Monday, March 30, 2009

3rd generation Chinese Type 99

Western forces beware, the Chinese have fielded the most advanced tank yet! Well, only the most advanced in China that is. Following in the ancient Chinese tradition of quantity over quality and cheap products, the Chinese have developed their own 3rd generation battle tank that they believe is the answer to the Western nations’ superior tank designs. Likewise, they also used their other ancient tradition of ripping off western designs to compensate for their lack of engineering ability in the design of this tank. Yes, the Type 99 tank does possess many up-to-date gimmicks like a laser awareness system to locate the direction of shots fired at it (hmmm….) assuming they don’t destroy it first I guess, and it can also be used to scramble an enemy tank’s optics, I guess again under the assumption that the enemy tank’s optics weren’t used to target and then subsequently destroy it. Among other criticisms laid down by numerous armor enthusiasts, observe the area located directly under the turret, how the armor is concave rather than convex, this design renders this area a “shot trap”, which is a serious design blunder
that increases vulnerability to frontal fire, the most common in a tank-on-tank battle. A shot could also jam the turret in this area even if it didn’t destroy the tank or kill it’s occupants. All in all, the Chinese have successfully developed a tank that rivals the western designs in speed, electronics, and almost there with the armor, but they still fall short in the overall design having not had any modern experience with tanks in battle

Chinese Type 98 MBT Tank World Next Best Tank

Meet China's new Type 98 MBT. This is a tank that has been under constant development since the late 1980's. The project started out with something called the Type 2000, a Tank destined for export to Pakistan under contract. Early versions were deemed unfit for service in China's war machine... but that has changed. Some items to note, the hull. This appears to be a development of the Russian T-80 MBT, a very formidable and fast platform... probably easily one of the best tanks in the world next to the Abrams, Merkava, and Leopard. Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of the Type 98 is the addition of what appears to be a previously unknown active self-defense system. Unlike contemporary Russian active tank self-defense systems like Drozd, Drozd-2, and Arena, which launch projectiles to disable or "shoot-down" incoming anti-tank missiles and projectiles, the Chinese system apparently uses a high-powered laser to directly attack the enemy weapon's optics and gunner. The system includes what appears to be a laser warning receiver (LWR - the dome-shaped device on the turret roof behind the commander's position), that warns the crew that their tank is being illuminated by an enemy range-finding or weapon-guidance laser. The turret of the tank can then be traversed to face the direction of the enemy threat, and the laser self-defense weapon (LSDW - the box-shaped device on the turret roof behind the gunner's position), can be employed against the source of the enemy laser. While the engagement procedure of the Type 98's self-defense laser is unknown, published reports concerning similar weapons describe a procedure where the laser weapon would first use a low-powered beam to locate the optics of the enemy weapon. Once the enemy weapon was located, the power level of the laser would be immediately and dramatically increased. Such an attack would disable the guidance optics of the enemy weapon and/or damage the eyesight of the enemy gunner. The turret-mounted system carried by the Type 98 is very similar to a tripod-mounted laser weapon that was seen for the first time at an arms exhibition in Manila in 1995. Identified at the exhibition as the "Laser Interference Device," it matched the description of a known Chinese laser weapon called the ZM-87. According to its promotional information, one of the ZM-87's major uses is to "injure or dizzy targeted individuals." The ZM-87 can reportedly injure the human eye at 2-3 kms, this rising to over 5 kms using a 7-power magnification device. Additionally, short-term "flaring blind-ness" can be inflicted on the human eye at up to 10 kms. The ZM-87 and the laser weapon carried by the Type 98 should not be confused with electro-optical "dazzlers" like those turret-mounted de-vices used by the Iraqis during Operation Desert Storm. Those Iraqi devices (some of which are believed to have been supplied by the Chinese), are designed to confuse the tracking systems of Western/NATO anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), without directly attacking the controlling optics or the eyesight of the weapon's gunner. The available photos of the Type 96 have also confirmed that the laser weapon can be elevated to a higher angle than the tank's main gun, indicating that the engagement of attack helicopters is possible.

