Malaysia Signed Deal for UK Made SAMs

10:16:00 PM Add Comment
SHAH ALAM, -- Malaysia has signed the deal for the procurement of the Thales Starstreak V-Shorads, ahead of the official visit of the UK Prime Minister on  Thursday.

Industry sources told Malaysian Defence that the deal

involved Global Komited Sdn Bhd which will supply the GM-K1 vehicles and Thales UK, the producer of the Starstreak V-Shorads. The deal will also include light weight multiple launchers, radars and command and control system.

Global Komited, a subsidiary of Weststar Group and Thales signed the agreement to market the Starstreak system to the Malaysian Armed Forces at  DSA 2014.

The Starstreak will replace the Thales Starbust V-Shorads which had been used in the air defence of military bases.

As the signing today is for the LOA, the  LOI for the deal would have been signed much earlier but was kept under wraps until today.

David Cameron, the UK PM will be in Kuala Lumpur Thursday for a 12 hour visit, the last leg of his  South East Asia tour and the first to the region since his recent re-election.

The Starstreak deal is the only defence item procured during the visit.

The Starstreak Anti-Aircraft Guided Missile System a low-level short range air defence (SHORAD) system.

Argentina chooses Israel over China for fighter jet purchase

9:59:00 PM Add Comment
BUENOS AIRES / BEIJING, -- Argentina has decided not to purchase the FC-1 Xiaolong, a multirole fighter jointly developed by China and Pakistan also known as the JF-17 Thunder, reports the Shanghai-based Guancha Syndicate.

Argentina has gone opted for Israel Aircraft Industries' Kfir Block 60 as its next-generation multirole fighter. Though the Xiaolong's lower price had been attractive, China refused to provide anti-ship missiles under diplomatic pressure from the UK, according to the Moscow-based Military Parade.

The price of the Xiaolong would not have been too much of a bargain in the end, since Argentina had insisted that China install avionics and weapons systems purchased from Israel as part of the deal.

Israel Aircraft Industries has declined to comment.

Internet users from Pakistan mocked Argentina's choice, saying the Kfir is an obsolete military aircraft introduced in the 1980s. It currently serves with the Israli Air Force in a ground attack role instead of aerial combat. Additionally, Argentina will be buying previously used planes.

The Colombian Air Force Kfir C12 in flight.


China converting old frigates into coastguard cutters

12:16:00 AM Add Comment
BEIJING, -- Work appears to be underway to modify a number of Type 053H2G 'Jiangwei I'-class frigates for transfer from the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to the China Coast Guard.

Photographs show two 'Jiangwei I' frigates alongside at a naval shipyard in Pudong, Shanghai, one of which has had most of its armament removed and the hull painted white. Limited work has been undertaken on the second so far.

According to IHS Jane's Fighting Ships , four ships of the 'Jiangwei I' class were built and commissioned between 1991 and 1994. With a length of 112 m and beam of 12 m, the ships displace around 2,300 tonnes in naval guise, with 2 shafts driven by two diesel engines.

The ship undergoing modification has had the YJ-83 anti-ship missile launchers, HQ-61 surface-to-air missile (SAM) launcher and the twin 100 mm gun turret removed, as well as the two aft twin 37 mm gun mountings. The two forward twin 37 mm mountings are currently still in place.

China appears to be transferring at least two of its Type 053H2G 'Jiangwei I'-class frigates from the People's Liberation Army Navy to the China Coast Guard.

F-35 Lightning II - last of the manned fighters?

12:06:00 AM Add Comment
WASHINGTON, -- Wiith the US Marine Corps set to declare initial operating capability for its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) before the end of July, many are again asking if there will ever be another manned fighter, or if the JSF truly is the last of its kind.

The history of military aviation is littered with false predictions pertaining to the demise of the traditional notion of the fighter aircraft. In the United States the Vought F-8 Crusader developed in the mid-1950s was nicknamed 'the last gunslinger' in the mistaken belief that all fighters to follow would carry missiles only.

The United Kingdom went one step further in 1957 when its Defence White Paper boldly stated that manned fighters would be replaced completely in the coming years by surface-to-air missiles; an erroneous projection that ultimately proved disastrous for the UK's defence aerospace sector.

Most recently, in April of this year US Navy (USN) secretary Ray Mabus was daring enough to state that the F-35 "should be, and almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly".

Whereas previously the end of manned fighters had been based on developments in the fields of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, today it is the rise of unmanned technologies that threaten to herald the extinction of the fighter pilot.

Whatever you want to call them - be it unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned aircraft systems, remotely piloted aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft systems, or even the ubiquitous 'drones' - unmanned aircraft have proliferated exponentially since they first appeared over the battlefield in the early 1980s.

Pioneered by the Israel Defense Force as a means of neutralising enemy air defence systems (the idea being that the surface-to-air missiles would engage the UAV, exposing their positions to the manned fighters following), they have over recent years gone on to carve something of a niche for themselves as the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platform of choice over the skies of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and beyond. In addition to their ISR role, UAVs of all classes have taken on offensive capabilities with the integration of adapted and purpose-built munitions, and look set to take on more roles as their capabilities are expanded and their performance improved.

For their proponents, unmanned aircraft offer the prospect of zero casualties (on the side that is operating them, at least), as well as reduced development, acquisition, operating, and support costs when compared with manned fighters.

However, while it is certainly true that relocating the pilot from the cockpit to the ground does remove him or her from harm's way, it is certainly not a victimless endeavour on the part of the operators. UAV pilots have reported high levels of psychological illness following long periods of exposure to 'remote-control' warfare, in which they actively participate in the killing of combatants during their working day, returning to normal family life at the end of their shift. While fighter pilots are certainly exposed to more physical danger when conducting combat operations, being deployed with their peers and comrades provides a support structure not available to their unmanned counterparts.

