18 Jul 23. CSIR’s simulation systems enhance electronic warfare training, research and development. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed numerous cutting-edge simulation systems for electronic warfare training, research and development, and many of these systems are being used to support the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and defence industry.
Reeshen Reddy, the research group leader for the CSIR’s digital electronic warfare group, explained how the CSIR continues to advance the country’s defence sector through innovative simulation and training solutions at the Aerospace Simulation and Training Symposium in Pretoria last week.
Reddy explained that the CSIR has developed multiple simulation systems for electronic warfare (EW). The Sensors and Electronic Warfare Engagement Simulation (SEWES) system is a radio frequency electronic warfare simulation environment consisting of any number of platforms, sensors, effectors and EW systems that can engage each other in a simulated environment. SEWES helps answer the question of how to use radar and countermeasures on aircraft.
The CSIR’s SigmaHat is a software tool used to calculate and analyse radar cross section (RCS) and other electromagnetic (EM) scattering of large complex objects like aircraft, vehicles and ships. It was developed in support of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
Enigma is a hardware in the loop, radar target, electronic attack and clutter simulator, primarily used for testing radars. Incorporating SEWES and SigmaHat, it uses the Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) technology developed by the CSIR that can generate jamming waveforms. Enigma 4 was developed with Armscor and the Department of Defence for radar testing of assets including missiles (it can test and evaluate radars and evaluate radars against jamming by generating radar engagement scenarios and targets).
The CSIR’s Inundu airborne pod is also used for electronic warfare testing and evaluation. It can simulate anti-ship missiles in air-to-surface combat, as well as air-to-air. It is platform agnostic and has been flown on the Denel Cheetah, Hawker Hunter and BAE Systems Hawk.
In addition to its electronic warfare simulation solutions, the CSIR runs a biennial four-week course on electronic warfare systems. This resulted from a request from the SA Air Force to educate SANDF engineers, EW and radar operators, pilots, navigators and intelligence personnel on electromagnetic sensors and the art of electronic warfare. Members from other arms of service and Defence Intelligence also participate; the course is also open to selected Armscor, defence industry and CSIR members. The CSIR has facilitated the course since 2004.
The CSIR has also supported the SA Air Force in electronic warfare training exercises, and created electronic warfare ranges for EW testing, evaluation and training. In its EW Range, a collection of assets (such as aircraft, emulators, simulators etc.) can be brought together for force preparation training exercises.
On the optronics side, the CSIR offers multiple solutions, such as object/action detection, recognition and tracking for video surveillance; long range cameras for border safeguarding (such as Tyto, Otus and Rino); specialised payloads for space and airborne platforms (including synthetic aperture radar); and platform protection solutions.
Developed in partnership with Denel is the Optronic System Simulator (OSSIM), an infrared equivalent of SEWES that can, for example, determine the effectiveness of infrared countermeasures.
Reddy explained that the CSIR’s simulation capabilities go beyond electronic warfare and on the Aeronautic Systems side, the CSIR offers various low and high speed wind tunnels for testing aircraft or missile performance; simulations for aircraft and missile performance; weapons integration services; unmanned systems research and development; and propulsion systems research and development.
The Mission Simulation Framework, for example is a scenario simulation tool capable of simulating the interactions between a large number of land or air-based entities, useful for air-to-air and air-to-ground engagements.
Another example of SANDF support involves its Ground-Based Air Defence System (GBADS). For a decade the CSIR helped the programme through simulation-based decision support and doctrine development support through the Virtual GBADS Demonstrator (VGD).
Reddy believes that live, virtual and constructive simulation is a powerful and cost-effective tool to augment military training, and can be used to enhance the South African defence industry as it develops new products. He invited the SANDF and defence industry to further engage on the many simulation and training solutions the CSIR offers. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
18 Jul 23. Tunisia receives four T-6C training aircraft from U.S. The Tunisian defense ministry said on Tuesday it had received four T-6C training aircraft from the United States, as part of cooperation to renew its fleet of training aircraft for the air force.
Last month, four Tunisian soldiers died after a military aircraft crashed into the sea, an accident that President Kais Saied attributed to an aging military fleet.
The U.S. Ambassador in Tunisia, Joey R. Hood, said his country was committed to supporting the defense ministry’s efforts to enhance the air force’s ability to meet security challenges and humanitarian needs.
Imed Memich, the defense minister, said the new aircraft would provide the air force with advanced training capabilities. (Source: Reuters)
18 Jul 23. RAF Detachment has arrived in Japan as part of a large scale international air exercise. An RAF detachment from the United Kingdom has arrived in Japan to take part in Exercise Mobility Guardian 23, a large-scale Air Exercise currently running in the western Pacific region.
