Russia’s frigate The Admiral Makarov of project 1135.6 has successfully hit anti-ship cruise missile simulators with its air defense system Shtil. The firing practice was part of the government acceptance test, the Baltic Fleet’s spokesman Roman Martov told the media.
“The frigate The Admiral Makarov has coped with the task of defending itself from a missile strike with its air defense system Shtil,” Martov said.
Two other Baltic Fleet ships – The Geizer and The Liven – had launched simulators of cruise missiles in the designated area of the Baltic Sea.
“The anti-aircraft missiles fired from The Admiral Makarov successfully hit the air targets,” Martov said, adding that the task was coped with in a complex electronic jamming situation.
The Baltic Sea’s area where the testing was conducted was closed to shipping and civilian aircraft. Ten naval and support ships of the Black Sea fleet cordoned off the area.
The frigate The Admiral Makarov (project 1135.6) began to be built at the Yantar shipyard on February 29, 2012 and set afloat on September 2, 2015.
Ships of this class are meant for resistance to surface ships and submarines and for repelling air raids, on their own or in cooperation with other ships.
They boast universal missile and artillery weapons and advanced radio-electronic equipment for anti-submarine and air defense. Project 1135.6 frigates have a displacement of about 4,000 tonnes, length of 125 meters and speed of up to 30 knots.
The first firings of the new Sea Ceptor air defence system have been successfully conducted in a major milestone for the Royal Navy, Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin announced today.
The Minister visited defence company MBDA’s site in Filton, near Bristol, meeting with local graduates, apprentices and other employees working on the Sea Ceptor system.
The new air missile defence system can intercept and destroy enemy missiles travelling at supersonic speeds and will form part of the protection for the nation’s new aircraft carriers. The first firings were conducted from Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll whilst off the coast of Scotland.
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said:
“Sea Ceptor will protect our interests against threats both known and unknown. It will launch from the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 frigates as they keep our nuclear deterrent submarines and the UK’s two new aircraft carriers safe on operations around the globe.
Sea Ceptor supports 600 UK jobs and is yet another example of how our rising defence budget is being spent on cutting-edge kit to help our Armed Forces meet future threats.”
Sea Ceptor, which uses MBDA’s next-generation Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM), is being fitted to replace the Sea Wolf weapon system on the Type 23 frigates. The air defence system will also be used on the new Type 26 frigates and Land Ceptor, which will replace Rapier for the British Army.
Using innovations in radar and datalink technology that will guide these potent missiles with pinpoint accuracy, Sea Ceptor will provide the Royal Navy with an improved shield against airborne threats such as the new generation of supersonic anti-ship missiles, fast jets, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Commander Toby Shaughnessy, the Commanding Officer of HMS Argyll, said:
“This is an exciting upgrade in capability and a great opportunity for HMS Argyll to demonstrate what the missile system can do to protect our ships from future threats.
Sea Ceptor is an impressive and innovative system, demonstrating that the Royal Navy is at the cutting edge of technology and working hard to keep Britain safe. I am immensely proud of my ship’s company and the work they put in to make this test firing possible.”
HMS Argyll will conduct further firing trials of the Sea Ceptor system before she deploys to Japan next year. Alongside providing robust self-defence, importantly Sea Ceptor defends escort vessels within a maritime task group, such as for the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.
The system uses a new UK-developed missile capable of reaching speeds of up to Mach 3 and will have the ability to deal with multiple targets simultaneously, protecting an area of around 500 square miles (1,300 square kilometres) over land or sea.
As part of MBDA’s CAMM programme, Sea Ceptor supports around 600 MBDA jobs and its supply chain in key locations across the UK such as Stevenage, Filton and Bolton.
Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer for the MOD’s procurement organisation Defence Equipment and Support, which is based at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol, said:
“The firings are an important step forward in proving the significant improvements over previous air defence systems and further evidence of our commitment to provide the very best equipment to our armed forces.”
