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Philippine Coast Guard gets 4 patrol boats

6:57:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will soon have four brand new fast patrol boats from France.
This, as Philippine Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade visited the shipyard of French boat manufacturer OCEA in Sables d’Olonne, France on April 1 to inspect four brand new 24-meter fast patrol boats (FPV 72 MKII) purchased by the Philippine government for the PCG.
The boats are part of the Philippine Ports and Coast Capability Development Contract signed between the Department of Transportation and OCEA on September 9, 2014 to modernize the Coast Guard’s fleet.
Aside from the four fast patrol boats, the contract also includes a brand new 82-meter offshore patrol vessel (OPV 270 MKII), five-year preventive maintenance for all five boats, spare parts for five years, and technical assistance and training for the crew.
During the discussions with OCEA CEO Roland Joassard, Secretary Tugade also discussed positioning the Philippines as a regional hub for ship repair and how OCEA could play a role in achieving this goal, being a supplier of patrol boats to other countries in the region.

Joassard promised to assist the Philippines in this endeavor and extended verbal commitment to sign an agreement to this effect before the end of 2017.
The Philippine delegation included Philippine Ambassador to France Ms. Ma. Theresa Lazaro, Philippine Coast Guard OIC Commodore Joel Garcia, BCDA President, and CEO Vivencio Dizon, Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez and Consul Rapunzel Acop.

An OCEA FPB72 Mk.II patrol craft seen here undergoing trials in France.

Philippine Military Looking for More Platforms to Boost External Defense Capabilities

8:02:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- With the deliveries of the South Korean-made FA-50PH "Fighting Eagle" jet fighters nearing completion and more modern equipment coming in line, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines is now looking for more platforms that will further boosts its external defense capabilities.

"As we are now in the Second Horizon of our Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program, we are looking into the acquisition of more equipment for our external defense missions," he added.

While Lorenzana did not give specifics on what kind of equipment the DND is looking to acquire, he said it is possible that these include missile-armed frigates, anti-submarine helicopters, and multi-role fighters, long-range patrol aircraft, to name a few.

Last March 29, two more FA-50 jet fighters were delivered in Clark Air Base, Angeles City, Pampanga, increasing the number of Mach 1.5 jet aircraft in the Air Force inventory to eight.

Another four are expected to be delivered within the year, completing the country's 12-plane order from Korea Aerospace Industries worth PHP18.9 billion.

The AFP Modernization Program is divided into three horizons, with the first lasting from 2013 to 2017, the second from 2018 to 2022 and third 2023 to 2028.

The Second Horizon calls for the acquisition of equipment more attuned to external defense missions and has a programmed funding of around PHP100 billion.

The Airbus Military C-295 Persuader Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

Royal Thai Army to Replace AH-1F Cobra Attack Helicopter

7:53:00 PM Add Comment
BANGKOK, -- Another issue that has resurfaced in recent years is the launch of a new attack helicopter by the Royal Thai Army to replace the seven AH-1F in the 3rd Battalion Army Aviation Centers.

Composed of AH-1F, supplied in 1991, 3 machines from the original 4 units (1 unit fall at the north over 10 years ago) and the four units AH-1F EDA repaired in a year 2011.

AH-1F is the same as UH-1H with long life and no spare parts production line. Need to be discharged in the near future.

The Army Aviation Center needs 8 new helicopters to fly, but no information is available what type of attack is this now? Attack helicopters are : France-Germany Tiger, Leonardo A129 Mangusta, Italy/Turkish Aerospace Industries T129 ATAK, Russian Mil Mi-28NM and may include with Chinese Z-10.

However, the need to provide new attack helicopters to replace the AH-1F is still in limited budget. The Army needs to supply helicopters for general use, such as the need for AW-149 and Mi-17V5 for new more, etc.

The Royal Thai Army AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter.

DCNS signed a memorandum of understanding to modernize the Indonesian navy

7:38:00 PM Add Comment
JAKARTA, -- With its GDP growth of 5% in 2016, Indonesia is undoubtedly one of the most economically dynamic countries in Southeast Asia. At the same time, after years of arms embargo imposed by the United States between 1991 and 2005, due to the situation in Timor, the needs of the Indonesian armed forces are significant. Hence, the goal of Jakarta to bring its military spending to $ 20 billion by the end of the decade. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), they have already increased by 150% between 2006 and 2015.

Also, the Indonesian defense market has something to appeal to European and French weapons manufacturers. Recently, Nexter was awarded a new contract to deliver an additional 18 CAESARs (truck equipped with an artillery system) after a first order for 37 aircraft. And, a few days ago, Jakarta confirmed its intention to acquire A400M Atlas transport aircraft from Airbus.

In the maritime sector, DCNS is no exception. On the sidelines of President Hollande's visit to Indonesia on 30 March, the French industrialist signed a memorandum of understanding with the PT PAL shipbuilding company to strengthen their cooperation in submarine and surface The framework of the Franco-Indonesian Defense Dialogue (IFDD).

It has now been a few years since DCNS hopes to deliver Scorpene 1000 submarines to Jakarta. This ship "is particularly suitable for the Indonesian navy, given that it is an archipelago", explained the French shipbuilder in October 2015. "This submarine was designed to navigate And it is very difficult to detect because of the shallow depth of the coastal waters, " he also said.

Currently, the Indonesian Navy has two Type 209 submarines of German origin. And three more, acquired from South Korea, will soon be put into operation.

In a statement announcing the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, DCNS recalls that it has already cooperated with PT PAL in recent years to "identify the best industrial solution for today offering a multi-purpose submarine Of the last generation of the Scorpene class ". It is now a question of going further by studying new possibilities concerning corvettes and frigates, ie the Gowind 2500, the FREMM, and even the Intermediate Size Frigates (FTI).

