Myanmar Navy Fitted Chinese C-802 Anti-Ship Missiles on its F12 - UMS Kyansittha Frigate

9:39:00 AM Add Comment
NAYPYIDAW, -- Based on a recently released picture, it appears that Myanmar Navy has fitted Eight Chinese made C-802 anti-ship missile launch canisters on board UMS Kyansittha Frigate (hull number F12).

Locally designed and built by Thilawa Naval Dockyard, UMS Kyansittha was commissioned on 31 March 2014. A second vessel of this class was also launched in March 2014.

The class is rumored to be fitted with a mix of Russian and Chinese weapon systems and sensors. India's Bharat Electronics and the DRDO have also signed contracts to supply radar an sonar systems to the Myanmar Navy, systems that will likely be fitted on board the Kyansittha class.

According to the local press, UMS Kyansittha has a reduced radar cross section, a displacement of about 3,000 tons and a length of 108 meters. As many as 6 vessels of this class could be on order by the navy of Myanmar.

Myanmar Navy F12 UMS Kyansittha Frigate fitted with C-802 anti-ship missile canisters during sea trials.


Vietnam's ballistic missile can strike southern China

6:48:00 AM Add Comment
HANOI, -- With an attacking range of 280 kilometers, the Vietnamese navy's 3M-14E Klub-S submarine-launched ballistic missile can be used against China's Hainan and Guangdong provinces when launched from southern Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay, military analyst Andrei Chang, also known as Pinkov, wrote in an article for the Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language military magazine based in Canada.

The purchase of 3M-14E ballistic missiles from Russia makes Vietnam's six Kilo-class 636MV submarines more powerful than their Chinese counterparts. Pinkov said the 3M-14E is only allowed to be exported to Algeria, India and Vietnam. It is not allowed to be installed aboard China's Kilo-class MV submarines yet. In a war between China and Vietnam, the Vietnamese navy is very likely to use the submarines in the vanguard against the PLA Navy.

The Vietnamese subs have also undergone a number of modifications to make them quieter. In a potential operation against China's South Sea Fleet based in Zhanjiang in Guangdong, the ballistic missile can be used in coordination with satellites. Compared to China's 3M-54E ballistic missile which has a range of only 220 kilometers, Vietnam's 3M-14E can reach 280 kilometers. This is enough for the People's Navy of Vietnam to attack critical Chinese naval targets in Hainan and Guangdong.

Russia has transferred all technologies Vietnam needs to operate the submarines. Unlike China, Vietnam does not have the tradition of reverse engineering the military hardware it acquires from Russia. Furthermore, Vietnam has India as its major ally in the region. Pinkov said India may provide more assistance to Vietnam than Russia since they operate Kilo-class submarines in waters of a similar temperature. However, a source said that both countries have to send their submarines back to Russia for overhaul.

In addition to Kilo-class submarines, the People's Air Force of Vietnam is likely to deploy its first Su-30MK2 fighters purchased from Russia to Cam Ranh Bay. By 2015, Vietnam is estimated to operate 32 Su-30MK2 in the region. Those fighters can increase Vietnam's force projection capability against China over the disputed Spratly islands.

Vietnam Kilo-class submarine anchored at Cam Ranh Bay.

RMN ships sail tonight to join search - Missing AirAsia flight

6:09:00 AM Add Comment
KUALA LUMPUR, -- Three Royal Malaysian Navy ships will sail tonight to join the search for the missing Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said on Sunday that they were the KD Pahang, KD Lekir and KD Lekiu with a Fennec helicopter onboard.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force would deploy a C130 aircraft to assist Indonesia with the search and rescue operation.

The Defence Ministry and the Malaysian Armed Forces were ready to provide any assistance required by Indonesia in the search and rescue mission.

Hishammuddin in a statement said he had spoken to the Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and noted that Malaysia was ready to be of service if needed by the Indonesian government in the spirit of Asean solidarity.

 "I have instructed the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy Laksamana Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar and the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force Jeneral Datuk Seri Roslan Saad to remain in close contact with their Indonesian counterparts for any further developments.

"Separately, I have also spoken to the Singaporean Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen regarding this matter to reaffirm our commitment in the search and rescue efforts. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the passengers, crew members and families of all on board QZ8501," said Hishammuddin.

Flight QZ8501 left Surabaya at 5.35am (Surabaya time) enroute Singapore but lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control at 7.24am (Surabaya time). It was scheduled to reach Singapore in 8.20 am.

The Airbus A320-200 carried 162 passengers and crews.

The KD Lekiu, one of the warships in the Royal Malaysian Navy fleet on patrol  tonight to join the search for flight QZ8501.

Philippine Navy to set up centers of maritime domain awareness; to acquire new Weaponry

5:24:00 AM Add Comment
MANILA - The Philippine Navy (PN) Announced on Friday that it will establish a coast watch centers and related facilities in the northern part of the country.

The move is in line with the objective of boosting its maritime situational awareness capability.

furthermore , in a related development, the Navy Also Announced that it is acquiring "shoulder-Launched multi-purpose assault weapons" (SMAW) to give its Marine units the capability to neutralize bunkers and lightly armored vehicles.

Maritime domain awareness capability Refers to the ability of a nation's armed forces to detect, monitor, and, if needed, drive away Intruders from its territorial waters.

Reviews These were Announced by PN vice commander Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad without divulging the exact figures and locations for security s good.

Taccad said the strategic goal of maritime situational awareness, "as stipulated in our Archipelagic Active Defense Strategy, is to Ensure effective support of maritime information in order to facilitate effective decision-making for credible deterrence and support to national and regional cooperation for maritime security and development and governance."

