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Contents FEBRUARY 2010 VOLUME 18 / ISSUE 1
Front Cover Photo: A contemporary of the now retiring MiG-29 in the Royal Malaysian Air Force procurement plans, the eight F/A-18D will remain on the RMAF’s frontline for many years to come. With a combat range of up to 575 nautical miles, the twin engined aircraft in Malaysian service are designed to engage surface targets on land and sea as well as conducting air superiority missions. The F/A-18E/F is one of a number of aircraft being considered to replace the MiG-29 © AJB
Asian Air Force Modernisation AMR Regional Air Force Directory 2010 Adam Baddeley AMR’s definitive update of air power in the Asia-Pacific, listing each country’s air force assets as well naval and army aviation platforms, with guides to the procurement issues and aspirations for the year ahead
Richard Gardner The quantity and quality of a nation’s Air Force inventory is a major indicator of success in regional, inter-state conflict and also provides a key military contribution to conducting operations other than war supporting troops on the ground. Countries in the region are rapidly transitioning to new forms of airborne warfare, closing the now outdated gap between those countries hitherto considered advanced and in some cases, pushing toward radically shifting the strategic balance
52 Regional Infantry Fighting Vehicles Chris Foss Across the region, militaries are ensuring that troops have the means to arrive at the close battle under armour, dismount then receive fire support from that platform to defeat enemy armour, fortifications and infantry. To provide that capability, militaries are both adapting legacy and acquiring new platforms
Port & Maritime Security Gordon Arthur Ensuring that Sea Lines of Control remain open and economic access to the sea is maintained has until recently largely been a police or paramilitary role. The use of the maritime environment by terrorist organisations has seen maritime security become central to national security
18 India and ASEAN Helicopters Ian Kemp Transport of troops and supplies, direct attack against battlefield targets, rotary wing aviation does it all. India and ASEAN nations are renewing their capabilities for new platforms to conduct existing roles while adding new roles. Both local industry and international partners are active participants in these markets
Radio Communications Adam Baddeley Growing the tactical internet is a continuing challenge for the military, whether it is expanding the range or throughput for the ‘First Mile’ communications. Identifying the right mix of handheld and manpack radios in HF, VHF and UHF is increasingly central to success both on and off the battlefield
Urban ISTAR John Mulberry Both conventional and irregular forces have long recognised that towns and cities provide the ideal physical and human geography from which to blunt and defeat the forces of larger, conventionally ascendant enemies. Defeating such asymmetric enemies within such complex terrain first requires them to be detected and then successfully identified
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hen the military talk about the power of the ‘network’, they address the undoubted capabilities that can be provided by modern communications. It is a strategic oversight on the part of many militaries that the network is actually already here, is already in almost universal use and is already being skilfully harnessed by their enemies.
The network I’m talking about is the network created by individuals on street corners with cheap, off the shelf cell phones almost always equipped with increasingly powerful cameras, camcorders and other devices and ably supported by the use of Photoshop or any other editing software installed on any home computer. That capability is already being used to great effect by insurgents and terrorists in across the globe today, who then record front line events using these new media tools and then disseminate them using the power of the Internet. An image or better still a video, can decisively shape perceptions of a conflict. That’s nothing new. Previously, however combat footage was only available from military cameramen or professional media, accompanying combatants. Today the professional media is almost as much as a target for insurgents and terrorists in conflicts around the world as the combatants themselves and rightly limit their exposure to such threats rather than relatively freely roaming the combat zone.
The consequence of this has been a dearth of combat footage. Nature and the media abhor a vacuum and seek imagery to fill that void. In the absence of their own coverage, they take what they can get. In the context of many conflicts today, that means downloading imagery of an IED attack, hostage or prisoner making a statement, from jihadist websites. That imagery is not raw, but selected, edited and increasingly professionally crafted by the originator to manipulate the perceptions of the viewer – in short propaganda – not as footage to illustrate a news item, which all too often is how it is used by news organisations.
Prevailing in conflict today is as much about winning arguments as it is winning battles. Militaries must become more agile when it comes to negating or even anticipating their enemy’s propaganda, not an easy task but the only way to counter accusations which have no basis in fact but which may still stick in the public consciousness if they are not effective countered.
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Asian A I R
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Air Power Modernises Airpower is not just a statement of national prestige. While it still a consideration, air forces in the Asia pacific region are beginning to look beyond such perceptions and to develop force structures of new and modernised aircraft, backed by force multipliers and increased professionalism and skills amongst their personnel that are enabling them to stand as equals with traditionally more advanced air forces.
by Richard Gardner
he biggest problem in modernising air arms is the huge burden of replacing aircraft with their current equivalents, which invariably cost many times more. Although todayâ€™s technology can now deliver so much more capability, in order to fully exploit it, air forces must invest in the command and control infrastructure and up-to-date training, to give the operational gains commanders are seeking. Many nations still regard maintaining large numbers of supersonic combat aircraft as essential statements, confirming national status as well as providing a deterrent. This is changing and more attention is being given to making better use of existing assets through upgrades and modernised infrastructure. For decades, the powerful, combat experienced, Indian Air Force (IAF) has maintained a large modern fleet of military aircraft, comprising a mix of indigenous designs and licencebuilt and imported aircraft. Most front line aircraft have been of Russian origin, from the MiG-21, through the MiG-23, -27 and -29, to the current Su-30MK. The Sukhoi Su30MK family represents the best of the current multi-role combat aircraft, and undoubtedly
The Chinese PLAAF is developing even more capable versions of the J-10 multi-role combat aircraft, seen here in air superiority role ÂŠ Aerospace International
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
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gives the IAF a platform that can probably outperform almost anything else in the region that it is likely to have to face. Supplementing this Eastern-supplied fighter in the IAF front line is a large fleet of Dassault Mirage 2000H aircraft. India also retains around 100 licencebuilt and European-built Jaguar (Shamsher) fighter-bombers, which have recently been upgraded with modernised communications and avionics systems. For more than two decades India has been developing and producing its own homegrown family of military jet aircraft, including trainers and an indigenous lightweight fighter, the LCA Tejas. This was supposed to be followed by a more advanced medium size combat aircraft, but to date, the programme remains largely an aspiration and the replacement of the IAF’s MiG-21 fleet is
now going to be met through the selection of a foreign design. Known as the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, this will be chosen after an intensive evaluation and competition, which is now taking place. Russia is offering the latest MiG-29 variant, known as the MiG-35, the US is offering both the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and the latest F-16C/D Fighting Falcon, while Europe has been offering the Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen. India’s naval Sea Harriers have been upgraded with new Israeli radars and are being supplemented by new navalised Mig-29Ks. Perhaps the biggest breakthrough for Western aircraft suppliers in the Indian military market has been the selection of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon as a maritime patrol platform, to replace Russian-supplied Il-38s and Tu-142s. This is Boeing’s first export for the new P-8A aircraft, which will considerably extend India’s capability for surveillance and ISTAR well over the whole Indian Ocean. It is believed that the contract covers eight aircraft. India’s Dhruv utility helicopter has become a widely used type, and the nation’s home aero-
