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N° 60 • November/ December 2021

MAGAZINE European Defence Review Latin American Aircraft requirements Europe leads the conventional submarine segment Searching for fifth-generation fighter capability Rosoboronexport: arms export contracts worth over 3 Billion Euros KTRV to produce Tsirkon hypersonic missiles

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I S S U E N°



Publisher: Joseph Roukoz Editor-in-chief: Paolo Valpolini Aviation & Space Editor: David Oliver Naval Editor: Luca Peruzzi European Defence Review (EDR) is published by European Defence Publishing SAS


A Brazilian Gripen in flight over Rio de Janeiro. The Fuerza Aérea Brasileña will soon start receiving its new fighters, a further order being still awaited by Saab and Embraer. © Saab

Latin American Aircraft requirements By David Oliver


Europe leads the conventional submarine segment


Searching for fifth-generation fighter capability


Rosoboronexport: arms export contracts worth over 3 Billion Euros were signed at exhibitions held in Russia this summer

By Luca Peruzzi

By David Oliver

By Nikolai Novichkov


Russia contracts: KTRV to produce Tsirkon hypersonic missiles By Nikolai Novichkov

EDR | November/December 2021


Latin American Aircraft requirements By David Oliver

Twelve Beechcraft T-6C+ Texan IIs are being delivered to the Argentine Air Force. © Beechcraft

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has found that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to the worst economic decline in Latin America in two hundred years. While Global GDP contracted by three percent last year, that of Latin America fell by seven percent. Latin America suffered from several preconditions before the Covid crisis erupted, from low growth to inefficient taxation and spending, and this has had a profound effect on defence spending in the region.

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The most recent acquisition by the Bolivian Air Force was six Hongdu K-8W basic jet trainers in 2010. © FAB

Argentina: The Argentine Air Force has reached a critical point in its fighter aircraft inventory. For decades, the French-built Dassault Mirage III aircraft was the backbone of its combat force, but in 2015, due to obsolescence and budget constraints, it was forced to retire the fleet. With only a few of its A-4AR Fighterhawks currently airworthy, in 2015 Argentina tried to acquire the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen fighter, but Sweden backed down from the sale due to pressure from London. South Korea also withdrew its offer to sell Argentina KAI F/A-50 light attack aircraft equipped with BAE Systems avionics due to pressure from the United Kingdom. The fact that the ejector seat on the JF-17 offered by Pakistan is built by the UK company Martin-Baker has been a point of contention, although it has been reported that the government has included US$ 664 million funding for the purchase of 12 PAC JF-17A Block III fighters in a 2022 draft budget. However, on 21 September, 2021, the Argentine Defense Ministry published a statement denying that a budget for the purchase of the jet has been allocated, and that a particular aircraft has been selected. Prior to the severe downturn in the country’s economy due to the Covid pandemic, the Ar-


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gentine Air Force had taken delivery of ten Grob G120TP basic trainers and 12 Beechcraft T-6C+ Texan II turboprop advanced trainers. Eight Tecnam P2002JF have also been leased for primary training although the Air Force plans to purchase 25 FAdeA IA-100B Malvinas, the prototype of which is planned to fly in 2022. If and when a new fighter aircraft is acquired, there will be a requirement for a new Lead-In Fighter Trainer (LIFT). The Argentine Air Force is currently taking delivery of ten former US Navy TC-12B Hurons which will be used for standardisation flights for transport aircrew and liaison duties. In April 2021, a secondhand Boeing 737-76N transport was delivered to join a B737-500 operated by Transport Aviation Group No 1 at El Palomar.

Bolivia: During a July 2017 ceremony, attended by the armed forces’ high command, four LIFT aircraft, the HAIC L-15, the Leonardo 346, the KAI T-50 and the Yak-130 were presented as potential replacements for the Bolivian Air Force T-33 fleet and to re-equip Fighter Group-31. Although the Air Force expressed its preference for the

Russian Yak-130, the T-33s were withdrawn from service a year later with no replacement selected. The Bolivian Air Force’s latest acquisition was six Hongdu K-8W basic jet trainers in 2010 and two Eurocopter EC145 search and rescue helicopters.

Brazil: In December 2013, the Saab JAS39 Gripen NG was selected to replace the Brazilian Air Force’s fleets of Northrop F-5EM, F-5FMs and AMX A-1AM and A-1BMs fighter and ground attack aircraft. The initial contract was for 36 Gripens, comprising 28 single-seat aircraft and eight two-seat aircraft, designated F-39E and Fs in the Brazilian Air Force. The F-39 Gripens are being developed and produced by Saab in collaboration with the Brazilian technicians and engineers from Embraer. From 2021 onwards, the complete assembly of 15 aircraft will begin locally. Other Brazilian companies involved in the F-39 programme include AEL Sistemas which has developed the Wide Area Display (WAD) that has also been adopted for the Swedish Air Force Gripen Es.

The first four Saab-built F-39s will be delivered by December 2021 and enter service with 1st Air Defence Group at Anápolis Air Base in Goiás State. The second unit will be the reactivated 1st/16th Aviation Group that operated the AMX A-1 when it was deactivated in 2016. Deliveries of the 36 F-39s is expected to be completed by 2026, and although the Brazilian Air Force has a requirement for up to 72 additional aircraft to replace all the F-5EM/FM and A-1AM/BM aircraft, no decision has yet been made. The entry into service of the F-39 Gripen has prompted the Air Force to launch the KC-X3 Project for the acquisition of two multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft. In May 2021 the Brazilian Minister of State for Defence approved the purchase of two secondhand MRTTs with converted former commercial A330s or Boeing 767s as likely contenders. This year has seen the entry into service of the first four of 28 Embraer KC-390 Millennium tactical tanker transport aircraft ordered operated by the 1st Transport Group at Sao Paulo Air Base. They have been employed in Covid support

A total of 28 single-seat Saab Gripen Es are being delivered to the Brazilian Air Force designated F-39. © Saab

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Embraer has delivered four of 28 KC-390 Millennium tanker transports which are cleared for refueling Brazilian Air Force F-5s. © Embraer

missions and in August 2020 one of them flew medical supplies to Beirut after the disastrous explosion that destroyed the city’s waterfront. Another participated in Operation Culminating, a joint US-Brazil airborne troop exercise held at Fort Polk, Louisiana during January 2020. In November 2020 the Brazilian Air Force, through a technical and multi-disciplinary team coordinated by the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology, conducted the last

phase of an in-flight refuelling test campaign between the H-36 Caracal helicopter and the KC-130 Hercules aircraft. The flights took place in a restricted area under military control, on the coast of Rio de Janeiro, where the refueling KC-130M Hercules aircraft of the Gordo Squadron of the 1st Transport Group and H-36 helicopters from the Falcão Puma Squadrons of the 8th Aviation Group performed the refuelling procedure. As a result of the tests, Brazil became