This project , he Disclosed, is now undergoing pre-bidding, the PN vice commander added.

The SMAW, on the other hand, "is to fill the gaps in the direct fire support weapons capabilities of the Marines against different bunkers, concrete walls, light armor and other hard and 'soft' targets, "vice commander Rear Admiral PN Taccad Caesar said.

It is defined as a "rocket weapon with a maximum range of 1,500 meters. It will be issued to Marine special units WHO accompany fellow Marines in possible encounters with heavily-armed adversaries or fortified.

The weapon can be used for internal security and territorial defense operations.

Taccad added that SMAW is now undergoing evaluation and study by the Defense Acquisition System ad hoc committee.

Shoulder Launched Multi-Purpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) MK-153 Mod 2 launcher.


INDUSTRY: Raytheon Awarded Contract to Produce AMRAAM for Singapore and Thailand

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WASHINGTON, -- Raytheon Co., Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $ 491,478,068 firm fixed-price incentive type contracts for Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) production Lot 28.  Contractor will provide AMRAAM missiles and other items AMRAAM system.

The system includes the AMRAAM missile, missile training captive water, common munitions bits / reprogramming equipment, and non-developmental item airborne instrumentation unit. Work will be performed at Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by Feb. 28, 2017.

This contract Involves the foreign military sales to Korea, Oman, Singapore, and Thailand.

This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2014 Air Force and Navy production funds in the amount of $ 278,874,197 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8675-15-C-0022).

 Raytheon - AIM 120 (AMRAAM) Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.  A modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather day-and-night operations.

Indonesia mulls Be-200 amphibious aircraft for maritime patrols

7:00:00 AM Add Comment
JAKARTA, --  The Indonesian Air Force (Tentera Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU) has submitted a request to President Joko Widodo to acquire at least one amphibious jet for the service, TNI-AU Chief of Staff Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Ida Bagus Putu Dunia told local reporters on 22 December.

Upon acquisition, the TNI-AU plans to deploy the aircraft at areas along the country's maritime borders that are prone to foreign vessel incursions.

The air force wants to play a part in the new administration's vision of a 'maritime nation'.

Amphibious aircraft said to be a suitable platform for Indonesia's vast archipelagic waters.

The Beriev Be-200 Altair Russian multipurpose amphibious aircraft.

Military eyes 2 more naval bases in Palawan

6:53:00 AM Add Comment
MANILA, -- Aside from the Ulungan Bay naval base in Palawan, defense and military officials are eyeing construction of two more naval bases that could accommodate various types of vessels to help secure the West Philippine Sea.

The planned naval base is expected to be the home of new warships that would arrive starting next year from defense contractors abroad.

Aside from the guided missile boat Pohang Class corvette that South Korea is giving to the Philippine Navy (PN) for free, the government is also expecting delivery of two brand new frigates from the South Korean government and two strategic sealift vessels (SSV) and other vessels it procured from Indonesia.

“To avoid port congestion in the future, we are building more naval bases in Palawan,” an informed source bared, adding the military leadership is now looking to Japan to supply the Navy with patrol vessels after the country relaxed its export ban on military equipment.

At present the Navy is developing the Ulugan Bay Naval Base that would be home to its Naval Forces West (Navforwest) and transform the nearby Oyster Bay into a modern naval facility.

Ulungan Bay is directly facing the West Philippine Sea where tension has been mounting due to the massive maritime claim by China in line with its “creeping invasion” of almost the entire South China Sea.

The Philippines, with a weaker military, could only oppose China’s action through legal measures before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) that Beijing has rejected.

For security reasons, the source declined to give the location in Palawan of the planned additional Navy facilities that would soon rise.

The source said once the naval facilities become operational it would be much easier for the Navy to respond to any kind of maritime disaster and security emergencies in the region.

The Ulugan Bay naval station is near Oyster Bay, an area facing the West Philippine Sea and one of the sites that the military wants to develop.

The AFP wants to offer Oyster Bay as a possible site for the US facilities to be built under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Military officials are hopeful that the EDCA, which provides US troops greater access to Philippine bases, will facilitate the development of the site.

The government has allotted P500 million to develop the Ulugan Bay base, including P313 million to improve the pier, harbor and support facilities at Oyster Bay.

SOUTH CHINA SEA, - The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), the Philippine navy frigate BRP Gregaorio del Pilar (PF-15), the Philippine navy frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) and the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) steam in formation during CARAT 2014.


Beijing set up South China Sea ADIZ in secret: Kanwa

6:25:00 PM Add Comment
BEIJING, -- China secretly set up an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the disputed South China Sea before the incident in August where a PLA Navy Air Force's J-11 fighter intercepted a US P-8 patrol aircraft, according to Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language military magazine based in Canada.

Unlike the establishment of the ADIZ in the East China Sea in November of last year, the creation of a South China Sea ADIZ was never announced, the magazine said, and the US Navy aircraft was intercepted because it had entered the area.

While China has a dispute only with Japan in the East China Sea, it is in contention with several of its neighbors over territories in the resource-rich South China Sea, making the establishment of an ADIZ more sensitive as an implied assertion of China's sovereignty claims.

Atr the same time, Beijing has been seeking to improve its relations with Southeast Asian nations through holding the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders' Week in Beijing. Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia may have refused to send representatives to Beijing to attend the meeting in November if China had announced it had decreed that the entire airspace over the South China Sea should be subject to its inspection.

However, the presence of the US military aircraft in the region is still considered a threat by the PLA. The P-8 flying over the South China Sea had apparently taken off from a US base in Okinawa. Kanwa said the plane was tracked and monitored by the PLA's coastal radar systems before being intercepted by a J-11 fighter taking off from Hainan. As the J-11 has a longer range than the earlier J-8, it was able to follow the patrol plane for an extended period of time.

