Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ukraine War - UAV at Work: Exploration and correction of artillery fire....

Example of Increased Use of Drones in Ukraine

Russian forces and their proxies fired 20 times at Ukraine-controlled positions in the past 24 hours, while employing an alarming number of 30 surveillance drones over Kyiv-controlled territory in war-torn eastern Ukraine.
The drones probed mainly southern Donetsk and northern Luhansk oblasts. Ukraine’s military managed to shoot down one in Luhansk, Andriy Lysenko, military spokesperson, said at a briefing in Kyiv on April 11. ....

-bth: one wonders if an increase in drone activity foretells a new offensive.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Big breakthrough in Rafale deal likely - NewsWarrior Blog

India is likely to buy between 60 and 63 Rafale combat jets from the French aviation major Dassault in a government to government deal that may be finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's talks with French President Francois Hollande, in Paris later today, top government sources have indicated.​
The decision to buy nearly three and a half squadrons of Rafale jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF) was taken at the highest political level hours before Prime Minister  Modi embarked on his three-nation tour on Thursday, the sources added. 

Under the new proposal, the entire process for procuring 126 combat jets would be scrapped, sources revealed. A new G-to-G (government-to-government) contract is likely to be negotiated between New Delhi and Paris to buy 
the​  Rafale jets in flyaway conditions.​

The decision of course raises two fundamental questions: one, how will the IAF make up for the numbers since buying just 60 aircraft is not sufficient to augment its combat fleet. And two, what happens to the offset clause and technology transfer?

According to top sources, besides buying Rafales, the government will push HAL hard to deliver at least three squadrons of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Mark II as quickly as possible​, procure more Sukhois  from Russia and also support the FGFA project in a big way to make up for the 12 squadrons of fighter jets which are likely to retire over the next four years.

As for offsets and ToT, given the precarious numbers in the IAF combat fleet at the moment, the government had no choice but to compromise on these two vital issues as a one-time exception, top sources have indicated.
-bth: sounds like a practical step for India and France.

General sacked for remarks that raised congressional ire- Politico

The brawl between Congress and the Air Force over the fate of the venerable A-10 Warthog attack jet claimed its highest-ranking victim Friday.
The Air Force brass reprimanded and removed from his command a two-star general who raised the ire of lawmakers when he told troops it would be “treason” for service members to talk with members of Congress trying to save the Warthog from the budget ax.
Story Continued Below
The Air Force, which has made retiring the 40-year-old fleet of attack jets one of its top legislative priorities, removed Maj. Gen. James Post, deputy commander of the Air Combat Command, after an inspector general’s investigation concluded his remarks had a “chilling effect on some of the attendees and caused them to feel constrained from communicating with members of Congress.”...

Read more:

-bth: Chalk one up for Congress and common sense.