Three Airbus C295M long-range search and rescue aircraft designated SC-105 Amazonas by the Brazilian Air Force have been delivered. © Airbus


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the first country in South America with the ability to refuel helicopters in flight, a historic landmark for the Brazilian Air Force. The KC-130s will be replaced by the KC-390, which is also certified to refuel helicopters. In 2021 Sikorsky received a four-year contract from the Brazilian Air Force to provide logistic support for the service’s 16 H-60L Black Hawk helicopters. The Brazilian Air Force acquired its H-60L Black Hawk helicopters via Foreign Military Sales between 2006 and 2013 to replace its UH-1Hs. The support contract was modeled after a multi-year logistic support agreement between Sikorsky and the Brazilian Army. In 2019, after previous agreements with the Army, the flight availability rate of the four Army S-70A Black Hawk aircraft reached a 100 percent readiness. Operated by the 2nd Poti Squadron of the 8th Aviation Group based at Porto Velho in Rondonia state, 12 Mil-35M, designated AH-2 Sabre in Brazilian Air Force service, are tasked with countering illicit flights along the borders with Paraguay and Bolivia carrying arms and narcotics to Brazil. However the type had not been popular with Air Force officers, suffering from serviceability and quality issues. In April 2021 Russian Helicopters announced that it has signed a contract with the Brazilian company IAS

to tackle some technical issues to enable the AH-2s to resume operations. Recent deliveries to the Brazilian Air Force include three Airbus C295M search and rescue aircraft designated SC-105 Amazonas, that provide long-range SAR over the Atlantic Ocean with the 10th Aviation Group.

Chile: Under the Pacer After-Mid-life upgrade Structural Enhancement of Lifetime (Amstel) programme, with initial Dutch support, the Chilean aircraft manufacturer ENAER is upgrading the Chilean Air Force’s fleet of former Dutch F-16s that will remain in service for the next decade. The Chilean Air Force lost one of its C-130H Hercules which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in December 2019 en route to King George Island killing 38 passengers and crew. Two former USAF C-130H Hercules were delivered to the Chilean Air Force in April 2021 to join two other C-130Hs, three KC-130Rs and a C-130B operated by Aviation Group No 10 at El Bosque Air Base at Santiago. In 2015 the Chilean government signed a letter of intent to purchase six Embraer KC-390 tanker/transport aircraft but no firm contract has yet been signed.

One of the Brazilian Air Force’s Mi-35Ms, designated AH-2 Sabre, that are being returned to service by Russian Helicopters. © FAB

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The Colombian Air Force has taken delivery of the first of eight Beechcraft T-6C Texan II basic turboprop training aircraft . © FAC

Colombia: The Government of Colombia has been conducting negotiations with several different countries over the last five years to seek a replacement for the Colombian Air Force Kfir fighter aircraft. However, amid a major economic and institutional crisis, and the cost of the Covid pandemic on Colombia’s economy, the programme has been postponed indefinitely. The Air Force had been looking for a modern replacement to its current fleet of 21 IAI Kfir multi-role fighters. Spain made a proposal for 17 Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoons which will be withdrawn from the Spanish Air Force and replaced by 20 Tranche 3+ Eurofighters to augment its existing fleet and to begin the process of replacing its Boeing EF-18 Hornet fleet. The Airbus offer included a modernisation programme that would bring the aircraft to a standard similar to the latest tranche of Eurofighters. Saab offered the Gripen E/F as the best cost-effective solution for Colombia citing the success of the Brazilian programme, that included the manufacture in country of any aircraft exported in the region.


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Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) revealed plans to develop a more advanced NG version of its Kfir fighter which it offered to Colombia. With Colombia’s long and close relationship with the United States, the F-16 would seem to be a leading contender for a Kfir replacement and the negotiations between Bogotá and Lockheed Martin have been ongoing. The purchase of around 14 aircraft to be delivered between 2023 and 2026 has been discussed, but no decision has yet been made. The United States has recently had some success in Colombia. In July 2021 the Colombian Air Force took delivery of the first of eight Beechcraft T-6C Texan II basic turboprop training aircraft under a contract signed in 2020, and three former USAF C-130H Hercules have recently been delivered and operated by Transport Squadron 811 at El Dorado Air Base in Bogota.

Ecuador: The Ecuador Air Force operates nine former South African Air Force Atlas Cheetahs, upgraded Mirage III fighter aircraft with 2112 Combat squadron at Taura Air Base. Although

obsolete, there is no replacement in view at the present time and the only other combat aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory is the A-29 Super Tucano advanced trainer that can be used as a light attack aircraft.

has ever come of them. Now the Mexican Air Force has to rely on its large fleets of Pilatus PC-7 and Beechcraft T-6C+ Texan II turboprop training aircraft as light attack aircraft for armed air patrols.

In May 2021 six new Airbus Helicopters H145M entered service with 2211 ‘Cobras’ Squadron at Guayaqui to replace the Ecuador Air Force’s HAL Dhruvs that were retired in 2015.

Because of the ongoing war on drug cartels, increasing importance has been placed on acquiring airborne surveillance platforms, UAVs, helicopters and rapid troop transports. The only aircraft on order for the Mexican Air Force are four additional Airbus Helicopters H225M Caracals helicopters and seven more UH-60M Black Hawks.

Honduras: The Honduran Air force operates a fleet of nine ageing Cessna A-37 light attack aircraft and three Northrop F-5E, one of which damaged in landing gear on take-off in September 2021. Plans to acquire two new Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light fighters were announced by the Honduran Foreign Ministry in 2014 but nothing has been confirmed to date.

Paraguay: The Paraguayan Air Force has no combat aircraft in its inventory but two additional Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX aircraft were delivered in June 2021 to join three others operated by the Special Air Transport Group based at Asuncion.



A replacement for the Mexican Air Force’s Northrop five F-5E Tiger IIs has been rumored for many years under various guises, including second-hand F-16s and F/A-18s, but nothing

The Peruvian Air Force operates seven MiG-29 and ten Mirage 2000P fighter aircraft, both of which are approaching obsolescence, but with no replacement in sight.

The Military Aviation of Bolivarian Venezuela is equipped with 22 Russian Su-30MK2 multi-role fighter aircraft and wants 12 more. © André Austin Du-Pont Rocha

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Venezuela was the first Latin American customer for the Mi-35M and it received 10 upgraded Mi-35M2s from Rostvertol in 2017. © Rostvertol

Peru is also looking for competitively priced light attack aircraft that would fit the national budget. In 2014, Peru began to update the operational and mechanical equipment of its fleet of 20 Cessna A-37 aircraft, replacing analog controls with new digital hardware. The Peruvian Air Force has requirements for two additional Leonardo C-27J tactical transports and six more Viking Aircraft DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otters, in addition to the 15 in service. Up to 24 Mil Mi-171 helicopters are required although only eight have been ordered to supplement the same number in service. Two former Spanish Air Force KC-130H Hercules were delivered at the beginning of 2021.


came to nothing. With US government sanction applied to Venezuela, its F-16 fleet has proved difficult to maintain. A planned mid-life update (MLU) programme by Belgium’s SABCA and Elbit Systems began in 2005 but was later cancelled. A similar programme to upgrade six C-130H Hercules by EADS Sogerma Services and the purchase of six Airbus C295M transport aircraft were also blocked.


