Russia 100416 Basic Political Developments

RIA: Kaczynski's plane hit trees far from runway – IAC

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RIA: Kaczynski's plane hit trees far from runway – IAC

The Polish president's plane, which crashed while trying to land in western Russia, hit the line of trees about a kilometer away from the beginning of the runway, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) said on Friday.

A Soviet-made Tu-154 aircraft crashed last Saturday when it attempted to land at Smolensk airport in thick fog, killing President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and other 95 people on board.

"We have established that the plane had a first contact with trees about 1,050 meters from the runway and about 40-45 meters to the left of the final approach line," the IAC reported the latest results of the current investigation into the crash.

"The plane hit another tree with its left wing after 200 meters and rolled sharply to the left," the report said.

"Most of the fragments of the plane are scattered around an area about 350-500 meters away and 150 meters to the left of the runway," it said.

The IAC earlier said that the plane made only one attempt to land, denying media reports that it tried to approach the runway three or four times.

Russian investigators, experts and Polish specialists are jointly investigating the causes of the deadly crash. Polish military prosecutors, however, have opened their own investigation into the accident.

According to IAC, experts will have a rough transcription of onboard voice recordings in about a week, although the work on the least audible parts of the final conversations between the crew members could take longer.

MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti)

RIA: Russian cruiser passes Suez Canal on mission in Indian Ocean

The Moskva missile cruiser has passed through the Suez Canal and entered the Indian Ocean to join other Russian warships for large-scale naval exercises, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, which has a compliment of naval infantry on board, left the Black Sea port of Sevastopol on April 9.

"The weapons and technical equipment on the ship are functioning properly and the crew is healthy," the spokesman said.

The Moskva is a Slava-class missile cruiser designed as a surface strike ship with some anti-aircraft and ASW capability.

Meanwhile, the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser from Russia's Northern Fleet has recently arrived in Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus ahead of Russian Navy drills in the Indian Ocean.

Russia announced in 2007 that it was building up its naval presence in the world's oceans. Once one the world's most powerful navies, Russia now has few ships regularly deployed.

A Russian Pacific Fleet task force, comprising an Udaloy class missile destroyer, Marshal Shaposhnikov, a salvage tug and a tanker, is currently on an anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast.

MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti)

RIA: Russian warship escorts another convoy in Gulf of Aden

The Russian Udaloy class missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov is escorting four civilian vessels off the coast of Somalia, a Russian Navy spokesman said.

A Russian Pacific Fleet task force comprising the Marshal Shaposhnikov, the MB-37 salvage tug and the Pechenga tanker arrived in the Gulf of Aden on March 29 to join the anti-piracy mission in the region.

The destroyer, which has two naval helicopters and a unit of naval infantry on board, has already escorted two commercial convoys comprising a total of 27 ships in pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast.

Russia joined international anti-piracy efforts in the region in October 2008. The Russian Navy has maintained a near-permanent presence off the Horn of Africa since then, with warships operating on a rotation basis.

The current task force is the fourth group of warships from the Russian Pacific Fleet engaged in the anti-piracy mission off Somalia, with the previous three task forces led by the Admiral Vinogradov, the Admiral Panteleyev and the Admiral Tributs destroyers. The Northern and Baltic fleets have also sent their warships to the region.

According to official data, Somali pirates carried out 217 attacks on commercial ships in 2009, hijacking 47 vessels and taking 867 crew members as hostages. They hijacked at least 12 ships since the beginning of 2010.

MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti)

BNS: Russia puts off launch of its new nuke attack sub
Last Updated: Apr 16, 2010

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia has delayed the launch of its new Graney class nuclear attack submarine, Severodvinsk, citing technical reasons.

The multi-purpose nuclear attack submarine, the first of Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class attack sub, was earlier scheduled to be floated out on May 7, 2010.

“The launch of the new Severodvinsk submarine has been delayed for technical reasons,” a source at the Sevmash shipyard which is constructing the ship, told RIA Novosti.

The vessel will be floated out for sea trials later this year, the source said. It is expected to enter service with the Russian Navy by late 2010 or early 2011.

The Graney-class nuclear attack submarines are based on the Russian Akula-class and Alfa-class submarines. Russia is presently constructing two such subs – Severodvinsk and Kazan – to replace the Soviet-era Akula class and Oscar class subs.

The new submarines combine the ability to launch a variety of long-range cruise missiles (up to 5,000 km) with nuclear warheads, and effectively engage submarines, surface warships and surface targets.

Each vessel’s armament consists of 24 cruise missiles that include the 3M51 Alfa SLCM, the SS-NX-26 Oniks SLCM or SS-N-21 Granat/Sampson SLCM, and also anti-ship missiles such as the SS-N-16 Stallion.

The vessel has eight torpedo launchers and has a water displacement capacity of 5,800-7,700-9,500 tonne in surfaced condition and 8,200-13,800 tonne in submerged condition.

Aviation Week: First India MRO For Russian Aircraft Opens

Apr 14, 2010

Top of Form


By Neelam Mathews

Bottom of Form

Rosoboronservice India Ltd. (ROS(I), a joint venture between Rosoboronexport of Russia and India’s Krasny Marine Services, has launched the first Aviation Division in Goa for Kamovs, Tupolevs and Ilyushin aircraft in the Indian navy inventory.

The $25 million center is expected to drastically reduce the turnaround time for aircraft that head to Russia for repairs and have often had to crimp operations as a result.

Until recently, the military — captive users of Russian equipment — have had to send aircraft equipment and engines to Russia for servicing, causing delays and operational gaps. Transportation of the equipment has added costs too.

Russian spares have also known to be poorly tabulated. Now, a warehouse stocked with spares has made the system more efficient, according to V.G. Jayaprakashan, managing director of ROS(I).

With 17 staff including engineers, the center has a large number of diagnostics. The Russian-produced Sea Dragon System, operational on the Indian navy Il-38 — used for anti-submarine warfare, with electro-optical sensors, electronically scanned radar and electronic support measures — will arrive later this year, Jayaprakashan says.

While the Indian navy has ordered eight Boeing P8-I aircraft to replace its aging fleet of eight Tupolev Tu-42s, as well as the remaining two IL-38 aircraft, the earliest delivery will be in 2013.

The aviation center will prove to be a big benefit as the navy can have maintenance on hand, one naval officer says.

Since its creation five years ago, ROS(I) has been a primary service provider to the Indian navy. The company provides services and spares for Russian-designed surface ships, submarines, missile systems and aircraft for the Indian navy, including the Kamov Ka-31 and Ilyushin Il-38.

Its services include supply of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) spares, assemblies and replacement equipment, repairs per OEM specifications, maintenance and testing of equipment, and training. 

Jayaprakashan said that in order to overcome bottlenecks in the procurement of spares, at the urging of Russia the Indian government has given proprietary article certificates (PAC) to Rosoboronservice for the products of its founding members like the Baltitsky Zavod yard, Kamov and Ilyushin.

The Russian decree that permits Rosoboronservice India to be the sole provider will go a long way toward alleviating delays. “Procedures have been streamlined and simplified and the navy has already noticed the difference,” Jayaprakashan says.

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