Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bangladesh plans to purchase of more combat aircraft, missiles

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government plans to procure fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, helicopters and other armament to strengthen the armed forces. 
She told Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) personnel Wednesday that the government had drawn up plans and set the process, including budget allocation, in motion. 

‘Budget allocation for the Bangladesh Air Force under the present fiscal year is the biggest amount in the history of the force,’ she said. 

She witnessed the BAF’s annual exercise WINTEX-2010 at the main fighter base at Kurmitola in Dhaka Cantonment, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) reported. 

‘The present government will take all possible measures to build up the country’s air force as an up-to-date force by arming it with modern technology-based war weapons,’ New Age newspaper quoted her as saying. 

Sheikh Hasina said her government was firmly committed to building a modern, knowledge-based air force that excelled in training and technology in order to ensure security of the country and its people. 

A development plan had been approved for constructing infrastructure at Cox’s Bazar, located in the southeastern region bordering Myanmar, for smooth operation of fighter jets and transport aircraft to ensure security of economic activities in the maritime territories and relief operation in remote areas, Hasina said. 

Defence purchases in Bangladesh have been mired in political controversy. 

A court Monday acquitted Hasina of corruption charges in the purchase of eight MiG-29s that were bought during her earlier tenure as the prime minister. 

She told the airforce personnel that the government of her political rival, Begum Khaleda Zia (2001-06) had kept the aircraft unused for long ‘just to get her in trouble’, the newspaper said. 

A frigate purchased from South Korea for the Bangladesh Navy was also kept in mothballs for five years. It was re-commissioned in 2007.

Bangladesh Requests C-130E Aircraft

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified U.S. Congress May 22 of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of Bangladesh to provide regeneration, overhaul, modifications, and logistics support for 4 Lockheed Martin C-130Es and associated parts, equipment, and training for an estimated cost of $180 million.

The Government of Bangladesh has requested a possible sale to provide the regeneration, overhaul, modifications, and logistics support of 4 Lockheed Martin C-130E United States Air Force (USAF) baseline aircraft and 20 T56AA Rolls-Royce engines being provided as grant Excess Defense Articles (EDA). Also included are transportation, aircraft ferry support, repair and return, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $180 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by enabling the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) to use its C-130 fleet to respond more capably to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief needs in the region and support Bangladesh’s significant contributions to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, and support operations to counter violent extremist organizations. It will also improve the commonality and interoperability of the BAF and the U.S. Air Force. The proposed sale of support will help to modernize the BAF’s aging cargo aircraft fleet. The C-130E will provide Bangladesh with an improved capability for the movement of cargo and personnel in humanitarian missions.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be determined via competitive bid. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Bangladesh.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

Burraq Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)

Burraq Medium Altitude Medium Endurance Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) is designed to perform reconnaissance and precision strike missions and can stay in air for over 12 hours.

Burraq Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) can carry upto two laser-guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) serving a role much like American MQ-1 Predator UAV and AGM-114 Hellfire.

Pakistani GIDS TAKBIR Series Satellite Aided Inertially Guided Bomb Family

Pakistani GIDS TAKBIR Series Satellite Aided Inertially Guided Glide Bomb Family for percision attack against ground attack role.

Modernization of Al-Khalid Main Battle Tank (MBT)

Oleh Shevchenko, Chargé d'affaires Embassy of Ukraine has informed the media that Ukrainian companies will takepart in the modernization project of the Al-Khalid main battle tank (MBT) of the Pakistan Army.

Oleh Shevchenko said, "We will continue co-operation in developing technology for manufacturing military hardware, first of all in shape of Al-Khalid Project".

Upgraded Al Khalid MBT with combination of new armor and optional Explosives Reactive Armor (ERA) can withstand all known 120mm and 125mm rounds. Upgrade also includes improved transmission and  electronic turret control for the Al Khalid Tanks. Tank also offers improved protection for the NBC (Nuclear, Biological & chemical) warfare.

Pakistani Al Khalid Tanks are equipped with Integrated Battle Management System (IBMS) and new active threat-protection system. Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) has also increased Al Khalid's weapon carrying capability and now it will be able to carry 49 125mm HEAT & APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) and Naiza 125 mm DU rounds, 1,500 12.7mm and 7,100 7.62mm rounds.

