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I don't know which is stranger, that there's a youtube video of a sock puppet explaining the difference between air to air missiles... or that it's actually pretty good:  

Chinese Xian H-6 medium bombers ready for maritime orientation flight on Saturday. Looking decidedly Old School.  

The optics for both gunner and pilot include thermal imagers made by Safran (based on their Iris product line). The Osiris mast-mounted sight also includes other optics, a laser-rangefinder and an aut

  • 2 weeks later...

Video report from the base of the Iraqi army aviation El-Kut

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   Judging from the video footage, two squadrons of attack helicopters are based there, I understand that one of them is Knights of the Sky (SQ 35) on the Mi-35Ms, and the second is the Night Hunters on the Mi-28NE (SQ 28) . And I also note that the Iraqi army aviation is not part of the Air Force, they were divided in 2010 and the Command of the Army Aviation of Iraq was created.

Izdelie 298 Mi-28NE, newest Mi-28s with both crewmembers having ability to pilot helicopter.

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Saudi Arabia ordered 300 Chinese UAVs Pterodactyl II

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   According to Chinese network sources, Saudi Arabia has signed a contract for the acquisition of 300 newest Chinese reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles Pterodactyl II (Wing Loong II, 翼龙 II) developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute (CADI) and Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (part of the Chinese state aviation-industrial corporation AVIC) in Chengdu. The cost of the contract, along with associated equipment and weapons, is allegedly about $ 10 billion, which in this case makes it the largest export contract in the history of Chinese aviation industry, as well as the world record contract for the purchase of UAVs.

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That thing is awesome...

 

Like a mutant techno manta ray that has taken to the skies to avenge the death of his oyabun by exploding itself to make up for the dishonor it has brought upon itself by honoring his former master by killing himself and the usurper who now sits upon his Master's throne!

 

What do you want from me, I read way too many battletech novels and the book shogun itself far too many times in my formative years!!

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Interested in a joke?

 

Germany decided to send four Tiger helicopters to support combat operations in Mali. Now the first two have arrived...

 

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Thanks to poor planning and political reasons ("who wants to spend money on upgrades now, if you can spend the money in the future"), they are armed with a 12.7 mm gun pod aswell as... nothing! Yes, a €45 million combat helicopter is armed with a 12.7 mm M2 machine gun only. Sending an equal amount of CH-53s to Mali would have provided greater firepower!

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The optics for both gunner and pilot include thermal imagers made by Safran (based on their Iris product line). The Osiris mast-mounted sight also includes other optics, a laser-rangefinder and an automatic tracking functions. Still the gun pod requires the whole helicopter to turn/depress for aiming. Germany uses the HMP-400 gun pod from FN Herstal, which holds only 400 rounds, which (given that you cannot reload it without landing) seems to be lackluster. In the very first firings, the system was criticized for poor accuracy, but supposedly that was fixed via better calibration.

 

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It's quite a shame. The UHT was originally meant to be "the best anti-tank helicopter" and then the most expensive/capable variant of the Tiger, but ended up being cut down to be currently being useful for nothing (excluding carrying HOT missiles and Stinger MANPADS).

 

 

After the decision was made to switch the UHT from an anti-tank to a general combat support role, the German MoD founded the development of the RMK 30 recoilless automatic cannon. The French gun was previously considered as being not precise enough and being expensive to integrate... the RMK 30 ended just being "too expensive to integrate". So, next logical step would be IMO to buy another gun turret, maybe a smaller 20 mm calibre that will cause less issues with recoil. More than 6,000 Rh 202 guns have been used on combat vehicles, static mounts and naval vessels, but apparently it's still much cheaper to buy new HMP-400 gun pods. The HMP-250 RMP with 250 rounds machine gun ammunition + three 70 mm FZ rockets would probably have been a better choice, because one 70 mm FZ rocket should provide more punch than 50 rounds of 12.7 mm ammunition.

