01 April 2015

AFP Chief: Defense Spending Should be 1% of Philippines Budget

01 April 2015
The 2015 national budget stands at P2.6 trillion. In 2012, President Aquino signed a law that allotted P75 billion for the military’s modernization program from 2013 to 2017.(photo : Mack Milai)

MANILA, Philippines - Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. is pushing for greater military spending, saying this would enable the country to defend its territory.

Catapang said military expenditures should be increased to 1 percent of the national budget to enable the government to buy more equipment for territorial defense.

“What is important now is for our country to become prosperous because our argument is maybe at least we increase our expenditure for our defense and military,” Catapang said in a press briefing on Monday.

“What I’m proposing is that at least 1 percent of the approved national budget will go to the improvement of the capabilities of our defense and military units, to include the Office of Civil Defense,” he added.  

Catapang made the statement when asked what Filipinos can do to counter China’s aggressive expansion in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The Asian superpower has been occupying disputed areas to assert its expansive territorial claim, including some areas that are well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

The 2015 national budget stands at P2.6 trillion. In 2012, President Aquino signed a law that allotted P75 billion for the military’s modernization program from 2013 to 2017.

The modernization program will be given P15-billion each year from the national budget. The annual outlay of P15 billion is equivalent only to about 0.57 percent of the 2015 budget.

Because of its poorly equipped military, the Philippines cannot stop China’s construction activities in its West Philippine Sea territories namely Mabini (Johnson South) Reef, Calderon (Cuarteron) Reef, Burgos (Gaven) Reef, Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, Kennan (Hughes) Reef, Zamora (Subi) Reef and Panganiban (Mischief) Reef.

When reminded that China would have been finished with its construction projects by the time the Philippines becomes a prosperous country, Catapang merely stressed the need to boost territorial defense capabilities.

“Reclaiming the areas is one side of the story but putting up a strong credible deterrence for our country, ensuring that our territory will be defended from any foreign country that intends to harm us, will be a very big boost to our territorial defense,” the military chief said. 

 “I don’t know the intention of China for doing this, but what is important is we are prepared to defend the country,” he added.


31 Maret 2015

Singapore Wants to Sell High-Speed Interceptor Boats for Vietnam

31 Maret 2015

Model patrol boats to intercept high speed Suncraft Piranha is introduced at LIMA 2015 exhibition. (photo : Jane's)

Suncraft International Shipbuilding Company based in Singapore has teamed up with partners Radimax Group of Malaysia to market a patrol boat to intercept high speed titled Piranha ASD for the Southeast Asian nation.

Piranha ASD is formed on the first idea is a high-speed train attack, but then it continues to be modified to perform other roles such as preventing piracy, border patrol, search and rescue . Earlier Suncarft also offers a similar version of Piranha ASD, length 17m for the Nigerian Navy.

"The cooperation between Suncraft and Radimax was established primarily to provide for ASD Piranha Sea Guard of the Royal Malaysia Police," said Idris Othman - the project manager's navy said at the Radimax LIMA 2015 shows past.

However, Mr. Othman also stressed that, based on the positive feedback, and Radimax Suncraft received the invitation demonstration of the ability of Piranha ASD to wider areas, because this is a background basis in accordance with the Southeast Asian waters.

According to the disclosure of Suncraft, Piranha can reach speeds up to 40 knots / hour and has a range of 180 nautical miles when running at a speed of 35 knots / hour. Ship can carry up to 4 to 6 crew.

In the standard configuration, patrol boats equipped Piranha 2 pedestal 7.62mm machine gun mounted on either side of the back. The activists also have the option to equip the ship another weapon station remote control 12.7mm by Suncraft development.

Besides providing Malaysian Coast Guard, vessel's capabilities have been demonstrated before Legislation Maritime Authority Malaysia. The company says it can reach the Coast Guard Vietnam and the Philippines to demonstrate the ability of the Piranha.


DND Tells Supplier: Justify Delayed Delivery or Lose P1.26-B Chopper Deal

31 Maret 2015

UH-1D helicopters (photo : Timawa)

A joint venture has a week to submit a verified position paper explaining why the Department of National Defense should retain a P1.26-billion helicopter deal despite its failure to deliver 21 UH-1 helicopters to the Philippine Air Force on time.

DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has sent a "Notice to Terminate" dated March 25 to Robert Rice Jr., the official representative of the joint venture of US-based Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Canada-based Eagle Copter Ltd. saying it would "partially" terminate the deal because it has failed to comply with the agreed delivery schedule of 21 UH-1 helicopters. 