The East China Sea ADIZ (blue hashes) and what may be an undeclared ADIZ in the South China Sea in red.


First SSV to be in service by Q2 of 2016 - Philippine Navy

5:33:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Navy (PN) has announced that one of its two strategic sealift vessels (SSVs) will be in service by the second quarter of 2016.

This was confirmed by Navy vice commander Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad in a press briefing, saying the contract price for the two SSVs is PhP4 billion.

"The first unit is expected to be delivered on the second quarter of 2016 and the second unit is scheduled for the second quarter of 2017," Taccad said.

"These ships can be used for military and non-military operations such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, sealift, logistics, rescue operations or as a floating government center platform," the PN vice commander stressed.

He added that the SSVs carries a crew of 126 officers and enlisted personnel. It can also transport a battalion of troops (500 soldiers) and their equipment.

Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL confirmed Friday that it has signed the contract to supply two strategic sealift vessels to the Philippine Navy.

The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Indonesian shipbuilder PT Pal signed the contract for the SSVs last July.

"The SSV is an integral part of the PN's Service Force (logistic) and is needed to accomplish the Navy's missions in different areas," the Navy earlier said.

The ships are estimated to weigh around 7,300 gross register tons.
The SSVs will also be used to improve the PN's transport and lift capabilities.

These missions are needed especially in times of natural disaster of which the Navy is one of the responders.

The ships are capable of acting as mini-helicopter carriers as it is capable of carrying two helicopters at its flight deck and another at its enclosed hangar area.

"SSVs must have helideck capacity for two 10-ton helicopters (based on Sikorsky Black Hawk) and an enclosed hangar for another 10-ton helicopter (also based on the Black Hawk)," a DND supplemental bulletin on the SSVs stated.

With the capability to carry three helicopters, the SSV has the capacity to conduct long range patrol and conduct rescue work.

The DND supplemental bid bulletin also said that the two ships must have a beam of 21 meters and a propulsion system consisting of two diesel engines coupled to two controllable pitch propellers giving it a minimum speed of 13 knots and a maximum of 16 knots.

It should also have a cruising range of 7,500 nautical miles and a crew of 100 to 130 officers and men.

The SSVs must be also capable of carrying two landing craft mechanized/utility at floodable well decks, two RHIB or LCVP on boat davits.

The SSVs must be also equipped with navigation, surface and air search radars, electronic warfare suite, electro-optical fire control system and combat management systems.

It must be armed with one main gun between 40mm to 127mm in caliber and two 30 mm automated cannons and from four to six light machine guns.

Money for the SSVs is sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Modernization Act Trust Fund.

Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) designed for the Philippine Navy.


Navy to Acquire 6 155mm Gun Tubes for Marine Units

12:25:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Navy (PN) is acquiring six 155-millimeter howitzers to improve the fire support and attack capability of its Marine units.

"The project will be an additional capability for the Marines especially in the conduct of fire support for its operating forces," Navy vice commander Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad said.

Aside from the gun tubes, sufficient stocks of 155mm ammunition will be also acquired, he added.

Six 155mm gun tubes are equivalent to one heavy artillery battery.

The weapon has a maximum range of 14,600 meters. The 155mm battery will supplement the existing 105mm guns of the Marines which only has an effective range of 11,270 meters.

"The artillery system (will be) equipped with fire control computers, muzzle velocity radars, inertial navigation and target acquisition systems. It (will) provide the most responsive and accurate fire support to maneuver infantry battalions with maximum lethal effect and larger target range. As of now, the project is for re-bidding," Taccad said.

 U.S. Marines and Philippine soldiers prepare to fire an M777 howitzer during Amphibious Landing Exercise 2013.

Philippine Navy seeks military aid from Japan

12:16:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA - The Philippine Navy is seeking Japan’s assistance to boost security over its maritime territory.

Navy vice commander and Navy Modernization Board chairman Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad said a list of equipment that will be requested from Japan is currently being prepared.

This comes on the heels of Japan’s decision early this year to reinterpret its Constitution and allow the military to exercise a right to
“collective self-defense.”

This move gained criticisms, especially from China, which has been in a tug-of-war with Japan over the East China Sea.

"We need enough vessels to patrol those maritime areas. So the list would probably include patrol vessels and (other) vessels that we can use for HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) for government-support activity,” Taccad said.

Both the Philippines and China have insisted on jurisdiction over areas in the resource-rich South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. The other claimants are Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Navy spokesman Col. Edgardo Arevalo said: "We in the Philippine Navy are the ones preparing the list and seeks Japan's benevolence."

"The list is comprised mostly of HADR equipment like logistics, transport ships, and sea planes, among other capacity-building equipment," he added.

A Maritime Self-Defense Force seaplane takes off during a naval fleet review at Sagami.

Jet-Fighters to Patrol Sabah Skies

12:06:00 PM Add Comment
TAWAU, -- Jet fighters such as the Sukhoi SU-30MKM and Boeing F/A-18, will be patrolling Sabah’s skies in the near future as part of plans to expand Labuan’s airforce base.

Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) air operations commander Lieutenant-General Datuk Seri Affendi Buang said while the BAE Hawk squadron had been based in Labuan since Nov 7, other fighter squadrons would soon be attached there as well.

“There is a Hawk squadron placed here for Sabah, but in the future, aircraft like the Sukhoi and F/A-18 would be deployed to the state,” he said after a working visit to RMAF’s Tawau air operations relief centre here, yesterday.

Affendi witnessed several aircraft sorties demonstrations, including hostage rescue operations performed by the Hawk and helicopter squadrons.

