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 Post subject: SLAF upgrading its airpower capabilities
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:10 pm 
SLAF upgrading its airpower capabilities

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) will by the year’s end begin receiving five RAC MiG-built MiG-29SE multi-role combat aircraft and one MiG-29UBS tandem-seat operational conversion trainer worth USD 75 million, plus three Oboronprom JSC-built Mi-35M attack helicopters — all from Russia. Another noteworthy addition to the SLAF’s combat aircraft inventory has been five Chengdu F-7Gs and one FT-7G (both armed with PL-5E air combat missiles), which were delivered last March by China free of charge.

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© Copyright Force India
By Prasun K. Sengupta


As part of its efforts to significantly upgrade its offensive airpower capabilities, the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) will by the year’s end begin receiving five RAC MiG-built MiG-29SE multi-role combat aircraft and one MiG-29UBS tandem-seat operational conversion trainer worth USD 75 million, plus three Oboronprom JSC-built Mi-35M attack helicopters — all from Russia.

While the SLAF will be responsible for first- and second-level maintenance of these new acquisitions, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Nasik-based India-Russia joint venture — Indo-Russian Aviation Ltd (IRAL) — will provide flying training, technical type-training and depot-level maintenance support for them.

IRAL is currently providing similar product support to the SLAF’s existing six Mi-17V-5s, 10 Mi-25s and three Mi-35Ps of No9 Attack Helicopter Squadron, and for the 10 ex-Ukrainian MiG-27Ms and one MIG-23UB trainer of No5 Fighter Squadron.

In addition, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is likely to be involved in upgrading the SLAF’s two Israel Aerospace Industries-built Kfir TC.2s, two Kfir C.7s and eight Kfir C.2s of No10 Fighter Squadron.

The SLAF wants these Kfirs to be retrofitted with ELTA’s EL/M-2032 multi-mode monopulse radars (which HAL is presently installing on board the Indian Navy’s Sea Harrier FRS Mk51s) and armed with RAFAEL-built Python-3 air combat missiles.

The SLAF has also requested the IAF and HAL to help upgrade its Mi-25s to enable them to have a modest night-fighting capability.

Another noteworthy addition to the SLAF’s combat aircraft inventory has been five Chengdu F-7Gs and one FT-7G (both armed with PL-5E air combat missiles), which were delivered last March by China free of charge. These aircraft have supplemented the SLAF’s three F-7Bs and three FT-7Bs that were acquired in the late Nineties.

The MiG-29SEs on order will each be equipped with a Phazotron JSC-built Zhuk-ME airborne radar, which has a 80km target detection range. It also has modest air-to-surface modes that include Doppler-beam sharpening, synthetic aperture scanning (with 5-metre resolution) and moving target detection.

Powerplant for the MiG-29SE will comprise twin Klimov RD-33-3 turbofans. The armaments suite will include Vympel R-73E air combat missiles, R-27ER1 and R-27ET1 medium-range air combat missiles, as well as KAB-500Kr laser-guided bombs that would be guided to their targets by manportable ground-based LDR-3 laser target designators supplied by Pakistan’s Al technique Corp.

The Mi-35M comes fitted with a 9K113K all-weather weapons suite that includes an Urals Optical & Mechanical Plant-built OPS-24N ‘Zarevo’ optronic system, GOES-342 gyro-stabilised chin-mounted turret, IRTV-445MGII thermal imager with a 4km range, and the BREO-24 radio communications suite. The Mi-35M’s cockpit displays are NVG-compatible. Its main and X-shaped tail rotor blades are all-composite, while its main and tail rotor hubs and gearbox are the same as those developed for the Mi-28NE attack helicopter. The Mi-35M’s twin stub wings are each equipped with twin APU-8/4U weapons pylons, each of which can carry four supersonic anti-armour guided missiles (130mm 9K114 Shturm-S with 5km-range or 9M120 Ataka with 6km-range, both built by the Kolomna-based KBM Machine Design Bureau) or four Strelets air combat missiles. Powerplant for the Mi-35M comprises twin Klimov VK-2500 engines that enable the helicopter to be operated under ‘hot-and-high’ conditions at elevated humidity and high temperature levels.


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 Post subject: Army upgrade its electronic warfare capabilities
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:29 pm 
Army upgrade its electronic warfare capabilities

@ Defence Wire

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With a strong likelihood of an LTTE counter-offensive in the horizon, the Sri Lanka Army recently upgraded its electronic warfare capabilities with the latest Electronic Weapons Locating Radar systems available in the market.

This crucial upgrade is an important one considering that the casualties during the most recent LTTE attacks were caused by trajectory weapons, i.e. Howitzers, Mortar Bombs and Multiple-Rocket Launchers.

The Army has taken steps to establish special units in Jaffna and at other crucial locations in the Vanni equipped with these systems procured from a friendly Asian country. The radar system, developed and maintained by that country is said to be equal in its abilities to the AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder Radar systems developed by the United States (Raytheon), but less expensive.

The Indian government, in May 2008, procured 12 AN/TPQ-37 Radars denied to them for many years by the United States. Other than Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan are the only other countries to test the weapon in real combat in the recent past.

After open hostilities and border wars ended between India and Pakistan, the Sri Lanka Army and the guerrillas are the only two adversaries continuously engaged in a continuous war that uses trajectory weapons.
- Defence Wire

Reference:

The AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder Radar is a lightweight, small, highly mobile radar set capable of detecting weapon projectiles launched at any angle within selected 90-degree azimuth sectors over 360 degrees of coverage. The AN/TPQ-36 can locate simultaneous and volley-fire weapons. It can also be used to register and adjust friendly fire. Upon projectile detection, the weapon location is computed and is used to direct counter-battery fires.

Location of hostile artillery and mortars by the AN/TPQ-36 is completely automatic. The system electronically, scans the horizon over a 90° sector several times a second, intercepting and automatically tracking hostile projectiles, then computing back along the trajectory to the origin. The co-ordinates and altitude of the weapon are then presented to the operator. Automatic location is so rapid that the co-ordinates of the firing weapon are normally with the operator before the enemy round lands.

The system consists of an operational control group, OK-398/TPQ-36, and an antenna transceiver group, OY-71/TPQ-36. It is used by the artillery battalions to provide an effective capability to locate hostile weapons, both mortars and short- to medium-range weapons.

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