Question time # 138

What engine type would you expect to find inside this cowling ?

& if you know that - then you will know what the registration this aircraft carries.

US DoD Approved the Sale of FMU-139 C/B Bomb Fuzes to Australia and Malaysia

01 Oktober 2011

The FMU-139 C/B Bomb Fuze is an electronic impact/impact delay fuzing system developed for use by both the U.S. Navy and the Air Force in the MK 80 series and M117 low drag and high drag, guided or unguided, high-explosive bombs. In addition to impact/impact delay, the fuze is capable of accepting a signal from a separate proximity sensor. (photo : L3)

L-3 Fuzing and Ordnance Systems, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, is being awarded a $35,990,703 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 20,000 FMU-139C/B electronic bomb fuzes; 200 FMU-139 C/B D-2 dummy fuzes; 100 FMU-139 C/B D-5 cutaway fuzes; and 3,000 accessory kits for the U.S. Navy and the governments of Australia, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Bahrain, Malaysia, Finland, and Spain.

Work will be performed in Cincinnati, Ohio (50 percent), and Orlando, Fla. (50 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2014.

Typical weapon configuration for Mk-80 bomb series (image : ATK)

Contract funds in the amount of $20,927,389 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; two offers were received.

This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($20,927,389; 58.15 percent); and under the Foreign Military Sales Program, the governments of Australia ($6,076,900; 16.88 percent), Turkey ($4,052,014; 11.26 percent), Pakistan ($2,386,981; 6.63 percent), Korea ($1,341,157; 3.73 percent), Bahrain ($396,093; 1.1 percent), Malaysia ($345,292; 0.96 percent), Finland ($268,630; 0.75 percent), and Spain ($196,247; 0.55 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-11-C-0090).

You can Count on Asimov

Isaac Asimov is on a short list of my favourite science authors.  The list has two names on it: Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.  Both write excellent science fiction (Asimov's "I Robot" and Clarke's "Fountain's of Paradise" are my personal favourites) and both write excellent topical science articles and essays.  While Orson Scott Card writes some compelling sci-fi (Ender's Game is probably my favourite novel of all time), he is not a "popularizer" of science - it is rare to find an author that is skilled in both fiction and non-fiction.

Asimov may have been the most prolific author ever, having published upwards of four hundred pieces.  His direct style in story-telling and, at times, redundant style of communicating in non-fiction does not appeal to everyone, but it does appeal to me.

Asimov's largest volume of work involves the communication of science, but physics in particular.  I just finished reading "Asimov on Numbers," which involves mathematics, but really focuses on, well, numbers.  It is a collection of essays written over a period of many years, beginning in 1959.  Although all articles are between four and five decades old, they have aged well.  The only instances where the book feels old is when population and financial figures are discussed, as the absolute values of both have inflated significantly in the ensuing years.

I learned a lot in reading these essays, mostly about the history of mathematics (very fascinating) and the Earth's geography (which, as it turns out, can be described so well numerically).

Asimov challenges the reader to consider the very act of counting, and note that the ten-based arabic counting system used around the world today is in fact quite arbitrary.  The base of ten is convenient as we have ten fingers, and groups of ten appeal to people (take the ten commandments for example).  In fact, we could have had a different base...perhaps a base of twelve.  In such a case, a number like 18 (in the base ten) would actually be written as 16, since the first digit would represent 12, and 12 + 6 = 18.  This may seem absurd, but computers are perfectly happy using the binary counting system, which uses a base of two.

There is even an essay on the subject of large numbers.  Here, we are asked to ponder the question, "What is the biggest number one might ever need to describe any measurement within our universe?"  I already knew that a googol referred to 10 to the power one hundred.  However, the fact that a twelve-year-old had proposed the number was news to me.  But there are numbers bigger than a googol...I won't mention them though, because that would spoil the fun of reading about them from Asimov (I actually laughed out loud reading this particular essay).

I particularly enjoyed learning about the ancient greeks, such purists when it came to mathematics, that they refused to recognize any geometrical activity that required more than a ruler and compass.  And yes, there are multiple articles about the irrational number known as pi.

Articles centering around geography use numbers to describe large things, like the volume of water on Earth, or the height of our highest mountain peaks.  We are also invited to think about how many electrons can fit in the volume of the universe.  This is a pretty big number (though not quite a googolplex).

