30 September 2009

China Ahead in Carrier Sprint

30 September 2009

China's carrier ex Ukraina's Varyag (photo : China Defense Mashup)

China Ahead in Warship Sprint

China will soon deploy its first aircraft carrier and it will be more advanced than anything India has or plans to get. Varyag – an Admiral Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier — is more advanced than the INS Viraat —vanguard of the Indian navy — and the still to be procured Admiral Gorshkov (INS Vikramaditya).

Sources from the Indian navy say that the Chinese plan to operationalise the Varyag - purchased as junk from Ukraine for 20 million US dollars in 1998.

In 2005, the dead ship was docked at the Chinese naval base in Dalian. Since then it has been undergoing sophisticated upgrades, reveal sources in the Indian navy.

Varyag during refurbished in Dalian shipyard (photo : China Defense Mashup)

Hindustan Times has access to photographs of the warship undergoing repairs at a dock in north- eastern China.

A senior officer from the Indian navy, who has been monitoring China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean, said that it will not be surprising to see the Chinese navy induct Varyag much before India procures and commissions Admiral Gorshkov.

He added that the induction of Varyag was certain as the Chinese had built a ski-jump (part of the aircraft carrier used for take off and landing of aircrafts) facility similar to that on the Varyag at it’s Yuanling airfield –— China’s main aviation test facility. The ski-jump is being used as a testing facility for modified Sukhoi-27 aircrafts, which the Varyag may carry.

“If Varyag was not to be inducted, the question of flight testing at a similar facility does not arise,” the officer observed.

According to sources, the Chinese have plans to get more aircraft carriers by 2020. Commander-in-chief of the Chinese navy, Wu Shengli’s aim to aggressively pursue indigenously built aircraft carriers has been a cause of worry for India.

Of the two other aircraft carriers being built by China, one is expected be inducted by 2015, added sources.

(Hindustan Times)

See Also :

China's Carrier Programme Takes Shape
10 Juli 2008

Observers following the saga of the Varyag, the partially built Soviet aircraft carrier purchased by China from Ukraine in 1998, have speculated for years about the vessel's ultimate purpose. (photo : Sinodefence)

The slower something moves, according to cognitive psychologists, the less likely people are to view it as a threat. Slow progress, however, is not no progress – even tiny movements can produce big results over a sufficiently long timeframe.

A case in point is China's aircraft carrier programme. Observers following the saga of the Varyag, the partially built Soviet aircraft carrier purchased by China from Ukraine in 1998, have speculated for years about the vessel's ultimate purpose. Construction on the Varyag stopped with the ship only 60% complete, and lacking electronics and propulsion systems. Did the Chinese plan for, then abandon, a massive retrofit?

In fact, the Varyag may already be performing its ultimate mission of training the next generation of Chinese sailors and naval aviators. More broadly, the Varyag is but one step in the proverbial thousand-mile journey, the outline of which is clearer with some long-term perspective.

Varyag diagram (image : Information Dissemination)


Indeed, the first clear evidence of China's carrier ambitions emerged two decades ago. In 1985, China bought a decommissioned Australian aircraft carrier for scrap – but before it went under the torch, Chinese engineers apparently studied the ship's design and used the flight deck for pilot training.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Chinese companies bought two decommissioned Russian anti-submarine carriers, the Minsk and Kiev. China converted both to civilian purposes, but again, Chinese naval architects had the opportunity to study both.

Sandwiched between these sales was the deal for the Varyag, which did not actually make it to China until 2002 because Turkey feared that the vessel, which required towing, could founder in the Bosphorus and impede shipping. After an extended drydock visit, the Varyag was moved to the northern Chinese port of Dalian, its current residence.

Recent speculation over the uses of the Varyag has focused on the repainting of the ship in navy gray and its apparent inactivity in terms of civilian uses. Although these facts are suggestive, they are not as significant as the tight perimeter security surrounding the ship.

Most significantly, China reached a deal with Russia in late 2006 for up to 50 Su-33 fighter aircraft, which the Sukhoi aviation bureau designed specifically for carrier operations.

While some analysts believe that China wants to deploy a carrier by 2010, skeptics raise a number of questions that cast doubt on the existence of such a goal. However, alternative answers are available for these questions – and taken together, the 'column B' answers are even more worrisome for those nations, such as India, who fear China's regional ambitions.

The Google-earth satellite image of PLA Navy’s Varyag. (photo : China Defense Mashup)

Why was the Varyag was bought stripped? In an age of rapidly evolving technology, China may have believed that the original electronics suite was obsolescent anyway. Similarly, China may have felt that its own steam turbine technology would be an improvement on the earlier-generation Russian propulsion systems, which were never the most reliable to begin with. What mattered was the implementation and effectiveness of the Varyag's structural design – the element of the ship least sensitive to technological change.

If seagoing aviation is so important to China, why did it scrap the Minsk and Kiev? Tellingly, the Soviets classified these ships as 'heavy aircraft-capable cruisers' primarily oriented toward anti-ship and anti-submarine operations.

China does not want a carrier for these reasons: consistent with its vision of asymmetric warfare, China would attack US surface warships with subs and long-range missiles, and may regard US sub-hunting as an overly challenging and expensive proposition relative to the rewards it could plausibly bring. China wants a carrier for the same reasons that US war planners like them so much: flexible inshore and overland power projection in remote locations such as the Indian littoral and Persian Gulf, which carries an ever-increasing supply of inbound oil and outbound trade.

Why did the Chinese reportedly decline French and Spanish offers to build carriers for them in the 1990s? Tellingly, the Chinese were least impressed by the French offer, which was contingent on Chinese purchases of the accompanying electronics and aircraft (unlike the Russian fire sales of stripped-down vessels). Given its great-power aspirations, China probably feels duty-bound to make rather than buy – and may believe the learning experience of building its own may be more beneficial in the long term.

In this light the long gestation period of the Chinese aircraft carrier programme results neither from technological backwardness nor low prioritisation, but rather from a 'just-in-time' approach to assembling components of a grand maritime strategy.
-Don't operate a carrier until US carriers can be neutralised
-Don't subject a carrier to sea trials until the associated aircraft and pilots have been tested and trained – which can be done initially through simulated 'short runway, timed landing' training on land
-Don't fit a carrier out until the last minute, to allow component technology to develop as much as possible.
Patience, it seems, is not only a virtue, but good common sense as well.

(Naval Technology)

29 September 2009

Raytheon Delivers First JSOW to Australia

29 September 2009

Raytheon's Joint Standoff Weapon JSOW-C (photo : Defpro)

TUCSON, Ariz., -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) delivered the first Joint Standoff Weapon C to Australia in July for the Royal Australian Air Force's new F/A-18F Hornet fighter aircraft.

In addition to the JSOW C, the RAAF has placed an order for the JSOW C-1, which is currently in production; deliveries will begin in 2010. The JSOW C-1 maintains the land attack capability of JSOW C and adds a moving maritime target capability by incorporating a datalink. This enables the JSOW to receive target updates as it flies to its objective.

