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N° 43 • January/ February 2019

MAGAZINE European Defence Review Eyes in Middle East Skies

India and Pakistan’s Rotary-Wing Requirements

Versatile Fast Patrol Vessels gaining momentum

Middle and Far East: ever change ground combat?

Russia’s KTRV Expands Cooperation for Aftersales Support of Defence Hardware with India

© Naval Group

European developments in conventional submarines

I S S U E N° 43 2019

Publisher: Joseph Roukoz Editor-in-chief: Paolo Valpolini European Defence Review (EDR) is published by European Defence Publishing SAS

The first-of-class Riachuelo S-BR Scorpène for the Brazilian Navy. © Naval Group



European developments in conventional submarines


India and Pakistan’s Rotary-Wing Requirements


Middle and Far East: ever change ground combat?


Eyes in Middle East Skies


Versatile Fast Patrol Vessels gaining momentum


By Luca Peruzzi

By David Oliver

By Paolo Valpolini

By David Oliver

By Luca Peruzzi

Russia’s KTRV Expands Cooperation for Aftersales Support of Defence Hardware with India By Dmitry Fediushko

EDR | January/February 2019


Naval Group - photo credit: ©Naval Group - Design : Seenk


Naval Group is Europe’s leader in naval defence with a strong heritage that stretches back nearly four hundred years The products we offer our clients are as ambitious as they are complex. The innovative solutions we develop safeguard national security interests. To find out more, go to naval-group.com

European developments in conventional submarines By Luca Peruzzi

The Type 214 AIP submarine has been a key element of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ on export market, having been sold to four navies around the world. © NATO

With the resurface of the neglected submarine and underwater weapon threats on the naval and political agendas, both established and emerging navies worldwide are looking to new procurement or upgrading programmes in the submarine sector to counter current and future threats.


uropean submarine and their systems’ developers and builders are today looking to the national and export market to quieter platforms with extended patrol endurance thanks to Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems and combat management networking capabilities, capable to accomplish a wider spectrum of missions including special operations support and strike from the sea.

German endeavours Since the early 1970’s, German naval industry headed by HDW today thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and Atlas Elektronik has designed, built and equipped - in house or abroad with technology transfer agreements - more than 100 conventional submarines of different designs of which almost 100 are today in service with some 19 countries, EDR | January/February 2019


The Singapore Ministry of Defence has acquired four Type 218SG boats, a derivative of Type 214 with Type 212A features, being built by TKMS for delivery from 2021. © Singapore MoD

exoluding Germany. Additional boats are on order or planned with both conventional and air independent propulsion of current and under development design. Although in the 1990s most of TKMS success came with the Type 214 AIP and the German-Italian Type 212A AIP programmes, the German company is today mainly focused on both designs’ evolution. After deliveries to Portugal or local construction with technology transfer programmes in Greece (planning more submarines), South Korea - the last of the KSS-2 program’s Son Won-il-class nine boats built by South Korean’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyards was launched in September 2017 - and Turkey, the focus is today on the Republic of Singapore’s Type 218SG programme and the Indian P-75I tender for six conventional AIP-equipped submarines.

combine the later lengthened hull-design and Fuel Cell AIP propulsion with Type 212A features, the most prominent being the X-rudder stern configuration, which offers enhanced manoeuvrability in confined littoral waters. With a 70m-length, a 2,000 tonnes surface (2,200 tonnes submerged) displacement, the Type 218SG is reportedly being equipped with Type 214 AIP Fuel Cell propulsion package developments, delivering a submerged speed in excess of 15 knots. The combat management system is being co-developed by Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics and German TMKS-fully owned Atlas Elektronik company, the later reportedly also providing the acoustic suite, while the wider-range of mission payloads is reportedly including Leonardo’s Black Shark heavy-weight torpedo (HWT) or its advanced BSA version. In 2019, TKMS will deliver the last of the three boats of the AIP-equipped Dolphin II-class to Israel. With a 68.6 meters length, a 2,050 tonnes surface (2,400 tonnes submerged) displacement and a Fuel Cell AIP propulsion package, the Dolphin-II class

With two contracts awarded respectively in 2013 and 2017, the Singapore Ministry of Defence has acquired four Type 218SG boats, which are being built by TKMS to be delivered from 2021 onwards. A Type 214 derivative, the new boats TKMS has submitted its binding offer last October to develop and build six identical submarines to the AIP-propulsion based Type 212 Common-Design (CD) for Norway and Germany. © NATO 6

EDR | January/February 2019

boats feature 650 mm (in addition to 533 mm torpedo tubes) large launching tubes for cruise missiles or swimmer delivery vehicles. To replace the first-generation threeboats Dolphin-class, Israeli MoD is working to procure a new class of three submarines from TKMS in 2020. The future platforms are expected to feature longer endurance, more advanced weapons, sensors suite and a combat management system with higher automation and a substantial higher content of systems developed and produced by Israeli companies. Based on the 2017’s strategic partnership on submarine cooperation (including also combat management system and anti-ship missiles) between Germany and Norway, originated by the tender to replace the Norwegian navy’s Ula-class boats, and the September 2018’s extensive programme arrangement signed by the two nations’ defence procurement agencies on common submarine acquisition, maintenance, in-service support and training, TKMS has submitted its binding offer last October to develop and build six identical submarines to the AIP-propulsion based Type 212 Common-Design (CD). A joint evaluation of the offer and negotiations towards TKMS have begun with the aim of reaching an agreement and signing a contract in 2019. According to the programme time-schedule released by Norwegian Government, the first boat is to be delivered in 2025 with all four submarines in operational use by 2028. Two identical boats will be delivered to German MoD. To cope with current and future underwater domain challenges, the two countries’ navies, MoDs and industries are looking to further developments to Type 212 design.

Reportedly based on larger displacement and longer platform design, TKMS is offering new fuel-cell AIP and new lithium-ion battery technology, a new combat management system and sensor suite, in addition to an enriched payload basket among other capabilities. The German group has been working on FC AIP with methanol reformer and during Euronaval 2018 announced the development of a new type of Lithium-ion battery system with specialist Saft group. The latter design is part of a study, carried out on behalf of the German procurement office, to support its integration into new submarine projects for Type 212-design as well as refit solutions for in-service platforms. The Type 212 CD will feature a new combat management system (CMS) to be developed, produced and maintained by the new kta Naval Systems joint-venture equally owned respectively by Kongsberg and Thyssenkrupp with its Atlas Elektronik subsidiary. The JV will also act as exclusive CMS supplier for all TKMS boats (new and reportedly upgraded) with international tenders being targeted by the later German Shipyard with the Type 212 design in Poland and The Netherlands. A dedicated version of Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is a potential candidate for arming the Type 212CD together with IDAS missiles.

TKMS continues to offer the Type 209/1400 MOD design, the latest deliveries being for the Egyptian Navy. © Egyptian MoD EDR | January/February 2019


Gallic developments With a long heritage of conventional and nuclear submarines design, construction and support of French MoD and foreign customers, Naval Group has recently reached major milestones in the export-designed Scorpène’s production and technologies transfer programmes for Brazil and India. The first of four Scorpène diesel-electric (S-BR) submarines being built under Brazil’s PROSUB (Programa de Desenvolvimento de Submarinos) programme by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) was launched at Itaguaí facilities on last 14 December.

The first-of-class Riachuelo S-BR Scorpène for the Brazilian Navy was launched on last 14 December at Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) facilities for delivery in 2020. © Naval Group

Built by ICN joint-venture between Odebrecht (59%) and Naval Group (41%) under a technology transfer programme, the four S-BR will be delivered in the 2020-2023 period. © Naval Group


EDR | January/February 2019

ICN is a joint-venture established by Brazil’s Odebrecht (59%) and Naval Group (41%), with the later having operational control responsibility, for which Brazilian Navy retains a “golden share” through Empresa Gerencial de Projectos Navais (EMGEPRON). The latter entity builds on the strategic defence agreement signed between the Brazilian and French Government in December 2008 and the contract awarded to DCNS, today Naval Group, in September 2009 with the scope of respectively deliver a transfer technology package for the local build of the four Scorpène S-BR boats, support for the design and construction of the new submarine build facility run by ICN and naval base in Itaguaì, and the design and manufacturing service related to the non-nuclear elements of Brazil’s first nuclear-powered submarine (SN-BR). With the PROSUB programme and the addition of Brazilian companies to the submarine supply chain, the Brazilian Navy wants to create a sovereign national industrial base. The first-of-class Riachuelo Scorpène SB-R is expected to start sea trials in 2019 for a planned 2020 delivery. The remaining three boats under construction by ICN are expected to be delivered respectively in 2021, 2022 and 2023, while SN-BR construction will follow in the first half of the next decade. Originally developed with Spanish Navantia group for the export market and also sold to Malaysia, Chile and India, the Scorpène design is today characterized by a surface-displacement of 1,600-to-2000 tonnes, an overall length of 66-to-82 meters and a crew of 25-to-44 and a conventional diesel-electric propulsion providing 20+ knots submerged speed. To satisfy the Brazilian Navy’s specific requirements for extended endurance, increased range and a larger crew, the S-BR design features a lengthened hull of 71.6 meters (vs 66.4 meters), a 1,710/1,870 surface/submerged displacement and a 35 members crew.