The Type 98 reportedly weighs 50 tons and is powered by a new 1200-hp diesel engine. As far as armor protection is concerned, some initial observations can be made. Generally speaking, the Type 98's turret is larger than the turrets of other PLA tanks. More importantly, the turret has been lengthened or extended forward, creating a noticeable gap between the lower edge of the turret-front and the hull decking. This new gap is most visible just to the right and left of the driver's position (see photo on top of next page). It is very likely that the Chinese decided to increase/improve the turret frontal armor protecting the Type 98 to the point where extending the turret forward became a requirement.
While details concerning the type and design of the Type 98's armor are lacking, there is the possibility that its armor is based on, or influenced by, the Russian T-80U MBT. When the PLA's relatively recent purchase of Russian T-80Us is combined with what was learned during the parade, a Russian armor connection is certainly possible. Like the T-80U, the Type 98 incorporates turret frontal armor cavities (one on either side of the main gun - clearly visible when viewed from above), covered by plates which are fitted flush and bolted to the turret roof. The purpose of these cavities may be to allow the composite contents of each cavity to be easily upgraded and changed during the life of the tank.
The Type 98 is a significant tank for the Chinese and for their potential adversaries. It represents a modern heavy armor threat in an era where some countries seem to be moving away from the proven mobile protected fire-power offered by the MBT. One thing is clear, the Type 98 is a post-Desert Storm tank that incorporates the lessons the Chinese learned from that conflict; lessons that will characterize the next battlefield. As the U.S. Army turns its focus inward and reconsiders the design of its own armored force, it could be a costly mistake to underestimate the heavy threat represented by tanks like the Chinese Type 98 - the Beast from the East.

Monday, March 23, 2009

American AH-64D Apache Longbow

AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter
The Apache Longbow is an improved and upgraded version of the AH-64A. With increased survivability, better bad-weather performance, avionics and weapons, the Longbow is the most sophisitcated attack helicopter in service.

The most striking difference in appearance of the Longbow is the radar dome atop the main rotors. The fire control radar can locate, classify and prioritise more than 128 targets, in all weathers. The radar selects targets for the AGM-114D Longbow missiles which can be fired in full 'fire-and-forget' mode up to ranges of 12km.
A major advantage of the Longbow radar being situated above the rotors is that it allows the Apache AH-64D to stay masked behind terrain as it aquires and engages targets. The A model Apache had to either pop up fully to scan the battlefield, leaving it exposed, or rely on target data from other sources such as OH-58D Kiowa scout helicopters.

Apache AH64-D longbow
The Longbow project was initiated following lessons learnt during Desert Storm, 1991. The Longbow Apache variant entered into service in the US military in October 1997.
A british variant, the WAH-64 LONGBOW APACHE entered into service with the UK Airmy Air Corps in July 2004 and has since seen action in Afghanistan.
AH-64D Apache Longbow Specifications

The Apache Longbow is named after the millimeter-wave radar atop the rotor mast. The Longbow radar can see through fog, smoke and rain to aquire a clear 360 degree electronic picture of the battlefield.

improved flight performance from 2 GE T700C powerplants
balistic armor protects crew from ground fire
all-weather capability
2 - With Pilot seated above and behind Weapons Systems Officer
Two General Electric T700-GE-701
L - 17.73m W - 5.227m H - 4.64m
11,800 lbs (empty)15,075 lbs (standard loudout)
Max Speed
150 kt (279 kph)
400 km - internal fuel 1,900 km - internal and external fuel
M230 30mm Cannon (typical loudout of 1200 rounds)Hydra 70mm FFAR Folding Fin Aerial Rockets (in pods of 19) AGM-114D Longbow Hellfire Missiles (up to 16) Stinger, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mistral and Sidearm air-to-air missiles
Northrop Grumman millimetre-wave Longbow radarTADS (AN/ASQ-170) PNVS (AN/AAQ-11) Honeywell Integrated Helmet And Display Sighting System (IHADSS) AN/APR-39A(V) radar warning receiverAN/ALQ-144 infra-red countermeasuresAN/AVR-2 laser warning receiverAN/ALQ-136(V) radar jammerHelicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (HIDAS) (WAH-64)