space industry continues to grow, though some projects, such as a new jet military transport, seem unlikely to make it to production, in the face of strong global competition. Pakistan is a nation that has suffered more than its fair share of internal strife in recent times. With the government under pressure to take firm action against terrorists using the lawless and rugged North West Frontier region as a safe haven for operating into Afghanistan and in Pakistan itself, the Pakistan armed forces have been actively working to destroy the terror training camps and to cut supply routes. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been making maximum use of its helicopter and troop transport aircraft, including AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters and Eurocopter Pumas and Mi-8 Hips and Mi-17s. C-130 Hercules of different variants provide paratroop-dropping capability as well as the ability to supply-drop from the air. The PAF has long been seeking the latest F-16 C/Ds from the USA, to supplement its Mirage aircraft, and has now ordered 24 to fly alongside Chinese-supplied and jointly produced combat aircraft including the A5C Fantan, the F-7P Skybolt, the JF-17 and the latest J-10. Working closely in cooperation with US forces along the border with Afghanistan, the Pakistan government has sought to exploit US-supplied target intelligence, much of it coming from unmanned air systems and satellites, to take out suspected terrorist cells and camps. Additional air assets
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are also being acquired, including a fleet of SAAB 2000 AEW & C surveillance platforms, equipped with the Erieye radar and former US Navy P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. EADS CN-235s are replacing older military transports, and can use short airstrips for forward support. Pakistan is obviously following a difficult defence balancing act keeping close to its traditional Chinese allies and industrial aerospace partners, while expanding its procurement of US aircraft and systems. Bangladesh has a small air force equipped with MiG-29s and F-7s. The operational status of the MiG-29s is somewhat questionable
For more than two decades India has been developing and producing its own home-grown family of military jet aircraft
at present, but with little scope for a major new combat aircraft purchase, recent procurement has concentrated on helicopters, which are in much use, especially on humanitarian missions following regular flooding emergencies. The main Russian-built helicopters are Mi-172s, Mi-171s and Mi-17s, with Bell 212s and 206Ls from the West. Myanmar’s defiance of world opinion on human rights matters has isolated it from Western influence, which has resulted in China remaining its main source of military
The Royal Australian Navy is one of the growing regional users of the Eurocopter NH-90 helicopter © Richard Gardner
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equipment, and political support. Combat strength has been boosted with the delivery of 10 MiG-29Bs. These supplement a fleet of Chinese supplied F-7Es and FT-7s, plus A5M Fantans. Pilatus PC-7s and 9s provide pilot training, with G-7 Galebs, and it is believed that these can also act in the light attack role, supplemented with Russiandesigned helicopters. The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will start replacing its F-5Bs and Es with SAAB JAS-39 Gripens, next year, and the first ex-Swedish Air Force example flew late in 2009. This represents an important leap in capability over the 1960s F-5E/F Tiger IIs. At present the RTAF front line operates 36 F-16 A/B Block 15s. The RTAF has ordered two SAAB 340 Erieye AEW & C patrol aircraft and also operates a large fleet of transport aircraft, including the C-130H Hercules and CN-235 (10 exam-
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will start replacing its F-5Bs and Es with SAAB JAS-39 Gripens
ples). It has recently added the first of four ATR 72-500s to its transport fleet, including one VIP aircraft. With the modernisation of the F-16s and purchase of Gripens, Thai air power is a well balanced force, and not overstretched in terms of training and support capacity. After a decade in which the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) suffered problems maintaining availability rates in its MiG29 and Hawk 208 fleets, it is now modernising again. The front-line fleet leader is the Su30MKM, with 18 aircraft. A mixed fighter fleet also includes eight C/D model F/A-18 Hornets. The RMAF was expecting to extend its Su-30MKM fleet but continuing problems
The Japanese Self Defence Air Force has despatched two P-3C Orions to Djibouti to assist in a multinational force of warships and aircraft patrolling the Western Indian Ocean to protect commercial shipping from pirate attacks ÂŠ JSDAF
have opened up a possible opportunity for Boeing to sell the latest F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. Malaysia has a long coastline, with growing pirate and smuggling activities to counter and is introducing six new CN-235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and four King Air 200s. Perhaps the most important new aircraft are four Airbus Military A400Ms. These will provide a huge increase in regional air mobility, carrying more than twice the payload of the existing C-130 Hercules transports. Malaysia as an industrial partner has been anxiously waiting to see if the programme will survive, which now looks much more likely. Due to its island location at a key Asia Pacific trade crossroads, the Singapore government has recognised the importance of equipping its air force with an effective modern air fleet. Priority modernising the front line has started with the selection of the Boeing F-15 SG as the main multi-role air platform. With advanced multi-tracking AESA radar and a swing-role capability, the F-15SG is the latest version of the Strike Eagle, and is seen as a counter to the potential regional threat from Mig-29s and Su-30s. The RSAF also operates a large fleet of F-16 C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcons and still retains F5E Tiger IIs. Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye AEW aircraft provide both early warning and airborne command and control.
SAAB has recently flown the first JAS39 Gripen destined for the Royal Thai Air Force. This was one of a large number of Gripens prepared from stored aircraft formerly ordered by the Swedish Air Force and subsequently made available for export ÂŠ Saab
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
Singapore is also sensitive to the local threat of piracy and uses Fokker F50 turboprop maritime patrol aircraft, along with smaller twin engine types and a large number of helicopters, including Eurocopter Cougars and Super Pumas. The RSAF now has a 12-strong fleet of Boeing AH-64D Apaches and a similar number of Chinook transport helicopters. With nine older C-130B and H model Hercules in its fleet, Singapore will need to replace these aircraft soon. Likely solutions include the C-130J or the A400M. Indonesia remains somewhat unstable politically, which has worried neighbours as its air force has small numbers of Su-30s and Su-27s as well as F-16As, F-5E Tiger IIs and Hawk 209 light attack aircraft. Indonesia has a large number of transport and maritime patrol aircraft, including C-130s and home assembled and imported CN-235s and C212s. More Su-30MKs will be required, though an upgrade and extension to the F-16 fleet may be favoured, even though funding any major upgrade to the front line may prove a challenge. Large numbers of Hawk trainers may need replacing with more advanced types, featuring glass cockpits, though once again upgrades may be more affordable and more likely. The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) is one of the best equipped in the region, and is increasingly self-supporting as its home aerospace industry grows, with US help and support. Like Singapore, the ROKAF chose the latest version of the F-15E Strike Eagle for its main air superiority role. The 60 F-15Ks will replace most of the 100+ fleet of ageing F-4D and E fighters, but it has not yet been decided which aircraft will replace the rest. The ROKAF was one of largest users of the Phantom II, though the locally assembled 210 F-16C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcons provide a highly effective air defence and close support capability. From its experience building F-16s, KAI developed the all-new Mach 1.5 T-50 in conjunction with Lockheed
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Martin as an advanced trainer, but the light F/A combat version is also due to enter ROKAF service replacing the F-5Es. The service has a mixed fleet of reconnaissance and intelligence gathering aircraft, including Hawker 800s and has selected the Boeing 737-based Wedgtail AEW&C aircraft. The fleet of transport aircraft comprises mostly C-130Hs and CN-235s, but Hercules replacements will be needed over the coming years. Japan has always maintained an inwardlooking, strictly self-defence posture, and so while its own aerospace industry has continued to develop new aircraft, they have made no impact in export markets. Very little has been heard of progress with new Kawasaki jet replacements for its C-1 and C-130 transports and P-3C MR aircraft. With the rise in piracy on the high seas, Japan has deployed two P-3C Orions to Djibouti to help protect its tankers and container ships. After trying unsuccessfully for a decade to lobby the USA to be able to procure F-22 Raptors, interest is now focussing on the F-35 JSF, but a totally new indigenous
