Persian Gulf & Middle East Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Thursday at 7:20 AM
ooh la la again:
Pentagon eyes intimate R&D tie-up with UAE based on US-Israel model
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and now just OPINION: UAE fighter contest will be one to watch

17 November, 2017
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A Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and a Sukhoi Su-35 shared a common runway ramp for the first time at the Dubai air show.

As reports heat up of a budding competition between the Su-35 and the Lockheed F-35 for a United Arab Emirates air force contract, that unlikely pairing at Al Maktoum International seemed appropriate.

The UAE has long made known its interest in the capabilities that the F-35 brings to the table. More recently, Russia has claimed the Su-35 is under active consideration and in February signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi to study next-generation fighter concepts.

For its part, the US government appears uncomfortable with these developments. A top US Air Force commander bristled when asked about the possibility of the two jets operating side by side.

Since the apparent demise of a Russo-Indian pact to develop a variant of the Su-57, the F-35 has held a monopoly on exportable fifth-generation capabilities. No doubt, Washington would like to keep it that way.

What the UAE’s true intentions with the Russians are is unclear. Is it simply a negotiating ploy to extract better terms from Washington? Or is it part of a larger geopolitical manoeuvre to offset Russia’s Iran-centric approach to the region? Or perhaps a little of both?

In any event, the unfolding fighter competition in Abu Dhabi bears watching.
 

timepass

Brigadier
SAUDI ARABIA REPORTEDLY IN TALKS FOR TAI ANKA DRONES



Saudi Arabia is reportedly in talks with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for six Anka medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

Speaking to
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, TAI marketing and communications manager Görkem Bilgi revealed that Saudi Arabia had been engaged with TAI for the Anka UAV system since 2013, but a deal has yet to be signed.

Reportedly, the two sides are still in the process of settling the issue of cost – now a factor in light of lower oil prices – and other unspecified issues.

Having first flown in 2010, the TAI Anka is a MALE UAV platform capable of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike missions. TAI successfully
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the Anka in April 2017 by configuring and test-firing the Roketsan MAM-L.

Notes & Comments:

Though it is fulfilling an Anka delivery contract to the Turkish Armed Forces (for 10 Anka-S), TAI has been seeking to export the Anka, especially to Middle East and Southeast Asian markets. Riyadh’s apparent interest in the Anka is intriguing considering that it is already procuring comparable Chinese UAVs.

In March, the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) had
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an agreement with China Aerospace Science Technology Corporation (CASC) to produce CASC’s drones in Saudi Arabia. In February, Taqnia Aeronautics Company signed a similar deal with China Aerospace Long-March International (ALIT).

In May, KACST
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its own MALE UAV design in the Saqr 1. According to the
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, the Saqr 1 is equipped with a Ka-band satellite communication (SATCOM) terminal, enabling the Saqr 1 to fly a range of up to 2,500 km. It has an ‘average altitude’ of 20,000 ft and endurance of 24 hours.

Moreover, the Saqr 1 also has a payload of 250 kg for electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) equipment and guided air-to-surface munitions, including the AR-1 air-to-ground missile (AGM) and FT-9 bomb.

The KACST and Taqnia programs indicate that Saudi Arabia is well into the process of securing MALE UAVs, hence it is unclear why it would need to engage with TAI for the Anka.

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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Unusual camo

Lebanon first public appearance of Bradley M2A2 IFV at military parade

First public appearance of American-made
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tracked IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) of Lebanese army at the rehearsal of military parade for the Independence Day of Lebanon which takes place every year November 22. In August 2017, United States has officially delivered Bradley M2A2 to the Lebanese Armed Forces.
...
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interestingly,
"Trump’s decision appeared to catch both the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department off guard. Officials at both agencies, who would normally be informed of changes in U.S. policy toward arming the Syrian Kurds, said they were unaware of any changes."
etc.:
US cutting off its supply of arms to Kurds fighting in Syria
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The United States will cut off its supply of arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria, a move by President Donald Trump that is sure to please Turkey but further alienate Syrian Kurds who bore much of the fight against the Islamic State group.


In a phone call Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump said he’d “given clear instructions” that the Kurds will receive no more weapons — “and that this nonsense should have ended a long time ago,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The White House confirmed the move in a cryptic statement about the phone call that said Trump had informed the Turk of “pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria.”

The White House called the move “consistent with our previous policy” and noted the recent fall of Raqqa, once the Islamic State group’s self-declared capital but recently liberated by a largely Kurdish force. The Trump administration announced in May it would start arming the Kurds in anticipation of the fight to retake Raqqa.

“We are progressing into a stabilization phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return,” the White House said, using an acronym for the extremist group.

