Issue N° 35 – September / October 2017
Eu r o p e a n D ef en ce R e v i e w Rafale in Combat, the French Way Russia and the UAV revival Counter-IED: a multidimentional threat? KTRV ramps up manufacturing capacity Off-the-Shelf Airborne Surveillance Red Air Support
Whatever the aircraft
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we have the missiles
MBDA’s air-to-air and air-to-surface missile systems equip the latest generation of aircraft in service with many of the world’s air forces. These systems include both short range and beyond visual range fire-and-forget weapons designed to ensure the aircraft’s safety as it strives to secure and protect the airspace. To carry out the surface attack mission, MBDA missile systems feature exceptional precision at long, stand-off range. AIR DOMINANCE
Eu r o p e a n D ef en ce R e v i e w
Issue n o. 35
Rafale in Combat, the French Way By Jean-Michel Guhl
Russia and the UAV revival By Piotr Butowski
Off-the-Shelf Airborne Surveillance By David Oliver
Counter-IED: a multidimentional threat? By Paolo Valpolini Red Air Support – By David Oliver
KTRV ramps up manufacturing capacity By Nikolaï Novichkov
Publisher: Joseph Roukoz Editor-in-chief: David Oliver European Defence Review (EDR) is published by European Defence Publishing SAS www.edrmagazine.eu
EDR – September / October 2017
P In January 2016, a U.S. Air Force KC-135R from the 340th
© U.S. Air Force
Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refuels a French Navy Rafale M on a recce mission over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. OIR is the coalition intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The tanker belongs to the New Hampshire Air National Guard 157th Air Refueling Wing (157 ARW) proudly sported on the flying boom rudderons.
Rafale in Combat, the French Way
By Jean-Michel Guhl
mere decade has elapsed since the Dassault Aviation Rafale multirole fighter-bomber first came into war action in 2007 on the distant Afghan theatre of operations, f lying out strike missions against the Taliban insurgents from Dushanbe in Tajikistan. Since then military engagement of this highly flexible combat aircraft seems to have never stopped, both the French Air Force and France’s Aéronavale using Rafales on a daily basis to fight against various terrorists groups in West Africa and in the Middle-East. If litte is known today of combat operations of Egyptian Air Force Rafales in Libya, due to the Cairo’s regime clamping down on any public information release, much more is being publicized by the French Ministère des 4
Armées – the new designation of the earlier Ministère de la Défense fancied by newly elected President E. Macron.
Opération Chammal or IOR the French way In Iraq, with Mossul in the summer of 2017 now reconquered by Iraqi regulars and very active in securing the largely destroyed city, French Rafale operations are now focusing against the western part of the city, precisely in the Tel Afar sector where strong rebel elements are still entrenched. It is from Tel Afar, that besieged Daesh combatants still pounce on Iraqi Army forces with their remaining guns and using human bombs or IEDs to retard the ultimate fall of the city. However Daesh still maintain as well September / October 2017 – EDR
N French Air Force Rafale C No.128 displaying its
M Striking from medium altitude a Daesh target is
attacked by coalition aircraft in Iraq in October 2016. As of today (August 2017), the French Rafales (and Mirage 2000s and Super-Étendards until last year) involved in Opération Chammal (IOR) since 19 September 2014 have logged 1,322 bomb strikes, and claim to have smashed 2,090 terrorist targets during a combined total of 6,812 sorties. These sorties were either led from the aircraft-carrier Charles-deGaulle (until last year) or from deployed air bases in both the United Arab Republic (Al Dhafra) and
© J.-M. Guhl Part Separator
OIR bombing score in June 2017. It includes a pair of Scalp/EG air-launched cruise missiles, a single 1,000kg GBU-24, eleven 250kg AASMs and no less than 29 GBU-12/22 250kg laser-guided bombs, all expanded during Opération Chammal against Daesh targets in Iraq.
© U.S. Air Force
a few strongholds in the Anbar region, namely in the Hawijah pocket where numrous weapons caches and hideouts are reported to exist. In Syria, with Raqqah now completely encircled by Syrian Democratic Forces, Daesh remains strongly active controlling many districts of the ruined city litered with booby-traps and IEDs meant to slow down and complicate the reconquest by the advancing SDFs always under the threat of snipers. During the first week of July, French Air Force and French Navy Rafales have performed a total of 37 sorties over Eastern Syria directly supported by a newly deployed C-135FR Stratotanker from Istres AB. Out of this total 31 were for Interdiction and Close Air Support (CAS) and 4 for theatre reconnaissance. During these sorties, about half of the bomb runs were conducted against Daesh rebels in Raqqah.
EDR – September / October 2017
to hook a MBDA Scalp/EG air-launched cruise missile under Rafale C No.120 in preparation for a long-range strike. Some 80 of these subsonic missiles have been used by the French Air Force against Iraqi and Syrian targets during OIR/ Chammal. Each Rafale can carry a pair of these high-precision weapons limiting collateral damage. Scalp/EG stands for Système de croisière Conventionnel Autonome à Longue Portée. It is known in RAF service as Storm Shadow. Jordan (H5). It involved Rafale Ms from Flottilles 11F and 12F, and mostly Rafale B/Cs from the 4e Escadre de Chasse as well as Mirage 2000Ds from the 3e Escadre de Chasse backed by Mirage 2000 Ns from EC 2/4 “La Fayette” for which Opération Chammal should certainly represent the last and ultimate expeditionary combat missions, the squadron being earmarked to convert to Rafale Bs by the spring of 2018.
and 17F which share some forty Rafale Ms (M for Marine), a normal operating complement being of ten to twelve machines per flottille. All aircraft have now been retrofitted to F3 standard with a handful having an AESA radar. The French Air Force on its part today musters a total of sept squadrons, the oldest being Escadron de Chasse (EC) 1/7 “Languedoc” now detached at Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates. The
© Dassault Aviation
M French Air Force ammunition specialists about
French Rafale operators At this time, the main operators of the Rafale are the French Navy, which has three flottilles shorebased at Landivisiau naval air station in Brittany when they are not deployed on the FS Charles-deGaulle. Now a Rafale-only carrier-based fighter force, the Aéronavale’s squadrons are Flottille 11F, 12F 6
M Although a small fighter plane by today’s
standards, the Rafale C can carry its own empty weight some 10 tons of selected weapons and stores up to a MTOW of some 25 tons fully loaded. September / October 2017 – EDR
Armée de l’Air flies both Rafale C (C for Chasse) single-seater and Rafale B (B for Biplace) dualseaters, these last being used both for advanced conversion training with two pilots, or with a pilot and a navigator for tactical nuclear strike missions. Such is the case of Escadron de Chasse (EC) 1/4 “Gascogne”, now the only ASMP-A capable squadron of the French Air Force pending the conversion next year of Escadron de Chasse (EC) 2/4 “La Fayette” still flying the last of the Mirage 2000 Ns out of BA 125. Companion to EC 1/4 at Saint-Dizier BA 113 air base and its Rafale Bs is ETR (Escadron de Transformation Rafale) 3/4 “Aquitaine” which could be easily referred as the “Rafale Academy”. This joint squadron uses mostly Rafale Bs and a three of each Rafale C and M single-seaters ; these last being on loan from the French Navy. The Saint Dizier Rafale squadrons are now part of the revived 4e Escadre de Chasse. N A Rafale B two-seater is pictured taxying out
of her protection hangar at Al Dhafra AB, UAE for a 2016 long duration night sortie against Islamic terrorist hide-outs in Iraq. She is fitted with three 2,500-litre kerosene drop tanks and armed with four AASMs.
The 30e Escadre de Chasse based at BA 118 in Mont-de-Marsan in the south-west part of France is today the permanent home for another three Rafale squadrons : Escadron de Chasse et d’Expérimentation (ECE) 1/30 “Côte d’Argent”, Escadron de Chasse (EC) 2/30 “Normandie-Niemen” and Escadron de Chasse (EC) 3/30 “Lorraine”. ECE 1/30 is particular in that it flies also a mix of Mirage 2000s used for weapon and systems trials along with some Alpha Jets used as chase vehicles or for target towing over the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Due to the focus placed on the export of the Rafale, the setting up of new Armée de l’Air Rafale squadrons has been rather slow. However half of EC 2/4 personnel is now converting from the Mirage 2000 N to the Rafale B with a plan to become next year the second and newest French Air Force ASMPA-capable Rafale squadron of the Forces Aériennes Stratégiques (FAS). In a distant future and between 2025 and 2035, the organization of another four squadrons of Rafales has been envisioned to replace both the Mirage 20005Fs of Escadron de Chasse (EC) 1/2 “Cigognes” at BA 116 Luxeuil, as well as the Mirage 2000 Ds of Escadron de Chasse (EC) 1/3 “Navarre”, Escadron de Chasse (EC) 2/3 “Champagne” and Escadron de
EDR – September / October 2017
N A French Navy Rafale M over the Iraqi Northern desert during
© U.S. Air Force
Opération Chammal/OIR. The aircraft is armed with a quartet of GBU-22 laser-guided bombs and carries a single MBDA Mica AAM for self-protection. After having operated from the French Navy aircraft-carrier Charles-de-Gaulle, the Aéronavale Rafales were assigned during 2017 as reinforcement at Prince Hassan Air Base in Jordan, alongside other French Air Force Rafales. Also known as H5, this desert airfield is a Royal Jordanian Air Force base, located 135km northeast of Amman.