The RAF detachment consisting of a Voyager Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft and elements of the RAF Tactical Medical Wing who will be conducting Aero Medical Evacuation drills with Japanese Self Defence Forces medical personnel, as well as Aero Medical specialists from Canada, New Zealand and the United States Air Force.
The deployment began with the Voyager, which has been fitted for both stretcher bourne and medical high dependence patients conducting a simulated long range Tactical Aero Medical Evacuation in a Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response scenario. The medical personnel flying onboard carrying out medical drills on simulated and artificial patients onboard the aircraft. On arrival in Japan, JSDF medical personnel joined the international team to conduct further training scenarios.
These drills are one of the key objectives of the exercise, which is to develop interoperability between the various nation’s Aero Medical personnel, with the objective of developing procedures that will allow nations to operate on board each other’s aircraft if the need arises.
In Japan, the RAF Voyager will be used for further training, both static on the ground where the partner nations will work on interoperability skills as well as carrying out various medical scenarios while in flight.
British Defence Attaché to Japan Captain Colin William said:
The deployment of the RAF Voyager and the Tactical Med Wing is the most significant deployment by the RAF to Japan for many years. It demonstrates not only the deepening of the UK-Japan bilateral relationship, signalled by the recent signing of the Hiroshima Accord, but also the power of multinational relationships, working together as like-minded nations in order to help and demonstrate regional peace and security.
Wing Commander Phillip Foster the Royal Air Force Detachment Commander for the exercise said:
This element of the exercise from a UK and RAF perspective is extremely important and a privilege to be part of. As a team it gives us an opportunity to broaden our partnership with the JSDF by growing a relationship that is significant to the intent of the UK in this strategically important region. We are here to contribute to the promotion of peace and stability whilst showcasing our outstanding medical care teams capabilities and their ability to offer support and assistance that could be of value to the JSDF in crisis.
The Japan leg of Ex Mobility Guardian 23 will end on the 20th July when the RAF Voyager and the medical personnel will return to Guam and then on to the UK. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
17 Jul 23. Allies Mark Completion of Neptune Strike 2023-2. Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) marked the completion of enhanced vigilance activity Neptune Strike 2023-2 (NEST 23-2).
Since kickoff on July 10, 23 ships, over 100 aircraft, and more than 7,000 servicemembers from 15 NATO Allied and partner nations demonstrated deterrence and assurance through thesuccessful execution of a broad spectrum of sea, air, and land activities throughout NATO’s area of responsibility.
“These NATO high-end multi-domain warfare capabilities show the world the true strength of the Alliance,” said Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander of both STRIKFORNATO and U.S. Sixth Fleet. “The Neptune Series consistently showcases the unmatched cohesion and capacity of our Alliance in deterring potential adversaries and defending our nations if called upon.”
NEST 23-2 is the latest iteration of the Project Neptune series, and the second of 2023. The activity marks the continued evolution of the concept, which combines military forces from across NATO Allies and partners in a demonstration of NATO’s commitment to defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic area.
The latest iteration of NEST also included multiple unique and noteworthy developments, including special operations forces maritime integration, NATO Land Command (LANDCOM)‘s first physical inclusion through the integration of Multinational Corps-Northeast (MNC-NE) elements, and the transfer of authority (TOA) of the French FREMM frigate FS Languedoc to STRIKFORNATO command and control.
“Joining the vigilance activity Neptune Strike 23.2 has been a great experience for the crew of the Languedoc,” said Captain Laurent Saunois, commanding officer of Languedoc. “We have strengthened the ties with our NATO partners, especially from the USA and Italy, developing our interoperability and our mutual knowledge, and sharing common procedures. These five days of mutual activities have enhanced our combat readiness and shown the cohesion of the Alliance.”
Joining Languedoc in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas were the U.S. Navy’s Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and its associated carrier strike group, the Italian Navy aircraft carrier ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi, and other naval units from Albania, Croatia, and NATO Maritime Command’s Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2. Garibaldi served as flagship for NEST 23.2, embarking a command element from STRIKFORNATO headquarters, providing distributed, disaggregated, and resilient command and control options across the force.
“It has been an honour for me to operate at sea with all participating Nations, and witness their outstanding performance,” referred Admiral Giacinto Sciandra, Commander of Italian Carrier Strike Group. “The professionalism and commitment, demonstrated throughout the activity, is and always will be at the core of our success. Neptune Strike has permitted us to further consolidate the Italian Navy role into the NATO maritime structure, contributing to strengthen one of the core tasks of deterrence and defence to NATO’s overall strategic concept.”
Meanwhile, in the Baltic Sea, U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), Swedish Navy Visby-class corvette HSwMS Härnösand (K 33), and SNMG 1 units conducted enhanced vigilance activities on NATO’s Northern Flank.
