And you thought this stuff happens only in technothrillers

January 21, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

tr As they say, truth is often stranger than fiction:

The plan was based on creating tension with Greece that could lead to a conflict.

The details of the plan went as far as to include the idea of allowing a Turkish fighter aircraft to crash as a result of direct Greek action. Taraf newspaper reports that the plan was set up by 162 officers of the Turkish armed forces of which 29 were high level officers.

Of course, there is also the possibility that this is a deliberate leak by the Turkish armed forces in order to discourage HAF pilots from blasting THK’s airspace violators out of the Aegean sky. Wouldn’t be the first time that psyops are employed to compensate for a military disadvantage (e.g. Imia crisis).

Greece to procure SPICE 1000 & 2000

July 1, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · 2 Comments 

090630aIn a move that is possibly a reaction to the Turkish development of indigenous JDAM-class guidance kits, the Greek MoD announced a tender for procuring an unspecified number of SPICE 1000 & SPICE 2000 guidance kits for Mk83 and Mk84 bombs respectively:

SPICE 2000 is optimized for launch at high speed & altitude, for maximum stand-off range. For example, when released at 42.000 ft at high subsonic speed, gliding range reaches up to 60km. The system does not perform post-launch rise prior to the terminal dive, so it is not suitable for low-level launch [e.d. other guidance kits like the Paveway-III perform this maneuver  to enable low-level release]. A typical mission profile may include ingressing at low altitude and performing a steep ascend prior to launch, to maximize stand-off range.

SPICE 1000 has a different arrangement, with two fold-out wings instead of fixed trapezoidal stub-wings, which provide better glide performance and thus improved launch range.

Reportedly the launch platform for the weapon system will be the F-16C. The tender is projected to be concluded by late August.

If procured in sufficient numbers, the guidance kits should significantly improve the EPA’s ability to perform strikes against comprehensive integrated air-defense systems.

Turkish JDAM-class weapons: Expanded threat for Greek air defenses

June 5, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

090603b The Hellenic Defense site reports that the Turkish Defense R&D Institute (SAGE) has unveiled a wholly made-in-Turkey tail-mounted guidance kit for unguided bombs, very similar to the US JDAM family. The kit, called HGK (Hassas Gudum Kiti) is initially designed for Mk84 bombs, but a version for Mk82 is reportedly under development.

As reported in IDEF 2009, HGK-fitted bombs are already in service with THK [Turkish Air Force] F-4E Phantom II aircraft, although it is more likely that the upgraded F-4E/2020 Terminator is employed. SAGE representatives did not clarify whether the weapons are in use by THK F-16C/Ds, but since HGK is compatible with the MIL-STD 1760 data bus, integration on that aircraft is possible.

Performance wise:

HGK combines an INS and GPS receiver; SAGE claims a “better than 10m” CEP when using both. If no GPS signal is available, accuracy drops to a 25m CEP. In comparison, JDAM is claimed to have a 8-10m CEP [although much higher accuracy has been demonstrated in tests].

hawk  It is hard to overestimate the threat that this development presents to Greek air defenses. With the exception of a handful of Patriot & S-300 batteries, the bulk of ground-based air defenses in Greece comprise of MR-SAM systems (I-HAWK) and a wide plethora of (V)SHORADS systems, both radar- and IR-guided. While very capable against an attacking force that is using either unguided weapons or EO/laser-guided munitions (and thus has to enter the engagement envelopes of said terminal defenses), these systems are wholly ineffectual if the attacking aircraft can toss JDAM-class weapons from high altitude at stand-off ranges, virtually untouchable to the majority of air defenses, and still achieve LGB-like accuracy levels.

turkish_armed_top_lgTypically, the sale of advanced A-G munitions from western industries to Greece and Turkey is tightly controlled in numbers precisely because of the destabilizing potential of these weapons. As a result, limited numbers as well as a relative numerical balance in the PGM inventories of both air forces is the norm. In this case, however, there is nothing to stop the THK from procuring massive numbers of this guidance kit to transform the majority of its Mk80-series stocks into all-weather, stand-off precision-strike weapons. For the first time, the THK will have the ability to strike a great number of fixed targets in Greece under any weather conditions without suffering severe losses – not just on Day-1, but throughout the duration of any foreseeable conflict.

Combined with the ongoing acquisition of long-range precision weapons (Popeye, SLAM-ER, JSOW, Harpy) which pose a critical threat to Greek LR-SAM systems and primary C4I nodes, as well as the projected procurement of advanced strike-optimized aircraft (F-35), the overall threat of massive neutralization of Greek air defenses by a concentrated THK offensive is rapidly expanding.