Tag: Stealth

Russia’s 5th-generation fighter jet named as Su-57

Sukhoi Su-57 Russian Fifth Generation Fighter

Russia’s T-50 (PAK FA) fifth-generation fighter jet has received the serial index of Su-57, Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with the website of Zvezda TV Channel on Friday.

“The decision has been made and the plane has got its name like a child after the birth. Su-57 is how we now call it,” Bondarev said.

Media reports earlier said citing sources in the aircraft-building industry that the T-50 fighter would be named as the Su-57.

The PAK FA (Perspective Aviation Complex of Frontline Aviation) took to the skies for the first time in 2010. As was reported earlier, the experimental design work on the cutting-edge fighter jet should be completed in 2019 and its deliveries to the troops should begin at that time. As United Aircraft Corporation CEO Yuri Slyusar said, the pre-production batch will consist of 12 such planes.

It was reported that the T-50 with the advanced (main) engine would perform its debut flight in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Currently, the so-called first stage engine 117S is mounted on the Russian fighter. A new engine has not yet received its name and is conventionally designated as the second stage engine.

 

 

 

Special Report: On Board USS George HW Bush

British sailors who will serve on board HMS Queen Elizabeth are cutting their teeth on the crowded flight deck of a US Nimitz class aircraft carrier.

The USS George HW Bush has arrived in the Solent ahead of a joint exercise with the Royal Navy.
As the Queen Elizabeth continues sea trials ahead getting its first F35B stealth fighters in 2018, its a chance to gain crucial hands on experience on a flight deck of the same size.

5000 US Navy sailors call the USS George H W Bush home.

The ship entered service in 2009 and recently spent several months working on operation inherent resolve in the Mediterranean.
Bombing missions against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq being launched from her four-acre flight deck.
The ship is in the Solent ahead of Exercise Saxon Warrior – a multi-national exercise, all about operating as part of a carrier strike group.

There are more than 60 Royal Navy personnel on board which gives the personnel a superb chance to prepare for the Queen Elizabeth class carrier – the deck of which is the same size of the Bush.

Lt Cdr James Capps is one of them and says the experience is “awe inspiring”.

The USS George HW Bush is well used to working with the Royal Navy, the ships first ever deployment saw her join exercise Saxon Warrior for its 2011 iteration.

The ships will remain in the Solent for the next few days – many of the crew will enjoy up to 5 days shore leave, before heading back to be part of the exercise.

Source: Forces Network.

Lockheed Martin receives contract for work on Israeli F-35s

Lockheed Martin is receiving an $8 million contract modification for logistical support of Israel’s F-35A Lightning II fighters.

The contract falls under the U.S. Department of Defense’s foreign military sales program and provides for maintenance, sustainment operations, supply chain management, work on the Automated Logistics Information system and training.

The work will be performed in Orlando, Fla., Greenville, N.C. and Fort Worth, Texas, with a projected completion date of Dec. 2017. Eight million dollars from the Foreign Military Sales program will be obligated.

Israel currently has five F-35s in service. Three fighters were delivered in April. Orders for 28 more have already been placed, with further procurement expected. They are not yet considered fully operational despite unconfirmed reports of their use in combat missions in Syria.

Israel was the first country under the Foreign Military Sales program to purchase the F-35. It is the first 5th generation stealth fighter to see service with the Israeli Air Force and is expected to form the backbone of their air superiority forces for the next 40 years.

The Israeli model of the F-35A is referred to as the Adir and has some features tailored for Israeli use. It is expected to replace much of Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighter fleets and provide a deep-strike option against heavy air defenses without the massive support needed by more conventional aircraft.

Source: UPI.

Russian defense contractor to supply 12 fifth-generation fighters in pre-production batch

Sergei Bobylev/TASS

The pre-production batch of T-50 fifth-generation fighter jets will equal 12 planes, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Head Yuri Slyusar said at the MAKS-2017 international airshow on Wednesday.

“From the very outset, we proceeded from the fact that the final decision had been made on 12 planes,” he said.

