in service beyond 2020.
They will be configured as part of a fleet of 3,500 similar vehicles across the world. These particular vehicles will be very similar to over 2,500 vehicles operated by the US to at least 2020.
The M1A1 AIM has the best potential to support network centric warfare. It offers a proven integrated and highly capable radio and battlespace management system.
The M1A1 AIM is assessed to have the least technical acquisition risk as the vehicle type and configuration for Australian service is already in production. It is a proven design, which is already in contract.
The M1A1 AIM is the right tank for Australian service. It is a highly survivable and affordable vehicle, with excellent potential for network centric warfare. The M1A1 provides the best value for Commonwealth dollar with low production and technical risk.
The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) offer for the M1A1 includes, spares, training, support vehicles, Armoured Recovery Vehicles, simulation systems, radios and ancillary equipment as part of the overall package.
The M1A1 that ADF will procure are essentially remanufactured vehicles. They have been returned to a zero miles zero hours condition. This will provide substantial cost benefits in comparison to purchasing new vehicles.
The M1A1 Abrams weighs less than 63,000 kilograms (<63 tonnes) when fully combat laden. This is only slightly heavier than the Leopard 2 and is lighter than the Challenger takes that were considered. All three tank options that were considered are within 1000 kg of each other in combat configuration. In transport configuration the M1A1 will weigh around 59-60 tonnes.
Additional Heavy Equipment Transporters and trailers will be procured under Project Land 121.
The crane that loaded tanks in Darwin would be capable of doing the same for M1. We have an ongoing discussion about strategic rail transport in Australia and the issue of appropriate rolling stock will continue to be discussed.

And from The Australin..

Despite concern among military experts about its suitability, the National Security Committee of cabinet decided yesterday to buy the state-of-the-art US tank instead of the lighter, German-built Leopard II.
The decision to go American follows a deal two weeks ago giving unprecedented access to US naval technology for Australia's new air warfare destroyers.
The Abrams M1A1 fleet will replace Australia's 100 30-year-old Leopard tanks, which lack firepower and the armour to adequately protect crew from mines and hand-held anti-armour weapons.

Now there's talk of the JSF/F-35 being late.

But the decision came as a senior US official, visiting Canberra yesterday, expressed concern over "growing pains" with another US defence project -- the development of the $US200billion ($264billion) new-generation F-35 joint strike fighter.
Australia is expected to order up to 100 of the fighters, to be delivered in 2012, but the project has been plagued by cost overruns and delays. This has raised concerns as to whether Canberra should buy an interim fighter to cover a gap between the retirement of the F-111 fighter bomber, which is to be retired from 2010, and the delivery of the F-35.

If we bought an interim fighter...what would we do once we got the F-35s? Seems pretty pointless...may as well just "hire" some American (or British) jets like we did with the Phantoms.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

World War 2 for Strike Fighters! 

Also some great stuff from the SF:P1 community.

Prop planes being made for SF.

WWII Photo's. 

This week a whole lot ofWW2 photo archives were released. But there are also some more photos floating around...

"Andy" as he is known, from the EAW community has made an exciting discovery.

"Yesterday evening I talked with a friend about WWII and that my grandfather was a Luftwaffe pilot and that I would really like to talk to him with all the knowlegede I have today. But this is not possible anymore cause he died in the 80ies. Then my friend (I've been knowing him now for about half a year only) started to tell me his story on this topic:
The brother of his granddad was a very famous illustrator. He worked for many (military) journals in the late 30ies and early forties. As you might know these 'journalists' often visited the frontline and since he was interested in the aerial warfare most he often flew with bomber crews to make his drawings as realistic as possible.

.....That's all very interesting isn't it? But the best is still to come. My friend continued and told me, he himself has 3 boxes with journals that have been illustrated by his granduncle, photographs, pictures and lots of stuff from the SCW and the early years of WWII. And he showed one of these boxes to me.
It included about 20 original volumes of the Luftwaffe journal 'Der Adler' (the eagle) of the years 38 to 41, illustrated by my friends granduncle with lots of photographs also, showing all sorts of Luftwaffe aircraft in fligt, in battle, simply in all situations you can imagine. I diddn't know a single of these photographs and believe me, I know a lot lof pics. Now these journals alone are a true treasure. But the box also included lots of other pics and photographs of ships, tanks, aircraft and 'normal' soldiers."

Truly amazing!

Read it all here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Gorshkov deal; signed. 

"India and Russia have signed the over $1.5 billion deal for the purchase of the 45,000 tonne aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.
According to a Defence Ministry statement, the deal also covers the related purchase of equipment and systems for the carrier which was approved by the Cabinet Committee of Security on January 17."

India's fighting force just got a whole lot stronger. MiG-29's too.

Story-Times of India

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Singapore to get new aircraft soon... 