The Defence Minister also visited Airbus’ plant in Filton, near Bristol, which is the heart of the design and manufacture of some of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft. The Minister met with some of Airbus’ 6000 local employees, including engineers working on research and technology for future aircraft projects.
RIGA, Aug 21 (LETA) – Last week Latvia signed an agreement with the Danish armed forces on purchase of Stinger air-defense systems, Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens/Farmers) said in an interview with the Latvian public television on Monday.
He did not disclose the sum of the purchase or the number of the equipment. “The sum of the deal is not too high, but we will get quite a considerable number of weapons,” he said.
The minister said that he is proud of the deal. “It is very important for development of our armed forces […] we will be able to defend our country more efficienctly, if there is such a necessity,” the minister said.
He also said that the air-defense systems might be delivered already this year or early next year.
The U.S. agreed to sell Patriot missile defence systems to Poland in a memorandum signed on Wednesday night, Poland’s Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said.
“A memorandum was signed tonight that the U.S. government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration,” Macierewicz said in a news conference broadcast on public television on Thursday morning.
“I am glad that I can pass on this information on the day of President’s Trump visit to Warsaw,” Macierewicz also said.
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived on Wednesday in Warsaw where the White House said he would showcase his commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in a speech and in meetings with a group of nations closest to Russia on his way to the G20 summit in Germany on Friday and Saturday.
In March Poland said it expected to sign a deal worth up to $7.6 billion with U.S. firm Raytheon to buy eight Patriot missile defence systems by the end of the year.
Warsaw sees the deal as central to a thorough modernisation of its armed forces by 2023.
Original article: Reuters, Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Toby Chopra.
On 20 June, Belarus signed a contract with the Russian Irkut corporation to purchase 12 Su-30SM fighter jets for $600m. This would be the largest ever arms deal between Minsk and Moscow. Earlier in June, Minsk also received its first batch of T-72 tanks, which were modernised in Russia.
At first glance, Russia seems to be arming Minsk. This fits with conjectures that the Kremlin is becoming increasingly hawkish and Minsk and Moscow are colluding to put their regional and Western opponents under pressure.
However, a more scrupulous analysis of such arms deals, as well as the armaments the Belarusian army possesses, paints a different picture. Moscow refuses to bolster the steadily declining Belarusian military’s capacity to conduct offensive operations, including joint large-scale operations with Russia.
Does the Kremlin really want to arm Belarus?
On 21 May, the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugaev commented that ‘Russia is interested in ensuring that the Belarusian army has modern equipment.’
Meanwhile, even Belvpo.com, a media outlet with probable (close) links to the Belarusian army, has repeatedly criticised Russia’s policy regarding weapons for Minsk over the past several months.
One of the publication’s authors, Valery Berazhnoi, recently lashed out at the Kremlin for refusing to supply Minsk with S-400 surface-to-air (SAM) systems and Iskander tactical ballistic missile systems. He noted that Russia had already given S-400s to China and Iskanders to Armenia.
For almost ten years, Belarusians were given promises [of receiving Iskanders]. Thus, in cooperation with the Chinese, the Belarusian defence industry created a fundamentally new type of weapon – the Palanez rocket system [because they could not get Iskanders].
These are harsh words coming from a publication which is neither oppositional nor nationalist, but produced by retired Belarusian army officers.
Their stance corresponds with that of the Belarusian government. On 7 October 2016, president Alexander Lukashenka criticised Russia’s lack of willingness to supply weapons to Belarus during an assembly of the national parliament. In particular, he referred to the Iskander missile system: ‘So it turns out that in order to protect you [Russia], I must … buy a gun from you? Is that normal?’
The facts also point to Moscow’s reluctance to provide Minsk with arms. Lukashenka’s and Putin’s failure to boost Belarus’s offensive military capacities becomes obvious after a brief analysis of which weapons the Belarusian army has received and decommissioned over the past several years.