The T-50 (PAK FA) is Russia’s fifth-generation fighter, which took to the skies for the first time in 2010. It was earlier reported that the serial production of T-50 fighters would begin in 2017 and it would enter service with the Russian Aerospace Force.

According to new data, the first stage of the aircraft’s trials is expected to be completed in 2018.

It was reported earlier that the T-50 with the advanced (main) engine would perform its debut flight in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Currently, the so-called first stage engine 117S is mounted on the Russian fighter. A new engine has not yet received its name and is conventionally designated as the second stage engine.

Source: TASS Russian News Agency.

 

Japan mulls equipping F-35s with air-to-surface missiles

The first F-35A stealth fighter manufactured in Japan is seen at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. factory in Toyoyama, Japan, on June 5. JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI PHOTO

Stars and Stripes, By THE JAPAN NEWS/YOMIURI, 26 June 2016

TOKYO — The Japanese government is considering equipping cutting-edge F-35 stealth fighters with air-to-surface missiles, which are capable of striking remote targets on land, and plans to deploy these fighters to the Air Self-Defense Force, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

It will become the first introduction of such missiles for the Self-Defense Forces. The government hopes to allocate relevant expenses in the fiscal 2018 budget, according to sources close to the government.
The main purpose of the introduction is to prepare for emergencies on remote Japanese islands. ome experts believe the government is also eyeing possession of the capability of attacking targets such as enemy bases for the purpose of defending the country.

According to the sources, F-35 fighter jets that will replace the ASDF’s F-4 fighter aircraft are employed by U.S. forces and others. The F-35 aircraft has an advanced stealth capability that makes the aircraft less visible on enemy radar. The ASDF plans to introduce a total of 42 units of the F-35 and gradually deploy them to the Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture starting at the end of this fiscal year. The government is considering introducing some additional capabilities for the aircraft.

The most likely option the government is currently focusing on is the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) that is being developed mainly by Norway, which also participated in an international project to develop the F-35. The ASDF currently has no air-to-surface missile capabilities, but the JSM has both air-to-ship and air-to-surface capabilities, with an estimated range of about 300 kilometers.

The Defense Ministry is building up national defense systems to defend remote islands, such as the Nansei Islands. In addition to deploying new Osprey transport aircraft to the Ground Self-Defense Force, the ministry plans to create an amphibious rapid deployment brigade, similar to other nations’ marines.

As an air-to-surface missile has a long range, it is possible to effectively strike a target from safe airspace. For this to be possible, the ministry decided it was necessary to consider introducing the JSM to prepare for situations such as preventing foreign military vessels from approaching remote islands or the SDF launching an operation to regain control of an occupied island.

The Joint Strike Missile (JSM) is a fifth-generation, long-range, precision-guided, stand-off missile system designed by Kongsberg Defence Systems of Norway

Meanwhile, if the F-35 aircraft with an advanced stealth capability is equipped with long-range air-to-surface missiles, it will effectively be possible to use the F-35 to attack bases in foreign countries.

The government has said that the Constitution allows Japan to possess the capability of striking enemy bases, but the nation does not actually possess the capability as its political decisions have been based on an exclusively defense-oriented policy.

If Japan introduces air-to-surface missiles, it could prompt opposition from neighboring countries. Therefore, the government is believed to be seeking the understanding of those countries by explaining that it does not intend to use the capability to attack enemy bases, but to defend remote islands.

The First Japanese-Built F-35A Unveiled At Nagoya Production Facility In Japan. Lockheed Martin Photography by Thinh D. Nguyen

However, with North Korea continuing its nuclear and missile development programs and repeatedly conducting provocative actions, there are growing calls for the government to possess the capability to strike enemy bases to improve Japan’s deterrence.

Amid such a situation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed on multiple occasions his intention to consider the issue. On June 20, the Liberal Democratic Party’s Research Commission on Security compiled an interim report on proposals for the next medium-term defense program for fiscal 2019-23, in which it called for the government to swiftly start discussions on possessing the capability to attack enemy bases.

