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Messages - Ayoshi

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China Topics / Re: Z-18 transport helicopter
« on: January 22, 2019, 05:14:51 AM »

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China Topics / Re: Z-18 transport helicopter
« on: January 22, 2019, 05:07:16 AM »

PLA Army Aviation inducts two Z-18A medium transport helicopters into service.

The Z-18 medium transport helicopter has been in service with the PLA Naval Aviation on-board of the aircraft carrier Liaoning, it has become the go-to helicopter platform for specialized missions ranging from airborne early warning (AEW), VIP transport, to anti-submarine warfare (ASW) since.   After four years of extensive testing, the PLA Army Aviation (PLAAV or PLALH in Chinese) finally inducts her own Z-18A - army transport variant - into the 161st Air-Assault Brigade today.

The Z-18 project started as Z-8F-100, a modernized variant of the Z-8 workhorse that has been in service since the early 1980s.  The Z-18A has three more powerful WZ-6C turboshaft engines, enjoys extensive injection of composite materials and a new 'glass' cockpit for its two pilots.  It can accommodate 27 fully armed troops or 15 medical stretchers to a range of 8000 to 10,000 KM.  The army A variant features a terrain following radar and EO turret but missing the rear-wheel pontoons of its naval counterpart.


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China Topics / Z-18 transport helicopter
« on: January 22, 2019, 05:05:13 AM »
The Z-18 is a new Chinese military transport helicopter. It was developed by Changhe Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG). It evolved from a civilian Avicopter AC313 (Harbin Z-8) which in turn is a license-produces version of the Aerospatiale SA321 Super Frelon. The new helicopter was first publicly exposed in 2014. Chinese call this helicopter the White Heron. The Z-18 is already in service with Chinese military and it seems that it is being produced in large numbers. It will gradually replace older Z-8 helicopters.

   The Changhe Z-18 is based on the Harbin Z-8 design, but has a redesigned fuselage and more powerful engines. As a result the new Z-18 has more internal space, can carry more payload and has overall better performance at higher altitude and temperature. It has been reported that composites and titanium are extensively used in production of this helicopter.

   This helicopter can transport up to 4 000 kg internally or 5 000 kg externally. It accommodates about 27 passengers. Alternatively it can carry about 14 stretchers, plus medical attendants.

   In the transport role the Z-18 is operated by a crew of 2.

   The Z-18 is powered by three WZ-6C turboshaft engines, developing around 1 752 shp each. The original WZ-6 engine is a license-build copy of the French Turbomeca Turmo 3C. It has been reported that Z-18 is fitted with composite rotor blades. It is worth noting that commercial Avicopter AC313 is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-67A turboshafts, developing 1 940 shp each.

   During a test flight in Tibet the Z-18 broke a record by attaining an altitude of 9 000 m and flying above Mount Everest. It is the first time a large helicopter managed to fly that high. It is the second Chinese military helicopter after the Sikorsky S-70C, that can operate in high-altitude regions, particularly the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. This test helicopter also set a speed record of 336 km/h.

   The helicopter is fitted with a nose-mounted weather radar and FLIR/TV turret.

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Côte d’Ivoire signs for C295 airlifter | Janes - 21 January 2019
The Côte d'Ivoire Air Force (Force Aérienne de la Côte d'Ivoire) is acquiring the aircraft in its baseline transport configuration to augment the two Antonov An-26 'Curl' airlifters it acquired in 2018, and the An-12 'Cub' it acquired in 2005.

Airbus DS did not disclose a contract value, which would likely include infrastructure, training, and support, or provide a delivery timeline. While the company noted only that the aircraft is to be delivered in its baseline transport configuration, this now includes winglets and modified engines for greater fuel economy and/or range. This version is designated C295W.

According to Airbus DS, the winglet and engine modifications add 3-6% in overall performance, with just a 30 kg weight penalty. Figures released by the company show an increase of 320 km in the aircraft's range and 30 minutes of additional time on station. In addition, the engine upgrade alone affords an extra 1.5 tonnes in payload in hot and high conditions.

China Topics / Re: Z-8 transport helicopter & variants
« on: January 22, 2019, 04:54:27 AM »
Image emerges of Z-8G helicopter variant | Janes - 21 January 2019
The designation Z-8L is being used in online forums to refer to the new variant, the much longer external sponsons of which make it be readily distinguishable from the Z-8G.

These sponsons are likely to be configured as fuel tanks, as well as mounting the aft undercarriage. Unverified internet sources claim that the internal width of the load area has been increased from 1.8 m to 2.4 m.