September / October 2017 – EDR
From Rafale F2 to Rafale F4 By now a fully battle-proven twin-jet multirole fighter, much appreciated by its crews and maintenance personnel, the Rafale with its state of the art sensor suite and weapon paraphernalia has taken the lead over both the remaining Mirage 2000-5Fs for the air dominance and the Mirage 2000 D for the close air support. Especially since a single Rafale can fly longer and carry more bombs than any earlier French Air Force fighter planes. However modern and cutting edge, the French air Force Rafales need to be regularly updated, mainly regarding their avionics and computer-related sub-systems, notably softwares. As such after having started their combat career a decade ago as Rafale F2s, all are now in F3 standard and moving on to F3R standard while the future F4 standard is already looming in the distance. The name
EDR – September / October 2017
of the game is : adaptation… Adaptation to all major trends in order to keep their war fighting capability. With the F4 standard, the Rafale will evolve from nose to tail and in two different stages. First as F4.1, a minimal standard which is aimed at modernizing the existing fleet of Rafale C, B and Ms without embarking on too large a scale transformation of their inner systems, therefore concentrating on major software updatings and the adaptation to new weapons mostly, like the integration of the new MBDA Meteor BVR hypersonic air-to-air missile. Aircraft involved will be all Tranche 1, 2, 3 and early Tranche 4, i.e. some 120 airframes. For all subsequent Rafales coming out of the Dassault Aviation Bordeaux-Mérignac production line – including those for export – the F4.2 standard will see a new N In October 2016, a French Air Force Rafale C
armed with four AASM 250kg GPS-guided “standoff” rocket bombs is pictured during air-to-air refuelling behind the boom of a Tennessee Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker. Despite their venerable age, the old Boeing tankers still provide sterling service.
© U.S. Air Force
Chasse (EC) 3/3 “Ardennes” at BA 133 Nancy-Ochey. As such, by 2035, the French fighter force should be centered around ten Armée de l’Air operational Rafale B/C squadrons and three Aéronavale active Rafale M flottilles…
P Pictured during the starting phase of
© U.S. Air Force
world opening for this aircraft starting with the 28 remaining Tranche 4 Rafales to be delivered between 2021 and 2023, and for the future Tranche 5 aircraft due for delivery to the French Air Force after 2025. Standard F4 will see the adaptation of the beefed up OSF (optronique secteur frontal) IRST/ HD TV/ laser pointer system (provided by Thales) with a helmet-mounted display (HMD) and the introduction of the new Contact highly flexible Thales radios, able to use legacy and new wave forms as well, and the arrival of an advanced tactical data link (TDL) proprietary system for discreet short-range directional inter aircraft relations within a COMAO using 3D digital radio waves in complement with the existing NATO Link 16 TDL system. SATCOM radio will also appear on all new Rafales as well as an enhanced Spectra ECM suite for better 360° threat awareness and self-defence. All the while, the aircraft existing AESA RBE2 radar will benefit of some radical beam modifications in order to improve detection and agility. What best characterizes the current Rafale’s weapon system is its multi-sensor suite and its advanced data-fusion ability which makes flying in a danger zone more “comfortable” for the pilot as it provides him with a permanent and real-time understanding of the threat level around the aircraft. A real delight and easy to fly, according to its unanimous pilots, the Rafale is largely already reckoned to be “excellent as it is” by all its crews, navigators (NOSA) included on the B two-seater model – a variant which should in the end make the largest part of the French Air Force Rafale fleet due to the increasing burden placed on single-seat crew nowadays. J
© U.S. Air Force
Opération Chammal/OIR in January 2016, a pair of Rafale Ms earlier launched from the aircraft-carrier Charles-de-Gaulle are about to top-off from a USAF tanker over Northern Iraq. The two aircraft are fitted with a long-range recce pod (Thales Reco NG) in order to record and identify Islamic terrorist targets on the Syro-Iraqi border.
M On last 5 July 2017, the official spokeswoman
of the French Ministère des Armées, announced that a total of 1 307 air strikes had been performed against Daesh in Iraq and Syria since September 2014. With some 600 air strikes only for the sole battle of Mossul. If older Mirage 2000 Ns and Ds of the French Air Force participated in these strikes, most of these missions however were performed by French Air Force and Navy Rafales operating from the UAE, Jordan and the carrier Charles-de-Gaulle at least until her SLEP now taking place in Toulon over a 18-month period. Here a pair of French Air Force Rafales is pictured rallying a USAF Boeing KC-135R in order to refuel before an air-strike “up North”. Both fighters haul a quartet of standard “GBUs” ready to be dropped on ISIL targets. September / October 2017 – EDR
© Kronshtadt Technologies
N First Orion in flight.
Russia and the UAV revival By Piotr Butowski A new generation of Russian drones is under tests, and the country now accelerates works on new generation of reconnaissance and combat unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) of various classes, from hand-launched to strategic systems.
he Orion MALE UAV has been revealed during the recent MAKS 2017 air show in July. Two Orions were present at MAKS. In a separate pavilion, not accessible for the public, stood the military Orion with full equipment and armament. Another vehicle, in export version Orion-E was displayed in public; actually, only the fuselage made of composites, half of a wing and half of empennage were shown.
Orion MALE On 14 October 2011, the Russian Ministry of Defence’s tender for Inokhodets (Ambler) or BAK SD (Bespilotnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Sredniei Dalnosti, Medium-Range Unmanned Aviation Complex) research and development work was decided in favour of the Orion (or izdeliye, product 12
90) project by the Transas Company (later reorganised into Kronshtadt Technologies) of St Petersburg; rival designs were provided by Tupolev and Vega. On 15 October 2016, the Orion completed its maiden flight at the company’s flight test facility in Protasovo near Ryazan, 180 km from Moscow. Earlier, in July it made a series of ‘hops’, lifting off the runway for a moment. In May 2017, the Orion reached an altitude of 5700 m. „A month ago started weapons’ launches from the Orion”, a source said during MAKS 2017. The Orion is a direct counterpart to the US General Atomics MQ-1 Predator. It has a V-tail and is powered by a single 86kW (115hp) PD115T engine with two-blade 1.9-m diameter AV115 pushing propeller by Aerosila. The engine is actually a supercharged version of Rotax 914 that has been modified by Rybinsk Luch company by adding a turbocharge to increase the flight altitude. For production vehicles, new Russia-made APD-110 September / October 2017 – EDR
M MOES EO payload for Orion.
N Orion-E with radar.
engine is under development by Agat company in cooperation with TsIAM scientific engine institute. The Orion has a retractable undercarriage with a nose wheel, as well as a retractable rear support to protect the airscrew. The Orion has two mission equipment bays, a small one in lower forward fuselage and larger one in lower centre section of the fuselage. In the forward bay, the MOES electro-optical sensor made by Moscow-based NPK SPP company with use of Argos platform supplied by South African Airbus DS Optronics, is typically installed. The MOES sensor for Orion has the diameter of 410mm and weight of 56kg. It contains a thermal imaging camera with zoom lens, two TV cameras (wide-angle and zoom), laser rangefinder and laser target designator. The sensor can detect, automatically track and indicate targets for guided weapons. In the central bay a suite of digital photo cameras or surveillance radar covered by large radar-transparent radome can be placed. The radar for the Orion is made by Phazotron-NIIR company of Moscow. In another equipment variant in both bays radio and signal intelligence systems for reconnaissance of enemy air defence system can be carried. Tactical Missile Corporation (KTRV) is currently developing weapons for new Russian UAVs, including the Orion. Small winged guided bombs are being tested and an antitank missile is being developed. The Orion has maximum six weapon pylons, two under the fuselage centreline and four under the wing. The designer of the Orion, Nikolai Dolzhenkov said that when the work was starting “there was no
EDR – September / October 2017
M Nikolay Dolzhenkov presents
single ready device or system we could use in our complex”, neither in the flying vehicle, nor in ground equipment. Thus “the level of novelty was 100%”. Nevertheless, despite high risk “we managed to develop several key technologies which we could not buy abroad”. Technologies, which were non-existent in Russia five years ago, have been developed. Among them Dolzhenkov mentioned design and production methods of lightly loaded composite constructions for flying vehicles. “We have mastered the technology of series production of the airframe made entirely of carbon fibre composites by the method of vacuum infusion”, while not only the skin, but the entire load-bearing structure of the airframe is made of composites. Another new solution mentioned by Dolzhenkov is the electro-impulse de-icing system for thin carbon fibre structures, which may not be heated. “We have made such system and now we can use our drone in much broader geographical range, also in cold regions”. “The results of the flight tests show that we have developed a vehicle capable of competing not only with current, but also with future vehicles of this class”, said Dolzhenkov. The representatives of the company refused information how many Orion drones have been built, however assuring that these are “not just one or two vehicles”. Probably one entire complex with ground equipment and 4-6 flying vehicles has been built. It 14
is not out of the question that the Orion will soon be deployed to Syria for testing in real combat conditions. Presenting the Orion during MAKS 2017 the CEO of Kronshtadt Group Armen Isaakyan informed, that the Kronshtadt signed an agreement with Rosoboronexport about the marketing of the Orion abroad. “We hope to win a significant portion of the world market in heavy UAV segment”, he added. The regions, where Orion can be sold are traditional buyers of Russian equipment: South-East Asia, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa.