 

Ships in Profile: Hamina-class missile boat

Hamina-class Missile Boat, Finnish Navy.

The Hamina-class missile boat is a class of fast attack craft of the Finnish Navy. They are classified as “missile fast attack craft” or ohjusvene, literally “missile boat” in Finnish.

The vessels were built in the late 1990s, early 2000s, and are the fourth generation of Finnish missile craft. The first vessel was ordered in December 1996 and the fourth was handed over on 19 June 2006. Since the launch of the Helsinki-class missile boats, all fast attack craft have been named after Finnish coastal cities. The class was previously known also as Rauma 2000 following its predecessor the Rauma class.

The four vessels form what the Finnish Navy calls Squadron 2000 (Finnish: Laivue 2000). Initially the Finnish Navy considered several different compositions for the new squadron, and at one point only two Hamina-class vessels and four Tuuli-class ACV were to have been built. After a strategic shift of the Finnish Navy’s role, the composition of the Squadron 2000 followed suit. The Tuuli-class prototype was never fully equipped, nor fitted for operational use and its three sisters were cancelled, instead two more Hamina-class boats have been built; with some of the equipment intended for the Tuulis being used in the Haminas. The fourth and final Hamina-class vessel was delivered in summer 2006.

The squadron reached its full operational capability in 2008 and have greatly improved the surface- and air surveillance as well as air defense capability of the Finnish Navy. Their electronic surveillance suite also increases the quality of information available to military leaders.

All ships were built at Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland. The vessels have their home base at Upinniemi.

In March 2014 it was announced that the Hamina-class missile boats will be upgraded in the near future.

The vessel’s hull is constructed of aluminum and the superstructures are constructed of re-enforced carbon fiber composite. The vessels have a very low displacement and are very maneuverable. They are equipped with water jets instead of propellers, which allow them to operate in very shallow waters and accelerate, slow down and turn in unconventional ways.

The Hamina class are very potent vessels, boasting surveillance and firepower capacities which are usually found in ships twice the size.

The Hamina class has been designed and constructed as stealth ships with minimal magnetic, heat and radar signatures.

The shape of the vessel has been designed to reduce radar signature. Metal parts have been covered with radar absorbent material, and the composite parts have radar absorbent material embedded in the structure. Radar transparent materials (kevlar, balsa) have been used where applicable.

Unlike glass fiber, carbon fiber blocks radio waves. This protects ship’s electronics against electromagnetic pulse. In addition, it stops any radio frequency signals generated by ships electronic devices escaping outside. Except for the bridge, the vessel has no windows that would allow the signals to escape.

FNS Pori (83) Finnish Navy Hamina class missile boat – Helsinki South Harbor.

The vessel contains hardly any steel parts, thus generating very low magnetic field. The remaining magnetic field is actively canceled with electromagnets.

Exhaust gases can be directed underwater to minimize thermal signature, or up in the air to minimize sound in submarines direction. 50 nozzles around the decks and upper structures can be used to spray seawater on the vessel to cool it. In addition, the nozzles can be used to clean the ship after chemical attack or radioactive fall-out.

Weapons

The Hamina class have the latest in surveillance and weapons technology all integrated into an intelligent command system. A Hamina class vessel can monitor about 200 kilometres (120 mi) of air space and its Umkhonto surface-to-air missile system can simultaneously engage a maximum of eight aircraft, up to 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) away, while the vessel’s anti-ship missiles have a range in excess of over 250 kilometres (160 mi).

Hamina Class Missile Boat Umkhonto surface-to-air missile system.

The Hamina class’ primary weaponry is four RBS-15 Mk.2 anti-ship missiles. The vessels are further equipped with a Bofors 57 mm gun against surface and aerial targets as well as the Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missiles, MASS decoy system and two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns. It is also possible to use the ships for mine-laying.

Hamina-class Bofors 57mm Gun.

The software of the centralized combat control system is COTS oriented, built on top of Linux running on redundant x86 rack servers, which makes maintenance and future updates and optimizations simpler.

