Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR NOV 2015 Contents 9
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 15 | NOV 2015
RAAF C-27J Spartan load trials
New Omani HSSV launched
India selects Korean K9 Thunder SPH
The Royal Australian Air Force
(RAAF) has carried out the first load trials
with the C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter.
A C-27J from No 35 Squadron con-
ducted air drop training sorties from
RAAF Richmond on 7-9 October, deliver-
ing four container delivery systems (CDS)
to the nearby Londonderry Drop Zone.
A single CDS was delivered in each
pass, allowing the aircraft’s crew to build
their experience in the correct methods
of air drop with the aircraft. A CDS is a
common unit of delivering cargo such as
water, rations, ammunition or other sup-
plies by air, and is compatible across the
fleet of RAAF transport aircraft.
On 15 October a payload interoper-
ability trial was conducted between a
C-130J-30 Hercules and C-27J Spartan
LEFT: A No 35 Squadron C-27J Spartan
releases a Container Delivery System
during trials in October. Image: ADF
BELOW: The Russian
Air Force is expected
to order an initial
quantity of 65 T-50
The public debut of the first of two
72.5m High Speed Support Vessels
(HSSV) for the Royal Navy of Oman
(RNO) took place on 21 October, with
the launch of the future Al Mubshir at
Austal’s Henderson, Western Australia
yard on 21 October.
Awarded to the company in March
2014, the US$124.9 million (AUD$172
million) turnkey contract includes the de-
sign, construction and integrated logis-
tics support of the two vessels. Austal is
currently completing final fit-out of the
The Samsung Techwin K9 Thunder
155mm/52-calibre self-propelled how-
itzer (SPH) has been selected to equip
the Indian Army with up to 100 systems.
The long-running and at times contro-
versial Indian Army SPH project recently
involved field, user and engineering trials
of the K9 and a 52-calibre version of the
Russian MSTA-SP (2S19) SPH.
The Indian Ministry of Defence is ex-
pected to enter into contract negotia-
tions with Samsung Techwin in 2016. A
significant portion of any K9 order would
be assembled in India, most likely by lo-
cal firm Larsen & Toubro.
The fully tracked K9 has a combat
weight of 47 tonnes, a five-man crew
(commander, loader, driver, two loaders)
and can fire conventional projectiles out
to ranges of 40km.
Partnered with the K10 ammunition re-
supply vehicle (ARV), the K9 is in service
with South Korea and has been licenced
produced in Turkey under the name
T-155 Firtina. The K9 hull and chassis
first vessel before contractor sea trials
and delivery to the RNO in early 2016.
The second HSSV is currently under
construction and is on schedule for com-
pletion in mid-2016.
Based on the proven Expeditionary
Fast Transport platform – previously
known as the Joint High Speed Vessel
under construction for the US Navy at
the Austal USA yard in Mobile, Alabama
– the HSSV offers a range of capabilities
to support naval operations, including
helicopter operations, rapid deployment
has also been selected by Poland for its
– Azar Fatwani
of military personnel and cargo, search
and rescue, humanitarian aid and disas-
ter relief missions.
In the personnel transport role, the
HSSV has seating for 250 passengers
and berths for the 69 crew members.
The 650m2 aft flight deck can operate
medium-size helicopters such as the
NH90, whilst a folding stern ramp ena-
bles loading/offloading of light vehicles.
Constructed of aluminium, the cat-
amaran has a 320 tonne maximum
deadweight and its four MTU 20V 4000
M93L diesel engines propel it to a top
speed of 35 knots at 200 tonnes dead-
weight. Range is 2,150nm at a speed of
12.5 knots and operational endurance
around 7 days.
HSSV armament is understood to
comprise a single 20mm stabilised gun
(most probably the Nexter Narwhal 20A
remotely-operated weapon system) and
up to four 12.7mm heavy machine guns
on pedestal mounts.
– Ian Bostock
LEFT: The first HSSV for Oman during its
launch. Note the stern ramp and large
flight deck. Image: Austal
ABOVE: The K9 Thunder 155mm SPH
ahead of the K10 ARV.
Image: Samsung Techwin
An infographic released by the United
Aircraft Corporation details the breadth
of the weapons load carried by Russia’s
fifth generation stealth multi-role combat
aircraft – the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA (Per-
spektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Fronto-
voy Aviatsii – Future Tactical Air System).
It shows an array of air-to-air (AAM),
air-to-ground (AGM) and anti-ship mis-
siles (ASM), including the 400km range
Izdelie 810 AAM designed to engage
airborne early warning and control and
intelligence, surveillance and reconnais-
The Kh-38M AGM (40km range and
250kg warhead) and Kh-58UShKE
anti-radiation missiles are also listed,
with the latter designed to be carried in
the T-50’s large internal weapons bay
and possessing a 245km range.
The Kh-35UE subsonic ASM, with its
145kg warhead and range of 260km,
and the 1,500kg Brahmos NG superson-
ic cruise missile can also be carried. The
Brahmos NG can deliver its 300kg ex-
plosive payload out to 290km at speeds
of up to Mach 3.5.
The T-50 is also armed with an in-
ternally-mounted 30mm GSH-301
9A1-4071K single-barrel cannon with a
150-round ammunition load and rate of
fire of 1,500 rounds per minute.
Designed to counter the US Air Force’s
current and next generation of combat
aircraft – namely the F-22 Raptor and
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – the T-50 is
equipped with front, flank and rear ac-
tive electronically scanned array radar,
wing-mounted L band radar, thrust vec-
toring control and is capable of speeds
around Mach 2.
About 12 pre-production T-50s have
been handed over to the Russian Air
Force to date, with plans for an initial
order for 65 aircraft. – Staff Reporters
Infographic highlights capabilities of
Russia’s 5th gen fighter
at RAAF Base Richmond, with Air Move-
ments personnel transferring pallets
from one aircraft to another.
The payload compatibility trials en-
sure that larger aircraft such as the
C-130J-30 and C-17A Globemaster III
heavy airlifter can carry bulk amounts
of cargo to a base or airport, where the
cargo is then loaded onto the C-27J for
the journey to a forward operating base
or other frontline location.
– Staff Reporters
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