Also, having a pilot in the cockpit exposed to the dangers of warfare might actually be preferable from a political standpoint. The use of UAVs has proven to be highly controversial, with one of the main reasons being that the lack of any danger to the operating nation lowers the threshold for their use. It is of no consequence to those protesting their use that unmanned aircraft are subject to the same rules of engagement (RoE) as manned aircraft (this is certainly true for air forces, although the RoE of secret security organisations such as the CIA are not known), the fact that they are unmanned somehow makes their use 'unfair' and therefore immoral. A manned aircraft performing the same mission is unimpacted by such philosophical considerations.

In terms of comparing the development, acquisition, operating, and support costs of manned and unmanned aircraft, it is unfortunate for the former that the rise in UAVs has coincided with the birth of the F-35; a project that in the popular consciousness has become something of a byword for profligacy and waste in the defence industry.

When set against the USD1.5 trillion being spent on the F-35 (the most expensive defence programme in history), it is not hard to point to UAVs being a cheaper and more cost effective solution all-round. However, such a comparison would be erroneous, as it would not be comparing like-for-like.

While the F-35 has been built for full-spectrum warfare in denied environments, current UAVs are suited only for ISR and light strike operations in relatively permissive environments - any air threat will all but nullify the use of unmanned aircraft over any battlefield today. Certainly, efforts have already been initiated to develop and build the next-generation of unmanned aircraft that will be able to operate in denied environments, such as the United States' Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) programme, the Franco-British Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and the pan-European nEUROn, but such vehicles are still likely to face the same political challenges to their use as do today's generation of UAVs.

Also, the term 'unmanned' is something of a misnomer, in that the pilot has not been removed from the equation but only relocated to the ground. Paradoxically, today's unmanned aircraft actually require at least as many (and often more) personnel to operate and sustain than do manned fighters. A manned Gripen fighter, say, has one pilot to fly the mission, whereas an unmanned Reaper UAV has a two-man team to launch the aircraft in theatre, this team then hands over the mission portion of the flight to a two/three-man team in the United States, before taking control again for recovery - up to five crew in all. Both platforms require comparable levels of infrastructure and manned support, and so it is hard to see where the manpower and fiscal savings promised by UAVs might actually come from, at least in the near to medium term.

Setting aside Mabus' comments on the F-35 being the last manned fighter that the navy will fly, the Pentagon has actually already begun the process of developing the JSF's replacement and it is not (necessarily) unmanned.

The US Air Force and USN have kick-started what they term to be 6th Generation fighter programmes (referencing the F-35's 5th Generation tag) in the Next Generation Tactical Aircraft (Next Gen TACAIR) programme. Launched in early 2013, Next Gen TACAIR is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-led effort that is at the next generation of air dominance systems and platforms.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman have each indicated their plans to develop aircraft and compete any future 6th Generation requirement, with the first two releasing conceptual drawings of what their respective aircraft might look like; both of which feature cockpits. While these potential offerings are still very much in their conceptual stages, they are said to feature many of the stealth characteristics synonymous with 5th Generation fighters, but also futuristic enhancements in the fields of propulsion, structures, and avionics. Of perhaps more relevance to the issue as to whether the F-35 will be the last manned fighter, these 6th Generation platforms will likely be optionally manned rather than unmanned.

The concept of an optionally manned platform has a number of advantages over purely manned and unmanned solutions that would strongly suggest that this is the way forward for future fighter designers. Optionally manned provides the best of both worlds, in balancing the reduced risk to aircrews of unmanned with the unparalleled flexibility and capability afforded by a human pilot.

Indeed, the capability request for information for Next Gen TACAIR specifically called for the development of an optionally manned aircraft, serving to underline the direction in which future fighter design is progressing. With Next Gen TACAIR setting out an initial operational capability of approximately 2030, the resulting aircraft would likely serve alongside the F-35 for a number of years before eventually replacing it, amply demonstrating that the death of the fighter pilot is not quite yet nigh.

The F-35  Lightning II pilot wears a 400k USD Helmet Mounted Display System. It integrates FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red) and DAS (Distributed Aperture System) imaging, night vision and a virtual HUD (Head Up Display) that makes the F-35 the first front line combat plane without a “conventional” HUD.

Taiwan Aims to Procure MH-60R Seahawk ASW Helicopters to Modernize Fleet

10:00:00 PM Add Comment
#TAIPEI, --Taiwan's Navy seeks to procure eight to 10 MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters via the US Foreign Military Sales program to replace aging MD500 "Defender" helicopters, a local defense industry source said.

An announcement is expected by the end of this year and a possible letter of acceptance in 2016, the source said. A US-based defense industry analyst said the deal was estimated at $700 million to $800 million.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense confirmed that the MD500s are scheduled for retirement and that it was seeking a replacement.

The revelation comes on the heels of news that Lockheed Martin will acquire Sikorsky Aircraft, maker of the Seahawk, from United Technologies for $9 billion. The new Seahawks will also augment the Navy's existing inventory of 18 S-70C(M) ASW helicopters now in operation.

"Some of the older S-70s' mission equipment and avionics is outdated," the defense industry source said. The MH-60Rs will be able to take up some of the heavy lifting.

"This is good news. The MH-60R program is essential to Taiwan's maritime security and represents an important new capability for the ROCN," said Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president, US-Taiwan Business Council, Arlington, Virginia. "The main issue is ensuring the budget is suitable for a program of this cost as Taiwan's ruling party continues to underinvest in the defense budget.

"It is also noteworthy that if the MH-60R LoR is accepted this fall it will be the first new program for new equipment that would result in a new capability since the autumn of 2006. This in the face of ongoing reporting by the Bush and Obama administrations that the cross-strait military threat expands annually."

Taiwan's Navy has two S-70C(M) ASW squadrons, the 701 and 702, formed in 1991 and 2000, respectively. The Navy also has an active ASW squadron (501) of 10 MD500 Defender helicopters procured in 1980.

The MD500s are now "worn out" and "couldn't find a submarine unless it was washed up on the beach," the defense industry source said. They could still use some of the MD500s for pilot training, but they are finished as an operational platform, he said.

Taiwan has been beefing up its ASW missions with the replacement of two squadrons of Northrop Grumman S-2T Turbo Trackers with 12 refurbished P-3C Orion ASW aircraft.