Iranian Mirage F1 Air-Superiority Fighter and Attack Aircraft

 Rare shots of the Iranian Mirage F1 Air-Superiority Fighter and Attack Aircraft.

Iran has managed to overhaul  Mirage F1 Air-Superiority Fighter and Attack Aircraft and these are based at the Shahid Nasser Habibi air base in Northeastern Iran.

Bangladeshi Govt. wants fighter base at Cox's Bazar

The prime minister has given directives to turn Cox's Bazar airport into an advanced airbase for speedy dispatch of fighter planes, according to a paper presented by defence ministry officials to a parliamentary body on Sunday. The report presented to the standing committee on defence said the ministry has also proposed allocating 25 percent of the annual defence budget to the air force until 2014 for its modernisation.

It further said that the government was moving to set up a radar station in Cox's Bazar, followed by one in Barisal, to bring the country under radar coverage. The paper said the defence ministry had finalised the specifications for procuring a radar system for Cox's Bazar. None of the standing committee members spoke to the press after the meeting. "We have not discussed anything newsworthy today," defence committee chairman Idris Ali told reporters at the parliament building.

The paper tabled at the meeting by defence ministry officials said, "As per the directives of the Prime Minister, preparation for turning the Cox's Bazar air port into an advanced air base is on. "The ministry is coordinating with the civil aviation authorities of Bangladesh to stretch the existing runway and build [other facilities]."

Ministry officials said in their report that the deputy commissioner of Cox's Bazar had already taken measures to acquire land for the purpose. The report also said the ministry had drafted short-term, mid-term and long-term plans to modernise the air force. "As per the short-term plan, 25 percent of the annual military budget can be given to the air force until 2014. "Or a special budget allocation can be made to install vital instruments for modernisation of the air force," it said.
"Short-range and mid-range surface-to-air-missile (SAM) system can be procured to secure the air force's installations as mid-term measures (from 2014 to 2021)," said the report. It also said the existing A-5, FT-6 and F-7 fighter planes could be replaced in phases in the long-term. "After 2021, measures can be taken to purchase new planes for the air force's three squadrons," said the defence ministry paper.

Land acquisition for submarine base in Cox’s Bazar starts

The two Ming-class submarines are expected to strengthen the navy’s ability to protect maritime resources and territorial waters, the New Age newspaper quoted unidentified officials as saying.
Type 035 G Chinese Ming Class Submarines

“The state-to-state deal would cost Bangladesh $203.3mn to procure the two Ming-class submarines,” the report said.

Officials from the navy or military’s media arm were not immediately available for comment but the report came four months after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the government’s plans to procure submarines.

In August, Hasina told a navy ceremony that, despite economic constraints, her government is committed to building a modern and balanced three-dimensional naval force for safeguarding interests in the high seas and littoral regions.

Chinese Ming Class Submarines
According to earlier reports, the Type 035G diesel-electric submarines were scheduled to be delivered in 2019. The navy decided to make payments to the Chinese state-owned firm that makes the submarines from the current fiscal to 2017-18.

The navy said 17 officials had been trained to operate submarines and it had acquired land on Kutubdia Island in southwestern Cox’s Bazaar to set up a submarine base.

“We need to have a robust maritime presence as a strategic nation,” Maj Gen (retired) A N M Muniruzzaman, a defence analyst, told a news agency.

The Indian Ocean has become the “most strategic maritime theatre” with India, China and the US being the key actors, particularly after America’s maritime policy began focusing on the region, he said.

The submarine deal will be the second major defence agreement this year. Bangladesh earlier finalised a $1bn deal with Russia to procure Mi-17 helicopters, combat trainer aircraft, armoured personnel carriers, anti-tank missiles and pontoon bridges.

Analysts have said this deal appeared to be a diplomatic shift as Russia was not a traditional source of weapons. The Bangladeshi military is more familiar with weapons from China and the US, they said.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group to Produce 1,200 J-10 Fighters


J-10B Fighter Jet In Production
Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group will produce a total of 1,200 J-10 fighters for the PLA Force to counter F-16 fighters over the Taiwan Strait and Western Pacific, according to our sister paper Want Daily.
The Moscow-based Voice of Russia says the J-10A uses the Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN turbofan engine imported from Russia due to difficulties in the development of China's WS-10 Taihang engine. The newer J-10B variant will be fitted with the Taihang engine.