I read and write so much about science, but seldom recognize the language with which we communicate it quantitatively: mathematics.  With this in mind, my next posting will touch on my favourite math topic: differential equations.

Another Pac Aero 750XL readies to head offshore

Photographed at Hamilton 30 September in Island Hopper colours was Pacific Aerospace 750XL ZK-KBP (178).  It will join ZK-KBD which was delivered to Nadi in July.

Thanks to Sean for these photos

Ardmore 29 September

As blogged earlier, Cessna 182T ZK-SAR/3 is now sporting titles and I caught up with it departing Ardmore late afternoon.

Ardmore was closed for a short period at 1730 so that P40 Kittyhawk ZK-CAG, flown by Frank Parker, could conduct an aerial display.

Aid for Croatia Airlines

Financial injection for Croatia Airlines
The Croatian Competition Agency has cleared 42.4 million Euros in state aid to Croatia Airlines for the purpose of settling contractual obligations for the purchase of Airbus jets. However, unlike state aid granted recently to Slovenia’s Adria Airways, Croatia Airlines will be requested to either return the money within six months or commit itself to a companywide restructuring program. The latter is more likely to occur. The news, which gained little media coverage in the country, is significant as it illustrates the difficult financial situation the Croatian carrier finds itself in, despite a record year when it comes to passenger numbers.

Croatia Airlines has four Airbus A319s on order, scheduled to arrive within the next two years. The airline has had problems keeping up with payments for its aircraft in the past. In December 2009, one of the airline’s A319s was nearly revoked before the government stepped in with payments. More recently, Zagreb Airport warned it would impound some of the national carrier’s jets if it did not pay up its outstanding debt dating from 2009 which amounts to 9.2 million Euros.

On a brighter note, next year, Croatia Airlines will begin fitting part of its Airbus fleet with Lufthansa’s Recaro designed seats. The new look cabin will be progressively introduced from the start of the 2012 summer season.

Arrived at new home. ZK-JRU

Two photographs taken at Timaru on 22-09-2011. Above, as the Avtech Jabiru ST ZK-JRU (c/n ST0013) taxies away from the fuel pumps after arriving down from Waipukarau and Foxpine with its new owner Murray McMillan.
Above it is parked out in front of the Aviation Museum hangar.
Interestingly it has gone full circle, as it carried out its first flight at Timaru on 18-01-1996 having been registered to, the then Jabiru agents, Agricultural & Related Industry Distributors Ltd of Rakaia two days earlier. It then spent some time with the Mid Canterbury Aero Club at Ashburton, was re-designated as a Avtech Jabiru ST3 on 30-10-1998 and was ultimately sold to John and Jenny Lester of Foxton on 09-08-2002. On 09-09-2004 it went to Richard Anderson at Waipukurau until being acquired by its new owner on 14-09-2011. Murray has been up north for a couple of weeks being check out in his new machine.

CAE Upgraded RAAF's C-130J Simulator

30 September 2011

External and internal view of RAAF C-130J simulator (photo : Aus DoD)

RAAF C-130J Hercules full-flight and mission simulator upgraded to provide enhanced tactical training capabilities

Sydney, Australia – (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) – CAE Australia today announced that it has upgraded the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) C-130J Hercules full-flight and mission simulator (FFMS) to provide additional tactical training capabilities. The upgrade was completed on budget and without taking the simulator out of service.

CAE Australia, prime contractor under the Management and Support of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Aerospace Simulators (MSAAS) contract, upgraded the C-130J simulator with a new radar warning receiver (RWR) simulation, which will be used to provide RAAF C-130J aircrews with early warning and threat detection alerts during training. Instructors will also be able to insert various radar threats into the simulator training sessions to provide RAAF aircrews with realistic tactical mission training scenarios.

“The addition of the RWR simulation to the C-130J simulator is consistent with the Commonwealth’s objective to ensure the Royal Australian Air Force’s training systems are concurrent with the platforms they simulate,” said Peter Redman, acting Managing Director, CAE Australia Pty Ltd. “We completed this simulator upgrade without any downtime to current training, and in advance of the upgrades being completed on the actual aircraft. The RAAF C-130J aircrews will now be well-trained and prepared as the RWR-capable Hercules aircraft re-enter service.”