"We're thrilled that Australia is a member of the growing JSOW family," said Phyllis McEnroe, Raytheon's JSOW program director. "The on-time delivery of the JSOW C positions Australia well for its 2010 JSOW C-1 deliveries."

The combat-proven JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground glide weapons with a range of 70 nautical miles (80.5 statute miles). It employs an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal uncooled infrared seeker that guides the weapon to the target. JSOW is integrated on all variants of the F/A-18, F-15, and on several variants of the F-16, B-2 and B-52 aircraft. The weapon is currently being integrated on the Joint Strike Fighter.


Hawkei - the Next-Generation Australian Light Protected Vehicle

29 September 2009

The Hawkei was developed to compete for the replacement of the Australian Army’s thin-skinned Land Rover utility vehicles. (photo : Thales)

The Thales Australia team has unveiled the design of its groundbreaking next generation Protected Mobility Vehicle for the Australian Army - the Hawkei.

Following the tradition of the Bushmaster, which is named after a deadly pit viper, the new addition is named after a stealthy species of Death Adder - Acanthophis hawkei - which is native to Australia.

"Like its exceptionally venomous namesake, this vehicle packs a punch," said Chris Jenkins, Managing Director of Thales Australia. "Mobile, versatile, and above all well protected, the Hawkei will provide unparalleled situational awareness, lethality and survivability for a vehicle its size. It incorporates high levels of blast and ballistic protection in a light, highly manoeuvrable and readily air transportable vehicle that has been engineered for peak performance. Hawkei ticks all the boxes for Defence's LAND 121 Phase 4 program to provide a light protected vehicle to replace the Army Land Rover fleet."

The Hawkei has been developed by Thales in Bendigo, Victoria - home of the Bushmaster. Drawing on both international and local expertise provided by Plasan, Boeing, PAC Group and numerous Australian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), the vehicle's design incorporates world-leading innovative technologies.

Mr Jenkins said the Hawkei launch represented an exciting chapter in Australia's local defence capability.

"The Hawkei offers the ADF an Australian solution specifically tailored to unique Australian needs, but one that also meets the operational priorities of other nations such as the United Kingdom LPPV program, the Netherlands vehicle replacement program, and also the requirements of the US Marines.

"Following our extensive work on the Bushmaster, our team in Bendigo, coupled with our local and international partners, has the experience, the skills and the in-depth knowledge to meet ADF requirements now and well into the future.

"Hawkei is a next generation solution underpinned by battle proven experience from Bushmaster. We are confident the Hawkei will establish the new benchmark in Light Protected Vehicles, rendering obsolete the technology used in the competing vehicles. Our team possesses a unique in-country capability, with the capacity to manufacture and deliver the vehicle to the customer's requirements."

Thales's next generation Hawkei vehicle is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the Australian Defence Force and key export customers.

This new lightweight Protected Mobility Vehicle achieves high levels of blast and ballistic protection at a mass that allows increased levels of tactical and operational mobility. "In developing the Hawkei, we have taken the lessons learned building the highly successful Bushmaster and, in combination with our partners, applied that thinking and experience to the new vehicle," said Ian Irving, Thales Australia's Land & Joint Systems Division Vice President.

"Hawkei is a new, next generation vehicle representing a genuine advance in design and innovation. All of the technology building blocks are battle proven and validated through operations, and have now been incorporated into a low risk design representing the next generation of vehicle system."

The new ground-breaking design meets the ADF's performance and capability requirements, including systems that allow the Hawkei to become a fully integrated node on the network centric battlefield. The Hawkei is designed to accommodate the future system demands of adaptive campaigning, with C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) capabilities a fundamental part of its DNA.

A systems approach to vehicle protection includes high levels of mine blast protection integrated into the Hawkei's hull design, while its adaptable ballistic protection technology is designed to be easily removed for air transportation and then refitted by a two-person crew in less than 30 minutes without using specialised equipment. This innovative design allows the Hawkei to be operated in full protection configuration that can then be reconfigured and upgraded for specific mission threats.

The Hawkei also delivers significant manufacturing and through life support cost savings over current ADF platforms. Thales has worked closely with the PAC Group to design a flexible production capability, and with numerous SMEs to maximise value for money across the supply chain.

"Evidence from other Australian defence industry programs suggests that large vehicle fleets based on imported technologies have significantly raised through life support costs. This is not the case with the Hawkei, which efficiently uses existing through life support systems and performance-based contracting models," Mr Irving continued.

"The Hawkei program contributes to the retention of skilled competitive suppliers capable of supporting and repairing sophisticated equipment for the ADF. It also brings more Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) into the support pipeline, generating an effective support system that an overseas-based solution simply could not match."

(Defense Aerospace)

ST Kinetics Unveils First Made-In-Singapore Vehicle For British Army

29 September 2009
Delivery of combat-ready Warthog on schedule (photo : Stengg)

British soldiers in Afghanistan will be receiving better protection against mines, increased operational mobility, and higher payload when the Warthog All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) enter service. ST Kinetics, the land systems arm of ST Engineering, today unveiled the Warthog - an agile, versatile and armoured 'beast of a vehicle' that will be delivered on schedule to the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MOD) from the end of the year.

"We are proud to roll out the first Warthog ATV within UK MOD's demanding delivery schedule and rigorous requirements. This is possible because of the close and productive relationship we have forged with the UK MOD from day one. Being flexible and attentive to their strict requirements and standards has been the key to our hugely successful collaboration to date, and a major differentiator for ST Kinetics among the world's engineering community." ~ SEW Chee Jhuen, President, ST Kinetics"

ST Kinetics have worked extremely hard and demonstrated a very open and pro-active way of working, giving MOD confidence going forward in delivering this project within the required timescales. The WARTHOG itself has proven itself to be a very capable vehicle in tests and trials. I am impressed by the high standards of engineering applied to this vehicle and the quality of the support package; providing our deployed forces with the higher levels of protection and mobility." ~ Brigadier Ian Simpson, DE&S Head of Combat Wheels Group, UK MOD.

More than 100 vehicles worth over £150m (about S$330m) have been bought by the UK MOD in response to an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR). The UK MOD identified survivability and payload capacity as key operational requirements in the UOR programme.

Anticipating a demanding timeline, ST Kinetics had on its own accord procured production materials and components ahead of the Warthog contract award. To ascertain the vehicle's performance in extreme heat and dust conditions, the company had put a 19 tonne Warthog test-bed vehicle through desert trials in U.A.E. this summer.

A highly agile vehicle that can manoeuvre across difficult terrain, roll across trenches, tackle vertical obstacles, power-up steep gradients and even cling to slopes, the Warthog is based on ST Kinetics' Bronco All Terrain Tracked Carrier (ATTC). The Bronco ATTC is a robust, reliable and proven articulated platform in operation since 2001.

The Warthog will come in four variants - Troop Carrier, Ambulance, Command, and Repair & Recovery. Vehicle deliveries will commence end 2009, with the majority to be delivered in 2010. Twelve UK Armed Forces trainers have already begun operation and maintenance training in Singapore to allow them to start bringing the vehicles into service shortly after delivery.