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The A400M has been ordered by Malaysia and will be an attractive airlifter if the C-17 ends production © Airbus Military
design mock-up for an advanced stealthy fighter was revealed, but is unlikely to reach production. Japan’s current major front line combat aircraft remains the F-15J Eagle, alongside the co-produced Mitsubishi-Lockheed Martin F-2 (based on the F-16). It also has a large fleet of E-2C Hawkeyes providing AEW,
with Japan’s 4 unique Boeing 767-based AWACS. Soon to enter full service will be two KC-767J air-to-air refuelling tankers. China’s vast Peoples’ Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) requires more descriptive space than is available in this regional overview, however it must be mentioned that
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The C-295 from EADS in MPA format, equipped with surveillance radar and electrooptical turrets, with Forward Looking Irfra-Red, is becoming a popular affordable maritime patrol aircraft and can be armed with torpedoes and missiles © Richard Gardner
it is now entering an expansion phase that looks likely to see both greatly increased production of Chinese-developed combat aircraft, such as the J-10 family, and imported and licence-produced Russian designs, such as the Su-30MKK and Su-27SK, also known as the Jian-11. China is developing its own multi-role version with a new engine, avionics and weapons system. An enhanced version of the Su-30, the MKK2, has a much greater potential ISTAR capability and the ability to carry long range Kh-31 anti-ship cruise missiles. The closer relationship with Russia on defence matters has resulted in newer aircraft being offered to replace some of China’s oldest operational aircraft, including transports and tankers, as well as fighters. The J-10 was designed to provide an agile air defence platform, able to counter the latest Western combat jets, but it too is also being developed into a multi-role combat platform, with the latest B variant having a more advanced defensive aids suite. China is known to be working on a fifth-generation “stealthy” fighter, but it remains to be seen if this will reach production status. New Zealand remains committed to maritime patrol, with a fleet of P-3K Orions, and air mobility for its Army, though a transport fleet centred on the C-130H Hercules and Boeing 757. When the time comes to replace
A difficult act to follow- The RAAF F-111C is about to be phased out and replaced by F/A -18E/F Super Hornets, and later, F-35 JSFs © Richard Gardner
its C-130Hs, the new J model, widely used by Australian and US forces in the region, must be a likely contender. The RNZAF is currently introducing the NH-90 as its new tactical utility helicopter. The Australian Defence Forces are undertaking a very substantial modernisation programme. While there remains some doubt over just how affordable this will be, the triservice upgrades will certainly restore many capabilities that will strengthen the nation’s defence posture in the region, and will extend the expeditionary mission across a wider area,
The J-10 was designed to provide an agile air defence platform, able to counter the latest Western combat jets
when two 27,000 helicopter carriers are completed. The two LHD amphibious warfare ships will introduce large decks, docking facilities and a formidable capability for acting as a command and control centre. This may prove to be an invaluable new regional asset where emergency relief operations are required. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle is currently providing South Korea with a new generation supersonic advanced trainer, and the light combat fighter variant could become an affordable replacement for Asia Pacific operators using elderly F-5s, Mig-21s and A-4 Skyhawks © KAI
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has recently committed to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme, with an initial order for fourteen aircraft, for delivery in 2014. Up to 100 aircraft may be needed, but in the meantime the RAAF has ordered 24 of the latest Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to replace the long-serving GD F-111K strategic strike and reconnaissance aircraft. The last 12 Super Hornets will be wired to accept additional electronic systems and power supplies so that, if required, they could be delivered as Growler electronic warfare variants. In any event this will remain an option for future retrofitting, perhaps when the F-35 takes over as the main combat air platform. The Super Hornets will fly alongside earlier F/A-18 A/Bs and will retain an operational edge in the Southern Hemisphere, especially combined with the new fleets of Boeing Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft and the Airbus A330 air-to-air tanker-transports. Four Boeing C-17 transports have given Australia a boost in strategic air-lift, supplementing the C-130J transports used for long distance as well as tactical transport. Replacing the retired DHC Caribou transports has proved to be difficult, and a mix of Hercules and Beech King Airs are filling the gap. The Alenia C-27 is probably the favoured replacement, but may be too expensive for the time being.
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H E L I C O P T E R S
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Whether the mission is ferrying cargo, troop transport or destroyin enemy targets, procurement plans in both India and ASEAN are looking to helicopters to achieve it.
by Ian Kemp
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
H E L I C O P T E R S
n mid-September 2009 an Indian Army Aviation Corps (AAC) Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), along with three elderly Cheetah helicopters, participated in the rescue of 19 members of an Indian Army mountaineering expedition stranded at an altitude of 14,600 feet in the Pin Parbati Pass due to incessant rains and heavy snowfall. In the new helicopter’s first recorded rescue mission the Dhruv extracted 12 personnel in three sorties while the other seven were rescued by the Cheetahs. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a state owned company managed by the Ministry of Defence, announced the launch of
The Dhruv made its first flight with the new engine on 12 January 2009
the ALH programme in November 1984 and the first civil prototype ALH made its initial flight on 23 August 1992. The objective of the project was to develop a twin-engine multirole five tonne helicopter which could be used by the AAC, Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Navy (IN), Indian Coast Guard and the Border Security Force as well as civilian operators. The ALH was designed with assistance from Germany’s MesserschmittBölkow-Blohm (now part of EADS). The origC
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US Army soldiers exit an Indian Army Aviation Corps HAL Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter during the bilateral Exercise ‘Yudh Abyas 09’ © US Army
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A Royal Thai Navy S-70B helicopter prepares to take off from the US Navy guided-missile frigate USS Ford (FFG54) during a joint training exercise © USN
inal design featured twin 1,000 shp Turbomeca TM 333 2B2 turboshafts mounted above the cabin, driving a four-blade composite main rotor. Recent versions of the Dhruv are fitted with the more powerful Turbomeca Ardiden, which will be know locally as the Shakti; the Dhruv made its first flight with the new engine on 12 January 2009. Whereas the TM 333 2B2 is rated at 1,100 shp the Ardiden 1H1 is rated at 1,200 shp and features improved high altitude performance in both hot and cold conditions. With a maximum takeoff weight of 5.5 tonnes the helicopter can carry a 2,580 kg payload including 1,075 kg of
fuel and 1,500 kg underslung. In standard configuration the Dhruv carries two pilots and twelve passengers while two additional passengers can be carried in the high density configuration. The high tail boom allows stretchers and cargo to be loaded via the rear clamshell doors. The Army and Air Force versions are fitted with skids while the naval and civilian variants feature a wheeled undercarriage. The Dhruv has a maximum cruise speed of 255 km/hr and a range of 640 km. In high altitude trials, the Dhruv achieved an altitude of 8,400 metres in October 2007 in Siachen; this is an important requirement for the army to support its operations in Kashmir and the Siachen Glacier. The Indian Coast Guard became the first service to field the Dhruv in 2002. Under the
An Indian Navy Sea King Mk 42B lands aboard the US Navy cruiser USS Cowpens. India is seeking the direct purchase of 16 multirole helicopters to replace its 40-year old Sea Kings © USN
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
The new LUH must be able to operate at altitudes of up to 6,000-7,000 metres.
