Tuesday, 21 February 2017

United Arab Emirates acquires 5000 anti-tank missiles

United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a contract with the Russian weapon export agency Rosoboronexport for 5000 AT missiles. The contracts is worth 708 million $ and includes support and training.
Kornet being fired in Iraq (Unknown copyrigth).

There are no details on the type acquired, but a source stated that they would be Kornet. It is one of the largest contracts for this type of weapon signed in the last few years.

References:

Monday, 20 February 2017

Russia will deliver T-90MS tank to the Middle East

Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Turism, has declared that back in December 2016 Russia signed a contract with a Middle East country for the delivery of T-90MS tanks.
T-90MS in Kuwait (gurkhan.blogspot.com)

In the last few years there have been reports about Kuwait acquirirng a batch. The tank was also tested in this country. Currently there are no details on the cliente, order size or deliveries.

References:

- https://ria.ru/defense_safety/20170220/1488407123.html
- http://alejandro-8.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/varios-paises-de-oriente-medio.html

Sunday, 19 February 2017

38th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution celebrated at Isfahan airbase

On 11th February Iran celebrated the 38th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. The Isfahan airbase hold an open day event, where it was possible to see F-14, J-7 and other equipment used by the Iranian Armed Forces.
F-14. An AIM-54 Phoenix is mounted on the belly.

F-14.

AIM-54 Phoenix.

F-14 and J-7 with missiles.

4×4 with ZSU-23-2.

AIM-7 and AIM-9 mounted on a Tomcat.

F-14 Tomcat.

F-14 Tomcat.

J-7.

Lockheed T-33.

F-14 Tomcat.

References:

- http://imp-navigator.livejournal.com/579755.html

Friday, 17 February 2017

Austria to sue Airbus over suspected Eurofighter fraud

The Austrian government is going to sue Airbus and Eurofighter. An investigation had proved that these companies had misled Austria "with fraudulent intent" regaring the purchase price, the deliverability and the equipment of the fighters.

This is not surprising as the acquisition of the type has been an ongoing scandal. When the competition to replace the Saab Draken was launched the Gripen was the favourite. Austria had operated Swedish fighters for decades and it was a low cost aircraft that fitted very well the requirements. Other politicans preferred the F-16 or MiG-29, which were cheaper. Russia offered MiG-29SMT in exchange for the Russian debt with Austria.

The F-16, Gripen and EF-2000 were selected as finalists. Initially it was expcted to buy 30 aircraft (24 single seats and 6 two-seaters), but the requirement was reduced to 24 due to cost. In 2002 the EF-2000 won and was selected. It was nothing surprising as it was the most powerful model. However, questions arose due to the cost and real need of it. Austria is a neutral country wiht a small airspace. The decission was justified beacuse the Gripen offer was only 3-4% cheaper, and the f-16 did not have some of the equipment required.

The first contract was supposed to be for 24 fighters at a cost of 1790 million euros. Later on it became clear that the figure was too low, and the real price would be 2085 millions. The floodings Austria suffered in 2002 affected the contract. It was reduced to 18 aircraft for 1959 millions. Final decision would be taken after the 2003 election.

Austrian EF-2000.

The bribes were the other big issue. Lobbies were not allowed to make presents/donate to officials involved in the selection process, but payments were made. The government had to organise an investigation. The wife of the Air Force commander, Generalmajor Erich Wolf, received a loan worth 87000 euro which was never paid back. Companies owned by FPO politician Gernot Rumpold received 6.6 millioon euros worth of contracts. Erich Deutsch, minister of defence, went on holidays a few times with all expenses covered.  

At some point there was talk of cancelling the contract, but this would hav costed 1.500 million euros. Finally the minister of defence Norbert Darabos signed the contract without waiting for the results of the probe. At the end just 15 aircraft were acquired for 1589 million euros.

- 9 new aircraft belonging to Block 5.
- 6 belonging to Luftwaffe, belonging to Block 2/2b.

The second hand samples were modernised to Block 5 standard. To reduce the cost some equipment was not acquired (Pirate and MAW). The aircraft are not able to use AMRAAM missile; missions are carried out with gun and IRIS-T.

The signing of the contract did not stop the criticism. According to some critics, the savings had been obtained by reducing the equipment and number of hours to be flown. Also, the contract's offsets (200%) were difficult to quantify.

In my opinion another problem in the deal is that the aircraft belong to Tranche 1. Originally they were supposed to be the more modern Tranche 2. The operators of Tranche 1 are not going to upgrade this variant as it is too expensive. 

References:

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Photos of Syrian Su-22M4

I had never seen these photos before. This Fitter looks in mint condition, which I find very remarakble because some other aircraft seen before (MiG-21) looked extremely "tired". Maybe it just went through an overhaul. It could also be an aircraft donated by Iran but the camouflage is different.

References:

- Copyrigth can be seen in the photos.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Su-24M in Syria being flown back to Russia

This photo shows a Su-24M being prepared for transport back to Russia in an An-124. The number of stars in the front section shows that it has carried out +700 missions in Syria. This very same aircraft was shown in Charly015's blog back in March 2016. By then it had ~330 missions.

Some have wondered why the Fencer is being flown instead of flying by itself. In my opinion it could be because it has exhausted its number of flight hours/landings. It could also be caused by a technical problem.
References:

- https://vk.com/military_aircraft
- http://charly015.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/su-24m-en-hmeymim-con-al-menos-330.html

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Russia acquires 2 MiG-35

The Russian Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with UAC (United Aircraft Corporation) for 2 MiG-35s. The aircraft will be delivered in 2017-2018. They will likely be used in testing, as it is a very low number for an operational unit.
MiG-35 (russianplanes.net).

According to RSK MiG CEO, a naval version can be developed (*). The MiG-35 has also been offered to India

References:
- http://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/4021606
- http://www.aex.ru/news/2017/2/14/166252/

(*) The company has just fulfilled its contract with India for the MiG-29Ks.