In 2010, the US announced a $3.1 billion deal for 60 UH-60M helicopters to be delivered 10 a year until the final transfer in 2018. "It's not a production problem, it's a rate of delivery the military wants for training reasons," the local defense industry source said.

However, after 700 people were killed by Typhoon Morakot in 2009, Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou announced that 15 of the aircraft would be given to the National Airborne Service Corps (NASC), under the Ministry of Interior, for humanitarian missions. The NASC has a mix of helicopters for rescue and transport missions: AS365N1/N2, S-76B, UH-1H and B234/CH-47.

Taiwan still needs additional Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters to replace the 15 Black Hawks transferred to the NASC and to replace the 45 remaining Bell UH-1H utility helicopters. These additional Black Hawks would properly equip its third battalion, the 603 Army Aviation Battalion, now outfitted with nine Boeing CH-47D Chinook cargo helicopters and other training helicopters.

The 601 and 602 are outfitted at present with a combination of older AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters and UH-1Hs, and new AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopters.

However, the US-based defense industry analyst said there have been no specifics about "a follow-on UH buy, although replacement for the remaining UH-1Hs is both logical and justified, made all the more necessary by Ma's decision to give 15 Black Hawks to the disaster relief authorities. The better question is: when will the money become sufficiently available to fund such a costly program?"

Taiwan's defense industry/community criticized Ma's decision because the MH-60M was a combat configuration, not for search and rescue. The sudden announcement put pressure on the US government's FMS program to make late adjustments, which resulted in no significant changes in the first nine aircraft.

"The first nine will be the same as the Army variant, except it will include a different radio, the TFM-500 Federated Radio, and a Bambi bucket [for firefighting]," the defense industry source said. The final six for NASC will include the same TFM-500 radio and Bambi bucket, but will also be configured for search-and-rescue operations.

Additional announcements and news are expected next month as Taiwan and US defense industry officials, along with government officials from both Taipei and Washington, gather at the upcoming biennial Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition, Aug. 13-16. So far, 102 exhibitors will display their wares with 265 booths.

US exhibitors will include General Dynamics Mission Systems, Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins. Taiwan exhibitors will include Aerospace Industrial Development Corp., Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, Ministry of National Defense, National Space Organization, Trivet Industrial Corporation, and U&U Engineering. This year the show will include its first UAV exhibition area.

A U.S. Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk, NG 710 166520 of HSM-71 "Raptors" dips the sonar over the Pacific Ocean.

Indian Flankers and Typhoons Dogfight Over Britain

9:14:00 PM Add Comment
LONDON, -- Royal Air Force and Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft are ‘dogfighting’ in a major airpower training exercise in the skies above Britain.

For Exercise Indradanush the IAF has flown their Russian built Flanker jet fighters, along with transport and tanker aircraft, across three continents to train with their RAF counterparts. Designed to reinforce the strategic relationship and enhance the mutual operational understanding between the two air forces, pilots and ground forces from both nations are participating in a series of increasingly complex training scenarios.

The visiting IAF personnel are commanded by Group Captain Astiu. He said:

“Every Air Force has got some plusses and some minuses. We are here to take plusses from the Royal Air Force and we expect they will take a lot of plusses from our side. We are complimenting each other and as far as the Indian contingent is concerned it is action packed and we are enjoying it.”

RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire is hosting four Su-30MKI Flanker fighters whose crews are training with the Typhoon FGR4 equipped 3(Fighter) Squadron. Officer Commanding 3(F) Sqn is Wing Commander Chris Moon:

“This is an exciting exercise for us. In the Typhoon Force we deploy around the world on various exercises so to have an Air Force as respected as the IAF with their Su-30 Flankers is a huge experience for us and we’re really enjoying flying with them.

“It’s only through doing different things that we really learn. We’re working together on the ground, we’re planning and briefing together, flying together in the air and then debriefing and we’re learning a lot from each other.”

Over the course of two weeks the complexity of the training sorties is increasing, starting from one v one dogfights to sorties involving up to 20 fighters. Speaking shortly after his first encounter with the thrust vector equipped Su-30, RAF Typhoon pilot Flight Lieutenant Mike Highmoor had no doubt about the value of the bilateral exercise:

“This is fantastic. It’s the first time I’ve flown against a Flanker this morning and it’s fascinating to see another air force do its thing in a different aeroplane. Flying against an aircraft which is equally comparable to the Typhoon isn’t something we get to fight against on a regular basis in the UK. It’s very exciting.

“It’s an incredibly impressive fighter but the Typhoon is a good match for it.”

The IAF Exercise Director is Wing Commander Joarder who said:

“This is a good way to exchange our experience, share our thoughts and go ahead with working together as a team. The IAF used to be the Royal Indian Air Force so we have a lot of commonality in terms of structure, organisation and training.

“Aviation is not in itself very different, so we also have similar missions, concepts, strategies and tactics as the RAF. So we gain tremendously when we share our experiences together.”

The IAF transport aircraft, a C-17 and C-130J, and Il-78 air-refuelling tanker are training with their RAF counterparts at RAF Brize Norton. The ground element of the exercise is centred on RAF Honington where IAF Garud Commandos are working with their RAF Regiment counterparts including a series of parachute jumps from both nations’ Hercules tactical transport aircraft.

The two week exercise concludes 31 July.

The Indian Air Force Su-30MKI Flanker and Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 Air superiority fighter, Multirole fighter aircraft  during a joint training exercise Indradhanush (Rainbow).

France aiming for two more Rafale offer section by early 2016

8:03:00 PM Add Comment
KUALA LUMPUR, -- France is confident of winning two more foreign orders for its Rafale fighter jet by the beginning of next year as it seeks to extend a spate of recent export successes, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

After failing for years to win an order for its Warplane, France has sold 24 Rafales each to Egypt and Qatar in recent months and is in talks to finalize the sale of another 36 to India.

"There should be two of export contracts for the Rafale by the beginning of next year," not including India, the source said.

"The most advanced discussions are with Malaysia and the UAE," the source added.

In a further development, the source said that France was negotiating with India for further options to supply aircraft on top of the 36 Rafales the country has provisionally agreed to buy.