Allied commands enacted an accelerated crisis planning and approval process through NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) during NEST 23-2, as well. This rapid response was spearheaded by multiple Allied Joint Force Commands and tested their ability to generate effects for supporting forces to conduct simulated strike missions on targets across the region, faster than in any previous iteration.
In total, Allies and partners completed 32 enhanced vigilance activities across Europe, consisting of 105 aircraft sorties and dual-carrier strike operations. NEST 23-2 proved that NATO has both the resolve and technical capabilities to answer any threat, anywhere, at any time.
“While the numbers are truly impressive, the successful execution of NEST 23.2 represents the determination of NATO as one alliance to defend all of its member states through advanced capabilities,” said Rear Admiral James Morley, STRIKFORNATO’s Deputy Commander. “Our ability to plan and execute as a cohesive team in a condensed timeline and across multiple domains and joint defense areas demonstrates the continued evolution of this series of enhanced vigilance activities.”
Enhanced vigilance activities are deliberately planned, dynamically executed activities, occurring in all domains and across SACEUR’s area of responsibility, to ensure appropriate strategic awareness and force readiness required to sustain peace.
STRIKFORNATO, headquartered in Oeiras, Portugal, is Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s (SACEUR) premier, rapidly deployable and flexible, maritime power projection Headquarters, capable of planning and executing full spectrum joint maritime operations. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO)
17 Jul 23. ‘Northern/Interaction-2023’ to Kick Off Soon; Joint Military Exercises Between China, Russia in Sea of Japan. Chinese Ministry of National Defense announced Saturday that Russia will dispatch naval and air forces to participate in “Northern/Interaction-2023” drills in the central region of the Sea of Japan organized by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Northern Theater Command. The event marks Russia’s second time participating in the PLA annual strategic drills, and also a first that Russia has dispatched both naval and air forces to participate in similar events, according to Chinese military observers.
Chinese miliary experts believed that such military drills would be carried out with strong and clear purpose of safeguarding the national interests of both sides in key passages of the Sea of Japan waters.
According to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on Saturday, the drills are themed “safeguarding the safety of strategic maritime routes” and are designed to further elevate the coordination capability of the two militaries and strengthen their capabilities of jointly safeguarding regional peace and stability, as well as responding to various security challenges.
On Saturday morning, a Chinese naval flotilla of five warships and four ship-borne helicopters slated to join in the “Northern/Interaction-2023” military drills left military port in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, heading to the designated waters to carry out training missions, the Global Times has reported in an exclusive report earlier on Saturday.
The Chinese naval flotilla is composed of the guided-missile destroyers Qiqihar, Guiyang, the guided-missile frigates Zaozhuang, Rizhao, and the comprehensive supply ship Taihu carrying four ship-borne helicopters. All five ships have undertaken numerous significant missions.
Chinese Military expert Song Zhongping told the Global Times on Saturday that these vessels are all main combat equipment and have participated in various exercises, including independent and joint exercises in the high seas. They have already formed combat and support capabilities. “Such line-up represents the strong combat capability of the PLA Navy, with outstanding ability to conduct operations on the high seas.”
It is worth noting that the “Northern/Interaction-2023” drills are organized by the PLA Northern Theater Command, while PLA forces participating in the previous “Western/Interaction-2021” exercise were mainly composed of forces from the Western Theater Command.
Chinese military experts believe that in the future, there may be a rotation among the all five PLA theater commands to organize annual strategic exercises with different themes to further boost the PLA combat capabilities.
In August 2021, Russia participated in the “Western/Interaction-2021” exercise held at Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, which marked the first time that China invited foreign forces to participate in its annual strategic exercises in its territory.
Since 2018, China has successively dispatched troops to participate in Russia’s major strategic exercises including “Vostok 2018,” ” Tsentr-2019,” and ” Kavkaz-2020.”
In 2022, for the first time, the PLA simultaneously dispatched its army, navy, and air forces to Russia to participate in the “Vostok 2022″ exercises. The land operations of ” Vostok 2022″ were held at 13 training sites in Russia, while the naval forces drilled in the relevant areas of the Sea of Japan.
Li Shuyin, a researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences and an expert on Russian military issues, said that the China-Russia joint exercises, as a normalized and institutionalized military cooperation arrangement, serve as a substantive manifestation of the China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination in the military field. They have become public security goods provided by the two responsible major powers in the region.
“The joint exercises between China and Russia demonstrate the deepening political and military mutual trust between the two countries and their determination and will to combat international terrorism and maintain regional security and stability. The relative stability of the regional situation in recent years is closely related to the public security goods provided by China and Russia,” she said.