Aircraft: Minsk pays
On 20 June, the Moscow-based business daily Vedomosti explained that Russian loans would be used to finance the forthcoming deliveries of Su-30. In order to make it easier for the Belarusian budget, the Russian manufacturer would deliver about four aircraft a year.
However, money still remains an issue. When asked about the deliveries, Belarusian defence minister Andrei Raukou simply told Tut.by that ‘The contract specifies this with one line: as soon as funding starts.’
Tut.by also reports that the contract had been concluded directly, i.e., without the mediation of the Russian government. In other words, the Kremlin is in no haste to arm Minsk; Belarus must purchase arms like any other country.
This seems to be a pattern. Last October, Lukashenka revealed the conditions on which Minsk had bought the S-300 SAM systems to the Belarusian parliament: ‘To my knowledge, we paid $170m, took the S-300s, repaired them, modernised them, and deployed them.’ In other words, Minsk paid Russia even for second-hand S-300PS – despite the fact that the Kremlin could hardly have sold them at a decent price anywhere.
Helicopters and fighter jets for sale
The Belarusian army will not enlarge its air force by adding the new Su-30SMs to it. According to then deputy defence minister Ihar Latsyankou in February 2016, it will use the new jets to replace currently active MiG-29s, which Belarus inherited from Soviet times.
Minsk is already looking to sell its MiGs. On 29 June, the Russian military analysis blog BMPD, citing an anonymous Serbian source, reported that although Serbia has currently stopped negotiating the purchase of eight MiG-29s from Belarus, it could conclude the deal in 2018 or later.
A similar situation exists regarding combat helicopters. On 25 June, Russian military aviation blogger kloch4 published an abusive but noteworthy analysis of Minsk’s plans to decommission its Mi-24 attack helicopters and sell them abroad.
After analysing numerous photographs of Belarusian army helicopters, he concluded that although Belarus had inherited more than seven dozen helicopters from the Soviet army:
…we can confirm a sharp weakening of the Mi-24 fleet in Belarus – there are only a dozen flying vehicles, some of them – the Mi-24 of non-attack modifications which cannot employ guided anti-tank weapons. The choppers of the latter kind have recently been returned to service, which indicates a certain armaments crisis … There were no attempts noticed to modernise the equipment in order to increase its combat capacities, including for night missions.
Its no wonder that on 10 June, the French daily Le Figaro quoted a UN Security Council document saying that the Mi-24 attack helicopters recently seen at airfields controlled by Libya’s Tobruk-based government had been purchased from Belarus. The UAE had bought them for its Libyan allies. The Emirati government has been buying military equipment for its Libyan friends for some years: in 2014, it purchased four Mi-24V attack helicopter from Belarus for Libya. Le Figaro‘s report might indicate that there were further such deals.
The Belarusian army’s attack helicopters are in even more dire straights than its fighter jets. Unlike fighter jets, which are partly being replaced by newer airplanes, Minsk has no such policy for its attack helicopters. It did not buy any new combat helicopters from Russia – only 18 Mi-17V5 transport helicopters. This is an odd choice for a country preparing for a clash with NATO.
Modernising Soviet armour once again
What’s more, there are no new tanks coming from Russia to strengthen Minsk’s military might either. On 2 June, the Belarusian army received its first batch of T-72B3 tanks from the Russian plant Uralvagonzavod. The T-72B3 model is the latest Russian modification (as of 2016) of the Soviet mass-produced T-72 tank.
As great as this might sound, this makes little difference for Belarus’s offensive capacities. First, Minsk received only four tanks, even though the Belarusian defence ministry subsequently signed a contract with the Russian firm on modernising another batch of T-72s.
Secondly, the Russians are modernising Belarus’s own T-72s. They are not providing new machines, not even T-90s, which have been deployed by the Russian army for many years already.
The same can also be said about other types of armoured vehicles. Thus, contrary to claims by some Russian military analysts, Minsk has abandoned its plans to buy new Russian BTR-82As, an armoured personnel carrier. What’s more, for several years Belarus has been receiving lighter armoured vehicles of the Humvee-type not from Russia, but from China – and for free.