In April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had ordered 36 "ready-to-fly "Rafale fighters to modernize his country's Warplane fleet, dealing directly with the French government after three years of inconclusive negotiations with the plane's manufacturer, Dassault,

India has signaled any further purchases will come though government channels, raising doubts over the future of the stalled commercial negotiations with Dassault for 126 jets


The recent spate of Rafale export orders has shaken up the global defense market and given fresh momentum to the French Warplane as available production slots begin to dwindle.

Analysts and Diplomats say the appetite for the jets HAS ALSO Risen as a result of the United States' diminishing influence in the Arab world along with wider security concerns.

However, Dassault still faces tough competition from US and European rivals.

Kuwait is expected to announce soon an order for 28 Boeing F / A-18 E / F Super Hornets, a $ 3 billion-plus deal that will keep the jets' St. Louis production line running well into 2019, According to people familiar with the deal. .

Malaysia, the which wants to replace its fleet of Russian MiG-29 fighters, is looking at the Rafale, the F / A-18, Swedish firm Saab's Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

While a Malaysian decision had been expected this year, aviation industry executives have warned that fiscal troubles due to lower oil and commodities prices could lead to delays in placing the order.

Indonesia, the which needs to replace aging US-built F-5s, is Reported to be studying the Rafale, Eurofighter and Russia's Sukhoi Su- 35 as well as Sweden's Gripen and the Lockheed Martin F-16. The Eurofighter consortium comprises Airbus Group, representing Germany and Spain, Italy's Finmeccanica and Britain's BAE Systems.

The French Air Force Dassault Rafale 4th Generation multirole fighter aircraft. The aircraft were developed for the French Air Force and Navy.

Helicopters Airbus Achieves First Factory Acceptance for "HATS" Military Training Helicopter for Australia

7:14:00 PM Add Comment
CANBERRA, -- Airbus Helicopters has Achieved Factory Acceptance of HATS01, the first of fifteen helicopters of the H135 family (EC135 T2 +) for the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) for The Australian Defence Force (ADF),

Boeing Defence Australia as the prime contractor for the new training system for the ADF, joined with representatives of the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army for a Factory Acceptance ceremony for the "ideal training platform for the next generation of Navy and Army pilots ".

Under the JP 9000 Phase 7 HATS project, a new joint helicopter training system for both Army and Navy aircrew will utilize the EC135 T2 + helicopters, along with flight simulators and a new flight-deck equipped sea-going training vessel.

"Airbus Helicopters is thrilled that Boeing and the Commonwealth of Australia have demonstrated Reviews their confidence in our product by accepting this first EC135 T2 +, on time and on budget, as part of a world leading high-tech helicopter aircrew training system for the ADF ", says Peter Harris, Head of Governmental Sales for Australia Pacific.

"Following the contract signature in November of 2014, the first aircraft took to the skies on the 16th of January 2015, and is now accepted by the customer. The next steps involve; training of initial Boeing and Commonwealth aircrews and technicians here in Donauwörth, before shipment to Australia in January 2016 "said Harris.

Boeing's HATS Program Manager James Heading said that during 2015 the Boeing team have been conducting engineering evaluations and ground and flight test activities and have been fully satisfied with the results.

"By partnering with Airbus Helicopters on this important program, Boeing Defence Australia is confident of meeting our requirements towards the Commonwealth for providing a mature and cost effective platform that meets the training, technical and safety requirements and the future needs of the Australian Defence Force, "said Heading.

The EC135 T2 + is a Consummate military training helicopter, offering a glass cockpit with high visibility, a multi-axis auto-pilot, the performance and safety of a twin-engine helicopter replacing the current single types, plus other advanced technologies to help instructors perform training missions safely and provide the ADF with the flexibility to undertake additional missions.

The more than 1,200 delivered H135 helicopters have now clocked up over three million flight hours world-wide. The helicopter is part of successful training systems in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Japan, and is in service in Australia with the Victorian and New South Wales police forces.

An Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) for the Australian Defence Forces.

China’s New Islands Are Clearly Military, U.S. Pacific Chief Says

6:03:00 PM Add Comment
ASPEN, – The top U.S. military officer in the Pacific sternly warned China on Friday to immediately cease its “aggressive coercive island building” in the South China Sea, which he argued was intended clearly for China’s military use as forward operating bases in combat against their regional neighbors.

Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said the U.S. would use military force to defend its interests and its allies against any threats from the islands.

“I believe those facilities are clearly military in nature,” Harris said at the Aspen Security Forum, an annual gathering in Colorado of dozens of top U.S. national security leaders, convened by the Aspen Institute.

In his notably undiplomatic remarks, Harris called on China to show meaningful diplomacy to resolve the territorial disputes. But the four-star admiral also appeared resigned to seeing further construction and eventual deployment of military aircraft and ships.

“They are building ports that are deep enough to host warships and they’re building a 10,000-foot runway at Fiery Cross Reef,” Harris said, referring to one of China’s construction activities in the Spratly Islands that Japan has protested. “A 10,000-foot runaway is large enough to take a B-52, almost large enough for the Space Shuttle, and 3,000 feet longer than you need to take off a 747. So, there’s no small airplane that requires a runway of that length. They’re building rebutted aircraft hangers at some of the facilities there that are clearly designed, in my view, to host tactical fighter aircraft.”

Harris also said he is concerned the islands could be used as a chain of Chinese listening posts. “Certainly, those islands, which are well out in the South China Sea, extends a surveillance network that could be in place with radars, electronic warfare capabilities and the like.” If that happens, he said, American warships could strike them in combat.

“I think those islands, given the capabilities we have, are clearly and easily targets in any combat scenario with China. But they’re also easily seen as forward operating posts.”

“Any increase of capability like that in that area is cause for concern,” Harris said. The U.S. has not yet seen China place any anti-ship missiles or supporting gear on the islands, he added.

The U.S. commander dismissed Beijing’s repeated claims that the island expansions were rightful and peaceful, and said China has shown no credible diplomatic effort to resolve its territorial disputes with neighboring countries.