ORION-E SPECIFICATION Wingspan
Mission equipment weight, standard
Mission equipment weight, maximum
Endurance, with standard equipment
Communication range, direct
Communication range, with relay UAV
September / October 2017 – EDR
Altair HALE Simultaneously with Orion, five-times heavier Altair UAV, built by Kazan-based OKB Simonov is in tests; the head of Altair programme is Kirill Kolganov. The full-size technology demonstrator made a successful lift-off at Kazan in mid-July 2016. That was not the first try of the Altair. On 25 September 2014, the drone was spotted on a runway of the Kazan airfield. Later, at the end of 2014 or at the beginning of 2015, the Altair attempted to take off, but these efforts ended with a broken undercarriage strut. Again the Altair appeared on a series of satellite pictures taken between 22 June and 17 August, 2016. Bearing in mind a year and a half that passed between the take-off attempts, it is likely that significant changes were introduced in the UAV, probably relating to its flight control system. The requirements for the UAV were specified by the Russian Ministry of Defence in 2010 within the Altius-M (in Latin: higher) research and development work. The tender was decided on 14 October 2011, the same day when Orion was selected, and was won by Altair project by OKB Simonov (Mikhail EDR – September / October 2017
© BOKB Simonov
M Orion airframe at MAKS 2017.
M Altair HALE UAV demonstrator.
Simonov, later the long-term head of Sukhoi, led this design facility during 1959-69); the rival was Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG. The Altair has a long unswept wing made of composites, V-tail and two engines with tractor propellers on the wing. Two 373kW (500ehp) A03/ V12 diesel engines made by the RED Aircraft company, founded in Germany by Russian immigrant Vladimir Raikhlin, are used. Formally, the Altair is known only in its civilian derivative. The main civilian task in Russia would be monitoring objects of great length, particularly oil and gas pipelines. According to regulations, each pipeline should be inspected 2-5 times a week. Tasks in the Arctic are also monitoring of meteorological and ecological situation, as well as ice cover condition; these tasks are currently performed by two (ultimately three) Meteor-M satellites and manned aircraft and helicopters. The developer 15
P Altair ‘02’ at Kazan airfield
ALTAIR SPECIFICATION, CIVIL VERSION Wingspan
Mission equipment weight
claims that a flight hour of the Altair would be four times cheaper than that of currently used manned aircraft and helicopters. The system is to comprise two 7-tonne unmanned aerial vehicles, ground flight control station, information reception and processing station and automatic take-off and landing ground control station. The prototype of civilian UAV is to fly in the fourth quarter of 2018 and production drone is to be available for customers in Russia and abroad in 2020. According to the specification disclosed by OKB Simonov the civilian Altair is to have the takeoff weight of 7 tonnes and carry up to 2 tonnes of mission equipment. These characteristics differ from those previously known for the military version, which is to weigh 5 tonnes and carry one tonne of equipment. Probably the weight of the civilian UAV could be increased thanks to less demanding base requirements. The civilian UAV would operate from 2nd class airfields. The reconnaissance equipment of the Altair consists of electro-optical payload under the nose and side-observation radar built into rear fuselage section. According to the design of the civilian version the electro-optical equipment is to enable reconnaissance with 10 cm resolution over the distance of up to 35 km and the radar – with 1 m resolution over the distance of up to 125 km. The data relay equipment is to have the speed of 30 Mbit/s. The information can be sent directly to the ground station (to the horizon), via relay UAV (up to 800 km) or via satellite. The problem for civilian version of the Altair is the lack of law regulations concerning operations of unmanned aerial vehicles in civilian airspace.
M Future Orion-2 five-tonne UAV. September / October 2017 – EDR
For Fregat the data are for vertical take-off
Orion-2 wants to compete Nikolai Dolzhenkov of Kronshtadt Technologies said at MAKS 2017 that the experience gathered during the work on Orion and the technologies mastered allow going farther and the company has prepared a program of development of UAVs of much larger size and broader mission range. “Our objective is to become a leader in the field of large UAV complexes”. Within the next three years, the five-tonne Orion-2 UAV, and in more distant future of 10 years even larger vertical takeoff Fregat (Frigate) UAV are to be developed. The Orion-2 is destined to be Kronshtadt’s challenger to the Altair.
FUTURE KRONSHTADT UAV SPECIFICATION ORION-2
Mission equipment weight
over 24 hours
EDR – September / October 2017
UCAVs by UAC Small Korsar, medium-size Orion and large Altair, all powered by piston engines, are being made by companies outside of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) structure. The UAC’s companies are developing large jet-powered unmanned vehicles with a combat capability. In March 2016, Sergei Korotkov, the UAC’s designer general said that the corporation has been charged in development of three heavy military unmanned systems. He refused to name any specific program saying only that the vehicles developed by UAC are of three, five and ten tonne take-off weight. “There was no requirement” in a heavier UAV, he said. The biggest among them is 10-tonne Sukhoi S-70 UCAV ordered by the Russian Ministry of Defence on 14 October 2011 within the Okhotnik (hunter) or URBK (Udarno-Razvedyvatelnyi Bespilotnyi
M Future Fregat VTOL UAV.
A small tactical UAV Korsar (pirate) that was ordered by the Russian Ministry of Defence in 2012, is also under tests. It is understood to be a 200kg vehicle that can operate for a duration of 10-12 hours within a 50 km radius. The UAV is made by the KB Luch design team in Rybinsk, part of the Vega Corporation. Launch of the Korsar’s series production at a new facility in Rybinsk was planned for the first quarter of 2017. The Korsar demonstrator vehicle completed its first flight in 2015; according to some information, in August 2016 the demonstrator crashed.
RSK MiG prepared the design of Boyets (Warrior) vehicle, which is a flying wing powered by a single jet engine (probably 24.5kN Tushino Soyuz RD2500). It is to reach Mach 0.9 at low altitude and have a range of 1,000 km. In its primary strike role, the Boyets will carry ordnance, typically two antiradar missiles, in an internal bay. Its external appearance resembles closely the bigger, 10-tonne MiG Skat (ray) UCAV presented in a full-scale mock-up form in August 2007. In autumn 2016, information appeared that the Russia’s Ministry of Defence is going to announce a tender being a continuation of the BAK SD programme, for a detailed design and prototype of five-tonne high-speed UCAV. Apparently, MiG Boyets, and also projects by Yakovlev and Tupolev will take part in the competition. The only known three-tonne aircraft in the offer of UAC is the Tu-300 Korshun jet-powered UCAV developed by the Tupolev design bureau during Soviet times, with a take-off weight of 3,100kg, speed of 950 km/h and range of 600 km. Six test examples of the vehicle were built in 1990s. In the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk class, the Russians develop the Obzor (surveillance) UAV. The research study has been ordered at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI), which is a main contractor of the programme, while design is under way at the Myasishchev company, both at Zhukovsky. According to the contract, an experimental vehicle to test the basic technologies was to be built by December 2016; we do not know the present condition of the programme.
M Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik
Kompleks, Strike-Reconnaissance Unmanned Complex) R&D programme. In one of the few known official documents in which the Okhotnik is mentioned, it is categorised as a ‘sixth-generation unmanned air vehicle’. The preliminary design was expected to be finished in 2015 after which the company would complete construction of the prototype. According to unofficial information, a technology demonstrator for the S-70 vehicle has been constructed in Novosibirsk Aircraft Plant belonging to Sukhoi Company; it will be ready for the maiden flight in 2018. In May 2013 the RSK MiG company received a contract for a tactical five-tonne UCAV, the BAK SD (Bespilotnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Sredney Dalnosti, Medium-Range Unmanned Air Complex). However, the priority level of this programme is reported to be much lower than that of the Okhotnik. It comprises a preliminary design only, and moreover, the contract was placed by Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, and not the Ministry of Defence. Within this programme, 18
M MiG Boyets
M MiG model for tunnel tests. September / October 2017 – EDR
The Altair, Orion, Korsar, Okhotnik, Boyets and Obzor are all in prototype or project stages. The most important real UAV in the service with the Russian armed forces is the Israeli Searcher II, assembled in Russia as Forpost. For Russian military aviation, the post-Soviet period is divided into two distinct parts and the boundary between them is Russia’s war with Georgia in August 2008. Despite Moscow’s clear victory, many weaknesses were revealed in the Russian military, including the lack of modern UAV systems. As a result of the analysis of this war, in April 2009 the Russian Ministry of Defence placed a USD53-million order with IAI for two medium Searcher Mk II systems (each with three
P Forpost Searcher ‘901’.
EDR – September / October 2017
drones and a ground station) as well as 10 light portable Bird Eye 400 systems; they were delivered in summer 2010. On 12 October 2010 the Russian Oboronprom corporation and IAI signed a followon USD400-million contract for assembly in Russia of 10 Searcher Mk II systems (i.e. 30 drones), using elements delivered from Israel. The UAV received the domestic name Forpost (outpost). Within the same contract, smaller Bird Eye 400s were ordered with the name Zastava (picket). Assembly of the UAVs took place at the Ural Works of Civil Aviation (UWCA) in Yekaterinburg, controlled by Oboronprom. The contract was accomplished in early 2014 and in 2015 was followed by an order for another 10 complexes. Reportedly, the Russian Ministry of Defence intends to have a total of 50 Forpost systems, or 150 UAVs.
