Home Ministry Buys 2 Choppers In RM500 Million Deal

8:17:00 PM Add Comment
KUALA LUMPUR, -- Putrajaya today signed an agreement to buy two Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters even as it cuts down on subsidies and expenditure amid the dwindling economy.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi witnessed the signing of the contracts, memorandum of understanding and letters of acceptance, worth RM535.7 million at the General Police and Special Equipment Exhibition and Conference (GPEC) Asia today.

"Eight units of AG JAWS Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) will also arrive in the country by year end," he said.

 Early this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the postponement of several projects including the National Service for a year to save RM400 million as part of the government's rationalisation plan.

He said the government's expenditure was expected to reduce by RM5.5 billion through a re-evaluation of priorities in expenses.

Budget 2015, unveiled last October, had a forecast expenditure of RM273.9 billion and income of RM235.2 billion. This was based on the price of oil at USD100 per barrel.

The decline in oil prices has led to a massive downfall of the ringgit as Malaysia is a major oil exporter.

Economists have said that there was a need for Putrajaya to relook its budget. – October 22, 2015.

The Weststar Aviation AgustaWestland AW139 15-seat medium sized twin-engined helicopter.


Fiscal Year 2015 Sales Exceed $47B

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WASHINGTON, -- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announces sales of $47.085 billion for fiscal year 2015.

Sales under the government-to-government Foreign Military Sales Program totaled $35.359 billion. Along with sales executed using U.S. government appropriations under various security cooperation and security assistance authorities such as Foreign Military Financing (FMF), and DoD programs, totaled $11.726 billion, totaling $47.085 billion for fiscal year 2015.

Demand for U.S. defense products and services remains strong, as the U.S. share of total global arms transfer agreements has increased over the last decade. With a number of partner countries looking to modernize and expand a full spectrum of capabilities, the U.S. share of transfers to partners and allies in emerging defense markets in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America continues to increase.

“The Security Cooperation enterprise continues to refine how we most effectively and efficiently utilize our resources to address our partners’ needs while ensuring alignment with our national security and foreign policy objectives. This includes both synchronizing our priorities, activities, and resources, as well as enabling more responsive industry participation in the FMS process to ensure we remain the provider of choice for our foreign partners,” VADM Rixey explains. “The FY15 sales total underscores the progress we are making towards these efforts, the quality of product, and our goal of remaining the provider of choice for our foreign partners.”

The FMS program facilitates sales of U.S. arms, defense equipment, defense services, and military training to partners. The FMS program is a form of security assistance authorized by the Arms Export Control Act under the direction of the Secretary of State through which the United States may sell defense articles and services to foreign countries and international organizations.

It is among several programs enabled by DSCA, the lead agency for the Department of Defense in the execution of Security Cooperation programs, which contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.

Mothballed F-16 Fighting Falcons are parked in the boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.


Lockheed Martin Canada Announces Latest Achievement on New Zealand ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade Project

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OTTAWA, --  Lockheed Martin Canada marked an important milestone toward modernizing the Royal New Zealand Navy’s two ANZAC Class ships. The company announced that the ANZAC frigate systems upgrade project has successfully completed the combat system critical design review on schedule and to New Zealand’s satisfaction.

The government-mandated review proves a contractor's progress and planning for all elements of a program. It covered in detail all of Lockheed Martin Canada’s plans for shipboard systems and designs. With the successful review, Lockheed Martin Canada can begin implementing detailed designs and plans for the system’s key components, which will in turn lead to ship installation. The milestone is the latest achievement for Lockheed Martin Canada’s ANZAC team in the 16 months since contract award.

In April 2014, following an extensive worldwide competitive tender, Lockheed Martin Canada was selected as the Prime Systems Integrator by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence to upgrade the combat systems on their ANZAC class ships. Lockheed Martin Canada’s Combat Management System 330 is the backbone of the technical solution for this project and many of the sub-systems to be supplied by Lockheed Martin Canada are common to the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax Class Modernization Project.