The addition of the RWR simulation not only ensures the ongoing fidelity of the C-130J simulator, but also enhances the tactical training capabilities of the C-130J aircrew training system. The C-130J FFMS includes CAE’s Interactive Tactical Environment Management System (ITEMS) for creating complex tactical environment scenarios, as well as Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) functionality so the C-130J FFMS can be networked with the C-130H FFMS co-located at RAAF Base Richmond.

CAE Australia performed the upgrade under CAE’s Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) Letter of Authority. As a certified AEO, CAE is delegated design approval authority for engineering upgrades on in-service simulators for the Australian Defence Forces.


Another look at ZK-HSG

Following the earlier mention of the Bell B206 JetRanger 11 ZK-HSG -  Steve from sent in a couple of earlier photos, to which I have added a couple to show HSG throughout its career to date.
Above is ZK-HSG as captured at Kanieri in spray mode by Steve on 12-05-1985. It is in its original ex Canadian Okanagan Helicopters colour scheme.
Below. Another of Steve's photos shows it in the well known Whirlwide/Helicopter Line etc colour scheme just a few months later. Seen at Hokitika on 21-09-1985.
 Below was shot at Christchurch a year later 22-09-1986.
 Another Christchurch shot but on 11-09-1987 - minus the "G" of its registration.
 Below. On what is now the Garden City Helicopter base we have HSG in Anderson Helicopters script. The letter "A" within a white square on the nose.
 At work somewhere on the Coast. Can't recall where or when (Maybe up the Cropp ?).
 With spray gear fitted at Hokitika on 20-12-2009
 And the original Matt Hayes pic that started this all off. At Hoki
Bell JetRanger 11 ZK-HSG (c/n 1555) was recently captured sitting in the sun at Hokitika by Matt Hayes.
It was first registered in Canada as C-GLDR in January of 1975 and it first flew in NZ on 23-06-1982 and was registered to Whirl-Wide Helicopters Ltd at Timaru the same day. It was transferred to The Helicopter Line on 15-07-1988 which later became Tourism Holdings, and then to Anderson Helicopters Ltd at Hokitika on 18-12-1989.

AWD Simulator Contract for Kongsberg

29 September 2011

Australia’s AWD crews will train on simulators provided by Kongsberg. (photo : taskforce72)

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA ) has been awarded a Command Team Trainer Simulation Infrastructure contract under which KDA will support Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd (AWD Systems Engineer) in the delivery of this central component of the Air Warfare Destroyer Command Team Trainer (CTT).

The Simulation Infrastructure is based on Kongsberg’s PROTEUS Naval Training Technology and will provide the CTT with exercise control and a common synthetic environment for integration of the Aegis Weapon System and the other Hobart Class sensors and effectors.

The Simulation Infrastructure also provides LINK 11/16 and DIS interfaces for external joint collaborative training.

The contract is an extension of the Australian Tactical Interface (ATI) contract for the Air Warfare Destroyer signed in June 2009 between KDA and Raytheon Australia, on behalf of the AWD Alliance.


Flight Jackets and Bullet Proof Vests

Also, the new jets had smaller cockpits so the jackets made the pilots feel cramped and could hinder their ability for a speedy escape if they had to exit the aircraft. Rather than bulky leather, they needed a new design that was lighter, warmer and less cumbersome.
The first one developed was initially produced in cotton, but later produced in the same pattern but in high quality nylon. The MA-1 was designed by the Air Force to function as a transitional Weight Flight Jacket for use all year. The light weight nylon design allowed the pilot in warm weather to wear the jacket open and be comfortable; upon entering the aircraft, the pilot would zip the MA-1 closed and have more than enough protection against the cold conditions confronted in flight.

In the 1950"s these flight jackets also became known as bomber jackets and with the help of the fashion industry, became very popular. These jackets were very popular and emitted a look of success and masculinity. Having to be a pilot or be part of an air crew to receive one of these jackets originally gave them an elite stature of only being worn by a select group of courageous people.
Bullet resistant flight jackets look like a normal jackets to the everyday onlooker but, obtaining a bullet proof flight jacket with a level III-A rating, according to (N.I.J.) National Institute of Justus will protect you against most small hand gun threats, and offer security up to.357 Magnum SIG FMJ FN,.44 Magnum SJHP, and 12 gauge buck shot and slugs.