American AH-64A Apache

AH-64 fleet has of two aircraft prototypes, the AH-64A and the newer Longbow Apache (LBA), AH-64D. AH-64A model full-scale production began in 1983 and now over 800 aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. Army and other NATO Allies. The U.S. Army plans to remanufacture its entire AH-64A Apache fleet to the AH-64D configuration over the next decade. The AH-64A fleet exceeded one million flight hours in 1997, and the median age of today's fleet is 9 years and 1,300 flight hours. The AH-64A proved its capabilities in action during both Operation Restore Hope and Operation Desert Storm. Apache helicopters played a key role in the 1989 action in Panama, where much of its activity was at night, when the AH-64's advanced sensors and sighting systems were effective against Panamanian government forces.
Apache helicopters also played a major role in the liberation of Kuwait. On 20 November 1990, the 11th Aviation Brigade was alerted for deployment to Southwest Asia from Storck Barracks in Illesheim Germany. The first elements arrived in theater 24 November 1990. By 15 January 1991 the unit had moved 147 helicopters, 325 vehicles and 1,476 soldiers to the region. The Apache helicopters of the Brigade destroyed more than 245 enemy vehicles with no losses.
During Operation Desert Storm, AH-64s were credited with destroying more than 500 tanks plus hundreds of additional armored personnel carriers, trucks and other vehicles. They also were used to destroy vital early warning radar sites, an action that opened the U.N. coalition's battle plan. Apaches also demonstrated the ability to perform when called upon, logging thousands of combat hours at readiness rates in excess of 85 percent during the Gulf War.While recovery was ongoing, additional elements of the 11th Aviation Brigade began the next chapter of involvement in the region. On 24 April 1991 the 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry’s 18 AH-64 helicopters began a self-deployment to Southwest Asia. The Squadron provided aerial security to a 3,000 square kilometer region in Northern Iraq as part of the Combined Task Force of Operation Provide Comfort.

And the AH-64A Apache helped to keep the peace in Bosnia. April of 1996 saw the beginning of the 11th Regiment’s involvement in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Elements of 6-6 Cavalry served as a part of Task Force Eagle under 1st Armored Division for 7 months. In October of 1996, Task Force 11, consisting of the Regimental Headquarters, 2-6 Cavalry, 2-1 Aviation and 7-159 Aviation (AVIM) deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Endeavor/Operation Joint Guard for 8 months. In June of 1998 the Regimental Headquarters, 6-6 Cav and elements of 5-158 Aviation were again deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operations Joint Guard and Joint Forge for 5 months. The AH-64A’s advanced sensors and sighting systems proved effective in removing the cover of darkness from anti-government forces.

Army National Guard units in North and South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Utah and Idaho also fly Apache helicopters. The Army has fielded combat-ready AH-64A units in the United States, West Germany and in Korea, where they play a major role in achieving the US Army's security missions.