A photograph has emerged on online forums showing the underside of a variant of the Changhe Aircraft Industry Group Z-8G helicopter. (Via Weibo)

Submarines and ASW / Re: Submarine Rescue Vessel
« on: January 22, 2019, 04:30:22 AM »
Italy prepares to launch submarine rescue vessel programme | Janes - 21 January 2019
The Special and Diving Operations - Submarine Rescue Ship (SDO-SuRS), for which EUR424 million (USD481.7 million) has been earmarked from 2018, is intended to replace the ageing salvage ship, Anteo . Jane's understands that the vessel will have a modular design in order to carry out its three main tasks of submarine rescue in addition to supporting special forces and diving operations carried out by the Italian Navy's Comando Subacquei ed Incursori (COMSUBIN) special forces and divers command.

Basic specifications include a full-load displacement of about 8,500 tonnes, an overall length of 120 m, and a 20 m beam. The ship will be powered by an integrated full-electric propulsion system (IFEP) - using two azimuthal propulsion pods and two bow-mounted thrusters - able to achieve a maximum speed of 15 kt.

The ship will be capable of embarking US Navy and NATO submarine rescue systems, a 12-man integrated saturation diving system, a suite of survey and rescue underwater vehicles (including an AUV capable of operating to depths of 3,000 m and two remotely controlled underwater vehicles), an atmospheric diving system capable of operating to a depth of 300 m, a McCann rescue chamber, and a hyperbaric simulator.

A dedicated underwater operations medical facility is to be fitted in addition to extensive special forces and command and control (C2) facilities and provisions for expeditionary operations.

The ship will feature aviation facilities for a medium-sized helicopter such as the Leonardo Helicopters AW101 and a stern area equipped for underwater and special forces operations.

The new multirole submarine rescue vessel will replace the Italian Navy's salvage ship. Source: Italian Navy

Discussions about all nations and places / Re: MBT upgrade news
« on: January 21, 2019, 05:36:56 AM »
Modernization of Russian MBT inventory after Syrian conflict | Army Recognition - 18 January 2019 14:31
The operation in Syria has revealed some drawbacks of serially produced armored vehicles. In order to fix them, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) has intensified the development of upgraded platforms, including the T-90M and T-80BVM main battle tanks (MBTs). At the same time, the previously developed T-90A has demonstrated very high protection performance.

Discussions about all nations and places / Re: M1 Abrams
« on: January 21, 2019, 05:34:32 AM »
US soldiers at Fort Bliss tested Trophy APS mounted on M1A2 SEPv2 tank | Army Recognition - 19 January 2019 07:35
The testing culminated with a simulated threat shot near, but not directly at, a tank, to see if the system would engage the threat, Edwards said. Civilians, not Soldiers, were in the tank during the testing.

The Israeli government first developed the Trophy technology, and the U.S. Army began developing the system for the Abrams about two years ago. Production of the system would be collaboration between General Dynamics Land Systems, Leonardo DRS and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

The Trophy is an APS (Active Protection System) for tanks and combat vehicles developed and designed by the Israeli Company Rafael. The goal of this APS is to intercept and destroy incoming missiles and rockets with a shotgun-like blast.

The Rafael Trophy consists of Elta EL/M-2133 F/G band fire-control radar with four flat-panel antennas mounted on the vehicle, with a 360-degree field of view. When a projectile is detected, the internal computer calculates an approach vector almost instantly, before it arrives. Once the incoming weapon is fully classified, the computers calculate the optimal time and angle to fire the neutralizers. The response comes from two rotating launchers installed on the sides of the vehicle which fire neutralizing agents, usually small metal pellets like buckshot. The system is designed to have a very small kill zone, so as not to endanger personnel adjacent to the protected vehicle.

The Trophy is able to intercept all types of anti-tank missiles and rockets, including handheld weapons such as rocket propelled grenades. The system can simultaneously engage several threats arriving from different directions, is effective on stationary or moving platforms, and is effective against both short- and long-range threats. Newer versions of the system include a reloading feature for multiple firings. The Trophy development plan includes an enhanced countermeasures unit to be available in the future for protection against kinetic energy penetrators.

A picture was released on Internet showing an M1A2 Abrams SEP V2 equipped with the Trophy APS Active Protection System during military exercise Saber Strike 2018 (Picture source Internet)

Information Technology & Cyber Security / Re: A.I Arms Race
« on: January 21, 2019, 05:31:12 AM »
US Army AI project based on poker software | Army Recognition - 18 January 2019 11:55
Libratus, the AI bot that made the news in 2017 for cleaning out four professional poker players in a game of no-limit Texas Hold 'em, has been called up to work for The Pentagon. Tuomas Sandholm's new startup, called Strategy Robot, is using the same technology today for government use. It now has a $10 million contract with the US Army.

