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Philippine Navy's Latest Ship Arrives In Manila

11:56:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Navy's second brand new landing dock vessel, the BRP Davao Del Sur, arrived at the South Harbor on Monday, May 8.

"After almost 4 days of voyage, Davao Del Sur has anchored at [the South Harbor in Manila]," said Navy spokesperson Lued Lincuna.

"She will undergo customs, immigration, quarantine and security (CIQS) procedures,"

The welcome ceremony for BRP Davao Del Sur is scheduled on Wednesday, May 10. Separate commissioning rites is expected to immediately follow.

The BRP Davao Del Sur departed Surabaya, Indonesia for Manila last week, May 4. Rear Admiral Gaudecio Collado, commander of the Philippine Fleet, was in Indonesia to conduct the ceremonial Sail Away ceremony for the vessel.

BRP Davao Del Sur is the navy's second Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV), following the arrival of the BRP Tarlac in June 2016. The two brand new ships cost the previous Aquino administration P4 billion ($85 million*).

It is a much awaited asset of the Philippine Navy. The SSV has ability to serve as one-stop operations center at sea, crucial in sending quick deployments such as in humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

"It will complement our first, the BRP Tarlac, of course. It will have an impact on our HADR [high availability disaster recovery] operations because it's a very big vessel. It can accomodate a lot of cargo and a lot of personnel," said Lincuna.

Measuring 123 meters long and with a maximum carrying capacity of 11,583 tons, the SSVs can transport heavy equipment, supplies, and troops to anywhere in the archipelago. It has provisions for 121 crew members and can house up to 500 soldiers. It can also carry up to 3 naval helicopters on its heli-deck and two "baby boats" in its rear hold. No other load-bearing ship in the Navy's fleet can compare.

The BRP Tarlac has also been recently deployed to conduct naval blockades in southern Philippines, helping in the military's operations against local terrorists.

It will also participate in the Philippines-US Balikatan exercises scheduled this week.

The Philippine Navy Tarlac-class landing platform dock BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) on her voyage home to Manila.

Singapore Navy to Commission First Littoral Mission Vessel on 50th Anniversary

11:44:00 PM Add Comment
SINGAPORE, -- The Republic of Singapore Navy is set to commission the first littoral mission vessel RSS Independence on its 50th anniversary on May 5.

“This will be a significant moment to mark the Navy’s coming of age at 50 years, as we complete our 3rd generation transformation, as we move into our redesign for LMV Indy to be the lead platform, to be, if I can borrow the phrase, the ‘flagship of our future Navy’,” Republic of Singapore Navy chief, Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lai Chung Han, said in May, last year.

RSS Independence, the first of eight littoral mission vessels finished sea trials and arrived at her homeport at Tuas Naval Base on May 26, 2016.

Littoral mission vessels are being built to replace the 20-year-old Fearless-class patrol vessels which the Singapore Navy started to gradually decommission.

The eight vessels are being built by ST Marine under a contract signed with Singapore’s ministry of defense in 2013.

The LMVs will be configurable to undertake a wide spectrum of operations. More than twice the size of the current class of patrol vessels in service with the Republic of Singapore Navy, LMVs measure 80 meters in length and displace 1,250 tonnes. All eight vessels are expected to be operational by 2020.

ST Marine most recently held a launching ceremony for the fourth vessel in the class, the future RSS Justice, on March 18, 2017.

The Republic of Singapore Navy RSS Independence littoral mission vessel.

Myanmar Seeks to Purchase Two Submarine

11:34:00 PM Add Comment
NAYPYIDAW - Deputy Defense Minister Maj Gen Myint Nwe has announced the Burma Army's ambition to own a submarine. "Our neighbors have submarines and we want them to be dependent on the state budget.

The military leadership is considering it, "said the major general at a press conference. During a visit to Russia in 2013, Burma Army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing expressed interest in purchasing two Kilo-class submarines, relics of the last years of the Soviet era.

The same year, reports surfaced that some 20 Burmese naval officers received submarine training in Pakistan. Burma Navy officials also studied onboard Indian submarines in 2006, said the major general. Burma's Navy is presently equipped only to deal with coastal engagements, and is incapable of more sophisticated territorial defense. As fleet expansion continues, Burma may take more concrete steps towards subsurface capability. "Submarines are necessary armed units for a navy," said the major general. Burma Navy will acquire a submarine.

The proposal will first undergo a parliamentary review committee.

The committee reviews military proposals pertaining to the procurement of weapons and equipment as well as budgetary measures, but the military does not go into complete detail for the committee for pertaining to information security, he added. Since 2011, the Burma Air Force has put 49 fighter jets and helicopters into commission. Between fiscal years 2011-16, the Navy put 22 ships into service.

The major general says the country's defense budget amounts to between 13 and 15 percent of the Union budget. In the 1990s, the Burmese Army established military academies and turned out many junior officers, but focused primarily on quantity. But since 2011, the army has placed a higher emphasis on quality and set higher standards of military academies, the major general said.

The Russian Navy Kilo-class diesel-electric attack submarine.

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.