Group F21 HWTs and MBDA Exocet SM39 Block 2 Mod 2 ASMs. Under the Indian-French Governments agreement and follow-on P-75 contract signed in 2005 for the construction of six Scorpène submarines with an intricate transfer of technology process at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) shipyard under a partnership with Armaris, today Naval Group, The Khanderi boat will be the second Scorpène type submarine the former delivered the firstto be delivered by Indian shipyard MDL in partnership with Naval Group to Indian Navy. © Naval Group of-class Kalvari submarine in December 2017 followed so far by two more boats launch and complete The SB-R presents the fully integrated Naval hull fabrication of all submarines for their Group SUBTICS combat management sysplanned delivery by 2022. With a 67.5 metem, Thales S-Cube acoustic suite with pasters-length, a surface/submerged displacesive flank array sonar, Safran’s conventional ment of 1,615/1,775 tonnes and a 43-comand optronic masts and Thales communicaplement, the Kalvari-class Scorpène boats tions suite. With the Scorpène’s baseline six are equipped with Naval Group SUBTICS 533 mm launching tubes and 18 total weapon and Thales S-Cube acoustic suite, Safran payload, the SB-R will be armed with Naval

The Naval Group is one of the contenders for Royal Netherlands Navy’s Walrus-class submarines replacement programme. © Naval Group

EDR | January/February 2019


The Saab Kockums new generation A26 AIP submarine developed for Swedish Navy generated a family of three variants including the Pelagic, Oceanic and the Extended Range of the middle-size model. © Saab

masts and armed with MBDA SM39 Exocet Block 2 Mod 2 ASMs and initially Atlas Elektronik SUT HWTs, attending new-generation weapon procurement. Naval Group has been working to offer a second generation FC AIP system called FC-2G and based on a diesel oil reformer and liquid oxygen, which demonstrator logged over 5,000 hours by mid-2018. Packaged in an hull section suitable for either new-build boats or modernisation programme, the FC 2G AIP can provide the Scorpène an endurance submerged for two-to-three weeks, depending on the mission. Thanks to its modular architecture, the Scorpène can be fitted with an additional new-generation lithium-ion battery compartment or lengthened to accommodate additional fuel tanks such as the Brazilian S-BR. During Euronaval 2018, Naval Group presented LIBrt, its new generation of lithium-ion batteries system for submarines. It has been developed by a cooperating team including Naval Group, Saft, CEA Tech and EDF R&D in close technical partnership with the French Defence procurement agency. The


EDR | January/February 2019

The three variants of Saab Kockums new generation A26 AIP submarine range from 1,000 to 3,000-3,500 tonnes displacement and an operational endurance with AIP from 20+ to 50+ days. © Saab

Scorpène design is today being promoted in two major procurement campaigns in Europe, specifically in Poland and the Netherlands, as well as in India. In the former programme, to satisfy local operational requirements, the French Government and Naval Group are proposing the Scorpène armed with MBDA MdCN cruise missiles in addition to SM39 Exocet ASMs and Naval Group F21 HWTs. A Scorpène-tailored version is tendering for Indian P-75I new conventional AIP submarines to be equipped with BrahMos cruise missiles.

Swedish undertaking With the signature of the strategic long-term contracting arrangement for the underwater sector between Saab and the Swedish Defence procurement agency in 2014, and the follow-on design and procurement contracts, Saab Kockums is today involved in the production of two new generation boats under the A26 programme and the mid-life upgrading of two A19 Gotland-class boats. Based on the company’s GHOST (Genuine Holistic Stealth) technology, modular design and Swedish navy’s requirements, the new generation A26 platform is focused on littoral operations, but with long-transit capability, as well as long patrol missions with 18+ days of AIP endurance, while acting across the full spectrum of conflict with networking and special forces capabilities. With a 66-meter length, a submerged displacement of just over 2,000 tonnes, the A26 is the first Swedish submarine to be designed as an “AIP” boat from inception with a planned higher availability compared to current-generation A19 submarines. With a forward-positioned boat control room, high-level of automation for a 26-31 crew complement and the latest generation Stirling AIP, the A26 design incorporates a 1.6-meter diameter Multimission Portal between the four 533 mm torpedoes launching tubes, designed to launch and retrieve diverse mission payloads thanks to a 6-meter compartment, which can accommodate alternatively 8 divers, special vehicles, UUVs or ROVs. With an information backbone integrating all combat and ship control systems, the A26 features a decentralized Saab SESUB 960C combat management system, Safran single optronic mast, RESM/CESM as well as a multi-sensor passive sonar suite reportedly based on Atlas Elektronik products portfo-

The biggest boats of A26 submarine family can be fitted with vertical launching tubes for cruise missiles. © Saab

lio and Kongsberg mine and obstacle avoidance, bottom navigation sonars. The armament package features up to 15 underwater weapons, including Tp62 HWTs and future Tp47 light-weight torpedoes. A26 deliveries are planned in the 2022-2024 period, while the A19 MLU programme including the hull lengthening and the incorporation of new equipment including 20 main systems also going into the A26 design, will see the first boat delivery in first-quarter 2019. Based on the A26 design developments, Saab Kockums is today proposing a family of three boats, starting from the Pelagic model with a up to 50-meter length, 1,000 tonnes displacement, a Stirling AIP and diesel electric propulsion with a 20+ days endurance and a 17-25 crew complement. In the same range of Swedish A26 boat, the Oceanic model features a 65-meter length, 2,000 tonnes surface displacement and an AIP endurance at patrol speed of 30+ days with a 17-35 standard complement. The Oceanic ER (Extended Range) is the larger/stretched version of the A26 design. This version features a 80+meters length, a surface displacement of over 3,000 tonnes and an endurance at patrol speed of 50+ days with AIP and a 20-50 standard complement. Capable to operate in artic-to-tropical environments, all versions may be fitted with “sea/air/land weapon systems upon request”. The A26 family can also be fitted with VLS modules for cruise missiles. Saab Kockums has signed in 2016 a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on future submarines and surface ship oppor-

EDR | January/February 2019


Italian MoD is to develop, procure and support four additional AIP boats based on Type 212A with an high degree of national context including AIP and Li-Ion batteries. © NATO

tunities with Polish defence company PGZ, one of the major in-country defence players, proposing the A26 design to meet Poland’s Orka submarine replacement programme for three new boats procurement. More recently in 2018 the Swedish group has partnered with Damen Schelde Shipbuilding to jointly design and build a replacement for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s Walrus-class submarines, proposing the A26 Oceanic ER derivative design with a baseline 8-meter diameter, 82-meter length and a 3,000-3,500 tonnes displacement. Saab Kockums also runs with the A26 for the P-75I Indian tender.

fully digitalized Atlas Elektronik CSU 90-138 electro-acoustic suite, new Hensoldt surveillance OMS 100 optronic mast and SERO 400 conventional attack periscope, latest Kongsberg MSI-90U Mk2 combat management suite, new Indra MRBR 800 ESM, dedicated communication mast with SHF-band SATCOM and Link 16 JREAP-C, in addition to enhanced navigation suite and the new Leonardo’s Black Shark Advanced HWT national version. Calzoni provides all masts except Gabler’s attack periscope, while the submarine endurance on diesel propulsion has been increased by 50%.

Italian effort

Based on the successful Italian Navy’s operations and Fincantieri-lead industrial experiences with U212 programme, the Italian MoD launched the so-called Near Future Submarine (NFS) programme to develop, procure and support four additional boats in two batches characterized by a high degree of national context. The new design will be optimized to feature a range of enhance-

Italy has decided to develop a national underwater capability through an evolution of the current Type U212A AIP submarines. Developed and built under the joint German-Italian programme by TKMS and Fincantieri, the Italian Navy has received four boats, the latter two-boats in an enhanced version with


EDR | January/February 2019

ments, centered on a slightly longer platform with hydrodynamic improvements to the hull and new Li-ion propulsion batteries in addition to a second-generation fuel-cells (FC) AIP system based on national developments. The first two-boats batch is already planned to feature the new batteries while the second one is expected to add the new FC AIP, depending on R&D programme results. The latter is carried out by Fincantieri with Genoa’s University while the Li-ion batteries’ tech R&D project see the participation of La Sapienza University in Rome, Fincantieri and Italian batteries firm FIB-FAAM.

cover the four submarines plus a ten-years logistic support package and an upgraded training center.

Turkish expectations Turkish defence and naval industry are participating to the construction and combat system integration and supplying for the six Reis-class Type 214TN AIP submarines for the Turkish Navy and actively promoting both the systems and platform abroad with an agreement signed between Turkish STM company and German TKMS group.

Among other enhancements, the new platIn addition to the Gölcük Naval Shipyard, form would feature a new submarine’s sail Turkish industry participation includes Havelconcept based on Fincantieri and Calzoni san and Aselsan groups, Milsoft, Ayesas, Koc design with very-low profile periscopes and Information and Defence Technologies, and electrically actuated masts, a fluoropolymer Tubitak-Mam, in addition as well as Roketfoul release hull coating to reduce fuel consan for the weapon systems. In February 2018, sumption and hybrid emergency blowing Turkish STM company has won a contract device, currently under development by T4i in Pakistan for the mid-life update of the and Fincantieri. The new platform will also second of the three Agosta 90B-class diefeature an updated combat and communisel-electric with AIP system, in service with cation suite with a new combat information the Pakistan Navy. In addition to STM, Havelcenter arrangement, Avio steering control san and Aselsan will also participate in the systems, Elettronica’s new RESM/CESM, submarines combat system upgrading. new acoustic systems suite in addition to Leonardo’s Black The Turkish defence and naval Shark Advanced HWT industry is offering a range of systems developed under the Type 214TN AIP and potentially deep submarine procurement programme strike missiles. The to replace the Type 209/1400 model NFS programme conhere depicted. © NATO tract award is expected in 2019 to include initially the new platform developments, construction and delivery of the first batch of two submarines with deliveries from 2025. The whole programme is planned to

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India and Pakistan’s Rotary-Wing Requirements By David Oliver

The Russian twin-engine Ka-226T has been selected for the Indian Army and Air Force Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) requirement. © Russian Helicopters

More than seven decades after the partition of India and creation of Pakistan, tension remains high between the two countries and their armed forces are on constant alert.


ith a current defence budget larger than those of the United Kingdom and France, India has a history of spending

huge amounts of money on indigenous military projects, many of which have failed to reach production while others suffer from protracted development. Typical of these is India’s helicopter procurement programmes.