In sum, an analysis of Belarusian military hardware purchases and sales does not seem to indicate any preparation for large-scale operations involving Belarusian participation, such as a Russian invasion of the Suwalki gap to reach the Kaliningrad Province or indeed anything larger than counterinsurgency missions. Moreover, Belarus still retains its brigade-based army structure – which it adopted for smaller operations – while since 2014 Russian has been reestablishing larger units – divisions and even armies – suitable for fighting large-scale wars.
Is Minsk just out of money? Perhaps, but Russia is not demonstrating any willingness to boost the combat capacities of its Belarusian ally for such deployments by supplying it with appropriate weapons.
The only new equipment Belarus received from Moscow over the last five years was trainer jets and transport helicopters, with Tor-M2 SAM systems being the largest Russian contribution to Belarusian defence. And Minsk paid for them.
Thus, it is clear that if Russia has any plans for larger offensive operations, the Belarusian armed forces have no place in them.
The Zelenodolsk Shipyard in the Volga area may equip warships it is building for exports with the latest Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile/artillery system, Zelenodolsk Shipyard CEO Renat Mistakhov said at the 8th International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
“I believe that this new hardware will be much needed on warships. This is because it has very good technical characteristics compared to its analogues. So this system should confirm its worth during ongoing tests,” the chief executive said, speaking about the Pantsyr-ME seaborne surface-to-air missile and artillery system.
The availability of the Pantsyr-ME missile system on warships slated for export will make them more attractive for potential customers, he added.
“In actual fact, we hope that this will also allow us to increase the export share because all constantly inquire today about this air defense system,” he said.
The Pantsyr-ME is the shipborne version of the Pantsyr family of air defense missile/gun systems. The system’s version for the ground forces is called Pantsyr-S.
Russia’s latest seaborne air defense missile system undergoes sea trials
Russia’s latest Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile and artillery system has already been mounted on the Project 1241 (Molniya) missile boat and is undergoing trials in the Black Sea, Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau Head Alexander Shlyakhtenko told TASS on Wednesday.
“Now the seaborne Pantsyr will undergo the entire set of tests. We have actually already installed it on the experimental model, on the Molniya,” he said at the 8th International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg, adding that the trials were being held in the Black Sea.
Shlyakhtenko earlier said that the seaborne Pantsyr would be mounted on Project 22800 Karakurt-class small missile ships. “The plans have not changed. It [the Pantsyr] will be installed on them,” the design bureau chief said.
High Precision Weapons Group CEO Alexander Denisov earlier said that the trials of the Pantsyr-ME complex were planned to be completed in one or two years and the Russian Navy had already ordered this system.
Project 1241 missile boats are a series of large missile boats built at Soviet shipyards in 1979-1996. They are operational in the Russian Navy and the navies of other countries.
Pantsyr seaborne air defense system to destroy targets at 20km distance
Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec unveiled on Wednesday the Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile and artillery system at the St. Petersburg International Maritime Defense Show, the corporation’s press office reported.
The latest seaborne missile complex has been developed by the Tula design bureau of instrument-making, the press office said.
“The creation of actually each of the complex’s basic systems has prompted a principally new scientific and technical solution. As a result, the striking potential of the Pantsyr-ME complex increased three-four-fold compared to the Kashtan-M complex. Specifically, the range of the air defense missile’s strike has been increased from 10 to 20 kilometers and its altitude from 3 to 15 kilometers,” Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov was quoted by the corporation’s press office as saying.
All the stages of combat performance, from the search for targets to firing, are implemented in motion, he said.
“The combined use of the radar and optical control system provides for the complex’s round-the-clock operation in any weather conditions. All of the complex’s processes are automated and the crew provides only surveillance and control,” he said.