(ST Engineering)

28 September 2009

F/A-18's Decoy for Australia and US Navy

28 September 2009

AN/ALE-55 concept (photo : Defense Industry Daily)

ALE-55 Towed Fighter Decoys for US Navy, Australia

Raytheon’s ALE-50 ‘Little Buddy’ Decoys" covered a towed system that serves with F-16 Falcon/Viper, F/A-18 Hornet family, and B-1B Lancer heavy bomber aircraft.

A related system is made by competitor BAE, whose AN/ALE-55 (V) consists of an electronic frequency converter (EFC) and a fiber optic towed decoy. It works together with an aircraft’s onboard electronic warfare (EW) equipment, throughout the ECM cycle of Suppression (harder to acquire or track), Deception (active jamming techniques aimed at launchers); and Seduction (active jamming aimed at the missile, and being a decoying target if all else fails).

Sept 22/09: Raytheon in Goleta, CA received a $6.7 million firm-fixed-price contract to retrofit 603 integrated multi-platform launch controllers (IMPLCs) on F/A-18 aircraft for the US Navy (576 for $5.9 million, 89%) and the government of Australia (27 for $764,613, 11%). The IMPLC is the launch controller component of the AN/ALE-50 and AN/ALE-55.

Work will be performed in Goleta, CA (99%) and Fullerton, CA (1%), and is expected to be complete in April 2013. This contract was not competitively procured, pursuant to the FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract (N00019-09-C-0036).
ALE-55 concept (image : Defense Industry Daily)

April 17/09: BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems in Nashua, NH received a $33.7 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-08-C-0044) for the Low Rate Initial Production Lot V of the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) AN/ALE-55 (V) Subsystems and associated technical support and non-recurring engineering for the U.S. Navy (70 EFCs, 251 decoys, $27.5 million, 81.57%) and
Royal Australian Air Force (12 EFCs, 72 decoys, $6.2 million, 18.43%) F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Both customers have also purchased Raytheon’s AN/ALE-50s in the past, and continue to do so.

BAE Systems’ release states that it began low-rate initial production of the AN/ALE-55 Lot IV in June 2008, and is expected to complete production of Lot V in September 2011. When combined with the previous Lot IV award, this Lot V production award increases total deliveries to 473, and the total contract value to $65.6 million. Work will be performed in Nashua, NH (92%) and Mountain View, CA (8%), and is expected to be complete in August 2011. The US Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD manages this contract.

June 26/08: BAE Systems, Electronics and Integrated Solutions in Nashua, NH received a $31.9 million firm-fixed-fee contract for the low rate initial production Lot IV of the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures AN/ALE-55(V) Subsystems and associated technical support for the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F aircraft. The AN/ALE-55(V) subsystem consists of an electronic frequency converter (EFC) and a fiber optic towed decoy (FOTD). This contract provides for a total of 54 EFCs and 150 FOTDs. In addition, this contract provides for non-recurring and sustaining engineering for production support, first article test analysis, and physical configuration audits for the EFCs and FOTDs.
Work will be performed in Nashua, NH (92%) and Mountain View, CA (8%), and is expected to be complete in October 2011. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD (N00019-08-C-0044).

Perolehan VAB 6X6 Masih Adalah Satu Khabar Angin

28 September 2009

Renault VAB 6x6 (photo : Army Technology)

Kuala Lumpur, KLS: Cerita kononnya Tentera Darat Malaysia akan memperolehi kenderaan VAB 6X6 terpakai untuk mengganti Condor 4x4 yang beroperasi di Lebanon masih berstatus khabar angin. 

Sumber rasmi memberitahu pihak KL Security Review, perolehan kenderaan VAB 6X6 terpakai untuk pasukan pengaman TDM di Lebanon adalah satu sumber khabar angin dan belum ada sebarang keputusan rasmi. 

Sumber tersebut menyatakan, adalah tidak wajar TDM menggantikan kenderaan Condor 4X4 dengan kenderaan 6x6 dan sekiranya wujud keperluan tersebut, maka kenderaan AV4 yang harus dijadikan sebagai keutamaan. 

Condor 4x4 Tentara Darat Malaysia (photo : Militaryphotos)

“Perolehan VAB 6X6 adalah tidak wajar dilakukan, jikalau ada keperluan tersebut, maka perolehan kenderaan haruslah terdiri daripada satu siri kenderaan keluarga(family vehicle)iaitu kenderaan 8x8 yang kini menjadi keutamaan TDM.”

Sumber itu turut berkata, sekiranya untuk kegunaan sementara untuk menyokong operasi pengaman TDM di Lebanon, maka kerajaan seharusnya mengutamakan kenderaan AV4 4x4 di mana AV4 adalah kenderaan buatan Malaysia yang boleh diperolehi dengan kadar segera. 

Minggu lepas, sebuah blog pertahanan tempatan memetik sumber yang tidak diketahui menyatakan sejumlah kenderaan VAB 6X6 terpakai akan menggantikan kenderaan Condor yang beroperasi di Lebanon. 

Mengikuti cerita blog tersebut, Condor yang kini beroperasi di Lebanon perlu diganti dengan secepat mungkin.

Quadrotor UAV Diuji-Coba

28 September 2009

Dr. Judojono dan Quadrotor tipe I (photo : ITB Podcast)

Pengintai Terbang dari Bandung

Peneliti Institut Teknologi Bandung merancang wahana pengintai tanpa awak. Sudah bisa diproduksi massal.

Masih ingat drama pengepungan rumah yang diyakini polisi sebagai tempat persembunyian teroris di Jawa Tengah awal Agustus lalu? Selain pasukan khusus, drama belasan jam di Dusun Beji, Kecamatan Kedu, Temanggung, itu melibatkan satu aktor penting: robot pengintai.

Sambil mengangkut kamera, robot menyusup masuk untuk memantau penghuni rumah di tengah ladang jagung tersebut. Meskipun akhirnya yang didapat polisi ternyata bukan gembong teroris Noor Din M. Top, robot seharga Rp 1 miliar itu telah mendongkrak citra Detasemen Khusus 88 sebagai pasukan yang dilengkapi peralatan canggih.

Peran robot memang semakin penting di dunia militer. Bukan cuma di darat, seperti yang terlihat di Temanggung, tapi juga di udara. Pesawat-pesawat nirawak Amerika Serikat, misalnya, telah menggantikan peran pesawat mata-mata dan pengebom berawak. Tak mengherankan bila militer Amerika mengandalkan jasanya di medan per-tempuran Afganistan dan Irak. Tenta-ra Israel bahkan sering memanfaatkan robot tak berawak untuk memburu musuh-musuhnya di Palestina.

Kelebihan robot terbang itu praktis. Bisa dikendalikan dari jauh. Relatif akurat. Daya tempurnya prima. Dan, ini yang penting, tak perlu mengorbankan nyawa bila ditembak jatuh. Kinerja dan kelebihannya yang sudah teruji di medan tempur inilah yang membuat penelitian-penelitian untuk melahirkan jenis robot baru terus berlangsung. Kalangan militer, sebagai konsumen dan pengguna terbesar, sangat berkepentingan terhadap kemajuan teknologi robotika.