Real life: Forpost with Israeli roots
The first ten Forpost systems have been assigned to Russian Air Force and Navy air bases at Budionnovsk, Mozdok, Chernyakhovsk, Severomorsk and Yelizovo, as well as to the training and evaluation centre in Kolomna. They took part in real fighting in counter-insurgency operation in the North Caucasus. At least three vehicles were lost by Russians over eastern Ukraine in 2014-15. Another Russian Forpost vehicle was spotted in Syria. Reportedly, the Russians are receiving the Searcher/Forpost kits in ‘civilian’ version without codded datalink, target indication and other military payloads. At present, the NII Kulon of Moscow makes upgrades of the Forposts by adding the datalink, satellite navigation, radio relay and signals intelligence systems, etc. A version fitted with side-looking radar is planned. The Forpost weights 454kg at take-off and can cruise for 17.5 hours. Communication range is 150 km with omnidirectional antenna or 250 km with directional antenna.
Little boys The number of unmanned aerial vehicles in the Russian armed forces is today increasing at astonishing rate, having reached almost 2,000. That is ten times more than five years ago. In 2016, the
M Searcher Forpost in assembly in Russia
Russian armed forces received 105 systems with a total of 260 drones; 36 UAV military units have been formed. But most of them are small-size UAVs launched using a small launcher or by hand, and with a range of up to around a dozen kilometres. The most popular of them are Orlan-10 (bald eagle) drones made by Spetsyalnyi Tekhnologicheskiy Tsentr company of St Petersburg, the number of
N Forpost Searcher
© Ukraine MoD
grounded Ukraine 20 May 2015.
September / October 2017 – EDR
M Granat and Orlan-10 in background
O Catapult launched Orlan-10
which is estimated to be more than 1,000, a half of all UAVs in the Russian armed forces. It is a vehicle weighing 18kg, launched by catapult, capable of loitering for 10 hours with a TV and thermal imaging cameras, digital photo camera and cell phone tapping equipment. The communications range is 120 km and every UAV can operate as a EDR – September / October 2017
relay for others; ground control station can control four Orlans simultaneously. Currently the company is testing the Orlan-30 (weight 27kg) and is planning the Orlan-50 (50kg). There are also several hundreds of smaller Eleron-3SV (aileron), made by Eniks company of Kazan in service (weight 5.3kg; endurance 100 minutes); the company declares, that the production amounts to 100 per year. Other popular UAVs of similar category are Tachion (tachyon) weighing 6.9kg, Granat (pomegranate) family, weighing 2.4kg to 30kg and Israeli Bird Eye 400 (Zastava). Companies of small UAVs are being formed in every infantry and armoured brigade of the Russian Army. Many mini-UAVs are operated by the Russian Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Emergency Situations. J 21
N Raytheon Systems integrated 21 mission
Off-the-Shelf Airborne Surveillance By David Oliver Aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) began during World War One with fragile biplanes carrying a pilot and observer holding a heavy camera over the side attempting to take photographs of enemy troop positions along the Western Front. During World War Two ISR was divided between high flying fighter aircraft equipped with internal cameras, and low and slow flying observation aircraft.
t was not until the development of small lightweight forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) cameras fitted into twin-turboprop business aircraft in the 1960s that the dedicated special mission aircraft was born. One of the first was the military version of the Beechcraft Queen Air delivered to the US Army as the RU-21 and widely used in Vietnam modified for many roles including electronic surveillance. A stretched version, the Super King Air 350, which first flew in 1988, has been adopted by several armed forces as an ISR platform. Under Project Liberty the Beechcraft MC-12W was selected by the US Air Force in 2009 to provide ISR support directly to ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Equipped with L3 Wescam MX-15Di electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) turret, AAI One System Remote Video terminal, Blue Force tracking capability, INMARSAT satellite communications and L3 multi-band datalink, the type flew its first operational September / October 2017 – EDR
© Crown Copyright
systems on the Beechcraft 350 Super King Air-based Royal Air Force Shadow R.1.
mission in Iraq in June 2009. In 2017 some forty MC12W special missions aircraft are being transferred from the USAF to be operated by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The Royal Air Force operates a fleet of modified Super King Air 350CER named the Shadow R.1. RSL. A wholly-owned British subsidiary of Raytheon Systems integrated 21 mission systems on the aircraft including an L3 Wescam MX-15 sensor, a forward-looking EO wide-area surveillance (WAS) sensor, line-of-sight and satellite communication and datalinks and a 360-degree self-protection suite. The two-pilot aircraft can accommodate up to five mission personnel. The Leonardo Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) system for airborne platforms has been installed on a Super King Air 350. ATOS is the world’s leading solution to the growing demand for border control, wide area surveillance, targeted surveillance, overt or covert, and environmental and disaster control, integrating a wide number of sensors and sub-systems in a highly modular design. Super King Air 350 aircraft are today being used in the ISR role by the air forces of Colombia, Iraq, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia while two have been ordered for the French Air force to be delivered in late 2018.
Using more civilian platforms The breakthrough in the use of commercial commuter-type turboprop aircraft to become ISR platforms came with in 1985 when Ericsson Microwave Systems, now part of the Saab Group, was contracted by the Swedish Defence Material EDR – September / October 2017
M Leonardo’s ATOS integrated observation and surveillance system for airborne platforms has been installed on a Super King Air 350.
Administration (FMV) to develop an active, phased-array, pulse-doppler sensor radar that became the PS-890 Erieye. The lightweight roofmounted side-looking Erieye reconnaissance radar was tested on a twin-turboprop Fairchild Metro regional airliner and production of the radar started in 1993 following an order for six Erieye systems for the Swedish Air Force on Saab 340 aircraft in 1996. Although the last of 457 Saab 340 twin turboprop regional airliners went out of production in 1999, many remained in service and available for conversion to surveillance aircraft which have been delivered to the air forces of Greece, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates in addition to the Swedish Air Force where it is known as the S 100 Argus. Although designed as an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) radar, the Erieye system can be used for air and sea surveillance including Intelligence and surveillance and control of national borders, assets and economic zones. The Pakistan and Saudi Arabian Air Forces have acquired the radars installed on the Saab 2000, a stretched version 23
© David Oliver
M The Saab 340 regional airliner was modified to carry the Saab Erieye
radar designated S-100 Argus in the Swedish Air Force. of the Saab 340. Again the production of this regional airliner ceased in 1999 but there is no shortage of extant airframes that can be converted to military platforms. A commercial competitor to the Saab 2000 was the twin-turboprop Bombardier Dash 8 regional airliner which has also been adapted for the ISR role. Cobham’s subsidiary Surveillance Australia Pty Ltd provides, operates and maintains an updated fleet of 10 Dash-8 Q200/300 aircraft for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service until 2021 to provide all-weather, day and night electronic surveillance of Australia’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone. The Project Sentinel Dash 8 MSAs are equipped with the Raytheon’s SeaVue radar, the L3 Wescam MX-15 EO system and a new SIM system based on Galileo Avionica’s ATOS. The Swedish Coast Guard has three Dash 8 Q300 aircraft that were modified by Field Aviation in Toronto, Canada. They are equipped with Elta EL/M 2022A radar, L3 Wescam MX-15 EO/IR sensor, Argon AA 3503 IR ad UV sensors and Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR). The flight crew consists of two pilots and three system operators. 24
The USAF has currently a small number of Dash 8 Q100 aircraft, designated E-6A Widget, for reconnaissance over the Gulf of Mexico to clear civilian boats and aircraft during live fire tests of air-launched missiles while the US Army operates a fleet of Dash 8 Q300s, designated RO-6A, as reconnaissance platforms. In 2009, Thales in co-operation with the Canadian company PAL Aerospace, upgraded two UAE Air Force Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 aircraft with a state-of-the-art maritime patrol system. The mission system integrated onboard the aircraft was based on Thales’s Airborne MAritime Situation and COntrol System (AMASCOS) which includes full communications intelligence/electronics intelligence (COMINT/ELINT) functions. At the Paris Air Show 2017 Thales and PAL Aerospace announced that they were converting a single Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 into a multimission surveillance aircraft. This will include integration of the Thales Searchmaster AESA radar, L3 Wescam MX-15 HD EO/IR sensor turret and the AMASCOS system. The aircraft will have a new glass cockpit, satellite communications and a September / October 2017 – EDR
N The Saab Swordfish 2000 multi-mission
surveillance aircraft concept based on the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 twin turboprop airliner.
video datalink. After the companies have carried out the demonstration campaign, the aircraft will be available for commercial use, including the payper-hour ISR services. Saab has also proposed a multirole maritime patrol aircraft based on the Q400, a lengthened version of the Dash 8. With a range of 3,000 nautical miles, the Swordfish MPA would be equipped with an AESA 360 degree multi-mode maritime radar, HD electro-optics with laser payload, an EW and self protection system, SATCOM and tactical data links. A glass cockpit with integrated mission display would be installed and the aircraft would be fitted with four operator work stations, significant payload stowage and a crew rest/mission planning area.