By late 1996, McDonnell Douglas Helicopters delivered 937 AH-64A Apaches -- 821 to the U.S. Army and 116 to international customers, including Egypt, Greece, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Apache is clearly one of the most dynamic and important programs in aviation and the Army, but it is not without limitations. Due to the possibility of surging the engines, pilots have been instructed not to fire rockets from in-board stations. According to current doctrine, they are to fire no more than pairs with two outboard launchers every three seconds, or fire with only one outboard launcher installed without restrictions (ripples permitted). These are the only conditions permitted. Other firing conditions will be required to be approved via a System Safety Risk Assessment (SSRA). The improvement of aircraft systems troubleshooting is a high priority issue for O&S Cost reduction. Because of funding cuts, the level of contractor support to the field has been reduced. This results in higher costs in no fault found removals, maintenance man hours, and aircraft down time. The Apache PM, US Army Aviation Logistics School, and Boeing are currently undertaking several initiatives. Upgrading and improving the soldier's ability to quickly and accurately fault isolate the Apache weapons system is and will continue to be an O&S priority until all issues are resolved. Prime Vendor Support (PVS) for the entire fleet of AH-64s is a pilot program for the Army, and may become a pilot program for the Department of Defense. PVS will place virtually all of Apache's wholesale logistic responsibility under a single contract. The Apache flying hour program will provide upfront funding for spares, repairables, contractor technical experts, and reliability improvements. Starting at the flight line there will be contractor expert technicians with advanced troubleshooting capability assigned to each Apache Battalion. At the highest level, PVS represents a single contractor focal point for spares and repairs. The intent is to break the current budget and requirements cycle that has Apache at 67% supply availability with several thousand lines at zero balance. Modernization Through Spares (MTS) is a spares/component improvement strategy applied throughout the acquisition life cycle and is based on technology insertion to enhance systems and extend useful life while reducing costs. The MTS initiative seeks to leverage current procurement funds and modernize individual system spares thereby incrementally improving these systems. MTS is accomplished via the "spares" acquisition process. MTS, a subset of acquisition reform, seeks to improve an end item's spare components. The emphasis is on form, fit and function, allowing a supplier greater design and manufacturing flexibility to exploit technology used in the commercial marketplace. Apache MTS focuses on the insertion of the latest technology into the design and manufacture of select spares. This is to be accomplished without government research and development (R&D) funds, but rather, uses industry investment. Industry, in turn, recoups this investment through the sale of improved hardware via long term contracts. Modernization efforts continue to improve the performance envelope of the AH-64A while reducing the cost of ownership. Major modernization efforts within the AH-64A fleet are funded and on schedule. GG Rotor modifications were finished in April 1998,, and future improvements such as a Second Generation FLIR, a High Frequency Non-Line of Sight NOE radio, and an internal fully crashworthy auxiliary fuel tank are all on the verge of becoming a reality for the Apache. The Aviation Mission Planning System (AMPS) and the Data Transfer Cartridge (DTC) are tools for the Embedded Global Positioning Inertial Navigation Unit (EGI) equipped AH-64A aircraft that allow aircrews to plan missions and download the information to a DTC installed in the Data Transfer Receptacle (DTR). This saves the pilots a lot of "fat fingering" and eliminates the worry of everyone being on the same "sheet of music". Other features of the DTC include; saving waypoints and targets and troubleshooting. The EGI program is a Tri-service program with the Army, Air Force and Navy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Su-30 Two seated long range fighter

RMAF Sukhoi SU-30 MKM by smoothead.

Su-30 (Su-27P) is a two-seat long-range intercept fighter that first flew in December 1989, and that entered service with the Russian air forces in 1992. Largely based on the Su-27UB two-seat trainer, it has a new radiolocation system which can transmit the positions of 10 targets to four other fighters at the same time. The Su-30 is made in Irkutsk. Su-30M (MK-export version) is a standard Su-30 with the air-to-ground missiles which can carry twice the armament (8 tons) compared to the baseline Su-27. The Su-30 'export variant' of the formidable Su-27 'Flanker', can carry the latest Russian air-to-air missiles, including the medium-range R-27 family, the short-range R-73 and the new medium-range R-77 'AMRAAM-ski'. The Sukhoi-30K has a range in excess of 3,000km, which means it can easily patrol offshore installations without requiring aerial refuelling. In June 1999 Russia agreed to sell 72 of these front-line Sukhoi-30 jet fighter-bombers to China. The aircraft building enterprise in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (KnAAPO) is likely to become the main supplier of a large lot of Su-30MKK fighter jets to China. The cost of one Su-30MKK fighter jet is estimated at $35 million - $37 million. At the same time, negotiations began for Moscow to grant a licence for the production of another 250 Sukhoi-30 fighters. The Su-30MKK for China is different in details from the Su-30MKI version designed for India. Sukhoi has a $1.5-$1.8 billion deal to supply 40 Su-30MK to India. In 1997, a total of eight aircraft were supplied under this contract, which should be completed at the end of 1999. Negotiations to license the production of the Su-30MKI to the Hindustan AeronauticsLimited (HAL) works of India continued in 1997. The Indians received feasibility plans, and it is thought that a final decision would be reached this year. Production in India would begin after 2001. In all, India might produce 100 warplanes in a contract worth more than $1 billion. However, as of mid-1999 negotiations on the contract for the licensed production of Su-30MKI fighter by HAL remained delayed due to the government crisis in India, which could not be resolved until after the Fall 1999 elections. The two sides had agreed on all the basic issues, including the value of