“Our success on this program is a direct result of our collaborative approach to building relationships and demonstrated ability to manage multiple stakeholders through complex projects,” said Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice president for Lockheed Martin Canada Mission Systems and Training.

Echoing this sentiment of collaboration, New Zealand Ministry of Defence project director Gary Collier added, “I continue to be impressed with Lockheed Martin Canada’s flexibility, responsiveness and pragmatic approach to achieving a successful outcome for both parties. We are pleased to have Lockheed Martin Canada as the prime contractor and partner for this critical project for New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence and the Royal New Zealand Navy.”

Lockheed Martin Canada’s combat management system was also down-selected as one of two solutions qualified to compete for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Maritime Sustainment Capability – the future replenishment tanker - which will maintain afloat replenishment capability for the New Zealand Defence Force.

Rosemary Chapdelaine continued, “This project has truly placed our products and capability in a global spotlight and positioned us for future international growth, demonstrating our ability to create jobs and economic growth for Canada. ANZAC leverages the expertise and record of success established through Canada’s Halifax Class Modernization Project – and now other customers can take full advantage of the modern combat system integration methodology and lessons learned from both of these sophisticated programs.”

The Royal New Zealand Navy HMNZS Te Kaha (F77) Anzac class frigate.


USS Theodore Roosevelt to dock in Singapore

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STRAITS OF MALACCA, -- After a 7-month long deployment in the Arabian Gulf and a month-long posting to the Bay of Bengal, the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is due for a stopover in Singapore on Saturday (Oct 24).

It will dock at Changi Naval Base as part of a routine port visit for resupply, commonly carried out by aircraft carriers and other US 7th Fleet ships while operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

USS Theofore Roosevelt is the flagship of the US Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12

CSG 12 consists of 5 ships, 65 aircraft

Capacity to house up to 5,000 sailors and marines on board USS Theodore Roosevelt alone

USS Theodore Roosevelt towers 20 stories above the waterline, boasts 4.5-acre flight deck

65 aircraft currently onboard include: F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, F/A-18C Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, E-2D Hawkeyes, SH-60H/F Sea Hawks, MH-60R Sea Hawks, C-2 Greyhounds

USS Theodore Roosevelt is nuclear-powered, needs to refuel only every 25 years


The strike group’s operation in the Arabian Gulf, dubbed Inherent Resolve, was part of the US-led military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“Our focus was air support for the Iraqi ground troops both on the ground in Iraq and northern Syria,” said commander of the Carrier Strike Group, Rear Admiral Roy Kelley.

ISIS terrain in Iraq and Western and Eastern Syria decreased by about 25 per cent within the year that US navy aircraft carriers supported the mission, according to the commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt, Captain Craig Clapperton.

“Their ability to manoeuvre freely within the battle space has decreased, their ability to expand has essentially been stopped,” he added.

The departure of USS Theodore Roosevelt from the Arabian Gulf this month marks the first time since 2007 that a US aircraft carrier strike group is not in the area.

The US Navy is focusing on reducing its deployment lengths to alleviate stress on its carrier strike groups, and is expecting to see more of these gaps in the future.  “We’ve had deployments that have been in excess of 10 months. It’s hard on the sailors, it’s hard on the ships trying to keep the maintenance up. So we are focusing on bringing them back to 7-month deployments,’’ said RADM Kelly.


USS Theodore Roosevelt will be making its way back to its new home base in San Diego, and will report to the United States Pacific Command, joining USS Ronald Reagan as the second aircraft carrier in the Pacific Fleet.

“We are 100 per cent combat ready, we are 100 per cent ready to assist in anything from a humanitarian assistance operation to a maritime security operation up to and including major combat operations,” Capt Clapperton said when asked about the move to the United States Fifth Fleet.

The carrier strike group entered the Straits of Malacca on Thursday, after completing a trilateral naval exercise with India and Japan in the Bay of Bengal. This is Japan’s first time participating as a permanent member of the drill.