The relocation of the Hawk squadron from the Butterworth base to Labuan was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the tabling of the 2015 Budget in October. It was part of the efforts to strengthen security in the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (Esszone).

Affendi said the presence of the Hawk squadron would instil public confidence in the government’s commitment to ensure the safety of Sabah.

“Placing our fighter aircraft in Labuan is a strategic move to monitor Sabah’s east coast and the South China Sea.

“The Hawk aircraft will help us to strike and intercept. At the same time, we have an air defence radar that detects air traffic. We also will improve our assets from time to time.”

On the announcement by Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri that the armed forces would acquire six attack helicopters to reinforce operations in Esszone, Affendi said this would be done as soon as possible.

“The helicopters would be equipped with Gatling guns, which should be effective in assisting the security teams on land.”

Apas assemblyman Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan who was present, expressed gratitude that security assets in Sabah were given priority.

Royal Malaysian Air Force BAe Hawk short-range close air support and ground attack aircraft.


Armed Forces of the Philippines Awards Harris Corporation an $18 Million Order for Falcon III Radios and Vehicular Communications Systems

4:38:00 AM Add Comment
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- Harris Corporation has been awarded an $18 million initial order to provide the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with Harris Falcon III® tactical vehicular radios and intercom systems. The Philippine Army will acquire the radios for its tactical communications modernization program. The order was received during the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

“This order will accelerate tactical radio modernization for the Philippine Army by providing soldiers with enhanced command and control and situational awareness for real-time decision-making”

Harris will modernize the Light Armored Division of the Philippine Army with the latest Falcon RF-7800V Combat Net Radio integrated into the RF-7800I Intercom Systems. This comprehensive solution for in-vehicle voice and data communications delivers secure tactical network connectivity.

“This order will accelerate tactical radio modernization for the Philippine Army by providing soldiers with enhanced command and control and situational awareness for real-time decision-making,” said Brendan O’Connell, president, International Business, Harris RF Communications. “The embedded encryption will provide secure interoperability with more than 13,000 Harris Falcon radios currently fielded within the AFP.”

Harris RF Communications is the leading global supplier of secure radio communications and embedded high-grade encryption solutions for military, government and commercial organizations. The company's Falcon® family of software-defined tactical radio systems encompasses manpack, handheld and vehicular applications. Falcon III® is the next generation of radios supporting the U.S. military's Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) requirements, as well as network-centric operations worldwide. Harris RF Communications is also a leading supplier of assured communications® systems and equipment for public safety, utility and transportation markets — with products ranging from the most advanced IP voice and data networks to portable and mobile single- and multiband radios.

Falcon III Tactical Radio Systems.

Lift-Off for Balloon Radar to Watch Over Singapore

4:23:00 AM Add Comment
SINGAPORE - A giant helium-filled balloon will float above Singapore from early next year to watch over the Republic's skies and shores day and night.

Known as an aerostat, the balloon will be tethered to the ground and house a surveillance radar that can spot hostile aerial and sea threats from as far as 200km away. These include straying civilian light aircraft, small boats and even mobile missile launchers.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Tuesday that the 55m-long blimp will be deployed from inside a military camp, adding that the balloon will "improve our surveillance capabilities significantly". He however did not disclose the camp's location.

Dr Ng said that the aerostat will complement Singapore's existing early warning and information-gathering systems that are facing increasing constraints, due mainly to the construction of taller buildings that prevent them "from establishing a clear line of sight".

"In order to see far, you have to be very high with no buildings to block you...Our ground-based radar systems can only operate above high-rise buildings," said Dr Ng at his ministry's PRoductivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts (PRIDE) Day awards ceremony held at Nanyang Polytechnic .

"Airborne radars can go around the clock, but that is costly and manpower intensive."

It will be cheaper to launch and operate the aerostat. Dr Ng said the balloon will save about $29 million in operating costs.

Operated by the Republic of Singapore Air Force, the aerostat can hover at a height of 2000ft, or a 200-storey building, and transmit detailed data to the ground immediately. The information will also be shared with other security agencies such as the Police Coast Guard.

Aerostats have been used by law enforcement agencies around in the world since the 1980s. They include the US Customs and Border Protection Agency which uses aerostats to scan the skies for suspicious aircraft activity.


India bids for building frigates for Manila

9:16:00 PM Add Comment
NEW DELHI, -- Even as India is now all set to export its first warship to Mauritius, it is also bidding for an Rs 2,000 crore project to build two frigates for Philippines amid stiff competition from European and South Korean shipyards.

Kolkata-based defence shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) is also gearing up to build four offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for Vietnam under the $100 million credit line extended to it. India is helping Vietnam with submarine and fighter training as well as military equipment, with both being wary of an assertive China in the Asia Pacific region, as reported earlier by TOI.

The export of the 1,350-tonne OPV to Mauritius -- christened CGS Barracuda after being built for $58.5 million - also marks a new milestone for India, whose arms imports are a staggering 40 times the size of its exports.

"This is the first warship export order for any domestic shipyard. We are going to handover the OPV to a delegation from Mauritius in Kolkata on December 20. After this, I hope the interest among our friendly countries to buy Indian warships will go up," said GRSE chairman and managing director Rear Admiral (retd) A K Verma on Thursday.

Though it might be "tough" to bag the Philippines' contract due to the competition from a Spanish, a French and three Korean shipyards, Verma said he was hopeful of stitching up the deal. "We are testing ourselves there," he said.

As for Vietnam, Verma said technical negotiations were underway for the four 140-tonne fast-patrol boats with aluminum hulls. All this could eventually pave the way for India's warship-building industry to come into its own in terms of exports. Incidentally, all the 41 warships currently on order by the Navy are being built in Indian shipyards for well over Rs 2 lakh crore.