“Most countries choose to pursue diplomatic means to address their disputes.  China, on the other hand, is changing the status quo in the region through aggressive coercive island building without meaningful diplomatic efforts toward dispute resolution or arbitration,” Harris said, reading opening remarks at his appearance in Aspen. “China is changing facts on the ground…essentially, creating false sovereignty…by building man-made islands on top of coral reefs, rocks, and shoals,” Harris said. “These activities are harming the environment and will not strengthen any country’s legal claims to disputed areas in the South China Sea.

“We call on China to use the mechanisms of international dispute resolution in good faith, and to abide by those decisions as so many of its regional neighbors have already done. China has in the past accused the U.S. of ‘pursuing international hegemony’ and adopting a ‘Cold War mentality’ toward China. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is China’s actions that are inducing its South China Sea neighbors to build stronger relationships with each other and the U.S., driven not by a sudden U.S. effort to increase stability and security within the region, but by China’s conspicuous failure to do the same.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Navy released video taken by its maritime patrol aircraft of Chinese construction crews expanding reefs and building an airbase in the Spratlys.

 Another satellite image taken days later on April 11, show clouds partially covering under-construction airstrip at Fiery Cross Reef (Kagitingan Reef).

US aircraft, with PAF personnel on board, conducts recon flight off Luzon

11:48:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- A U.S. surveillance aircraft with Philippine Air Force (PAF) personnel on board conducted a maritime domain awareness (MDA) flight in the waters off Luzon, the United States Navy said Tuesday.

The flight, staged on June 19, enabled the U.S. Navy Patrol Squadron 45 (VP-45) to demonstrate to PAF personnel the advanced capabilities of its newest maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon.

“Members of VP-45’s Combat Aircrew Eight (CAC-8) detachment to Clark Air Base exercised forward presence and joint interoperability while fostering the longstanding relationship between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. Navy by demonstrating the operational capabilities of the P-8A Poseidon in a maritime capacity,” said Lt. j.g. Robert J. Valentich, VP-45 public affairs officer in a statement emailed to the Manila Bulletin.

The P-8A is the most advanced long range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft in the world. A true multimission aircraft, it also provides superior maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

The Pelicans of Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 hosted members of the Philippine air force and navy aboard a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon for a familiarization flight to increase understanding and showcase the capabilities of the Navy’s newest maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.

Wa army fielding new Chinese artillery, ATGMs

8:57:00 PM Add Comment
NAYPYIDAW, -- As part of a sweeping modernisation process, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) based in northeastern Myanmar is fielding new Chinese towed artillery and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM).

Images seen by IHS Jane's that were taken earlier in 2015 near Panghsang, the capital of the UWSA-administered Shan State Special Region 2 (SR2), show UWSA troops training with Type 96 122 mm howitzers - the Chinese copy of the Soviet D-30 gun produced by China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) - and HJ-8 (Red Arrow-8) tube-launched, optically tracked wire-guided anti-tank missiles (ATGMs).

This marks the first time the UWSA - estimated to number 20,000-25,000 regular troops - has been confirmed to have added either system to its increasingly sophisticated inventory.

The People's Liberation Army HJ-8 or "Red Arrow-8" second generation tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided anti-tank missile system.

Philippines seeks to upgrade its arms manufacturing capability

8:28:00 PM Add Comment
BATAAN, --  The Philippines is set to develop a 370-hectare Defence Economic Zone - one that will allow international manufacturers to set up in the country to help it become self-sufficient in defence requirements.

Aside from welcoming these companies, the Philippines will also be able to benefit from enhanced manufacturing capabilities as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines modernisation programme.

General Arsenal, a unit under the Department of Defence which is tasked with manufacturing weapons and ammunitions, will serve as administrator of the economic zone.

All profits made from the facility will go straight back into the armed forces' modernisation fund, which will be used to develop new local manufacturing facilities and technology.

The aim, according to Jonathan Martir, director of General Arsenal, is for the country to become self-sufficient in terms of ammunition and weapons by 2017.

A number of ammunition companies from South Korea, South Africa and the United States have already expressed their interest in setting up manufacturing facilities to take advantage of the strategic location and tax breaks the zone would offer.

"Some manufactures see us as a hub,” said Martir. “We will manufacture their goods in the Philippines rather than so far away in South Africa. The Philippines is in a perfect political position, some manufacturers see that as well."

Currently, the Philippines only manufactures ammunition and some small-calibre weapons.

During his leadership, President Ferdinand Marcos launched a self-reliance defence programme, where the country manufactured its own M16s as well as jeeps and tactical radios. However, with little funding, defence technology and manufacturing capability were lost over time.

To upgrade and modernise the armed forces, President Benigno Aquino has embarked on a five-year programme totalling US$1.68 billion, equivalent to 75 billion pesos. The plan will see annual defence procurement rising from US$273 million this year to US$500 million in 2021.

The modernisation effort comes at a time when tensions continue to rise between the Philippines and China over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

According to government officials, humanitarian assistance and disaster response and the security of the West Philippine Sea will be the focus for this year's procurements, while internal security operations will take a back seat.

The Government Arsenal (GA) small arms repair and upgrade. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has started repair and upgrade of the AFPs unserviceable firearms.

Vietnamese government looks to boost defence capabilities through Viettel

7:55:00 PM Add Comment
HANOI, -- The Vietnamese government is encouraging the state-owned Military Telecommunication General Corporation (Viettel) to leverage its expanding financial resources to spur defence industrial capabilities.

State-run news agencies reported on 22 July that Viettel's revenues reached VND197 trillion (USD9 billion) in 2014, a 21% year-on-year increase over 2013. In 2015 the company, which employs 85,000 people, is aiming to achieve revenues of VND230 trillion. The financial performance maintains Viettel's position as Vietnam's second-biggest company by revenues behind PetroVietnam.

Commenting on Viettel's development plans in a recent government hearing, the company was called upon to continue its strong economic performance but also to "build itself into a strong group in the defence industry [sector]".

A New military hardware produce by M1 company, part of Viettel Group.

China commissions second Type 052D destroyer, pushes ahead with frigate, corvette launches

7:44:00 PM Add Comment
BEIJING, -- People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) watchers report that the second of the Type 052D 'Luyang III' class destroyers, Yangsha (pennant number 173), was commissioned in mid-July and joined China's South Sea Fleet.