"Singapore expects to decide early next year on its choice of 20 new combat planes worth over one billion US dollars to replace its ageing fighter fleet, Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean said in remarks released here Friday.
"We expect a decision on this matter early next year," Teo told reporters in France on Thursday as he wrapped up a visit there, according to excerpts of a press conference released by the government.
The island-state, which has one of Asia's most modern air, land and naval forces, is shopping for 20 warplanes to replace its current fleet of A-4SU Skyhawk combat jets in a deal valued at over a billion dollars.
Last year, Singapore trimmed its list to three possible choices -- the Typhoon by European consortium Eurofighter, France's Rafale and Boeing's F-15 Eagle."

Full Story.

I'm just a bit surprised the F-15 is on that list. I would be looking at some of the F-16's Israel is selling...

Invisable bombs 

"Pakistan Air Force has acquired the invisible target bombs for its arsenal.
The sophisticated bombs of the H-4 and H-2 series can target the enemy installations at a distance of 120 kilometers and 60 kilometers respectively.

According to a report, the bombs manufactured under a joint venture of National Engineering and Scientific Commission (Nescom), Pakistan Missile Organisation and Aeropean Complex, has reinforced the defence of Pakistan Air Force considerably. "

India-Pakistan-China. In that area the military manpower and firepower is extraordinary. I hope they develop new aircraft, for aviation's sake, because I just love planes, but not go to war. Obviousley.

"After their successful testing, the invisible bombs have been handed over to the PAF men, who have installed them at PAF’s fighter planes.

Interestingly, the presence of bombs equipped with infrared technology has made the vulnerability of Indian bombs, AA 11 and AA 12, completely exposed.

The report further said, after the induction of J F-17 Thunder planes, a joint venture of Pakistan-China Defence cooperation, the fighter planes would be equipped with the bombs. "

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

SF New: A-5B/RA-5C Vigilante 

The A-5B/RA-5C Vigilante for Strike Fighters is out, by Monty CZ. Check the threads here.

SFSimHQ Thread 1
SFSimHQ Thread 2

Some pictures...

Israeli F-16I first flight. 

"The F-16 flew for 55 minutes and landed safely at the Lockheed Martin facility. The initial flight assessed basic aircraft operation including flight controls, landing gear and environmental control, cockpit and basic avionics systems.

"The successful first flight of the F-16I is truly a major milestone in our continuing commitment to Israel," said John Bean, Lockheed Martin vice president for F-16 programs. "This achievement further strengthens our bond, which spans three decades through the F-16." "

From defencetalk.com

Romania wants to equip Iraq army. 

Quick on the gun, so to speak. But it wouldn't be suprising if they do get it..as the Coalition (mainly US, UK) now controls Iraq (as such) they effectivley, dont have a govrnment to sell them to.

"BUCHAREST: Romania proposed Monday to supply the new Iraqi army with weapons, the state secretary for Romania's arms industry said.
"We have submitted a proposal to equip the future Iraqi army with artillery ammunition and Kalashnikov rifles at competitive prices," Decebal Ilina said, adding that "a formal offer will only be made when the United States opens the bidding process."
"Theoretically we should stand a good chance of securing such a contract considering that we have contributed to the international stabilisation force in Iraq," he said.
According to Ilina, Romania can supply military equipment to Iraq "according to demand and at low cost."
"A market like Iraq, which is not necessarily seeking to acquire top of the line weaponry, is just what a producer like Romania needs because we are faced with low demand."
Romania supported the US-led invasion of Iraq and has 700 soldiers stationed in the country as part of the post-war international stabilisation force."

Lockheed Tactical Tomahawk WCS Approved for Operation
"Lockheed Martin announced today that its advanced Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS), the U.S. Navy’s next generation cruise missile weapons control system, has been approved for initial operating capability (IOC). TTWCS brings new command and control capabilities to carry out missile strikes and can redirect the advanced Tactical Tomahawk missiles to new targets while in flight."

Full story from Defencetalk.com

US Military Bases in Poland. 

Lifted from F-16.net

"US vice-minister of defense, Douglas Feith, arrived in Poland on December 8th. His visit started unofficial negotiations concerning opening a US military base in Kshesin, nearby Poznañ (West Poland).

Unofficial information claims that Kshesin can receive one US group of 16 battle machines from Germany and military unit servicing F-16 airplanes.

An extract from the local newspaper: "Feith's visit has proved that the United States was stepping up discussions with key European allies about the overhaul of US global military deployments. Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of US defense, who passed on that new during the last NATO debate, informed of US state representatives' visits in countries chosen by the US and subsequent arduous negotiations. Anyway, Feith highlighted that the first decisions on possible movement of American military bases to Poland will not be finalized in close future. Negotiations of conditions can last even couple of years. According to general Slawomir Petlicki, founder of GROM (special commando unit), the decision about setting up the US military base in Poland has been already made by the Americans."

Prime Minister Leszek Miller said in an interview that "Poland is ready to allow US bases on its territory if such a request was made".

The airfield in Kshesin was modernized, and the base now fulfils all NATO standards. "

Monday, January 05, 2004

F-15 v Su-27 

"The Ministry, in consultation with External Affairs, had turned down Krishnaswamy's request as it did not want to ``reveal'' its top air combatant to the world. Come February 16 and the IAF's Su-30K (air defence version) will duel with American F-15C Eagle; in July, IAF's Jaguars will be the first combat aircraft to fly to Alaska for a multilateral air exercise."

