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Philippine Defense chief thanks China for weapons donation

9:01:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday expressed his gratitude to the People's Republic of China for giving the Philippines free weapons and ammunition which it can use in the ongoing battle against Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City.

"I am pleased to convey my gratitude to the People's Republic of China for the donation consisting of various rifles and ammunition amounting to around 50 million yuan turned over today (Wednesday), as well as for the long standing-partnership between our countries," he added.

The arms and ammunition was delivered at the Harrison Landing Zone, Clark Freeport, on board a two-cargo Ilyushin IL-76 military plane.

These consists of 3,000 rifles with 5 million ammunition and 90 long-range sniper rifles with 800,000 rounds.

The weapons were formally turned over by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua to President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday.

The Chief Executive earlier said the firearms donation is one of the defense cooperation matters discussed by the People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping in his visit to China last October.

The latter is part of the military package to the Philippines, in relation with the emerging threat of terrorism and piracy in Mindanao.

"These rifles and ammunition are (a) welcome addition to the existing materiel in the arsenal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Likewise, these will certainly improve the capabilities of our Armed Forces for the internal security operations particularly in the southern part of the country," the DND chief said.

He was referring to the six-week long conflict in Marawi City which has so far killed 299 of the terrorists and killed 70 government troops along with an estimated 27 civilians.

Fighting there started when military and police units tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS "Emir" in Southeast Asia last May 23.

"On behalf of the Filipino people who are indeed the ultimate beneficiaries of Chinese magnamity, I accept this donation from the People's Republic of China with a deep sense of gratitude as well as a renewed sense of hope for our nation's safety and security," Lorenzana bared.


The Philippine Air Force personnel unload crates of rifles and ammunition given by China during a turnover ceremony at Clark Air Force Base in Pampanga Province, Philippines.

Handover Ceremony of Military Assistance Gratis from the People’s Republic of China 6/28/2017.

Philippine Air Force FA-50PHs Fighting Eagle Now Armed with Air-to-Ground Missiles

8:43:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Air Force’s FA-50PHs Fighting Eagle displayed during its 70th founding anniversary celebration in Clark Air Base on July 4 were armed with inert AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground tactical missile (AGM) designed for close air support.

This was evidenced by FA-50PHs aircraft presented during the 70th anniversary celebration of Air Force held today in Clark Air Base. The said aircraft were also armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile and unguided Mark 82 low-drag general-purpose bomb.

Earlier today, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that a Philippine C-130 military transport aircraft flew to Arizona, United States to pick up munitions for PAF aircraft. The said C-130 left the country June 23 and was back July 1.

The Philippine Air Force FA-50PH 'Fighting Eagle' Fighter / Surface Attack / Lead-in Fighter Trainers (F / SA / LIFT) with tail numbers PH007 and PH002 from the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the Air Defense Wing armed with an AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile, M117 unguided, general-purpose bomb that can also be configured with a low-drag tail fin for medium and high-altitude deliveries that has a nominal weight of 750 pounds (340 kg), and an inert/captive version of an AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground tactical missile (AGM) designed for close air support.

Thailand Proposes Blackhawk Procurement

8:19:00 PM Add Comment
BANGKOK, -- The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has proposed the procurement of four additional Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the US government, RTA chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart confirmed on 29 June.

The procurement, if finalized, will be the first major US Defense sale to Thailand since the military coup in 2014. It is expected to be negotiated during Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's visit to Washington in July.

In comments reported by state-run news agencies, Gen Chalermchai said the funding for the purchase was approved by the Thai government in late 2016 and the deal is now progressing through US government channels.

The Royal Thai Army UH 60 Blackhawk medium-lift utility helicopter.

Images show Myanmar Air Force JF-17/FC-1 conducting flight tests in China

9:33:00 PM Add Comment
NAYPYIDAW, -- Images have emerged on Chinese online forums showing what appears to be one of the first Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 Thunder/FC-1 Xiaolong multirole combat aircraft on order for the Myanmar Air Force (MAF) conducting test flights in China.

Released around 13 June the images show a single-seat JF-17/FC-1 with the standard camouflage and tail insignia of the MAF being flight-tested at what appears to be CAC's airfield in Chengdu.

Diplomatic sources told Jane's in December 2015 that Myanmar had signed a contract earlier that year for 16 such aircraft at a unit cost of USD16 million.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources told Jane's in February 2017 that these aircraft will be of the Block II variant, which was first rolled out from the PAC's Kamra plant in 2015 and which, unlike the Block I variant, features an air-to-air refuelling capability and improved avionics and electronics.

China's state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - CAC's parent company - is believed to also be providing technical assistance to Myanmar as the aircraft replaces the MAF's ageing Chengdu J-7 fighters, which were exported as the F-7M Airguard and acquired in the 1990s.

Myanmar is widely believed to be the first export customer for the Sino-Pakistani fighter, deliveries of which are expected to begin before the end of 2017.