The AI is built on computational game theory, which combines elements of game theory and computer science. Its objective is to understand and design algorithms in strategic environments. When Libratus was playing against top poker players, it won more than $1.8 million in play money. The software was able to outwit the human players, learning to predict behavior and even bluff. The AI technology developed is being re-designed for use in simulations and wargames which will help the US military with strategy and planning.

Humor / Ghost ship ?
« on: January 21, 2019, 05:28:20 AM »
The truth about the infamous Siquijor ghost ship | GMA news - January 20, 2019 7:29pm
For 70 years, residents of Lazi, Siquijor believed that the ghost ship or tayog-tayog is magical. It gave them the creeps, appearing at dawn every day and then vanishing into thin air just minutes after it comes into sight.

< snipped >

The KMJS team let a videographer ride the MV Filipinas and Trans Asia on Friday.

After coming near the two ships, the PCG tried to communicate with the two ships through radio.

It has been then confirmed that the ships they saw that night are the MV Filipinas and Trans Asia 1.

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China Topics / Chinese-made Mortar carriers / self-propelled mortar
« on: January 20, 2019, 03:49:15 AM »

SM4 are based on the WZ551 chassis and 200 copies were exported by Norinco in 2016. Norinco Marketing Photo via


SM4 120mm self-propelled mortar with the Algerian Army


Photos taken from

China Topics / Re: Chinese Arms Exports
« on: January 20, 2019, 03:46:52 AM »

SM4 120mm self-propelled mortar with the Algerian Army


Photos taken from

Thailand, Czech Republic pursue defence collaboration | Janes - 18 January 2019
According to the MoD the Czech government has stated an interest in investing in Thailand’s eastern seaboard: a region that the Thai government is promoting for foreign direct investment and economic development.

The MoD added that it was possible that Thailand could co-operate with the Czech Republic in supporting investment to develop an aerospace assembly plant and a centre to facilitate maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). Other possibilities include developing a regional flight simulation training centre in Thailand and facilitating Czech investment in the commercial sector.

The MoD said the new working group will study potential programmes to support co-operation in such activities and other collaboration in research, development, and technology transfers from the Czech Republic to Thailand.

The Thai MoD made no mention of potential defence trade between the two countries. However, Jane’s reported in November 2018 that Thailand had expressed an interest in acquiring an undisclosed number of Czech-made Aero Vodochody L-39NG jet trainers/light-attack aircraft.

Jane’s also reported at the time that Babis was scheduled to visit Thailand in January 2019 to hold further talks regarding the potential sale of the L-39NG, which was formally unveiled in October 2018.

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) currently operates 24 L-39ZA Albatros aircraft, some of which are being replaced by 12 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50TH Golden Eagle lead-in fighter trainers (LIFTs) ordered in 2015. The RTAF mainly uses the L-39ZA aircraft for light attack, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations.

Stealth / Re: F-35 Lightning II
« on: January 20, 2019, 12:25:26 AM »

An F-35C Lightning II test aircraft conducts the first separation of a Joint Standoff Weapon C from an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. (U.S. Navy via Raytheon)


Pentagon considers an ICBM-killing weapon for the F-35, but is it affordable? | Defense News

The Trump administration’s Missile Defense Review, released Thursday after months of anticipation, carves out an enticing new potential role for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The jet “has a capable sensor system that can detect the infrared signature of a boosting missile and its computers can identify the threatening missile’s location,” the review states. “It can track and destroy adversary cruise missiles today, and, in the future, can be equipped with a new or modified interceptor capable of shooting down adversary ballistic missiles in their boost phase and could be surged rapidly to hot spots to strengthen U.S. active defense capabilities and attack operations.”

The report gives the Air Force and Missile Defense Agency six months to deliver a report on how best to integrate the F-35 into the larger missile defense architecture.

US Army seeks to acquire Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system | Army Recognition - 17 January 2019 16:13
The United States army sent the Congress a 14-page document requesting approval of $373 million towards purchasing a few of Israel’s widely acclaimed Iron Dome missile interception systems. It has sought to receive by 2020 two Iron Dome batteries with 12 launchers, 240 interception missiles, two battle-management systems and two radar systems to enable US ground forces’ protection against artillery, rockets, cruise missiles, mortars and unmanned air vehicles in conflict areas globally, according to Inside Defense. “Based on an analysis of cost, schedule and performance, the Army has decided to field two interim IFPC batteries of Iron Dome in 2020,” stated the document.

< snipped >

Reportedly, the United States has been searching for a mechanism to shield American ground forces from threats in numerous conflict areas over the past several years, having tried to create their own interceptor systems.

The Iron Dome, a short-range missile interceptor, was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Picture source: wikimedia commons)

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