Robot darat di Temanggung itu bahkan boleh dibilang sudah ketinggalan zaman. Andaikan polisi menggunakan robot terbang, boleh jadi drama pengepungan tak akan memakan belasan jam. Soalnya, di Indonesia, robot terbang itu sudah ada. Sebulan sebelum penyerbuan Temanggung, pakar aeronautika Institut Teknologi Bandung, Judojono Kartidjo, mempertunjukkan robot terbang hasil rancangannya.
"Robot ini untuk pengamatan daerah yang berada diluar jangkauan kita," katanya.
Saat ini, robot terbang yang disebut quadrotor karena memiliki empat baling-baling siap diproduksi massal, dan f ungsinya bisa dirancang sesuai dengan kebutuhan pengguna.

Quadrotor Type 1 demikian robot terbang itu diberi nama mampu terbang ke segala arah. Sangat praktis karena wahana dengan panjang dan lebar tak lebih dari satu meter itu bisa mengudara tanpa landasan, seperti helikopter. "Robot ini mampu terbang, bergerak vertikal dan horizontal," kata perancangnya.
Badan quadrotor ini terbuat dari pelat aluminium ringan. Pada tiap ujungnya terpasang satu buah rotor, dan modul elektronik untuk menggerakkan motor dipasang di tengah. Hebatnya, robot ini bisa mengudara sejauh 50 kilometer dari pusat kendali darat.

UAV ini sangat berguna untuk iring-iringan kavaleri sebagai forward looking observer (photo : ITB Podcast)

Prototipe robot yang dipertunjukkan memang masih sederhana. Hanya berbentuk dua batang pelat alumunium yang disatukan dan pada tiap ujungnya dipasang baling-baling. Tapi fungsi pengintaian menjadi keunggulan quadrotor ini.
Pada bagian tengah robot, sekaligus tempat menyatunya dua pelat itu, dipasangkan kamera kontrol untuk mengendalikan arah terbang dan sebuah kamera video untuk merekam obyek yang menjadi sasaran. Selain itu, ada sebuah antena yang menjadi penerima dan pengirim sinyal. Prototipe ini digerakkan dengan tenaga baterai yang bisa bertahan setengah jam.

Menurut Judojono, robot terbang ini merupakan pengembangan teknologi pesawat nirawak yang ia rancang lebih dari lima tahun lalu. Pesawat tanpa awak yang ia kembangkan itu bersifat autonomouse, artinya pesawat bergerak menjaga keseimbangannya sendiri. Inilah yang membedakan pesawat tanpa awak itu dengan pesawat sejenis yang dioperasikan lewat pengontrol jarak jauh (remote control). Pesawat dengan remote control hanya bisa dikendalikan sejauh mata memandang. Semua gerakan dan keseimbangan pesawat dikendalikan penuh dari darat, sehingga sulit difungsikan sebagai pengintai.

Robot yang dikembangkan Judojono itu tahun lalu pernah mendapat penghargaan sebagai rancangan terbaik pada kompetisi robot Korea. Pemakainya, tim Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Indonesia Garuda, menampilkan pesawat yang dirancang dengan tingkat kemandirian tinggi. Seluruh rancangan pesawat, dari desain pesawat nirawak, unit sistem pengendali, navigasi, hingga kontrol darat merupakan hasil rancangan sendiri, dan tidak memakai komponen pabrikan (on-the-shelf) yang dapat dibeli di pasar. Tim lain kebanyakan memakai komponen jadi. Indonesia tak bisa membeli komponen ini karena embargo negara produsen.

Pada lomba itu ada empat misi wajib yang harus dilakukan: menjatuhkan obyek tertentu pada sasaran yang telah ditentukan, mengambil gambar obyek yang diletakkan pada area tertentu, mengambil gambar suatu obyek yang lokasinya telah ditentukan dengan kualitas gambar yang tinggi, dan mencari obyek di permukaan laut dalam bentuk boneka orang yang tidak diketahui posisinya. Misi itu harus dilakukan dalam mode "Autonomous". Artinya, pesawat dikendalikan oleh program komputer yang ada di dalam pesawat tanpa intervensi dari pilot atau operator. Indonesia unggul dalam misi kedua dan ketiga.

Nah, pesawat tanpa awak itu memiliki kelebihan, yaitu stabilitas di udara Quadrotor ini juga dilengkapi sensor terhadap benda di sekitarnya, sehingga bisa digunakan di ruangan tanpa khawatir bakal menabrak dinding.

Rancangan Quadrotor tahap selanjutnya (photo : ITB Podcast)

Judojono mengatakan quadrotor bisa dirancang sesuai dengan keperluan penggunanya, misalnya untuk keperluan jarak jauh dan lama, tenaga penggerak tidak menggunakan baterai tapi mesinnya bisa diganti dengan yang berbahan bakar bensin. "Alat ini bisa dipakai oleh tentara, polisi, hingga pemadam kebakaran untuk mengurangi risiko kehilangan personel".

Menteri Negara Riset dan Teknologi Kusmayanto Kadiman mengatakan robot terbang buatan Judojono itu sangat bermanfaat, terutama di bidang militer. "Sangat penting untuk misi pengintaian. Ini harus terus dikembangkan," katanya.
la mengatakan negara-negara yang militernya terkenal kuat, seperti Amerika Serikat dan Israel, sangat mengandalkan hasil-hasil riset teknologi untuk memuluskan operasi. la berharap riset-riset teknologi seperti ini akan menambah kemandirian alat-alat tempur TNI. "Kita yakin ke depan kita akan mampu memiliki industri pertahanan yang mandiri," ujar Kusmayanto.

Untuk menuju kemandirian itu, Judojono mengatakan quadrotor sudah bisa diproduksi massal. "Pabriknya sudah ada," katanya. Satu quadrotor dihargai Rp 850 juta. Dengan teknologi yang lebih canggih, tentu harga itu jauh lebih murah dibanding robot darat yang digunakan polisi di Temanggung.
Selain sebagai alat pengintai, polisi bisa mendapat keuntungan dengan menjual gambar yang diambil. "Misalnya beberapa saat setelah ledakan bom Marriott, siapa yang berani masuk hotel? Alat ini bisa masuk dan mengambil gambar. Gambar eksklusif itu bisa dijual ke stasiun televisi," kata Judojono. Anda berminat ?


26 September 2009

Thailand's Submarine Ambitions Back on Agenda

26 September 2009

Thailand is also on the search for submarines. The Thai navy currently has no submarine capability and has a requirement for 4 (four) submarines. However, the ongoing political upheaval in Thailand and the financial situation might result in this requirement not materialising into anything concrete, but China is keen to provide Song class submarines in a barter trade deal. (photo : Military Today)

An increase in acquisitions of submarines by Southeast Asian countries is prompting Thailand to step up a gear in its bid to procure its own platform, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) told Jane's on 23 September.

Thailand's last serious bid to procure submarines ended in May 1996 when the government announced that due to financial pressures it would not follow up on a project to acquire two or three diesel-electric platforms at an estimated cost of around USD500 million.

While the acquisition of the same number of submarines would cost considerably more now – and therefore the financing of a fresh procurement programme could prove similarly difficult – a senior officer in the RTN said that regional developments had made the requirement necessary.