One of the first things to consider when choosing concealable bullet proof vests or jackets is the ability to look natural, whether you're wearing bullet reisitant vests under your clothing or a jacket. Bullet proof flight jackets are great choices for pilots, marine police, under cover security, police officers, and civilians that need that extra security such as executives, politicians and body guards.

Manufacturers are getting more and more creative these days with bullet proof vests and other clothing. In order to remain obscure and undercover while wearing ballistic clothing, companies have designed almost every garment that you can imagine replacing standard cotton and threads with ballistic fiber. There is even ballistic bullet proof underwear for bomb explosive personnel to wear.
Of all the different styles of jackets on the market today, the flight jacket is a great look and having been around for many years will offer the person wearing it concealment, style and protection and no one will ever no the difference.

Article Source:

Some Taupo changes.

Henry McIntyre has kindly sent in the following photos from Taupo.
Above is the recently acquired Cessna 172S ZK-COS3 (c/n 172S-9752) of Izard Pacific Aviation Ltd.

Taupo Air Service has been taken over by Izard Pacific with the Cessna 172M ZK-DHU already sold, Cessna U206F ZK-TAM is on the marked and the Cessna 177B Cardinal ZK-CXM is currently parked in the hangar awaiting some engine attention. Not sure about the Cub ZK-BRQ.

Some recent visitors include the Pacific Jets Cessna 680 Sovereign ZK-JTH (c/n 680-0058)
The Avia Air Charter Ltd Piper PA31Navajo, Colemill Panther conversion, ZK-LTD (c/n 31-7300918)
Below -  Piper PA34-220T Seneca ZK-TZO (c/n 3449112) of Izard Pacific Aviation. This was previously ZK-MBA with Massey Uni between 2003 and 2009.
 A look along the hangar line shows the Piper Seneca ZK-TZO and the Cessna ZK-JTH

Israel's Iron Dome Gains Anti-Aircraft Role

29 September 2011

The Iron Dome (photos : xairforces, csmonitor, noah eshel)

The "Iron Dome" system deployed to protect the Israeli population from short-range rockets is also efficient against aircraft up to an altitude of 32,800ft (10,000m).

A Rafael source said that during the deployment of the first three systems the Israeli air force has learned about the extra capability.

"It will serve as another layer in our anti-aircraft deployment that consists of upgraded Hawk and Patriot missiles," the source said.

In the past few months, Iron Dome batteries have intercepted more than 90% of the BM-21 Grad and Kassam rockets launched from Gaza into Israel.

A mobile defence system aimed at intercepting short-range rockets and artillery shells, Iron Dome avoids causing collateral damage by detonating a target warhead away from the defended area. Its interceptor has an effective range up to 70km (38nm), according to Rafael.

Foreign sources have indicated that Singapore has already purchased the Iron Dome system, with other countries also likely to show interest.


Cancelled today ZK-UBU

The Cessna 207 Skywagon ZK-UBU (c/n 207-00119) arrived  in Auckland on 25-06-1994 after ferrying from Australia where it had been operating as VH-UBU since new in early 1970. It was flown down to Te Anau and became ZK-UBU on 18-08-1994 for Fiordland Experience Group.  
To photo shows her at Queenstown on 23-03-1995 in "Air Fiordland - The Friendly Scenic Way" script.
Photo below is at Dunedin on 09-09-2005.
In December 2005 title changed to Airflite South Ltd of Mosgiel before transfer to Brian Grant of Outram on 22-02-2006.
 Above UBU at Taieri on 09-11-2010
Its NZ registration was cancelled today 29-09-2011. The above photograph from Henry McIntyre shows it parked at Taupo yesterday.

Time running out for Jat

Azerbaijan snubs Jat
Tomorrow afternoon the tender to find a strategic partner for the creation of a successor national carrier to Jat Airways will end. Not a single company has answered the tender call. On Monday, a delegation from Azerbaijan visited Jat Airways’ head office in Belgrade to get acquainted with the airline’s business. According to media reports, the Azeri Government is interested in taking over a part of Jat, rather than setting up a new airline, but would in return request shares in several other companies in Serbia and ownership over a future port construction project on the Danube. In the end, the Azeris did not purchase the 10.000 Euro tender documentation.