the licensing contract. As of mid-2000 India had received only eight SU-30K air defence aircraft and none of the upgraded SU-30MK multi-role aircraft in the Rs 6310-crore deal signed with Russia in 1996. There had been no deliveries after May 1997. India's Defence Research Development Organisation had failed to develop and supply key avionics sub-systems and failed to procure Western avionics to equip the SU-30MK aircraft for its designated multi-role. Under the contract, the Irkutsk aircraft production association will deliver 40 Su-30s to the Indian air force. Within the framework of a contract worth $1.8bn Russia will deliver to India 40 military planes Su-30 in different versions. At the end of 1999 Irkutsk aviation industrial association 'Irkut' was finishing the assembly of ten Su-30MK multifunctional long-range for India's Air Forces, equipped with aerial refuelling capabilities. After the deliveries are complete, HAL plans to launch production of new modifications of Su-30s under a Russian license in cooperation with Sukhoi. The Sukhoi-30 can be modified into a naval version, if the Indian Government decides to acquire an aircraft carrier.

Russian's T-90 Tank

"Vladimir" main battle tank T90, the latest modern tank in the Russian army arsenal, went into low-level production in 1993, based on a prototype designated as the T-88. The T-90 was developed by the Kartsev-Venediktov Design Bureau at the Vagonka Works in Nizhny Tagil. Initially seen as an entirely new design, the production model is in fact based on the T-72BM, with some added features from the T-80 series. The T-90 features a new generation of armor on its hull and turret. Two variants, the T90 S and T90 E, have been identified as possible export models.

T90 Length: 9.53 m

T90 Width: 3.78 m

T90 Height: 2.225 m

T90 Weight: 46.5 t

T90 Speed: 70 km/h (road)45 km/h (off-road)

T90 Range: 550 km

Primary armament: 125 mm smoothbore gun, firing APFSDS, HEAT-FS, HE-frag-FS, and 9K 120 Refleks ATGM

Secondary armament: 7.62 mm machinegun in coaxiall mount12.7 mm anti-aircraft mg
Crew: 3

Plans called for all earlier models to be replaced with T-90s by the end of 1997, subject to funding availability. By mid-1996 some 107 T-90s had gone into service in the Far Eastern Military District.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Type 093 Nuclear Submarine, one of Chinese Best Submarine

The Nuclear armed attack submarine: Type 093 (NATO reporting name: Shang, Chinese designation: 09-III) is a nuclear powered attack submarine class deployed by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy. These boats are expected to replace the older Type 091 (NATO: Han class) SSNs currently in service. The Type 093 will be armed with various torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. The lead boat in this class was launched in 2002. It is thought to have a seven-blade asymmetric propeller. Construction of the Type 093 submarines is being conducted at the Bohai Shipyard in Huludao. Six to eight boats are expected to be built.