terms of a December 2007 contract HAL is to deliver 105 ALHs to the Army and another 54 to the air force through 2016; more than 60 aircraft had been delivered by the end of 2009 with one-third going to the IAF and the bulk to the AAC. The 2007 contract includes 66 aircraft in the new Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) configuration, also referred to the Weapons Systems Integrated (WSI) model. The LCH, which was approved for development in October 2006, will be used in the antitank and anti-personnel roles. The LCH features a glass cockpit with multifunction displays, a target acquisition and designation system with forward-looking infrared, a laser rangefinder and a laser designator; weapons will be aimed by a helmet-mounted sight. The helicopter’s 700 kg weapons load includes: a Nexter M621 20mm cannon mounted in Nexter THL 20 turret; and a mixture of up to eight anti-armour missiles, four air-to-air missiles or four rocket pods for 70mm and 68mm rockets mounted on two stub wings. The MBDA Mistral has been selected for the air-toair role and the Helina airborne version of the Nag fire-and-forget anti-tank missile developed locally by the Defence Research and Development Organisation will be used in the anti-armour role. Lockheed Martin has been discussing the sale of the Hellfire II missile system to India, possibly produced locally by state-owned Bharat Electronics and Bharat Dynamics, and has suggested the combatproven missile could arm the LCH. The heli-
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H E L I C O P T E R S
An Indian Air Force Mi-17 medium support helicopter lands to pick up US Army soldiers during the bilateral Exercise ‘Yudh Abyas 09’ in October 2009. India has purchased another 80 Mi-17 in the V5 configuration © US Army
copter’s first flight, originally scheduled for August, was postponed to enable engineers to reduce the weight by about 20 percent to 5.5 tonnes. Company officials said in late November that the prototype would make its first flight in December or January. Weapons will be integrated into a second prototype
before its test flight and a third prototype will be delivered to the IAF for user trials. If the flight test programme proceeds to plan the type will receive initial operational clearance by December 2010 and final operational clearance (FOC) in 2011 leading to introduction into service in 2012 or 2013. Further MoD
orders for both the ALH and the LCH are anticipated. Israel Aircraft Industries, which supplies the glass cockpit, for the ALH has an agreement with HAL to market the helicopter to export customers. In the first sale of indigenously developed military aircraft HAL exported five Dhruvs to Ecuador; two have since been sold to Nepal, one to Israel and an additional aircraft to Mauritius. The sale of two Dhruvs configured as air ambulances to Peru marked the first export sale of an Indianbuilt helicopter to a civilian customer. In early 2008, Admiral Sureesh Mehta announced that the Dhruv did not meet the Navy’s requirement for a shipboard helicopter which could be used in the anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles and was instead seeking about 60 10-12 tonne helicopters. The Navy has received seven Dhruvs and may order more for various utility tasks. Since 2003 the Navy has operated nine Kamov Ka-31 Helix helicopters in the airborne early warning and control role and in August 2009 the government approved the purchase of another five with the contract expected to be signed shortly. The backbone of the Fleet Air Arm is the Westland Sea King Mk 42 which
Helicopters that can
first entered service in 1970 with about 35 of 42 Mk 42A/Bs delivered still operational. The MoD has released a tender for 16, nine tonne multi-role helicopters, value at Rs23.5 billion, with an option for an additional eight aircraft to AgustaWestland (AW101), Eurocopter (EC 725), NHIndustries (NH 90), Rosoboronexport and the US government. In the longer term, the MoD is seeking overseas partners to assist HAL with the design and development of a nine to eleven tonne Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) for use by the three Services and the Coast Guard. The IAF is the largest operator of helicopters among the services with a fleet of 20 Mi24 and Mi-35 attack helicopters acquired between 1984 and 1990 equipping two squadrons; 102 Mi-8 and 72 Mi-17 support helicopters; three Mi-26 heavy lift helicopters; and, 60 Cheetah, 48 Chetak and 20 Dhruv utility helicopters in late 2009. A contract to supply 80 Mi-17V-5 helicopters to the IAF was signed during the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to India on 5 December 2009. The air force is seeking 22 twin-engine attack helicopters to replace the Mi-24s and Mi-35s and 15 heavy lift helicopters. In May 2009, the MoD issued a request for
An exercise casualty is loaded onto a Royal Thai Navy SH-60 Seahawk helicopter during the joint Thai-US Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2009 exercise in July 2009 © USN
proposals (RfP) for the attack helicopters, worth an estimated Rs28 billion, to AgustaWestland (AW129 Mangusta), Bell (AH-1Z Super Cobra), Boeing (AH-64 Apache), Eurocopter (EC665 Tiger) and Mil (Mi-28N). A earlier tender, issued in 2008, which specified a 50 percent offset requirement was withdrawn after the two US compa-
nies refused to bid; the new tender reduces the offset requirement to 30 percent. The need to reissue the tender has forced the IAF to slip the in service date to 2012 at the earliest; the 2008 RfP stipulated that the first pair of helicopters should be delivered within 24 months of contract signature and the last within 36 months. The heavy lift tender has been
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H E L I C O P T E R S
A Republic of Singapore Air Force Boeing CH-47SD Chinook medium support helicopter lifts off from the deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry. Boeing is hoping to sell 15 CH-47F Chinooks to the Indian Air Force © USMC
released to Boeing (CH-47F Chinook), Mil (Mi-26) and Sikorsky (CH-53 Sea Stallion). The MoD is also seeking 384 2 to 2.7 tonne class Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) with 259 allocated for the AAC and for 125 to the Indian Air Force. The new helicopters would replace the HAL Chetak, a single engine seven seat aircraft designed by Aérospatiale as the SA 316 Alouette III in the 1950s, and the HAL Cheetah, designed by Aérospatiale as the single engine five seat SA 315 Lama to meet an Indian requirement for a helicopter which could operate in hot and high conditions. The new LUH must be able to operate at altitudes of up to 6,000-7,000 metres. The majority of the AAC’s 12 squadrons are equipped with 50 Chetaks and 130 Cheetahs. It also operates 12 Lancers, an armed version of the Cheetah, and 10 of its Cheetahs are being fitted with the Turbomeca TM 333 2M2 engines to boost their performance. The MoD’s procurement strategy calls for 197 LUHs, worth Rs31-34 billion, to be imported with the remaining 187 to be manufactured by HAL at new facilities to be built at Bangalore over the next several years. The LUH project was originally launched in the 2003 with a request for proposal for 197 aircraft; the Eurocopter AS550 C3 Fennec and the Bell 407 were selected for extensive trials in 2004 and 2005. The Fennec was declared the winner of the competition but this decision was later cancelled, following accusations of irregularities in the testing, leading the MoD to relaunch the tender in July 2008. By early December 2009 three
of the six firms which very invited to bid for the project had responded positively – AgustaWestland (believed to be bidding the AW119 Koala), Eurocopter (AS550 C3 Fennec) and Rosoboronexport (Kamov Ka226). The ministry’s insistence on a 50 percent offset obligation instead of the usual 30 per cent required for contracts of this size resulted in Bell Helicopter’s decision in November 2008 not to enter the competition. Flight testing of rival designs is expected to take place this year although it now seems that Winter trials will not take place until 2010-11. In a subsequent phase of the LUH project the AAC, and possibly some IAF, helicopters may be armed. This phase is expected to be decided during the 2012-17 five-year defence plan, HAL plans to invest more than Rs 25,000 crore (about $5 billion) over the next ten years to develop its research and development capabilities, and production base for both fixed and rotary wing aircraft as it seeks to boost its annual turnover from the present $2 billion to $6 billion. With India planning such major invest-
The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s 20 Boeing AH-64D Apaches give it a capability not matched by any other force within ASEAN ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
ment it is no surprise that that the major helicopter manufacturers are seeking local partners for both military and civil projects. Last February, AgustaWestland and Tata Sons signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the formation of a joint venture company which will establish a final assembly line in India for the AW119 helicopter. In June, India’s Mistral Solutions and Eurocopter signed an MoU to collaborate and in the aerospace and defence sectors. Mistral will offer engineering services covering hardware design, firmware/embedded software development, systems integration, testing and qualification. Eurocopter highlights its longstanding relationship with HAL in the development and production of the Chetak, Cheetah and the Dhruv to support its bids for the various MoD projects. The two major US helicopter manufacturers are seeking to extend their success amongst the ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific nations to India. In November 2009 Sikorsky Aircraft and Tata Advanced Systems announced the creation of a joint venture that will manufacture aerospace components for Sikorsky in India, including cabin components for its S-92 medium helicopter. India’s Sea Kings, although built in the UK, are of course based on the Sikorsky design. Sikorsky’s Black Hawk family has sold well in the region: Brunei has bought four S-70A and two S-70C; the Philippine Air Force operates two S-70s in the VIP role; and, the Royal Thai Army has seven UH-60L Black Hawks while the Royal Thai Navy has ordered six MH-60S Seahawks to supplement six S-70B-7 Seahawks. The Black Hawk family is also in service in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Following the selection of the H-92 Superhawk in July 2004 for the Canadian Forces Maritime Helicopter Project, Sikorsky is seeking another large order for its latest military helicopter. The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s 20 Boeing AH-64D Apaches give it a capability not matched by any other force within ASEAN as does its 10 CH-47SD Chinooks. Through its offer of Apaches and Chinooks to India Boeing is hoping to repeat the success of its $2.1 billon sale of eight P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, the largest defence contract awarded by the Indian government to a US contractor to date. Despite Indian’s protracted, and sometimes tortuous, procurement process there is much to tempt the world’s helicopter manufacturers to the region as they seek both direct military sales and the local production of both military and civil models.