An unnamed source from the national carrier told the press, “No one has even purchased the tender documentation. We heard that the Azeris were interested but to be honest I doubt anything will come of it”. Economists and analysts blame the government for yet another failure to privatise Jat. They argue that it is illogical for a tender to seek for an owner of a nonexistent future national airline. Furthermore, it has been said that the eight party governing coalition has different views on what to do with Jat.

Over the past few months, it has been reported that the government is considering several scenarios for the airline following the tender failure which includes hiring a new professional CEO and providing state guarantees for a loan to purchase four new jets in January 2012. Another possibility is for the government to extend the tender as it lacks a definite strategy for the carrier. Nevertheless, the State Secretary for Aviation firmly denies that there is no interest in the loss making state airline. Meanwhile, the Privatisation Agency has once again delayed the auction of Jat Catering, which was originally scheduled to take place in early September and then moved to last Friday. Since there is absolutely no interest, the auction has now been rescheduled for November 11.

Green Flight Challenge Down to Final Three!

The CAFE Green Flight Challenge is at last underway - it was originally planned for mid-July - and as of the end of today's flying, just three of the original 13 entrants are still qualified to keep going for the $1.65 million prize money.
The event, centered in Santa Rosa, Calif. (between Los Angeles and San Francisco), is sponsored by Google and is seeking to advance public awareness and the technologies of electric and high-efficiency flight .  Electric-driven aircraft have garnered most of the advance press, though most of the electric entrants have either been eliminated or couldn't get their aircraft ready in time.
The eGenius all-electric CAFE Green Flight Challenge competitor.  Photo courtesy Eric Raymond
It's a pretty simple task: fly 200 miles averaging 100 mph or greater...with one teeny tiny hitch: fuel or fuel equivalent (electric or electric/hybrid) burn can only be one gallon of fuel.  That's right: one (1) gallon.  That's 200 mpg, looked at another way.  Daunting, to say the least.
Every task day there are different challenges to test the full mettle of each aircraft and pilot, such as a strictly economy run, a maximum decibel test, then the final speed/economy run on the last day.
One entry, the Eco-Eagle, in the works for 2 years from Embry-Riddle Aviation University, was just disqualified because the race rules specify a two-place airplane must fly with two people, not just a pilot and an equivalent copilot weight in the other seat.  But Embry-Riddle's rules specify only one ER participant can fly in a competition event.  The Eco-Eagle also did not have a fully functioning airframe parachute system, although one was aboard, and that violated another CAFE requirement.
The officials, with full consent of the other competitors, will allow the aircraft to fly in the race as a demonstration aircraft, and although it's not eligible for an award, it will be interesting to see how it fares against the others.
Gotta say, somebody didn't do their homework.  Those poor kids at Embry Riddle worked for two years and nobody figured out they wouldn't be legal because of a basic rule: flying with all seats filled?  Hard to figure that one, but kudos to the team and the competitors for encouraging the ER team to be part of the event: they've certainly earned it.  The aircraft was performing very well in practice runs according to varied reports from the field.
In a bit of a surprise, old friend Jim Lee in the Rotax-powered Phoenix is one of the three remaining competitors!  Jim's a master at squeezing every last bit of performance out of whatever he flies (as I've written before, he held the distance hang glider record for years back in the '80s and is an accomplished sailplane pilot).  And he really loves nibbling the thermic potentials in his elegant, high tech Phoenix motorglider, for which he's also the U.S. distributor.
Ah, my misspent youth: if only I could afford one...or  a Pipistrel Vinus or Sinus...or Eric Raymond's Sunseeker...alright kid, snap out of it.
I don't know yet what happened to the electric version, the PhoEnix, other than it couldn't be made ready for race date in time or perhaps wasn't performing up to expectations.
Many people are reporting that it's the electric version that's flying, but Jim's comments in the video below would seem to put the kibosh on that.  Too bad PhoEnix is out, it was a promising entry...but also kind of cool that a gas-powered motorglider is even in the finals.  Good hunting Jimbo!

