Monday, January 5, 2015

China's Gongji GJ-1 / Wing Loong UAV In Service and Equipped With Satellite Guided Glide Bomb

At the 2014 Zhuhai Airshow, the Wing Loong or Pterodactyl Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from AVIC was again displayed. However, unlike in Zhuhai Airshow 2012, this time the display model carried the official emblems and insignia of the Chinese Air Force.

This confirms that the Wing Loong UAV has now entered service in China as the unit was pulled from service with number 76024. At the airshow, the UAV was also referred to as GJ-1 (Gongji) in contrast to the past where it was known only as the Wing Loong or Pterodactyl.

The Wing Loong / Pterodactyl / GJ-1 Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV is designed for persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) thanks to its extended range and endurance. It can carry out a wide range of missions, including battle damage assessment.

Depending on mission, the GJ-1 can be equipped with various electro-optical and other surveillance equipment, including the LE-350, YY-1 and YY-12 pod. The GJ-1 can also be used for precision attack in real-time as it can carry a wide range of precision guided munitions.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

India Opts For Western Suppliers When It Comes To Anti-Submarine Warfare

The Indian Navy has selected the S-70B SeaHawk over the NH Industries NH90 NFH. India will start negotiations to purchase 16 multi-role S-70B helicopters with an option for eight more, including logistics support and training.

A final contract has yet to be agreed upon, but is estimated to be worth around $1 billion. Once completed, the acquisition will fix a significant weakness in the Indian Navy with a number of ships not having the helicopters they're supposed to be equipped with.

The Indian Navy is currently short on naval helicopters. The existing Kamov Ka-28 and Sea King are both few in numbers and outdated. The new S-70B are expected to serve on both old and new ships, including the recently commissioned Kolkata class destroyers which can carry two helicopters.

The Sikorsky S-70B SeaHawk helicopter can perform a variety of missions, including:
  • Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
  • Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW)
  • Search and Rescue (SAR)
  • Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC)
  • Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP)
India's selection of a western vendor for naval helicopters continues a recent trend where India has gone exclusively western when it comes to anti-submarine warfare.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Norinco Red Arrow 12 / HJ-12 Multi-Purpose Missile System

The latest addition to the Red Arrow missile family from Norinco, the multi-purpose Red Arrow 12 / HJ-12 is comparable to the American FGM-148 Javelin. The HJ-12 can be operated by a single person or mounted on vehicles.

Using its fire-and-forget mode, the HJ-12 can guide itself autonomously towards the designated target. This removes a key weakness in comparison to previous generations, which relied on input from the operator through wire guidance or laser beam riding.

The shoulder-fired Red Arrow 12 supports two flight modes, top-attack or direct-attack. The top-attack mode is useful against armored vehicles where armor is usually weakest at the top. The direct-attack mode is preferable against regular buildings.

The HJ-12 must be locked on before launch (LOBL) and uses two different seekers. The first version relies on electro-optical / television (TV) for clear-weather / daylight conditions and the second more expensive version uses a imaging infrared (IIR) seeker to give the HJ-12 the ability to be used in all-weather, day or night conditions.