More foreign platforms Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elta Systems are offering an almost identical multimission Dash 8 Q400 platform. The ELI-3360 equipped with an ELM-2022 multi-mission radar with surveillance, imaging and tracking capability, EDR – September / October 2017
AMOSP 3000HD multi-sensor EO/IR/laser pod and the ELS-81200 multi-mission tactical management system with two to six mission operators In 2002, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer delivered the first of eight military surveillance variants of its ERJ-145 regional jet airliners to the Brazilian Air Force. Powered by two Rolls-Royce AE3007A turbofans, five were equipped with the Saab Erieye radar. Four were subsequently delivered to the Greek Air Force, three to the Indian Air Force and three to the Mexican Air Force. Three of the Brazilian Air Force ERJ-145 ISR aircraft were equipped for the ground surveillance role with MacDonald Dettwiler Integrated Radar Imaging System (IRIS) synthetic aperture radar (SAR), Star Safire FLIR, and Daedalus ultraviolet/ infra-red line scanner.
One step further The use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) had proved invaluable in the tracking and prosecution of enemy ground forces during the Gulf War and this galvanised the UK Royal Air Force to acquire its own capability in 1993. The solution chosen by the MOD was the Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) to be known as the Sentinel system. The Air segment consists of five converted Bombardier BD-700 Global Express 6000 long-range business jet aircraft, named the Sentinel R.1, fitted with a Raytheon Systems/BAE Systems Dual Mode Radar (DMR). Using active electronically scanned array 25
ground surveillance aircraft is a modified Embraer ERJ-145RS regional jet airliner.
O Saab’s advanced Erieye platform,
the GlobalEye, is an extensively modified Bombardier Global 6000 airframe entering service sold to the UAE Air Force.
(AESA) technology, the radar collects SAR imagery and GMTI data. In addition to two pilots, the three on-board Intelligence Analysts are a mix of RAF and British Army Intelligence Corps SNCOs. The Sentinel R1, which entered service in December 2008 with No.5 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, is interoperable with other allied systems such as US Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) and the NATO Alliance Ground 26
Surveillance (AGS) system. It has been deployed operationally in Afghanistan since 2009 and provided vital intelligence during NATO operations in Libya in 2011, and French operations in Mali, in 2013. In March 2015, the MOD announced the deployment of two Sentinel R.1 aircraft to provide surveillance to coalition forces fighting as part of the military intervention against ISIL. And although the fleet has been reduced to four aircraft it service date extended to 2021. Two examples of the earlier Global 5000 perform the ELINT/SIGINT roles with the Indian Air Force for the R&AW, India’s external intelligence agency equipped with Elta Systems multi-mission airborne reconnaissance and surveillance. The type is also the basis for the USAF’s E-11A equipped with the Northrop Grumman Battlefield Airborne Reconnaissance Node (BARN) that allows disparate battlefield communications systems to share data. A heavily modified Global 6000 is being marketed by the Saab Group as the GlobalEye airborne surveillance system. Equipped with the latest version of its Erieye, the Extended Range (ER) radar designed to work in severe clutter and September / October 2017 – EDR
M The Brazilian Air Force R-99B
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N Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW)
jamming conditions and detect moving ground targets through long-range wide area GMTI. A comprehensive suite of sensors, including ESM/ ELINT, EO/IR sensor, maritime surveillance radar SATCOM and IFF/ADS-B are integrated into the latest generation of C2 system. The GlobalEye’s multi-role capability enables all tactical functions can be simultaneously accessible form any of the five operator workstations. The two-pilot glass cockpit is equipped with a head-up display (HUD) with synthetic vision system (SVS) and a high-resolution enhanced vision system (EVS) camera. Flying faster and climbing quicker than any other business jet in its class, the GlobalEye has an endurance of more than 11 hours. The United Arab Emirates Air Force’s Joint Aviation Command is the lead customer for the aircraft. Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation has been converting business jets into military platforms. Three Gulfstream III aircraft are operated by the Indian Air Force in the EW role while two Swedish Air Force Gulfstream IVs are equipped with ELINT/ SIGINT sensors. Gulfstream’s special mission modification facility in Savannah, Georgia has been turning its twin Rolls-Royce BR710C4-11 turbofan powered G550 long-range business jets into ISR platforms. 28
A SIGINT version was developed in 2006 by a US-Israeli consortium for the Israel Air Force (IAF) known as the Shavit. Its special electronic missions payloads installed in a canoe faring beneath the forward fuselage include the Elta Systems EL/ I-3001 airborne integrated SIGINT system with communications intelligence/electronics intelligence (COMINT/ELINT) functions. The three Shavits have a crew of two pilots and up to 12 mission crew. Two Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) versions of the G550, known as the Eitam, have also been delivered to the IAF. Equipped with the Elta Systems EL/W-2085 mission suite including phased array AEW radar, integrated IFF subsystem, COMINT/ELINT subsystems and at least six operator stations. Four CAEW G550s have been delivered to the Republic of Singapore Air Force and two to the Italian Air Force. The Royal Australian Air force is acquiring up to five G550s modified by L3 Technologies for ISR and electronic warfare duties. The US Navy has a single AEW G550 on its inventory while Gulfstream is offering a G550-based special missions platform to replace the US Air Force’s JSTARS for its ground surveillance mission. The aircraft is also in the running to replace the USAF’s fleet of fourteen EC-130H Compass Calls with the roles of electronic warfare, suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) and offensive counter-information. Although the numbers are low, modern longrange high performance business jets are a fertile source of cost effective military special mission aircraft in this niche market. J September / October 2017 – EDR
© David Oliver
versions of the Gulfstream G550 business jet have been acquired by the air Forces of Israel, Italy, Singapore and Australia.
Counter-IED: a multidimentional threat? By Paolo Valpolini
MAY 26, KENYA : 11 police officers killed in two days. Two police officers were killed yesterday after their vehicle ran over explosives in Liboi, Garissa County. The death brings to 11 the number of police officers killed in Garissa and Mandera counties in two days.
MAY 27, AFGHANISTAN : at least 18 people, mostly civilians, were killed when a suicide car bomber targeted a convoy of provincial security forces in eastern Afghanistan.
MAY 31, SOMALIA : according to the media Puntland security officials seize to a number of explosives in the town of Bosaso, which were being transported on a truck full off vegetables.
MAY 31, AFGHANISTAN : a powerful vehicle bomb hit the diplomatic area of Kabul, killing at least 80 people and injuring 350.
JUNE 3, CAMEROON : t wo children carrying explosives blew themselves up on Friday near a camp in northern Cameroon housing civilians displaced by Nigeria’s Boko Haram militants, killing nine people and wounding 30.
JUNE 3, AFGHANISTAN : at least 15 people were killed when three back-to-back explosions ripped through a funeral Saturday held for one of the demonstrators killed during anti-government protests Friday.
quick summary of eight days of a tentative “IED News” which certainly does not account for some minor incidents happened where the control over such incidents is absent. The threeletter acronym has quite disappeared from Western dailies since US and European troops are less engaged in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, however the above examples show how much the threat remains, also in Africa, where the French Army had numerous casualties due to that sort of weapon, the use of IEDs in that continent leading many regular armies to acquire highly armoured vehicles. Only to mention Afghanistan, in January-Nay 2017 explosives caused EDR – September / October 2017
1,229 civilians deaths and injuries, a 53% increase compared to the harm seen in the same period last year, 88% of all civilian casualties in the first five months having been caused by IEDs. However things may get even worst: with non-state actors capable to acquire COTS unmanned air systems (UAS) the IED issue has acquired a further physical dimension, shifting from 2-D to 3-D. According to numerous sources UAS-borne IEDs have been used in different areas of the world, such as Colombia, the Gaza strip, Iraq, and Syria, by different actors, Hezbollah and the Islamic State among them. Will thus CounterUAS systems acquire a Counter-IED role? Probably yes, at least in certain theatres of operation. 29
M A statistic of the IED incidents in Afghanistan
from 2004 to mid-2010. Even today Afghanistan remains one of the areas with the highest rate of IED incidents.
© P. Valpolini
P Aselsan of Turkey is developing
a stand-off explosive detection system that aims at revealing the presence of explosives at 30 metres distance in near real time.
The increase of systems used to deploy IEDs, UAS can also be used to deliver them into a certain location with minimal footprint, as well as mass production of those items as seen in Syria and Iraq, makes it more and more important to “attack the network”, that is trying to locate and disrupt the IED production chain, as behind an IED accident there is an organisation with individuals that emplace, build, store the relevant materiel, acquire it on the market, and eventually do some R&D to develop new systems. This is something that deals mostly with intelligence work done by specialists, and initiated on the field, starting from evidences collected on scene after an IED incident or, even better, when an IED is neutralised before detonation. Sampling is known as Level 1 Exploitation, and is performed by specialists, the evidences collected being then processed intheatre through forensic investigation requiring a dedicated facility, that is Level 2 Exploitation. To this end the European Defence Agency developed in 2010 a Multi National Theatre Exploitation Laboratory MNTEL which was delivered to France in mid-2011 which deployed it in Afghanistan since August 2011, the laboratory being supported by Austria, Italy, Lux emburg, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. Intelligence gained from the Laboratory was fed into the intelligence channels while some materiel was send back to Europe for Level 3 examination in a full scale crime laboratory. The mobile laboratory, was redeployed to the Netherlands in July 2014; this country is the lead nation for the Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL), based in Soesterberg, that provides a permanent technical exploitation training capability. With the Netherlands as lead nation, ten other EDA member states take part in the programme, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. In early June 2017 a second JDEAL was delivered, the training facility having now reached its full operational capability. The new laboratory is based on mission essential equipment and comes under pneumatic tents rather than in shelters, being thus lighter and more deployable. September / October 2017 – EDR
projects includes a UAS-mounted confirmation system the air platform selected being Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100.