Having the stock 100 hp Rotax-powered Phoenix in the final running should be a great PR boost too for what is already the sweetheart motorglider of the LSA genre.  Motorgliders are gaining more attention from pilots who want more than point A to point B flying on their plates.
One of the other two remaining entrants is the Pipistrel Taurus G4 (this link goes to Pipistrel's Michael Coates's gallery of GFC photos, worthy of a look).  The G4 is in essence a purpose-built joining of two Taurus G2 electric motorglider fuselages onto a larger wing with an electric powered motor-only pod at wing center - a wild jump of ingenuity because being able to carry four passengers, two in each pod, (which CAFE rules require them to do) does qualify the aircraft to carry the equivalent of four gallons of gasoline in electric power storage capacity - one gallon per person is the rule, for 200 miles at 100 mph.  The G4 may turn out to be a winning strategy, if the economy is there.
eGenius, designed by Univ. of Stuttgart engineeers.  photo courtesy Airbus
The final entrant is e-Genius, built by University of Stuttgart aeronautical engineers and students and a formidable entry in its own right.
Today's event required all entrants to meet the noise level ceiling of 78 dBA during full-power takeoff, as measured from 250 feet away. All three (four counting the non prize- qualified Eco-Eagle) met the challenge.

Thailand's Cabinet Approves Fennec Procurement

29 September 2011

Eurocopter AS 550 Fennec (photo : Militaryphotos)

Flustered PM baffles press with incorrect comment

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra apparently forgot which items were on the cabinet agenda yesterday, causing confusion when she confirmed the navy's submarine procurement project had received cabinet approval before retracting her statement hours later.

Emerging from the cabinet meeting at 2pm yesterday, Ms Yingluck appeared confused when asked about the navy's second-hand submarine procurement plan and the army's Black Hawk helicopter procurement plan.

"I don't remember. The cabinet considered 37 items today. The submarine procurement project has already been approved," she said.

Ms Yingluck later assigned the government spokesman team to address the blunder.

Deputy government spokesman Chalitrat Chandru-beksa braved the rain to correct Ms Yingluck's statement.

He told the media that the prime minister misunderstood a reporter's question about the submarines and helicopter projects. The cabinet yesterday approved the army's proposal to buy eight French-made helicopters, not the navy's submarine project, said Mr Chalitrat.

The army's Black Hawk helicopter procurement plan has yet to be considered by the Budget Bureau. The deputy spokesman said the navy's proposal was not on yesterday's cabinet agenda.

A source said government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng immediately called a meeting with members of the spokesman team following Ms Yingluck's confusing remark.

The spokesman team tried to explain to reporters that the prime minister may have been referring to the Marine Department's plan to buy boats for use in the exercise of using their propellers to speed up the flow of water out of flooded areas, the source said.

However, the propeller boats were not on yesterday's meeting agenda.

Mr Chalitrat said the cabinet approved a tied-over-budget for the army's project to procure eight Eurocopter AS 550 helicopters at 1.59 billion baht.

Ms Yingluck had reportedly asked the army to review the 2.8-billion-baht Black Haw procurement plan. She wanted the army to study details and technical issues of the US helicopters.

Upgraded BTR-82-A Armored Personnel Carrier Hits Targets at Speed

28 September 2011

BTR-82A Armored Personnel Carrier (photo : Army News)

Experts from the Arzamas Engineering Plant have unveiled their brand-new Tigr-6A armored truck and BTR-82-A armored personnel carrier.

Gaz 2330 Tigr-6A (photo : Oplatsen)

The developers say the revamped Tigr-6A armored vehicle is the largest Russian-made off-road vehicle to date. Although the Tigr-6A was designed in 2010, the Russian Army has yet to adopt it. This vehicle features double-layer special-steel armor and additional Kevlar-type protection against fragmentation munitions.

See Also :


The BTR-82 and BTR-82A are an upgraded version of the BTR-80 and BTR-80A wheeled armored vehicles. The BTR-82 wheeled armored vehicle features energy absorbing structures, a more powerful diesel engine developing 300-hp of power, crew and passengers special suspension seats, a sophisticated fire suppression system, reinforced floor protection against mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), higher rate of firepower, improved ballistic protection, command, increased survivability by 20 percent, reliability and mobility. All in, the new wheeled armored vehicles results heavier than its predecessors. In December 2008, Russia's Military Industrial Company (MIC) was already testing the prototypes which were unveiled in December 2009. In April 2010 MIC was marketing the BTR-82 and BTR-82A as a modernization program for existing BTR-80 operators.

