Friday, August 27, 2010

Briefings : Ocean, Trident, Eurofighter crash

  • HMS Ocean has begun an anti-drugs deployment in the Caribbean. The assault carrier will also be on hand to provide assistance to British territories in the area during the hurricane season (unless its bought home early to save a few quid).
  • The uncertainly about the Vanguard replacements and the continuation of Britain's nuclear deterrent is concerning some British defence companies especially how it may effect other defence spending.
  • Denmark has turned down a request by NATO to send F-16s to Afghanistan saying they have already done enough. Indeed unlike some other countries in the alliance the Danes have contributed a lot to the fight there.
  • A Eurofighter has crashed in Spain on a regular training flight. The fighter was being piloted by a Saudi Air Force pilot who died in the crash though a Spanish pilot also aboard managed to eject.
  • Israel is pressing ahead with its JSF purchase after getting approval to install Israeli equipment and support Israeli munitions. The F-35I will also have its EW suite kept up to date by the US to IDF requirements.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Briefings : SDR, Karrar, North Korea

  • The Strategic Defence Review trash talk continues, both Queen Elizabeth carriers could now be "scrapped" (well only QE itself could be scrapped of course as work hasn't begun on the 2nd carrier yet). The Red Arrows could also be under threat, doubt it though.
  • Upgraded Desert Hawk UAVs have arrived with British forces in Afghanistan. The latest version has improved cameras and a better wing for operation in the country.
  • Iran have unveiled their Karrar "attack drone", the latest of a seemingly endless array of indigenous weapons. However do any of these toys actually make it to serial production? The Karrar anyway can carry 4 missiles or bombs and has a range of 1000km.
  • A North Korean MiG-21 is said to have crashed in China when it ran out of fuel. US analysts believe it was due to a navigational error however not an attempted defection. Another suggestion is that it was heading to a Chinese air base for maintenance though there are no confirmed maintenance agreements between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
  • Perhaps cyber warfare is a better bet for the DPRK, North Korea have apparently created official Facebook and Twitter accounts as part of their info-war against the decadent West.
  • One of the A400M prototypes visited RAF Brize Norton and allowed for a photo-op alongside a Hercules and a C-17.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Sea Viper completes "toughest test"

    The Sea Viper SAM, principal weapon of the Type 45 destroyer, has completed what has been called its "toughest test yet" on trials in the Mediterranean. The missile achieved a hit against a fast manoeuvring sea skimming target, though the successful missile appears to have been fired as part of a salvo (from which i assume some of the missiles missed).

    Briefings : New DPRK tank, P-8A, PLA report

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Briefings : Albion, Cyber Security, Greyhound

    • HMS Albion has arrived back to the UK after taking part in the large Auriga exercise off the eastern coast of the US. The amphibious ship and the Royal Marines 42 Commando took advantage of the training opportunities over in the USA.
    • The MOD is tightening up cyber security, and as less than half of the 340 laptops lost or stolen from the MOD over the last 2 years are said to have been encrypted you can see why. Unencrypted media is now to be banned and personal data handling to be improved.
    • The US Navy are looking into the possibility of remanufacturing its fleet of C-2A Greyhound carrier on-board delivery transports.
    • China has launched another surveillance satellite, the 6th this year. Yaogan Weixing-10 has SAR and high resolution optics officially for "scientific experiments and crop surveys" though the satellite along with 2 others form a maritime surveillance formation.
    • Kuwait wants to buy 209 Patriot MIM-104E missiles. 
    • Scientists have developed an invisibility cloak out of silk. At the moment it only works on light outside of the visible spectrum but they hope one day it can work there too. Its main use will be in medical science however.
    • Astute has had to return to port during its sea trials following problems with its anchor.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Briefings : SDR, SLBMs, Tank reefs

    • The SDR leaks and gossip continue, according to the latest reports the RAF will take the brunt of the cuts in the UK forces and be left with less than 200 fighters. All Tornadoes and Hercules would be withdrawn and the number of Typhoons cut. The Army would lose 40% of its armoured vehicles and the Navy 2 submarines and 3 amphibious warship ships in the latest leaked proposals.
    • The MOD is looking into a training package to support the operations of its future fleet of A400M transports.
    • Russia has successfully tested 2 Sineva SS-N-23 SLBMs but the next test of the troubled next-generation Bulava SS-NX-30 has been postponed.
    • 25 ex-Thai Army tanks and other vehicles have been dumped in the Gulf of Thailand to produce an artificial reef. Similiar things are often done with ex-warships.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Fire at AWE

    A fire has broken out at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. The fire was in a non-nuclear explosives area and there was no radioactive release according to officials though nearby residents were evacuated as well as staff from other areas of the site. The cause of the fire is now being investigated.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Review to be bought forward

    The decision on where the axe will fall on UK defence spending has been bought forward to the end of October instead of Christmas, they obviously did not want to ruin everyone's holidays. A fixed budget has not yet been set by the Treasury. One area of ongoing discussion with the Treasury is who is going to pay to replace Trident. The Treasury want the MOD to pay for it, the MOD naturally would rather it was funded separately like before.

    Daring enters service

    The first Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring has finally entered service with the Royal Navy following nearly a year and a half of sea trials and operational training. The first operational deployment of Daring is now planned for next year.