Images have emerged showing what appears to be one of the first JF-17/FC-1 fighters on order for the MAF conducting test flights in China.

Philippine Air Force Acquisition of 6 Close Air Support Aircraft Finally Advances

9:27:00 PM 1 Comment
MANILA, -- Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 6 Close Air Support (CAS) aircraft acquisition project for Philippine Air Force is now moving to a “milestone” stage after several failed initiations in the past years.

This project is part of AFP Modernization Program First Horizon which is set to end this year.

“The acquisition of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) next Close Air Support Aircraft has finally reached an important milestone after 4 years of failing to have it move beyond planning and pre-bid conferences,” MaxDefense Philippines said in an article.

“With Embraer already considered the Sole Compliant Bidder, the Philippine Air Force will be conducting Post-Bid Qualification (PQ) Inspections to confirm the submitted documents of Embraer, while also checking Embraer’s aircraft manufacturing as well as the Super Tucano itself,” MaxDefense said.

“Once they get the conformance approval from the PQ inspection team, the PAF would make a recommendation for the DND to provide a Notice/Letter of Award to Embraer which fomally signifies the awarding of the project to Embraer, and with that a Contract will follow between the two parties,” MaxDefense added.

The six close air support aircraft to be acquired will be replacing/complement the Air Force’s Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” turboprop attack planes.

The DND previously confirmed that projects under First Horizon will be completed.

“The leadership of the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will pursue the implementation of the approved projects which are not yet contracted or completed under the First Horizon (2013-2017) of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP),” DND said.

“Projects such as the CAS aircraft, LRPA (2 long-range patrol aircraft) and FA-50 Munitions are still in various stages of procurement,” it added.

The Philippine Air Force Attack Pilots from the 17th attack squadron "Jaguars" with this A-29 Super Tucano at the 15th Strike Wing flight line at Danilo Atienza Air Base for a flight demo.

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Thai Cabinet Nod for Bt2.3 bn Armoured Carriers Deal with China

9:10:00 PM Add Comment
BANGKOK, -- The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Army’s proposal to buy 34 armoured personnel carriers from China.

The proposal to buy the ZBL-09/VN-1 for Bt2.3 billion was put forward by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan.

The Cabinet gave the nod for the purchase with budgetary commitments in fiscal years 2017-20.

The Army chief will later fly to China to sign the government-to-government purchase contract.

The Cabinet was told that the new VN-1 carriers will be stationed at the First Cavalry Division, the 10th Cavalry Battalion in Nan, and the 7th Cavalry Battalion in Uttaradit.

Thailand will buy 34 Norinco ZBL-09/VN-1 armored personnel carriers from China worth 2.3 billion baht ($68 million) .

Vietnam Received Former South Korean Corvette

8:59:00 PM Add Comment
HANOI, -- As reported in the Asian Web resources in the Vietnamese naval base at Vung Tau is preparing for the official handover ceremony of Vietnamese Navy arrived to former South Korean corvette PCC 761 Gimcheon type Pohang.

PCC 761 Gimcheon was inducted into the South Korean Navy in 1987 and taken out of their composition December 31, 2015. It is one of 24 corvettes type Pohang standard displacement of about 1260 tonnes constructed in several modifications South Korean shipyards in the 1980s and early 1990s. This type includes the well-known and corvette PCC Cheonan is 772, sunk March 26, 2010 as a result of allegedly DPRK torpedo attack submarine. Since 2009, the type of ships Pohang commenced withdrawal from the South Korean Navy, so far excluded from the list of seven ships. Head corvette PCC Pohang 756 is now installed as a museum ship in Pohang, in whose honor and was named.

Decommissioned ship corvette PCC 758 Gyeongju in 2015 was transferred to Peru, and now corvette PCC 761 Gimcheon transferred to Vietnam, and another RCC 762 Chungju is preparing to transfer to the Philippines. It is reported that Philippine sources confirm the upcoming transfer of Vietnam corvette Gimcheon, testifying that his future Vietnamese crew was trained in South Korea at the same time the future of the Filipino crew of the corvette Chungju.

Recall that in 2014 the Colombian Navy also received a similar pattern derived from the South Korean Navy corvette PCC 755 Anyang ( one of the four types of ships Donghae , built in the early 1980s and decommissioned in 2009-2011).

Judging by the published photos of former corvette Gimcheon in the Vietnamese naval base in Vung Tau, before transferring to Vietnam with him was dismantled aft 76mm Universal Compact Gun Mount Oto Melara and both 324-mm triple-tube torpedo launchers for anti-submarine torpedoes, and the forward 40-mm twin Gun Mount Oto Melara Twin Compact replaced by a six-barrel 20 mm artillery installation Navy Vulcan.

The ship has already received the Vietnamese side number "18". For transmitting the Vietnamese Navy, former South Korean corvette PCC 761 Gimcheon type Pohang in Vung Tau (Vietnam), June 2017.