The BTR-82 firepower has been enhanced installing an unified fighting module with electric drive and two stabilized arms with the main gun either a 14.5mm (BTR-82) or a 2A72 30mm (BTR-82A) cannon and the 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The primary gun ammo feed system has been modified replacing the 10 50-round boxes by a single 500-round box eliminating the need of switching the ammunition box once the rounds have been fired. The gunner gets a new stabilized fire control system TKN-4. In addition to the new engine, the BTR-82 is also fitted with a new transmission components and suspension allowing an increased average speed in rough terrain. The vehicle command system is equipped with advanced communications, topographic maps and a surveillance camera (TKN-AI) for the vehicle's commander. Besides, the BTR-82 can be equipped with turrets and other equipment from third party vendors following the customers requirements.

Low cost onslaught on Slovenia

Slovenia most uncompetitive in aviation in EX-YU
The Slovenian Tourism Organisation has revealed that Ljubljana will soon see low cost flights to at least five new destinations fuelling much needed competition. Flights to Italy, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia and Ireland will soon be established with full support from the Slovenian government. The Tourism Organisation has said that operations by low cost airlines will be subsidised in respect to marketing and promotion. Low cost airlines are looking to cash in from the battered and bruised Adria which will be forced to suspend several key routes. Ljubljana Airport is continuing its negotiations with Ryanair, with the no frills airline expected to touch down at Jože Pučnik Airport sometime during the 2012 summer season.

The Slovenian Tourism Organisation is in talks with the Turkish based IZair to replace Adria on its Istanbul route. The Organisation is also hoping that Maribor Airport will be seen as an alternative by some low cost airlines.

Slovenia has been one of the rare European countries where low cost airlines have, for the most part, failed to attract a following. Adria has little competition on most of its routes, while most of the ones it sees competition on, such as Istanbul, London and Paris, are expected to be suspended this winter. According to a study carried out by the World Economic Forum, Slovenia has been rated as one of the most uncompetitive countries in the world when it comes to aviation placing it 116th (out of 139 countries). In the same category amongst the former Yugoslav republics, Serbia scored highest with a rank of 58 followed by Croatia at 60, Macedonia at 107, Montenegro at 108 and Bosnia and Herzegovina at 115 out of 139 countries.

The Guimbal Cabri's get masked for colour.

The two new Guimbal Cabri G2's ZK-HCS4 and ZK-IDC get masked up today at Pacific Aircraft Services in Christchurch ready for a splash of colour to be added.

Coyoye ZK-RGM taxies off the field.

Richie Gaulter taxies his Rans S-6ES Coyote 11 ZK-RGM (c/n 1094683) off the Timaru airfield to his hangar today (28-09-11). This Rans was first registered on 20-03-1996.

East Timor Naval Force Receives Three Patrol Vessels from South Korea

28 September 2011

S. Korea hands over decommissioned three patrol boats to Timor Leste (photo : Timor Leste Goverment)

Dili, (AP) - The naval component of the Armed Forces of Timor-Leste on 26 Sept welcomed the government's three South Korean patrol ships, baptized with the names of Kamenassa, Dili and Hera, which will enable us to strengthen the sovereignty in the waters Timorese.

"With these new naval units there is an increase, this strengthens the independence and sovereignty of Timor-Leste in national waters," he told Lusa news agency the captain of the sea-and-war Donaciano Gomes, commander of the Naval component of the Defence Forces Timor-Leste.

According to the captain of the sea-and-war, "armed forces through its navy need to be in the water for reasons of national sovereignty and independence."

The three units will be three squadrons, two coastal patrol and one of Intercession.

The ceremony was attended by several representatives of countries that have military cooperation with East Timor, including Portugal, Australia and Indonesia, as well as elements of the government and the Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta.

In his speech, Ramos-Horta thanked the "generous offer" of South Korea, as well as for all the help that has been granted to East Timor over the past 10 years.

"Our two countries are involved excecionais due to some common events in our history," he said.

Ramos-Horta thanked the other partners who have contributed to the development of the naval Timorese waters and prevented the country from being used for illicit activities.

During the ceremony, the boats were also baptized and blessed by your bridesmaids.

The Attorney General's Office, Ana Pessoa, was one of the women chosen to be the godmother of one of the new patrol vessels.