EDR | January/February 2019


Endless programmes, from LOH to LUH In 2006 a requirement was issued for 197 Light Observation Helicopters (LOH) to replace Indian Air Force (IAF) and Army Chetaks and Cheetahs, licence-built Aerospatiale Alouettes and Lamas. The Eurocopter AS 550C3 was selected but the contract was cancelled in December 2007. The contest was rerun several times under different headings before the Russian Kamov Ka-226T powered by twin Safran Arrius 2G1 turboshafts was selected in December 2014 for the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) requirement as an initial replacement for the Chetak and Cheetah, while at the same time Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was contracted to develop an indigenous LUH. However, four years later Indo-Russian Helicopters Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between HAL and Russian Helicopters, is still looking to start financial negotiations for a firm contract for 197 Ka-226T helicopters with the Indian Defence Ministry worth nearly $1 billion. The programme calls for 60 helicopters to be built in Russia in a fly-away condition, and the remaining 137 to be produced by HAL in India.

The indigenous single-engine Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) LUH is competing with the Ka-226T for the LUH contract. © HAL


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The 3-tonne HAL LUH prototype powered by a single HAL/Safran Shakti iU turboshaft flew for the first time in September 2016 after repeated delays. However the planned 2018 date for the first of 187 production aircraft, 126 for the Army and 61 for the IAF, has already passed while at the beginning of 2019 it was still undergoing a series of pre-production test flights including high altitude cold weather trials.

ALH, LCH and more… In total, more than 350 helicopters are on order for the Indian Army including 115 HAL Dhruv twin-engine Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and 114 HAL Light Combat Helicopters (LCH). The IAF is acquiring additional ALHs and Mi-17V-5 medium transport helicopters to add to 151 of the Russian medium transport helicopters already delivered. Two major IAF helicopter requirements have resulted in US aircraft being selected over India’s longtime provider, Russia. In May 2009, the Indian Ministry of Defence invited bids for 22 combat helicopters and 15 heavylift helicopters. In 2011 the Boeing AH-64E Apache was selected ahead of the Russian Mil Mi-28N and the Boeing CH-47F Chinook emerged as the ‘L-1’ (lowest bidder) in comparison to the Mil Mi-26T2 after both the heavy-lift helicopters had undertaken extensive technical field trials conducted by the IAF. In September 2015, a $2 billion contract was formally signed and the first helicopters US are to be delivered to India in 2019.

An Indian Army HAL Dhruv Mk.III ALH, a twin-engine light utility helicopter operated by all three Indian Services. © David Oliver

As part of the Indian government’s “Make in India” programme, Boeing’s industry partner Dynamatics is building large sections of the Chinook, and the Tata is building the complete fuselage of the Apache. The naval variant of the HAL ALH is also being delivered to the Indian Navy while a long overdue replacement for its ageing Westland Sea King Mk.42 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters has begun with the Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approval in August 2018 for the procurement of 24 naval multirole helicopters (NMRH). Following the breakdown of negotiations with Sikorsky in 2017 for sale of Seahawk

The first of 15 AH-64E Apache combat helicopters ordered for the Indian Air Force flew in June 2018. © Boeing

helicopters, the NMRH will be acquired via a United States Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract for 24 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters valued at $1.8 billion. The DAC also approved the procurement of 111 5-tonne class twin-engine armed light Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) to replace the Indian Navy’s HAL Chetak. Although no type was selected, bids are expected from Airbus Helicopters, HAL, Kamov, Leonardo and Sikorsky.

On the opposing side Pakistan has more modest requirements for replacing its diverse fleets of army and air force helicopters. Although the country increased its 2018 defence budget by 20 %, it is constrained by the US government cancelling $300 million worth of funding and equipment that had earlier been approved under the Coalition Support Fund and Foreign Military Financing schemes. The Pakistan Army Aviation (PAA) operates more than 250 helicopters of 12 different types ranging from the Aerospatiale Alouette to the Mi-171Sh. According to Major General Khalil Dar, General Officer Commanding, Pakistan Army Aviation (PAA), new high

EDR | January/February 2019


Pakistan Army Russian Mi-8 and Mi-171Sh medium multirole helicopters are operated by No 4 Squadron at Dhamial. Š Russian Mo

performance helicopters planned to come on stream will enhance its ability to conduct operations in North Waziristan and other remote and mountainous areas in all-weather, day-and-night environments. Three Chinese upgraded Avicopter Z-10ME attack helicopters, were deployed to Pakistan in 2015 for a series of field trials as the PAA conducted a search for a new attack helicopter. The Z-10s reportedly were not able to meet performance and reliability requirements for operations in the austere environments and were returned to China. It was then announced that PAA had decided to procure four new Russian Mi-35M attack-transport helicopters as a part of a comprehensive programme to provide better close air support for counterinsurgency operations.

Fennecs and Vipers Also part of the this programme was the acquisition of a fleet of eight Airbus Helicopters H125M Fennec armed scouts, the type cancelled by India for its LOH requirement, that were delivered to the PAA in 2016. The


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Fennecs have the capability of operating at more than 3,166 m (10,000 ft), and they were planned to be operated at high altitudes alongside AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, twelve of which were ordered via a $58 million US FMS contract to be delivered in 2018. This was the first export sale of the twin-engine Bell AH-1Z Viper. The FMS for the T-700 GE 401C-powered AH-1Z Vipers equipped with H-1 Technical Refresh Mission computers, included AN/ AAQ-30 Target Sight Systems, 629F-23 Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency Communication Systems, H-764 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems, Helmet Mounted Display/Optimized Top Owl, APX-117A Identification Friend or Foe, AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems, AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispenser Sets, AN/APR-39C(V)2 Radar Warning Receivers, Joint Mission Planning Systems, and General Dynamics M197 20 mm gun systems. The Pakistan contract also covered the procurement of 1,000 AGM-114 R Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.

twin-engine (TAI) T129 ATAK attack and reconnaissance helicopter. TAI was to produce 30 T129 ATAK combat helicopters for Pakistan following a $1.5 billion contract signed in July 2018 after four-years of negotiations and demanding field trials ended. Again Pakistan would be the first export customer for the type. However, following The Pakistan Army Aviation has taken delivery of H125M Fennec armed scout helicopters for high altitude operations. © Airbus Helicopters the breakdown of relations between the United Sates and Turkey the US Department of Defense The new Fennec and Viper helicopters (DoD) denied Turkey an export license were procured to replace the current Pakisrequired for the T129’s T800-4A turboshaft tan Army Aviation combat teams of AH-1S engines made in the United States by the Cobras and Bell 412EPs that are restricted to Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company operating at less than 2,435 m (8,000 ft). (LHTEC) partnership between Honeywell and Rolls-Royce.

The Turkish connection

However, in June 2018 the United Sates embargoed the sale and transfer of the AH-1Z Vipers and it is not clear when or if the helicopters would be delivered. As a result of the embargo, the PAA selected the Turkish Aerospace Industries tandem two-seat,

It has been reported that Pakistan and Turkey have now agreed that if the ban continues they would seek a replacement for the US engines, possibly from France, but this will require additional certification and seriously delay delivery of the helicopters.

The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 ATAK attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter has been selected by the PAA to replace its AH-1S Cobras. © David Oliver

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The Pakistan Air Force operates the Leonardo AW139 for day/night and maritime search and rescue role. © Leonardo

Enters Italy A less contentious contract announced by Leonardo in 2016 was for an undisclosed number of AW139 twin-engine medium multirole helicopters valued at $79 million for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). With deliveries starting in 2017 the aircraft are used to perform utility and transport operations. According to Leonardo, the AW139 trials in Pakistan had involved having to operate in Multan under a temperature of 49°C and operating over the Karakoram Range, including high-altitude take-offs and landings on unprepared surfaces at 4,980 m (16,300 ft). In 2018 the PAF announced that it had formally re-equipped its No.88 SAR Squadron with the newly procured AW139 helicopters, the unit being redesignated No.88 Combat Support Squadron and Advanced Helicopter Training School and stationed at Shahbaz Air Base under Southern Air Command. PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman stated, “The Pakistan Air Force, after an in-depth analysis of the search-andrescue platforms available worldwide, selec-


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ted AW139 as the most effective solution for our requirements.” The CAS outlined that the AW139 was sought to equip the PAF for nighttime and maritime SAR operations. In February 2017, Leonardo announced that Pakistan had ordered another batch of AW139, two for the PAF and two for the PAA in addition to the five AW139s already in service. The Advanced Helicopter Training School at Shahbaz will train both PAF and PAA aircrew. The Pakistan Navy is in a similar position as the Indian Navy in having an ageing fleet of Westland Sea King ASW helicopters that require replacing, although three former Royal Navy HC.4s were delivered in 2017 to serve with 111 Squadron alongside the unit’s six Sea King Mk.45/45Bs that were delivered in 1975. In August 2018 one of the Sea King HC.4s crashed into the Arabian Sea off South Sindha province during a routine flight with the loss of six crewmembers, but to date no replacement has been selected. Three months later Pakistan Navy ships and Sea Kings took part in the international Russian-Pakistani counter-piracy exercise Arabian Monsoon.

The Jordan Army has beefed up its tracked armour fleet acquiring surplus Marder 1A3 from Germany, refurbished by Rheinmetall. Š P. Valpolini

Middle and Far East: ever change ground combat? By Paolo Valpolini Armoured vehicles of any kind, from main battle tanks, to infantry fighting vehicles, to armoured personnel carriers, tracked or wheeled, remain key equipment for Middle and Far East armies, especially for those involved in some kind of confrontation against internal or external threats.


bviously, many companies today look at those markets with interest, although a number of potential customers are starting to develop their own industries, some of which still needing however some form of cooperation from entities with a greater know-how. That said, some political situations have led part of the potential markets either to close


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down or to present difficulties on export. While Syria, mostly a Russian feud for armoured systems, is involved intro a fratricide war since many years, the recent scandal linked to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, carried out in early October 2018 in Turkey at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, has led many nations to reconsider their deals with the Saudi kingdom.

Saudi Arabia, a partner or not? If this is true for potential new contracts, Saudi Arabia is however doing its utmost trying to avoid becoming blacklisted, those already running are mostly being honoured; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could not avoid considering the huge penalties involved in the potential cancelling of the 15 billion dollar contract for 742 LAV (originally 928) being provided to the Saudi kingdom by General Dynamic Land Systems Canada. On the other hand in 2016 Riyadh cancelled the four billion dollars financing to Lebanon, one billion being for internal security services equipment acquisition while the remaining three were for Army equipment, 250 armoured vehicles, mainly VAB, being part of the deal. This has been partly reactivated, however the end user has changed, Saudi Arabia deciding to invest the money for its own forces, while on the other hand France and Lebanon strengthened their military ties, which led to the delivery of 10 French Army surplus VAB Mephisto armed with HOT antitank missiles to the Lebanese Army. The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Jordan has seen ups and downs, limiting the financing to the Hashemite Kingdom in the last few years, which somehow impacted Jordan’s investments in military hardware.