Why Sea of Japan?
Unlike the “Western/Interaction-2021” held at an army tactical training base, this year’s “Northern/Interaction-2023” exercises organized by the Northern Theater Command are set to take place in the central region of the Sea of Japan.
This has been attributed to the area belonging to international waters where countries can conduct military training and drills in accordance with international laws, Song noted.
“Also, the Sea of Japan is an important strategic passage for both China and Russia. The three straits in the Sea of Japan, namely the Soya Strait, the Tsushima Strait, and the Tsugaru Strait, are all related to the national strategic security of China and Russia. Especially if hostile forces want to create trouble in this area, it would pose a significant security threat to China and Russia.”
Therefore, holding the exercises in the Sea of Japan can better demonstrate the exercise theme and has strong purposes and have actual combat conditions, Song pointed out.
Song also stated that via the exercises, China and Russia will further enhance cooperation in the traditional security field. The exercises will include subjects such as air defense, anti-missile, anti-ship, and anti-submarine scenarios. At the same time, the exercises will also involve non-traditional security areas, such as counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, and humanitarian rescue.
Since it is joint exercises between China and Russia, the exercise design should include scenarios where one side’s vessel is damaged and the other side participates in rescue efforts, highlighting the high level of integration and cooperation between the two countries and their militaries, he added.
Song believes that such exercises can further enhance the actual combat capability of China and Russia to maintain the security of maritime strategic passage, in order to ensure the national security of both countries in unstable situations and even in the event of conflict.
Joint naval and air patrol afterwards?
After the ” Vostok 2022″ exercise, Russia and China conducted their second joint naval patrol in the Pacific Ocean, covering a total distance of over 7,000 nautical miles, passing through the Sea of Japan and the Bering Sea.
In June 2023, China and Russia organized their 6th joint air strategic patrol over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, and divided such patrol into two stages for the first time.
Given the above facts, it is evident that joint strategic air, and naval patrol by both China and Russia have become regular. Regarding whether China and Russia will conduct a third joint naval patrol after the ” Northern/Interaction-2023″ exercise, Song said that the possibility is high and does not rule out the possibility of the happening of a first joint naval and air strategic patrol between China and Russia, marking “a new breakthrough.”
Military expert said that such joint air and naval strategic patrol will be organized sooner or later, which will not only strengthen China-Russia cooperation but also enhance their actual combat capabilities, making the drills more purposeful and reflective of actual combat situations. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Global Times)
17 Jul 23. PLA Warship Activities Set New Record Around Island of Taiwan. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently ramped up warship activities around the island of Taiwan, breaking the record for the number of vessels deployed in its drills in the region.
Analysts said Sunday that the recent intensive exercises demonstrate the PLA’s capabilities in encircling the island, and likely featured amphibious landing training.
The defense authority on the island of Taiwan said in a press release on Saturday that it detected 15 PLA aircraft and 16 PLA vessels operating around the island of Taiwan on Friday.
It is worth noting that the 16 marked the highest number of PLA vessel activities in recent times, media on the island reported on Saturday.
The record number came after the PLA increased the scale of its daily exercises and patrols around the island of Taiwan over the past week, sending nine vessels on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, all accompanied by large-scale activities of fighters, bombers, special mission aircraft and drones in the air, media on the island said.
By comparison, the daily average number of PLA vessels operating around the island is about four. Even during the PLA’s large-scale military exercises in August last year and in April this year, this figure did not surpass 14, according to press releases from the island’s defense authority.
Coming amid recent events including the US House’s passing of the National Defense Authorization Act 2024, the release of the NATO summit communiqué and joint exercises by the US, the UK, Australia and Japan, the PLA’s increase in warship activities around the island is likely aimed at displaying its capabilities in blockading the island, and possibly featured forces from not only the Eastern Theater Command, but also the Southern Theater Command, media on the island reported, citing a military expert on the island.
The defense authority on the island did not publish the types of PLA vessels participating in the activities, but Japan’s Defense Ministry said in late June that it spotted a PLA flotilla featuring the Type 075 amphibious assault ship Guangxi, the Type 052D destroyer Baotou, the Type 054A frigate Anyang and the Type 903A comprehensive replenishment ship Chaohu when the warships sailed from the East China Sea to the West Pacific at the time.
With no reports indicating that the warships have come back, the amphibious group led by the Type 075 could participate in exercise in waters to the east of the island of Taiwan, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert, told the Global Times on Sunday.
In a landing mission, it is logical to start amphibious landing after establishing air superiority and control of the sea, so it makes sense to practice amphibious landings following the training of precision strikes, air combat and sea combat, said another Chinese mainland expert who requested anonymity. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Global Times)