The move could help ease strained tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, two NATO allies that have been sharply at odds about how best to wage the fight against IS. Turkey considers the Kurdish Syrian fighters, known by the initials YPG, to be terrorists because of their affiliation to outlawed Kurdish rebels that have waged a three decade-long insurgency in Turkey. Yet the U.S. chose to partner with the YPG in Syria anyway, arguing that the battle-hardened Kurds were the most effective fighting force available.

Cavusoglu, who said he was in the room with Erdogan during Trump’s call, quoted the U.S. president as saying he had given instructions to U.S. generals and to national security adviser H.R. McMaster that “no weapons would be issued.”

“Of course, we were very happy with this,” Cavusoglu said.

Yet for the Kurds, it was the latest demoralizing blow to their hopes for greater recognition in the region. Last month, the Kurds in neighboring Iraq saw their recent territorial gains erased by the Iraqi military, which seized the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas from the Kurdish regional government in retaliation for a Kurdish independence referendum that the U.S. ardently opposed.

Trump’s decision appeared to catch both the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department off guard. Officials at both agencies, who would normally be informed of changes in U.S. policy toward arming the Syrian Kurds, said they were unaware of any changes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

It was unclear whether the Trump administration notified the Kurds of the move before telling the Turks. Nor was it how much significance the change would have on the ground, considering the fight against IS is almost over.

The United States has been arming the Kurds in their fight against IS through an umbrella group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, which is comprised of Kurdish as well as Arab fighters. But the retreat of IS, which has lost nearly all its territory in Syria, has altered the dynamics in the region and a U.S. defense official said he was unaware of any additional arms scheduled to be transferred to the Kurds, even before the Turkish announcement.

Last week, Col. Ryan Dillon, the chief spokesman for the U.S. coalition that is fighting IS in Iraq and Syria, said there has yet to be any reduction in the number of U.S. advisers working with the SDF. His comments appeared to suggest the possibility that changes in the level and type of U.S. military support for the Syrian Kurds could be coming.

As the fight against IS has waned in recent months, the U.S. has pledged to carefully monitor the weapons it provides the Kurds, notably ensuring that they don’t wind up in the hands of Kurdish insurgents in Turkey known as the PKK.

Both Turkey and the U.S. consider the PKK a terrorist group. But the United States has tried to draw a distinction between the PKK and the Syrian Kurds across the border, while Turkey insists they’re essentially the same.

In both Syria and Iraq, the U.S. relied on Kurdish fighters to do much of the fighting against IS, but those efforts have yet to lead to a realization of the Kurds’ broader aspirations, most notably an independent state.

Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurds, in particular, has been a major thorn in U.S.-Turkish relations for several years, given Turkey’s concerns about the Kurds’ territorial aspirations. In particular, Turkey has feared the establishment of a contiguous, Kurdish-held canton in northern Syria that runs along the Turkish border.

Relations between NATO allies Turkey and the United States have also soured recently over a number of other issues, including Turkey’s crackdown on dissent following a failed coup attempt last year. Ankara has also demanded that the U.S. extradite a Pennsylvania-based cleric that it blames for fomenting the coup, but the U.S. says Turkey lacks sufficient proof.
 
according to NavyTimes (dated 9 hours ago) 26,000 US troops total in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, DoD reports
The U.S. has almost 26,000 troops deployed total in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, according to a new DOD report, far exceeding the Pentagon’s previously acknowledged troop levels overseas.

The U.S. has 8,892 forces in Iraq, 15,298 troops in Afghanistan and 1,720 in Syria, for a total of 25,910 troops serving in the three war zones as of Sept. 30, according to DOD. The numbers were released to the public Nov. 17 as part of DOD’s quarterly count of active duty, reserve, guard and civilian personnel assigned by country by the
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.

However, DOD has not historically included some special operations forces or temporary personnel rotating into or out of the country in that official figure, so the actual number could be even higher.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pledged to bring more transparency to the actual number of forces on the ground as he assumed leadership of the Pentagon earlier this year under President Donald Trump.

DOD’s previous official response to queries about the number of forces had been to provide the “force management level” - a cap set by the previous administration under former President Barack Obama. Using that figure, the Pentagon had only previously said there were 5,262 troops in Iraq.

However the Defense Manpower Data Center, which tracks actual numbers and not policy-driven force management levels, was reporting that there were were 6,812 U.S. forces in Iraq in December 2016, the last report completed under Obama’s presidency.

The actual number of forces in Syria is also substantially higher than the previously acknowledged figure, according to the database. The Pentagon had previously provided the force management level number - 503 troops - when queried. The actual number is 1,720 plus three DOD civilians, according to the database.