Yangsha is likely to operate from the PLAN base at Yalong Bay on Hainan Island. Although launched only four months after first-of-class Kunming (172), it was commissioned 16 months later, suggesting an extensive programme of trials.

The major change in the weapon systems between the Type 052D and the preceding Type 052C is the installation of a universal vertical launch weapon system capable of firing anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, and land attack missiles. The Type 346 phased array radar has also been modified, so an intensive series of trials would be unsurprising.

Earlier in July, the seventh Type 052D emerged from the building shed at the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard in Shanghai and after launch joined the sixth of class currently fitting out. Photographs showing visible progress on the eighth and ninth hulls have also appeared

Internet observers suggest that progress on the Type 052D destroyer being built at the Dalian shipyard is considerably slower than at Jiangnan Changxingdao. However, this is Dalian's first Type 052D and the pace of production is likely to increase if more orders are received.

Type 054A 'Jiangkai II' class frigates Yangzhou (578) and Handan (579) appear to have been handed over to the PLAN and are believed to have been commissioned, or they will be shortly. They are the 19th and 20th ships of the class. Two more are in build at the Hudong shipyard in Shanghai and a further two at the Huangpu yard in Guangzhou.

On 17 July the latest Type 056 'Jiangdao' class corvette was launched at the Huangpu shipyard. This is the 27th of the class and the eighth to be equipped with variable depth and towed array sonars. Reports suggest that two days later, the 22nd of class, Suqian (504), also an ASW variant, was commissioned. Earlier in the month the sixth Type 056 to be built at the Lushun Liaonan shipyard was launched.

On 10 July, two auxiliaries were commissioned, the semisubmersible Mobile Landing Platform ship Donghaidao (868) and Type 904A resupply ship Junshanhu (961).

The People's Army Liberation Navy Type 052D 'Luyang III' Class Guided Missile Destroyer 172 and 173.

Police Coast Guard commissions new patrol boats, interceptors

7:24:00 PM Add Comment
SINGAPORE, -- The Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) inducted 11 patrol interdiction boats (PIBs) and six Second Generation PK Class interceptors into the service on 21 July.

The vessels were commissioned by Singapore's Deputy prime minister and minister for Home Affairs, Teo Chee Hean. In remarks at the commissioning ceremony, he described the additions as a significant milestone in the PCG's operational capabilities against the backdrop of increasingly complex challenges such as maritime terrorism, piracy, and migration.

"Despite these challenges, in 2014, PCG arrested 46 illegal immigrants attempting to enter by sea, and successfully prevented more than 7,000 suspicious vessels - or 20 per day - from intruding into our waters", said the minister who highlighted that the distance between Singapore's shoreline and its international boundary can be as short as 500 m.

The PIBs have a length of 19 m and are equipped with a stabilised naval gun system with automatic target-tracking capabilities. The vessels feature beaching capabilities, allowing PCG officers to dismount and continue pursuit on land if required. The PIBs have top speeds in excess of 45 kt.

The 14 m PK Class interceptors will be operated by the PCG's Special Task Squadron, which deals primarily with fast-moving seaborne targets. The vessels can reach speeds in excess of 55 kt, according to specifications provided in the minister's address.

A PCG representative told IHS Jane's on 22 July that, although the commissioning ceremony was held to mark the induction of all 11 PIBs and six interceptor craft, delivery of all of the vessels will not be completed until. The boats are manufactured by Taiwanese company Lung Teh Shipbuilding.

IHS Jane's understands that the name of the two PIBs featured at the ceremony are Atlantic Ray (PT 68) and Southern Ray (PT 69), while the interceptor craft has been named White Marlin (PK 21).

Patrol Interdiction Boats on display at East Coast Park on July 21, 2015. The boats can reach speeds exceeding 80kmh.

USS Chancellorsville Begins Patrol Providing Maritime Security to Indo-Asia-Pacific Region

6:54:00 PM Add Comment
YOKOSUKA, -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) departed Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka, for an Indo-Asia-Pacific region patrol, July 22.

Chancellorsville is the latest addition to the Forward Deployed Naval Force (FDNF) in Japan, from her previous homeport in San Diego.

While in San Diego, the ship underwent upgrades to include a new Aegis Baseline 9 system. Chancellorsville arrived in Japan, June 18, and underwent a maintenance period prior to getting underway.

"I am very excited for our first FDNF patrol," said Lt. Corry Lougee, Chancellorsville's operations officer. "It takes a lot of preparation and planning to operate in 7th Fleet and to accomplish all this training. The crew is ready and hungry to tackle all missions assigned."

Chancellorsville, with a crew of more than 350 Sailors, will perform theater security cooperation engagements and maritime security operations while maintaining stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) arrives at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka to join the Forward-Deployed Naval Forces deployed to Japan. Chancellorsville recently completed a combat systems update with the latest Aegis Baseline 9 combat system.

Singapore and US Navies Successfully Conduct Combined Torpedo Firing Exercise and UAV Operations

4:17:00 PM Add Comment
SINGAPORE, -- The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the United States Navy (USN) conducted a successful combined torpedo firing exercise today as part of the 21st Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise. The RSN's Formidable-class frigate RSS Supreme, the Republic of Singapore Air Force's Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter and the USN's MH-60R Seahawk naval helicopter took part in this combined torpedo firing exercise.

This year's exercise marked the first time that both navies employed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to conduct maritime surveillance. The RSN flew its Scan Eagle UAV sorties from its Victory-class missile corvettes, the RSS Vigour and RSS Valour, while the USN deployed its Firescout UAV from the Freedom-class littoral combat ship, the USS Fort Worth.The addition of these unmanned systems provided a new dimension to the conduct of maritime surveillance.

Witnessing the combined torpedo firing and the deployment of the ScanEagle UAV were Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Fleet Commander Rear Admiral (RADM) Lew Chuen Hong, USN Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific RADM Charles Williams, and members of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs (GPC-DFA). They were also hosted to a visit onboard the USS Fort Worth.

