Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: PLA Air Force Dismisses Hong Kong News Report Of Jet Fighter Crash

DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: PLA Air Force Dismisses Hong Kong News Report Of Jet Fighter Crash
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 11, 2011: The People's Liberation Army air force has dismissed a Hong Kong media report that claims a prototype of China's jet fighter J-10B recently crashed during a test flight, killing a pilot on duty.
Quoting an unverified thread on a sina.com microblog posted on Friday, the Hong Kong-based Sing Tao News reported Saturday that a Chengdu J-10B single engine fighter prototype recently crashed during a test flight in the China Flight Test Establishment in Xianyang, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. The report was further quoted by media outlets in Taiwan Province.
In response to the reports, the PLA air force confirmed to the Global Times Sunday that no plane has crashed and no pilot was killed.
The J-10B, which is undergoing tests, is the latest variant of the Chengdu J-10 fighter. It features multiple improvements such as advanced sensors and a new engine inlet to cut weight and reduce radar visibility, according to Chinese military observers.
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DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: China's Military Buildup - How Far Along Is It?

DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: China's Military Buildup - How Far Along Is It?
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 11, 2011: China's faster-than-expected military buildup has alarmed the United States and its Asian allies and could help the Pentagon gird against deeper defense cuts threatened in some corners of Congress.
But even though the sophistication of China's People's Liberation Army has exceeded US military forecasts, there is a recognition within the Pentagon that some of its most-cited conventional capabilities are still in their infancy.
China's first aircraft carrier, a refurbished Soviet-era vessel known as the Varyag bought from the Ukraine, began sea trials in July. Chinese sources said Beijing is also building two indigenous carriers, a claim the US military believes is misleading at best.
Admiral Robert Willard, commander of US forces in the Pacific, told Reuters that while China might be pursuing procurement or some other embryonic action on an indigenous carrier, it would be premature to say "a keel is laid."
"The only ship that anyone has seen and that they have discussed with any level of fidelity is the Varyag, this particular ship that has floated," Willard said in an interview.
But the refurbished Soviet-era carrier is not yet fully operational. China, the last permanent member of the U.N. Security Council to get carrier capability, will not be able to effectively field an aircraft carrier with any combat aircraft aboard for years, according to Pentagon estimates.
A Pentagon assessment to Congress noted Brazil's navy offered to provide China training in carrier operations.
"However, Brazil's limited capabilities in this area and the extensive problems with Brazil's own carrier program raise some questions as to the implications of the offer," it said.
Not ten feet tall
Then there is question of China's stealth fighter jet, the J-20, which did its first test flight during a visit by the US defense secretary to China in January.
Despite the attention given to the J-20, the Pentagon does not expect it to achieve an effective operational capability before 2018.
There are also questions about how effective its stealth capability may be. The J-20's test flight proved its stealth design but did not reveal other attributes to help it avoid detection that might come later, sources say.
"China faces several hurdles as it moves toward J-20 production, including the mastery of high performance jet engine production," the Pentagon report said.
The United States has had a proper stealth fighter since Lockheed Martin's F-117 Nighthawk made its first flight 30 years ago. That aircraft was retired from service in 2007.
Prior "low-observable" US aircraft date back to the 1950s with the U-2A high-altitude reconnaissance plane.
The PLA is also still some way from mastering the ability to mount large joint force operations, which will be needed to make the most of newfound capabilities grabbing headlines.
The US military has spent the past decade of war honing joint operations that weave together teams and skills from across its armed forces -- a hard-won but potent tool.
The US Navy's top intelligence officer warned before retiring earlier this year against overestimating Chinese military capabilities.
"I don't view them as 10 feet tall," Vice Admiral David Dorsett said. "Have we seen large joint sophisticated exercises? No ... They are at the front end of developing their military capability."
Is China "on the march"?
At the same time, the US military believes China appears on track to field a modern, regionally focused military by 2020. A comprehensive strategy to maintain the US edge in the Pacific will require investment, a tough challenge in an era of budget cuts.
The Pentagon now counts a base budget, excluding war costs, of over half a trillion dollars. China downplays its defense spending but acknowledged in March a 12.7 percent rise in 2011 defense outlays to 600 billion yuan ($94 billion).
Still, the US military, while expressing confidence in future funding for the Asia-Pacific region, is not parroting some of the more volatile China rhetoric seen in parts of Congress.
"I know some folks like to sugarcoat the terms in describing China as a rival or competitor but the fact is Communist China is an enemy of democracy," David Rivera, a lawmaker on the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee, said in a recent hearing on Taiwan.
The US military's estimates of China offer a more mixed view. This year's assessment noted China's lack of operational experience and large amounts of antiquated hardware but said the PLA was "steadily closing the technological gap with modern armed forces."
Dean Cheng, a China expert at the Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington, said future Chinese advances like improvements in its anti-ship ballistic missile would influence US risk assessments when deploying near its shores.
That is not to say China will be able to flat-out deny US access to nearby waters any time soon.
"Denial is a function of risk -- what level of risk are we willing to accept in order to do whatever it is we're going to do out there," Cheng said, noting US submarines, for example, can be very difficult to detect.
The PLA's aggressive posture in the South China Sea and its increasing military edge over Taiwan are sources of concern -- as are its investments in nuclear submarines, which suggest China is seeking to support operations well beyond Taiwan.
Those concerns have found fertile ground in Congress, where the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee accused China of widespread cyber espionage.
Some lawmakers have reacted angrily to the US decision to give Taiwan a $5.85 billion arms package including upgrades to F-16 A/B fighter aircraft, instead of also delivering the late-model F-16 C/D fighters that Taipei wanted.
"China is on the march in Asia, and its primary target remains democratic Taiwan," said the House Foreign Relations Committee's chairwoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
China sees Taiwan, a self-ruled island, as an illegitimate breakaway from Beijing's rule that must accept eventual reunification.
The United States switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to mainland China in 1979 but it is obligated by law to supply Taiwan sufficient arms for self-defense.
As China's regional military ambitions come into view, so does discussion of its global goals. But Dorsett noted China's global aspirations are longer term, seeking to turn its navy into a global power "by the middle years of this century."
"That's their timeline," said.
"Should we expect them to be much more competent 10 years from now than they are today? As long as their economy's robust, absolutely."
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DTN News - SAUDI ARABIA DEFENSE NEWS: Saudi Arabia Plans To Buy More American Weaponry