Once on the field, military personnel can only try to locate and avoid or neutralise IEDs in their various forms, including suicide bombers, which means expertise, training, sensors, the simplest being the Eyeball Mark One, and actuators, usually jammers or high power microwaves, lasers also becoming art of the game. Just to give an idea of the issue, standoff IEDs and suicide bombers detection systems market increased from 250 million US$ in 2009 to 1,500 million in 2014. In major theatres of operations Route Clearance Packages (RCPs) usually operate on main roads used by convoys and patrols, in order to prevent incidents, however planting a roadside bomb can require a very short time, thus the safety provided by an RCP is only statistical. Moreover parking vehicles, that can easily be considered VB-IEDs (Vehicle Borne-IEDs) in chokepoints is a way of disrupting freedom of movement even if the threat is not real; not only it slows down movements, but it also saturates response capabilities, C-IED teams being available in small numbers. Not much is available in terms of new systems. Since the terrorist threat has moved from downrange to our nation’s territories (in fact it has always been there but now it has become a reality) information in this field has become more and more classified. This said, something is known about combined initiatives, while in some exhibitions something new in terms of equipment has emerged. EDR – September / October 2017
M One of the EDA IED Detection Programme
M To enforce the “attack the network” concept
EDA decided to develop a deployable laboratory capable to process evidences collected in theatre to track the production chain. The European Defence Agency (EDA) is promoting initiatives among member nations to develop new systems, the IEDDET programme (IED Detection) being an example. IEDDET aims at developing and demonstrating multisensor detection systems for countering IEDs in order to support the development of improved Route Clearance Capabilities. The programme is supported Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland and includes three projects, each one addressing different phases of route clearance operations: early warning, standoff detection and confirmation & identification. The former is known as VMEWI3 (Vehicle Mounted Early Warning of Indirect Indicators of 31
and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) in June 2017 the organisation based in Soesterberg, Netherlands, reached its full operational capability.
M The effects of a vehicle borne improvised
explosive device exploded near the German Embassy and a US base in early 2009. The explosion killed and wounded multi-national personnel and damaged vehicles and nearby buildings.
M With the delivery of the second Joint Deployable Exploitation
© P. Valpolini
M The Italian Army selected Iveco DV’s LMV as its standard vehicle for
route clearance packages. N This drawing shows how a laser-based
stand-off system would detect vapours generated by buried explosives.
EDR – September / October 2017
© P. Valpolini
M A 3 kW laser effector aimed at neutralise
IEDs, installed in the remotely controlled weapon station, is proposed by Rheinmetall for the Leopard 2 ugprade.
A view of the latest configuration of Thales Eclipse multiband active-reactive jammer, which will equip French Army Griffon and Jaguar armoured vehicles.
IEDs) and aims at detecting indirect indicators of IED’s by using forward looking camera systems installed on unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). It is led by Netherlands TNO in cooperation with industry, SME, academia and research institutions. The detection project is known as MUSICODE (MUlti-Sensor platform for Ied COmponent DEtection) and will also be mounted on UGVs. It will employ a combination of downward looking and forward looking sensors, and exploit information from the early warning system to further improve efficiency and is coordinated by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). Last but not least comes CONFIDENT (Confirmation and Identification), led by the Armament and September / October 2017 – EDR
M For the vehicles that are part of the French Army Scorpion programme
Thales developed the Eclipse active-reactive jammer, here seen in one of the first configurations. (Thales) Beside High Power Microwave systems, used to induce high currents in electronic circuits controlling IEDs detonation, in order to neutralise them “melting” some of their elements, lasers are also appearing. At IDEX 2017 a Leopard 2 MBT exhibited on the Rheinmetall stand was fitted with a 3 kW laser, installed on the remotely controlled weapon station mounted over the tank turret, its task being of disrupting unexploded © US Army
Defence Technology Agency (ARWT) from Austria, a UGV- and UAS-mounted system which task will be the confirmation and the identification of electronic parts, explosives and CBRN payloads. The selected air platform is Schiebel Camcopter S-100, CONFIDENT also providing complementary early warning capabilities. Launched in April 2017 IEDDET should bring to a final joint demonstration to be conducted in Austria in late 2019.
P IEDs are among the deadliest threats for tactical
and logistic convoys, the insurgents using them to disrupt freedom of movement.
EDR – September / October 2017
Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, fitted with a VISOR ground penetrating radar.
ordnance or improvised explosive devices; to be effective this of course requires first to identify the IED, however the laser can be “fired” even against something suspicious, and in that case not much harm will be caused. A few months later, at IDEF 2017 the Turkish company Aselsan exhibited the technological demonstrator of its LIBS-R, acronym for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy – Raman. This standoff explosive detection system is being developed to allow initially a quicker and more thorough control at VCPs (Vehicle Check Points), the end game being however to establish RCPs (Rolling Check Points), i.e. with bridges over roads that check all vehicles moving on the road, triggering an alarm when a suspect car or truck runs under the sensor bridge. According to company scientists any vehicle carrying explosive would leak a small cloud of gas indicating the presence of the explosive itself. LIBS allows to identify single elements through laser reflect radiation. It does not need a prepared sample, it is extremely quick, a single analysis requires a few seconds, and allows a broad coverage of elements including lighter ones such © US Army
© US Army
M US Army Husky belonging to the US Army 10th Brigade Engineer
M One of the many weapons caches found
and destroyed by Afghan and coalition security force during a security operation in Khugyani district, Ghazni province. as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sodium, magnesium and calcium. While LIBS allows to identify elements, Raman spectroscopy allows to identify molecules, the use of both techniques reducing false alarms and allowing to identify suspect vehicles, the false alarm rate being further reduced by filters, algorithms and a data library which is constantly updated, allowing to get rid September / October 2017 – EDR
easy upgrade with new capabilities through waveform upgrade or technology insertion, such as extension up to 6 GHz and sectorial Direction Finding capacity up to 2.5 GHz. The baseline configuration uses one transmitting and one receiving antennas, covering respectively the 20-2500 MHZ and the 20-6000 MHZ bands, an optional antenna being required to transmit in the 2500-6000 MHz band.
N N15-The Medium Mine Protected Vehicle Type
II is one of the latest route clearance assets that entered service with the US Army, the first unit to receive it in November 2016 being the 576th Clearance Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade.
© US Army
of what might be defined ad “clutter”, taking that word from the radar world. LIBS-R is still at laboratory level, although it has been tested in the field, and proved capable to detect explosives such as TNT, ANFO and C4 at stand-off ranges around 2.5 meters. The aim is to reach a standoff capacity of over 30 meters no date for product availability having been provided. Jammers remain one of the solutions for neutralising RC-IEDs, one of the most recent being Thales Eclipse, a scalable and modular system that is being developed to equip the French Army vehicles part of the Scorpion programme. It features active, reactive and hybrid inhibition capability, with up to eight wideband transmitters and four wideband receivers. Four independent power amplifiers allow to cover the 20-2500 MHz frequency band. However modularity allows
EDR – September / October 2017
P A member of the 380th Expeditionary Civil
Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician, disables a training improvised explosive device. C-IED training is a key element in fighting this threat.
US: FROM TEMPORARY TO PERMANENT ORGANISATION Established in February 2006 the US JIEDDO (Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization) was formed as a temporary agency aimed at countering the IED threat that emerged in Iraq and then spread in Afghanistan. In ten years of existence the threats faced by Western soldiers in many theatres of operation have evolved, among them the improvised threats, which have become more and more effective and that are definitely there to stay. Hence the US decision to shift from a temporary to a more stable organization, JIEDDO be coming the JIDA (Joint Improvised-threat Defeat Agency), its scope having widened from the mere IEDs to a more global “improvised threat”. This said available budget started to shrink, in 2008 JIEDDO could count on a 4 billion US$ financing while JIDA
had around half billion US$ as it became a combat support agency. However the decision was then taken to impede JIDA to become an autonomous agency, thus in January 2016 it became part of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency becoming JIDO (Joint Improvised-threat Defense Organization). With that the organisation has widened its scope, and is not anymore limited to the fight against IEDs and the networks that design, produce and use them. Moreover as the military is often involved in homeland operations, new wording has also been adopted when cooperating with local authorities and other Agencies. How much the US organisation initially formed to deal with IEDs will be effective in its new form, and how much it will further evolve to cope with new threats, remains to be seen.
September / October 2017 – EDR
© US Navy
M US Navy F/A-18C Super Hornet operated by VFC-12 Fighting Omars in the aggressor
role wearing Russian Air Force-style fighter camouflage.
