Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR AUG 2014 Contents 11
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 01 | AUG 2014
The UK Ministry of Defence has ad-
vised that five new General Atomics
Systems MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial
vehicles (UAV) have been deployed
to Afghanistan, doubling the Royal Air
Force (RAF) Reaper UAV fleet available
to support British and International Se-
curity Assistance Force ground elements
Whilst the Reaper UAV fleet is pri-
marily tasked with real-time target in-
telligence collection, sur veillance and
reconnaissance, it can be armed for the
precision strike role where its advanced
sensors and long endurance provide a
scalable and persistent close air support
For the strike role Reaper can be
armed with a pair of Paveway II 500lb
laser-guided bombs and four AGM-114P
Hellfire air-to-ground missiles across
four underwing hardpoints.
According to UK MoD figures, the
Reaper UAV force has flown in excess
of 54,000 hours in Afghanistan, operat-
ing out of Kandahar Airfield. During that
time, however, only 459 weapons have
been fired, which is less than one weap-
on fired for every 118 hours flown.
BELOW: Armed with Paveway II laser-
guided bombs and Hellfire air-to-ground
missiles an RAF Reaper UAV returns from
a mission during Operation Herrick in
Afghanistan. Image: Crown Copyright
Japan firms on Osprey tilt-rotors
India accepts first stealth destroyer
The Indian Navy has taken major steps toward a modern blue water naval capability with
the recent addition to the fleet of the first of three 7,500 tonne stealth destroyers from
shipbuilder Mazagon Dock.
Despite being some four years behind schedule, INS Kolkata represents somewhat of
a step change for India’s surface combatant fleet, incorporating stealth design and late
generation sensors and weapons such as the Elta EL/M-2248 MF-STAR S-band active
electronically scanned array 3-D air search radar, Barak air defence missile system and
the Indo-Russian developed BrahMos PJ-10 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM).
INS Kolkata successfully test fired the 290km range BrahMos ASCM in early June
and is able to carry 16 of the missiles in two 8-cell vertical launch modules, according
to the Times of India.
Imbued with a balance of anti-submarine, surface and anti-air warfare capabilities,
INS Kolkata also makes use of an advanced information warfare suite, auxiliary control
system with sophisticated power distribution architecture and modular crew quarters.
The 163m INS Kolkata is India’s largest indigenously-built warship and will be fol-
lowed by sister ships Kochi and Chennai.
In July, the Indian Navy also took delivery of INS Kamorta, the first of four 3,400 tonne,
110m anti-submarine warfare corvettes.
More Advanced Hawkeyes
for US Navy
The US Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a multi-year contract for 25 new E-2D
Advanced Hawkeye carrier-based airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEWAC).
The US$3.6 billion contract brings the total number of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
aircraft on order to 50, with 13 aircraft delivered to date.
Externally similar to the previous E-2C Hawkeye 2000 model, the E-2D Advanced
Hawkeye – described as the US Navy’s “digital quarterback” – is considerably more
capable in detecting and tracking advanced threat aircraft and late-generation anti-ship
cruise missiles. This capability is largely furnished by a more powerful AN/APY-9 radar,
a system that allows the warfighter to ‘see’ a larger number of targets at significantly
Other distinguishing features of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye include new avionics, a
glass cockpit and a tactical fourth operator display.
In addition to the AEWAC role, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye can undertake air-
borne strike command and control, maritime and land surveillance, search and rescue
operations, manage a reliable communications network between widely dispersed
nodes and support drug interdiction operations. The use of the new glass cockpit and
tactical fourth operator display allows the five-person crew more flexibility in fulfilling
The US Navy has a requirement for a total of 75 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes. The type
is due to achieve initial operational capability by the end of 2014.
Merlin Mk 2 ASW helos
The first Royal Navy Merlin Mk 2 anti-
submarine helicopters have entered
service four months ahead of
schedule following an £800 million
upgrade involving new avionics, a
glass cockpit, improved pilot night
vision capabilities and an updated
combat system. Nine Merlin Mk 2
helicopters embarked on the aircraft
carrier HMS Illustrious for Exercise
Deep Blue in the Atlantic Ocean
ADF seeks tactical
Australia’s Defence Materiel
Organisation has released a
Request for Information (RFI) calling
for a new tactical data system
(TDS) for the Australian Army to
be acquired under Phase 3 of Joint
Project 2072. Intended as a flexible
tactical data distribution system from
platoon to brigade level, the TDS will
provide a high capacity mobile data
system to supplement capacity for
key headquarters vehicles to support
battle management systems, voice
and video services. Response time
closed on 19 June, with fielding of
TDS systems scheduled for 2018.
In-theatre upgrade for
Australia’s Defence Materiel
Organisation has completed
a protection upgrade for 26
Bushmaster protected mobility
vehicles in Afghanistan. The upgrade
comprised bolt-on components
to improve occupant survivability
against a range of threats, including
improvised explosive devices and
Egypt order more C295
Egypt has ordered an additional
eight C295 medium airlifters from
Airbus Defence and Space, adding
to 12 aircraft already on order. Once
all 20 C295s enter service, the
Egyptian Air Force will be the largest
operator of the type. Deliveries
of the latest batch of C295s will
commence in early 2015.
As part of its shift toward a more for-
ward-leaning defence force, Tokyo has
made strong overtures that it intends to
buy the Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey tilt-
rotor for the Japanese military, with air-
craft entering service in 2018.
According to The Japan Times, De-
fense Minister Itsunori Onodera said on
10 July whilst visiting the Pentagon that
the ministry would request funds to buy
17 MV-22 Ospreys in the 2015 fiscal
year state budget.
Already outlined in Japan’s medi-
um-term defense program, the acqui-
sition of the MV-22 would address
identified shortfalls of existing Japanese
Self-Defense Force (JSDF) helicopters in
reaching many of Japan’s outlying islands
and territories and for casualty evacuation
in disaster relief missions. The increased
speed and range of the V-22 platform is
seen as ideal in fulfilling this requirement.
In JSDF service the MV-22 would likely
operate off the navy’s two Hyuga-class
helicopter carriers and three Osumi-class
landing ship dock ships. Onodera has
indicated the aircraft would be based at
Saga Airport on the island of Kyushu.
The US Marine Corps already oper-
ates the MV-22 on Japanese soil, with
24 aircraft at the Futenma Air Station,
– Ian Bostock
US Marines load into an MV-22 on
exercise at Shoalwater Bay Training Area
in Queensland, Australia in July 2013.
UK doubles Reaper UAV force in Afghanistan
The US Navy has ordered a further
25 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
Image: Northrop Grumman
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