The PRC began to develop its second-generation nuclear submarines in the mid-1980s, but little progress was made before the mid-1990s. It was widely speculated that Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering in St. Petersburg, one of main Russian centres of submarine design, has been assisting the PRC in developing its new generation nuclear submarines. Exactly how much help China has received from Rubin Design Bureau is unknown, but it could potentially include a range of critical assistance, including overall hull design, engine and machinery quieting, combat system design, and weapon system and countermeasures outfit. Construction of the Type 093 began in 1995~96 at the Bohai Shipyard under tight security and high secrecy. The first-of-class submarine was launched in December 2002. After a sea trial that lasted for four years, the submarine was finally commissioned by the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet in December 2006. A second hull was launched in late 2003 and possibly commissioned in 2007. The existence of the submarine project was first reported by the Pentagon in 2003. The U.S. Navy intelligence and Pentagon predicted that the PLA Navy could have 3~4 submarines by 2010, while other sources suggested that eventual production could reach 6~8 boats. During the exhibition at Beijing’s Military Museum of Chinese People’s Revolution in late July to mark the 80th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), a scale model and some hazy photos of the Type 093 SSN were presented to the public. Later, Beijing-based Modern Ships magazine published in its August issue the first clear photo of the long-anticipated submarine.
The Type 093 is estimated to be 6.000~7,000t displacement when dived. As revealed by the submarine model and Modern Ships photograph, the submarine features a water-drop shape hull, with a pair of fin-mounted hydroplanes and four diving planes. The submarine is fitted with sophisticated sonar systems, including bow-mounted sonar and H/SQC-207 flank-mounted sonar. Three flank-mounted sonar arrays are clearly visible on the hull of the submarine. The Type 093 submarine has six 533mm bow torpedo tubes (4 above, 2 below), and is presumed to be equipped with a range of anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel torpedoes of wire-, acoustic- and wake-homing, based on both Chinese and Russian designs. The torpedo tubes can also be used to launch Chinese indigenous YJ-82 anti-ship missiles. Some reports suggested the capability of launching land-attack cruise missiles (LACM), but this cannot be confirmed. Despite the previous rumour that the Type 093 was based on the design of the Russian Victor III class nuclear attack submarine, it appears that the two submarines bear no resemblance in appearance. However, it cannot be ruled out that Russian technologies were being incorporated into the Type 093’s design. The Type 093 is thought to be approaching the early variants of the U.S. Navy 688 (Los Angeles) class SSN in terms of capability and noise level, but still inferior to the more advanced Seawolf and Virginia class. Nevertheless, this class of nuclear submarine represents a major step forward in PRC’s underwater warfare capability. Once fully operational, it could pose serious threat to the navies of China’s neighbouring countries and further complicate the anti-submarine challenge facing the U.S. Navy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chinese Navy best destroyer, Sovremenny Class destroyer

A Sovremenny Class destroyer has a maximum displacement of 8,480t and is similar to the USA Navy's Aegis-equipped missile cruisers in terms of size. It is armed with an anti-submarine helicopter, 48 air defence missiles, eight anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, mines, long-range guns and a comprehensive electronic warfare system. The first-of-class Sovremenny was commissioned in 1985. A total of 18 have been built for the Russian Navy. Five remain in service. All ships were built at the Northern Yard, Severnaya Verf, in Saint Petersburg. The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has two modified Sovremenny destroyers, delivered in December 1999 and November 2000. In 2002, PLAN ordered two more. The first of these was launched in April 2004 and delivered in December 2005. The second vessel was launched in July 2004 and delivered in September 2006.

The ship's combat systems can use target designation data from the ship's active and passive sensors, from other ships in the fleet, from surveillance aircraft or via a communications link from the ship's helicopter. The multi-channel defence suite is capable of engaging several targets simultaneously.

The ship is equipped with the Raduga Moskit anti-ship missile system with two four-cell launchers installed port and starboard of the forward island and set at an angle about 15°. The ship carries a total of eight Moskit 3M80E missiles, NATO designation SS-N-22 Sunburn. The missile is a sea-skimming missile with velocity Mach 2.5 and armed with a 300kg high-explosive warhead or a nuclear 200kt warhead. The range is from 10km to 120km. The launch weight is 4,000kg.
Two Shtil surface-to-air missile systems are installed, each on the raised deck behind the two-barrelled 130mm guns. Shtil is the export name of the SA-N-7, NATO reporting name Gadfly. The system uses the ship's three-dimensional circular scan radar for target tracking. Up to three missiles can be aimed simultaneously. The range is up to 25km against targets with speeds up to 830m/s. The ship carries 48 Shtil missiles.

The ship's 130mm guns are the AK-130-MR-184 supplied by the Ametist Design Bureau and the Frunze Arsenal Design Bureau in Saint Petersburg.
The system includes a computer control system with electronic and television sighting. The gun can be operated in fully automatic mode from the radar control system, under autonomous control using the turret-mounted Kondensor optical sighting system and can also be laid manually. Rate of fire is between 20 and 35 rounds/min.
The ship has four six-barrel 30mm AK-630 artillery systems. The maximum rate of fire is 5,000 rounds/min. Range is up to 4,000m for low-flying anti-ship missiles and 5,000m for light surface targets. The gun is equipped with radar and television detection and tracking.