“Japan’s participation in the future is something that we can expect to continue. I don’t think that the intent of it is aimed at any particular country,” said Capt Clapperton, dimissing suggestions that the drill is a show of military might against China, amidst rising territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

“The intent of the exercise is to continue to build support, continue to build relationships, and how our navies operate, make sure that we are able to continue to keep the free lanes of commerce flowing in and about the Indo-Asia Pacific region,” he said.

The Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) complete carrier qualifications.


3 More Aussie LCHs to Enter PN Service by 2016 Q1

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MANILA, -- Three more "Balikpapan" class LCHs (landing craft Heavies) are scheduled to arrive and be commissioned in the Philippine Navy (PN) service by the first quarter of 2016.

Reviews These ships are the HMAS Balikpapan, HMAS Wewak and HMAS Betano. The Royal Australian Navy Reviews These LCHs decommissioned in November 2014.

The three are sisters to BRP Ivatan (formerly HMAS Tarakan) and BRP Batak (ex-HMAS Brunei) roomates were commissioned into service last Aug. PN 10.

LCHs are an extremely versatile vessel, capable of moving large amounts of cargo, personnel and equipment from larger ships to shore.

A very shallow draft (two meters) Allows Reviews These ships to deliver personnel and equipment to areas otherwise unreachable especially during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.

It is an all-welded twin-screw vessel, Able to trans-ship cargo and supplies from ships lying offshore to water terminals or across the beach.

Maximum cargo load is governed by the load-fuel balance and varies between 140 and 180 tons.

A typical load of 175 tons Gives the LCHs a range of 1,300 nautical miles, increasing to 2,280 nautical miles for a load of 150 tons.

Up to five shipping containers with HADR supplies and equipment can also be embarked .

LCHs have a draft of two meters, length of 44.5 meters, a beam of 10.1 meters and displacement of 364 tons.

It has a speed to 10 to 13 knots and a range of 3,000 nautical miles and a crew of 15.

Sources said that the three ships were acquired at their respective "salvage value" the which is 10 to 15 percent of the actual value of the LCHs.

The Philippine Navy Balikpapan-class heavy landing craft BRP Batak (right) and BRP Ivatan berthed at Naval Base Cavite in August 2015. The former Royal Australian Navy ships was refurbished and donated to the Philippine Navy.


Submarines on the Shopping List

3:32:00 AM Add Comment
NAYPYIDAW, -- While the military continues its attacks on ethnic Rebels in Burma's north, the country's Commander-in-Chief, Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, has been out of the country in recent days. After meeting with his Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad, he toured the offices of Heavy Industries Taxila, a regional major defense contractor. In Serbia, he sat down for discussions with Yugoimport SDPR, a state-owned weapons exporter. Both businesses specialize in the sale of tanks, armored personnel carriers and heavy artillery.

When Burma's generals Consider strategy, they always have one eye on internal opponents and another on their regional neighbors. While the size of Burma's standing army dwarfs Reviews those of both Bangladesh and Thailand, a ban on arms sales from the European Union and the United States has severely impeded the combat capabilities of the country's armed forces. Indeed, Min Aung Hlaing has been outspoken about the need to modernize, to the point of deflecting questions about his political Ambitions by insisting he was fully dedicated to bringing the military into the 21st century.

This modernization is always foremost in the minds of Burma's military leaders when they take Reviews their shopping lists abroad, and the top brass has shown a particular interest in improving the country's moribund naval fleet.

The discovery of lucrative oil and gas fields in the Bay of Bengal has no doubt served as a wakeup call to Burma's military leadership for the need to deploy a credible deterrent over the country's 2,000-kilometer coastline. A maritime boundary dispute, Eventually resolved in a 2012 judgment by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, led to a confrontation between Bengladeshi and Burmese naval ships after Burma Began offshore oil exploration in the contested area.

In the years since, four new Several frigates and fast attack craft have entered service. Maung Aung Myoe, the Burmese defense analyst and author of "Building the Tatmadaw", says that the Navy is plans to expand its fleet with up to a dozen more frigates and other offshore vessels in the near future.