Afghanistan also has many more U.S. troops on the ground that previously acknowledged, according to the database. As of Sept. 30 there were 15,298 U.S. military forces and 1,202 DOD civilians, for a total reported U.S. footprint in Afghanistan of 16,500.
source:
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Yesterday at 8:33 PM
according to NavyTimes (dated 9 hours ago) 26,000 US troops total in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, DoD reports

source:
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related:
Pentagon Can't -- or Won't -- Say How Many Troops Are at War
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The Pentagon just can't or won't say how many troops are
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to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The long-running controversy over how many and where troops are in harm's way reached the point Monday where Pentagon officials were disputing their own required quarterly report on deployments worldwide from the Defense Manpower Data Center.

"Those numbers are not meant to represent an accurate accounting,"
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Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said of the DMDC's report. "They shouldn't be relied upon."

He said that the DMDC's quarterly reports were "routinely over and under" the actual count of troops on the ground, and only gave a "snapshot" in time. There was a general reluctance to give out actual numbers for fear of "telegraphing or silhouetting to the enemy" U.S. troop strength, Manning said.

The DMDC numbers, first reported by Military Times, gave evidence of what has been widely known and occasionally confirmed by Pentagon officials for years -- that the official counts, or Force Management Levels (FMLs), on the numbers of troops in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are well below the actual numbers of service members in each country.

In August, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis
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and pledged to give a fuller accounting for Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

According to the DMDC's quarterly report, there were a total of 25,910 U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan -- more than 11,000 above the official number given by the Pentagon for the three countries of 14,765.

In Syria, there were 1,720 U.S. troops, more than three times the FML level the Pentagon repeated on Monday of 503.

The same report showed there were 8,992 American troops in Iraq, almost 3,500 more than the official Defense Department tally of 5,262.

In Afghanistan, DMDC said there were 15,298 troops, as opposed to the 14,000 figure given earlier this month by Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Pentagon's Joint Staff.

In addition to the 15,298 U.S. troops, there were also 1,202 DoD civilians in Afghanistan, for a total reported U.S. footprint in Afghanistan of 16,500.

The troop cap in Afghanistan under the Obama administration had been 8,500 but the Pentagon later acknowledged there were about 11,000 on the ground.

Two weeks ago, McKenzie said the 3,000 additional troops authorized for deployment in August by President Donald Trump had arrived in Afghanistan, boosting the troop strength to 14,000.

McKenzie and Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, have pledged to give a more accurate account of the numbers of troops in Iraq and Syria.
 
Sep 25, 2017
LOL now noticed a good question Is Political Leverage, Not Capability, Behind Qatar Fighter Orders?
Sep 21, 2017
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and what could be related is
Qatar agrees to terms for buying Typhoon, Hawk aircraft from UK
8 hours ago
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Negotiations between the U.K. and Qatar for the purchase of Typhoon fighters and Hawk jet trainers by the Gulf state are complete, and the two sides are now looking for a suitable date to sign the deal, according to a senior BAE Systems official.


“I would not like to speculate on the exact date it will be signed. ... We have concluded all of our discussions, we have no more negotiations to do with the Qataris, the contract is done. It’s purely down to when there is the right window to have it signed,” Chris Boardman, the managing director of BAE Systems’ military air and information business, told the British Parliament’s Defence Select Committee on Tuesday.

Boardman urged the British government to provide clarity on its vision for combat air requirements in a post-Typhoon era.

On Sept. 17 in the Qatari capital of Doha, then-British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced he had signed a statement of intent on the proposed purchase with his counterpart, Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah.

In what must be some kind of record, the two sides have gone from signing a statement of intent to concluding negotiations in little more than six weeks for the supply of 24 Eurofighter Typhoons and six BAE Hawks to the Gulf state.

A spokesman for BAE said inking of the deal could take place by mid-December, although there is currently no commitment to a date.

Assuming the deal is signed, it will be the first Typhoon sale by the British since the Ministry of Defence took over responsibility for leading the government’s Typhoon export sales effort from the Defence and Security Organisation, the department responsible for most overseas sales in the sector.

The value of the Qatari deal is unknown, but it will run into the billions of pounds for the British aerospace industry as well as Airbus and Leonardo, their European partners in the Eurofighter program.

Boardman hinted at a prolonged delivery schedule for the Qatari Typhoons, telling the parliamentary committee the deal will stretch assembly of the fast jet at BAE’s Warton site in northwest England to 2024. The current order book delivering jets to the Britusg Royal Air Force, Oman and Kuwait is set to end in 2022, he said.

With a dearth of Hawk orders, Boardman said BAE had already started low-level manufacturing work at their own risk on the Gulf state’s jet trainer purchase.