Vessels

FNS Hamina
Pennant number: 80
Builder: Aker Finnyards
Ordered: December 1996
Commissioned: 24 August 1998
Home base: Upinniemi
Current status: In active service.
FNS Tornio

 Tornio (81)
Pennant number: 81
Builder: Aker Finnyards
Ordered: 15 February 2001
Commissioned: 12 May 2003
Home base: Upinniemi
Current status: In active service
FNS Hanko
Pennant number: 82
Builder: Aker Finnyards
Ordered: 3 December 2003
Commissioned: 22 June 2005
Home base: Upinniemi
Current status: In active service

 Pori (83)
FNS Pori
Pennant number: 83
Builder: Aker Finnyards
Ordered: 15 February 2005
Commissioned: 19 June 2006
Home base: Upinniemi
Current status: In active service.
Class overview
Name: Hamina
Operators:  Finnish Navy
Preceded by: Rauma class
Succeeded by:
Completed: 4
Active: 4
General characteristics
Type: Fast attack craft
Displacement: 250 tons
Length: 51 m (167 ft)
Beam: 8.5 m (28 ft)
Draught: 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × MTU 16V 538 TB93 diesels; 5520 kW.
  • 2 × Rolls Royce Kamewa 90SII waterjets
Speed: over 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: 500 nmi (930 km; 580 mi)
Complement: 26
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Saab Ceros 200 with 9LV FCS (Saab)
  • Consilium Selesmar maritime radar
  • TRS-3D/16-ES multimode acquisition 3D radar (EADS)
  • ANCS 2000 Combat Management System (EADS)
  • MSSR 2000 I IFF (EADS)
  • EOMS (SAGEM)
  • Simrad Subsea Toadfish sonar
  • Sonac/PTA towed array sonar (Finnyards)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • MASS (Multi Ammunition Soft-kill System) (Rheinmetall)
  • Decoys: Philax chaff, IR flares
  • Smoke system: Lacroix ATOS
  • EMS: Matilda radar warning system (Thales)
Armament:
  • 1 × Bofors 57 mm/70 SAK Mk3
  • 2 × 12.7 mm machine guns (NSV)
  • 8 × Umkhonto-IR SAM (Denel)
  • 4 × RBS-15 Mk2 SSM (Saab)
  • 1 × rail for depth charges or mines (Sea Mine 2000)

SAAB has developed cruise missile capability for it’s A26 Submarine

SAAB SSK A26 Submarine.

Strategy Page, 1 June 2017

Sweden’s only submarine builder, SAAB, revealed in May that it had developed a variant of its new A26 diesel-electric submarine with an additional 10 meter, 500 ton section that contained three vertical cylinders containing each containing six VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes for carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles. The A26 would be the first non-nuclear powered submarine equipped with this technology. Sweden would only say the VLS feature was developed for an unnamed export customer.

The Americans pioneered the development and use of VLS technology and in the 1980s began installing twelve VLS tubes in its last 31 (out of 62) Los Angeles class SSNs (nuclear powered attack submarines) and continued that in the subsequent Virginia class and in a late 1990s conversion of four older SSBN (nuclear powered ballistic missile sub) to replace the ballistic missiles with 154 Tomahawks. These submarine VLS launched Tomahawks have been used in combat regularly since then.

The A26 is a replacement for the Cold War era Gotland class boats and the only customer so far is Sweden, which ordered two of them in 2015. Two A26 subs will be in service by 2019 but all the new technology for them will not be ready until 2022.

The two A26s will eventually replace the three Gotlands that entered service in 1996. The basic A26 is a 1,900 ton boat that is 63 meters (207 feet) long and armed with a variable number of 533mm and 400mm torpedo tubes (similar fashion to the Gotlands but with about 20 percent more mines and torpedoes). It was revealed that the A26 can carry up to fifteen 533mm torpedoes, missiles or mines. The first two A26s will cost about $500 million each. Underwater endurance with an improved AIP (Air-Independent Propulsion) is the same as the Gotlands; 18 days with overall endurance of 45 days. The A26 crew is smaller (about 20 and accommodations for up to ten more)).