Red Air Support By David Oliver It was during the Vietnam War that the US Air Force and Navy established special aggressor or adversary squadrons that were trained to act as an opposing, or Red, force in military exercises.
he aggressor squadrons use enemy tactics, techniques, and procedures to give a realistic simulation of air combat. Since it was impractical to use actual enemy aircraft and equipment, surrogate aircraft are used to emulate potential adversaries. The first formal use of dissimilar aircraft for training was in 1968 when the US Navy Fighter Weapons School used the A-4 Skyhawk to simulate the performance of the MiG-17. The success of formalised Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) led to the USAF establish its own Adversary Squadrons. At the end of the Cold War, many of the USAF aggressor squadrons were disbanded although the EDR – September / October 2017
US Navy retains VFC-12 Fighting Omars equipped with F/A-18C Super Hornets finished in camouflage schemes that replicate those worn by the latest Russian combat aircraft, but even this unit’s future is in doubt.
The end of military “aggressors” Due to a shortage of pilots and aircraft cost per hour and availability the US services currently outsource aircraft for adversary training, and a number of NATO air forces are following their lead. One of the leading providers in the contract Red Air support is Draken International. 39
© Draken/Frank Crébas
M D raken International operates a fleet of 14 A-4 Skyhawk aircraft including
former Royal New Zealand Air Force A-4Ks. Owned by CAE, Draken is the only contract air service company globally operating fighters with modern fire-control radars and 4th generation capabilities. With a fleet of over 80 tactical fighter aircraft, Draken owns and operates the world’s largest commercial fleet of tactical ex-military aircraft. These include ex-Israeli Air Force A-4N and exRoyal New Zealand Air Force A-4K Skyhawks, and former Czech Air Force L-159E Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) equipped with jamming pods, radar warning receivers, electronic countermeasures (ECM) and captive air training missiles. Draken supports military training objectives in the US and internationally, providing cost savings over the use of traditional military fighter assets for all branches of the United States Military, the Department of Defense, the French Navy, the Dutch Weapons School and allied international militaries. Draken is also bidding for Canada’s Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) programme which is currently provided by the Canadian 40
company Discovery Air Defence. With a fleet of A-4N Skyhawks and Dornier Alpha Jets equipped with radar emission simulation sets (RESS), ECM, threat emissions simulators (TES), modernised IFR and tactical navigation avionics. Since 2015 Discovery Air Defence has been proving training services to the German Air Force with seven A-4N Skyhawks based at Wittmund Air Base and delivering 1,200 hours per year of adversary air training, in collaboration with Air Affairs Australia. In March 2017 the company won a two-year contract from the Commonwealth of Australia to provide Red Air and fighter support to the Royal Australian Air Force, joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) training to the Australian Army and anti-surface training for the Australian Navy with three Alfa Jets based at Williamtown, New South Wales. Air Affairs Australia owns and operates a fleet of special mission Learjet 35 and Beech King Air aircraft, providing specialised air training support services to the Australian Defence Force including target towing. September / October 2017 – EDR
© David Oliver
M Discovery Air Defence
provides Red Air support to the Canadian Air Force, and the German Air Force based at Wittmund Air Base with A-4N Skyhawks.
M Aero L-39ZA aircraft belonging to
the Textron-owned company Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) which is heavily involved providing aggressor training for the US armed forces.
EDR – September / October 2017
The third major competitor in the contracted air training market is Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) which was acquired by Textron Airborne Solutions earlier this year. For the last 20 years, has trained US Navy, Marine, Air Force and Army aircrew, in the air-to-ship, air-to-air, and air-to-ground sectors with over 42,000 hours of tactical flying support. ATAC is the only civilian organization approved to train the US Navy’s elite 41
M Cobham, which delivers EW training
to the UK MoD with Falcon 20s, is teamed with Draken to bid for the UK Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme. Fighter Weapons School, also known as “Topgun”, and is the only civilian organisation to train USAF F-22 Raptor pilots. With a fleet of 26 IAI Kfir F21s, former Swiss Air Force Hunter Mk.58s and Czech Aero L-39ZAs based at four location in the United States and one in Japan, they are flown by 30 exmilitary instructors with a minimum of 1,200 flight hours.
Replacing the “Reds” All three companies are bidding for the delivery of operational readiness training under the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme which is expected to be awarded in September 2018. ASDOT will replace current contracted providers of Red 42
Air and electronic warfare (EW) training for the three UK armed forces in 2020. Current providers include the Babcock operated Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit (FRADU) with a fleet of BAe Hawk T.1s leased to the Royal Navy from the Royal Air Force based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall. Cobham Special Mission has delivered EW training to the MoD with Falcon 20 aircraft for the past 30 years and the RAF’s aggressor role is carried out by Hawk T.1s of No 100 Squadron based at RAF Leeming. Cobham has announced that it has signed a Teaming Agreement with Draken International for jointly developing solutions for the ASDOT requirement. Its CEO and President Peter Nottage, said: “Cobham already has very considerable internal capabilities and experience in both the live and synthetic environments, but we continue to build on that core, internally and through strategic partnerships to offer world leading threat training across the full spectrum of the Live, Virtual and Constructive environment. This is about delivering world leading, full scope training services and this September / October 2017 – EDR
© David Oliver
M The Textron Airland Scorpion light attack
aircraft has been selected by Thales and QinetiQ team bid for ASDOT programme.
teaming with Draken adds a highly experienced and capable agile fighter training capability to the mix”. A consortium of Textron Airborne Solutions, Thales and QinetiQ is planning to offer Textron Airland’s Scorpion light attack aircraft as a platform for its ASDOT bid. QinetiQ would provide the aircraft and pilots and integrate the equipment and certify the aircraft for synthetic training and target towing. Thales will install sensors and EW systems while Textron will be able to utilise ATAC’s expertise in the industry Leonardo, Discovery Air Defence and Inzpire Ltd. have teamed to bid for the ASDOT programme to provide accurate, reliable, safe and representative threats to the British Armed Forces. Inzpire are experts in team and collective training. They provide an independent exercise management team to the RAF’s Air Battlespace Training Centre, as well as supplying expertise within the RAF’s Air Warfare Centre through the management of large-scale live training exercises. For ASDOT, EDR – September / October 2017
following on from its existing training delivery, Inzpire will act as “Red One” by producing, leading and executing the Aggressor plan. A number of European operators provide limited Red Air Support to armed forces. GFD Air Service based at the NATO Air Base at Hohn in Germany operates a fleet of 14 Learjet 35As for optimum training support on the different weapons systems used by the German Army, Air Force and Navy as target tugs using the Do-SK6 or equipped with radar threat simulators and EW training systems. When simulating aerial targets, GFD aircraft works both with and without towed targets. It trains soldiers from the German Armed Forces how to handle various weapons systems, or carry out trial and evaluation flights for research institutes. Another German company E.I.S. Group offers a number of different types of simulation and training services with its own highly experienced ex-military team of pilots and a fleet of Pilatus PC-9 aircraft. The main focus of this business lies on the training of flight air controllers, test pilots, and regular training of air traffic controllers as well as antiaircraft defense training. It provides target towing and target demonstration missions, Red Air support, and flexible and cost effective Fighter Controller Training by using its aircraft to simulate Bogeys, Bandits and friendly fighter support. 43
M Two of Saab Special Flight Operations (SFO)
Learjet 35As equipped with target towing winches and EW pods.
The Saab Group has a long history of providing airborne training support to the Swedish armed forces. Its f leet of Learjet 35As and Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft can carry external low winches and EW or jamming pods. All targets are optimised to provide effective gunnery and missile practice and testing, for both surface-to-air and air-to-air exercises. Depending on customer requirements, a range of targets can be provided, having all been developed for different augmentation, such as radar, laser and infrared. Saab Special Flight Operations (SFO) trains air defence crews in the latest EW and EP developments across a number of different scenarios, to ensure the rigour of the training. Both air-to-air and air-to-ground EW training is provided, from basic and medium training, through to advanced levels. Adversary f light profiles are f lown with or without Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) for AA and AD systems. The aircraft can be equipped with radar threat emitter simulators for ESM 44
training and the radar sphere f light calibration of radar stations. Saab SFO has long-term contracts to provide adversary training with armed forces of Austria, France and Greece. The company is looking to replace some of its aircraft and surplus Swedish Air Force Saab 105 twin-jet flight and weapons trainers are an option for higher performance Red Air support. At DSEI 2017, Saab announced the Gripen Aggressor based on the proven Gripen C-series fighter customised for the aggressor role. Saab sees potential for the platform as a high-level aggressor option within both the United States Air Force’s Adversary Air (ADAIR) and UK ASDOT requirements, and wherever users look to prepare pilots for the challenges of sophisticated modern air combat. As the global defense and military climate changes, the need has never been greater for costeffective and professional contract air support. There is definitely a global shift among coalition militaries on how its warfighters accomplish readiness training. Now more than ever, operational forces need to be challenged against a realistic, threat-representative training adversary with enhanced capabilities and a capacity that allows 4th and 5th generation combat aircraft to train effectively. J September / October 2017 – EDR
© Nikolai Novichkov
P Kh-38MLEh air-to-surface modular
missile with laser seeker.
KTRV ramps up manufacturing capacity By Nikolaï Novichkov The Defense News, a leading US specialized newspaper, has ranked Russia`s JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) 32nd in its Top 100 (2017) rating of the world’s biggest defense enterprises, a revving up compared with the 37th place held by the company in the rating for 2016.