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Marine Expanding the range and capacity of the tactical internet is a key goal for the dismounted infantryman or marine. Identifying the right mix of handheld and manpack radios in HF, VHF and UHF is increasingly central to success both on and off the battlefield and has become a major focus for procurement in the region.
by Adam Baddeley
Elbitâ€™s PNR-710MB provides an ultra-lightweight V/UHF capability ÂŠ Elbit
he tactical internet of today, operated by dismounted soldiers and installed in the fighting vehicles directly supporting them, relies largely on Very High Frequency (VHF) Combat Net Radios (CNR) which have been proven by decades of reliable service on battlefields across the world in all environments. This battlefield role is being ‘squeezed’ - or complemented depending on your perspective - by the advent of smaller hand held and embedded UHF radios equipping the individual and larger, higher power wideband data radios providing a multimegabit data backbone, supplemented of course by patrol High Frequency (HF) manpack radios for Beyond Line of Sight communications. That said, the enduring voice and data capabilities that VHF radios provide will ensure that they will remain in military inventories for decades to come. While CNR designs may differ, the VHF frequency they operate in imposes certain common criteria that are defined by physics and can’t be evaded. Limited to line of sight communications, a dismounted soldier can quite achieve ranges of over 8Km using VHF links. VHF is also imbued with a significant block of frequency; 30 to roughly 300Mhz
The Philippines have acquired a significant package of Harris Falcon II radios including the RF5800V-HH used during LIMA in December to link naval personnel on shore with their ships © AJB
which enables generous, 25 kHz channel spacing which ensures high signal quality and more efficient coding and encryption as well as reasonable data qualities. Furthermore, VHF is unattractive to commercial entities such as mobile phone companies, unlike UHF, ensuring its availability in a congested electronic environment. Ergonomically both the antenna and selective tuning components on VHF radios are small and low in volume, further lending themselves to applications in the tactical arena. Solutions have variable power outputs, a low battery saving mode of typically 2W, rising to five for hand held radios in roles such as squad radios, with the power output in manpack form factors rising to 10W and in some configurations higher. When mounted in vehicles, weight and power become functionally irrelevant, 50W can be used. Higher power ensures more reliable communications, particularly in cluttered urban terrain by increases the signal-to-noise and boosting the quality of the signal. The Asia Pacific has seen major investments in radio communications reflecting a greater understanding that the potential of extremely capable platforms and weapon systems already in service can be enhanced by their implementation in a network. Malaysian firm Sapura has teamed with Thales to produce the F@stnet for the Malaysian forces since 2007. The company also produce its own radio, the hand held PRC-5100 which is the standard hand held radio at the squad level. Since fielding the radio to the Malaysian armed forces, the radio has been acquired by a further six countries. F@stnet has a number of international customers in addition to Malaysia with the radio being produced for Poland under license by Radmor with a similar relationship with Amper Programas for the Spanish armed forces. The Netherlands acquired the radio in 2008 as a its requirement for high capacity communications to support a new Battle Management System capability being brought into service. The radio is in French service where it is known as the PR4G VS4IP. The 3kg IP radio operates from 30-88MHz
F@stnet has a number of international customers in addition to Malaysia FEBRUARY 2010
Malaysia operates the Thales PR4G F@stnet, produced under license by Sapura © AJB
and is capable of frequency hopping at speeds greater than 300hops per second and supports simultaneous voice and data, the latter using a 64Kbps waveform. In North East Asian, Japan produces its own indigenous radios and neither imports nor exports any CNR capability. In Taiwan, the military’s long delayed acquisition of its 37A voice and data tactical radio is now recently underway, offering both a voice and data capability. In addition to this indigenously developed radio, as part of the Po Sheng C4ISR network, Taiwan is acquiring the ARC-201 airborne Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) for use with the Apache and UH-60M, along with ground based variants to provide a downlink for the aircraft with SINCGARS also being used in the networks supporting Patriot PAC-2 and Avenger. South Korea’s produces the PRC-999K VHF CNR frequency hopping data capable radio for its armed forces. The radio has also been exported to Indonesia with the radio becoming one of many types that Indonesia operates, leading to acknowledged problems with encryption interoperability. Turkey, largely via Aselsan, has strong associations with Indonesia. In Turkey, two
ITT’s SINCGARS radios are used by Australia and New Zealand as key elements for their Tactical Internets © DoD
radios will replace the current the current 3088MHz 9600 VHF radio in service with the Turkish Armed Forces, which is a local licensed-copy of the GEC-Marconi ScimitarV. The 9600 has been successfully exported to Uruguay, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with 4000 sold to Pakistan where it is made under licence. The 9600 operates from 30-108 MHz in both frequency hopping and fixed frequency. The 9600 are to be placed by the manpack PRC-9661 SDR and the hand held PRC-9651. The 9661 operates over 1.6-512MHz, covering HF, VHF and UHF. The 9661 has been sold to Uruguay, Azerbaijan, Algeria and Egypt and has been proposed to Pakistan as a follow on to the 9600. Aselsan and the Turkish Armed Forces have avoided the need for US Software Communications Architecture (SCA)-compliance because of the implications for national control. Thailand, like Singapore has historically
looked to Israeli firm Elbit C4I SystemsTadiran for its CNRs. Elbit latest offering is the CNR9000 HDR CNR which is capable of 115Kbps throughput on a 25khz channel. New features have been developed for this waveform, including ad hoc networking and a new communications controller. The waveform is shared by the company’s vehicle mounted new SCA 2.2 compliant SDR-7200 SDR due for imminent launch with the platform ultimately providing the basis for a family of radios. The company also offer the PRC710 and ultra light fully-featured handheld VHF radio.
Australia acquired a number of SINCGARS as part of its acquisition of the M1A1 Abrams
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
Thailand is acquiring HIMARS and may acquire SINCGARS radio as part of that FMS acquisition. New Zealand and Australia both use the Advanced Systems Improvement Program (SINCGARS). Australia acquired a number of SINCGARS as part of its acquisition of the M1A1 Abrams with the same waveform also being operated by Thales AN/PRC-148 MBITR radios which has been in Australian service for some time. As part of its Land 125/75 or Land ‘200’ requirement Australia is acquiring a combined dismounted and mounted BMS. For the dismounted element, Australia has selected a combination of the Raytheon’s EPLRS MicroLight to link down to the platoon develop and then using the VHF Harris RF Communications AN/PRC152 to connect sections using the SINCGARS waveform with US Type 1 encryption. Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the region to have access to Type 1 SINCGARS, the latter country initially acquiring the radio to equip Piranha vehicles.