The air force has an urgent requirement for aerial tanker aircraft which is not likely to be fulfilled in the near future. Other gaps in its inventory that need to be filled include electronic warfare and airborne early warning platforms. Training aircraft such as the Embraer EMB-312 Tucano need replacing as spare parts are increasingly difficult to find.

The Venezuelan Air Force, now known as the Military Aviation of Bolivarian Venezuela, is equipped with 22 Russian Su-30MK2 multi-role fighter aircraft as well as 19 US F-16 Fighting Falcons. In October 2015, Venezuela announced a plan to purchase 12 more Su-30MK2 from Russia for an estimated US$ 480 million, but it

A plan to purchase 12 H225M Caracals and H-125 Ecureuils also came to nothing although Venezuela was the first Latin American customer for the Mi-35M and its Army Air Service received the first upgraded Mi-35M2 helicopters from a total of ten that were upgraded in Russia by Rostvertol in 2017.

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Last July, the German and Norwegian procurement agencies awarded tkMS a contract for respectively four and two new Class U212CD submarines to be delivered by 2029. © tmKS

Europe leads the conventional submarine segment By Luca Peruzzi The race to face the emerging underwater threat in most world regions with new submarine procurement and upgrading programmes by both established and emerging worldwide naval forces, together with the introduction of new technologies and systems to counter the underwater threat, are influencing both navies’ requirements and the response of European shipbuilders and systems developers of conventional underwater platforms, which solutions continue to master the market.

The U212 family enlarges The advanced operationally proven Class 212A AIP design developed by the German industry headed by HDW, today thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS), which formed the basis of the joint German-Italian construction, delivery and support programme headed by Fincantieri on the Italian side, has evolved towards the larger and more capable new generation Class U212CD (Common Design) platform to respond to German 14

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and Norwegian navies requirements. Last July, the two countries’ MoD procurement bodies awarded to tkMS a contract for respectively two and four Class U212CD submarines equipped with a new combat management system (CMS) developed and provided by the new kta Naval Systems joint venture, equally owned by Kongsberg and tkMS through its Atlas Elektronik subsidiary, plus additional logistic and training for an overall € 5.5 billion value. Construction of the new submarines will start in 2023 and delivery

The new Class U212 CD submarines for the German and Norwegian navies will be equipped with the new generation ORCCA CMS developed and provided by the kta Naval Systems joint venture, which became exclusive provider also for tkMS submarines. © kta Naval Systems

to the Norwegian Navy is planned as early as 2029, while German Navy will follow in 2032. According to the few released dimensional data, with a displacement of 2,500 tonnes on surface, a length and beam of around respectively 73 and 10 meters, and a height of 13 meters, the new Type U212CD will be significantly heavier and larger and capable of worldwide operations compared to the U212A (1,450 tonnes, 56, 7 and 11.5 meters). The new platform will have a significant target echo strength (TES) reduction due to the unique diamond shape design despite new enhanced sonar location technologies, a proven fuel cell air independent propulsion providing several weeks of submerged range with no additional signatures, and a unique

non-magnetic design, making it invisible for upcoming MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection) sensors. These enhancements also satisfy the technical and operational requirements of the Royal Netherlands Navy and of other potential worldwide customers. The new submarines are also expected to have an enhanced fire power capability, including Atlas Elektronik DM2A4 Mod 4 fully digital Heavy Weight Torpedoes (HWTs), while no information was provided on underwater-to-surface anti-ship/land attack weapons although the platform dimensions would be compatible with a vertical launch system (VLS) module, alongside optimized special forces support. The new ORCCA combat management system, being developed and delivered by the kta Naval Systems joint venture, will be able to process more sensor data than ever before. This gives the crew an increased situational awareness and, at the same time, an enhanced ability for networking with allied units, according to tkMS. The ORCCA is expected to manage a sensors

The Fincantieri-led industrial team including Leonardo, Elettronica, Seastema, Avio Aero, L3Harris Calzoni and other Italian companies for the combat and platform systems is developing an evolved version of the U212A design to be delivered in four boats from late 2027. © Fincantieri

Leonardo will develop, provide and integrate a combat management system for the U212 NFS programme, which derives from the 4th generation SADOC CMS equipping the new surface combatant platforms under delivery to the Italian Navy. © NATO Photo by FRAN WO Valverde

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and weapon package including a full suite of non-penetrating and optronic masts, advanced surveillance electronics and communications systems, together with an evolved integrated sonar suite which is expected to be based on solutions coming from Atlas Elektronik and Kongsberg. tkMS will also ensure synergies for operation, logistics and maintenance, increasing platform availability and reducing in-service costs. The German Navy also became the sixth nation to acquire the Kongsberg NSM (Naval Strike Missile) and further missile developments are expected between the two MoDs.

Fincantieri-led U212 NFS Last February, the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) agency awarded a € 1.35 billion contract to the Fincantieri group for the first tranche of two boats (with options for additional two), a submarine training centre plus initial support under the Italian Navy U212 NFS (Near Future Submarine) programme. It includes the design, construction, delivery, in-service support of four submarines based on an evolved U212A AIP design by Fincantieri with unprecedented level of national industry content, the delivery of the first two boats being planned respectively in late 2027 and early 2029. Characterized by a 1.2 meters longer hull and a hydrodynamically enhanced and further quieter platform, with an AIP propulsion system including a new energy storage and management system based on Lithium-iron-phosphate batteries to be provided under a development, prototyping and certification programme assigned by Fincantieri to the FIB Italian company as a follow-on to the Far Seas R&D project. The U212 NFS will feature a newly designed integrated platform control system (IPCS) and combat and sensors suite, that allow reducing the crew to about 29 complements. The new IPCS is provided by Fincantieri Seastema, Avio Aero providing the steering and diving control system, the combat management system (CMS) being provided by Leonardo, which derives from the fourth generation of the so-called SADOC CMS for the new surface combatant platforms under delivery 16

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to the Italian Navy. Based on an open and modular architecture which ensures easy integration of third-party software applications (i.e. bistatic sonar detection), remote computing, extensive acoustic processing know-how and submarine mission specific applications (i.e. enhanced real time periscope video processing), the CMS will be installed in a state-of-the-art more spacious combat information centre positioned under a longer sail. The latter accommodates a suite of non-penetrating electrically hoisted masts excepting the new generation penetrating attack periscope, all provided by L3Harris Calzoni, including the surveillance optronic mast and, together with GEM Elettronica, the low probability of intercept radar. The new CMS will manage state-of-the-art communications, sensors and weapons suites including SATCOM (UHF and X-band) and datalinks from Leonardo, the newly designed RESM/CESM suite by Elettronica, and an open architecture fully equipped sonar suite. Being integrated by Leonardo, it includes underwater equipment by ELAC Sonar, based on a contract announced last July, as well as other undisclosed suppliers. The U212NFS CMS is fitted with a larger panoply of weapons and payloads; it is equipped with the Leonardo Black Shark Advanced (BSA) torpedo developed for the Italian Navy, and is fitted for the deployment of deep-strike weapon systems for “over the horizon” engagement and unmanned underwater vehicles integration, which will allow to gain a comprehensive underwater situational awareness being the main node of an underwater network that will extend the boat overall surveillance capability.