 

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(that's a weapon mount for the Wiesel, the Tiger would have the gun mounted below the center)

 

The situation wouldn't be as bad, if the development of the LFK NG was continued. The LFK NG was meant to replace all vehicle mounted Stinger systems (i.e. the Stinger on Tiger and Wiesel), being based on the very capable IRIS-T missile (which is can be used in essentially any role). Unlike the Stinger, the LFK NG was capable of engaging ground targets, including armor vehicles (thanks to a penetrating warhead - probably a "small" shaped charge). So the UHT would have at least four missiles + MG pod + CFT, even though wasting a LFK NG for defeating terrorists with AK-47s sitting in a mud hut. But apparently the LFK NG was canceled, at least the manufacturers have deleted it from their websites, it was last mentioned in a press release in 2010. Meanwhile the industry is now pitching the French Mistral SAM as replacement for the Stinger...

 

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Australian, French and Spanish Tiger helicopters have no issues carrying rockets on the outer hardpoints, because somebody was clever enough to put cables there! Wow.

 

To enable the UHT of carrying rocket pods on the outer hardpoints, the THOR (Tiger Helicopter Outer Rockets) program has been started; however it has been postponed to be part of the Tiger Mk. 2 upgrade, which will first happen after all German Tigers have been delivered (even though it already has been decided to reduce the number of Tigers several years ago; essentially we are buying outdated systems, that will immediately be upgraded, as well as surplus systems which will be sold or used for spare parts most likely). Great business...

A Tiger Mk. 3 upgrade is also planned for the German aircrafts, it might include a laser illuminator for guided 70 mm FZ rockets/missiles, although it might be possible to use them at an earlier time. The only upside of the THOR upgrade might be the ability to carry the large rocket pod with 19 missiles at the outer hardpoints, at least FZ believes this might be possible. The German military procurement office is currently investigating the situation.

 

The German Tiger variant could have been a clear contender to being the best attack helicopter in the world: The RMK 30 would offer advantages in accuracy and range (although trading some ammo capacity for it), the PARS 3 LR (Trigat) missile system is probably class-leading (159 mm diameter, tandem warhead, top-attack mode, thrust vectoring, salvo firing mode, pre-cooled thermal imagers, ability to engage helicopters), while the LFK NG would have been an advantage over all Mistral/Stinger (thanks to not being limited to a man-portable size) and over the Sidewinders (thanks to being based on the more capable IRIS-T family and also having ground attack capbility). Even the unguided rockets are top-notch (Germany is using the FZ 90 rocket with wrap-around fins made by the Belgian company Forges de Zeebrugge, which has a range of 9,100 metres compared to only ~5,000 m of the French 68 SNEB system from TDA Armaments - ironically both companies are nowadays owned by Thales).  

 

Interesting side note: The Wiesel suffers from the Tiger program. The Wiesel 2 Ozelot was meant to receive the LFK NG using a vertical launch system, while the Wiesel 1 MK was meant to receive the RMK 30. But that's another story, Wiesel upgrades and replacements are currently being developed.

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On 26/03/2017 at 4:03 PM, SH_MM said:

Interested in a joke?

 

Germany decided to send four Tiger helicopters to support combat operations in Mali. Now the first two have arrived...

 

image_original.jpg

 

Thanks to poor planning and political reasons ("who wants to spend money on upgrades now, if you can spend the money in the future"), they are armed with a 12.7 mm gun pod aswell as... nothing! Yes, a €45 million combat helicopter is armed with a 12.7 mm M2 machine gun only. Sending an equal amount of CH-53s to Mali would have provided greater firepower!

Thank god for the Germans - they just retroactively made the Rooivalk's deployment with 20mm chin gun and folding-fin rockets look amazing.

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In Israel, the missile defense complex Kelah Da'vid was officially put into service

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   The Kelah Da'vid system (David's Sling) has been developed since 2006 jointly by the Israeli association Rafael and the American corporation Raytheon with primarilyUS funding. The system should ensure the protection of the territory of Israel from enemy missiles (MLRS and tactical missiles) with a range of 40 to 300 km, thus becoming an intermediate link between the Israeli missile defense system Kippat Barzel (Iron Dome, intercepting missiles with a range from 4 to 70 km) and the ABM system of the country Hetz (Arrow).

 

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