The A26 has better electronics and can dive a bit deeper (at least 200 meters/650 feet). Both designs were mainly intended for coastal waters and the relatively shallow Baltic Sea (average depth 55 meters and max depth 459 meters). The A26 is also equipped to carry naval commandos and has a special chamber for the commandos to leave and enter the submerged sub. The core stealth technology for the A26 is called GHOST (Genuine HOlistic STealth) and some of this may end up in one or more of the refurbished Gotlands. GHOST involves more tech for keeping machinery even quieter than it is now as well as designing the shape of the A26 to make it more difficult for sonar and other sensors to detect.

The new VLS variant enables the A26 to handle more underwater operations as well as UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles). Sweden does not like to make public all details of their new A26 class in part because the design incorporates many clever design ideas and new technology. This was a feature of earlier Swedish submarine designs. It was revealed that the A26 will have a “ghost mode” that makes the sub virtually undetectable while submerged. This includes the ability to sit on the sea floor, as if it were inert wreckage, while divers from the sub can still move in and out to plant mines or perform other functions. In short the A26 will emphasize stealth and the ability to dominate shallow and “busy” (lots of inlets, rivers and islands) coastal waters.

What made the older diesel-electric Gotland unique was that it was the first submarine designed from the start to use AIP. With AIP it could remain submerged for 19 days. Gotlands were also among the quietest non-nuclear submarines in the world. The three Gotland class boats are highly automated, with a crew of 30. They displace 1,494 tons, are 60.4 meters (198 feet) long and have four 533mm torpedo tubes (with 12 torpedoes) and two 400mm tubes (with six torpedoes). They can also carry 48 mines externally.

Meanwhile the three Gotland boats are undergoing refurbishment and upgrades, which was always meant includes some of the new gear developed to the next class of subs. The refurbed Gotlands can serve into the late 2020s if need be. There are many nations who seek to buy second-hand Swedish subs and that’s what may happen to the Gotlands.

The U.S. Navy had a high opinion of the Gotlands as they leased one of them (along with Swedish crew) for two years (2006-7) to be a vital part of an anti-submarine warfare training program. The Gotland was something of a worst case in terms of what American surface ships and submarines might have to face in a future naval war. None of America’s most likely naval opponents (China, North Korea or Iran), have many or any AIP boats, but they do have plenty of diesel-electric subs which, in the hands of skilled crews, can be pretty deadly. China is already putting AIP subs into service. Training against the Gotland enabled the U.S. Navy to improve its anti-submarine tactics and techniques, as well as getting much valuable data from inside the Gotland. All the results of this training is highly classified, but it was apparently successful enough to get the one year program extended for another year.

 

Ships in Profile: Visby-class corvette

HSwMS Helsingborg (K32)

The Visby class is the latest class of corvette to be adopted by the Swedish Navy after the Göteborg and Stockholm-class corvettes. The ship’s design heavily emphasizes low visibility, radar cross-section and infrared signature. The first ship in the class is named after Visby, the main city on the island of Gotland. The class has received widespread international attention because of its capabilities as a stealth ship.

The ships are designed by Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and built by Kockums AB. The first ship of the class was launched in 2000 and since then the construction was fraught with repeated delays. Finally in December 2009, the first two ships of the class were delivered to the Swedish Navy by the FMV, albeit with greatly reduced operational capability.

The hull is constructed with a sandwich design consisting of a PVC core with a carbon fibre and vinyl laminate[4] (see also the Oceanic-Creations spin-off). There are multiple advantages to using composite materials in ship hulls. Good conductivity and surface flatness means a low radar signature, while good heat insulation lowers the infrared signature and increases survivability in case of fire. The composite sandwich used is also non-magnetic, which lowers the magnetic signature. Composites are also very strong for their relative weight, and less weight means a higher top speed and better maneuverability. The composite weighs roughly 50% less than the equivalent strength steel. If built with normal steel the ship would weigh in at around 1200 tonnes.