NOTE: Inserted picture does not represent the actual acquisition of the project.

Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Kamorta-class Anti Submarine Warfare Corvette.  Indian Navy's next-generation anti submarine warfare  platform.

BHIC Bags RM3.7m Weapons Maintenance Contract from RMN

8:32:00 PM Add Comment
PETALING JAYA, --  Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd's (BHIC) subsidiary, BHIC Defence TechServices Sdn Bhd (BDTS) has been awarded a weapons maintenance contract worth RM3.7million by the Royal Malaysian Navy.

The contract is for the maintenance and supply of spare parts for the 76/62MM Oto Melara Gun, the 40/70MM Oto Breda Gun, the 30MM Oto Breda Gun and the 102MM Light Decoy Launcher for the Royal Malaysian Navy.

A formal contract between the Ministry of Defense, Malaysia and BDTS will be signed at a later date, effective for three years.

BHIC's managing director and executive deputy chairman, Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor said in a statement yesterday: "The defence industry is vital in defending the nation and maintenance of critical assets is an essential component of that objective. We are pleased to be entrusted with this vital task."

KD (KD) Kasturi and KD Lekiu owned by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).


Army Air Forces Procurement Plan Six Helicopter Combat - Senate

6:54:00 PM Add Comment
KUALA LUMPUR, -- Army through the Army Air Force (AF) planned acquisition of six helicopter gunships to carry out effective operations in the East Coast region including Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).

Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri told the Dewan Negara on Thursday that the acquisition is registered as a project under the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (RMK11) that will come. He said the government was well aware of the challenges that must be taken to ensure safety in the East Coast of Sabah including in ESSZone always protected .

"This is due to geographical factors which covers 10 districts along the east coast from Kudat to Tawau, which includes the beaches along the 1,733 kilometer (km) involving 361 islands and cays covering an area of 31.158 square km that covers 42 percent of the area of the state. " Based on these factors, the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) indeed recognizes the ability of helicopter gunships in effectively carrying out operations in the area, "he said. Abdul Rahim was replying to a question from Senator Datuk Jamie Solomon asked whether the Ministry of Defense plans to buy fighter helicopters in time Nearby, on a question and answer session.

In addition, he said that as a first step, the Cabinet meeting on 3 Dec decide turnover 'Gatling Gun' to complete the ATM helicopter armament in the East Coast, especially in Eastern Sabah Security Command (Tescom). " Further, the Malaysian Army in the process of acquisition of 10 adjustable weapons systems Gatling Gun Weapon Mounting 134d with Hybrid System to be installed on the aircraft Agusta A109 LOH, "he said.

 Dillon M134D Gatling Gun on UHMNT Series Huey Mount.


China's L-15 Falcon makes Thailand procurement shortlist

3:40:00 PM Add Comment
BANGKOK, -- China's Hongdu L-15 Falcon has made the shortlist of new advanced jet trainers and light attack aircraft to be acquired by the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), according to the London-based military news publication IHS Jane's.

The L-15 will be competing with America's Textron AirLand Scorpion, Russia's Yakovlev Yak-130, Italy's Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and Korea Aerospace Industries' TA-50 to become one of the four aircraft purchases approved by the Thai government to replace its ageing fleet of Aero L-39ZA Albatros aircraft.

RTAF chief Treetos Sonjaeng reportedly announced the 3.7 billion Thai baht (US$113 million) program on Dec. 13, adding that a decision on the procurement is expected next year.

The main reason for the program is said to be because Thailand lacks the spare parts to maintain its 40 or so L-39ZAs, originally acquired from the Czech Republic during the 1990s. The other factor is the need for a modern platform to expand the RTAF's fleet of 12 JAS-39 "Gripen" fighters delivered between 2011 and 2013, the report added.

Thailand does not have the ability to manufacture its own aircraft, but is hoping that a foreign manufacturer will be able to transfer the necessary technology and knowledge to allow it to maintain and repair the aircraft domestically.

In addition to advanced jet trainers and light attack aircraft, Thailand is also planning to acquire more Gripen fighters and Eurocopter EC725 Caracals, long-range tactical transport helicopters manufactured by Airbus, beginning next year. New fixed-wing and rotary-wing transport aircraft are also said to be needed to replace its old fleet of Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Boeing CH-47 Chinooks.

Chinese Hongdu L-15 Falcon supersonic training and light attack aircraft.

HQ-184 Haiphong Submarine on the Way to Vietnam

3:35:00 PM Add Comment
HANOI, -- Russian-made submarine Project 636.1 HQ-184 Haiphong for Vietnam has officially hit the road on Monday 11/12.

Interfax-AVN news agency said, third Kilo submarines HQ-184 Haiphong in Vietnam were taken on board the transport ROLLDOCK STAR of Dutch and begin the journey of Cam Ranh Bay from Monday 11/12.

HQ-184 submarine was taken in Hai Phong port Verfi Admiralty factory when the ship was about to be brought on board to transport ROLLDOCK STAR journey home.

As usual, shipbuilders ROLLDOCK Dutch continued to be both Russia and Vietnam to trust the charterer 3/6 the submarine Kilo first home.

HQ-184 submarine Haiphong being towed by two tugs, prior to loading onto ships ROLLDOCK STAR.

ROLLDOCK STAR freighters unloading success HQ-184 submarine Haiphong up on board, start making the journey lasts longer than one month to the Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.

Missile-Armed MPACs in the Pipeline for the Philippine Navy

4:25:00 AM Add Comment

MANILA, -- In a bid to improve its territorial sea interdiction capabilities, the Philippine Navy (PN) announced that it will be acquiring missile-armed MPACs (multi-purpose assault craft) to beef up its patrol force.