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Both Singapore & Thailand are equipped with communication systems sourced from Elbit Systems © Elbit
Outside the US, the biggest operator of the SINCGARS in Asia is Iraq who has been acquiring the radio under contracts date from November 2007 buy both the manpack, and vehicle mounted versions as well as the hand held iteration of the radio known as the Spearhead which has also been acquired by Saudi Arabia. In total, over 40,000 radios have been fielded or ordered with a cumulative order value which exceeds $200m. In June, ITT won a US contract to supply 58,000 new SINCGARS radios and ancillaries valued at $363 million with provision to buy as many as 174,000 further radios. Currently, the US Army’s Acquisition Objective for SINCGARS is 581,000 with 430,000 already fielded. ITT is in the process of switching production to the ‘G’ SINCGARS model SINCGARS. This noteworthy for the inclusion of technology from the Thales JTRS Enhanced MBITR (JEM), related to security and the SCA. Over 300,000 of the Army’s current SINCGARS were acquired since 9/11 ensuring that this radio will be in frontline US inventories for years to come. Harris is a major supplier of CNRs to the region. Australia and New Zealand are two of a small number of countries in the Asia Pacific operating the firm’s AN/PRC-117 multi-band multi-mode radio. The latest version of the radio the AN/PRC-117G, which has already been field with US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and chosen as the sole Single Channel JTRS manpack solution in an October 2009 award valued at up to $419m. The export version of the AN/PRC-117G
is the AN/PRC-7800M manpack, which offers similar wideband capabilities using the Advanced Networking Wideband Waveform (ANW2) to provide high capacity ad hoc links protected by a exportable commercial encryption. In conjunction with Boeing, Harris recently conducted simulated C4ISR trials in Australia using the RF7800M-MP Falcon III, the export variant of the radio to link ground troops, UAVs and a Chinook. In April 2008, Harris announced a $60m deal with the Philippines which included the Falcon II RF5800V VHF handheld radios. At the LIMA show held in Malaysia in December, Philippines naval personnel used the RF5800V2 establish a link between personnel ashore although communications were undertaken in clear, again reflecting the communication disconnect between different radio types. Brunei also signaled its intention to equip its armed forces with Harris radios The AN/PRC-148 family provides a capability used by a number of countries in the region © Thales
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
with a $25m award in February 2008 which also included the RF5800V-HH and order which is now completed with a local support and maintenance facility quickly established. Though not in Asia, Romania has implemented an advance communication system based around the Falcon II and Falcon III families. The lowest level is the RF-7800S Secure Personal Radio, which links to a suite of vehicle mounted radios using the ANW2 UHF waveform. Inside each vehicle are RF-5800V-MP VHF and RF-5800H-M HF Falcon II radios for voice and simple situational awareness messaging, the latter for Beyond Line of Sight communication. In addition for high data rate communications are handled by the RF-7800M-MP. This solution equips two mountain and a single mechanised battalion and command post. It is noteworthy that these radios operate using the proprietary Citadel or other non US Type 1 encryption already widely exported around the world making this tactical network easily realisable by most nations of the world. A recent addition to the Harris product line is the RF310H which is similar in appearance to and interoperable with AN/PRC-152 and interoperabil-
ity but without the full Type 1 security requirements that increase costs and other procedural burdens. While exportable, the radios are still governed by US ITAR regulations. A number of countries require an entirely ITAR free solution. General Dynamics UK have provided a brigade sized solution for Libya and are beginning to offer the solution to a wider market. Rohde and Schwarz’s M3TR range has been providing an ITAR free solution for some time using the SECOS and SECOM waveforms. The radio comes in two versions covering the HF, VHF and UHF freuqncy domain with the main CNR solution offering VHF and UHF range (25 MHz up to 512 MHz). Malaysia uses the Rohde and Schwarz M3SR to link its fleet of Offshore Patrol Vessels to shore based systems although it doesn’t operate the manpack version. Radmor’s have widely exported their product line to a number of countries. Its R3501 VHF radios have been sold to a number of customer including Algeria, the Czech
Republic, Iraq, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Slovak Republic. The company has also developed the new R3505, a 20-520 MHz hand held software defined radio. Kongsberg’s Multi Role Radio VHF has been sold to a number of countries including Kuwait and Hungary. Barrett, better known for HF in the region also offer the PRC-2080 Tactical VHF which is backwards compatible
Harris is a major supplier of CNRs to the region
with the ubiquitous but ageing PRC-77. High Frequency radios have rationally been less compact and weigh more than squad and section level VHF radios. This is now changing to meet the requirements of foot patrols, where the ability to lighten the load provides greater operational flexibility. Codan’s 25W 1.6-30MHz, 2110M HF Manpack transceiver is one of the lightest feature-rich HF radios available today, coupled
with a highly capable weight-to-performance ratio. The 2110M transceiver weighs just 2.9Kg, at least a quarter less than its competitors and its 8Ah 2.1Kg battery has a life of over 30 hours with a 1:9 TX: RX ratio. Users can opt to use an alternate 13Ah solution, boosting the radio’s battery life by over 50 hours. This life has been achieved by working with customers to pare down those features they deemed unnecessary to a core set. Additional features can then be added via software according to customer needs both at the time of purchase and throughout the radio’s service life. Standard features include FED-STD-1045 ALE/CALM, Selcall, SMS and an internal speaker with ease of training enabled via the use of a ‘Nokia-look’ menu structure. Recently, Codan released the DV 256 AES Encryptor supporting both 256-bit AES encryption and MELPe digital voice. Codan is also the only HF radio manufacturer to offer an internal GPS and its antenna, eliminating the need for an external box, cables or antenna.
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THE AMR REGIONAL AIR FORCE DIRECTORY
Prepared by Adam Baddeley FEBRUARY 2010
REGIONAL A I R
F O R C E
fter a sojourn of four years, we return with the ‘AMR Regional Air Force Directory’, providing a baseline framework of current inventories and future plans providing quantitative detail of the shifting sands of the two extremes of declining serviceability and newly delivered aircraft. The Directory is designed to complement this issue’s feature on air power trends in the Asia Pacific region, immediately preceding the Directory, with quantitative detail to enable comprehensive analysis in a dynamic environment. This is the tenth edition of the annual reference guide to the various air forces, naval air arms and army aviation forces across the Asia Pacific Region, encompassing an arc of air power from Pakistan to Japan and down to New Zealand, taking in the modernising behemoths of China and India and addressing the needs of those struggling to maintain the status of current fleets such as Laos and Bangladesh. The Directory has been compiled from a range of open sources from around the world, AMR’s correspondents and discussions with industry and military personnel. AMR would like to thank those who have scratched their heads and provided answers to our questions. To claim absolute accuracy in this endeavour when for example trying to gauge serviceability levels on North Korea’s F-7 squadrons would invite hubris on our part. We would therefore like to encourage readers over the next twelve months who can add information to either contact us in person at the year’s shows and exhibitions or by e-mail.
Afghanistan National Army Air Corps 1 An-26 5 AN-32 2+18 Ordered G222 27 Mi-8/17DV/V5 12 Mi24/35 2 L-39C
NOTES: The ANAAC has a steep learning curve is to meet previously outlined goals of 120+ aircraft by 2012. The advent of initial delivery of G222s and armed helicopters provide a significantly more coherent force structure. In October, the USAF announced
The now 71 F/A-18A/B aircraft acquired by the RAAF are nearing the end of their lives, with the first aircraft having been delivered in 1984. They will be joined from 2010 by the first of 24 F/A18Fs, half of which could be upgraded to the ‘G’ variant from 2012 © DoD
an RFI for an ANAAC requirement for 6-20 fixed-wing single-engine turboprops in the roles of advanced flight trainer and lightattack aircraft.