The Qataris already have a done deal from earlier this year with the U.S. for the purchase of 36 Boeing F-15QA jets for $12 billion. In 2015, the Gulf nation purchased 24 Dassault Rafale fighters for about $7.6 billion.

The 72-strong fleet of fighter jets will eventually replace a current Qatar Emiri Air Force fast-jet capability of just 12 Mirage 2000s.

The air power buildup is part of a major military expansion effort across air, land and sea by Qatar.

The deal comes as Qatar is still in the midst of an economic and diplomatic boycott by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies who accuse Doha of funding terrorism groups and cosying up to Iran.
reading again: "The Qataris already have a done deal from earlier this year with the U.S. for the purchase of 36 Boeing F-15QA jets for $12 billion. In 2015, the Gulf nation purchased 24 Dassault Rafale fighters for about $7.6 billion."
 
Sep 25, 2017
LOL now noticed a good question Is Political Leverage, Not Capability, Behind Qatar Fighter Orders?
Sep 21, 2017
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and (dated 30 November 2017) France, UK confident of Qatari fighter orders
The French government is hoping that President Emmanuel Macron will secure a Qatari order for an additional 12 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters when he visits the emirate in early December, Defence Minister Florence Parly said in a 30 November television interview.

She said negotiations have been ongoing for months concerning the Rafales and a “large number of armoured vehicles”. The French newspaper La Tribune has reported that France is trying to secure a Qatari for 300 Nexter VBCI infantry fighting vehicles.

Parly was speaking after meeting Qatari Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah.

The day before, Qatari Ministry of Defence released photographs showing al-Attiyah visiting the Nexter showroom near Paris where he inspected a VBCI-2, which is an improved variant armed with the 40 mm CTAS cannon, a remotely operated weapon station, and MPP missiles.

Qatar has already ordered 24 Rafales, is in the process of procuring 36 Boeing F-15QA fighters, and has signed a letter of intent covering the acquisition of 24 Eurofighter Typhoons. BAE Systems, the Eurofighter consortium member that will assemble the Qatari fighters, revealed in October that the deal will also include six of its Hawk jet trainers.

A senior official from BAE Systems told a parliamentary committee on 28 November that the deal was nearly finalised. “Most of that is now done. It’s in place, it’s in agreement, so therefore it becomes a timing issue of when we move forward to that signature,” Chris Boardman said.

The British embassy in Doha announced on the same day that the Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) has already identified pilots who will fly Typhoons.

Announcing that four Typhoons from the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) 29(R) Squadron were participating in a joint exercise with Qatari Mirage 2000 fighters at Al-Udeid Air Base, the embassy said: “Many of the QEAF pilots involved in the week-long exercise will be amongst the first to be trained to fly them in Great Britain.”

...
... the rest is behind paywall at Jane's
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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
14 delivered on 24

Egypt receives its last Rafale EM fighter jets

On November 28, the Egyptian Air Force received its last three Rafale EM (single seater) fighter jets, the EM06, 07 and 08.

The aircraft departed the Dassault Aviation facilities on Bordeaux-Mérignac airport, to reach Gebel El Basur air base, located about 85 kilometers northwest of the city of Cairo, in the north of Egypt. That was reported by
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.

Egypt ordered 16 Rafale DM twin seat and eight Rafale EM single seat fighters on 16 February 2015.

The Egyptian Air Force currently possesses 14 Rafale (8 Rafale EM + 6 Rafale DM) out of 24 aircraft. The contract for an additional 12 is yet to be signed.

Egyptian Rafale fighter jets will be armed with Mica air-to-air missiles, Scalp cruise missiles and AASM Hammer guided missiles.

The Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.

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Egypt receives its last Rafale EM.jpg
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Qatar adds a dozen more Rafales to order

  • 07 DECEMBER, 2017
  • SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM
  • BY: CRAIG HOYLE
  • LONDON


Qatar will operate a future fleet of 36 Dassault Rafale fighters, having signed an option to boost a previous commitment for 24 of the type.

Announced by the manufacturer on 7 December, the development builds on a contract signed in May 2015 covering the provision of 18 single-seat Rafale EQs and six two-seat DQ-model trainers. Dassault has not disclosed whether the fresh order for 12 units will contain any additional trainers.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force is scheduled to take delivery of its first Rafale in 2018.



Dassault

An artist's rendering of the combat aircraft shows it in a two-tone grey camouflage livery and armed with MBDA's radar-guided Mica medium-range air-to-air missiles and short-range Diehl Defence IRIS-Ts.

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Well nice to see the French Fighter is finally making sales.
 

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