These developments have seen Malaysia purchase two Scorpene submarines, which are expected to be commissioned and deployed in East Malaysia by late 2009 or early 2010; Singapore relaunch the first of two Västergötland-class (A 17) submarines in June 2009; Vietnam enter a deal with Russia to purchase six Project 877EKM ('Kilo'-class) boats; and Indonesia, which already operates two Type 209-class submarines, announce that it will purchase two more platforms in the next two years, possibly from South Korea or Russia.


Kapal LPD Buatan PT PAL Siap Diserahkan

26 September 2009

LPD ke-3 KRI Banjarmasin saat proses penyelesaian (photo : Cakrabyuha ARC )

Bila berjalan sesuai dengan rencana, akhir September ini PT PAL Indonesia yang berpusat di Surabaya akan menyerahkan sebuah kapal jenis landing platform dock atau LPD 125 meter pesanan Departemen Pertahanan untuk TNI AL.

Kapal buatan PT PAL ini akan menjadi kapal LPD ketiga yang masuk jajaran TNI AL. Dua kapal LPD pertama dibuat pabrik Korea Selatan, Daewoo International Corporation, dan diserahkan kepada TNI AL tahun silam.

Dibandingkan dengan dua LPD pertama, alat utama sistem persenjataan TNI AL yang dibangun di PT PAL ini mengalami sejumlah penyempurnaan mengikuti keinginan TNI AL. Yang termasuk dalam penyempurnaan adalah daya angkut helikopter ditambah dari tiga menjadi lima, kecepatan kapal ditingkatkan dari 15 knot menjadi 15,4 knot, dan bentuk bangunan atas mengurangi penampang radar (radar cross section), membuat kapal lebih sulit ditangkap radar musuh.

Selain itu, kapal LPD tersebut juga dirancang untuk bisa dipasangi senjata 100 mm dan dilengkapi ruang khusus untuk sistem kendali senjata (fire control system), yang memungkinkan kapal mampu melaksanakan pertahanan diri.

Kapal yang dibeli dengan fasilitas pembiayaan kredit ekspor ini berfungsi sebagai pengangkut kapal pendarat pasukan, operasi amfibi, pengangkut tank, pengangkut personel, juga untuk operasi kemanusiaan dan penanggulangan bencana serta pengangkut helikopter.
PT PAL sejak tahun 1980 telah menyelesaikan lebih dari 150 kapal aneka jenis. (nin)


25 September 2009

Seoul Drops KFX Technology Target To Generation 4.5

25 September 2009

If KFX costs $41 million a copy, South Korea might export 300-500 to countries such as Indonesia and Turkey, it suggests. Indonesia signed a letter of intent with South Korea to participate in the KFX study last March (photo : Forum Keypublishing)

South Korea will focus on developing a Generation-4.5 fighter under a proposed program that previously aimed at an equivalent of the fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35.

The government is due to decide in November whether to proceed with the program, called KFX, which industrialists hope will meet the air force’s distant F-XX fighter requirement for the 2020s.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing are battling for another prize called F-X Phase III, under which the air force proposes to buy 60 fighters next decade.

Downgrading of ambitions for KFX follows condemnation last year of the original specification from the Korea Development Institute state think tank.

An officially commissioned study from another think tank now urges that Gen-4.5 technology would meet South Korean needs.

If KFX goes ahead, the next major decision would be whether the fighter should have a new design or be an upgrade of a type already in production. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, EADS (representing Eurofighter), Saab and Korea Aerospace Industries have submitted proposals.

With this program, South Korea is facing an especially stark choice between its industrial and strategic interests.

On the one hand, it wants to maintain a fighter-development capability that it built up with the T-50 supersonic trainer.

And yet, the South Korean air force, more than many others, faces a serious military threat and needs to field the most effective equipment its budget can provide. The F-35 has attracted political support in South Korea as better value for the money than KFX and is favored by a strong lobby within the air force.

A think tank from Konkuk University says a Gen-4.5 fighter would be enough, partly because stand-off missiles make maximum stealth redundant.

Still, a Gen-4.5 fighter entering service early in the 2020s would probably have modest export prospects, which seems to minimize the chances of South Korea adopting an all-new design, even if KFX goes ahead at all.

Indeed, the F-35 might be ordered under F-X Phase III, raising the awkward possibility that South Korea could field a Gen-5 fighter in one decade and a Gen-4.5 in the following decade.

The Konkuk think tank’s KFX report was due to the government last week, but its recommendations have already been widely discussed.

The new KFX specification calls for an empty weight of 10.4 metric tons (23,000 lb.), reduced observability and either one or two engines. It would have an active electronically scanned array radar and an infrared search-and-tracking sensor.

Development cost is estimated at 5-6 trillion won ($4.1-4.9 billion) and production at 50 billion won per unit, with entry into service in 2021.

The highly stealthy KFX would have cost 10 trillion won to develop, according to the Korea Development Institute.

The report recommends that as many as 250 KFXs be built to push down the unit cost. The first 120 aircraft would replace the country’s McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms and Northrop F-5 Tigers. A further 130 KFXs would replace Lockheed Martin F-16C and D Block 52s.

If KFX costs $41 million a copy, South Korea might export 300-500 to countries such as Indonesia and Turkey, it suggests. Indonesia signed a letter of intent with South Korea to participate in the KFX study last March.

The proposed size of the aircraft would suit a development of the Typhoon. EADS promoted the Typhoon type to meet the earlier KFX specification, for which Saab suggested designs descended from Gripen.

Boeing said last year that the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and completely new designs were on offer for KFX. The company is pitching the F-15SE Silent Eagle, a stealthier derivative of the F-15E, as the F-X Phase III requirement but that fighter is much larger than the latest specification for KFX.

Lockheed Martin adopted a low profile when South Korea sought a Gen-5 KFX, since the aircraft would have competed with the F-35.

The air force’s more immediate requirement, F-X Phase III, is raising the same conflict between industry’s interest in getting work and the service’s interest in fielding the highest technology.

Korea Aerospace now builds the wings and forward fuselages for all F-15s, thanks to South Korea’s orders for 40 Eagles under F-X Phase I in 2002 and 21 more under Phase II. A further batch of 60, possibly including work on developing stealth aspects of the design, would therefore be highly attractive to the company.

The F-35, by contrast, would not be released for manufacturing in South Korea.

The defense ministry’s think tank, the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, has recommended the F-15SE, but a decision is far off. The acquisition administration said in March it would not formally identify candidates until 2011 or 2012 and would then need two more years to choose the winner.

Boeing will exhaust its current F-15 order book in 2012, although Saudi Arabia may buy a further 72 Eagles (AW&ST Sept. 14, p. 22).

Australian Aerospace Eager for Air 9000 Competition

25 September 2009

NFH-90 helicopter (photo : Aviation Week)

"I just want a competition" - these were the words said repeatedly by Australian Aerospace boss Jens Goenneman at a media breakfast last week when asked about what the company would be up to in regard to Air 9000 Phase 8.

The NFH will be going up against the Lockheed Martin MH-60R to replace the Seahawks and the ill-fated Seasprites, ‘a matter of urgency' according to the 2009 White Paper.