The use of the multi-functional radar with a phased antenna array and an antiaircraft missile with a 20km firing range in the Pantsyr-ME’s combat module allows engaging four targets at a time and destroying new types of modernized anti-ship missiles and small-size air attack weapons and surface targets. The complex can be mounted on warships displacing from 300 tonnes, the press office said.
The Pantsyr-ME air defense missile and artillery system mounted on warships allows providing secure protection against modern air attack weapons, including low-flying and small-sized remotely controlled aircraft, the press office said.
“The development of the new Pantsyr-ME complex ensures reliable protection of warships against air attack means with the unconditional probability practically equal to 1, including against low-flying anti-ship missiles and remotely-controlled aircraft,” the corporation said.
“The main specific feature of the complexes developed by the instrument-making design bureau is that they can attack targets with missile armament first and then with an anti-ship missile in the antiaircraft missile’s dead zone, if the target has not been destroyed for some reasons or has been insufficiently destroyed,” the corporation’s press office reported.
Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov earlier said that the development of the Pantsyr-ME seaborne air defense missile/gun system had been completed and the complex had been launched into serial production.
MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. The development of the Pantsyr-ME seaborne surface-to-air missile and artillery complex has been completed and the system has been launched into serial production, state hi-tech corporation Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said on Friday.
“The development of the seaborne version of the Pantsyr air defense system that has no analogues in the world has been completed. The presentation of the Pantsyr-ME will be held at the International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg,” Chemezov said.
“The complex has already been launched into serial production,” he added.
The Pantsyr-ME is the shipborne version of the Pantsyr antiaircraft missile/gun system. The system’s version for ground forces is called Pantsyr-S.
The International Maritime Defense Show will be held in St. Petersburg on June 28 – July 2.
MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. Russia’s Radio-Electronic Technologies Group (KRET), part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec, has developed and tested onboard defense systems for cruise missiles of various modifications, Adviser to the KRET first deputy CEO Vladimir Mikheyev told TASS on Friday.
“We have prepared a set of equipment for mounting it on cruise missiles of various modifications. Moreover, missiles can have any type of a warhead but all of them will be equipped with onboard defense systems,” he said.
This defense system has passed all the required trials today, he added.
The onboard defense system comprises integrated technical means designed to determine and classify the threat of destruction of the protected object and also to neutralize this threat.
Russia’s defense industry has proposed to the Defense Ministry a rational missile defense option that will allow for opening an anti-missile umbrella over the country’s whole territory, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.
“The joint working group for creating the technical basis of Russia’s air and space defense, which I have led since 2012, has arrived at the conclusion that the industry and military scientists have managed to propose to the Defense Ministry a rational option of creating the country’s missile defense shield, including the ground and space components. Once Russia’s integral space system is in place, Russia will find itself under an anti-missile umbrella,” he said.
Earlier, the commander of Russia’s space force, Lieutenant-General Aleksandr Golovko said the new generation radar Voronezh-DM, commissioned in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, will enter combat duty by the end of this year.
This radar is capable of identifying ballistic and hypersonic targets 6,000 kilometers away. It has been used in the experimental mode since the end of last year. Joint crews of Russia’s aerospace force and the manufacturers maintained the radar’s test operation.
The radar has spotted six launches of inter-continental ballistic missiles so far. The northeastern part of the Pacific and the North are within the radar’s area of responsibility.
The Voronezh-DM radar, built in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, is an integral element of the missile attack warning system.
Serbia has shifted its focus on obtaining the Tor and Buk anti-aircraft missile systems rather than the S-300 missiles. It’s final decision on any purchase will depend on the country’s budget, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters on Thursday.
“The S-300 is an expensive system,” he said. “It costs really a lot and does Serbia have enough funds to pay for it?” “Serbia is much more interested in creating a close-combat air-defense network and for this purpose we have the Tors and the Buks, which are armaments for close-range and medium-range combat,” Rogozin said. “As for the S-300s and S-400s, they are for the long-range combat. So it will depend on how much money the Serbian government is prepared to shell out.” More: http://tass.com/defense/949127