Posts Tagged ‘defence’

Kazan, Russia’s most dangerous nuclear attack submarine – an annotated infographic

April 19, 2017

Russia has floated its newest nuclear-powered multi-purpose attack submarine. The launch of Kazan, considered a counterpart to U.S. Seawolf and Virginia-class, comes as Moscow claims its submarine fleet has increased combat patrols to levels last seen during the Cold War.

The Kazan is the first upgraded Project 885M Yasen-class attack submarine.

Equipped with eight vertical missile launchers, it can deliver Kalibr or Oniks anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles – significant after Russian ships and submarines fired long-range missiles from the Caspian and the Black Sea into Syria in 2016.

For the first time in Russian shipbuilding, the torpedo tubes are located not in the bow but just forward of the sail or fin, making room for a large Irtysh-Amfora spherical sonar system in the bow.

The Yasen subs also have six 650mm and two 533mm torpedo tubes that can also deploy mines and launch underwater drones.

Russia plans to build a total of seven Project 885M submarines. Goody, goody gumdrops.


India’s AMCA stealth fighter – an annotated infographic

March 14, 2017

Preliminary design of India’s proposed Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) will begin in March, with a target of flying the aircraft in 2024 and making it ready for service as early as 2030. The twin-engine stealth warplane will likely feature an upgraded version of the General Electric F414 powerplant.

The AMCA is aimed at replacing much smaller ground attack jets such as the Mirage-2000, Jaguar and Mig-27. Russian technology includes Sukhoi stealth, active electronically scanned array or AESA radar and three-dimensional thrust vectoring for the AMCA’s engines.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


NATO shows off new steerable nuclear bomb – Russia not happy about it – an annotated infographic

October 9, 2015

The United States plans to deploy 180 precision-guided thermonuclear bombs to five European countries between 2020-24. The B61-12 has a “dial-a-yield” feature and is able to strike within 30 metres of its target.

Russia has threatened to take countermeasures over reports that the U.S. is to upgrade nuclear weapons in Europe.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said plans for the U.S. to station up to 180 modified B61–12 guided nuclear bombs in five NATO countries “would lead to a violation of the strategic balance in Europe.”

Under a $10.4 billion “Life Extension Programme” (LEP) the new munitions will be converted from existing B61 free-fall bombs into precision-guided “smart” bombs. Under the LEP the bombs will receive a state of the art guided tail kit assembly and new spin rocket motor, which, through a system of satellite and laser guidance, can glide the bomb to within 30 metres of its target.

In addition, a “dial-a-yield” will enable the detonation to be varied between 300 tons and 50 kilotons of TNT — four times the explosive power of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Hans M. Kristensen of the  Washington-based Federation of American Scientists described the B61–12 as an “all-in-one nuclear bomb on steroids.” In September, Kristensen described NATO’s practice of “nuclear sharing” to German television programme Frontal 21: “In case of war, the nuclear weapons stationed in Germany would be used at the orders of the U.S. president. The U.S. forces would then hand over the nuclear weapons to German pilots and these German pilots would then attack the target with nuclear weapons.”

The stationing is “a hidden American weapons build-up,” he said. The new bombs allow “themselves to be steered to the target.” This is “a new weapon” because the U.S. previously had “no steerable nuclear bombs.”

The first development test flight of an inert B61-12 bomb took place at Tonopah Test Range in Nevada in July.

There are an estimated 480 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, deployed at bases in Belgium (20), Germany (150), Italy (90), the Netherlands (20), Turkey (90) and the United Kingdom (110).

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is trying to placate its critics, saying that with the help of the B61–12, America’s total stockpile of airborne nuclear bombs could be reduced by around half its current amount.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.



#F35 fighter jet challenged by rival planes for Canadian army order – an annotated infographic

December 19, 2014

A Canadian government report says that other fighter aircraft are just as capable as Lockheed Martin’s F-35 at meeting most of the country’s mission needs, potentially inviting bids from rival jet manufacturers to replace Canada’s ageing fleet of CF-18s.

The F-35 can fairly be challenged in terms of specification and performance by rivals such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

F-35 fighter and rival jets

F-35 fighter and rival jets

#Embraer enters global defence market – an annotated graphic

April 19, 2012

While we’re on the subject of global defence spending, it seems opportune to reflect on Brazil’s Embraer entering the global defence market.

Its KC-390 military tanker and transport aircraft is being built in partnership with international suppliers and will go head-to-head for sales with Europe’s Airbus A400 and Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Embraer enters global defence market

Embraer enters global defence market


Asia overtakes Europe in defence spending – an annotated graphic

April 19, 2012

Asian defence spending is set to exceed that of Europe as EU nations slash military budgets while China plans to boost spending by 11 per cent in 2012, pushing it above $100bn for the first time.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Asia overtakes Europe in defence spending

Asia overtakes Europe in defence spending