Geng Ruguang, senior vice president of China Aviation Industry Corporation, said the development of the J-10, Taihang engine and PL-12 air-to-air missile shows China has become the fourth nation in the world to design and produce its own advanced fighter.
Geng said the J-10B's active phased array airborne radar enables the fighter to track six targets and engage four of them simultaneously. Geng also said the J-10's radar system can also lock on to US F-16 and Japanese F-2 fighters without difficulty. Furthermore, the PL-12 air-to-air missile designed for the J-10 boasts similar specs to the US-built AIM-120 air-to-air missile used by the F-16A/B fighters of Taiwan's air force.
Taiwan currently has 388 fighters, of which 145 are F-16A/Bs purchased from the United States. The imbalance in the size of the size of the fighter fleets on opposing sides of the Taiwan Strait is a matter of serious concern for Taiwan's security.
Between 2014 and 2015, 36 J-10B fighters will also be supplied to the Pakistan Air Force under the name FC-20.

US Air Force Plans To Arm Sixth Generation Fighters With Laser Weapons

The Pentagon wants to put high-powered lasers on its fleet of fighter jets in the not-so-distant future to ensure that enemies of the United States don’t stand a chance against America’s state-of-the-art arsenal.

A request for information document posted by the US Air Force on the Federal Business Opportunities website last week indicates that the Department of Defense is already interested in acquiring weaponry that would be used on next-generation aircraft years down the road in anti-access and area denial, or A2/AD, environments in order to safeguard certain interests.

6th generation fighter

“The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is requesting information describing concepts for airborne laser systems for future air dominance platforms,” the request begins. “The emphasis of this effort is to identify potential laser systems that could be integrated into a platform that will provide air dominance in the 2030+ highly contested Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environment.”

According to the November 15 request, of particular interest to the Pentagon are laser systems that would be at a technology readiness level of at least category 4 by next October and ready to be demonstrated at a level of TRL 5 or higher by 2022. The DoD’s own rubric with regards to TRL criteria indicates that the Air Force intends to have a laser system in under a decade where “The basictechnological components are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so they can be tested in a simulated environment.”

China Conducts First Test Flight OF Z-20 Helicopter

China Conducts First Successful Test Flight OF Z-20 Helicopter. Z-20 is a new general purpose transport helicopter in 10+ ton  class developed for the People Liberation Army. It was speculated to be based on American S-70C currently still in service with PLA but also shares some common features with Z-10.

China's New Stealth Fighters J-23 and J-25 Revealed

The J-20 and J-31, China's first two stealth fighter Designs, are still in the developmental stages, however secrets regarding the nation's other two fifth generation fighters, the J-23 and J-25, have been revealed on Chinese military websites(Chinese Internet).
The J-23 fighter, designed by the Shenyang Aviation Corporation, is no longer an aircraft based on Russian technology, the report said. Shenyang Aviation Corporation has instead chosen to model the J-23 based on the F-22 Raptor of the United States Air Force as it will provide the People's Liberation Army Air Force or Navy Air Force a better chance to combat American fighters in a potential or a future conflict with America(USA).
According to the leaked news report, the J-23 has a longer fuselage and two v-shape vertical tails which look very similar to the ones used by the F-22 Raptor. If China is able to introduce a 117-S thrust vector control engine from Russia or develop it by itself, the maneuverability of J-23 will also be enhanced gradually, the report said.
China's military has yet to provide details on the development of the J-23, however some political and military analysts, said that the J-23 fighter has already been used in military drills as an enemy aircraft due to its similar appearance to the F-22 Raptor.

Chengdu Aircraft Industry Developing More Advanced J-10C Fighter

The J-10B fighter jet — the upgrade version of China's J-10A fighter — recently entered service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force(PLAAF), while its designer Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group is already working on the more advanced version J-10C.
Equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar, the J-10B has the capability to take out Japan's F-15J fighters if an aerial confrontation were to occur over the disputed Diaoyutai islands (called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China) in the East China Sea. The fighter is also built with radar absorbent material and better diverterless supersonic inlet(DSI), while its stealth capability has also been increased compared to its predecessor, the J-10A.
J-10B Fighter Jet
China is the only nation in the world which has the ability to build its own diverterless supersonic inlet(DSI) other than the United States of America, the report said. With this technology, the J-10B is believed to be the best 4.5 generation fighter in the Asia-Pacific region. Its helmet-mounted display system designed for J-10B pilots reacts very fast and it is also very similar to the US-built F-16E/F Block 60 and French-built Rafale.