"As a European leader in naval combat systems, warship designer and builder, DCNS is committed to establishing long-term partnerships with Indonesian industry to enhance its capabilities and capabilities on high-tech systems "Commented Hervé Guillou, the CEO of DCNS.

"Our cooperation with the biggest PT PAL shipyard in Indonesia illustrates this ambition and we look forward to bringing our strong expertise in technology transfers to complex naval programs to develop industrial and The operational capacity of the Indonesian Navy. "

The DCNS Belharra, the 4.000 tonnes FTI digital frigate.

Malaysia Again Says It Will Boost Maritime Surveillance

7:31:00 PM Add Comment
KUALA LUMPUR, -- The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has made the acquisition of maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) its “number one priority,” according to Maj. Gen. Kamalruzaman bin Othman, assistant chief of staff, operations and strategy division. Responding to the requirement, Leonardo brought one of the ATR-72MP aircraft that it recently delivered to the Italian air force to last week’s Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) show. However, a previous Malaysian defense minister made the same declaration four years ago, with no action taken since.

“With the current situation in Sabah and Sarawak, it requires a lot of maritime surveillance,” said Kamalruzaman. He was referring to the repeated pirate attacks on shipping in Sulu Sea, including the kidnapping of sailors and tourists. But the RMAF currently operates just three MPAs. These are Beechcraft B200T Super King Airs, two of which are fitted with the Thales Airborne Maritime Situation and Control System (AMASCOS). A fourth B200T was written off last December, adding to the RMAF’s urgent need for an MPA.

Industry sources said that the RMAF is looking for an MPA focused on surveillance capabilities, rather than an armed platform. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), which is responsible for policing duties in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), is also scouting for a light maritime surveillance aircraft. It currently flies just two CL-415 amphibians in this role.

Leonardo claims that the ATR-72MP has a low cost of operation, is easy to maintain and provides exceptional versatility in a number of maritime roles. It can fly missions lasting as long as 10 hours.

The ATR-72MP is equipped with Leonardo's Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) mission system, which uses advanced data-fusion techniques to present to the operator a single tactical picture that integrates information from all of the aircraft's onboard sensors. These include the company’s Seaspray AESA (active electronically scanned array) surveillance radar. The Italian company is hoping to leverage the large pool of ATR-72 airliners in Malaysia that will support the maintenance of the aircraft.

Saab is offering its new Swordfish anti-submarine and anti-surface mission system that can be carried by either the Global 6000 business jet or the Saab 2000 or Bombardier Q400 regional turboprops. The Swedish company is also proposing the leaner Albatross mission system, suitable for small platforms such as the Saab 340, to fulfill the MMEA’s requirement. This includes only a basic surface search radar, AIS, electro-optic camera and communications suite.

Another candidate for the Malaysian requirements could be the CN235 MPA that was designed by Airbus Defence & Space predecessor CASA, but which is now produced only by partner company Indonesian Aerospace in Bandung.

The Italian Air Force Leonardo ATR-72MP multirole Maritime Patrol, Electronic Surveillance and C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) aircraft.

Philippine Air Force 7th, 8th FA-50PHs Arrive, 4 More Coming until May

8:44:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Air Force today received its 7th and 8th Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50PH Fighter/Surface Attack/Lead-in Fighter Trainer (F/SA/LIFT). PAF vice commander Major General Conrado V. Parra Jr. spearheaded the welcome ceremony at the Haribon Hangar, Air Force City, Clark Air Base in Pampanga.

Twelve ordered FA-50PHs are expected to be completed May 2017. FA-50PHs 009, 010 are scheduled to arrive in Aprile, while 011, 012 are expected to be delivered May.

“The FA-50 is a multirole fighter variant of KAI’s T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer. It is capable of carrying short range air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles with countermeasures such as chaffs and infrared flares,” PAF said. “With the arrival of the fourth batch of FA-50PH jets, the PAF now has eight jets in its inventory while the delivery of the rest of the jets will be completed within 2017.”

The Philippine Air Force FA-50PH Fighting Eagle tail number 007 and 008.

Philippine Navy formally accepts 2 Japanese TC-90s aircraft in Sangley Point Naval Station ceremony

8:11:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Navy (PN)'s humanitarian and patrol capability got a big boost the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD) formally transferred two units of the Beechcraft TC-90 training aircraft Monday morning.

Transfer ceremonies took place at the Naval Air Group headquarters, Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City.

The two aircraft landed at the said facility around 10 a.m.

Present during the transfer ceremony was Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and his JSMOD counterpart Kenji Wakamiya.

PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said these aircraft were leased from the JMOD as part of the Navy's efforts to enhance its capability in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, limited transport, and maritime domain awareness including maritime air surveillance and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance.

The whole project involves five units of TC-90s. The remaining three units are expected to arrive by mid-2018.

Last November, two PN pilots and six air crews left for Japan to start their TC-90 flight training.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that the Philippines will be re-equipping the TC-90s as Japan have stripped of some its equipment, including its surveillance systems.

The country will pay Japan USD7,000 each for the first four aircraft yearly and only USD200 for the fifth, or total of USD28,200 as stipulated in its lease agreement.

The DND added it is also looking at the possibility of using the TC-90 for 20 years while the military is upgrading its equipment.

The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized last Feb. 29, 2016.

The TC-90's patrol range is double those of small Philippine aircraft which only has a maximum range of 300 kilometers.

The two Beechcraft King Air TC-90A aircraft, with tail nos. JN6822 and JN6824.