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27 Nov 13. Russian defense group Oboronprom is planning to invest 4.03bn rubles (US $121m) in the Mil Moscow helicopter plant. Oboronprom is part of state-owned defense giant Rostec. To finance the investment, the Mil Moscow plant will issue additional shares, Rostec said in a statement. The expansion plans are related to the positive market forecasts for the Russian military aviation industry. Rosoboronexport, another Rostec subsidiary, says it expects to see a 30 percent increase in aircraft sales and a 20 percent growth in helicopter sales in 2013. Rostec comprises some 663 manufacturing companies, according to data from the company. The Russian group was established in 2007 to promote the development, production and exports of Russian arms and military equipment. Rostec’s subsidiary, Rosoboronexport, says it accounts for more than 80 percent of exports of Russian weapons and military equipment, which are distributed to more than 70 countries. The Mil Moscow plant’s product portfolio includes a wide range of aircraft, including transport helicopters Mi-38 and Mi-26T, and medium multirole helicopters Mi-8/17 and Mi-171A2. (Source: Defense News)

25 Nov 13. Elbit Systems announced that the Mission Training Center (MTC) for the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) pilots of F-16C/D and F-16I fighter aircraft is now operational and currently being used by the IAF. The MTC, operating through a PFI (Private Financing Initiative) concept, successfully completed the development phase and is now operational, with Elbit Systems performing the instruction, operation and maintenance services. The new operational MTC marks a significant breakthrough in the operational training sector. The system enables training in various mission scenarios in different theaters with the relevant threat environment for each theater. The MTC brings an advanced training capability that was not available to the IAF in the past. At its core, the MTC is a unique “Mission Training” system that enables coordinated training between the various trainees, both within the IAF and at an interoperable strategic level. It is based on Elbit Systems’ “One sim” infrastructure that incorporates an advanced arena generator for “realistic” virtual environments that are as close to reality as possible, as well as a unique infrastructure that supports the demanding environment used in the MTC. IAF teams are able to train in two-ship, four-ship and even eight-ship formations, with flight inspector’s full supervision that can, as desired, take an active part in each training session by actually flying adversary forces. The system enables the pilots to train together with operational controllers from the various control units of the IAF. The pilots and controllers receive the mission orders from the MTC team, plan together and afterwards execute the mission with each member of the team training in an operational role. With its high quality operational training capabilities, the operational MTC allows the IAF to conduct training sorties onboard the trainers rather than actual fighter jets, thus allowing maximized use of existing resources, reducing life cycle costs and enhancing readiness and effectiveness of the IAF and its fighter pilots.

MARITIME

22 Nov 13. Babcock starts HMS Sutherland upgrade and maintenance programme. Babcock has begun work to deliver an upgrade and maintenance programme on HMS Sutherland, which will see the Type 23 frigate receive extensive upgrades and improvements that will significantly increase the ship’s sustainability and fighting capability. Sutherland docked down on Friday, 22 November, at Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard. The workscope for the eight month docking period has been developed and planned by the Type 23 industry-led Class Output Management (COM) team under the Surface Ship Support Alliance (MoD, Babcock and BAE Systems), drawing on previous experience and the improving material state knowledge being built up by t

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