Choosing French Submarines over German?

A German team is due in few days probably on August 5th according to sources to look into possibility of signing the accord for provision of U-214 submarines to Pakistan Navy.
However reports appearing in the media suggest that the deal may hit snags due to change of mind in the current Pakistani government over purchase of German submarines.

In 2008 Pakistan Navy under chief of navel staff Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir made efforts for including German 214 Class submarines in its fleet and owing to Navy’s persistent efforts, the government had approved plans for acquisition of these submarines to be built at Karachi Shipyard under transfer of technology programme.

The details were later worked out between the two countries when a Pakistan Navy delegation visited Germany in April.

However recently quoting Pakistani government sources, the Financial Times Deutschland says President Asif Zardari may overrule his military’s preference for the German subs to take up a “better offer” from France.

But what better submarines France can offer to Pakistan? That is a question to ponder because France has no better submarines to offer Pakistan at the moment whereas French are indeed not ready to offer us nuclear submarine.

What France has in store? :

There are three options 1. Scorpion, 2. Marlin and 3. Barracuda submarines. But again the Scorpions are not superior to U 214, neither these will be having any benefit for Pakistan because French company DCN is already going to provide Scorpion to Indian Navy ahead of Pakistan.

U-214 is way better than French design given to India. Marlin is just on drawing board and will take forever to go to prototype stage and then test and evaluation and finally induction into Pakistan Navy meanwhile India will have all its Scorpion in sea. DCN (Direction des Constructions Navales ), France will not be able to fulfill Pakistani order ahead of Indians. The success of Marlin, or weather or not it will be better than U-214 German sub cannot be predicted. Currently, U-214 for the best non-nuclear submarine in the world, and our friends in Turkey will soon produce it at home with the license of production.

Now the only option for Pakistan will be to ask for Barracuda submarine but it is unlikely that France will sell us nuclear submarine. Barracuda is a nuclear powered submarine and France does not currently allow the sale of nuclear-propelled submarines.

Despite having French Agosta-90B submarines, the Pakistani Navy opted for purchasing German Torpedoes for fitting to Agosta-90B due to the superior German technology.
Pakistan Navy needs German submarines because the German U-214 subs are far better than the French Scorpion.

If the current government goes for inferior quality French submarines then it will indeed give weight to suspicion of many Pakistanis who see bribes as main factor behind any irrational decisions viz viz defence deals.

Already the Pakistani senators have demanded in an incamera briefing from Pakistani Naval chief in the Senate.

Whereas some eyebrows have also been raised over the fact that foreign secretary Salman Bashir in the current government of Zardari is the brother of Naval Chief, Noman Bashir and there are also some reports that PIA chairman is going to be named Pakistani envoy to France. Some political pundits see such an appointment an attempt to muster a deal for French submarines.

On the other hand submarine acquisition project (SMAP) a group composed of Naval officers who have recommended U-214 submarines over other options after extensive study has been disbanded and the officers have been posted out at different stations.

Though earlier the Germans have delayed the deal due to political situation of Pakistan but can kickoff cutting of hull for first submarine immediately after signing the deal.

In such a situation going for something which does not fulfill the requirement of Pakistan Navy would be tantamount to putting the national defence at risk.

There is no reason not to go for German submarines specially when Berlin even granted federal export credit guarantees worth nearly $1.4 billion for the purchase of the same.

India far behind Pakistan's 'powerful' Submarines: Report

By Preeti Panwar

New Delhi, Aug 20: The recent disaster in the Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak that perhaps killed all 18 Navy personnel on-board has raised a pertinent question on the Indian Navy's submarine conditions as well as its underwater combat edge. According to a TOI report, currently, India can only deploy 7-8 "aging conventional" submarines against enemy forces.