"Failure to show cause within the provided period, either by inaction or by default, shall cause the issuance of an order terminating the contract," the Defense secretary stressed. 

The letter said that the joint venture reached the maximum liquidated damages on January 31 when it failed to comply with the agreement that the delivery of the choppers should be within 180 days since the Letter of Credit was opened. 

"The Letter of Credit was opened in 27 March 2014 and the deadline for delivery for the Contract is on 23 September 2014," Gazmin wrote.

He pointed out that the DND gave a 13-day extension for shipment number two, composed of UH-1 with tail number 8969 and 8502. Its delivery date was October 16, 2014. 

However, Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Eagle Copter Ltd. delivered the units "in tranches." As of the date of the notice, only eight out of the 21 UH-1 helicopters and 21 sets of gun mounts were completely delivered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee. 

When DND was still bidding out the procurement deal for the helicopters, the joint venture failed to comply with the documentary requirements set by the DND Bids and Awards Committee. It also submitted an unsigned document.  

Last March 19, three lawmakers — Reps. Samuel Pagdilao of ACT-CIS party-list, Leopoldo Bataoil of Pangasinan, and Romeo Acop of Antipolo City — who were former police officials asked the House to look into the deal, saying the helicopters were obsolete and the transaction was done in bad faith.  

"Instead of terminating the project, the DND allowed the supplier to continue with the delivery of the helicopters despite its vilations and conspicuous disadvantages, which are inimical to the modernization of the AFP," the lawmakers said


First Pass Approval for ANZAC Air Search Radar Replacement

31 Maret 2015

 HMAS Perth (ANZAC class frigates) with CEAFAR radar (photos : Aus DoD)

The Australian Government had provided First Pass approval for project SEA 1448 Phase 4B – ANZAC Air Search Radar Replacement.

The ANZAC frigates use their air search radar to scan at long ranges for potential threats. The radar is an integral part of a modern warship and important for ensuring the safety of the vessel and other friendly ships in dangerous areas. The current ANZAC radar is old and requires replacement with modern technology to maintain the robust front-line capability provided by these ships.

In addition to the radar replacement, there will be an upgrade to the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) capability to comply with future military and civil Secondary Surveillance Radar aviation requirements.

The project intends to replace the ageing long-range radar onboard the ANZAC class frigates with significantly more capable radar, with integrated and upgraded IFF capability, currently under development by CEA Technologies in Canberra.

CEA is an internationally recognised Australian company that developed the successful Anti-Ship Missile Defence ‘CEAFAR’ radar currently being installed on the ANZAC frigates.

The new radar will build on this successful technology to deliver a generational improvement over the current ANZAC long-range radar. The CEA long-range radar is expected to provide earlier warning of potential threats and greater situational awareness to the ship and the task group. The two radars share the same design principles and will provide a significant capability advantage to our ships.

The Department of Defence will continue to work with CEA to successfully develop this new technology. As part of a Risk Reduction Program with CEA, the technology is expected to be demonstrated in 2015‑16. In the event that the Risk Reduction Program is not successful, Defence may consider military‑off‑the‑shelf radar options.

Government will consider the next steps for the project at Second Pass approval planned for 2016-17.

The new capability is forecast to be in service by the end of the decade. It is expected that it will be supported by Australian industry throughout its life.

(Aus DoD)

RSAF's Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is Fully Operational

31 Maret 2015

Hermes 450 UAV (photo : Miltech)

Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated at a ceremony to mark the achievement of Full Operational Capability (FOC) status by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s Hermes 450 (H-450) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) at Murai Camp this afternoon.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng highlighted the significance of this milestone to the overall enhancement of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)'s defence capabilities. He said, "The Hermes 450 is one of the most capable UAVs in its class and indeed, the world. Compared to the older UAVs, the Hermes 450 enhances our Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities with its extended endurance, advanced avionics and more capable sensors." Dr Ng also emphasised the importance of the role of UAVs in military operations today. He said, "UAVs have now become a critical asset to many military operations and have proven themselves to make a decisive difference to outcomes, whether it is in peacetime operations or battles."

RSAF Hermes 450 UAV (photo : Hirito)

Operated by 116 Squadron, the H-450 is the first advanced UAV to achieve FOC status in the SAF. After taking delivery of the H-450s in May 2007, the UAV pilots, air force engineers and maintenance crew have undergone intensive training to operate and maintain the aircraft, as well as integrate the aircraft to support the SAF's operations.

Also present at the ceremony were Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Air Force Major-General Hoo Cher Mou and other senior officers from the SAF.