The destroyer has two double 533mm torpedo tubes and two six-barrel RBU-1000 anti-submarine rocket launchers, with 48 rockets. Range is 1,000m. The rocket is armed with a 55kg warhead.

The ship's helicopter pad accommodates one Kamov Ka-27 anti-submarine warfare helicopter, NATO codename Helix. The helicopter can operate in conditions up to Sea State 5 and up to 200km from the host ship.

The Project 956 destroyer is fitted with an electronic countermeasures system and carries a store of 200 rockets for the two decoy dispensers, model PK-2.
The ship is equipped with three navigation radars, an air target acquisition radar, and fire control radars for the 130mm gun and the 30mm gun. The sonar suite includes active and passive hull mounted search and attack sonar.

The ship's propulsion system is based on two steam turbine engines each producing 50,000hp, together with four high-pressure boilers. There are two fixed-pitch propellers. The ship's maximum speed is just under 33kt. At a fuel-economic speed of 18kt the range is 3,920 miles.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter "Lightning II"

Lightning II was the nickname, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was meant to be the new kid on the block in an arena of aging fighter and strike aircraft. Varying versions of the craft are slated for use by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
However, its development, under way by Lockheed Martin Corp. for more than a decade, has proven problematic. Expense, design flaws and proprietary issues related to its technology have all hampered progress. As such, none of the fighters have yet entered service, and none are expected to do so before 2012. In 2001, Lockheed Martin won the largest military contract on record, worth as much as $200 billion, to build the Joint Strike Fighter. The United Kingdom is making a contribution toward the development, as the craft is slated to be used by its Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Other countries helping to bring the F-35 to fruition include Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and Canada.
Each of the services will receive a slightly different version of the F-35 tailored to their individual needs: The Air Force design, for example, allows for a conventional takeoff and landing, while the Navy design will be suitable for landing on and taking off from an aircraft carrier. For the Marine Corps, the design provides for a short takeoff and vertical landing.
The single-seat, single-engine aircraft contains a large internal weapons bay, a design that makes it more streamlined and stealthy, while a 25mm cannon, also internal, gives pilots the ability to fire on targets from higher up and farther away.
Using satellite communications, the aircraft will have the capacity to find and fire upon targets on the ground, even those that are moving. The data gleaned by the system also can be conveyed to the pilot’s helmet visor for easy viewing.

AV-8B Lightweight Single Seated Aircraft

AV-8B Harrier is a lightweight single seated aircraft used by the U.S. Marine Corps’ Air Ground Task Force to destroy targets on the ground and in the air and to act as an armed escort for helicopters.
It was the British who originally conceived of the Harrier, developing it 40 years ago with funding assistance from the U.S. government. Its unique engine design allows the Harrier to make a short takeoff from a small carrier via a special ramp and to land vertically.
The Harrier was used heavily by the British in the Falkland Islands in 1981, and the Royal Air Force relies on it for ground attacks -- it carries upward of 5,000 pounds of ordnance externally fired from two 30mm cannons. The Royal Navy uses the craft for defensive purposes.
A Marine colonel in the Vietnam War named Tom Miller played a part in the craft's adoption by the U.S. government. Miller observed the Harrier at a 1968 air show in England and became convinced it could be used to provide air support for U.S. Marine Corps amphibious landings.
An updated version of the Harrier, known as the AV-8B, was built in the United States by McDonnell Douglas, now a part of Boeing Co., via an agreement with the British Aerospace Corp. The new craft, about 47 feet in length with a wingspan of nearly 31 feet, can take off and land at a variety of sites, even makeshift airfields. Along with the U.S. Marine Corps, the Spanish and Italian navies also use the AV-8B.
Several design improvements are on the horizon for some Harriers, such as modernized engines and radar, as well as night vision goggles for the pilot that will allow the craft to be operated both during the day and under cover of night.