Langkawi Island

Located in the Andaman Sea, is a group of 104 islands, formally called Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, or Langkawi Permata Kedah in the Malay language. Being part of the Kedah State, Langkawi is also located next to the border between Malaysia and Thailand. Langkawi had its name changed again to Langkawi Permata Kedah on 15th of July 2008, when the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim, allowed the name to be changed during his Golden Jubilee Celebration. Among the 104 islands, Langkawi Island has the largest population, with around 64792 people. In addition to being a duty-free island, Langkawi also has an administrative district in Kuah, the largest town on the island.

 

Etymology

The origin of Langkawi Island’s name can be traced to as early as the 15th century and several names such as Langa, Langka, Lansura, and Langapuri, were found on different maps in the 16th century. Others suggested that the etymology of the island’s name originated from a reddish-brown eagle, also called Langkawi, in Malay slang. In this suggestion, the Lang represents the short-form of helang, eagle in Malay language and kawi is known as a chalk made out of a type of red stone to mark on goods. In the late 1980s, Dataran Helang, also known as Eagle Square, was built in Kuah as a result of this interpretation to represent the eagle as the official symbol for Langkawi.

Another interpretation that was believed by many people was the Lanka or Langkapuri that was mentioned in ancient Indian sources. In this interpretation, it is suggested that the name is related to Langkasuka, an ancient Kingdom that was said to have some relations with the state of Kedah, and puri stands for palace or castle with a moat while some of the others suggested that Langkawi can also mean many beautiful islands because Langka means beautiful and wi means many in Sankrit language.

 

History

Plagued by a dark history of constant invasions by the Siamese and pirates, as a result of a curse placed for seven generations by Mahsuri, a woman who was wrongly accused and sentenced to death according to local legends, Langkawi Island remained fairly unknown until 1986, when Mahathir Mohammad, the current Prime Minister of Malaysia during that time, made a decision to transform the island into a popular tourist attraction and, many of the new buildings built during that time were planned and overseen by Mahathir Mohammad. Since then, Langkawi Island has been visited by tourists and by 2012, more than 3 million tourists visit the Langkawi Island annually.

 

Climate

On a yearly basis, Langkawi receives over 2400 millimetres or 94 inches of rain. The dry season usually starts from December and ends in February while the long raining season starts from March to November, with September being the month with the most rainy days.

 

Demographics

Out of the 99 islands that are suitable for inhabitation, only four of them are inhabited. The four islands are Langkawi Island, Tuba, Rebak and Dayang Bunting. With a population of around 99000, around 65000 of them are in Langkawi Island. As 90% of the population are Malays, Islam is the main religion while other religions like Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism, are also practiced by the other ethnic groups that are primarily made up of Chinese, Indians and, Thais.

Despite that the Malay language is the official language and mainly used for formal occasions, the locals are quite fluent in the English language. However, most of the natives speak in a Kedah version of Malay language and the other ethnic groups speak in Chinese, Siamese, and several Indian languages respectively.  

 

Economy

In what used to be known as an agricultural based economy involving the cultivation of paddy and rubber, Langkawi Island’s economy is rapidly being replaced by an economy primarily driven by tourism while at the same time, placing an emphasis to preserve the island’s natural, unspoiled and ecological beauty. This economy growth is further assisted by the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) development program, an initiative made by the Malaysian Government to speed up the economic growth in the northern side of Peninsular Malaysia that consists of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and the northern side of Perak.

Under the NCER initiative, the Malaysian Government intends to increase the tourism receipts from RM1890 or USD 600 in 2005 to RM3034 or USD 963 by 2012 for each visitor. The yearly tourist expenditure is also targeted to rise from RM 9 Billion or USD 2.86 Billion in 2005 to RM 21.8 Billion or USD 6.9 billion in 2012, and by 2020, the target to aim for is RM64.5 Billion or USD 20.4 Billion.

 

Tourism

Langkawi Island was awarded the World Geopark status by UNESCO, on 1st of June 2007, contributing to the island’s tourism economy, and three of the primarily conservation areas are Machinang Cambrian Geoforest Park, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest park on the Island of the Pregnant Maiden Lake. However, in 2014, Langkawi Island risked of losing its World Geopark Status after UNESCO issued a yellow card penalty because the local authorities failed to follow the conservation and sustainable practice requirements set by UNESCO. Fortunately, in 2015, Langkawi Island managed to regain its right to renew the UNESCO World Geopark status, after the appointed Geopark Inspectors did a comprehensive inspection, as a slap by a red card would mean the end of the World Geopark status completely. After that Langkawi Island was awarded the Certificate of Membership, also known as the Green Card by Asia Pacific Geoparks Network, as a token of appreciation by Global Geopark Network (GGN).

Langkawi Island is mainly popular for its beautiful islands, beaches, Sky Bridge and the Geoforest parks. Since Langkawi Island is surrounded by the sea, the main activities are usually water-based activities including morning cruises, evening cruises, and island hopping tours by riding a fast speedboat.

 

Shopping Options

With several shopping options available on the Langkawi Island, shoppers are not neglected here. The options are:

  • Langkawi Parade(Teow Soon Huat)
  • Cenang Mall
  • Langkawi Fair (Billion Duty Free)
  • Langkawi Saga Supermarket
  • Jetty Point
  • Coco Valley Duty-Free Supermarket
  • Idaman Suri Langkawi Mall

 

Transportation

Langkawi Island can be accessed by 2 different ways; sea and air. The island’s jetty is connected to other major cities in Malaysia including Penang, Kuala Perlis, Kuala Kedah and Tamalang, while Langkawi International Airport also offers flights from or to Penang, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Subang.

T-72B3M Tank

Known as the enhanced version of T-72B3, the latest modernized version of Russia’s main battle tank, the T-72, T-72B3M was first unveiled to the public during the finals of the International Russian Army Tank Biathlon competition held in October 2014. Designed with a much lower cost in mind, the T-72B3M capabilities will be similar to a more advanced tank, the T-90, according to the Russian military engineers. In an announcement made by the Uralvagonzavod Deputy Director, Alexey Zharich, Russia has plans to upgrade their existing 150 T-72B main battle tanks to the advanced B3M version and they will spend a total of 2.5 million Russian Rubles or USD 37 million to perform the upgrade. This was done by signing the Uralvagonzavod contract and based on some reports, Russia does not plan to purchase any new tanks until 2015.

 

Design and Protection

With the driver’s position located at the front and power pack at the back while fighting is done at the centre of the tank, T-72B3M has the same layout when compared to the standard T-72. As for its crew capacity, the tank can fit a crew of three including a driver in the front seat and two additional crew members in the turret, with the gunner on the left side and the commander on the right side.

In order to replace the previous Kontrakt-5 system and to increase the protection of the tank by double, the T-72B3M is covered by a new kind of Relikt explosive reactive armour that make use of an entire new composite of explosives to attain dynamics protection. In contrast to the Kontrakt-5, the new material works well against missiles fired from both low and high velocities while doubling its effectiveness against shaped charges and 50% more effective against anti-tank guided missiles. Fitted with large explosive reactive armours (ERA), the side skirts look like the T-90 style and two light steel stowage boxes can be seen equipped on the turret, with one located at the back and one more located slightly behind of commander’s position.

 

Mobility

By installing the latest V-92S2F engine to T-72B3M on the left side of the hull with a T-90 style exhaust box, the previous 780-hp diesel engine is no longer needed and the new engine can deliver 1130 horsepower. Assisted by an automatic transmission system and improvements made on the drivetrain, the mobility of the tank also becomes better overall. The maximum speed on the road is 60 km/h with a maximum range of 550 kilometres. It has a maximum fording depth of 5m with snorkel kit and it can ford as deep as 1.8 metres. Each side of the torsion suspension bar has six road wheels with the idler at the front, a drive sprocket at the back and three returns rollers to support the inside of the track. Shock-absorbers are equipped first, followed by the first, second and sixth road wheel stations. The top parts of the suspensions are also protected by rubber skirts.

 

Accessories

Besides the standard equipment including snorkels for deep fording operations, an overpressure-type NBC protection system, and night vision equipment for the three crew members, one of the new primary features that is noticeable on the T-72B3M is the tank commander’s independent panoramic sight, with its own thermal imaging device. The new feature is fitted on the turret’s top centre and between the two hatches. To help the tank commander to monitor the battlefield better, to provide the targets to the gunner, and to direct the turret, the fully stabilized sight has a day channel, laser range finder installed into it. On the other hand, the gunner is equipped with the Sosna-U sighting system, a multi-channel thermal imaging gunner sight with second-generation thermal imaging camera that has 8-12 microns features, and 1A40-4 fire-control system. Sosna-U sighting system includes a day and thermal sight, the ability to launch Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), a laser range finger, and a channel for missile guidance that can detect targets from a maximum distance of 5 km. To achieve an increase in accuracy, the T-72B3M is installed with a new ballistic computer and it is also equipped with R-168-25UE-2 radio systems, to send and receive encrypted transmissions on digital voice and data transfer. A dozer blade to be used for removing obstacles and preparing fire can also be seen under the tank’s nose and a snorkel can be seen on the back of the turret. Unlike T-72 series MBT where the unditching beam fitted to the tank’s rear, the T-72B3M version has its unditching beam fitted to the right side of the tank’s rear.

 

Technical Details

The technical details for T-72B3M tank are:

  • Country user: Russia
  • Designer Country: Russia
  • Total Crew: 3
  • Length: 9.53 metres
  • Width: 3.59 metres
  • Height: 2.22 metres
  • Weight: 45 tons
  • Speed: 60 km/h
  • Range: 550 km
  • Armour: Standard and explosive reactive armour Relikt
  • Accessories: Night vision, fording kit, overpressure-type NBC protection system, laser range finder, thermal sight, ballistic computer, panoramic sight, and image intensifier
  • Armament:  One 2A46M5 125-mm smoothbore gun, one PKTM 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and one 12.7mm NSV heavy machine gu

F 35 Jet

As an all-rounder aerospace solutions provider company, BAE Systems lends its forte in the development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of military aircraft to the F-35 programme, known to be the largest defence programme worldwide by forming a partnership with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

The F-35 programme was first created by the United States of America and then joined by other countries including United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Turkey. The objective of the F-35 programme is to create a stealth and multi-role attack aircraft that can operate in three different environments; air, land and sea, across the world.

To cater to the needs of their customers, BAE Systems will offer three different variants of the aircraft and they are Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL), the carrier variant (CV), and the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL).

In the partnership, BAE Systems is also responsible for the workload of between 13 to 15% for each aircraft excluding propulsion, and to play a significant role in different markets worldwide.

It is reported that the production of the F-35 will reach over 1 Billion British Sterling pounds in the United Kingdom and there will be around 25,000 new jobs spread across in over 500 companies in the supply chain located around the world.

 

BAE Systems Role in F-35 Programme

The roles that BAE System plays in the F-35 Programme includes the following:

  • Lead on flight testing programme for Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant
  • Prognostics and health management for both systems and structural of the aircraft
  • Autonomic Logistics and Global Sustainment
  • Interoperability Trials for F-35 programme with other platforms and facilities
  • Integration support for Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier
  • Lead on the design authority of the crew escape and life support
  • Major unit structural testing for Conventional Take Off Landing (CTOL)
  • Lead on the design authority of the fuel system
  • Weapon Integrations for the United Kingdom
  • Provide design and manufacture for rear aft fuselage, horizontal and vertical tails, wingfold for the carrier variant by outsourcing it to BAE System’s IPP Partner in Canada, nozzle bay doors for the STVOL variant
  • Provide the electronics and systems for electronic warfare suite, active inceptor systems, vehicle management computer, electronic components for communications, navigation, and identification system
  • Design and build the facilities to prepare for RAF Marham fleet in the United Kingdom
  • To provide expertise in fleet management, reliability, maintainability analysis, spares and repairs, software development, and training in the United States
  • To provide expertise in maintenance, repair, overhaul, upgrade in Australia and other Southern Pacific regions

 

Design and Development

BAE System’s decades of experience derived from their experience in the short take-off and vertical landing from their existing Harrier aircraft that was equipped with the technology that led to the F-35 programme. In the F-35 programme, BAE System was tasked to be responsible as the lead design authority partner for essential capabilities such as the fuel system and crew and life support system.

Durability testing is usually conducted at BAE Systems unique structural facility located in East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, while the other engineering teams work together with the company’s other partners on flight testing and weapons integration across the United Kingdom while BAE System’s test pilots and engineers in the United States are responsible for making sure that customers get the aircraft that meet their needs and requirements. Overall, BAE Systems plays a primary role to ensure the F-35 does not lose its fighting edge.

 

Production

The production of the aft fuselage and vertical and horizontal tails in the rear section of every F-35 are done at BAE Systems most up to date manufacturing and assembly facilities that use robotic technologies to manufacture parts of the components from titanium and aluminium, located in Lancashire, United Kingdom, Adelaide, and Australia. Most of the F-35 CTOL variants are manufactured in Australia.

BAE Systems also goes beyond their existing responsibilities by providing key systems and on-board electronics in the jets. They are also one of the top companies in the world that specializes in electronic warfare capability. Through their engineers that are located in New Hampshire and Texas in the United States, BAE Systems will be providing electronic warfare suite for the F-35 and this includes fully integrated radar warning, targeting support, self-protection, and the ability to detect and defeat threats on the surface and in the air. To respond swiftly and intelligently to the threats, the systems also deliver maximum situational awareness, assisting the pilot to identify, monitor and analyse. Besides that, another team based in Rochester, United Kingdom, also provides the Active Interceptor Systems to help the pilot to direct and manoeuvre the aircraft. High-tech managements are made at the same time to manage the life-cycle costs of the jet and as a result of this, the jets are more affordable for the customers. To facilitate this system effectively and to lessen the need for expensive and inspections that will take a long time, micro-sensors are installed in the aircraft to warn aircraft inspectors of the possible corrosions in difficult to reach areas of the aircraft.

 

Integration and Operations

Regardless of using troops, ships, and other aircraft, an aircraft that is interoperable will contribute the success of a mission. Currently, BAE Systems is working hand in hand with United Kingdom Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, and United States Navy and assisting them in getting more experience to operate the F-35 by using BAE System’s simulation facilities to create live maritime scenarios that involve a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier. In Australia, BAE Systems is assisting in the development and to integrate F-35 into the Australian Defence Force by making sure that the aircraft achieves maximum operational effectiveness at all times.

 

Sustainment

As of now, there are only about 5% of the overall fleet that is currently operating and BAE Systems is prepared for a surging growth in the number of aircrafts that will be entered into service in different countries air forces across the world. To ensure their success, BAE Systems must continue to maintain the existing fleet in terms of spares and repairs, technical support, training, and engineering know-how.

 

Harrier

Originally made by Hawker Siddeley in the 1960s, one of the aircraft manufacturers in the United Kingdom, Harrier, or informally known as Harrier Jump Jet, is a range of attack aircraft that is powered by jet and capable of vertical/short take-off and landing operations (V/STOL). This first generation version is also known as the AV-8A Harrier. Despite being a subsonic aircraft, Harrier was one of the aircraft with a genuine V/STOL design during that era and it was able to operate from any improvised bases including car parks, forest clearings without having the need to rely on large and vulnerable air bases. Consequently, this design was also used to operate from aircraft carriers.

 

Development

Based on the previous approach by Bristol Engine Company to create a direct thrust engine in 1957, Hawker Aircraft, a British aircraft manufacturer, proposed a design that can fulfil NATO’s specifications for a Light Tactical Support Fighter. Unfortunately, the project fell short due to lack of financial support from Her Majesty’s Treasury (HM), a British Government department that is responsible for developing and executing public finance policy and economic policy by the British Government. Thankfully, some funds were given by NATO’s Mutual Weapon Development Project (MWDP) to develop the engine. The first prototype, Hawker P.1127, was ordered and had its first flight on 1960 and later on, NATO made a new specification for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft with expectations to have similar performance to McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, a long-range supersonic jet that is highly adaptable. Hawker then made a new draft on the supersonic version of Hawker P.1127 and the design won the NATO competition. After the win, development of the supersonic version of Hawker P.1127 continued until the new Government terminated it. However, work continued and by 1964, the British, United States of America and Germany pilots were flying the aircraft under the Tri-partite Evaluation Squadron in order to learn how to operate a VTOL aircraft.

 

First Generation

Later on, the British Aerospace Sea Harrier, a naval V/STOL jet fighter designed for reconnaissance and aerial attacks, was developed based on Hawker Siddeley Harrier’s design. This aircraft model was entered into service with the Royal Navy Fleet Arm as Sea Harrier FRS 1 in April 1980 and the upgraded Sea Harrier FA 2 in 1993 respectively. They were then withdrawn from the navy in March 2006 and from the Indian Navy on 6th of May last year.

 

Second Generation

Comprehensive developments by McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace, currently Boeing and BAE Systems, led to the creation of Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II. Primarily designed to be used for light attacks or multi-role tasks, Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B usually operated from small aircraft carriers and this version of Harrier was also used by several of the NATO countries including the United States of America, Spain and Italy while the British used the British Harrier II version in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy until it was withdrawn due to measures to save costs.

 

Demise

Heading towards its demise, only 824 Harriers were delivered between the years of 1969 to 2003 and while the manufacturing for new Harriers ended in 1997, Harrier II Plus Configuration, the last order, was only completed in 2003. Today, Harrier continues to live on as one of the greatest hallmarks in British creativity and engineering skills, while some of its parts and technologies can still be seen in the existing F-35 Lightning II STVOL variant that is currently still in operation.

 

Technical Data

The technical details of Harrier are:

  • Role: V/STOL Strike Aircraft
  • National Origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturers: Hawker Siddeley, British Aerospace/McDonnell Douglas, Boeing/BAE Systems
  • First Flight: 28th of December 1967
  • Official Introduction: 1969
  • Status: Production ended in 2003
  • Primary Users: United States of America Marine Corps, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Indian Navy
  • Production Date: From 1967 to 2003
  • Developed from: Hawker P.1127
  • Variants: Hawker Siddeley Harrier, British Aerospace Sea Harrier, McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II and British Aerospace Harrier II

 

McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II

  • Total Crew: One or two (only for trainer sessions)
  • Length: 46 feet 4 inches or 14.12 metres
  • Wingspan: 30 feet 4 inches or 9.25 metres
  • Height: 11 feet 8 inches or 3.55 metres
  • Airfoil: Supercritical Airfoil
  • Empty Weight: 13968 pounds or 6340 kg
  • Loaded Weight: 22950 pounds or 10410 kg
  • Max Take-off Weight: 31000 pounds or 14100 kg for Rolling and 20755 pounds or 9415 kg for vertical
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce F402-RR-408 (Mk 107) vectored-thrust turbofan, 23500 pounds or 105 kN
  • Maximum Speed: Mach 0.9, 585 knots, 673 mph or 1083 km/h
  • Range: 1200 nmi, 1400 miles or 2200 km
  • Combat Radius: 300 nmi, 350 miles or 556 km
  • Ferry Range: 1800 nmi, 2100 miles or 3300 km
  • Rate of Climb: 14700 feet/minute or 75 metres/second
  • Wing Loading: 94.29 pounds

 

Armament:

  • Guns: 1× General Dynamics GAU-12 Equalizer 25 mm (0.984 in) 5-barreled Rotary cannon mounted under-fuselage in the left pod, with 300 rounds of ammunition in the right pod
  • Hardpoints: 6× under-wing pylon stations holding up to 9,200 pounds or 4,200 kg of payload
  • Rockets: 4× LAU-5003 rocket pods (each with 19× CRV7 or APKWS[63] 70 mm rockets
  • Missiles: 4× AIM-9 Sidewinder or similar-sized infrared-guided missiles, 6× AIM-120 AMRAAM (on radar equipped AV-8B Plus variants) for air-to-air missiles and 6× AGM-65 Maverick or 2× AGM-84 Harpoon or 2× AGM-88 HARM for air-to-surface missiles
  • Bombs: CBU-100 cluster bombs (CBUs), Mark 80 series of unguided bombs (including 3 kg or 6.6 pounds and 14 kg or 31 pounds practice bombs), Paveway series of laser-guided bombs (LGBs), Joint Direct Attack Munitions (GBU-38, GBU-32, and GBU-54), Mark 77 napalm canisters and B61 nuclear bomb

 

Other Equipment:

  • Up to 4× 300/330/370 US Gallon drop tanks (pylon stations No. 2, 3, 4, & 5 are wet plumbed), Intrepid Tiger II electronic jammer

 

Avionics

  • Raytheon APG-65 radar
  • AN/AAQ-28V LITENING targeting pod (on radar-equipped AV-8B Plus variants)

 

BAE Taranis drone

Also known as Raptor, BAE Systems Taranis is a demonstrator programme initiated by the British for unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) technology, and BAE Systems Military Air & Information was mainly responsible for the development of this aircraft. Named after Taranis, in the God of Thunder in Celtic Folklore, the Taranis programme cost to the tune of 185 Million British Sterling Pound, funded by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MOD) and United Kingdom Defence Industrial Strategy. In an effort that take took one and a half million man hours of work by many of the prominent scientists in the United Kingdom, the Taranis demonstrator made a statement as the top engineering and aeronautical design in the United Kingdom.

Mainly designed for intercontinental flight missions, BAE Systems Taranis will be loaded different types of weapons in order to attack both aerial and targets on the ground. Stealth technology will also be used to allow the aircraft to be low profile under the radar and the aircraft can be controlled by using a satellite link from anywhere across the world. Taranis is also designed for the United Kingdom to show its nation’s capability to develop an unmanned aerial system that can be operated by a human to provide sustained surveillance, mark targets, collect intelligence, intimidate enemies, and perform air strikes within hostile areas. Based on the information gathered during Taranis’s test flights, studies showed that Taranis was able to strike a long-range target accurately while staying undetected.

It is reported that an operational version of Taranis will only be entered into military service after the year 2030. However, according to BAE System official website, it was stated that the Taranis demonstrator aircraft was officially unveiled in 2010, prior to its first flight.

 

Background

As the Taranis is partly funded by the United Kingdom Defence Industrial Strategy, a Government policy that guarantees that all armed forces in the United Kingdom will be given the equipment that they require based on time and best value for money, the development of UCAV is an essential part of the Government policy. When the United Kingdom Defence Industrial Strategy was announced in December 2005, there was a need for United Kingdom to keep its sovereign aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), and UCAV technologies. To ensure things are going as planned, the Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicles (Experiment) Integrated Project Team or also known as SUAV (E) IPT was instructed to audit and manage the Taranis Project.

 

Design and Development

Primarily overseen by BAE Systems, other companies including Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation Systems, QinetiQ and the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence are also involved in the design and development of Taranis. Being the main contractor, BAE Systems is responsible for the whole programme including component technologies such as stealth technology, systems integration, and system control infrastructure. Besides that, BAE Systems also partnered with QinetiQ on all areas related to the autonomy of the system. While GE Aviation is responsible for delivering fuel-gauging and electrical power systems to the Taranis, Rolls-Royce, with 5% of workload in the project, is responsible for creating the propulsion system for the UCAV. On the other hand, a subsidiary company of BAE Systems, Integrated System Technologies, is responsible to provide support on Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Information/Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting Acquisition and Reconnaissance (C4ISTAR).

To develop Taranis, BAE Systems will take advantage of at least 10 years of research and development information at the beginning of the project. Subsequently, to ensure that the mix of technologies, materials and systems are good enough for the next logical step, BAE Systems performed several risk-reduction activities. Examples of some of these risk-reduction activities are several earlier BAE Systems stealth aircraft and UAV programmes, including Replica, Nightjar I, Nightjar II, Kestrel, Corax, Raven, and HERTI.

As the team at BAE Systems continued to improve on the aircraft’s capabilities, a series of other tests and trials including the initial power-up or ground testing, unmanned pilot training, radar cross section measurements, ground station system integration, and taxi trials were also done at BAE Systems military aircraft factory in Warton, Lancashire respectively.

 

Technical Details

The technical details of Taranis are:

  • Length: 12.44 metres or 40 feet and 9 inches
  • Wingspan: 10 metres or 32 feet and 10 inches in approximate
  • Height: 4 metres or 13 feet and 1 inches
  • Powerplant: 1 X Rolls-Royce Adour Moderate by-pass ratio turbo fan engine with 44 kN or 10000 pounds thrust in approximate
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1 for final version
  • Armanent: 2 X internal missile bay provision

 

Tornado GR4

Developed through a joint-venture between 3 countries including the United Kingdom, Italy and West Germany, Tornado, the origin of Tornado GR4, was a family of multi-role combat aircraft with twin-engine and variable-sweep wing. Primarily, there are 3 variants of the Tornado and they are known as Tornado Interdictor/Strike (IDS) fighter bomber, Tornado Electronic Combat/Reconnaissance (ECR) to suppress enemy air defences, and Tornado Air Defence Variant (ADV) interceptor aircraft.

Jointly developed and manufactured by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a consortium that consists of manufacturers from the three countries mentioned above including the United Kingdom’s British Aerospace, currently known as BAE Systems, West Germany’s Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB), and Italy’s Aeritalia, Tornado completed its first flight on 14th of August 1974 and it was officially introduced into the service in 1979 to 1980. Due to the fact that it is a multi-role aircraft, Tornado was capable of replacing many aircraft fleets found in the participating countries’ air forces and Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) also uses it. To continue maintaining the cooperation on the international level among the 3 countries after the production stage, Tri-National Tornado Establishment, a Tri-nation training and evaluation unit that will be based at RAF Cottesmore in England, was formed on 29th of January 1981.

 

Panavia Aircraft GmbH

Initially, Netherlands was one of the partnering countries in the formation of the Panavia Aircraft GmbH, but they left the project in 1970. The reason given was Royal Netherland Air Force was not too fond of the Tornado aircraft because it was too complex and technical for their liking. After Netherlands pulled out, an agreement was finalized between the 3 partnering countries, stating that both the United Kingdom and Germany will each have 42.5% stake on the workload while the remaining 15% goes to Italy. British Aerospace Company, currently known as BAE Systems, was responsible for developing the front fuselage and tail assembly, and West Germany’s MBB, currently known as Airbus Group, was responsible for developing the centre fuselage while Italy’s Aeritalia, currently known as Alenia Aeronautica, was responsible for developing the wings. Later on, in order to build and develop the RB199 engines for Tornado aircraft, a separate new multinational company, Turbo-Union, was formed in June 1970. The ownership OF Turbo-Union was split among 3 companies, resulting in Rolls-Royce holding 40%, Motoren- und Turbinen-Union GmbH (MTU) holding 40%, and FIAT holding 20%.

 

Tornado GR4

Through the combination of upgrades and improvement on its capability from the previous version, Tornado GR4 is very capable frontline aircraft that is well-known for its amazing swing role capabilities. According to BAE System’s official website, it was stated that the Tornado GR4 is still currently active in service with Iraq Royal Air Force and Syria Royal Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force still uses them today. Despite that Tornado was first introduced more than 30 years old ago, the Tornado GR4 still serves as a frontline aircraft for BAE Systems customers because of its 1.3 Mach max speed and a wide range of integrated weaponry.

 

Reduce To Produce (RTP)

To collect more spare parts for the Tornado GR4, BAE Systems implemented a Reduce to Produce (RTP) programme after the RAF Tornado F3 was withdrawn from service in 2010. The programme was based on RAF Leeming and it salvages parts from the F3 aircraft fleet. RTP’s objective was to reduce the cost for performing the support on the Tornado Squadrons while at the same time, maintain a full range of spares supply chain for the Tornado aircraft.

Since the programme’s inception, the teams were able to salvage around 800 to 1200 parts per airframe, resulting in a huge success, which then directly translates to huge savings in cost for the Royal Air Force.

 

Technical Details

The technical details of Tornado GR4 are:

  • Total Crew: 2
  • Length: 16.72 metres or 54 feet and 10 inches
  • Wingspan: 13.91 metres at 25 degrees wing sweep and 8.60 metres at 67 degrees wing sweep
  • Height: 5.95 metres or 19.5 feet
  • Wing Area: 26.6 square meter
  • Empty Weight: 13890 kg or 30620 pounds
  • Loaded Weight: 20240 kg or 44620 pounds
  • Maximum Take-off Weight:  28000 kg or 61700 pounds
  • Powerplant: 2 × Turbo-Union RB199-34R Mk 103 afterburning turbofans
  • Dry thrust: 43.8 kN or 9,850 pound each
  • Thrust with afterburner: 76.8 kN or17,270 pound  each
  • Maximum Speed: Mach 2.2 (2400 km/h or 1490 mph) at 9000 metres or 30000 feet altitude at 800 knots and 1482 km/h or 921 mph near sea level
  • Range: 1390 km or 870 miles for a typical combat mission
  • Ferry Range: 3890 km or 2417 miles with four external drop tanks
  • Service Ceiling: 15240 metres or 50000 feet
  • Rate of Climb: 76.7 metre/second or 151000 feet/minute
  • Thrust/Weight: 0.77

 

Armament:

  • Guns: Internally mounted 1× 27 mm (1.06 in) Mauser BK-27 revolver cannon under starboard side of fuselage with 180 rounds
  • Hardpoints: 4 X light duty and 3 X heavy duty under-fuselage and 4 X swivelling under-wing pylon stations that has a  capacity of 9,000 kg or 19,800 pounds of payload, the two inner wing pylons with shoulder rails for 2 X Short-Range AAM (SRAAM)
  • Missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder or AIM-132 ASRAAM air-to-air missiles for self-defence, 6 X AGM-65 Maverick, or, 12 X Brimstone missile,  2 X Storm Shadow, 9 X ALARM anti-radiation missile
  • Bombs: 5 X 500 pounds Paveway IV, or 3 X  1000 pounds (UK Mk 20) Paveway II/Enhanced Paveway II, or 2 X 2000 pounds Paveway III (GBU-24)/Enhanced Paveway III (EGBU-24), or BL755 cluster bombs, or Up to 2 X JP233 or MW-1 munitions dispensers for runway cratering operations, or Up to 4 X B61 or WE.177 tactical nuclear weapons

 

Other equipment:

  • Up to 4 X drop tanks for ferry flight/extended range/flight time

 

Avionics:

  • RAPTOR aerial reconnaissance pod
  • Rafael LITENING targeting pod; or
  • TIALD laser designator pod
  • BAE Systems Sky Shadow electronic countermeasure pod

 

Scorpène Submarine

Developed together by the French Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN), Navantia, a Spanish company and DCNS, a French industrial company whose expertise lies in naval defence and energy, a Scorpène- submarine is a type of submarine that runs on diesel propulsion and AIP, additional air-independent propulsion.

To upgrade two Oberon-class submarines that are no longer operational in the Chilean Navy, the Navy bought two Scorpène submarines. Subsequently, another six Scorpène submarines were bought by the Indian Navy and they require all of them to be constructed at Mazagon Dock in India and the final two Scorpène submarines must be fitted with an Indian Fuel cell AIP module. For the subsequent six orders of Scorpène submarines, DCNS intends to make a bigger submarine for the Indian Navy. After that, the Brazilian Navy also went on to purchase another four more Scorpène submarines.

The construction for the first two Chilean Scorpène submarines, O’Higgins and Carrera, finished in 2005 and 2006. The Malaysian Navy then made two orders for the Scorpène submarines in 2009 and named them as Tun Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak respectively.

 

Characteristics

There are 4 subtypes of Scorpène submarines and they are the CM-2000 conventional diesel-electric version, the AM-2000 AIP derivative, the smaller sized CA-2000 coastal submarine, and the bigger sized S-BR without AIP made for the Brazilian Navy. In addition to the 4 subtypes, both the Chilean and Malaysian Scorpène submarines are equipped TSM 2233 Mk 2 sonar and it is also possible the equipped a Scorpène submarine with an S-Cube sonar suite made by Thales.

 

Air-independent Power

Currently, Scorpène submarines installed with French Module d’Energie Sous-Marine Autonome (MESMA) system are being offered by DCNS. Fundamentally, the system is an altered version of the existing nuclear propulsion system that uses ethanol and oxygen to produce heat. By burning ethanol and stored oxygen at 60 atmospheres pressure, steam can be created to power up a conventional turbine power plant and an exhaust compressor won’t be required to eliminate the carbon dioxide at any depth.

A MESMA system is priced somewhere between USD 50 Million to USD 60 Million. Besides that, in order to install it onto the Scorpène submarine, an additional new 8.3 metres or 27 feet 305-tonne hull section is needed to allow the Scorpène submarine to function under water for more than 21 days subject to other factors like speed.

Phosphoric acid fuel cell-powered AIP modules designed by the Naval Materials Research Laboratory of the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are also included in some of the Scorpène submarines constructed for the Indian Navy while future Scorpène models with second-generation hydrogen fuel cell AIP modules are also being developed by DCNS.

 

Technical Details

Name: Scorpène class

Manufacturers: Mazagon Dock Limited, Navantia, DCNS, and Brazilian Navy Shipyard

Primary Users: Chilean Navy and Royal Malaysian Navy while plans for Indian Navy and Brazilian Navy are being made this year

Preceded by: Agosta Class

Subclasses: Kalvari class, CA-2000, CM-2000, AM-2000, and S-BR

Production Cost: USD 450 Million

Current units in building: 4

Current planned units: 19

Completed Units: 4

Cancelled Units: 4

Displacement: 1565 tonnes for CM-2000, 1870 tonnes for AM-2000, and 2000 tonnes for S-BR

Length: 61.7 metres or 200 feet for CM-2000, 70 metres or 230 feet for AM-2000, and 75 metres or 246 feet for SB-R

Beam: 6.2 metres or 20 feet

Draught: 5.4 metres or 18 feet

Draft: 5.8 metres or 19 feet

Propulsion: Diesel-electric, batteries, Air-independent Propulsion (AIP), MESMA AIP for DCNS models, and DRDO Labs Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC) AIP for Kalvari class

Maximum Speed: 20 knots, 37km/h or 23 mph during submerged and 12 kn, 22km/h or 14 mph during surfaced

Maximum Range: 6500 nmi or 12000 kilometres at 37 km/h or 23 mph during submerged and 550 nmi or 1020 kilometres at 9.3 km/h or 5.8 mph during surfaced

Maximum Test Depth: More than 350 metres or 1150 feet

Weapons:  

  • 6 x 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • 18 Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei
  • Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes  
  • SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles
  • 30 mines to replace torpedoes

SAAB IRIS-T

To achieve superior air-to-air supremacy, control is crucial in an aerial combat situation. Undertaken as an international industrial project by six countries including Germany, Greece, Norway, Spain, Italy and Sweden, SAAB Infra-Red Imaging System Tail / Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T) is a short-range and highly manoeuvrable air missile for all types of aerial combats. From advanced imaging infra-red-seeker, thrust-vector control to a powerful motor, SAAB IRIS-T can engage any of its targets from a close range to a maximum range.

The first 1000 SAAB IRIS-T missiles were delivered in June 2008 and it said that several other countries also ordered the missiles. Prior to its official introduction, the first successful test trial was carried out in Sweden on 7th of November 2006 in an attempt to integrate SAAB IRIS-T missile functions to the Gripen aircraft to enhance Gripen aircraft capabilities in close range combats.

Unlike its previous model, SAAB IRIS-T has better manoeuvrability, way further acquisition range, increased hit accuracy, warhead effectiveness, and has better countermeasures. The SAAB IRIS-T can even destroy targets behind the launching aircraft.

Although the diameter, length, mass, position for centre-of-gravity, and interface of the missile launcher was designed to be compatible with the Sidewinder predecessor, SAAB IRIS-T is set to replace the existing American sidewinder as the new generation of air-to-air missiles for close range combats and self-defence on air and it is previously reported on 2006 that SAAB will produce more than 4000 SAAB IRIS-T missiles in the next few years.

 

Features

The features of SAAB IRIS-T include:

 

IR Seeker

The infra-red-seeker can display the targets in full detail, recognize and different targets, and suppress flares better. It has all-rounder capabilities and an acquisition range that works with the missile’s full kinematic range.

 

Propulsion and Thrust-Vector Control

The combination of the solid propellant motor with the thrust-vector control enables the missile to engage targets that are highly manoeuvrable in any situation from firing directly behind the aircraft up to the maximum range of the SAAB IRIS-T missile.

 

Fuze and Warhead System

Despite the fact that the SAAB IRIS-T will usually hit the target directly, the missile is also equipped with a proximity fuze and high explosive fragmented war head.

 

SAAB 340 MSA

Due to the fact that 71% of the earth is filled with water, a major portion of the trading activities made in the world is based on sea freight and almost two out of three people of the world’s population live beside the sea. The increasing sea and human activities around the coastal area will lead to more threats such as piracy, oil pollution, illegal fishing activities and other crimes. To meet the ever-growing demands on marine security and safety, SAAB 340 MSA, the latest Surveillance Aircraft from SAAB, offers marine superiority in the coastal areas by giving the user access to a comprehensive airborne operational system that includes every tool to protect their waters. As SAAB 340 is made to meet whatever challenges it faces, it is a perfect platform for marine surveillance, search and rescue missions, and transport missions.

 

Safeguard Your Waters

SAAB 340 MSA offers outstanding performance and invaluable support for all types of surveillance, SAR operations, and transport missions to battle the crime activities within your waters. In addition, it is an efficient multi-role aircraft that increases the capability of your marine surveillance while also complementing naval and land-based surveillance solutions.

Operating from short airfields and to stay on air for missions that require close to 9 hours is made possible by the aircraft’s auxiliary fuel capabilities and this clearly illustrates the high endurance that SAAB 340 MSA has to respond to the challenges out there with the best course of action and that is most essential factor in protecting your waters. Among some of the equipment that are fitted into SAAB 340 MSA are maritime surveillance, search and rescue (SAR), Oil Spill and Pollution Detection, Fisheries, Inspection and Management, Counter-Smuggling Surveillance, Illegal Immigration Control, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Monitoring, and Transportation and Medevac.

 

Securing Maritime Domain Awareness

By utilizing the latest maritime products and technologies, SAAB 340 MSA has a comprehensive airborne operational system. With the Mission Management System installed at its core and several sensors installed on-board, SAAB 340 MSA has the capability to monitor large areas of waters in the day, night, rain, snow or fog.

To be always alert and aware of what is going on within your waters, it is important to have on-going communications, and this is made possible by the Secure-AIS data links and a reliable SATCOM system equipped in the SAAB 340 MSA. The communication systems facilitate orders to be sent and received from or to higher levels of command or to other units using a secured method to give them an accurate assessment a particular situation to enable them to act quickly and appropriately.

 

Communication beyond Boundaries

In the event where the aircraft sighted an unknown object or received a distress call, the coordinates will be set for the radar and a waypoint marking to the location of the object will be transmitted into the Flight Management System. When the aircraft is near to that particular location, the radar, SAR direction finder, AIS or electro-optical sensor’s high-resolution TV-camera will work simultaneously to look out for emergency signals, debris, people in the water, objects and ships. Later on, a report will be made and sent to the ground while the data is kept in a database.

 

Built For Excellence

Based on the success of its previous model, SAAB 340, that was known for its enhanced structural and system life, the SAAB 340 MSA is made to offer maximum performance at a minimal cost. SAAB 340 MSA is created by using technical parts that were hardly utilized in the previous model and the aircraft was given a complete overhaul including a re-manufactured fuselage, different range of new systems and a comfortable working environment for the crew. The aircraft will then delivered as new aircraft with new life span and subjected to new warranties.

The ideal combination of a successful, proven platform equipped with the latest and most advanced equipment helps SAAB 340MS to be one of the most affordable, capable and reliable Marine Surveillance Aircraft that you can purchase today.

 

Technical Details

Max Endurance: 6:30 h: min / 9:00 h: min

Max range 1,300nm / 2,000nm

Time on station: 4:15 h: min / 6:15 h: min

Time to climb 10,000ft: 5 minutes

Max cruise speed: 265 knots

Patrol speed: 140 knots

Take-off distance: 1,350m

Service ceiling: 25,000 feet

 

Features

  • 360° rotating maritime surveillance radar
  • Retractable Multiple Payload EO/IR Sensor
  • SATCOM
  • Mission Management System
  • Automatic Identification System (AIS)
  • Direction Finder (V/UHF)
  • Tactical Communication (VHF/UHF)

 

Option Packs

  • Search & Rescue
  • Large Observer Window
  • Air Drop Door
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • SLAR (Side-Looking Airborne Radar)
  • UV/IR Line Scanner
  • Extended Endurance
  • Auxiliary Fuel Tank

 

Key Features

  • Lavatory
  • Cargo
  • Galley
  • Air Drop Door
  • Mission Rack
  • Overwing Emergency Exits
  • Operator Console with Seat  
  • Entrance Door
  • Crew Rest Area
  • Flight Attendant Seat
  • Aft Cabin Wall
  • Stowage Life Raft

Carl Gustaf M4

Carl Gustaf M4, a portable weapon with multi-functions, provides tactical flexibility by having the ability to use different types of ammunitions. To deal with a wide variety of challenges found on the battlefield, Carl-Gustaf, which the weapon was named after, has supported the use of dismounted infantry since 1948. The new Carl Gustaf M4 marks the next advancement in the history by meeting the necessities of modern wars situations and it was also made to be compatible with upcoming innovations. SAAB’s thinking edge has made it possible to build on a weapon that has 70 years of heritage and to give Carl-Gustraf M4 a whole new level of intelligence.

 

Features

Carl-Gustaf M4 was made to help infantrymen to improve on their abilities and the features of the new multi-role flexibility system will have an impact on ground combat operations in the future. The new features include:

  • Lighter – The new Carl-Gustaf M4 has a shorter length and weighs below 7 kgs compared to the previous models
  • Intelligent Side – In order to create a maximum impact in any tactical environments, Carl-Gustaf 4 is made to be compatible with intelligent sight systems
  • Improved Ergonomics – With the inclusion of an adjustable shoulder rest and front grip, the overall ergonomics has been made better to help soldiers to adjust the weapon according to their preferences
  • Reduced Action Time – Carl Gustaf-M4 can be carried while it is loaded allowing the user to be first to the action
  • Round Counter – To make it easier to carry and maintain, a shot counter is included into Carl-Gustaf M4

 

Lighter, Faster and Better

A decision of a split second on modern battlefield can ultimately decide between life and death of the dismounted infantry and success of the operation is determined on how fast and how well the soldier can react in any tactical situation. In order for soldiers to act responsively, the length of Carl-Gustaf M4 has been made shorter from its previous models and it is made to weigh below 7 kgs.

 

Guaranteed Precision

Weaponry has to keep up to date with other technologies that are constantly evolving by coming up with innovative capabilities. One of such innovations is the programmable ammo which helps to increase the advantage of dismounted infantry on the battlefield. For soldiers to have advanced technology at their disposal, Carl-Gustaf was made to be compatible with intelligent sighting systems and programmable ammo.

The Power to Adapt

Compared to the past, the dismounted infantry in today’s world encounter a wider range of challenges on the battlefield and to improve on their tactical flexibility, a single weapon to counter all situations is needed and this also reduces their burden of carrying a lot of equipment. This is made possible with the new Carl-Gustaf M4 multi-role system, which helps soldiers to face any tactical situation from destroying armoured tanks, enemy troops, eliminating obstacles to battling enemies located in buildings.

 

Ammunition

Carl-Gustaf M4 can be loaded with different types of specialized ammunitions including:

 

For Multi-Role/Anti Structure

  • 84mm ASM 509
  • 84mm MT756
  • 84mm HEDP 502, HEDP 502 RS

 

For Anti-Personnel

  • 84mm HE441D
  • 84mm HE441D RS
  • 84mm ADM 401

 

For Support

  • 84mm SMOKE 469C
  • 84mm ILLUM 545C

 

For Anti-Armour

  • 84mm HEAT 656CS
  • 84mm HEAT 751
  • 84mm HEAT 551, HEAT 551C RS

 

Sight Options

The sight options in Carl-Gustaf M4 include:

  • Open sight – By using illuminated dots, the front and back parts of open sight are optimized for operations during the night
  • Red Dot Sight – Used as alternative, Red Dot Sight increases the user’s accuracy, reduced the time to react, and increases the capability of fight during the night with night vision goggles
  • Telescopic Sight – Being part of the standard targeting option, a clip-on telescopic sight increases the user’s capabilities to fight during the night by having the option to include thermal sights or image intensifiers
  • Intelligent Sight – To speed up the action time and increase the probability of hitting the enemy, Carl-Gustaf M4 is made compatible with intelligent sights

 

Training

For training, sub-calibre trainers, full calibre practice rounds, and simulators are provided to fulfil the requirements of the training system. SAAB can also provide customized training that is cost-effective from gunnery training to force-on-force exercises. Since Carl-Gustaf M4 can be used with the available training equipment and ammunition, the switch to Carl-Gustaf M4 will not have much impact on the training requirements and costs.