Commenting on the successful conduct of the exercise, Colonel Seah Poh Yeen, the RSN's co-Commander Task Group for the exercise, said "CARAT Singapore has increased in scope and complexity over the years. The successful conduct of the combined torpedo firing and the UAV operations underscores the high level of interoperability and trust both navies have achieved."

His USN counterpart, CAPT Fred Kacher, added, "Anti-submarine warfare is an increasingly important mission set, especially in this region of the world. The success of this year's torpedo firing exercise is an example of our navies' close coordination and commitment to build upon lessons learned from previous CARATs."

CARAT Singapore 2015 is ongoing and will conclude on 24 July 2015.

The U.S. Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy working hard together during CARAT  - Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training ‪‎Singapore‬ 2015.

Australian Government transferred two of its decommissioned landing craft to the Philippines Navy

5:42:00 AM Add Comment
CAIRNS, -- Australian Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, was joined at HMAS Cairns today by his Philippine counterpart, Flag Officer in Command Philippine Navy, Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, at the ceremony to gift the Australian Balikpapan class landing craft to the Government of the Philippines.

Super Typhoon Haiyan caused significant devastation to the Philippines in November 2013, and approximately 500 Australian Defence Force personnel, including the crew of HMAS Tobruk and a deployment of Army Engineers, provided in-country support to the relief effort, at the request of the Philippines Government.

The decommissioned vessels, ex-HMA Ships Tarakan and Brunei, were re-commissioned at the ceremony, into the Republic of Philippines Navy as BRP Ivatan (AT298) and BRP Batak (AT299).

With over 40 years service, the versatility of the Balikpapan class resulted in superb logistics support to Australian Defence Force operations in Bougainville, East Timor and the Solomon Islands, and numerous humanitarian aid missions both domestically and through the region.

The two Landing Craft Heavy vessels were formally handed over to the Philippines in a ceremony held in Cairns, Australia. The decommissioned Australian Navy vessels are on their way to the Philippines.

Cambodia’s Military Ties With China Strengthening

5:52:00 PM Add Comment
PHNOM PENH, — Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh made a five-day trip to China last week, meeting with high-ranking military officials and receiving pledges of assistance from the Chinese military.

In an interview last week, Tea Banh, a trusted member of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s administration, told VOA Khmer the visit was successful in bringing military cooperation between the countries even closer. That relationship is closer than Cambodia’s with the US, he said.

Analysts say Cambodia is likely to look more and more to China for support, with tensions growing with its old patron, Vietnam, over border issues. Cambodia and China have enjoyed traditionally strong ties, through late King Norodom Sihanouk in the 1960s.

Those ties noticeably improved after 2012, when as host of an Asean summit, Cambodia sided with China over the contentious South China Sea issue. The following year, China provided Cambodia with a $195 million loan, which bought 12 Chinese Z-9 military helicopters. In May this year, China pledged military trucks, spare parts, equipment and unspecified chemicals.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has often touted the relationship. During the inauguration of a Chinese-funded road in Kampong Som province last month, he told a group of farmers that Cambodian-Chinese relations were at an all-time high, and that the two were moving toward a “comprehensive” partnership. China’s development fund for Cambodia for 2015 was $140 million, up from $100 million the year before, he said.

Tea Banh defended the bilateral relationship, saying Chinese aid comes with no strings, while China has never interfered in Cambodian affairs. He declined to disclose how much aid Cambodia would receive from the latest trip.

Yet analysts warn that China is getting more out of the deal than Cambodia. Chheang Vannnarith, a visiting professor at the University of Leeds, said China needs Cambodia as a partner in Southeast Asia, where competition is rising. Cambodia needs Chinese partnership, as Vietnam moves closer to the US.

“The region is full of complicated competition,” he said: China and Japan, China and the US. “China takes Cambodia in Indochina and the Mekong region to strengthen its sphere of influence in the Asia Pacific.”

In the end, Cambodia is playing a riskier game than China, Chheang Vannarith said. “Once we rely on China so much, we will lose what is called self-determination in foreign policy,” he said.

Paul Chambers, a professor at Chiang Mai University, said China, “a growing super power,” uses Cambodia for influence within Asean, in what he called a “growing cold war” between China and the US. China also hopes to split up Asean, he said.

“I believe that Hun Sen has shown himself in the past and present to be a very good balancer among allies,” he said. “Hun Sen will increasingly welcome Chinese defense sector assistance to Cambodia.”

Hugh White, a professor of strategic studies at Australian National University, told VOA Khmer that the growing military cooperation between Cambodia and China will counter US influence in the region, while bolstering Cambodia’s military capabilities.

“We see America trying to develop closer ties with Vietnam, for example, with last week’s senior Vietnamese visit to Washington,” he said. “China’s willingness to develop stronger defense links with Cambodia is part of this process. However, I doubt that this will go so far as to fundamentally transform Cambodia’s defense posture or sector.”

Last week’s trip by Tea Banh to China comes amid an ongoing diplomatic row with Vietnam over alleged border encroachment. The Beijing visit could signal to Vietnam that “China may be willing to support Cambodia in a border dispute with Vietnam,” White said.

The official handover ceremony of the Chinese Air Force in Cambodia of twelve Z-9 helicopters.

Destroyer USS The Sullivans Damaged After Missile Explodes After Launch, No Injuries Reported

5:06:00 PM Add Comment
WASHINGTON, -- A Navy guided missile destroyer was damaged after a missile exploded shortly after launch during an exercise off the U.S. Atlantic coast on Saturday, Navy officials have confirmed to USNI News.

“On July 18 at approximately 9 a.m. (EDT) a Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) test missile exploded after suffering a malfunction as it was fired from the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) during a planned missile exercise off the coast of Virginia,” read a statement from Naval Sea Systems Command provided to USNI News.

There were no reported injuries and though the ship suffered a small fire on its port side “from missile debris” the destroyer was able to return to Naval Station Norfolk, Va. unassisted, NAVSEA said.

“It is too early to determine what, if any, effect this will have on the ship’s schedule,” read the statement.