With the Al-Mared 8x8 now in production Jordan has become self-sufficient in terms of wheeled armoured vehicles. © P. Valpolini

Saudi Arabia recently announced a 9.1% cut into its defence budget. Although this will maintain it at over 6.5% of the GDP, the country is facing an embargo on arms sales by many countries, mostly European, as the US seem more than willing to maintain their support, Riyahd being a key element in combating Iran’s influence in the area. Mostly equipped with US armoured vehicles, M1A2S and M60A3 MBTs, M2 Bradley IFVs and M113 APCs, its Abrams should be upgraded to the SEPv3 standard. As for wheeled vehicles Saudi Arabia is receiving the aforementioned LAVs from GDLS Canada, some 100 having already been delivered.

Jordan’s only modest rearming Amman has however acquired surplus Marder 1A3 IFVs from Germany, refurbished by Rheinmetall; the first two batches totalled 50 vehicles, a third one being expected. The latest upgrade includes a Saphir thermal camera, new 20x139 mm ammunition types being also under development to increase their firepower. As for MBTs, Jordan fields M60A3s and Challenger 1s, known as Al Hussein, respectively of US and British origin. The latter should be soon phased out, the Royal Jordanian Army having acquired (at symbolic price) Italian Army surplus Centauro 8x8 armed with the same 105 mm gun of the M60A3s, which would ease the logistic burden as they use the same ammunition. In mid-November 2018 SDLE of Spain announced the signature of a multi-million Euro contract with Jordan for the reactivation, maintenance and modernization of 80 firstgeneration Centauro out of the 141 delivered. While no technical details were provided, the contract includes technical assistance for the entire life cycle of those vehicles. The 105 mm calibre remains popular in the Middle East, at least in nations that cannot afford more modern tanks. It does not come as a surprise

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At IDEX 2017 Tawazun and Otokar announced the creation of the Al-Jasoor joint venture to produce the Rabdan 8x8, a derivative of the Arma 8x8 developed by the Turkish company. © P. Valpolini

A Leclerc of the United Arab Emirates; a small number of those tanks has been upgraded, an upgrade of the whole fleet being awaited. © P. Valpolini

that one European company has acquired all Italian Army Leopard 1A5s, which are currently mothballed at an Italian MRO company facility ready to be refurbished, should a customer materialise. As for wheeled infantry fighting vehicles Jordan has apparently become selfsufficient, KADDB having unveiled at the last SOFEX its Al-Mared 8x8, as well as its AlFares 6x6.

should feature a much higher antimine protection, and will be fitted with a 30 mm unmanned turret also armed with a 60 mm mortar providing indirect fire support.

Israel always into better protected vehicles A neighbouring Middle East country that is worth mentioning not as a potential market but as a trendsetter is Israel, its Defence Forces being currently developing new vehicles. Beside the Merkava IV Barak, a networked version of the well-known MBT, a feasibility study was launched for a new 3540 tonnes concept of vehicle, mostly aimed at urban combat, known as Carmel FCV (Future Combat Vehicle), which should be fitted with active protection and a medium calibre gun. This will complement existing MBTs, while on the other hand in early November 2018 Israel rolled out the Eitan 8x8, its first wheeled armoured personnel carrier aimed at replacing ageing M113 tracked APCs. At over 30 tonnes, it also uses an active defence system against shaped charge warheads,


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Looking for more diversification : the UAE Remaining among wheeled vehicles, the United Arab Emirates announced their choice two years ago: following the UOR order for 40 Patria AMV chassis, built by Rosomak in Poland, to be used in Yemen, in February 2017 the UAE unveiled the Rabdan 8x8, based on Otokar’s Arma fitted with a BMP-3 turret. The Al-Jasoor JV was formed between the Turkish company and the UAE Tawazun Holding, and will produce in country part of the vehicles; the original plan was to produce the first 100 vehicles at Otokar, the first having been delivered in the second half 2018. The follow-up order that is awaited soon and that will include all support variants will then be produced in the UAE. The top MBT fielded by the UAE is the Leclerc, which has been seen in Yemen fitted with ERA tiles, probably of German origin. In 2011 Nexter signed a contract for Azur kits, 15 Leclerc having been upgraded to this standard, developed for improving performances in urban scenarios;

The United Arab Emirates land forces mechanised units field the BMP-3 IFV, which will soon need to be upgraded. © P. Valpolini

Oman is receiving its PARS III from FNSS of Turkey, most of them in the 8x8 version while some are in the 6x6 version, numerous configurations being part of the contract. © FNSS

the kit includes bar armour on the hull and turret rear against RPGs, composite side skirts to protect tracks, and protection over the engine against petrol bombs. The main IFV is the BMP-3, part of the inventory having been updated to the BMP-3M standard, improving protection and mobility. A further modernisation might be carried out, the UAE having been proposed a solution including the replacement of the existing turret with the new Bakhcha combat module.

configuration, seem to materialise. Remaining among wheeled vehicles, Oman acquired 172 PARS III vehicles from FNSS of Turkey, 145 8x8 and 27 6x6, in different configurations, which are currently being delivered.

Oman: from British to Korean hardware Oman front line tank units are equipped with Challenger 2 and M60A3; both types have upgrading programmes available, thus the Sultanate might well decide to go for similar solutions, although news are surfacing about a possible deal with South Korea for the acquisition of 76 K2 Black Panther. Developed and produced by Hyundai Rotem, it should replace the 73 ageing M60A3 currently in the Omani inventory. Another vehicle fitted with the 120 mm smoothbore gun is the Centauro 8x8; nine such vehicles were acquired, but no options for further acquisitions of such mobile gun systems, eventually in the Centauro II

Qatar’s strong move ahead The Qatari armed forces deploy a considerable amount of armour, the spear being the Leopard 2A7+, 62 of which were ordered in 2013. They lacked however modern infantry fighting vehicles, the gap being now filled by Nexter’s VBCI, the company having signed an MoU with Qatari Barzan in March 2018, during Dimdex. Overall 490 VBCI will be delivered, the combat version featuring a medium calibre turret which model has not yet been

In December 2017 Qatar announced its preference for Nexter VBCI as its future 8x8 AIFV, the MoU having then been signed during DIMDEX 2018. © P. Valpolini

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announced. This should fill the needs in the armoured vehicles field for the coming years.

Bahrein’s modest modernisation With its wheeled armoured needs fulfilled by Otokar’s Arma 6x6, the Bahrain’s Army most urgent requirement is probably the update of its ageing M60A3 MBTs; Leonardo of Italy proposed to this and other countries of the MENA region a modular package which includes considerable upgrades in the survivability, mobility and lethality areas. To counter KE threats four different ballistic packages were designed, a slat solution against shaped charges having also been developed, a new 908 hp Continental AVDS1790-5T engine coupled to an Allison CD850-B1 transmission being proposed, the 105 mm gun being replaced by the 120/45 mm ordnance of the Centauro II, a new digital FCS and an RCWS completing the package. Other companies, among them Raytheon, are also proposing upgrade packages for the Patton MBT.

Leonardo of Italy is one of the numerous companies proposing their solutions for upgrading the numerous M60A3s still in service with many Middle East armies. © Leonardo

Kuwait’s varied tracked armour fleet Last but not least among the Gulf states, Kuwait fields mostly tracked armoured


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Indonesia PT Pindad developed together with FNSS of Turkey the Kaplan MT, a medium tank based on the Kaplan chassis produced by FNSS. The system is now ready for production. © FNSS

vehicles, led by a fleet of M1A2 Abrams MBTs, complemented by M-84AB MBTs of Serbian origin which status is uncertain. In late 2017 GDLS was contracted to develop the M1A2-K variant, a dedicated upgrade that should include a new communications suite, 2nd generation infrared sights, a 12.7 mm machine gun installed over the main gun on a stabilised mount providing anti-sniper/ materiel firepower, and a CROWS II. Some 218 M1A2-K will be produced, that should replace the existing Abrams, or part of them, these having been delivered in the mid-1990s. Three different types of IFVs are in service, the British Desert Warrior, recently upgraded, and Russian BMP-3 and BMP-2, the latter probably being phased out. Wheeled armoured combat vehicles are mostly used by the National Guard, which fields 150 Pandur 6x6 provided by Steyr-Dailer-Puch (now GDELS) in the late 1990s, nearly half of them fitted with a 90 mm gun turret, as well as 26 Desert Chameleon APCs from US ADVS, mostly used for internal security duties. A potential interest by the Kuwait Army for an 8x8 IFV has not yet materialised.

Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan… While Iran remains off-limits and Afghanistan

is relying on surplus donations, Pakistan’s armour is a mix of systems of eastern origin in terms of MBTs, the Al-Khalid jointly developed with China and older T-80UD, obtained from Ukraine in the late 1990s, and Chinese Type 85-IIAP, all sharing the same calibre, while armoured personnel carriers are mostly of the M113 type in different configurations, mostly provided by the US and Italy. Looking ahead, Ukraine seems in a good position to become one of Pakistan’s favourite partners in the armoured vehicles domain, although China and Russia remain strong players in that country. In late 2018 Islamabad unveiled the Al-Khalid (I), for Improved, which features new sensors and an improved fire control system, and Ukraine aims at cooperating with Pakistan on its production. However Pakistan also expressed interest for the Chinese VT-4 tank, produced by Norinco. With over 1,000 MBTs, the Pakistan Army still lacks a true infantry fighting vehicle. Following the loss of its main customer, Russia, as a consequence of the invasion of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine has become pretty active in many areas, among which the Asia-Pacific region. Beside Pakistan, it is proposing its products as well as industrial partnership to numerous countries such

A new 6x6 proposal from the Republic of Korea: Hanwha unveiled at DSA 2018 its Tigon, which is proposed for the future Malaysian bid for such a class of vehicles as well as in other countries. © P. Valpolini

as China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. India should merit an article on its own, as numerous programmes have been launched but very few led to the deployment of new hardware. With most of the nations suffering from internal conflicts being banned from acquiring western systems, thus relying mostly on Chinese hardware, moving east the principal markets remain Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

South-East Asia’s armour needs Indonesia received the BTR-4M 8x8 wheeled IFVs from Ukraine, these being assigned to its Marine Corps that already fields an heterogeneous fleet of armoured vehicles of east and western origin, part of them amphibious. The Indonesian Army requirement for a light tank is being fulfilled by the Kaplan MT, developed by FNSS of Turkey and PT Pindad; armed with a 105 mm gun, following the testing of the two available prototypes it is now ready for production. The Kaplan MT has already attracted the interest of other countries in the area such as Brunei, Bangladesh and the Philippines. The Indonesian Army will deploy it in those units operating in areas with soft terrain, replacing the ageing AMX-13 still in service, and complementing the over 100 Leopard 2 acquired from Germany and provided to heavy armoured formations. The package also included 50 Marder 1A3 IFVs that add to the fleet of M113 APCs. A small number of Pandur 8x8 were acquired for testing, thus a potential contract for such vehicles, or more generally an 8x8 IFV, is still being considered. PT Pindad produced the Anoa 6x6, a local copy of the French VAB, a few vehicles having been fitted with a Cockerill CSE 90LP turret. That same turret was also installed on the Black Fox 6x6, the amphibious fire support vehicle provided by Hanwha of South Korea.

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Now in full production at Deftech, the AV-8 Gempita is based on FNSS’ PARS 8x8 and is being developed in numerous different configurations. © P. Valpolini

The latter company recently launched a new 6x6, the Tigon, first seen at DSA 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia having a programme for acquiring a three-axles armoured vehicle. Heavier than the Black Fox, the Tigon retains amphibious capabilities, and was also exhibited at the Cairo first EDEX show in December 2018 as a model, fitted with a medium calibre turret. A strong competitor for the Malaysian 6x6 requirement is FNSS of Turkey, which teamed with the main local vehicles producer, Deftech, to develop the AV-8 “Gempita” 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle, a derivative of FNSS’ PARS 8x8. The Army ordered 257 Gempita, over half of them having been delivered, the completion of the programme being planned for 2020. Should Malaysia chose a derivative of the PARS 6x6, this would ensure logistic commonality with the Gempita. Singapore recently exhibited the prototype of the Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle; a 29 tonnes tracked vehicle, it is fitted with a remotely controlled turret armed


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with a 30 mm gun, and can host a three-man crew and eight dismounts. Developed by the Defence Science and Technology Agency and by ST Engineering, first deliveries are announced for 2019, although no official numbers are available. The NGAFV, which has not yet a name, will replace ageing M113s and will operate alongside the Bionix tracked AFV, introduced in the late 1990s. As for MBTs, Singapore armoured units are equipped with

A model of the Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle exhibited at the ST Engineering stand at Eurosatory; first deliveries are announced for 2019. © P. Valpolini

the Leopard 2A4, 196 such tanks having been acquired in 2006. Contrasting information are available on new acquisitions of Leopard 2A7+ by Singapore. Thailand is turning towards China for its land forces equipment, and should soon order 38 VT-4 tanks as well as 34 VN-1 8x8 IFVs from Norinco. It maintains close links with Ukraine, from which it acquired BTR-3E1 APCs and Oplot MBTs. Looking at other Asian nations, Vietnam urgently needs to modernise its armoured fleet, T-90S tanks being currently under delivery from Russia, some in the SK command variant, a total of 64 MBTs having been ordered. Israeli Rafael upgraded the T-54 M3, improving protection, sensors and adding indirect firepower, however the bulk of the MBT fleet remains based on ageing tanks, the same applying to IFVs, either tracked or wheeled, budget being the major element hindering any form of major upgrade plan. Remaining in the tank arena, Taiwan intends acquiring 100 M1A2s from the US, while the aforementioned Philippines are looking for a 105 mm armed tracked light tank and wheeled tank destroyer, the wheeled platform being also considered as the basis for an IFV with a 30 mm turret. As for the Republic of Korea, it is receiving new armoured wheeled vehicles produced by Hyundai Rotem, 500 of which being K808 8x8 IFVs and 100 K806 6x6 APCs. The latter nation, together with Singapore, is not only self-sufficient in the armoured vehicles field, but also more and more successful on the export market, soon to be joined by Japan, while some other countries are well along the path of independence through cooperative programmes. The Far and Middle East, once easy targets for US, European and Chinese defence companies, are becoming increasingly crowded markets.

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The Iomax Archangel serves in the light attack/ISR role with the United Arab Emirates Air Force. Š David Oliver

Eyes in Middle East Skies By David Oliver The airborne Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) role includes a wide variety of systems for acquiring and processing information needed by security decision makers and military commanders.


ir arms in the turbulent Middle East region have already, or are in the process of acquiring ISR platforms that range from light attack aircraft with a dual ISR capability and converted light utility turboprops to unmanned and optionally piloted aerial vehicles. Those that have selected a Light Attack/ISR solution include the United Arab Emirates

(UAE) whose Joint Airborne Command operates a fleet of 24 two-seat Iomax Border Patrol Aircraft (BPA) based on the Thrush S2R-660 crop sprayer. Powered by a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67F turboprop, it can carry a 2,177 kg (4,800 lb) external weapons payload and for the ISR missions the Archangel is equipped with a L3 Wescam MX-15Di electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) sensor turret mounted on an Iomax designed flexible centreline pod.

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Former AT-802 Longsword aircraft are operated by the Egyptian Air Force and the Royal Jordanian Air force. Š David Oliver

From crop field to battlefield The AT-802U is a two-seat turboprop light attack/surveillance aircraft which was developed from the Air Tractor crop sprayer. Powered by the PT6A-67F engine, six aircraft were donated to Jordan by the UAE in 2015 when it replaced them with the Archangel BDA and in RJAF service with No. 25 Squadron the aircraft are being upgraded to increase weapon options by Iomax in Mooresville, North Carolina. Modified to Block 1B standard the aircraft received a new EO/IR sensor, an armament control system and strengthened weapons pylons to allow the carriage of the 227kg


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(500lb) GBU-12 Paveway II while the Roketsan Cirit laser-guided 70 mm missile becomes a weapons option. Egypt is reported to have made a request for a US Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract for 12 Iomax Archangel Block 2 BDAs with an option for 12 additional aircraft, rather than taking up the option of upgrading its fleet of 12 AT-802L Longswords.

More ubiquitous machines‌ The Brazilian Embraer A-29 Super Tucano is a versatile two-seat aircraft powered by a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68C turboprop capable of carrying out a wide range of light attack and ISR missions. Although it has been

selected by 14 air forces worldwide, only one of them is in the Middle East. In June 2015 the US State Department approved a possible FMS to Lebanon for six A-29B Super Tucano aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $462 million to be built by Embraer/Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) in Jacksonville, Florida which is building 30 A-29s for the Afghan Air Force. Lebanon has also acquired another PT6Apowered ISR platform equipped with L-3 Wescam MX-15 electro-optical surveillance turrets with a limited light attack capability, the AC-208 Combat Caravan via a US FMS contract. Initially developed from the Cessna Caravan light utility aircraft by Alliant Techsystems (ATK), later Orbital ATK for the embryo Iraqi Air Force in 2010, it is

now being marketed as the AC-208 Eliminator by Northrop Grumman which took over Orbital ATK in June 2018. Another US light transport aircraft adapted for the ISR role is the twin PT6A-powered Beechcraft, now Textron Aviation, King Air 350 that has been adopted by the US Air Force as the MC-12W and British Royal Air Force as the Shadow R.I. Equipped with a pannier containing a Wescam MX-15i EO/IR sensor, and a satcom antenna on the upper fuselage the King Air 350ER is operated by the Algeria, Kuwait and Royal Saudi Arabian Air Forces. A more basic ISR platform is the singleengine Maule RX-7, twelve of which were donated by the United States to Tunisia for border surveillance as part of its efforts to enhance the North African country’s military.

Lebanon Air Force A-29B Super Tucano light attack/ISR aircraft were acquired through a US FMS contract. Š Lebanese Air Force

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The Northrop Grumman AC-208 Eliminator was developed from the civil Cessna Caravan.

The first aircraft were handed over on 12 May 2016 at El Aouina Air Base part of a $20 million assistance package. The four-seat aircraft powered by 134 kW (180 hp) Lycoming O-360 piston engine are fitted with a fuselage mounted Cloud Cap Technology TASE400 LRS EO/IR imaging system. A more radical low-cost airborne ISR platform developed for the Middle East market was the ambitious QO-1 project. Designed by the former CEO of Stemme AG, Dr Reiner Stemme, the Q01 optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) was to have been bankrolled by Qatar following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the German start-up company Reiner Stemme Utility Air-Systems for the manufacture and delivery of 17 Q01-aircraft beginning in 2017 at a cost of $100.25 million. The carbon composite aircraft was powered


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by a single 310 hp turbocharged Technify/ Continental engine that can use either JET A1 or Diesel fuel. Its 20 m span wing was a development of Dr Steiner’s high-aspect ratio laminar wing design used on the French Sagem Patroller UAV. Cruising at 190 knots the manned version of the Q01 was designed to fly up to 12 hours manned or 50 hours unmanned, carrying a 600 kg payload that included a Thales Searchmaster radar, a L-3 Wescam MX-20 EO/IR sensor and a DLR Modular Aerial Camera System (MACS) on one of its four underwing pods. A prototype made its first flight in November 2015 from SchÜnhagen in Germany. The aircraft was expected to receive a CS23 single-engine IFR certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), however, this was rejected in 2017 and Reiner Stemme Utility Air-Systems was liquidated in July 2018 making the future of the project really unclear.

