05 Jun 15. India plans to buy ISTAR aircraft from Raytheon. India is planning to buy two intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) aircraft from Raytheon, a Defence Ministry source has revealed. Defense News reported that India has made this offer to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who was on a three-day visit in the country. However, the Defence Ministry’s official release did not mention this offer, the source said that the proposal has been kept low-key. Raytheon has already briefed the Indian Air Force about the ISTAR aircraft, which is expected to increase the ground-detection capabilities of the force. The Raytheon ISTAR aircraft is capable of operating in all weather. It features an active electronically scanned array radar, which will be able to scan more than 30,000km in a minute. It has a capacity to analyse the data within ten to 15 minutes to identify targets. The source added that India has also requested to jointly develop the GE-414 jet engine for use by India’s homemade Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Meanwhile, Carter’s visit also witnessed both the countries signing a strategically important ten-year defence framework pact that is aimed to collaborate on the development and manufacture of defence equipment and technology, The Economic Times reported. An official statement by the defence ministry stated that this agreement will pave way for high-level strategic discussions, continued exchanges between armed forces of both countries, and strengthening of defence capabilities. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
05 Jun 15. Kuwait, Italy discuss Eurofighter buy. Kuwait has started discussions to buy up to 28 Eurofighters, a source with knowledge of the talks told Defense News. Kuwait is discussing the deal with the Italian Defense Ministry, the Italian Air Force and Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi, which is the Eurofighter partner company that has led the Eurofighter marketing campaign in Kuwait. Talks started May 31 and representatives of the Italian Defense Ministry, Air Force and Alenia Aermacchi are in Kuwait participating, the source said. The talks cover the possible acquisition of two squadrons — or between 24 and 28 aircraft — plus training and logistics, the source added. Under a military cooperation deal signed between Italy and Kuwait, two groups of Kuwaiti pilots have already trained at the Italian Air Force’s training school in Lecce in southern Italy. The report that Kuwait is talking to Italy follows reports last month that the US government was in discussions with Kuwait to sell up to 40 Boeing F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet strike fighters. Another source noted that a Kuwaiti deal for Eurofighters would not necessarily affect a potential foreign military sale for the Boeing aircraft.
“There has always been the possibility for a split buy,” the other source said Thursday. “Talks with the US government about a Super Hornet sale are still moving forward.”
The gulf state has been evaluating new fighters for two years. A Eurofighter deal would be welcome news for the European consortium building the aircraft, which consists of Italy’s Finmeccanica, BAE Systems and Airbus, after the French Rafale scooped new orders from Egypt and Qatar. Apart from the air forces of Britain, Italy, Spain, Austria and Germany, Saudi Arabia also operates the Eurofighter, and Oman has placed orders. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
03 Jun 15. Strike levels Iraq Car Bomb Factory in blow to IS. An air strike in the Iraqi town of Hawijah completely levelled one of the Islamic State group’s largest car bomb factories, causing heavy casualties and extensive destruction, officials said.
The blast caused by the strike and the destruction of explosive material was heard as far as Kirkuk, a city under Kurdish control that lies 55 kilometres (34 miles) away.
Iraqi officials said the strike was carried out by a US-led coalition, which has defended its 10-month air campaign against IS de