Naval Group Scorpene family Naval Group continues to reach new milestones in the export designed Scorpene’s production and technology transfer programmes for Brazil and India, while looking to new local and international markets, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where it opened representation offices. Originally developed with Spanish Navantia for the export market and sold to Malaysia, Chile, India and Brazil, the Scorpene

The Naval Group Scorpene family of conventional diesel-electric submarines has been sold and is in service with Malaysian, Chilean, Indian and soon Brazilian navies, while being promoted in other countries such as Indonesia and Philippines. © Naval Group

Naval Group is promoting and working on the evolution of the SUBTICS (Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System) suite with advanced combat information center layout. © Naval Group

family design is today characterized by a surface displacement of 1,600-2,000-tonnes, an overall length of 66-82 meters and a crew of 25-44, alongside a conventional diesel-electric propulsion providing 20+ knots submerged speed with option for an AIP system. Under the Indian-French governments agreement and the follow-on P-75 contract signed in 2005 for the construction of six Scorpene submarines with an extensive transfer of technology and skills, indigenous supply chain establishment and local shipbuilding process at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) shipyard by Naval Group, the former delivered the third Kalvari-class

submarine last February to the Indian Navy, while the remaining boats are in different stage of sea trials and outfitting. With a 67.5 meters length, a surface/submerged displacement of 1,615/1,775 tonnes and a standard crew of 31, the Kalvari-class Scorpene boats are equipped with Naval Group SUBTICS and Thales S-Cube acoustic suite and Safran masts, and are armed with MBDA SM39 Exocet Block 2 Mod 2 ASMs and initially Atlas Elektronik SUT HWTs, awaiting new-generation weapon procurement. Both MDL as local strategic partner (SP) and Naval Group as potential foreign SP and submarine designer have been selected to participate with other Indian and foreign contenders to the P-75(I) procurement programme for six modern conventional submarines with latest equipment, weapons and sensors, including fuel cell AIP. Under the Brazil’s PROSUB (Programa de Desenvolvimento de Submarinos) programme led by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) jointventure between Brazil’s Odebrecht (59%) and Naval Group (41%), the first of four Scorpene diesel-electric S-BR submarines being built for the Brazilian Navy at Itaguaí facilities is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2021, while the other boats are in different stage of trials or construction. Based on the strategic defence agreement signed between the Brazilian and EDR | November/December 2021


Navantia has finally launched the first-of-class S-80 Plus AIP submarine last April, which is scheduled to conduct the first sea-going in early 2022 and to be delivered to the Spanish Navy in early 2023. © Navantia

French Governments in December 2008 and the contract awarded in September 2009, Naval Group is also contributing to the design and manufacturing service related to the non-nuclear elements of Brazil’s first nuclear-powered submarine SN-BR. To satisfy Brazilian Navy’s specific requirements for extended endurance and a larger crew, the S-BR design features a 71.6 meters lengthened hull, a 1,710/1,870 surface/ submerged displacement and a 35-member crew. The SB-R is also equipped with Naval Group SUBTICS CMS, Thales S-Cube acoustic suite with passive flank array sonar, Safran’s conventional and optronic masts and Thales communications suite. With the Scorpene’s baseline six 533-mm launching tubes and 18 total weapons payload, the SB-R is armed with Naval Group F21 HWTs and MBDA Exocet SM39 Block 2 Mod 2 ASMs.

new long-range AIP submarine is characterized by a modular design, allowing to be customized according to potential customers requirements. With a surface and submerged displacement of respectively 2,695 and 2,965 tonnes, an overall length and beam of respectively 81 and 11.68 meters, the S-80 Plus features a propulsion system characterized by the new BEST (BioEthanol Stealth Technologies) Navantia AIP to be installed from the third boat and retrofitted to the first two boats. It is centred on an Abengoa Ethanol reformer plus Collins PEM fuel cells providing up to three weeks of underwater endurance, and its usage up to the maximum submarine operating depth of over 300 meters. The new submarine is equipped with a PMS developed by Navantia Sistemas alongside the steering and diving control system developed by Avio Aero and the S-80 Plus Integrated Combat System Core (ICSC), developed by General

Navantia return with S-80 Plus Navantia has finally launched the first S-80 Plus AIP submarine last April after a troubled and over a decade late development and construction programme, further complicated by the pandemic. The programme includes the delivery of four boats alongside a training centre with both tactical and platform simulators. Designed and built by Navantia with the support of US General Dynamics Electric Boat to conduct a wide range of operations, including ASuW with selective land attack capabilities, ASW, Special Forces operations support, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and mine-laying, the 18

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The new S-80 Plus is equipped with a Navantia Sistemas platform management system alongside a steering and diving control system by Avio Aero and the S-80 Plus Integrated Combat System Core, here depicted and developed by General Dynamics together with Navantia Sistemas. © Navantia

Dynamics together with Navantia Sistemas. These two highly automated systems allow for a reduced crew of 32 sailors with additional eight accommodations for Special Forces operators. Based on the latest version of the SUBICS (SUBmarine Integrated Combat System) suite by Lockheed Martin, the ICSC allows the combat system’s sensors and weapons to be highly integrated to ensure optimal management of both information and command and control centres. It also manages the submarine sensors and weapons suite including the sonar complex provided by Lockheed Martin and Spanish SAES, the latter also providing the towed array sonar, the surface surveillance suite including Kollmorgen Electro-Optical (today L3Harris KEO) optronic non-penetrating mast (Model 2010 OS) and attack periscope (Model 2010 AP) with universal modular masts by L3Harris Calzoni, the Indra Pegaso RESM suite and the Aries-S radar. The communications suite includes Tecnobit’s Linpro processor to manage tactical data Link 11/22 and SATCOM links. The S-80 Plus is equipped with six torpedo launch systems capable to launch a Spanish Navy-selected weapon inventory including Atlas Elektronik DM2A4 Seehect/ SeaHake Mod 4 HWTs, Boeing UGM-84 SubHarpoon Block II and mines, while the platform is fitted for Raytheon UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles. According to Navantia, the first sailing is scheduled for early 2022 and the delivery to the Spanish Navy is planned for early 2023. The S-80 Plus is being proposed on the international market, namely in India for the P-75I programme among others, thanks to its modular design and advanced AIP, allowing the crew accommodation to be moved from the forward to the central hull area thanks to the use of non-penetrating masts alongside new hull sections insertion for enhanced capabilities.