"Not having a competition between the two contenders would be cheating on the Australian tax payer and workers," Goenneman said.

Goenneman outlined why the argument that the NFH is high risk in terms of schedule and compatibility with other Australian assets doesn't hold up.

The Dutch and French forces will have their choppers in the air by the time the Australian Navy needs their platforms.

There was even talk that the French government was flexible with their delivery dates, allowing Australia to access an NFH by this time next year, straight off the production line, or an Australianised variant by mid 2011.

And since the AWD final design review isn't due until the end of the year, arguing that the NFH won't be compatible with the class seems a little premature.

The extension of the MRH90 production line in Brisbane from 2014 out to 2020 (and another 500 jobs) for 24 to 27 choppers will also be something to consider.

Singapore Seeks More F-16 Training in U.S.

25 September 2009

F-16 C/D Block 52 of the RSAF (photo : Luhai Wong)

Taipei - The Singapore Air Force plans to continue F-16 pilot training in the United States.

On Sept. 9, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the U.S. Congress of two F-16 pilot training programs - a $250 million deal with Singapore to continue the Continental United States (CONUS) pilot proficiency training program for the Singapore Peace Carvin program at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.; and a $75 million CONUS program at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio, where the Singapore Air Force will lease U.S. Air Force F-16s.

The deal will include 35,000 20mm cartridges, aircraft modification kits, maintenance, participation in joint training exercises, flight training and logistical support.

"Singapore is a firm supporter of U.S. overseas contingency operations," a DSCA press release said. "This program will enable Singapore to develop mission-ready and experienced pilots through its CONUS training program to support Singapore's current and future F-16 aircraft inventory."

Singapore's 425th Fighter Squadron, nicknamed the Black Widows, has about a dozen F-16C/D Block 52 fighters assigned to Luke. Singaporean F-16 pilots have undergone training under Peace Carvin at Luke since the 1990s.

24 September 2009

SKorea Launches Two High-Speed Patrol Boats

24 September 2009

The ships weight 440 ton each and the maximum speed of 74km/h. (photo : Chosun)

Cutting-Edge High-Speed Patrol Boat Launched

The Navy on Thursday launched an advanced high-speed patrol boat equipped with guided missiles that is to play the key role in defending the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea boundary between the two Koreas.

The Yoon Young-ha is named after a sailor killed in a 2002 inter-Korean naval clash near the NLL. The launch came on Thursday, the eve of the fifth anniversary of the skirmish. Lt. Col. Ahn Ji-yong, a veteran of the clash, was named captain of the new vessel.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Song Yung-moo presided over the launch, which was attended by Yoon Du-ho, the father of the late Lt. Col. Yoon Young-ha, veterans of sea clashes, some 150 other family members of those killed and military officers. "The NLL is well guarded thanks to the brave fight put up by the six who died,” Song said.

The missile-armed high-speech patrol boat Yoon Young-ha, named after the lieutenant colonel who died in a 2002 inter-Korean naval skirmish, is launched on Thursday, the eve of the fifth anniversary of the clash, at Youngdo Shipyard in Busan./Yonhap

The high-speed, 440-ton boat is much larger than the 130-ton Chamsuri speed boat used so far. It will be equipped with four Korean-made Haesung (sea star) ship-to-ship missiles with a range of over 150 km.

North Korea's Osa-1 missile-equipped high-speed boat has a displacement of 171 tons and is equipped with four 46 km-range Styx ship-to-ship missiles, making it the inferior of the Yoon Young-ha class in terms of both firepower and size. The new patrol boat has 76 mm-caliber guns with a range of over 20 km formerly only mounted on medium-size and large warships of more than 1,000 tons.

Equipped with search and chase radar developed in the country for the first time, a cutting-edge command system for electronic warfare equipment, and stealth capability, the Yoon Young-ha class’ has 80 percent of the combat capability of a 3,500-ton Korean cruiser, the Navy said. The boats will go into service in the first half of next year. The Navy plans to build at least 20 of them.


Keel Laying for the First LHD for Australia

24 September 2009

Canberra class LHD (photo : DefenceGovAu)

Amphibious Ships Official Keel Laying Ceremony

Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced that the official keel laying of Australia’s first Amphibious Ship (LHD 01) took place overnight at Navantia’s shipbuilding yard in Ferrol, Spain.

“Under Project JP2048 Phase 4A/B the Commonwealth is acquiring two new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) amphibious ships to provide sustainment support for our deployed forces,” said Mr Combet.

BAE Systems Australia Defence is the prime contractor for this $3.3 billion project. The Spanish shipbuilder Navantia is subcontracted to BAE as the design authority and is required to construct and fit out the hulls of two large Amphibious Ships for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

“The project is on schedule with the ceremony for the keel laying of the hull for LHD 01 occurring exactly one year to the day from first steel being cut. I am also advised that the whole of ship design reviews are nearing completion,” said Mr Combet.

“After completion of the hulls for the Amphibious Ships they will be transported to Australia. The superstructures will then be constructed, fitted out and integrated with the hulls at BAE Systems’ Williamstown dockyard.”

“The combat system is to be provided by Saab Systems Australia, which will also integrate the combat management system; and the communications system will be supplied by L-3 Communications.”

The next milestone will be the launch of LHD 01 in Spain in March 2011 and then the arrival of it at Williamstown dockyard in 2012 with LHD 02 arriving in 2014.

“As outlined in the Government’s White Paper, these ships will be able to carry a substantial quantity of equipment, stores and personnel. In terms of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, they will most likely be the best means available to provide assistance in our region,” said Mr Combet.

See Also :

Navantia Lays Keel for the First LHD for Australia

Navantia has laid on 23th. September the keel for the LHD “Canberra” at the Ferrol shipyard. It is the first of the series of two that Australia contracted with Navantia in 2007.

The ceremony has been presided by the Chief of the Australian Navy, Admiral Russ Crane and by Aurelio Martínez, CEO of Navantia. Amongst other relevant attendants we must highlight the Deputy Premier of South Australia, Hon. Kevin Foley, the Australian Ambassador to Spain and members of the Spanish Navy.

This milestone consisted of the erection in slipway 3 of the 4 blocks of the keel (numbers 320, 322, 323 y 328) out of a total of 104 blocks. This ship was started exactly 12 months ago, and after this milestone, the ship will be launched in 18 months and it is expected to be commissioned to BAE Systems (Tenix in 2007). The second ship will be started in 2010 and will have the same sequence.

The design of these ships is based in the LHD “Juan Carlos I”, currently under construction for the Spanish Navy, and was selected over the French company Armaris offer, because it completely fitted the Royal Australian Navy requirements.

The contract reaches 1,411.6 million euros, being 915 million euros for Navantia, that includes the design and construction of the ships, as well as some equipment as engines and platform control system, that will be provided by Navantia. Both contracts mean a very important milestone for Navantia, as its biggest export operation in the history, reaching 1,200 million euros and will make of Navantia the reference naval designer and shipbuilder in the world.