The stark reality is that the Indian Navy is left with only 13 aging diesel-electric submarines - 11 of them over 20 years old. Out of the 13 submarines - 9 Kilo-class of Russian origin and 4 HDW of German-origin - are undergoing reparation to 'extend' their operational lives. The only "face saver" of the Navy seems to be the INS Chakra, the only nuclear-powered submarine, taken on a 10-year lease from Russia last year. But due to international treaties, it is not armed with nuclear-tipped missiles. With its 300-km range Klub-S land-attack cruise missiles, other missiles and advanced torpedoes, the INS Chakra can serve as a deadly hunter-killer' of enemy submarines and warships. Moreover, India has been indecisive to fit Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) in the last two of the six French Scorpene submarines being constructed for over Rs 23,000 crore at Mazagon Docks under "Project-75". The first Scorpene will be delivered only by November 2016. On August 12, the Indian Navy launched its aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, placing India in the fifth rank, after US, Russia, Britain and France, who have the ability to design and build aircraft carriers of 40,000 tonnes and above. With a capacity to deploy over 30 aircraft and helicopters, it is considered to be the biggest aircraft carrier in India. Pakistan Navy Power: Whereas the neighbouring country Pakistan, which is continuously violating ceasefire bilateral agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) since last month, is far more more advanced and well prepared in terms of submarines. Presently, Pakistan is well equipped with five "new conventional" submarines and is considering to get six more 'advanced' vessels from its all-weather friend China. China already flexes its muscles with 47 diesel-electric submarines and eight nuclear-powered submarines. Incidentally, the Pakistan Navy is the first force in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to have submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) in the shape of three French Agosta-90B vessels. The difference: The conventional submarines have to surface every few days to get oxygen to recharge their batteries in contrast with the AIP equipped submarines that can stay submerged for much longer periods to significantly boost their stealth and combat capabilities.

Iran's Indigenous Self-Propelled Howitzer Unveiled


Iran has unveiled its indigenous wheeled 155-mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Defense Industries Organization.

“The 155-mm self-propelled howitzer has been designed and manufactured by the Defense Industries Organization’s creative and innovative experts with the aim of increasing the mobility of artillery units of the Iranian armed forces,” Tehran Times quoted Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi as saying.

The new weapon has increased mobility, enhanced maneuverability, longer firing range, a higher rate of fire, and lower production costs in comparison with the tracked self-propelled howitzers, the Minister said.

In the near future the artillery gun will be mass-produced and delivered to the artillery units of the Iranian armed forces, the report quoting the Minister added.

U.S. Weighs Options In Possible N. Korea Conflict

July 27, 2010 4:05 PM
 Deck crew members stand on the flight deck of the USS George Washington for joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea in South Korea's East Sea on Monday.  
Lee Jin-man/AFP/Getty Images
About 20 ships and submarines and the aircraft carrier USS George Washington are participating in joint U.S.-South Korea naval exercises that began Sunday. 

North Korea has promised "sacred war" in response to these maneuvers, taking place in the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean peninsula.

That kind of rhetoric is not new — the North used similar language after an international investigation blamed them for the sinking of a South Korean warship this spring. Still, the U.S. military must prepare for the worst. 

The man in charge of the U.S. fleet in the Pacific is Adm. Robert Willard. When North Korea threatened war earlier this year, he acted like he'd heard it all before. 

"The rhetoric from North Korea is not unusual. We're prepared for any contingency in this region. It's my responsibility that we are," Willard said. 

Now, with the latest naval exercises, there is a new standoff.

 U.S. Navy and South Korean ships sail in a 13-ship formation led by the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Tucson on Monday in the East Sea off the Korean peninsula. North Korea has promised "sacred war" in response to the naval exercises, which began on Sunday. U.S Navy via Getty Images

The U.S. military has a number of plans on the shelf, but John Pike, the director of, explains the two primary scenarios.

One is based on North Korea initiating an attack — the "major theater war plan," or OPLAN 5027. The second situation would be the collapse of North Korea. This second possibility, Pike says, "is no one's initiative — that's something that just happens." It's known as OPLAN 5029.

The First Scenario: War

War might begin with North Korea launching an artillery barrage against Seoul, South Korea's capital. 

Michael Green is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and served on President George W. Bush's National Security Council. He says the U.S. and South Korea would have to respond quickly.