Saab A26 family In late July 2021, the FMV Swedish procurement agency and Saab signed a contract representing a renegotiation of the A26 Blekinge-class submarine programme and a rebaseline of the two platforms delivery to 2027 and 2028,

Last July, the Swedish procurement agency and Saab signed a renegotiation contract for the A26 Blekinge-class submarine programme rescheduling the two platform deliveries to 2027 and 2028, respectively. © Saab

respectively. The $ 600 million contract also includes new capabilities to be added during the building and delivery programme. According to an FMV statement, due to the Kockums shipyard’s condition overestimation at the time of the acquisition by Saab in 2014, and the activities needed to modernize and regain capacity by the Swedish defence group, the two A26 Bleking-class submarine design, development, construction, and delivery programme signed in June 2015 ran in delays and escalating costs which required a revision and rescheduling. The new contract covers the agreed extra costs as well as the additional capabilities that will give the submarines further edge, according to FMV. The upgrades to be introduced to the two submarines include the integration of the new generation Saab TS 47 lightweight torpedo, and undisclosed signature improvements. Additional spare parts are also included. The A26 has a 1,925 tonnes surface displacement, a length and beam of respectively 66.1 and 6.75 meters, and is the first Swedish submarine to be designed as an ‘AIP’ boat from inception, with a planned higher availability compared to previous generation submarines. With a forward-positioned boat control room, high-level of automation for a 26 EDR | November/December 2021


With an information backbone integrating all combat and ship control systems, the A26 features a new decentralized Saab SESUB 980 combat management system, already installed on board the two Gotland-class submarines subjected to the MLU programme. © Saab

crew complement (with accommodation up to 35 persons) and the latest generation of Stirling AIP, the A26 design incorporates a 1.5 meters diameter Multimission Portal between the four 533 mm torpedoes launching tubes, designed to launch and retrieve diverse mission payloads thanks to a 6-meters 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 980 combat management system, Safran optronic surveillance mast, an ESM suite in different frequencies, as well as a sonar suite reportedly based on Atlas Elektronik products portfolio and Kongsberg mine and obstacle avoidance bottom navigation sonars. The armament package features up to 15 underwater weapons, including Tp62 HWTs and future Tp47 LWTs. Sweden is proposing the new submarine design in three iterations (Pelagic, Ocean and Ocean Extended Range) for export, including the Netherlands Walrus Replacement Programme. Saab Kockums teamed with Dutch Damen group to offer joint local engineering, integration, final hull assembly, testing, and life-cycle support together with Dutch naval industry involvement.

Naval Group Barracuda Shortfin In April 2016 Naval Group (then DCNS) was selected as the preferred designer and builder for the Australian Department of Defence SEA 1000 20

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programme with its proposal for a conventionally powered derivative of the company’s Barracuda nuclear-attack submarine (SSN), which the Australian government said best met the unique capabilities required in replacing the six boats Collins class fleet with 12 new submarines. The programme also regarded the complete renaissance, with French support, of national underwater shipbuilding capabilities that was lost 20 years ago following the launch of the last of the Collins class boats at the ASC Pty shipyard near Adelaide. According to the latest released information, the proposed Shortfin Barracuda Block1A envisaged a 97 meters long boat with an 8.8 beam and a surfaced displacement of about 5,000 tonnes, retractable hydroplanes to reduce noise and drag, an X-configured rudder, the boat being fitted with 533 mm torpedo tubes. The conventional diesel-electric propulsion suite was reported to be based on four diesel alternators and a large permanent magnet main motor, with a pump jet propulsor instead of a propeller to reduce radiated noise and avoid cavitation, particularly at high speeds. Speed was reported at 20+ knots with an 18,000 nm range at 10 knots, alongside an endurance of 80 days with a crew of 60 to allow the new boats to remain on station in operational areas of interest in Northeast and Southeast Asia. The new attack class boats were to be equipped with a combat system based on Lockheed Martin Australia upgraded AN/ BYG-1(v)8 combat control system, and armed with enhanced Lockheed Martin Mark 48 Mod 7 CBASS (Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System) HWTs and undisclosed anti-ship and land attack missiles. Major equipment supplier

already selected included Safran (France), Jeumont (France), MTU (Germany), Schneider Electric France, Thales UK and Babcock International (UK). However, on 15 September, the Australian government announced the decision to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines in-country as the first initiative part of the AUKUS trilateral security partnership between Australia, UK and US, and the intention not to proceed with the subsequent phases of the SEA 1000 programme, cancelling de facto the Naval Group contracts. The Barracuda Shortfin conventional design is however a reality, which is being promoted by the French shipbuilding group on the international market in different and customized configurations. Naval Group is working on new propulsion systems with the same company’s FC2G (Fuel Cell 2nd Generation) and new batteries as well as on SUBTICS CMS developments, while Thales continues to enhance sonar technologies and capabilities and Safran the optronic mast suite.

Turkish indigenous developments The Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) of the four Preveze class (Type 209/1400) submarines and the delivery of the six Reis-class Type 214TN being constructed at Golcuk Naval Shipyard under

The Barracuda Shortfin conventional design is being promoted by Naval Group on the international market in different and customized configurations. The French shipbuilding group is working on new propulsion systems with the same company’s FC2G (Fuel Cell 2nd Generation), new batteries as well SUBTICS CMS developments. © Naval Group

the € 2.06 billion NTSP (New Type Submarine Project) programme awarded by the Turkish SSB to tkMS (then HDW) in 2009 is benefiting not only the Turkish Navy but also the national defence technological and industrial base. With the participation of a large number of Turkish companies including Aselsan, Havelsan, MilSOFT, Defense Technologies Engineering and Trade (STM), Koç Information and Defense, Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), and AYESAŞ, the know-how and experience gained with the latest programme but also with the Preveze class MLU represent a key capability to locally develop, build and equip a new generation submarine under the national submarine (MILDEN) project, which is currently in the design phase and is expected to be built in the 2030s.