Germany’s Stemme AG military division Ecarys GmbH has had more success from winning the French Army’s tactical UAV contract with its S15 motor-glider based Sagem Patroller against the Thales Watchkeeper. Powered by a single 115 hp Rotax 914F, the Patroller can carry 250 kg of multi-sensor intelligence gathering payloads including the Euroflir 410 optronic system, radars, and electronic warfare (EW) systems in sensor turrets and underwing pods to an altitude of 6,000 m for up to 30 hours. In September 2015 Sagem announced that it had teamed with the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) Aircraft Factory to offer the Patroller MALE to the Egyptian armed forces. The AOIAircraft Factory would be responsible for final assembly of the Patroller in country, and provide system support and commissioning. However, taking advantage of the United States reluctance to give approval for the export sales of armed unmanned aerial

systems (UAS), China has been waged a successful marketing programme of its unmanned platforms in the Middle East to fill this gap.

Chinese drone expertise One of its most capable unmanned medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) ISR platforms is the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) Rainbow CH-4. The Reaper-class CH-4 has a maximum take-off weight of 1,330 kg and a payload of 354 kg (760 lb). Powered by a 100 hp (75 kw) piston engine it has an endurance of 14 hours cruising between 150 -180 km/hr at a maximum altitude of 7,200 m (23,550 ft) with a dash speed of 210 km/hr. The payload includes EO/IR sensors for in a semi-retractable turret, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and semi-active laser guidance. The attack variant, the CH-4B can carry up to six HJ-10

ISR variants of the Beechcraft/Textron Aviation King Air 350ER are operated by the air forces of Algeria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

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A Chinese CH-4B MALE attack-reconnaissance UAV operated by the RJAF and is in production in Saudi Arabia. © David Oliver

laser-guided anti-tank missiles or FT-9 60 kg precision guided bombs, or four FT-6A 250 kg range-extended precision guided weapons designed for the suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) role. Two systems of three CASC CH-4B platforms were delivered to the Iraqi Air Force in 2015 and are operating from Kut Air Base supported by Chinese operators and maintainers. The RJAF’s No 9 Squadron operates the CH4B from Prince Hassan Air Base while the Algerian Air Force’s No 545 Squadron is equipped with the ISR variant of the CH-4. China is opening a UCAV production facility in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) initially to produce the CH-4B and assemble the more advanced Wing-Loong II attack/surveillance UAV for the Royal Saudi Air Force which has an urgent requirement for Operation Restore Hope against Houthi force in Yemen.


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Saudi Arabia’s neighbour the United Arab Emirates (UAE), also taking part in Operation Restore Hope, is also expanding its attack/ ISR UAV capability. Although it was the first Middle East country and non-NATO member to be permitted to acquire the unarmed RQ1E Predator UAV from the United States, the UAE is reported to be the first export customer for an undisclosed number of the advanced Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group Wing-Loong II MALE UAV that can carry a payload of up to 400 kg. The UAV can fly for more than 20 hours with a maximum speed of 370 km/hr and an operational radius of 1,500 km. The Egyptian Air Force is reported to have signed an agreement to purchase the Wing Loong II attack-reconnaissance UAV the China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC). If this is confirmed it could put the possibility of building the French Sagem Patroller tactical UAV in Egypt in serious doubt.

The advanced Chinese Wing Loong II MALE UAV has been sold to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. © David Oliver




Carrying the CAESAR® concept forward


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Ocea has delivered two 35-meter FPB110 MkII FPBs to Nigeria in 2018. These are an improved and customized version of the ten FPBs delivered to Kuwait Coast Guard between 2003 and 2005. © Ocea

Versatile Fast Patrol Vessels gaining momentum By Luca Peruzzi In the recent years, the worldwide navies’ and state agencies’ requirements towards multirole platforms capable to conduct military, homeland security and search and rescue missions, saw the fast patrol vessels (FBPs) and interceptors market grow with the introduction of advanced composite-hulled designs and propulsion packages allowing higher speeds and endurance, better seakeeping and higher payloads.


rench shipyards including CMN, Ocea, Couach, Raidco Marine and Ufast have been the most active worldwide in the recent years in these sectors. Specialized in aluminium vessels up to 85 meters with 95% of turnover coming from export, Ocea’s product portfolio of fast patrol boats ranges from the 13-meter FPB40

to the 41-meter FPB125 model. In 2018, Ocea delivered two 35-meter FPB110 MkII FPBs to Nigeria. An improved and customized version of the ten FPBs delivered to Kuwait Coast Guard between 2003 and 2005, the 35-meter long and 7.1-meter large FPB110 MkII model is powered by two MTU 16V2000 engines driving two conventional fixed-pitch propellers offering a

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A comprehensive choice

In addition to Nigeria and Surinam, in 2018 Ocea delivered four FPB 72s to the Philippines Coast Guard and one more is to be delivered to Nigeria in 2019. © Philippines Coast Guard

In service with Senegal, Togo and Ivory Coast, Ufast will deliver three additional RPB33s to two undisclosed customers in the 2019-2020 period. ©Pradignac et Leo

30-knots top speed. With an 11-member crew (plus six additional personnel accommodation), the FPBs are equipped with a 4.7-meter Zodiac RHIB and a mission suite including two Furuno navigation and surveillance radars, Safran Vigy Observer EO/IR system and SATCOM systems. Armed with two heavy machine guns (MGs), the FPB110 MkII can also be fitted with a 20/30 mm remotely controlled main gun system. Ocea received orders for ten additional 32-meter FPB98 in addition to the circa two dozen delivered from 2008. The design has been renowned for its seakeeping with a seven days endurance. In addition to Nigeria and Suriname, the 24-meter FPB72 model has been however recently delivered to the Philippines Coast Guard. With a 35 knots top-speed and a crew of 8 (+11), the FPB72 is equipped with 4-meter RHIB and 7.62/12.7 mm MGs.

Leveraging on the design partnership with Raidco Marine, the Ufast shipyard continues to gain success with the 33.7-meter RPB33 FPB model. In service with Senegal, Togo and Ivory Coast with respectively one, two and three boats, the Ufast shipyard will deliver three additional RPB33s to two undisclosed customers in the 2019-2020 period. Designed to conduct long patrols at sea in the EEZ (up-to-one-week mission) with a 10-crew (+7), the RPB33 features a 1.600-to-2.800 kW propulsion package offering a 22-to-30 knots max-speed range. With either a composite or steel hull with all-aluminium superstructures, the RPB 33 features a super-elevated flying bridge with panoramic vision, a rapid intervention 6.1-meter RHIB, a comprehensive mission suite including a long-range acoustic device (LRAD) and an armament suite with 12.7to-30 mm guns. Ufast also proposes the 20-meter RPB20 already sold in over 60 units and the 11,6-meter RPB12 FPBs with a 35-knots top speed. The same shipyard has recently entered the interceptor market with the ITC 35 multi-purpose design. With a 50 knots top speed, accommodation for the crew and a special forces team (total 12), the 36.6-meter boat can be armed with a 20 mm and 12.7/7.62 mm machine

In addition to the RPB33, Ufast also offers the 20-meter RPB20 already sold in over 60 units and the 11,6-meter RPB12 FPBs with a 35-knots top speed. © Angejaures 40

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Saudi company Zamil Offshore Services concluded in 2018 an agreement with CMN shipbuilding company for the construction of 39 HSI32 interceptors, of which 20 in Saudi Arabia.© CMN

guns. In 2018, Ufast also 15-meter, 40+plus knots contract from the French and commandos support begin in 2019.

received a twelve fast interceptors’ Navy for marines with deliveries to

Saudi state naval agency, understood being the Border Coast Guard. The agreement covers the construction of 19 vessels by CMN in France while the remaining 20 will be assembled at Zamil Offshore Services facilities in Saudi Arabia with CMN support.

The Kership joint-venture between Piriou and Naval Group has more recently entered in the low-end segment of patrol vessels. Kership offers the 32-meter CPV32 coastal patrol vessel based on C-Sharp hull design with a 5-hour endurance at 31 knots topspeed, 14-crew (+4) and armament including a remotely controlled 20/30 mm and 12.7 mm machine guns while the smaller 25-meter CPV25 with 30 knots top speed is ideal for coastal and river duties. In addition to the evolving Combattante family of fast attack vessels, the Vigilante range of constabulary patrol vessels and the new-generation 43-meter Ocean Eagle 43 maritime surveillance trimaran in service since 2016, the well-known Construction Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) shipyard, nowadays part of the Privinvest Shipbuilding Group, has gained further success with the HSI32/25 family of interceptors in addition to the DV15 family of maritime security boats. On April 2018, Saudi company Zamil Offshore Services concluded an agreement with CMN shipbuilding company for the construction of 39 HSI32 interceptors for an unspecified

The DV15 RWS30 comes with a 30 mm Orbital ATK M230LF remotely-controlled gun on a 50+ knots platform. © CMN

Already in-service with the Mozambican Navy since 2016, the 32.2-meter long and 7-meter large HSI32 interceptor features a deep vee-planning hull with a propulsion based on three diesel engines and waterjets offering a 43 knots top speed. Capable to operate a 4.8-meter RHIB and featuring a panoramic bridge, the 12-crew manages a comprehensive mission suite with radar, EO/IR, CESM, SATCOM data link and an armament package including a 20 mm remotely-controlled gun-turret and two 12.7 mm

EDR | January/February 2019


Built in accordance with Italy’s RINA FPV regulations, the FSD195 is manned by a four-crew and accommodation for eight persons. © FSD