Main characteristics:
- Length overall: 230.82 m
- Breadth maximum: 32 m
- Height flight deck: 27.50 m
- Full load displacement: 27,831 t
- Full load speed: 20.5 kn
- Range (@15 knots): 8,000 nautical miles
- Crew: 243 + 36 additional
- Embarked forces: 978 + 146 additional
- Hangar: 990 m2
- Flight deck: 4,750 m2
- Light cargo garage: 1,880 m2
- Heavy cargo garage: 1,410 m2

New Zealand to Replace Iroquois with NH90

24 September 2009

NH-90 of the RNZAF (photo : RNZAF)

The New Zealand Air Force is withdrawing its fleet of aging Iroquois helicopters, to be replaced by French NH90 choppers.

All 14 Iroquois choppers will be substituted by NH90 helicopters which will start arriving in mid 2010 and be fully commissioned by 2013.

Bell Iroquois of the RNZAF (photo : Scoop)

The French helicopters were ordered In 2006 under a $771 million deal which included the aircraft, spare parts and training.

Two of the 14 Iroquois choppers will be kept at Ohakea Air Base in case they are needed.

New hangars at Ohakea are being built for the NH90s and for the Augusta 109s, which will replace the air force's Sioux training helicopters.

23 September 2009

Thailand Approves Hundreds Million $ Defence Package

23 September 2009

Sikorsky Seahawk ASW helicopter (photo: Defense Industry Daily)

Tech Crm. statements to MOD, withdraw over year "is billion".

Depth resolution: "Mark" does not delight in mice Crm overturn the green light open defense budget over the year. "Count billion" to buy weapons, all military plentifully.

Mr. Supachai be Deputy PM Spokesman Annual Ocean Prime Minister Earnings Conference Cabinet (Crm.) that Crm approved form of debt obligation over the year Royal Navy, Royal Thai Army headquarters. The Department of Defense (Kh.) to offer From cabinet Approved the Navy Cross-bound form of debt year development capabilities in beating Atlanta submarine Corp. Peter seize a submarine SEA HAWK price excluding customs duties. However, VAT and all costs, the amount of 989,985,400 baht of 3-year period from fiscal year 2009-2011 the 3-year period from fiscal 2009 to fiscal year 2011 spending plans by the year 2011 of Baht 197,997,080 Total 386,094,306 Fiscal year 2010 U.S. and fiscal year 2011 of 405,894,014 baht last year.

The Department of Defense reported that the project is Atlanta Development Corp. Peter seize a submarine SEA HAWK of the Navy stationed in a number 6 with the ability to complete the requirements specified in the suppression of submarine missions with Navy warship in the role of liquid anti-national sovereignty of the sea, and prevent the use of anti-submarine division of contrast effectively. Mr. Supachai said, also in the Navy cabinet, the Navy approved the form of debt obligation over year. Program provides onshore patrol vessel of 3 ships operations 3-year period from fiscal year 2009 to 2011 Baht 1,603,177,084.27 line with the budget plan is the year 2009 of 314 million baht the year 2010 of 628 million baht and the year. 2011 Total 661,177,084.27 Baht. MOD reported that the Navy has programs for treatment of side missions patrol vessels, prevent infiltration, protect fishing boats, prevention and protection of natural resources in the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea, law enforcement authority in the sea assignments. It is significant that the Navy Department which will be operating continuously in the evening peace and war times, as well as offering security to the royalty.

"Budget Office determined that the project is providing the replacement boat near the onshore patrol vessel T. 11 sets to the Navy discharge years 2009-2013 the number of Navy has 6 ships by providing alternative access to the ID number was 3 ships in fiscal year 2006-2007 the remaining 3 ships will also perform this ".

Isuzu FST 4X4 (photo : Truckworld)

Mr. Supachai said Crm also approved in the Army. Presented by the Department of Defense to create cross-fiscal year debt obligation program provides automotive cable arms, type size 2 car carried a half ton 4x4 Isuzu brand, the FST model vehicles that feature unique needs and to support units in the Army and a powerful mission of 1474 cars with the time. The 4 years since 2009-2012, with plans to limit 4,994,649,000 U.S. is spending the 2009-2010 fiscal year installment 1 billion the year 2011 of 1.5 billion baht and the year 2012 of Baht 1,494,649,000. MOD reports that the project is providing military rate the Army to provide military has not yet reached the replacement rate and the same old outdated military has been distributed to government for a long time in order to meet the Army's mission to reach as assigned.

In the statement the Bureau is of the opinion that the project such for use in transporting troops, baggage and tow trucks to distribute military unit under the Army to be held and the rate of replacement of the beginning of the long life of more than 40 years. The Army needs a total of 8924 cars and 5845 cars use the regular decomposition, deterioration used cars 3647, used cars only 2188 are no longer rate of 3079 vehicles.

Deputy government spokesman also announced that it and the last cabinet, also approved to make the Thai military headquarters across fiscal debt obligation program provides replacement vehicles and machinery. The 4-year period from fiscal year 2009-2012 amount of 3,049,536,380 baht. With spending plans, the fiscal year 2009-2010 is the year of 610,856,800 baht the year 2011 of Baht 814,475,700 and the fiscal year 2012 of Baht 1,013,347,080. MOD reports that the project is providing vehicles and machinery to bring a new replacement, the existing use has a long decay and deterioration, can not make the project work of agencies helping people, project due Royal. As well as other special projects work effectively, it also makes waste, high maintenance budget, if not provide replacement.


Anti-Piracy Role for HMAS Toowoomba

23 September 2009

HMAS Toowoomba will patrol the waters of the Gulf of Aden, the Somalia Basin and the Horn of Africa. (photo : Navalassoc)

HMAS Toowoomba will be the first Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship to join the US-led Combined Task Force combating piracy off the Horn of Africa.

Toowoomba will patrol the waters of the Gulf of Aden, the Somalia Basin and the Horn of Africa - a new mission for the RAN operating in the Middle East.

Chief of Joint Operations Command, LTGEN Mark Evans, said HMAS Toowoomba's involvement in the operation was an important contribution towards countering piracy.

"As an ANZAC-class frigate, HMAS Toowoomba will provide a major deterrent presence.

"Other tasks will include escorting merchant shipping in the maritime corridors of the Gulf of Aden, as well as tracking and reporting on any piracy situations," LTGEN Evans said.

"The ship's crew have trained for these taskings and I have no doubt they will excel in this important operation."

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander Ivan Ingham, said he and his crew were eager to provide support and assistance in providing security to the merchant vessels in the region.

(Australian Defence)

See Also :

Navy Disarms Pirates

23 September - HMAS Toowoomba has successfully stopped a piracy attack by conducting a boarding of a suspect vessel off the coast of Yemen in the Gulf of Aden.

After receiving an emergency call for assistance from the Merchant Vessel BBC Portugal, HMAS Toowoomba immediately responded by moving to the scene at high speed to investigate and provide assistance.

The Commander of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander Ivan Ingham, launched a boarding team to investigate the suspected vessel.

“The quick response by HMAS Toowoomba and the coalition helicopter ensured that the incident did not escalate into a direct attack on the merchant vessel,” Commander Ingham said.“Further, the ships’ presence in very close proximity to the scene ensured that the persons suspected of planning acts of piracy were not able to resist the arrival of our boarding party and ensured that our teams were able to conduct a thorough and effective search.”