"There would be enormous pressure. In fact, I think the war plans would argue for immediately suppressing the North Korean artillery capability, if they fired at all," Green says.

One risk is that North Korea could launch chemical or biological weapons with that artillery. The North has thousands of guns at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) — many of them in hardened positions such as caves. A few hundred could reach Seoul.

Pike says the Americans and South Koreans have been aware of the artillery threat to Seoul for some time.

"They have counter-battery radars that would detect these guns firing, and counter-battery fire would probably destroy those guns before the first shells that they had fired had hit Seoul," Pike says.

Even so, the first round of fire would still hit the city of 10 million people, possibly killing thousands. 

Responses To The First Scenario

Destroying North Korea's artillery would be a U.S. Air Force and Navy fight. Precision-guided munitions would fall from warplanes. Warships stationed nearby would launch guided missiles. 

Michael O'Hanlon, a military expert at the Brookings Institution, says responding to a North Korean attack with artillery may not be adequate.

"[Y]ou have to say, 'Well, OK, if we've got to the point where we're dropping hundreds or thousands of bombs on them, and they are shelling Seoul with hundreds or thousands of rounds — is this thing really containable?' " O'Hanlon says.

And if it's not, then OPLAN 5027 offers options for what comes next.

O'Hanlon says one possibility in this scenario is taking the fight on the ground into North Korea.

"Do we move in and secure at least a certain swath of land north of the DMZ to push back the artillery more systematically, or do we actually make a quick strike for Pyongyang and try to get the North Korean leadership?" he asks.

Should it come to that, the U.S. would still be in command. But South Korea's army would likely take the lead, driving north across the DMZ, moving into the cities and trying to secure the surrender of individual North Korean commanders.

Despite the planning, most experts agree that the war scenario is unlikely. 

The Second Scenario: Collapse

Another plan exists for the second scenario, called OPLAN 5029 — regime collapse.
Pike, with, says this is the plan that the South Koreans have increasingly focused on.

"Over time, South Korea has concluded that an invasion from North Korea is improbable, but a collapse of North Korea may be inevitable. And then the question becomes: What do you do when North Korea falls apart?" Pike says.

O'Hanlon adds that a collapse scenario is "very complicated."

He and others note that in addition to everything planners must anticipate in the first scenario — the barrage on Seoul, for example, or how China would react — a North Korean collapse poses other challenges. That includes securing the nuclear weapons the North is believed to possess, says O'Hanlon.

"I tend to think that one of the most important priorities is going to be to establish, essentially, a cordon sanitaire around the country's perimeter, because you can't risk the nuclear weapons getting out," he says. "And what if some North Korean commander decides that he'll do a deal with al-Qaida?" 

O'Hanlon admits that situation is unlikely, but he says reality can be unanticipated. 

"We also have to acknowledge that the scenario can surprise us all. We don't get to choose the scenario. The enemy gets a vote, so to speak," O'Hanlon says. 

Even 60 years after the Korean War began, some things still can't be planned for.



Monday, December 23, 2013

Admiral Kuznetsov Class Carrier of Russian Navy

First Borey Submarine To Be Launched Soon

The Yury Dolgoruky, a 'fourth generation' (Project 955) Borey class nuclear missile submarine is expected to be launched this week at the Sevmash submarine shipyard in the northern Arkhangelsk Region. The new submarine is the first vessel expected to be equipped with the Bulava ballistic missile (the naval version of the SS-27 Topol M). 

The submarine will undergo sea trials in 2007 and is scheduled to be fully equipped with weaponry in 2008. However, due to the continued problems encountered with the development of the Bulava M missile, the validity of this timetable is now questionable. Despite these setbacks, Russia is determined to pursue with the Bulava program. President Vladimir Putin was quoted that Russia's submarine fleet, particularly the fourth-generation submarines armed with Bulava missiles, would form the core of an entire fleet of modern submarines.

According to the Novosti RIA news agency, the submarine has a length of 170 meters (580 feet), a body diameter around 13 meters (42 feet), and a submerged speed of about 29 knots. It can carry up to 16 ballistic missiles. Two other Borey-class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh, are currently under construction at the Sevmash plant, with a fourth submarine on the future production schedule list. 

Some Borey Class Snaps: