Exercise ‘Eager Lion’ returns to Jordan

U.S. forces joined their Jordanian hosts and regional partners today to begin Eager Lion 2013, an annual multilateral land, naval and air exercise. The exercise takes place at various locations throughout the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan from June 9-20.

Eager Lion is a multi-national exercise designed to strengthen military-to-military partnerships and enhance security and stability in the region by responding to realistic, modern-day security scenarios. This year’s scenarios will focus on Integrated Air and Missile Defense, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Exercise Eager Lion demonstrates U.S. Central Command’s dedication to the Kingdom of Jordan and regional partners and the combined efforts to sustain regional security and stability.

“Eager Lion is an excellent example of teamwork that brings together military forces and inter-agency partners from around the world,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Catalanotti, Director, USCENTCOM Exercises and Training. “This exercise challenges the participants to respond to realistic, modern-day security scenarios by integrating a variety of disciplines in the air, on land and at sea. Our relationship with Jordan and the 19 partner nations involved in the exercise is built on a foundation of interoperability that brings us closer together and enhances regional stability.”

Regularly scheduled exercises such as Eager Lion allow U.S. forces the opportunity to operate with, contribute to, and learn from their Jordanian partners, all while promoting long-term peace in the region.

Exercise Eager Lion provides multilateral forces with the opportunity to promote cooperation and interoperability among participating forces, build functional capacity, practice crisis management and enhance readiness. Approximately 5,000 U.S. military personnel from all services will participate in this year’s exercise, along with U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft and ships.


Russian air force commander eyes MiG-31 replacement

Russia’s air force expects to begin fielding a replacement for its Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptors by 2020 and to retire the type by 2028, says its commander, Lt Gen Viktor Bondarev.

“We have started development of a new aircraft of this type and I think we can develop this plane before the end of the state armament programme in 2020,” Bondarev said at a meeting with Russian parliamentary deputies. “The new plane should replace the existing fleet by 2028.”

Bondarev did not specify if the new aircraft might be a derivative of an existing design or an emerging one such as the Sukhoi T-50/PAK-FA or Su-35.


Some analysts think the air force will be hard-pressed to get an entirely new aircraft in use by the date quoted by Bondarev.

“In terms of both design and financial resources this looks very challenging, unless an existing platform was the basis for any project,” says Douglas Barrie, air warfare analyst at the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.

Bondarev says the air force has 122 MiG-31s in service, with about half undergoing conversion to the MiG-31BM standard. This adds a new multimode radar, multifunction cockpit displays and the ability to use Vympel’s RVV-BD long-range air-to-air missile.

India, Russia Agree On Technical Specs of New PAK FA Fighter


The contract to develop a sketch and technical project of the Russian-Indian perspective multi-functional 5th-generation fighter (PMI/FGFA) was completed. The fighter design was fully developed.

Both parties have agreed upon on the amount and division of work during the research and development (R&D) stage. A contract for the R&D is being prepared. It is to be signed this year.

The agreement on the joint development and production of the 5th-generation fighter aircraft was signed on October 18, 2007 in Moscow at the 7th Session of the joint Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation. It is the largest joint project of the Russian-Indian military and technical cooperation.

In December 2010, Rosoboronexport, Sukhoi Company and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited signed a contract to develop a sketch and technical project of the fighter. In the course of the first stage of the project the Russian side has trained Indian professionals, provided them with the original data and the software to create a single working environment.

The Indian working group of experts has been working in Russia since January 2012 and a group of Russian specialists in India. Both parties exchange the necessary information.

The PMI/FGFA fighter developed by the parties will have some differences from the Russian prototype due to specific requirements of the Indian Air Force.

Sukhoi Company is currently involved in other Russian-Indian joint programs, such as modernization of the Indian Air Force Su-30MKI fighters and adaptation of the Russian-Indian air-to-ground BrahMos cruise missile to the Su-30MKI.

Boeing P-8 testing complete, set for 2013 deployment


The Boeing P-8 Poseidon has successfully completed operational testing and is set to deploy for the first time later this year with the US Navy, programme and company officials say. The aircraft is also set to enter full-rate production in 2013.

“We’re rapidly coming to the conclusion of almost all of our SDD [system development and demonstration] tasks,” says Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice-president for the P-8A programme, during a briefing at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition. “We’re focused and driving towards a full-rate production decision and initial operational capability later this year.”

The first operational squadron will deploy in December 2013, says Capt Aaron Rondeau, the navy’s P-8A Poseidon integrated product team lead.

The only remaining developmental task left to complete is full fatigue life testing on the Boeing 737-dervived airframe, Heerdt says.

Production is ramping up in 2013 to 10 aircraft, from seven in 2012, with three of this year’s examples being for India, Heerdt says. India’s first P-8 will arrive in the country in the second quarter of 2013, with two more to arrive during the third quarter under an eight-aircraft order with the nation’s navy.

Australia is also expected to order a minimum of eight P-8s, Rondeau says. Canberra is expected to have the aircraft delivered and in service around 2016 or 2017, he adds. Australia is already participating in the development of the P-8’s Increment 2 and Increment 3 upgrades.

Increment 2 is broken up into two parts, the first of which will become operational in 2014, Rondeau says. This includes an early iteration of the Multi-static Active Coherent (MAC) sonar system, which consists of dozens of active sonar buoys that send out sonar pings from various directions while passive sonar buoys listen for the returns. Information is networked together to help the P-8 find and kill submarines.

A second, more advanced package will become operational in 2016. It will include an improved MAC, high altitude anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sensors and a high altitude ASW weapons capability, which Rondeau says is a Mk 54 torpedo with a wing-kit.

Increment 3, which is set to become operational in 2020, will add greater network centric warfare capabilities to the P-8, Rondeau says. It will also greatly improve the aircraft’s computer architecture and add new networked anti-ship weapons.

Canada conducts major military exercise ‘Operation Nunalivut 2013’ in the Arctic

Ottawa, April 3 (IANS) The Canadian armed forces have started a major military exercise in the Arctic to showcase its sovereignty in the region, the National Defense Department said.

Operation Nunalivut 2013 will be held from April 2 to 30 in the northwestern portion of the Arctic Archipelago, extending as far west as Mould Bay, Northwest Territories, and north to Isachsen, Nunavut, reported Xinhua.

The forces will face some of the most challenging terrain and weather conditions in the operation, which “will exercise Canadian sovereignty and demonstrate the Canadian Armed Forces’ abilities in the High Arctic during winter”, Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay said.

The Canadian Rangers, experts in living and operating in these areas, will conduct sovereignty patrols between Resolute Bay and Isachsen, Nunavut, as well as on Devon Island, more specifically in Griffon Inlet and Gascoyne Inlet in a bid to increase their collective knowledge and experience in the challenging environment.

The Royal Canadian Air Force will assist the exercise in the Arctic Archipelago by providing tactical airlifts and a platform for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The exercise, one of the major operations conducted every year in Canada’s north, will take place under the command of Joint Task Force (North) headquartered in Resolute Bay, Nunavut.

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