EDR – September / October 2017
ccording to the media outlet, KTRV earned a defense revenue of USD2.886 billion last year, 20% up compared with 2015 (USD2.387 billion), and a total one of almost USD3 billion (more exactly, USD2.92 billion). Therefore, the defense production accounted for 98% of the company`s total revenue, making KTRV one of the world`s biggest manufacturer of air-to-air missile weaponry, according to the Defense News. The Corporation was included in the Top 100 for the first time in 2001, holding the 31st place with 2014 defense revenue of USD2.812 billion. Despite harsh economic environment and unstable exchange rates, KTRV hung on, having been ranked 37th in the Top 100 for 2016 with 2015 defense revenue of USD2.387 billion. The Corporation consolidated 45
© Nikolai Novichkov
P Kh-35UEh air-to-surface anti-ship missile
under Su-34 fighter. its market positions in this year`s Top 100 rating, having earned a defense revenue of nearly USD3 billion in 2016. At present, KTRV is shoring up on the global market of missile weaponry. According to the Corporation`s Director General Boris Obnosov, the company plans to export defense hardware worth USD 0.9-1 billion this year. “The volumes of our export can be described as stable, as we keep pace with the same level or [sometimes] exceed it,” he pointed out. According to Obnosov, KTRV has been granted with export rights by Russia`s watchdogs. The Corporation heavily invests in the development of new air-to-surface (AS) guided weapons. For instance, KTRV demonstrated a new family of modular AS missiles designated Kh-38MEh at the recent defense shows in Russia, namely the 13th International Aerospace Show (MAKS 2017) and Army-2017 international military technical forum held outside Moscow in July and August respectively. The family comprises four missiles fitted with inertial satellite navigation, inertial thermal imaging, inertial active radar and inertial semi-active laser seekers. They are designated Kh38MKEh, Kh-38MTEh, Kh-38MAEh and Kh38MLEh respectively. According to the official portfolio of KTRV, the Kh-38MEh-family missiles 46
have a range of 3-40km. They also feature a target hit probability of 80% in a non-contested area and 60% in and electronically jammed area. The missiles can engage a wide range of armored, hard-skin and soft-skin single and group targets, as well as surface offshore objects. According to Obnosov, the Kh-59M2Eh and Kh-59MK2 air-launched guided missiles are among the most sophisticated AS weapons developed by the Corporation. KTRV pays a special attention to the extending of the weapons` range. For instance, the Kh-35Eh anti-ship missile (ASM) has a launch range of up to 130km, while its updated variant, the Kh-35UEh – up to 260km. The maximum launch range of the Kh-31PD anti-radiation missile has been increased to 250km, compared with 110km of its predecessor, the Kh-31P. The Kh-31AD air-launched ASM can engage a target at a distance of up to 160km, while the previous modification of the missile, the Kh-31A can be launched at a maximum range of 70km. According to Obnosov, the Corporation is improving the jamming resistance of its weapons also. “The enhancement of the onboard electronics and the development of new engines and materials are necessary,” the head of KTRV pointed out. Obnosov added that the Corporation also modernizes its naval weapons. “We are integrating the Kh-35UEh ASM with the Bal coastal defense missile system,” he said. The Corporation is testing the newest Grom-Eh1 missile and a wide range of air-launched weapons for the Su-57 (ex-name PAK FA) fifth-generation fighter. “The Grom is passing the trials that will be finished at an early date. The development of the weaponry for the PAK FA has run into the practical stage, as we are making control flights and switching to the launches,” Obnosov pointed out. The CEO emphasized the areas of the air-toair missile weaponry modernization. The range previously considered as short is becoming medium, a medium one is transferring to long, while a long range is growing to a beyond-the-horizon one. The main tasks in this area are to enhance the missiles` jamming resistance, in-flight over-load capacities required to engage maneuvering aerial targets September / October 2017 – EDR
© Nikolai Novichkov
including unmanned ones and firing range. The solving of the above-mentioned tasks will require an updated component base. According to Obnosov, the RVV-BD long-range and the RVV-SD mediumrange air-to-air guided missiles have received the newest guidance systems with enhanced sensitivity and jamming resistance. As a result, their effective firing range has been extended in a drastic manner. According to the head of KTRV, the usage of the Russian-made guided bomb and missile weapons during the counter-terror operation of the Aerospace Forces (VKS) in Syria has improved their market outlook in a drastic manner. “The newest guided aerial bombs are fitted with satellite navigation, in particular, the KAB-500S-Eh. The interest in the laser-guided ‘smart bombs’, for instance, the KAB1500LG-F-Eh used in Syria against the terrorists of
the Islamic State [forbidden in Russia] group, has been expressed also. It has resulted in the shoring up of the KTRV`s position in the global ratings of arms manufacturers,” the head of the Corporation emphasized. He added that KTRV upgrades its weapons considering the experience of the counterterror actions in Syria among other things. According to Obnosov, KTRV has solved the import substitution issues. “The pieces hardware being produced by the Corporation are independent from foreign-originated components to the full extent. As for example, the Kh-35UEh ASM has received by the ODK-Saturn company [a subsidiary of the United Engine Corporation], while its predecessor, the Kh-35Eh, was powered by a Ukrainian-originated one,” he said adding that the components previously imported from Ukraine are supplied by Russian companies. “We have switched to the manufacturing of innovative production,” Obnosov concluded. J
© Nikolai Novichkov
M Grom-Eh1 air-to-surface missile.
P K AB-500S-Eh guided bomb.
EDR – September / October 2017
RUSSIAN WEAPONS IN SYRIAN CONFLICT
he STATUS Company (www.status-arms.ru) has published a book titled “Russian Weapons in Syrian Conflict”. The book’s editor, Prof. Valery Polovinkin, PhD, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, told EDR that it has been the first analysis of the employment of Russian arms in Syria. The book offers information about the latest and upgraded Russian-made materiel proven in combat in the Syrian theater of operations since September 30, 2015. “The book is the first comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of up-to-date Russian-made weapons in a real war under the harsh climatic conditions and the first analysis of possible changes to the global arms market, caused by the performance of Russian armament in Syria,” the scientist said. According to him, the latest Russian materiel the military is transitioning to should be fit for use in various climes around the world. “We realize full well that combat-proven weapons enjoy a higher demand on the international arms market than the ones lacking a combat record do. Everybody wants reliable hardware tested in battle, because they usually pay a lot of money for it,” Valery Polovinkin stressed. “Previously, Russian arms usually lagged behind US ones in this respect. As is known, the United
States fights on all continents and its weapons are always tested in battle. Now, Russia has the same opportunity owing to the friendly policies of Syria’s leadership,” the scientist noted. “We have tested all of our advanced weapons and demonstrated their capabilities to the whole of the world. This is especially important because many of the current and potential customers for our military gear are situated the same climatic zone or in the ones similar enough”, he emphasized. The book comprising six chapters provides detailed analysis of the Syrian operation of the Russian Aerospace Force, Navy and Army. Of special interest is the chapter covering Western military experts’ analysis of Russian weapons. The global arms market situation preceding Russia’s joining the Syrian conflict has been analyzed and a market assessment has been made based on the combat record of Russian arms in Syria. All information in the book is complemented with tables, graphs, charts and 200 color photographs courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry and TASS Russian News Agency. STATUS Director General Andrei Shansherov told EDR that Russian Weapons in Syrian Conflict has been published both in Russian and in English.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TODAY’S RUSSIAN COMBAT AIRCRAFT AND THEIR AIR-LAUNCHED WEAPONS
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aircraft – and every significant sub-variant – currently available from Russia’s aerospace industry, or otherwise in large-scale service, P. Butowski provides historical background and accurate data relating to production and operators around the world.Volume 2 in the series is dedicated to long-range bombers – including the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 which made their combat debuts over Syria – maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, strategic transport and tanker aircraft, theatre transports, and trainers. The book provides authoritative accounts of Russia’s current and future strategic bomber programmes, as well as other fascinating types including the world’s largest military transport, the An-124, and the new-generation Yak-130 advanced trainer and light attack aircraft. The third book presents a detailed account of all the types of weapon currently used on board Russian-made aircraft and helicopters, including Cold War-era munitions, the various weapons used by Russian aircraft during the Syrian campaign, and the latest precision-guided stores currently in development. The contents of this work encompasses the strategic air-launched weapons that comprise a vital element of Russia’s nuclear forces, including little-known free-fall bombs, strategic and theatre-level air-to-surface missiles, and future projects such as exotic hypersonic weapons. Significant coverage is given over to the uniquely diverse range of tactical airto-surface missiles, including details of their production, guidance methods and applications, with exhaustive tables of specifications. Study of Russian air-to-air missiles includes close-combat, medium-range and long-range types, while inclusion of helicopter-launched missiles extends the scope of this work to anti-armour weapons. Not neglected are the guns and gun pods that make up an important part of Russian aircraft’s arsenals. Where to buy these books? Just hook yourself to www.harpia-publishing.com and discover other interesting titles in the series HHH
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The Rafale in combat UAV revival in Russia Off-the-shelf airborne surveillance counter-IED technology Red Air Support KTRV production