This was announced by PN vice commander Rear Admiral Caesar C. Taccad during Tuesday's briefing on modernization.

"It will be armed with stabilized weapon system with fire control complemented with a short to medium range missile system," he added.

The MPACs will be designed for territorial sea interdiction operations with maritime situational awareness and limited credible deterrence in the protection of the country's interest at the West Philippine Sea, Taccad stated

"And it may also be used for internal security operations and humanitarian assistance disaster response operations," he stressed.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that it is allocating Php270 million to acquire three missile-armed MPACs.

The money will be sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund of 2000.

The contract includes mission essential equipment.

Mission essential equipment includes day/night electronic navigation systems, communication suites, safety-of-life-at-sea, propulsion system and seamanship and ship-handling gears.

The PN currently operates a force of six MPACs.

Three of the PN's MPACs are sourced from Taiwan while the remaining three were ordered from Filipino shipbuilder Propmech Corporation, which is based in Subic Bay, Zambales.

These ships are 16.5 meters long, 4.76 meters wide and has a draft of one meter and a top speed of 45 knots.

Each one costs around Php90 million. It has a range 300 nautical miles. The hull is made of high-quality aluminum and is crewed by one officer and four enlisted personnel. It is capable of carrying 16 fully-equipped troopers or two tons of cargo.

The MPAC is capable of operating in territorial waters up to "Sea State 3" (slight waves) without any system degradation. It is armed with one .50 caliber and two 7.62mm machine guns.

A Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) Mk.1 fast military assault craft developed for the Philippine Navy.


New Training Helicopters for RMAF

4:03:00 AM Add Comment
SHAH ALAM, --  A decision will made soon on the company to provide the training helicopters for the Royal Malaysian Air Force under a Private Financing Initiative.

Under the programme, RMAF will receive a number of helicopters for basic and advanced rotary training to replace the Allouette III currently still in service at its training centre (Pulatibang 1) at the Kepala Batas, Alor Setar Kedah.

RMAF chief Jen Datuk Seri Roslan Saad said the decision was expected within the next “one month or so” for the programme. He declined to comment further. Roslan was speaking to the media after RMAF Excellence Service Awards today.

The helicopters under consideration are from the Airbus Helicopters stable namely the latest variants, of the EC120 and the EC135.

Malaysian Defence was informed that several companies had submitted the proposal under the PFI programme, apart from Aerotree Defence and Services Sdn Bhd, which currently leased two Super King Airs, to the RMAF for its multi-engine aircraft conversion training.

Industry sources told Malaysian Defence that the contract for the PFI may be signed at Lima 2015 in March.

Back in 2011, Aerotree signed a letter of intent with Airbus Helicopters to purchase three EC135 helicopters in a training and light utility role, along with options to buy more of these helicopters in the future.

Apart from RMAF future helo pilots, trainees from other services from the Army and Navy also undertake their basic rotary flying at Pulatibang 2.

 Airbus Helicopters EC120B.


PAF fighter pilots to undergo training in S. Korea

11:12:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, - Expecting initial delivery of FA-50 lead-in fighter jets late next year, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is sending its fighter pilots to South Korea for a six-month training in handling the brand-new supersonic aircraft.

PAF’s Air Defense Wing chief Col. Ernesto Okol said that aside from three fighter pilots, they are also sending 32 support personnel to South Korea in March for the much-needed flight and maintenance transition training.

“PAF is sending three of our most skilled instructor-pilots with the highest flying time with relative years (in military service) under their belt, to South Korea to undergo a six to seven months’ training,” Okol said.

He said the three pilots have been flying S-211 jets.

Following his trip to South Korea last week where he personally inspected an FA-50 model at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), President Aquino announced the country would be receiving first delivery of the brand new supersonic fighter jets starting next year.

Under the military’s modernization program, the government purchased a squadron of these brand new lead-in fighter jets through a P18.9-billion defense contract with KAI.

“Our pilots will first undergo basic flying training with their South Korean Air Force counterparts for about two to three months, then they will transition to the jets,” Okol said.

The purchase of the FA-50 fighter jets is seen as a major defense procurement of the government to bring the Air Force back to the sky, which for now is basically lacking in air defense capabilities with the retirement of the last seven F5 fighter jets in 2005.

At present, PAF has only three S-211s trainer jets refitted into fighter planes in its inventory.

During their transition training, the Filipino pilots will be flying the FA-50 jets, which rake the sky with speeds of up to 1.5 Mach, compared to the S-211s that only fly at a maximum 667 kilometers per hour.

“Suffice it to say, we’ll be back to supersonic again,” said Okol, himself an F5 fighter pilot.

He added another package worth about P5 billion for the procurement and installation of avionics and armaments will fully categorize the F50-A lead-in fighter jets into a full combat-capable aircraft.

Aside from the three pilots, a team of two officers and 32 crew will also be sent to South Korea to train in order to handle the maintenance aspect of the fighter jets when in full operation in the country.

On top of this, Okol said PAF is also expecting delivery of a squadron of OV-10 Bronco bombers also next year to augment PAF’s current OV-10 Broncos in its inventory as well as brand-new combat AugustaWestland attack helicopters the government purchased from Italy.

KAI FA-50 Fighting Eagle Light Attack Aircraft.

PTDI to deliver UAVs to Indonesian Air Force

8:41:00 PM Add Comment
JAKARTA, -- State-owned PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) aim to deliver eight indigenously developed Wulung tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems to the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) within the next 12 months, a company official confirmed to IHS Jane's on 16 December.