DTN News - SAUDI ARABIA DEFENSE NEWS: Saudi Arabia Plans To Buy More American Weaponry
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 11, 2011: Saudi Arabia is planning to reach an agreement with the United States on the purchase of artillery systems worth $186 million, Arabian website Elaf said citing a high-ranking source in the Saudi government.
Last month the parties agreed on the details of the upcoming deal, according to which Washington would supply 36 155-mm guns and 54 105-mm guns, the source said.
In October 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the largest arms exports contract in the history of the country. The United States will supply various types of weapons to Saudi Arabia worth $60 billion.
The orders include 84 new F-15 fighter jets and a contract to upgrade 70 F-15s already in service with the Saudi air force. Washington will also deliver 70 Apache helicopters, 72 Black Hawk helicopters, 36 Little Birds and 12 MD-530F helicopters, and a wide range of rockets, bombs and other equipment.

Royal Saudi Air Force Current Aircraft Inventory (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Boeing F-15S Eagle, the strike fighter of the RSAF
Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force pilot adjusts his oxygen mask while in the cockpit of an F-5 Tiger II aircraft prior to flying a training mission.
British Aerospace Hawk in 2011

on 11 Agust 2011 , Royal air force receive 24 Typhoon from Uk air force (Taif Airbase) On 12 August 2009, UPI reported that Saudi Arabia was seeking upgrades for their E-3 fleet and aerial refuelling tanker aircraft.[4]

In October 2010, a large new helicopter purchase was reported; the RSAF plans to buy 72 UH-60M, 36 AH-6I, 36 AH-64D, 12 MD530helicopters and parts. The request has not yet been approved.[5]

[edit]Combat aircraft

AircraftOriginRoleVersionsIn serviceNotes
Fighter Aircraft
Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle United StatesFighterSANoneOn order.[6][7] Although the exact variant is unspecified, the RSAF are reported to be interested in the Silent Eagle.
Boeing F-15 Eagle United StatesFighterC D 80 25
Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle United StatesStrike fighterS72
Panavia Tornado IDS United Kingdom European UnionGround Attack87Being upgraded at a cost of $4.66 billion.
Panavia Tornado ADV United Kingdom European UnionFighter24To be withdrawn from service & shipped to the UK in a buy back package part of the Al Salam deal for 72 Typhoon F2.
Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter II United StatesFighterE F83 37Withdrawn from frontline service aside from the training role, some squadrons such as #10 based in Taif will be replaced with the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Eurofighter Typhoon European UnionFighterT.2 T.3A24 48A further 72 may be ordered, 48 will be assembled in Saudi Arabia
Trainer Aircraft
BAe Hawk European UnionAdvanced TrainerMk. 65 Mk. 65A30 20
BAe Jetstream United KingdomTrainer312
Super Mushshaaq PakistanTrainer-20
Pilatus PC-9 SwitzerlandTrainer-50
Reims Cessna F172 European UnionTrainerG H M16
Transport Aircraft
Airbus A340 FranceTransportA340-2131Royal Flight
Airbus A330 FranceTransport & refuellingMRTT6On order.[8]
BAe 125 United KingdomTransportB4Royal Flight
Boeing 747 United StatesVIP Transport747-300 747SP2Royal Flight
Boeing 757 United StatesMedical Transport-1
Boeing Business Jet United StatesTransportBBJ1 BBJ21 1Royal Flight
Boeing E-3 Sentry United StatesAWACS5seeking upgrades
Boeing KE-3A United StatesAirborne RefuellingA8Being upgraded & then replaced by A330 MRRT
CASA CN-235 European UnionTransportM-104Royal Flight
Cessna 550 Citation United StatesTransportC5504Royal Flight
Gates Learjet 35 United StatesTransportA2Both transferred to the Royal Saudi Armed Forces Medical Wing in July 2009
Gulfstream III United StatesTransport-2
Gulfstream V United StatesMedical Transport-2
Lockheed C-130 Hercules United StatesTransport Airborne Refuelling VIP TransportE/H KC-130H VC-130H30 7 5
Lockheed L-100 United StatesTransportL-100-306
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 United StatesTransportMD-111Royal Flight
Transport Helicopters
Agusta-Bell 212 Italy European UnionTransport Helicopter-27
Agusta-Bell AS-61 European UnionTransport HelicopterA-43Royal Flight
Bell 205 United StatesTransport Helicopter-24
Bell 412 United StatesTransport HelicopterEP2
Eurocopter AS-532 Cougar European Union FranceCombat Search and RescueM12
Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin European Union FranceNaval Helicopter Medical HelicopterF N24The SA-365F variants are operated by Royal Saudi Naval Aviation.
Eurocopter SA-332 Super Puma European Union FranceNaval HelicopterF13Operated by Royal Saudi Naval Aviation.
Kawasaki-Vertol 107 Japan United StatesTransport Helicopter-18Operated by the Ministry of the Interior
Total :+1009Including the 72 Eurofighter Typhoon + 72 F-15 SA + 48 AH-64 Apache + 72 UH-60 Black Hawk

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*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News