Royal Australian Air Force 54/17 F/A-18A/B nearing end of service life 17/4 F-111C/RF-111C due to be retired in 2010 24 Ordered F/A-18F half A/C capable of conversion to EA-18G, decision in 2012 14 Ordered F-35A requirement for 58 more A/C plus 28 to replace F-18F’s post 2020 33 Hawk 127 64 PC-9 8+5 Ordered B350 Trainer 3 B350 Transport interim for Project Air 8000 Phase 2 2+4 Ordered 737 Wedgetail AEW&C. First 2 A/C delivered in Nov. 2009. Remainder to be delivered 2010-11 with FOC in 2012 18 AP-3C 3 P-3C 2 737-700BBJ 4 C-17 3 Challenger CL 604 VIP 10 C-130H retiring in favour of the ‘J’ 12+2 Ordered C-130J-30 ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
KC-30A also capable of 270 passengers or 34 tons cargo P-8A not yet committed to acquisition
Royal Australian Navy 16 S-70B-2 Seahawk 4 Sea King Mk50A 2+4 MRH 90 based at HMAS Albatross with new 808 Squadron 13 AS350BA Lead in helicopter training 3 Agusta AW109E
Australian Army Aviation Corps 27 OH-58 6 CH-47D 7 Ordered CH-47F estimated cost is $560 million 11+11 Ordered Tiger ARH with 1st Aviation Regiment 34 S-70A-9 Blackhawk 1 AS350BA 2+38 Ordered MRH 90 3 B300
NOTES: Orders for 14 F-35As kicks off JSF buys in the region. Decision on compensation for three year Wedgetail delay, resolved in late 2009. Retirement of 13 DHC-4 Caribou provides impetus for their replacement under Air 8000 Phase 2 for 10 A/C with King Air 350s taking the strain until then. RAN looking for 24 new A/C to
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replace its S-70B-2, under Project Air 9000 in 20014-16.
Bangladesh Air Force 8 A-5C 24 F-7M/BG 8 MiG-29SE/UB 8 L-39ZA 3 An-32 4 C-130B 14 Bell 212 14 Mi-17/172 6 Mi-171 attach role 16 UH-1N/Bell 212 4 Bell 206L 6 FT-6 11 T-37B Bangladesh Army 3 Bell 206L4 4 Cessna 152 1 Grand Caravan
NOTES: The Bangladesh Air Force is planning the replacement of its F-7, A-5 and FT-6 fleets with an emphasis on low maintenance costs reflecting lessons learned from the expensive MiG-29 purchase and is expected to look first to China for answers.
Royal Brunei Air Force 3 Ordered CN-235 MPA
1 2 11 4 6 4
CN-235-110M Bell 206B Bell 212/214ST BO105CB S-70A/L PC-7Mk II
NOTES: The biggest news for the RBAF is the discussion of a requirement for single large transport aircraft to support the self deployment of company sized unit for peacekeeping missions. Brunei long standing Light Fighter requirement still not progressed.
Royal Cambodian Air Force 6 Mi-8/17 doubts over Mi-17s operational status 2 Mi-26T 5 L-39C 2 Y-12-II operated by Ai Cambodia 3 An-24RV* operated by Ai Cambodia
Notes: Much of the fleet is non operational including approximately 6 Mig-21s and number of F-7s. Significant rises in defence spending; following clashes along its border with Thailand are unlikely to be focus on new air platforms.
Peopleâ€™s Liberation Army Air Force
The PLAAF has benefitted immensely from the influx of Sukhoi fighters and accompanying technology although the J-11 fighter programme is causing friction with Russia over technology transfer and its implications for export markets ÂŠ DoD
120 300 60 180 170 95+135 Ordered 99 76 4 230 8 Ordered 1
H-6 inc. 10 H-6U Tankers J-7 JH-7 J-8II J-10 J-11A/B Su 30MKK/MK2 Su-76SK/UBK JF-17 Q-5A IL-78 A-50I prototype along with KJ-2000 radar/mission system 2 Y-8 AEW prototypes with different radar configurations 2 737 80 Y-7 50 Y-8 14+30 Ordered IL-76MD 4 Tu-154 ELINT 3 Mi-6 260 Mi8/17/171 35 Z-8 100 Z-9 20 Z-11 22+134 Ordered HC-120 2 L-15 120 JJ6 40 JJ7 180 JL-8/K-8 20 Z-11 People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force 50 H-5 phasing out quickly 26 H-6D 6 Y-8 MPA 2 Y-8 ELINT 120 J-6 in reserve 30 J-7D/E 54 JH-7A 124 J-8 40 Q-5 23 Su-30MKK2 50 Ordered Su-33 3 AS565N 11 Ka-28 8 Mi-8 3 SH-5 7 Z-8 25 Z-9C
NOTES: Continued development of the J-11, particularly for the J-11C carrier variant, coupled with J-10 procurement, provide a
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bedrock on which the introduction J-XX ‘fifth generation’ fighter from around 2020 will build. Little news on WZ-10 attack helicopter representing a big gap in the PLAAF’s capabilities. Another shortcoming is tactical airlift with no clear view apparent on how this will be rectified.
80 16 Ordered 20 Ordered
Indian Naval Air Arm 4+12 Ordered MiG-29K/KUB, interest in 29 further A/C 8/3 Sea Harrier FRS51/Harrier T4/60 8 Tu-142M 8 Ordered P-8I MPA focused on Tu-142 replacement 20 Do-228 MPA 4 IL-38 MPA 12 BN-2, replacement competition recently postponed 7 Dhruv ALH no further Navy Dhruv’s planned 7 Ka-25 16 Ka-28
Indian Air Force 62 MiG-29S/UB, SMT upgrade due 2011-2014 63 Mirage-2000H/TH 104+125 Ordered Su-30MK/MKI, options for a further 50 by 2016 180+ MiG-21Bison/bis/M, 120 MiG-21 Bison will continue on to 2020, others retired from 2011 130 Jaguar IM/IS, plans to down size Jaguar fleet to 63 with DARIN III upgrade by 2014 11 MiG-23UM 106 MiG-27UPG, plans to extend recent avionics upgrade across further AC/C out of service date 2020 3 Ordered EMB-145 AEW, DRDO led project 1+2 Ordered IL-76TD AEW, first A/C operational in 2009 plans to increase fleet to six 6 IL-78 MKI ‘MARS’ 6 Pending A330 MRTT 104 An-32 6 order C-130J, SF platform 38 Do-228-201 55 HS 748, some in ELINT role, to be replaced by MRTT 17 Il-76, in early stages of upgrade 22+54 Ordered Dhruv 210+80 Ordered Mi-8/17 17 Mi-25 3 Mi-26, replacement programme to deliver A/C from 2014-15 15 Mi-35 28 SA315 Cheetah 48 SA316 Chetak 23+42 Ordered Hawk 132 requirement for 57 new trainers inc. for Navy but not necessarily for the 132
HJT-16 HJT-36 Tejas LCA delivery from 2011 further 140 planned
Indian Army 40+ 105 Ordered Dhruv ALH 20 +10 Ordered SA315
40 29 10
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Ka-31 AEW further 5 A/C planned SA316/319 Sea King 42/A/b/c HJT-16
NOTES: The MMRCA’s126 strong requirement plus options for 63 make the MMRCA programme’s outcome, key for 2010. Weight problems for HAL’s Light Combat Helicopter for which 179 are required have emerged. In May, the MoD began a competition for 22 attack helicopters from the AH-1Z Super Cobra, AH-64 Apache, Tiger Mi-28N. India has also mooted interest in up to ten C-17s.