This expansion Appears to extend to the acquisition of submarines, a possible response to Bangladesh's plans to purchase two from China. Discussions with North Korea in 2003 to the which apparently canvassed the purchase of two small vessels-Ultimately Came to nothing, but reports suggest that the Navy still considers submarines an essential component of its force projection goals.

During a visit to Russia in 2013, Min Aung Hlaing Expressed an interest in purchasing two Kilo-class submarines, relics of the last years of the Soviet era since the which have mostly been sold off and exported. While no acquisitions have been confirmed as yet, the same year reports surfaced that 20 Burmese naval officers had received submarine training in Pakistan,

Burma's Navy is presently equipped only to deal with coastal engagements, and is incapable of more sophisticated territorial defense and sea denial operations , According to Maung Aung Myoe, this will REMAIN the case for the near future. As more offshore projects come online, however, the military is Likely to Consider fleet expansion an increasing matter of urgency.

Back in April, the commander-in-chief was seen at naval exercises off the coast of Arakan State. Codenamed Sea Shield, the combined fleet exercise practiced maneuvers near Manaung Island with the participation of 22 ships and nearly 1200 soldiers. Min Aung Hlaing Undoubtedly felt would have cause to be proud of the Navy's rapid expansion, but it's reasonable to assume he Returned to Naypyidaw with one question on his mind: what's next on the shopping list?

The Russian Navy SSK Kilo Class (Type 636) submarine.


Malaysian Army Chief Bullish on AV8 Deliveries

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KUALA LUMPUR, -- The Malaysian Army expects deliveries of the IFV-25 variant of the AV8 Gempita armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) to be completed by either the end of 2015 or in early 2016, according to Malaysian Army Chief General Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor.

Gen Raja Affandi told IHS Jane's that the delivery completion date would depend on the finances available due to payment being made as each vehicle is delivered by manufacturer Deftech.

He said the programme was still within the army's planned schedule for deliveries of the AV-8 and AFV-30 variant and would start once all IFV-25s had been delivered.

The IFV-25 variant is fitted with a one-person FNSS Sharpshooter turret armed with a stabilised ATK Armament Systems M242 25 mm dual-feed cannon and an FN MAG 58M 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun (MG). Of the 257 vehicle order of 12 variants, 46 vehicles will be in this configuration.

The AFV-30 variant - of which 68 have been ordered - mounts a Denel Land Systems (DLS) two-person LCT-30 turret with a DLS stabilised 30 mm GI-30 external dual-feed linkless cannon and an FN MAG 58M MG.

Of the remaining 10 variants, the most significant number is the anti-tank version - of which 54 have been ordered - with a Denel LCT turret fitted with the GI-30 and two Denel Dynamics Ingwe laser-guided missiles either side.

Gen Raja Affandi also said that some minor changes within the AV8 have been requested as a result of experience with the vehicles already delivered and in service but that these did not affect the production schedule.

The Malaysian Army Royal Deftech AV8 Gempita Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV).


Bidding resumes on aircraft acquisition

7:56:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- Six foreign firms are expected to take in an aircraft acquisition project, with the government resuming the procurement of military hardware as part of the military’s modernization program.

The Department of National Defense (DND) has scheduled on Oct. 12 the bid opening for the P4.9-billion contract for six close-air support aircraft.

The procurement is one of 30 multibillion contracts suspended earlier in May pending the go-ahead of President Benigno S. C. Aquino III. These include two navy frigates worth P18 billion, two long-range patrol aircraft worth P5.9 billion, and three air surveillance radars worth P2.68 billion.

The six firms who bought bid documents for the contract are Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd., European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company-Construcciones Aeronautics SA (EADS-CASA) Airbus Defense and Space, and Israeli defense contractor Elbit systems, and US-based Beechcraft Defense Company and IOMAX USA, Inc.

The bid documents were priced at P75,000, obtainable from the DND’s Special Bids and Awards Committee.