Naval Group was selected for the Australian Department of Defence SEA 1000 programme for a conventionally powered derivative of the company’s Barracuda nuclear-attack submarine. Recently the Australian government halted the programme and decided to go for a nuclear-powered solution with the US and UK. © Naval Group

EDR | November/December 2021


Searching for fifth-generation fighter capability By David Oliver

The Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor was the first operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft which was not permitted to be exported. © David Oliver

On 23 April 1991, the Lockheed Martin YF-22 was announced as the winner of the United States Air Force (USAF) Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition. Designed to meet USAF requirements for survivability, supercruise and stealth, the F-22A Raptor became the world’s first ‘fifth-generation’ air-superiority fighter that entered service with the USAF in December 2005.


owever, the F-22 could not be

exported under US federal law to protect its stealth technology and classified features. Despite the ban, and after production was halted after only 187 of USAF’s original requirement for 750 had been completed, the 2010 US defense authorization bill included provisions

requiring the Department of Defense (DoD) to prepare a report on the costs and feasibility for an F-22 export variant. Australia and Japan had expressed interest in acquiring the F-22, but both countries ultimately chose Lockheed Martin’s next fifth-generation fighter, the multi-role F-35 Lightning II which included technology developed for the F-22. EDR | November/December 2021


Israel’s F-35I Adir is a customised Lightning II equipped with indigenous Israeli avionics and weapons systems. © IDF/AF

In 2010 Israel became the first country to select the F-35 through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process when it was announced that it would pay US$ 3.0 billion for 19 standard F-35As, a price that included a share of development, test and evaluation costs. The first 19 aircraft were delivered as standard F-35As while the further 31 ordered in two tranches were to be F-35Is. The F-35I Adir, meaning “Mighty One” in Hebrew, would be fully equipped with Israeli developed technology including electronic warfare equipment produced by Elbit Systems and its own avionics packages. The F-35I also differs by having a main computer that has a plug-and-play function for add-on systems,

such as guided air-to-ground munitions, airto-air missiles, and external electronic warfare pods. Israeli weapons would also be integrated including Rafael’s Python short-range air-to-air missiles and dual-mode guidance Spice GPS/IIR smart bombs while the Israeli Tel-Nor Base Flight Test Center is developing jettisonable 2,200 liters fuel tanks. Israel’s F-35I Adir is a unique version built in a way that enables Israel to integrate its own systems, such as its command, control, communications and computing (C4) built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which enables rapid software and hardware development cycles that will

An Israeli F-35I Adir takes off to participate in a training exercise with USAF during Blue Flag 2019 at Uvda Air Base, Israel. © USAF


EDR | November/December 2021

The F-35I Adir aircraft, designated AS-15, used for trials and testing of weapons and equipment manufactured in Israel. © IDF/AF

also provide more affordable modernisation and system support over the platform’s life cycle, as systems are required to meet rapidly changing operating environments. No. 140 ‘Golden Eagle’ Squadron based at Nevatim was the first to receive the F-35s which were declared operationally capable on 6 December 2016. No 116 Squadron ‘Lions of the South’ was the second operational F-35I Adir unit. On 22 May 2018, Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin said that the service had employed its F-35Is in two attacks on two battlefronts, marking the first combat operation of an F-35 by any country. Norkin said it had been flown “all over the Middle East” including over Beirut in daylight and in July 2019, Israel reportedly expanded its strikes against Iranian missile shipments. USAF F-35A Lightning IIs and Israeli Air Force F-35I Adirs took part in exercise Enduring Lightning III over Israel in October 2020. Twenty-seven F-35s had been delivered to the Israeli Air Force by May 2021 including one F-35I that is retained in the United States used for testing indigenous Israeli weapons, electronics and structural upgrades, designated AS-15. A third F-35I Adir unit, No 117 ‘First Jet’ Squadron was formed in

July 2021 as a training unit at Nevatim Air Base which will ultimately become fully operational. In July 2018 the Israeli Air Force hosted a military delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to review operations of its advanced US-made F-35 fighter aircraft. Israel is a Security Cooperation Partner in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme, and its introduction was a key part of the Israeli Air Force recapitalisation plans. Israel is the only country in the region that has the F-35 in its inventory, it is also the only nation at the time that had used the fighter in combat missions. Although not having formal diplomatic ties, Israel and the UAE are cooperating in security matters as way to counteract the growing influence of Iran in the region. The extraordinary visit came as the UAE sort to purchase its own fleet of F-35s amid reports of a burgeoning Israeli-Gulf alliance against Iran. In the final days of the Trump administration, the US approved a defence package for the UAE worth an estimated US$ 23 billion for a fleet of 50 F-35s, as well as 18 MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and air-to-air and air-to-ground assorted munitions. In April 2021 the US State Department said; “We can confirm that the administration intends to move forward with these

EDR | November/December 2021


The Royal Saudi Air Force has taken delivery of 72 fourth-generation Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighter aircraft. © BAE Systems/Jamie Hunter

proposed defense sales to the UAE, even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials to ensure we have developed mutual understandings with respect to Emirati obligations before, during and after delivery.” Regarding adequate security and how the UAE F-35s will be used, the US might seek guarantees from Abu Dhabi that its stealth jets are never based in a third country for expeditionary combat operations and only ever leave Emirati territory temporarily for participation in peacetime military exercises with friendly countries. It is also likely that the F-35As the US may sell the

UAE will almost certainly be more limited than Israeli F-35I Adirs already in service. The Biden administration has already expressed its intention to only sell “defensive” weapons systems to Saudi Arabia from now on. It could well adopt a similar policy toward Abu Dhabi through the imposition of clear restrictions on where, and under what circumstances, it can use its F-35s. Biden also anticipates that Washington’s commitment to diligently uphold Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) over the Middle East will be a significant factor in the UAE deal, as it was with the past US sales.

One of the three two-seat Typhoons operated by the Royal Air force of Oman’s No 8 Squadron at Adam Air Base. © Crown Copyright


EDR | November/December 2021

A Qatar Emiri Air Force single-seat Rafale EQ, one of 98 fourth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft being procured. © USAF

Selling the F-35 to the UAE also raises the risks of a regional arms race, as well as increased tensions between the United States and Russia which has discussed selling its answer to the F-35, the S-400 Triumph air defence system, to Iran. US Officials have expressed apprehensions that the S-400 could potentially weaken the F-35 fighter aircraft by gathering critical information on its stealth capabilities since the fighter’s external shape, internal carriage of weapons and fuel, and embedded sensors, all have been designed to maximize its stealth performance. Its potential deployment has produced concern in Israel because it could threaten future Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets, although Israeli F-35s have operated near Russian S-400 systems deployed to Syria. Other potential fifth-generation aircraft fighter customers in the region include Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar, although they have all have made huge investments in the latest fourth-generation multi-role combat aircraft. The Royal

Saudi Air Force (RSAF) has recently taken delivery of 84 Boeing F-15 Saudi Advanced (SA) Strike Eagles as part of a US$ 29 billion US FMS agreement signed in 2010. Boeing is also upgrading 66 RSAF F-15S Strike Eagle multi-role fighters to SA standard under a US$ 21.6 million FMS. In addition to the F-15SA, the RSAF is taking delivery of 72 Eurofighter Typhoons under a £ 4.4 billion contract with BAE Systems signed in September 2007. In March 2018, a memorandum of intent for 48 additional Typhoons was signed during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the UK, but the sale has yet to be officially confirmed. On 21 December 2012 a £ 2.5 billion contract was signed in Muscat for BAE Systems to supply the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) with 12 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets and eight BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft, the delivery of which were completed in January 2019. The Typhoons now equip the RAFO’s re-formed No 8 Squadron at Adam Air Base.

EDR | November/December 2021


China’s first fifth-generation multirole fighter, the Chengdu J-20 is being delivered to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.

ern France, in October 2017. The unit was initially led by a French officer, before command was transferred to a Qatari officer in 2019. In September 2016, the sale of 72 F-15s, was submitted to the US Congress for approval. A contract for 36 F-15QAs, based on the Saudi F-15SA, plus an option for 36 additional aircraft, valued at US$ 21.1 billion, was signed in November 2016.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) is set to quadruple the size of its combat aircraft inventory. Qatar originally signed a US$ 6.92 billion memorandum of understanding covering the supply of 24 Dassault Rafales, including two-seat trainers, in May 2015. Twelve more were added to the original order in December 2017 and Qatar retains an option to buy up to 36 more. The French Armée de l’Air stood up a Qatari Rafale training unit at Mont-de-Marsan, in south-west-

Exactly a year later the QEAF ordered 24 Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighters from BAE Systems as part of a £ 6 billion contract which included nine Hawk AJTs and a support and training package. This included reforming the RAF’s No 12 Squadron in 2018 as the RAF’s first joint squadron since World War Two. Qatari pilots and ground crew have been learning how to fly and maintain the Typhoon at RAF Coningsby in the UK since June 2020, with RAF personnel providing training both in the air and on the ground as they prepared to accept the first Typhoons.

The Sukhoi Su-57, Russia’s first fifth-generation fighter aircraft is entering limited service after a protracted development. © Russian MoD


EDR | November/December 2021

In August 2021, Russia unveiled the Sukhoi Checkmate at the MAKS airshow, a single-engine fifth-generation multi-role fighter. © Rostec

In 2011 the QEAF had evaluated the F-35A Lightning II but decided that it was a quantum leap for an air force operating small numbers of obsolete Alpha Jet light attack aircraft and fourth-generation Mirage 2000s. Apart from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar’s, new fleets of fourth-generation fighter aircraft will be in service for the next two decades at least, by which time the F-35, which entered service in 2015, will no longer be the cutting edge of fighter technology. The only other operational fifth-generation aircraft are China’s Chengu J-20 that entered limited service in September 2017, and the Russian Sukhoi Su-57 that entered service in December 2020, both of which have limited export potential. In 2007, India and Russia agreed to jointly develop the fifth-generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme for the Indian Air Force based on the Su-57 but India withdrew from the programme in 2018 before any prototype was built, citing one of the main issues being the Su-57’s insufficient stealth design.

However, at the Russian MAKS 2021 airshow, a new fifth-generation light tactical fighter aircraft was unveiled, the Sukhoi Checkmate. Scheduled to make its first flight in 2023 and designated Su-75, the stealthy, single-engine fighter will have a short take-off and landing capability, a range of up to 2,800 km (1,740 miles) with a 1,500 km (930-mile) combat radius and a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 (2,150 km/hr). Powered by a thrust-vectoring Saturn AL-41F1 power plant, the Checkmate will have a combat payload of 6,800 kg (15,000 lb) carried in three internal weapons bays. If its reported cost of US$ 25-30 million can be achieved, it could be capable of attracting a healthy export market at the end of the decade. In the longer term, the Middle East countries now equipping with new fourth-generation fighter aircraft may wait until new sixth-generation British and Franco-German future combat air systems are fully developed and in operational service in the mid-2030s.

EDR | November/December 2021


The Repellent-Patrol mobile anti-drone EW system © Rosoboronexport

Rosoboronexport: arms export contracts worth over 3 Billion Euros were signed at exhibitions held in Russia this summer The 2021 summer exhibition period demonstrated the strong demand for Russian weapons and military equipment. At ARMY 2021 Military-Technical Forum, MAKS 2021 Air Show and IMDS 2021 Maritime Defense Show, Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation) held negotiations with foreign partners and signed over 30 contract documents worth more than 3 billion euros. Rosoboronexport leveraged the full potential of Russian summer defense exhibitions, thereby filling its order portfolio and increasing the workload of domestic defense enterprises: the export plan now includes the Su-30-type aircraft, Mi-35M/P, Mi-171Sh and Mi-17V-5 helicopters, aircraft weapons, the Pantsir-S1/S1M self-propelled anti-aircraft gun/missile (SPAAGM) system, the Verba MANPADS, the Protivnik-GE radar, the Krasukha electronic warfare system, the Repellent-Patrol mobile anti-drone EW system, the Kornet-EM ATGM system, remote controlled weapon stations, weapons for naval surface combatants and submarines, small arms and ammunition. An agreement was reached on integrating


EDR | November/December 2021

The Orion-E reconnaissance/strike UAV © Rosoboronexport

The Palma anti-aircraft gun/missile system © Rosoboronexport

Russia’s Palma shipborne gun/missile close-in weapon system (CIWS) into a ship’s foreign-made weapons system. Russia’s successes in military-technical cooperation prove that the domestic industry is capable of developing new unique products and solutions that are in demand in the market. At the same time a qualitative renewal of the plants and design bureaus’ assets, their timely retrofitting and their upgrade exploiting funds obtained from the implementation of State defense orders and export contracts, launches the processes of positive transformation of regional infrastructures, from household facilities to science schools, technology parks and experimental laboratories accessible to youth.

EDR | November/December 2021


The Pantsir-S1/S1M self-propelled anti-aircraft gun/missile system © Rosoboronexport

Among new Russian products presented at Russian exhibitions this summer, foreign partners paid special attention to the T-14 Armata tank, combat vehicles based on the Boomerang platform, Orion-E reconnaissance/strike UAV, Antey-4000 battlefield air defense missile system, Pantsir-S1M SPAAGM system, the fifth-generation Su-57 fighter, BMP-3 with the Berezhok combat module, and other equipment. More than 80% of Rosoboronexport’s annual deliveries fall on products manufactured by Russian Engineering Union (REU) enterprises such as Rostec’s holding companies, including Russian Helicopters, High-Precision Systems, United Aircraft Corporation, and other domestic defense enterprises. The companies associated in the Russian Engineering Union are a strong growth driver of the Russian economy, which greatly contributes to the development of military-technical cooperation: their hightech products are heavily exploited by partners from more than 100 countries, in the most challenging climatic and combat conditions. Today, Rosoboronexport’s portfolio of export orders exceeds $52 billion.

