Berlin Security Conference: Spain considers Eurofighter, F-35 for Hornet, Harrier replacement

by Gareth Jennings

Spain has a need to replace its Hornet (pictured) and Harrier aircraft, for which both the Eurofighter and F-35 are being considered. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Spain has requested information on both the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as potential replacements for its current Boeing EF-18 Hornet and McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II aircraft.

The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to Janes ahead of the Berlin Security Conference that it has issued requests for information (RFIs) for both the enhanced Long Term Evolution (LTE) version of the Eurofighter, as well as both the F-35A and short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B to meet these needs.

“[The] Spanish MoD is studying possible candidates for Hornet and Harrier replacement, and has sent a request for information about F-35A and F-35B to the US government,” the ministry told Janes on 22 November, adding, “[The] MoD is working on the definition of a new version of Eurofighter called Long Term Evolution”.

Confirmation of the requests comes some weeks after Janes

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PLANAF deploys H-6J in mine-laying, bombing drills in South China Sea

by Alessandra Giovanzanti

The People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force's (PLANAF's) Xi'an Aircraft Corporation H-6J long-range strategic bombers have been recently spotted carrying out sea mine-laying and bombing drills as part of a live-fire exercise in the South China Sea.

According to video footage released by the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) on 3 December, several aircraft took off at night and arrived at the designated area in the South China Sea at dawn, where they practised laying sea mines and dropping bombs on targets located on islands and reefs.

The aircraft carried out two waves of bombing, and were refuelled and resupplied with munitions between the two sorties at Guiping Mengshu Air Base, according to the CCTV report.

The video also shows at least one H-6J carrying YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles under its wings, besides the sea mines and bombs carried in its belly, thus confirming that the aircraft can perform both traditional bomber tasks and stand-off long-range maritime strike roles.

According to Janes'

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Update: Russia deploys Bastion coastal defence system at new military facility in disputed Kuril Islands

by Jon Grevatt & Mark Cazalet & Kosuke Takahashi & Shaurav Gairola

A Bastion coastal defence missile system is pictured launching an Oniks missile in the Arctic in 2018. Russia has deployed the same system to Matua, an island in the Kuril chain in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Ownership of this chain of islands is disputed by Russia and Japan. (Russian MoD)

The Russian military has deployed its K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence missile system in the Kuril Islands, a chain in the northwest Pacific Ocean, the ownership of which is disputed by Japan and Russia.

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on 2 December that the Bastion-P deployment signals the start of deployments from a new Russian military base on Matua, an uninhabited volcanic island near the centre of the Kuril chain that is not claimed by Japan.

In a statement, the MoD said that Bastion-P systems have been deployed “for the first time … on Matua” to provide round-the-clock “monitoring [of] the adjacent waters and straits”. It said the missile system and associated personnel, equipment, and materiel were delivered to the island by landing ships from the Primorsk Flotilla of the Pacific Fleet's diverse forces.

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Myanmar military offensives lose momentum

by Anthony Davis

More than one month after Myanmar's military (Tatmadaw) launched major offensives in the west and northwest of the country, drives aimed at crushing increasingly assertive anti-regime resistance forces risk losing momentum amid widening hostilities.

The difficulty of pinning down multiple locally based resistance groups operating in small, largely autonomous units, and a need to disperse the already thin-stretched Tatmadaw assets across a dauntingly wide area of operations appear to have precluded tactical concentrations of superior forces and blunted the overall effectiveness of army operations.

Since late October at least three co-ordinated offensives involving an estimated 30,000 troops have triggered escalating clashes with the so-called People's Defence Forces (PDFs) across much of Chin State and two areas of neighbouring Sagaing Region, according to the local media.

The earliest offensive, ‘Operation Anawrahta', focused primarily on Chin State on Myanmar's western border with India where an aggressive coalition of PDFs and the Chinland Defence Force (CDF) has operated with the Chin National Army (CNA), a longstanding ethnic organisation that, after the military coup of February, abandoned its 2015 ceasefire with the Tatmadaw.

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Spain has requested information on both the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning I...

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