The Philippines has a budget of P85.3 billion for the military’s modernization program, apart from an annual budget from Congress.

The first AFP modernization law, Republic Act No. 7898, was approved in 1995 and was targeted to be implemented in a 15-year period. For the first five years, it had a ceiling budget of P50 billion.

Republic Act No. 10349, enacted three years ago, revised the first modernization law and provided the Armed Forces a P85.3-billion budget to be spread out between 2013 and 2017.

Next year, the Philippine Army is expected to maintain around 189 tactical battalions and 81 reserve battalions. The Philippine Air Force, on the other hand, is aiming to support 140 various types of aircraft in its fleet while the Philippine Navy’s target is to maintain 124 mission-ready marine units and 59 support unit.

The Beechcraft AT-6 Texan II testing the Talon laser-guided rocket system.


Second A400M To Be Delivered In December

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KUALA LUMPUR, -- Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief, General Tan Sri Roslan Saad said the second Airbus A400M will be received in early December.

"This is the second of four aircraft bought in December 2005. The first was received on March 9. The A400M is a modern aircraft compared to the DHC-4 Coribou which we already have.

"RMAF pilots can still fly the aircraft despite the modern technology," he told reporters after his induction as fifth member of the Hall of Fame at Armed Forces Defence College (MPAT) here, today.

The A400M has a longer operating range and capable of transporting a higher volume of cargo compared to other aircraft in the RMAF stable.

Other than for defence purposes, it can also perform Medical Evacuation (Medevac) Air to Air Refuelling (AAR), Aerial Delivery (Paratroop & Logistic) and Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

Roslan said the remaining two aircraft are expected to arrive in stages in the middle of next year.

Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest award for MPAT alumni holding the highest office in military service.

The other inductees were Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) chief, General Tan Sri Zulkifli Mohd Zin, former RMAF chief, General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director-general, Admiral Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish and Army chief, General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force Airbus A400M Atlas at Subang Air Base.


Army Acquires Four 25mm RCWS-Equipped APCs

10:56:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The ability of the Mechanized Infantry Division (MID) to deliver accurate and devastating fire will be greatly boosted once delivery of its four 25mm remote-control weapon system (RCWS) -equipped armored personnel carriers (APCs) are completed by the 2nd quarter of 2016.

MID public affairs office chief Major Felimon Tan, in a message to the PNA, said the vehicles were equipped with thermal Also and laser sighting systems, making them very capable of engaging targets under cover and in the dark.

Aside from having larger rounds and explosive capabilities, the 25mm RCWS-equipped APCs Also has the range to deal with helicopters and attack aircraft.

Reviews These can be done by using special "bursting" ammunition, Tan added.

The capability would allow the MID to deal with airborne threats, he said.

Aside from 25mm RCWS-equipped APCs, another 14 armored vehicles fitted with 76mm turrets and the four armored recovery vehicles are Also expected to be delivered in 2016.

Six .50 caliber RCWS-equipped APCs are now undergoing acceptance tests at Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.

Tan said the 76mm armed APCs would act as fire support and the PA's mobile anti-tank platform.

The Department of National Defense signed a 28 APC order deal with the Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems Ltd. worth Php882 million last June 22, 2014.

The Philippine Army field demonstration of the newly acquired M113A2 APC with remote controlled weapon system (RCWS).


Thailand Unveils New 155 mm Truck Mounted Howitzer

6:15:00 AM Add Comment
BANGKOK, -- The Thai military's Weapon Industry Centre unveils new Autonomous Truck-Mounted Gun (ATMG) caliber of 155 mm / 52 mounted on  10-tonne  TATRA 6x6 truck.

Joint with the Center for Artillery Weapons, they have made improvement program of the Atmos artillery in a series of Israeli company Elbit Systems the which has a range of 40 km.  

This new mobile howitzer will be active in the 721st Artillery Battalion of the Royal Thai Army to replace the M-109A5.

The new 155mm Autonomous Truck-Mounted Gun of the Royal Thai Army.