"The plan is to deliver three Wulung UAVs and a remote ground control station to the TNI-AU before the end of this year and then another eight UAVs in 2015," said the official. Additional remote ground stations will also be delivered to the TNI-AU in 2015, he said. The total requirement is expected to reach a squadron of 12 UAVs, although this has not yet been confirmed.

Indonesian Air Force Wulung tactical unmanned aerial vehicle.


Thai air force prepares bid for light attack aircraft

6:29:00 AM Add Comment
BANGKOK, -- Thailand's military government has approved the Royal Thai Air Force's (RTAF's) plan to purchase an initial four advanced jet trainer (AJT)/light attack aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of Aero L-39ZA Albatros aircraft.

RTAF commander-in-chief Air Chief Marshal Treetos Sonjaeng announced on 13 December that the programme has received government funding of THB3.7 billion (USD113 million). He added that the RTAF is currently considering proposals from several countries. A decision on the procurement is expected in 2015.

IHS Jane's understands that platforms under consideration include the US's Textron AirLand Scorpion, Russia's Yakovlev Yak-130, Italy's Alenia Aermacchi M-346, China's Hongdu L-15, and Korea Aerospace Industries' TA-50: the light attack version of the T-50 Golden Eagle AJT.

A Royal Thai Air Force L-39ZA Albatros.

Philippine Navy's goal: At least 3 submarines

5:46:00 AM Add Comment
MANILA, – The Philippine Navy has formed a submarine office to start the decade-long process of developing people and facilities to prepare them for the possible purchase of submarines, Navy vice commander Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad said in a modernization briefing on Wednesday, December 17.

"Submarines take a lot of gestation period. The rule of thumb in the development of support facilities, the people and technology of operating such a force is 10 years. Now when should we start? We can start now so we can [acquire] 10 years from now," Taccad said.

The first step is the creation in 2013 of a submarine office in the Philippine Fleet "to start developing the necessary skills and infrastructure." It is part of the discussions on what to acquire next after the ongoing P90-billion fresh modernization program is completed.

The second step, Taccad explained, is to have at least 3 submarines. "But if you cannot afford three, get two just like we're getting two frigates and two strategic sealift vessels so they can replace each other during maintenance. If you only procure one and continuously use it, it will only last for 5 years," Taccad said.

One of the weakest in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is modernizing its navy to achieve minimum credible defense in the wake of escalating tension in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Money is an issue. While China and other neighbors are acquiring submarines, the Philippines is pouring its money into the acquisition of patrol frigates for maritime domain awareness or the ability to monitor what is happening in its waters.

"Maganda sana kung mayroong (It would be great if we could have) submarines, frigates and the multirole fighters. But we need to prioritize so we prioritized the multirole fighters and the frigate," said Taccad.

The Philippine government allotted P90 billion to the military's modernization. The P18.9-billion frigates for the Navy and P18-billion fighter jets for the Air Force are the two big-ticket items that it funded.

"The system of defending the country involves several types of capabilities. The first capability will be what we can afford and yet cover a large space and this will be the patrol vessels. These are low-tech equipment, and low-cost. You can have more and cover a large space," said Taccad

The next stage of modernization is where the submarines can play a role. If the patrol vessels are harassed, for example, the more sophisticated assets like submarines can serve as deterrence to "scare off" intruders.

"If there's a confrontation, we need a capability to protect our patrol vessels so they will not be harassed. These are the high-tech weapon system, which is more sophisticated and therefore costly. We may use frigates with missile capability just to scare off...or it could be the submarines as deterent," said Taccad.

The Chang Bogo Class Type 209 diesel-electric attack submarine intended for service with the South Korean Navy and Indonesian Navy. Reports as of May 2011 indicate that the Philippine Navy is eyeing the purchase of its first submarine not later than 2020, although no further details were provided The “Philippine Fleet Desired Force Mix” strategy concept publicly released on May 2012 indicates the requirement of at least 3 submarines for deterrence and undersea warfare to be available by 2020.

Russia confirmation four Su-30MK2 fighters to Vietnam

4:09:00 AM Add Comment
HANOI, -- Vietnam has received 2 Su-30MK2 new in early December and will continue to receive two more aircraft by the end of the month.

Interfax-AVN military news citation Russian diplomat said Wednesday 12/12, factory Sukhoi in Komsomolsk-on-Amur has started providing multi-purpose fighter Su-30MK2 new to Vietnam Men under a contract signed in 2013.

"Two out of 12 Su-30MK2 contract in 2013 was handed over to Vietnam in early December last," the source said.

According to this source, the end of the month 12/2014, Sukhoi will continue handing Su-30MK2 2 Next, the remaining 8 units will be handed over in 2015.

According to the newspaper Militaryparitet 2 Su-30MK2 new, bearing number 8583 AND 8584 was a super-heavy transport aircraft An-124-100M Ruslan company Volga-Dnepr Airline (Russia) were transported to the airport Danang on Friday 6/12. All 12 Su-30MK2 aircraft in a deal worth $ 600 million signed in 2013 were produced at the factory air Gagarin (KNAAPO) of the company Sukhoi in Komsomolsk-on-Amur not be produced at home Irkut air conditioning as previously rumored.

Up to now, Vietnam has purchased 36 Russian Su-30MK2 fighters to strengthen the capacity of the air force. These include 4 units in the first contract to buy 2003, 8 units purchased in 2009, 12 in 2010 and the purchase buy 12 more aircraft in 2013.

Vietnam People's Air Force Su-30MK2 All-weather, long-range strike fighter.