Italy’s Cantiere Navale Vittoria shipyard is offering a products range of FPBs between 14 and 35 meter, with latest deliveries to Tunisian Navy and National Guard. © Cantiere Navale Vittoria

side guns. CMN also offers a new 25.4-meter HSI25 interceptor version in addition to the 50+knots fast 15-meter long DV15 family of interceptors already sold in some 50 units to customers including UAE, Qatar, Yemen and Mozambique. The DV15 RWS30 comes with a 30 mm Orbital ATK M230LF remotely-controlled gun on a 50+knots platform. Couach group’s Plascoa shipyard has delivered more than 200 patrol boats and interceptors worldwide. In 2018, Couach completed the delivery of 79 16.5-meter type 1650 FIC interceptors with a 60+knots top speed to the Saudi Border Coast Guard and more recently added the smaller 14.3-meter 55+knots PL1400 FIC to its products portfolio. Designed for average 5-6 days missions, the 35-meter P350T model can reach a 38 knots top speed with accommodation for 16 crew members. © Cantiere Navale Vittoria

models of aluminium FPBs which, together with smaller boats, have been sold to Mediterranean countries, including Libya, Malta, Croatia, Slovenia, Tunisia, Romania and Italy. Designed for average 5-6 days missions, the P350T model is powered by two MTU 16V4000M93 and Kamewa/RollsRoyce 63S3 waterjets for a 38 knots top speed with accommodation for 16 crew members. Capable of 5+day long missions, the P270 has accommodation for 14 persons and a propulsion system centred on three MTU 12V2000M84 engines and three Kamewa/Rolls-Royce 50A3/40A3 waterjets for a 35 knots maximum speed. Both FPBs are fitted with a common command, control, communications and navigation system including Simrad and Furuno radars, optronic sensor and SATCOM, all integrated by Italian AlmavivA group, in addition to a 4-meter boat. The operative quarters can be optionally equipped with ballistic protection panels. Armament can include a 20-30 mm The Ferretti Security and Defence (FSD) division is offering its 20-meter FSD195 fast patrol vessel (FPV) to satisfy navies and homeland requirements. © FSD

Italy’s Cantiere Navale Vittoria shipyard is offering a products range of FPBs between 14 and 35 meters sided by 12-20 meters fast rescue boats, with latest deliveries to Tunisian Navy and National Guard. These include six 27-meter and 90 tonnes P270T and six 35-meter and 140 tonnes P350T 42

EDR | January/February 2019

Italy’s Guardia di Finanza’s FD Design V 5000 class interceptor. © Guardia di Finanza

RCWS in addition to MGs. Cantiere Navale Vittoria also offers interceptor designs in both FRP and aluminium, the more capable being the 19.9-meter Interceptor 65 with two Seatek engines and surface propellers ensuring 75 knots (55 knots cruise) speed with a 4/5 crew and a remotely controlled gun, with option for additional 10 seats in the forward bow compartment.

Opting for civilian derivatives Leveraging the well-known Italian group’s civil products portfolio, the 2016-established Ferretti Security and Defence (FSD) division is offering its 20-meter FSD195 fast patrol vessel (FPV) to satisfy navies and homeland requirements ranging from maritime security to illegal smuggling countering. Built entirely in glass-carbon hybrid composite materials, the 20-meter long and 5-meter large FSD195 has a 37.1 tonnes full-load displacement (31-tonne unladen) equipped with a propulsion package centred on two MAN V12-1900 engines with TS58P surface drives providing a 55 knots maximum speed and a range at patrolling speed (37 knots) of 525 nautical miles. Built in accordance with Italy’s RINA FPV regulations, the FSD195 is manned by a crew of four and has accommodation for eight persons with high-level of comfort for lasting-patrol operations. Equipped with a full mission suite including surface radar, EO/ IR, Skytech dual-band mod.BB50 SATCOM and Seakeeper mod. NG9 gyrostabilizer,

the FSD195 can be armed with a 12.7 mmequipped light remotely-controlled gun and MGs, in addition to a Rheinmetall armouring kit protecting the crew-operating area. To satisfy fast attack requirements, the FSD195 can accommodate two MBDA Marte Mk2/N missile launchers. In addition to the already sold FSD195 boat on the international market to Saab group, FSD is offering the 25-meter FPV245 and the 35-meter FPV350 boats designs, respectively capable to reach 50+ and 45+ knots with a 6+6 and 6+20 crew plus operators’ accommodations, remotelycontrolled guns and interceptor RHIBs. The FB Design company has developed a full range of security, defence and searchand rescue-dedicated boats which has been exported worldwide, based on the long experience in the competitive highspeed powerboats sector with won world championships and speed records. In addition to Italian state agencies including customs service (Guardia di Finanza) and Coast Guard as well as worldwide operators from South Africa, Greece, Turkey, Hong Kong, UK, Ecuador, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Rwanda among others, FB Design offers a wide range of interceptors and high-speed boats ranging from the 7-to-9 meters and up-to 50knot fast FB32’ SF to the largest 18.2-meter and 60-knot capable FB60’ SF. All these composite-made platforms share a range of the same-company’s patents, including the structural foam technology that makes the boat unsinkable, the STAB arrangement combining the advantages of both rigid hull and inflatable boats for stability on narrow boats, Tritab flap concept and Trimax surface drives, now produced in partnership with German ZF. In addition to in-service high-speed patrol boats and interceptors, recently the Guardia di Finanza selected FB Design to provide both the FB60’ SF and a 16-meter model to respectively satisfy a high-speed patrol craft and a coastal patrol boat requirement. EDR | January/February 2019


In service with Royal Bahamas Defence Force and other customers, the 30.5-meter long and 7.1-meter large Stan Patrol 3007 is capable of a top speed of 30 knots. © Damen

More players Spanish Aresa International group offers a 13-to-33-meter products portfolio of GRPbuilt fast patrol vessels, a 24-meter model sold to Cameroon, while Roadman Polyships has a range of GRP-built fast patrol and rescue boats, including the 35.5-meter Roman 111 model, which was delivered in five units to the Royal Omani Police. The Netherlands’ Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding group offers a wide range of security and patrol vessels ranging from 7-meter to more than 200-meter, including interceptors and patrol platforms. Damen Stan Patrol platforms incorporate the results of both ‘Enlarged Ship’ and ‘Axe Bow’ concepts, respectively improving the seakeeping characteristics of high-speed vessels and enhancing platform operability, comfort and safety of the crew, in addition to reducing fuel consumption. In service with Royal Bahamas Defence Force and other customers, the 30.5-meter long and 7.1-meter large Stan Patrol 3007 is offered with two Caterpillar/MTU engines and fixed pitch propellers providing a top speed of 30 knots. With the crew up to 12 persons, the Stan Patrol 3007 is equipped with a RHIB and can stay at sea for a week. The aluminium-hulled


EDR | January/February 2019

with composite superstructures 16.5-meter long and 5.4-meter large Stan Patrol 1605 is powered by two Caterpillar engines providing a 35.5 knots speed and with a ballistically protected accommodation area is used by a security operator for counter piracy escort services. The interceptor boat family includes the composite-hulled 14.5-meter 1503 model powered with 3 Volvo D6-370 engines for a 52.2 knots top speed with a 2-crew and upto-6 special operators. In addition to luxury yachts, Lürseen is worldwide known for its history as highspeed craft and combatant vessels provider to a range of naval and Government services. The current product portfolio ranges from the 28-meter FPB28 model with a max speed of 35 knots and 7-crew (+4) to the 210-tonne CSB40 model. The latter together with the 27-meter FIB25 model, is part of the huge contract with the Saudi Border Coast Guard for around 140 vessels of different types. With a 40-meter length and 7.5-meter beam, the CBS40 is powered by a twodiesels propulsion package with 30 knots top speed and a 20-crew (+5). The mission suite includes search and navigation radars and EO sensors while armament is centred on one 20 mm RCWS and two 12.7 mm MGs. The 73-tonne FIB25 FPB with a two-diesels propulsion and waterjets for a 40 knots top speed has a 11 crew (+2). Fassmer shipyard is offering its 21-meter fast patrol boat, which has been sold to three customers including Cambodian Navy and Bulgarian Coast Guard. Swedish Swede Ship shipyard is known for its family of multi-role high-speed vessels mainly for patrol and SAR duties, which ranges from 16-meter to 27-meter. Two of the nowadays most prolific and specialized fast patrol boats and craft builders are Turkey’s Yonka Onuk and Ares shipyards. With a customer/order portfolio including

The current Lürseen product portfolio ranges from the 28-meter FPB28 model with a max speed of 35 knots and 7-crew (+4) to the 210-tonne CSB40 model. © Lürseen

navies and agencies from Bahrain, Georgia, Qatar, North Cyprus, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Turkmenistan and more recently Oman, the Ares shipyard has a compositemade (but also aluminium) products family ranging from special operations craft to OPVs. The two contracts signed respectively with Qatar authorities in 2014 and 2018 form a fleet of 26 vessels including five 48-meter Hercules150 OPVs, ten 34.4-meter ARES110 Hercules and five 24.1-meter ARES75 multi-role fast patrol craft, all designed and engineered in partnership with UK BMT Group, in addition to six 24-m ARES 80 SAT special operations craft. With a 24.1-m length, 5.8-m beam and 59-tonne displacement, the composite-hulled ARES75 FPB features a propulsion package including two MTU12V2000M84 engines with RollsRoyce 50A3 waterjets providing a 40 knot top speed. With a crew of 8, the ARES75 is armed with one Aselsan 12.7 mm STAMP RCWS. The also composite-hulled ARES110 Hercules 130-tonne model is 34.47-m long and 7.65-m large with a three-MTU12V2000M84 engines and Rolls-Royce 50A3 waterjets package offering a 32 knots top speed. With a 32-crew the ARES110 employs a 7.5 meter ARES Harpoon fast intervention boat and features a main 30 mm Aselsan SMASH and a secondary 12.7 mm STAMP RCWSs. All boats share Aselsan optronics and Kelvin Hughes SharpEye surface search/navigation

radar. In November 2018, Ares was awarded a contract to build fourteen 25.9-meter ARES 85 Hercules FPBs for Royal Oman Police Coast Guard. Yonka Onuk is providing to worldwide customers a range of products starting from the 17.3 meter MRTP15 Fast Intervention Craft to the 36.8-m MRTP34 fast patrol/ attack craft. The latter model was delivered together with the smaller 17.7-m MRTP16 craft to the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces. The composite-hulled MRTP34 derives from the one-meter shorter MRTP33 already delivered to the Turkish Coast Guard and international customers and is based on the proprietary ‘OE-01’ deep V hull design, which enables, depending on engine selection (based on two diesel and waterjets) and boat configuration, to reach speeds of 45+ knots. The 36.8 meter long and 6.9 meter large MRTP34 has accommodation for up to 20 with crew upto-6 and an armament package including a Bofors Mk4 40 mm or Aselsan 25/30 mm STOP/SMASH RCWS, medium range antiship missiles, short-range portable SAM launcher and 2 Aselsan STAMP stabilized turrets with 12.7 mm gun. The electronics include one 2D radar, electro-optical director, search and rescue or special forces support equipment, and self-protection decoys. The new 26.2-meter MRTP24 fast intervention