Visbys angular design reduces its radar signature (or radar cross section). Jan Nilsson, one of the designers, told BBC News Online: “We are able to reduce the radar cross section by 99%. That doesn’t mean it’s 99% invisible, it means that we have reduced its detection range.” The 57 mm cannon barrel can be folded into the turret to reduce its cross section. There are plans for additional improvements in this area, especially for the deck rails and masts.

Much of the design was based on the experiences learned from the experimental ship HSwMS Smyge. The class was originally designed to be divided into two subcategories where some ships were optimized for surface combat and others for submarine hunting; however, this was changed due to cutbacks.

A helicopter, such as the Agusta Westland A109M selected by Sweden, can land, take off, and refuel on the upper deck. A helicopter hangar was originally planned but was considered to be too cramped and was removed.

The ships took an exceptionally long time from launch to delivery and the construction has been fraught with repeated delays. In 2008, the only weapons system that had been integrated and tested in Visby was the gun.

Finally, on 16 December 2009, the first two of the corvettes were delivered to the Swedish Navy by the Försvarets materielverk (FMV).The two ships, K32 and K33, were delivered with underwater and surface/air sensors fully integrated. However, the only weapon that had been integrated and test fired on the ships was still the Bofors 57 Mk3 gun. The FMV calls this version 4, which aims to get the ships into service and start training crews.

Version 5 is due in 2012, and is intended to supplement the ships with mine clearance systems, helicopter landing capability (only K31 is certified to date), anti-surface ship missiles and additional stealth adaptation. Visby was the first of the corvettes to be upgraded to Version 5. On 22 March 2012 FMV reported that the ship had been modified and that the system would be tested before reentering the Swedish Navy by the end of 2012.

Although the design of the ships originally called for the installation of surface-to-air missiles, on 18 September 2008 the Genomförandegruppen cancelled the project in order to rationalize the procurement of defence materiel for the Swedish defence.

HSwMS Helsingborg (K32), Stockholm.

Units

Number Ship name Laid down Launched Commissioned Service Status Coat of arms
K31 Visby 17 February 1995 8 June 2000 16 September 2015 4th Naval Warfare Flotilla Active
HMS Visby vapen, korvett.svg
K32 Helsingborg 27 June 2003 16 December 2009 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla Active
HMS Helsingborg vapen.svg
K33 Härnösand 16 December 2004 16 December 2009 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla Active
HMS Härnösand vapen.svg
K34 Nyköping 18 August 2005 16 September 2015 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla Active
HMS Nyköping vapen.svg
K35 Karlstad 24 August 2006 16 September 2015 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla Active
HMS Karlstad vapen.svg
K36 Uddevalla Cancelled
HMS Uddevalla vapen.svg

All systems for the ship Uddevalla were acquired, but the ship was later canceled, so there are now plans to build a full Visby class simulator.

PTK Visby is the designation of the formation doing system tests and readying the ships for active service within the Swedish Navy. The formation is under the 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla but takes its orders from the FMV. The system tests are taking a long time partly because of funding issues and partly because of the novel and cutting-edge nature of the platform.

Class overview
Name: Visby class
Builders: Kockums
Operators:  Swedish Navy
Preceded by: Göteborg class
Cost: $184 Million
In commission: 16 December 2009
Planned: 6
Completed: 5
Cancelled: 1
Active:
  • HSwMS Visby
  • HSwMS Helsingborg
  • HSwMS Härnösand
  • HSwMS Nyköping
  • HSwMS Karlstad
General characteristics
Type: Stealth Missile Corvette
Displacement: 640 tonnes
Length: 72.7 m (239 ft)
Beam: 10.4 m (34 ft)
Draught: 2.4 m (7.9 ft)
Propulsion:
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h)+
Range: 2,500 nmi (4,600 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)
Complement: 43
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Rheinmetall TKWA/MASS (Multi Ammunition Softkill System)
Armament:
Aviation facilities: Helicopter pad