Man, this is something I'd love to see.

"Little wonder then that short of the SU-30 MKI, the IAF is fielding its finest fighters _ from the Mirage-2000 and SU-30K to the upgraded MiG-21 Bison, MiG-29 interceptors and MiG-27 ground attack aircraft in a strike role. The two forces will work out various war tactics through the exercises from February 16 to 26.

Day One will see IAF pilots leading the six US F-15C aircraft that will fly in from Elendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, which falls under the US Pacific Air Command. IAF planners and their USAF counterparts are known to have finalised air combat scenarios during the initial planning conference in September, 2003. A US KC-135 Hercules air-to-air refueller is also expected to escort the F-15Cs and giving the IAF an opportunity to see how the USAF functions with its refuellers."

Full Story.

Want some F-16's to keep your street in check?

"F-16 fighter planes, assault helicopters, and tanks are all available at knock-down prices in an end-of-year sale being staged by the Israeli army, an Israeli newspaper reported today.

The defence ministry has released a catalogue of military hardware which has been taken out of service and is deemed surplus to requirements.

The annual sale is expected to be worth some 100 million USD to the army which is facing major budget restraints amid the economic downturn in Israel.

Any would-be purchasers must first prove that they have no connection with organisations hostile to Israel.

Sales of weapons systems produced in the US must also be approved by Washington to ensure that they do not fall into "enemy hands"."

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Some pics from Pegase's 

Just been browsing the 'new pics' at Pegase Airshow Pictures. They were taken from a Tiger meet from last year.

Love those Mirages!

Second Patch, Vampire, Mirage F-1C, for Strike Fighters released. 

It's here! The long awaited Service Pack 2 for Strike Fighters:Project 1.

Check the thread here at SF-SimHQ forum.

And the excellent Mirage.

And the Vampire.

Purdy :)

F-15 for Strike Fighters; but what about the losses? 

On the SF forum @ SimHQ, the F-15 has been built and should be released soon. An interesting question was posed, however, on the losses of the F-15.

I googled around a bit, and found information from F-15 Strike Eagle.com about the F-15's losses...well the ones operated by the USA anyway.

07 Apr 2003 88-1694 SJ 335 EFS Combat Loss (Operation 'Iraqi Freedom')
There also had been an F-15 lost in the latest desert Storm. I was interested to see how it was lost. Did a bit more research...

CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar — Coalition rescue teams were searching early Wednesday for two U.S. airmen from a F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet that went down over Iraq two days earlier.

Foxnews from Tuesday, April 08, 2003

A U.S. military source said the plane went down near the city of Tikrit, the hometown of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The town is believed to be a stronghold of Iraqi resistance.
It was unclear whether the plane was shot down, the U.S. Central Command said.
The fighter vanished early Monday, but its loss was not announced until later for security reasons, said Marine Maj. Brad Bartelt, a Central Command spokesman.
"You want to protect the lives of any survivors on the ground," Bartelt said. "As soon as you send that information out, what you can do potentially is tip off an adversary or an enemy as to where or what happened."
Central Command said the airmen and their aircraft were deployed from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
"The coalition expects Iraqi forces and Iraqi citizens to abide by all Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of prisoners," the command said in a statement.
A coalition A-10 "Warthog" warplane was shot down near Baghdad early Tuesday in the first reported downing of a coalition aircraft by an Iraqi surface-to-air missile.
Its pilot ejected safely and was recovered by coalition ground forces near the airport, U.S. Central Command said. The pilot was reported to be in good condition.

While looking for this, I found some interesting stuff on coalition leaflets dropped during the war.


Been away a while 

From blogland. I will soon start putting up some news after I post some stuff that Wilbur has posted over the past few days.

China's SU-27s are being equipped with an extremely long range version of the Russian Kh-31P (called by NATO; AS-17 Krypton) Anti-Radiation Missiles.

With derivatives of the SU-27 being snapped up by China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India, this aircraft and missile combination- if widely exported- could make for a major shift in airpower in the region.

This large missile, which reaches speeds of Mach 4.5 and has a range of 70 kilometers, is designed to take out radar systems like those used for the American Patriot anti-aircraft missiles, as well as the powerful U.S. Aegis radars found on many warships.

The new F-35 JSF is being engineered so that it can't easily be reverse engineered. A very interesting write up from Strategy Page;

The big-ticket item in that category is technology to prevent reverse-engineering, a major concern since the F-35 will be the first stealth aircraft exported to other countries. There have been instances where advanced American fighters have found their way to unfriendly countries – the most notable being the defection of an Iranian F-14 crew to Russia, although some rumors persist that the Iranians provided information on the Tomcat to Russia. This assisted the Soviets in developing the AA-9/R-33 Amos air-to-air missile, primarily used on the MiG-31 Foxhound aircraft. China has apparently acquired at least one F-16 from Pakistan, which was used for developing the J-10, a modified version of the cancelled IAI Lavi.

And heres one you should read from Wilburs blog yourself...:)


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?