The missile, believed to be an older Raytheon Standard Missile 2 Block IIIA, exploded shortly after takeoff and showered the ship with debris sparking the fire on the ship’s port side, according to pictures of the incident obtained by USNI News. The photographs show ignited debris shower the ship and the surrounding ocean. The explosion appears to have occurred slightly lower than the mast of The Sullivans.

The warhead on the missile was unarmed, NAVSEA told USNI News.

Naval Sea Systems Command’s program executive office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) is now investigating the cause of the malfunctioning missile, NAVSEA officials told USNI News.

According to pictures of the explosion obtained by USNI News, a fire broke out on the port side of The Sullivans shortly after the missile launched.

The Sullivans was performing a missile exercise along with the guided missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64) which was not damaged during the incident, USNI News understands.

The SM-2 Block IIIA, first fielded in 1991, was developed to not only handle traditional air threats like fighters but was modified to interdict sea skimming targets like cruise missiles.

While the Navy didn’t comment on why the missile failed, the photos point to a problem with the rocket engines that drove the SM-2.

Largely for safety reasons, the Navy almost exclusively uses solid rocket fuel for its missiles and incidents involving failures of the engines have largely non-existent.

Several experts contacted by USNI News could not recall a similar incident with any other SM-2 missiles.

In 1969, the solid rocket motor of a MK-32 Zuni rocket misfired from a F-4 Phantom onboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) that sparked a fire on the flight deck resulting in the death of 27 personnel.

The following is the complete July 22, 2015 statement from the Naval Sea Systems Command on the July 18 incident.

On July 18 at approximately 9 a.m. (EDT) a Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) test missile exploded after suffering a malfunction as it was fired from the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) during a planned missile exercise off the coast of Virginia.

There were no injuries and only minor damage to the port side of the ship resulting from missile debris. The ship returned to Naval Station Norfolk for assessment. An investigation into the malfunction has been ordered and is being conducted by the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, which is part of Naval Sea Systems Command. It is too early to determine what, if any, effect this will have on the ship’s schedule.

A Raytheon SM-2 Block IIIA guided missile explodes over USS The Sullivans during a training exercise on July 18, 2015.


USAF activates first operational F-35 JSF squadron at Hill AFB

6:56:00 AM Add Comment
WASHINGTON, -- The US Air Force (USAF) has activated the first F-35 Lightning II joint fighter aircraft (JSF) squadron at Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah, US.

Also known as the Rude Rams, the 34th Fighter Squadron was reactivated after being mothballed as an F-16 Fighting Falcon unit in 2010 as part of an USAF restructuring plan to retire planes and save money.

The squadron becomes the first operational air force unit to fly combat-coded F-35 aircraft, and will start receiving the fifth-generation fighters from September.

However, the first group of F-35 maintainers that will make up the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit have been at the base for two months, completing mostly administrative work critical to the forthcoming aircraft transition.

34th Fighter Squadron commander lieutenant colonel George Watkins said the airmen have been writing programmes to maintain the F-35s in peace and wartime scenarios and have created a flying hours programme featuring directives for training, off-station sorties, contingency scenarios, local flying and any major modifications to the aircraft.

The initial group of F-35 maintainers from the 419th Fighter Wing (FW) are in training, and the unit's first pilot scheduled to fly the F-35 will start training this autumn.

The F-35s will be divided among three fighter squadrons and flown and maintained by members of both the 388th FW and its reserve component, the 419th FW.

The airbase will receive a total of 72 F-35s by 2019, with around 35 to 40 pilots in each of the three fighter squadrons.

The 34th Fighter Squadron will have five qualified pilots during the first month of flying, taking turns in what will be two F-35s on base.
Having sent pilots through training at Eglin AFB, Florida, and Luke AFB, Arizona, the 388th Fighter Wing will have ten pilots qualified to fly the F-35 by January 2016.

The base officials aim to have 15 fighters by August 2016 and reach initial operational capability status, which indicates that the fighter wings meet the minimum operational capabilities to use the jet for normal operations.

The 34th Fighter Squadron — known as the Rude Rams— was reactivated at Hill AFB, Utah, on 17 July 2015, marking the beginning of the F-35's combat era for both the active duty 388th and Air Force Reserve Command 419th Fighter Wings.

Israel unveils officially existence of "Pereh" based on Magach tank but armed with anti-tank missile

6:10:00 AM Add Comment
TEL AVIV, -- Israeli army unveils officially the existence of the "Pereh", a Magach main battle tank converted in anti-tank missile combat vehicle. The vehicle is equipped with a missile launch station which can fire the anti-tank guided missile "Tamuz" or Spike NLOS.

The Pereh uses the chassis of the Magach series main battle tank (MBT) which is an upgraded variant of the American-made M48 and M60 MBTs.

The original turret has been enlarged to install a launcher under armour for 12 missile Spike NLOS. The front of the vehicle is fitted with a fake cannon to be identify as standard main battle tank. The Pereh can be easily identified by an curved antenna mounted at the rear on the roof of the turret which is erected in firing position.

The front part of the turret and the hull are fitted with add-on armour to increase protection against anti-tank missile. More stowage box are fitted to each side of the turret.

The first pictures of the Pereh were released on Internet during the Israeli military operation Protective Edge in July 2014. The vehicle was identify has a new version of the Magach series MBT under the name of Magach 8.

Spike NLOS provides the gunner with the unique ability to attack targets at stand-off range with no line of sight. The Spike NLOS weapon system can be operated in either direct attack mode or mid-course navigation mode based on target coordinates. These modes enable the defeat of long-range hidden targets with pinpoint precision, damage assessment and the obtaining of real-time intelligence.

The Spike NLOS electro-optical (EO) seeker incorporates a dual sensor capable of effectively engaging targets day and night and in adverse weather conditions.

Spike NLOS is a multi-purpose, electro-optical missile system with a real-time wireless data link for ranges up to 25km. The Spike NLOS weapon system is a member of the world renowned Spike Family.

The Pereh's is fitted with a launch station armed with 12 Spike NLOS anti-tank guided missile mounted on the tracked chassis of Magach MBT (Main Battle Tank). According to Israel Defense, the Pereh has been in service for 30 years.