Indonesian Air Force 7/3 F-16A/B 29 Hawk 209 10 Hawk 53/109 2 +3 Ordered Su-27SK/SKM 5 Su-30MK/MK2 4 F-5E/F, due to be replaced from 2013
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26 16 2 5 15 37 13 206 49
Indian Su-30s performed well, going head to head with against other nations’ aircraft during Exercise Red Flag. Further Sukhoi’s have been ordered and will be joined by the 126 planned MMRCA on India’s future front line © DoD
3 1+2 Ordered 2 1 14 12 5+2 4 5 11 2 Ordered 10 11 12 15 14 28
737 MPA CN-235 MPA KC-130B 737 C-130B/H/ H-30/L-100 C-212 CN-235110/220M F27-400M F-28 1000/3000 NAS330J EC725 NAS330J EC120B KT-1B SF-260M/W T-34C AS/SA-202
Indonesian Army 1 BN-2A 3 C-212 11 Bell 205A-1 18 Ordered Bell 210 28 Bell 412 10 Ordered Bell 412EP 17 NBO-105 16 Mi-17-V5 8 Mi-35 Indonesian Navy 3 NC-212-200 MPA 9 NC-212-200 3+3 Ordered NCN-235-220 MPA 6 Ordered NCN-235 3 Nomad 22 MPA
17 1 Ordered 3 2 3 2
Nomad 22/24 NB 412SP NAS.332 NBO-105 EC-120B Mi-2
NOTES: Aspiration for Flanker squadron of 12-18 aircraft with a total Sukhoi requirement for approx 40. Indonesia turned down offer of ten Qatari Mirage 2000s in March. In May, Indonesia US offered 6 C130 by US along with additional used F-16 and upgrades to existing platforms. Australia, Norway and the UK also said to have offered Hercules for sale. August deal inked by PT Dirgantara to license build Bell 214EPs reported. Reported to be looking at FTC-2000 and Yak-130 to replace Mk.53s and F-5E/Fs.
Japan Air Self Defence Force 77+17 Ordered F-2A/B 102 F-4EJ/EF-4EJ/RF-4EJ, 91A/C will continue in service after F-X delays 154/45 F-15J/DJ 4 E-767 1 EC-1 13 E-2C 13 YS-11P/FC/NT/EA/EB 3+1 KC-767 29 U-125/A ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
C-1A/FTB C-130H 747-400 Gulfstream IV CH-47J UH-60J Beechcraft T-400 T/XT-4 T-7
Japanese Ground Self Defence Force 5 King Air 350/LR-2 9 MU-2 74 AH-1S, suggestions of AH-Z type upgrade instead of more Apaches 8+5 Ordered AH-64DJP, original requirement for 55 A/C dropped 54 CH-47J/JA 27 OH-1 111 OH-6D/J 146 UH-1H/J 29 UH-60JA 3 EC225LP
Japan Maritime Self Defence Force 94 EP-3C/UP-3D 4 Ordered P-1 MPA 94 P-3C, small portion stored 7 US-12/-2 10 YS-11T-A/M/M-A 4 Learjet 36 1 UP-3C 4+10 Ordered MCH/CH101, replacing MH-53E 10 MH-53E 91 SH/UH-60J/K 31 King Air 90 9 OH-6D/J 35 T-5 2 EC135T2i, 15 Required
NOTES: C-1A's, and older C-130H aircraft nearing the end of their service lives while. prototype twin-turbofan C-X which rolled out in 2007 and with 30-50 required. F-X is still suffering severe problems apparently stymied by F-22 export ban.
Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force 5 MiG-21PFM/U 1 An-26 10 An-2
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6 1 7 9 4
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Ka-32 An-74K-100 Mi-8 Mi-17 Z-9
NOTES: Declining serviceability across the board
Royal Malaysian Air Force
9 8 13/5 10
18 4 Ordered 10 6 1 1 10 1 4 28
2 10 8 2+6 Ordered 42 1 1 4 Ordered 2
F/RF-5E/F-5F F/A-18D Hawk 208/108 MiG-29N/UB, reduced to six in January 2010 Su-30MKM A400M C-130H/H-30/T CN-235-220M Falcon 900B F28-1000 Cessna 402 Global Express BD700 Mi-171Sh S-61A-4, 48 strong replacement delayed until 201314. Recent Airod offer of structural upgrade adding 10-15 years of life AS61N-1, VIP Transport SA316 MB339AM MB339CM PC-7/MkII B737 A319 A400M `S-70 VIP
Malaysia Army Air Corps 11 AW109H
Royal Malaysian Navy 6 AS.555SN 6 Super Lynx 300 4 King Air T200 MPA
NOTES: MiG-29Ns scheduled to be retired in 2010, citing high cost of maintenance with a requirement for 18 new multi-mission aircraft. AEW requirement key, although not expected to be pursued until after 2012. Recent Eurocopter EC-725 buy put on hold.
The last of JASDF’s F-15s was delivered by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1999. The aircraft will remain the premier air superiority for the Service until the delayed F-X programme delivers © DoD
Myanmar Air Force 20 A-5C 1 F-6 25 F-7M 4 G4 12 MiG-29B/UB, reports of further ten MiG-29SMT aircraft ordered in 2009 4 F27 2 C-212 6 Cessna 180 2 BN2 MPA 5 PC-6A/B 6 Bell 206 9 Mi-2 11 Mi-17V 9 SA316B 6 W-3/UT 6 FT-7 12 K-8 10 PC-7 7 PC-9
NOTES: Low levels of serviceability and funding undermine fleet capabilites.
Royal New Zealand Air Force 6 P-3K 2 757-200 5 C-130H 5 King Air 200 9 NH-90, operational from 2010 14 UH-1H, replaced by FEBRUARY 2010
NH90s AW109, to replace B47Gs
Royal New Zealand Navy 5 SH-2G(NZ)
NOTES: No return to fast jet operations has been planned although the option has been mooted
Korean People's Air Force 100 F-5 98 F-6 180 F-7 80 H-5 30 MiG-21 50 MiG-23 40 MiG-29/UB 30 Su-7/22 34 Su-25 70 MD500D 70 Mi-2 30 Mi-8/17 15 Mi-24 30 FT-2 135 FT-5
NOTES: Dire levels of serviceability due to a variety of reasons, notably Russian arms embargo since 2006 suggest serviceability of less than 50 percent for most types.
Pakistan Air Force 39 A-5
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144 42 18 Ordered 36 Ordered 10+140
92 60 1+3 Ordered 1
1+3 Ordered 16
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F-7P/PG, due to be replaced by JF-17 from 2015 F/16AB, upgrade to Block 40 standard by TAI from October 2010 F-16C/D Block 52+, deliveries conclude in December 2010 FC-20/J-10B, to deliver in 2012 total requirement for up to 150 JF-17, speculation numbers could rise to over 250 Mirage IIIEL/EP/OF/RP Mirage 5EF/F/PA/DPA Saab 2000 AEW remainder due in 2010 Saab 2000 VIP, AEW training Il-78MK, refueling, remainder to be operational in in 2010 C-130B/E/L-100
A Pakistani F-7 over the Middle East during a multinational exercise in December ÂŠ DoD
3 4 1 3 3
1 5 3 3 10 20 9 7
707 Transport/VIP CN-235-220 Transport/VIP F27 Embraer Phenom Falcon 20/DA-20, ELINT/ ECM role King Air 200 AB205 IAR316 Mi-171 Mi-35 FT-5 FT-6 FT-7
30+3 Ordered 11 18
Pakistan Army 38 3 Ordered 15 22 15 50 16 30 10 2
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