The two contracts signed by Ares with Qatar in 2014 and 2018 form a fleet of 26 vessels including ten 34.4-meter ARES110 Hercules and five 24.1-meter ARES75 multi-role fast patrol craft. © Luca Peruzzi

EDR | January/February 2019


craft design has however a 54 knots top speed with an 8-crew and 25/30 mm STOP and 12.7 mm STAMP RCWSs in addition to short-range surface missiles. The Yonka Onuk’s composite-hulled MRTP34 model together with the smaller 17.7-meter MRTP16 craft was selected by Qatari Emiri Naval Forces. © Yonka Onuk

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Israel Shipyards have a long experience in this sector, respectively today represented by Super Dvora and Shaldag family craft. Already in service with navies and homeland agencies from Cyprus, Equatorial Guinea, Israel, Nigeria, Romania and Sri Lanka, Israel Shipyards recently delivered the secondbatch of two Shaldag MkII to Argentina’s Prefectura Naval, while the Azerbaijan State Border Guard received six Shaldag MkV FPBs built locally under technology transfer. Designed for coastal and river protection, the Shaldag MkII and MkIII models are respectively 24.8 and 26.30 meters long and can reach a top speed of 48 and 45 knots (sustained speed 40 knots). With a 32.6 m length and 6.2 m beam deep-vee hull, the MkV is powered by two MTU/Caterpillar diesels driving MJP or KaMeWa waterjets, allowing for respectively 35 knots sustained and 40 knots top speeds. Capable of 6 days endurance missions with a crew of 10-12 members, the marine-aluminium made craft features a combat suite optionally fitted with Rafael Advanced Defence Systems 23/25 mm Typhoon RCWS, two 12.7/7.62 mm Mini-Typhoon RCWSs or stand-alone guns, in addition to 12.7 mm or 7.62 mm MGs,


EDR | January/February 2019

or alternatively the Rafael Typhoon Missile Launching System equipped with four Spike ER missiles (Typhoon MLS-ER). The latter including Rafael Toplite EO targeting payload, equips the Azerbaijan State Border Guard FPBs together with a 23 mm Typhoon RCWS and MGs. The IAI-Ramta division family of Super Dvora MkIII FPBs features a 20-to-29-meter length and 5.65-meter beam which together with a propulsion package including Arneson articulated surface drive (ASD) or water jets and MTU/Caterpillar or similar engines offer a 40-to-45 knots top speed and an endurance of up-to 96 hours. In service or ordered in the different Super Dvora versions (MkII and MkIII) with navies from Israel, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Eritrea, India, Slovenia and reportedly Angola, the latest Super Dvora MkIII model features an up-to-date combat system with armament including a Rafael Typhoon 20/23/25/30 mm gun and tactical missiles, typically a Rafael Typhoon 25 mm stabilised weapon system, which can receive a twin Spike-ER EO-guided missiles launcher, a manually operated 20 mm gun and machine gun. A Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine Bridge Master navigation suite, mast-mounted EO/IR turret (either El-Op Elbit Systems MSIS or IAI Taman POP families) and EW equipment form the sensor suite, based on customer requirement.

The Azerbaijan State Border Guard has received six Israel Shipyards’ Shaldag MkV FPBs built locally under technology transfer. © Israel Shipyards

Russia’s KTRV Expands Cooperation

for Aftersales Support of Defence Hardware with India By Dmitry Fediushko

Indian specialists at the KTRV`s training centre. © KTRV

Russia`s Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) is shoring up its co-operation for aftersales support of air-to-air (AA) missiles with the Republic of India, a spokesperson for the company told European Defence Review. “In 1999-2014 the Indian Air Force [IAF] received more than 1,500 air-launched weapons [ALWs]. In accordance with a decision made by the commanders of the service, the aftersales support programmes will be implemented in conjunction with authorized indigenous companies under the ‘Make in India’ programme and the Defence Procurement Procedure 2016,” said the spokesperson. According to her, KTRV is developing ties in the area of aftersales support with the Indian company Bharat Dynamics 48

EDR | January/February 2019

Limited (BDL). The workshop of this enterprise is located in the city of Hyderabad (the state of Telangana) in the central part of the country. An opportunity to set up cooperation with other Indian companies is also under consideration.

Medium range missiles At present, KTRV and BDL are co-operating in the field of medium-range AA missiles. In particular, the Indian company is authorized to conduct aftersales support of the RVV-AE (NATO reporting name: Adder) ALW that has been developed by JSC Vympel, a subsidiary of KTRV. During the Army 2018 international military-technical forum held in Kubinka near Moscow on last 21-26 August, the Corporation held technical consultations with BDL over comprehensive aftersales support of these missiles. The maintenance is suggested to be conducted in several steps: technical inspection of all the weapons in order to draw up a list of spare parts required for refurbishment of the missiles and maintenance works; overhaul of a batch of components that were rejected in Russia and manufacturing of new parts; conduction of maintenance works by a foreign company in conjunction with KTRV`s technical specialists; extension of the missile service life. “Alongside with that, the sides are supposed to develop the technologies of missile maintenance at the IAF storage depots. To this end, a sufficient number of test-benches should be provided,” said the spokesperson for KTRV. Therefore, the Corporation plans to conduct full aftersales support of the RVV-AE missiles in India in conjunction with BDL. This programme is supposed to meet the world`s highest aftersales support requirements that stipulate high level of localization, including local manufacturing of some components, if possible. Such a programme offers outstanding capabilities for further possible modernisation of these weapons by BDL.

After sale support Another source from the Corporation told EDR that the discussion of aftersales support issues with Indian partners are planned to take place during the Aero India 2019 aerospace show that will be held on 20-24 February in the city of Bangalore (Karnataka). “A conference on the Russian-Indian partnership in the aerospace and defence areas will be conducted during the show. The sides will discuss the maintenance of Russian-made weapon systems during their service life and joint development of nextgeneration platforms at a conference during this event. KTRV’s top executives will join the workshop,” said the source. Specific attention should be paid to the training of foreign specialists and improvement of their skills, said the spokesperson for KTRV. The training sessions are supposed to be partially conducted at the training centre that has been established at JSC Vympel in Moscow. It should be mentioned that the centre has been working since 2006. “The centre`s capabilities allow us to train specialists of any foreign customer to operate all the exportoriented ALWs designed by KTRV,” she said. The training of foreign technical personnel comprises theoretical cluster that is partially conducted at the Russian-based units of the centre and theoretical/practical sessions that are conducted in a foreign country and involve aircraft of a customer. The trainees can be taught to operate all types of ALWs developed by the Corporation. “Both engineers and designers of OEMs train the specialists,” said the representative of KTRV.

The RVV-SD air-to-air missile. © KTRV

The Corporation pays specific attention to the maintenance of the RVV-AE AA missile in India. This ALW is designed to engage all types of aerial targets, including multirole combat aircraft, combat helicopters, ground attack aircraft, and cruise missiles, round-the-clock in an electronically contested environment. The missile can be launched in multi-channel ‘fire-and-forget’ mode. The weapon is fitted with a combined guidance system that integrates an inertial measurement unit with radio-correction which provides guidance at the initial phase and an active radar seeker that guides the weapon at the terminal phase. The RVV-AE is powered by a single-mode solid-fuel jet engine. The ALW carries a 22.5kg multi-cumulative rod warhead and a laser proximity fuze. “The RVV-AE is the first AA missile that features electrically driven bar-slat rudders that provide high maneuverability,” said the source from KTRV. According to the Corporation, the RVV-AE AA missile can engage an aerial target flying at a distance between 0.3 km and 80 km and at an altitude of up to 25 km. The weapon has a weight of some 175 kg. Both Sukhoi and Mikoyan multirole combat aircraft and foreignoriginated air platforms can fire the missile. A source from the IAF told EDR that Sukhoi Su-30MKI (Flanker-H) fighter jets of the service could be fitted with the RVV-AE AA missiles. “This missile [the RVV-AE] is an effective and reliable weapon that meets the requirements of the IAF to the full extent. The missile features high combat potential and jamming resistance”.

The RVV-AE air-to-air missile. © KTRV EDR | January/February 2019


European Defence Review


European Defence Review (EDR) is the first magazine in English focusing on defence issues with a European perspective and one which is fully managed by well-known journalists specialised in defence and security. EDR addresses every topic of the defence sector: equipment and industrial issues, armed forces and operations, but also strategic and political news concerning defence and security issues. Although the articles will be mainly focused on European topics, the review also discusses the main countrie’s partners of Europe and emerging markets: Russia, the Middle East, Brazil, India… EDR distributes during the major international defence trade fairs. The readers include military decision-makers, both political and industrial, from European countries as well as traditional or potential partners of the European defence community. Finally, EDR covers all of the major defence exhibitions worldwide; privileged accasions where policy makers, military and trade-related, are attending. N° 42 • November/ December 2018

Febru ary


European Defence Review

Defe nce

Revi ew


ents developm European onal submarines in conventi ing Rotary-W Pakistan’s India and ents Requirem : East Far Middle and ground combat? ge chan ever


Can We Go Along Without Nuclear Energy?

New corvettes le East Eyes in Midd and the European touch Skies l Vessels Will robots Fast Patro Vers atile entum ever change ground combat? gaining mom eration nds Coop KTR V Expa ort of Defence ia’s Russ s Supp for Aftersale India with Hardware © Naval Group

Euro pean

MAGAZINE Controlling the electromagnetic spectrum at sea Europe’s Seagoing Airbases All round camouflage close to be real

© Naval Group

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