(Sing Mindef)

Factsheet - Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) acquired the Hermes 450 (H-450) UAV to complement the Searcher UAV and Heron 1 UAV. Utilising a Wankel Engine, the H-450 is a single engine system with advanced composite structure and optimised aerodynamics. Its long endurance and improved detection capability provides the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with better situational awareness in the field.

The capabilities of the RSAF's H-450 include a 3-in-1 payload equipped with Electro-Optical, Forward Looking Infra-Red system and a Laser Designator. This enables the H-450 to augment our battlefield surveillance capabilities by conducting a wide array of missions such as Target Acquisition and Designation, Reconnaissance and Battle Damage Assessment. UAV pilots are able to focus on collecting and processing information because the H-450 is able to operate on autonomous flight mode. This enhances the timeliness of critical information dissemination.

The H-450 is operated from a Ground Control Station (GCS). Through the GCS, control signals are sent to, processed, and retrieved from the H-450. It is also equipped with a communication system that is able to transfer imagery real-time from the H-450. The H-450 operates using a two-man crew concept, each with the ability to fly the UAV and control the 3-in-1 sensor payload at the same time. This enables one UAV pilot to control the UAV and payload while the other focuses on collecting and processing information.

(Sing Mindef)

30 Maret 2015

South Korea Opts for KAI-Lockheed in $7.8 bln Fighter Deal

30 Maret 2015

KFX Fighter (image : KDaily)

Seoul (AFP) - South Korea on Monday selected Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and partner Lockheed Martin for a multi-billion-dollar contract to develop 120 "indigenous" fighter jets to replace Seoul's ageing fleet.

The bid from KAI and the US aerospace giant, which is subject to a screening process before being officially approved, was always seen as the favourite for the 8.6 trillion won ($7.8 billion) deal over a rival bid by civilian carrier Korean Air (KAL) teamed with Airbus.

The Defence Ministry also approved a separate $1.28 billion deal to buy Patriot PAC-3 missiles and upgrade its air defence system aimed at intercepting North Korean ballistic missiles.

The KF-X fighter project is designed to develop and produce 120 fighter jets of a new, indigenous type to replace South Korea's ageing fleet of F-4s and F-5s.

"We have chosen KAI as the preferred bidder based on our review of... cost, development plans and development capabilities of the two bidders," the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement.

"We are planning to sign the (final) contract during the first half of this year after negotiating with the preferred bidder over technology... and the price," it said.

The South Korean government is to provide 60 percent of the development costs, with the rest to be shared by the winning consortium and Indonesia, whose involvement is the result of a bilateral defence treaty.

The KAI-Lockheed alliance always had the upper hand, as the same partnership developed the T-50 trainer, which is South Korea's first homegrown supersonic aircraft.

Lockheed, which won a contract in 2013 to sell 40 F-35A joint strike fighters to South Korea, has promised to transfer key technologies for the KF-X project to Seoul.

South Korea's military procurement needs, especially where the air force is concerned, have overwhelmingly been met by US suppliers in the past -- a reflection of their close military alliance.

KAL had talked up its bid by highlighting the technical support available from Airbus, which is part of the European consortium that developed the Eurofighter.

Airbus has made a number of bids for the South's military contracts, including a $1.38 billion deal to provide air refuelling tankers.

The defence ministry's request for the KF-X project required a new design, although experts say a heavily modified version of an existing fighter model would also be acceptable.

DAPA officials said South Korea would also buy an unspecified number of "hit-and-kill" PAC-3 missiles from Lockheed Martin by 2020 to improve its anti-ballistic missile capabilities.

US defence contractor Raytheon has been selected to upgrade South Korea's PAC-2 fire control system to launch both PAC-2 and PAC-3 missile, DAPA spokesman Kim Si-Cheol told reporters.


PAF's S-211 to Get Environmental Control System Upgrade

30 Maret 2015
PAF S-211 aircraft (photo : Timawa)

MANILA (PNA) -- The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has allocated PhP39,614,257.57 for the acquisition of spares needed for the upgrading of the environmental control system of one of its SIAI-Marchetti S-211 jet aircraft.

The environmental control system provides air supply, thermal control and cabin pressurization for the crew and passengers.

Avionics cooling, smoke detection, and fire suppression are also commonly considered part of an aircraft's environmental control system.

Pre-bid conference is scheduled for March 30 at 11 a.m.at the PAF Procurement Center Conference Room, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. On the other hand, bid opening and submission is scheduled for April 14 at 9 a.m. at the same venue.

Prospective bidders should have an experience in similar project within the last five years.

The PAF operates three to five S-211s and uses it for air defense and attack missions.