The Su-30SM multi-purpose fighter © Rosoboronexport


EDR | November/December 2021

The K08BE air bomb © Nikolai Novichkov

Russia contracts: KTRV to produce Tsirkon hypersonic missiles By Nikolai Novichkov

At the Army 2021 exhibition the Russian Ministry of Defense signed 41 contracts with 27 defense enterprises for the delivery of 1,300 new and upgraded weapon systems of 150 different types, worth over 500 billion rubles (around USD 6.85 billion), Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko said on August 24. NPO Mashinostroenia of the Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) signed the first contract for the production of hypersonic 3M22 Tsirkon missiles by 2025. The supplies of missiles designed by the KTRV are to begin in 2022. KTRV CEO Boris Obnosov said the Tsirkon was designed on schedule and the process of developing hypersonic arms was ongoing. “Our competitors can catch up with us if we stop,” he said.


EDR | November/December 2021

The Kh-35UE anti-ship missile © Nikolai Novichkov

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said Tsirkon can get close to Mach 9 speed and destroy targets at a distance of over 1,000 km. The missiles will shortly go on combat duty. The weapons of the corporation enjoy a good demand in the world market. In 2020, its arms trade comprised USD 800 million, and in 2021 the figure is expected to exceed USD 1 billion, Obnosov said. Exports will be promoted by new products designed by the corporation. Obnosov said the total 2020 income was close to 241 billion rubles (USD 3.3 billion), which is above the previous year. The KTRV is currently focused on the design of weapons for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). “It is a priority for us. Several years ago we created the necessary scientific and technical potential to develop inertial guidance systems and homing warheads to be used in small-sized munitions,” Obnosov said. The KTRV has all the competences to produce small precision weapons for strike drones, with weight at launch of around 50 and 100 kg. The KTRV is closely cooperating with the Kronshtadt Company and the Ural Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA) in drone design, and continues upgrading a series of high-tech precision arms. In particular, it has improved the characteristics of the Kh-35E antiship missile and developed it into the Kh-35UE. Its equipment presets the flight route to bypass terrain relief and vertically maneuver. The combined guidance system with inertial and satellite navigation and an active-passive homing warhead, makes the Kh-35UE a high precision and jam-resistant weapon.

The KAB-1500LG-F-E laser-guided smart bomb © Nikolai Novichkov

EDR | November/December 2021


The Kh-59MKM missile © Nikolai Novichkov

The continued upgrade of Kh-35UE aims at providing the missile with increased tactical and technical characteristics (provision of guidance systems with automatic decision-making technologies of selflearning artificial intelligence that analyses images and identifies objects), longer range and higher flight speed, and to make it adaptable to new carriers. The high-speed Kh-31PD antiradar and Kh-31AD anti-ship missiles, with combined ramjet propulsion, have considerably increased characteristics. The Kh-31PD can be launched without entering the air defense zone. It is armed with a broadband homing warhead that can defeat all types of targets. Obnosov said KTRV is designing a new generation high-speed antiship missile with a longer range and higher speed and better jam-resistance. New guided air-to-air short (RVV-MD) and medium-range (RVV-SD) missiles have been upgraded. The maximum launch distance was increased by over 30% and its guiding jam-resistance has improved. Long-range (RVV-BD) guided missiles have unprecedented characteristics. The high-power doubleregime solid-fuel engine provides a range of 200 km and an operational envelope of 15-25 kilometers altitude.

The RVV-SD, RVV-MD and RVV-BD air-to-air missiles. © Nikolai Novichkov


EDR | November/December 2021

The UPAB-1500BE (index K029BE) air bomb © Nikolai Novichkov

The corporation continues to design smart air bombs. They are equipped with satellite guidance systems (KAB-500S-E). Laser-guided smart bombs (KAB-1500LG-F-E) against ground and sea targets enjoy a major demand. The KAB-250LG-E small-caliber bomb, which is fitted with a laser homing warhead, is offered for export. The Region Company of the KTRV told EDR Magazine it had begun to upgrade the latest guided K08BE and UPAB-1500BE air bombs. The latest Russian bombs will get new homing systems. The Raduga enterprise of the KTRV in Dubna has upgraded the Kh-59MK air-to-surface cruise missile. The inertial navigation system updated by satellite signals guides the missile at stationary reinforced targets which available coordinates were pre-recorded in the system, the circular error probability being 10 meters. A more powerful dual-action warhead system was installed. The 320 kg main payload is complemented by a 40 kg preliminary warhead (precursor charge) with a delayed contact detonator and four cumulative shells. It can pierce a 3-meter thick reinforced concrete target. The Kh-59MK can be launched by the carrier from a distance of 285 kilometers from the target at altitudes of 200-11,000 meters at a speed of 600-1,100 km/h. The missile speed during the main flight segment is of 900-1050 km/h, altitude ranging from 15 to 2000 meters. The missile is prepared for launch in 60 seconds. Target data input can be done either before takeoff or by the pilot during the flight. The missile has a weight at launch of 930 kg, 760 kg without fuel. It is 5.7 meters long, it has a diameter of 380 mm and a wingspan of 1.3 meters. The KTRV is working to create a family of air-to-surface precision weapons based on the Kh-38ME modular guided missile that can be equipped with combined guidance systems, including satellite navigation, and carry various payloads. According to KTRV the Kh-38 launch range is 3-70 km and its hit probability is 80% against targets not using countermeasures and 60% against systems fitted with countermeasures. The missiles can destroy single armoured and unarmoured targets as well as groups of them, warships along the coastline being other objectives of choice.

EDR | November/December 2021


MAGAZINE 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° 59 • September/October 2021

Nove mber N° 60 •

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MAGAZINE European Defence Review NE M AGA ZI

rican Latin Ame ents requirem Aircraft entional s the conv Europe lead segment submarine eration for fifth-gen Searching y bilit fighter capa s export xpor t: arm rone obo 3 Billion Ros worth over ions contracts at exhibit e signed mer Euros wer sia this sum held in Rus V tracts KTR Russia con Tsirkon to produce missiles hypersonic

British Army: integrated review funds artillery modernisation

Logistic Support Ships: European designs and programmes

Europe’s Competing Future Combat Air Systems

The key challenges of European Cyber Defence, the EDA view The UK’s confused path to future military capabilities


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European Defence Review (EDR) is the premier English-language journal focusing on defence-related issues from a distinctly European perspective. EDR is produced by the defence industry’s most prominent and distinguished journalists. Regular contributors include: David Oliver, Ian Kemp, Jean-Pierre Husson, Dmitry Fediushko, Nikolaï Novichkov, Paolo Valpolini and Luca Peruzzi. Graphic design/layout by: Advertisers in this issue: KMW [C2] • EUROSATORY [4] • EXPODEFENSA [13] • SINGAPORE AIRSHOW [22] • KTRV [33] • ROSOBORONEXPORT [C3] • MBDA [C4]

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