Pentagon to Send 250 MRAPs Back To Iraq to Fight ISIS

4:18:00 PM Add Comment
WASHINGTON, -- The Defense Department plans to bolster the Iraqi National Security Forces for the fight against ISIS with MRAPs, the heavily-armored vehicles that Defense Secretary-designate Ashton Carter steered through a rapid acquisition process to counter roadside bombs.

The Pentagon is expected to send about 250 of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to Iraq early next year, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said at a news briefing.

The Iraqis likely will not have to pay for the vehicles. Other Pentagon officials said that the transfer of the MRAPs would probably be done as “Excess Defense Articles,” which would allow the Defense Department to give them to the Iraqis with State Department approval.

Currently, there are about 1,500 MRAPs in Kuwait with U.S. forces there, and the 250 for the Iraqis would likely come from that lot, the officials said.

U.S. forces left behind MRAPs for the Iraqis when combat forces were withdrawn in 2011, but ISIS stole most of them earlier this years as Iraqi forces fled and left behind their equipment. U.S. Central Command has since reported destroying several MRAPs in airstrikes.

The agreement for the Iraqis to take the MRAPs followed discussions earlier this week in Baghdad between outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Iraqi officials on the needs of the Iraqis for more equipment and heavy weapons for ground forces.

“No specific list was submitted” by the Iraqis to Hagel but “airstrikes are not the panacea” in uprooting the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from entrenched positions in major cities, Kirby said. “Everybody realizes that.”

As the former undersecretary for acquisitions and deputy secretary at the Pentagon, Carter made the fielding of the MRAP his top priority as casualties among U.S. troops mounted in Iraq and Afghanistan from the improvised explosive devices that took a heavy toll on Humvees and other lightly-armored vehicles.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made Carter the head of an MRAP task force to geet the vehicles to the field quickly. Gates later wrote that Carter and his team “implemented the largest defense procurement program to go from decision to full industrial production in less than a year since World War II.”

Eventually, nearly 28,000 MRAPs were produced at a cost of about $45 billion, and more than 24,000 were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.

President Obama noted Carter’s work on the MRAP as he nominated Carter to succeed Hagel earlier this month. “When our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were struggling to defend against roadside bombs, he moved heaven and earth to rush new body armor and vehicles” to the combat zones, Obama said.

Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles in the staging yard at Charleston Naval Weapons Station, S.C.

China offers military help to Iraq to defeat ISIS

4:01:00 PM Add Comment
BAGHDAD, -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafari says that his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, has made an offer to help Iraq fight Islamic State militants. Beijing has volunteered to assist with airstrikes, though it will not join the US-led coalition against ISIS.

The conversation between the ministers took place during a UN anti-terrorism meeting in New York back in September, the Financial Times reports.

China’s offer is a step away from its official policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, although it does sell weapons to many other nations.

“[Mr Wang] said, our policy does not allow us to get involved in the international coalition. I welcomed this initiative. I told him…we are ready to deal with the coalition and also co-operate with other countries outside this coalition,” Jafari told the Financial Times.

China’s Defense Ministry declined to comment. However, Hong Lei – a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry – did say that Wang had told Jafari during their meeting that China backed Iraq’s efforts to strengthen its ability to fight terror via intelligence exchange and personnel training. He refused to comment on whether China was supplying air support or missiles to Iraq.

“China has been fighting terrorism and has been providing support and assistance to Iraq, including the Kurdish region, in our own way, and will continue to do so within the best of our capabilities,” Hong told the newspaper.

China is the biggest foreign investor in Iraq’s oil industry, and will lose billions if the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) manages to take over the country’s oil fields. The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has already had to abandon its oilfields in Syria.

The ISIS advance has been mostly halted, and the militants have suffered minor military setbacks as a result of US-led airstrikes. Iraq has made slow progress reclaiming territory in the north and west of the country, and the city of Mosul is still in the hands of the Islamic State.

Jafari added that Baghdad does not want overseas soldiers on its territory due to concerns that it would lead to anti-foreigner sentiment among Iraqis.

Two J-10 A Vigorous Dragon fighter jets of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) refueling from the PLAAF's H-6U Badger Aerial Refueling Tanker.


Aquino checks fighter jets to be acquired from S. Korea

9:40:00 AM Add Comment
BUSAN, -- PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III inspected Friday model of FA-50 fighter aircraft that the Philippines has been purchasing from South Korean firm to boost the Armed Forces of the Philippines' defense capability.

Before heading for Manila, Aquino met with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) President and Chief Executive Officer Sung Yong-ha and Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force officials at the Gimhae Airbase for the inspection of the fighter jets, worth P18.9 billion.

Manila has acquired 12 FA-50 fighter jets from the state-owned Korean aerospace firm.

The Philippines' defense deal with South Korea aims to bolster the Philippine military’s defense capability amid increasing tensions in disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, who accompanied the President in Busan, South Korea, said that during the bilateral meeting between Aquino and South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Thursday, Aquino conveyed the Philippines’ intention to pursue a comprehensive strategic partnership with the Republic of Korea.

"He noted that the two countries are ‘sister democracies’ that ‘face the same threats and challenges of an evolving region’, while sharing the ‘values of freedom, respect for human rights, and adherence to the rule of law’," Coloma added.

He also said regional security concerns were discussed during the bilateral meeting as the two leaders reviewed the situation in the Korean Peninsula and in the West Philippine Sea.

“President Aquino reiterated the Philippines’ support for efforts on the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the early resumption of the six-party talks,” he said.

Aquino is set to arrive in Manila Friday night after his two-day trip to Busan where he attended the 25th anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Nations-ROK Commemorative Summit.

Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, President Benigno S. Aquino III inspected FA-50 aircraft at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Ltd. in Busan, South Korea.