AWD : Another Two Blocks Delivered

27 September 2011

Two more keel blocks had been delivered to Adelaide to construct Australia’s first Air Warfare Destroyer. This follows the delivery of the first keel block last month. The blocks were constructed at the Williamstown shipyard in Melbourne. They were loaded on to barges last week and transported to Adelaide over the weekend. (photo : Aus DoD)

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that two more keel blocks had been delivered to Adelaide to construct Australia’s first Air Warfare Destroyer.

This follows the delivery of the first keel block last month.

The blocks were constructed at the Williamstown shipyard in Melbourne.

They were loaded on to barges last week and transported to Adelaide over the weekend.

Mr Clare said this was another step forward in the $8 billion project to construct three new warships for the Royal Australian Navy.

“This is Australia’s biggest shipbuilding project,” Mr Clare said.

“90 separate blocks will be constructed to build the three most powerful warships the Royal Australian Navy has ever operated.

“About 70 blocks like this will be shipped to Adelaide over the next four years to be consolidated into Air Warfare Destroyers.

“These blocks weigh approximately 190 tonnes each. They are about 19 metres long, 17 metres wide and five metres high and will form part of the keel of the first warship – HMAS Hobart.”

The steel blocks are being built at shipyards in Adelaide (ASC), Melbourne (BAE Systems), Newcastle (Forgacs) and Ferrol, Spain (Navantia).

Three sonar blocks are being constructed in Spain and the United Kingdom.

The blocks will now be removed from the barge and transported by a large multi-wheeled vehicle to the pre-fit-out facility.

Further work on the blocks will then be completed including blast and paint, fitting pipes, installing communications and electrical cables and fitting internal walls.

Construction has begun on all main blocks for the first ship and work has also begun on blocks for the second ship, HMAS Brisbane.

Next year work will begin on blocks for the third ship, HMAS Sydney and the first ship will start to be consolidated in Adelaide.

Mr Clare thanked the more than 1,000 people currently working on the ships across the three Australian shipyards.

“The workers constructing these blocks are doing important work – building new warships for the Royal Australian Navy,” Mr Clare said.

“They’re working hard and I thank them for their efforts.”

12 LCM-1E Watercraft will Complement the Australian LHD

27 September 2011

Navantia LCM-1E watercraft (photo : RAN)

LHD Watercraft and Enhanced Joint Operations Centre Command and Control Capability Projects Approved

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Government had given Second Pass Approval for two important capability projects: the purchase of 12 new watercraft for the two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships and the enhancement of information and technology infrastructure at Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) .

Purchase of watercraft for LHD (Joint Project 2048 Phase 3)

The Government has agreed to the purchase from Navantia of 12 medium-sized fast landing craft (the LCM-1E) for the LHD through Joint Project 2048 Phase 3.

This follows a decision in February 2009 to direct source the purchase of the watercraft to Navantia.

Navantia are building the hulls for the two LHDs and the watercraft will be purpose-built for these ships.

The watercraft will enable transport of troops and equipment from the LHDs to the shore including where there are no fixed port facilities.

The delivery of the first batch of four watercraft will be co-ordinated with the delivery of the first LHD, expected in 2014.

Construction of the LHDs is underway in Spain and Australia.

The LHDs are bigger thanAustralia’s last aircraft carrier.

Each is 230 metres long and can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1000 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters. Each also includes a 40-bed hospital.
Maintenance and support for the watercraft will be provided by Australian industry.

The total cost of Joint Project 2048 Phase 3 is cost capped between $300 million to $500 million in the Public Defence Capability Plan.

The final cost is subject to the satisfactory negotiation of a contract with acceptable terms and conditions.

Australian Defence Force Command and Control (Joint Project 2030 Phase 8 )

The Government has also approved enhancements to information and communications technology infrastructure at Headquarters Joint Operations Command (Bungendore) as well as software upgrades to better support military planning.

The enhanced command and control system will also allow better communication between operations staff and troops, particularly commanders and Special Forces.

Defence will purchase commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software products which will then be integrated to meet requirements.

It is expected that the capital expenditure for these enhancements will generate around 75 jobs and support around 25 on-going jobs inAustralia.

Additional hardware and software upgrades to support better military planning will be considered by Government in future elements of Joint Project 2030 Phase 8.

The total cost of Joint Project 2030 Phase 8 is cost capped between $100 million to $300 million in the Public Defence Capability Plan.

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