The search of the suspect vessel revealed a cache of weapons including a Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher (RPG), six AK47 Assault Rifles, a G3 Assault Rifle and a large quantity of ammunition.

Routine questioning of the persons suspected of planning acts of piracy by Toowoomba’s boarding party confirmed that the occupants of the suspect vessel were from nearby Somalia.

“With the incident averted and the threat removed, we directed them to depart from the shipping lanes of the International Recommended Transit Corridor and sent them back to where they came from,” Commander Ingham said.
HMAS Toowoomba is now continuing with counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden region.

Australia’s contribution to international counter-piracy efforts off the Horn of Africa includes three embedded staff officers at the Coalition Force Maritime Component Command Headquarters, two RAAF AP-3C maritime patrol aircraft and the Anzac Class frigate, HMAS Toowoomba.


22 September 2009

Australia to Trial Thales' IAAG

22 September 2009

Six IAAG shipsets have now been delivered to the USN. (photo : Australian Defence)

The Infrasonic Advanced Acoustic Generator (IAAG) developed by Thales Australia for the US Navy's (USN's) mine-countermeasures fleet is to be trialled by the Australian Department of Defence as part of its capability and technology demonstrator (CTD) program.

Six IAAG shipsets have now been delivered to the USN and Thales Australia anticipates further contracts to equip the balance of the 14 Avenger-class ocean minesweeper/minehunter vessels.

(Australian Defence)

21 September 2009

India Launches Second Stealthy Destroyer

21 September 2009

The INS Kochi, a 6,500-ton warship, will add its force to the existing Indian fleet, which includes the INS Delhi, INS Mysore and INS Mumbai.(photo : Keypublishing)

NEW DELHI - The Indian Navy has launched the second of its three stealthy Project-15-A, or Kolkata-class, destroyers. The INS Kochi, launched Sept. 18, is expected to be delivered in May 2011 for induction into active service.

Built by Mazagon Dock, the state-owned shipyard, the Project-15-A destroyers will be fitted with the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile and long-range surface-to-air missiles.
The ships are armed with 16 supersonic cruise missiles PJ-10 BrahMos, antisubmarine rocket launchers, 28 long-range SAM (probably Barak-NG), multifunction radar MF-Star EL/M-2248 by Elta Systems company providing exact coordinates detection of surface and aerial targets. Moreover, the ship will get four shipborne artillery systems AK-630 and mid-range artillery system, national coupled torpedo launchers, hull-mounted underwater sound system HUMSA-NG made by NPOL laboratory. (photo : Keypublishing)

The Kochi was launched via a pontoon-assisted launch procedure, with aerial support from two multirole helicopters, a senior Defence Ministry official said, the first time such a method has been used for a warship launched in India. Russian experts were on hand to assist with the pontoon launch, which helps heavier vessels avoid slipway constraints.

The Kochi will be equipped with a multifunction radar system for acquiring data on surface and air targets, the Defence Ministry official said, and four AK-630 rapid-fire guns and a medium-range gun for closer targets. The destroyer will also have indigenously developed twin-tube torpedo launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers, and Humsa sonar, developed by the state owned Naval Physical Oceanographic Laboratory.

Australia Accepts Final Upgraded Frigates

21 September 2009

HMAS Newcastle (photo : DefenceGovAu)

Frigate Upgrades A Step Closer to Conclusion

Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science today announced that the project to upgrade our Adelaide Class Frigates (FFG) is now a step closer to its conclusion with the contractual acceptance of HMAS Newcastle three months ahead of the schedule.

Mr Combet officiated at a ceremony at Garden Island for the contractual acceptance of HMAS Newcastle, the fourth and final FFG to undergo the upgrade program.

“The FFG Upgrade program, formally known as Project SEA 1390 Phase 2.1, has been a very complex project involving a high level of sophisticated naval systems integration. The project involved the development of new technology systems and the integration of those systems with legacy FFG equipment,” said Mr Combet.

“It is well known that the FFG Upgrade program has been on the Government’s project of concern list due to the long delays in the delivery of this project. Therefore I am very pleased to see the acceptance of this final frigate.”

“The contractual acceptance of HMAS Newcastle now means that the Defence Materiel Organisation has determined that the material properties of all of the upgraded ships are in suitable accordance with contracted requirements.”

“Given the problems this project faced in the past, it has taken very good leadership by all parties including, Navy, DMO, Thales and its subcontractors to reach this point. It has also highlighted to me the importance of the work being undertaken in the Government’s project of concern unit to remediate problematic projects.”

(Defense Aerospace)

19 September 2009

China to Unveil New Two Type AEW&C

19 September 2009

KJ-2000 a Chinese Airborne Early Warning and Control system comprising domestically designed electronics and radars installed on a modified Ilyushin IL-76 airframe. (photo : Gordon Blade)

China to Unveil New Weapons Systems in National Day Parade

BEIJING -- Fifty-two types of new weapon systems developed with China's own technologies, including airborne early warning and control (AEWC) aircraft, will be showcased at the military parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of New China.

Further cutting-edge weaponry would include sophisticated radar, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and satellite communication devices of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Lieutenant General Fang Fenghui, general director of the parade, told Xinhua Wednesday.

The Oct. 1 parade would also show personnel and equipment from the navy, air force and China's ballistic missile corps, Fang said.

Fang did not identify the specific models of the weapon systems but said all of the weapons are tagged: "Made in China".

"They (the weapon systems) embody the ongoing transformation of the PLA from a labor-intensive force to technology-intensive might be capable of joint operations in modern warfare," said Fang, who is also commander of the PLA's Beijing Military Area Command.

KJ-200 AEW aircraft was based on the indigenous Y-8 turboprop airframe with a linear-shape electronically steered phased-array radar mounted on top of its fuselage. (photo : China Defense Mashup)

"The weapon systems to be shown in the parade also showcase the ability of the PLA to carry out diverse military missions," he said.

There will be 56 regiments on the ground and in the air during the parade, symbolizing the country's 56 ethnic groups marching along the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics in solidarity, Fang said.

Fourteen of the regiments will march through Chang'an Avenue on foot, 30 in wheeled transport and 12 will take to the air.

All the troops in the parade will be dressed in PLA 07-type uniforms and most of them are from generations born in the 1980s and 1990s.

Compared with the previous military parade on National Day 10 years ago, this one would have less troops and equipment but increased high-tech weaponry and special force units, Fang said.

Australia Scales Back EW Program

19 September 2009

Phase 2A will materialise the design commenced in Phase 1 for the Black Hawk and Chinook. Phase 2A will deliver an integrated Electronic Warfare Self Protection Suite consisting of the EADS AAR-60 Missile Warning System, the Thales VICON 78 Countermeasures Dispensing System, and the Commonwealth owned, BAE Systems produced ALR -2002 Radar Warning System. (photo : DefenceGovAu)

Air 5416 - Project Echidna Update

Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced that the Government had agreed to a Defence recommendation to reduce the scope for approved project AIR 5416 Phase 2 - electronic warfare self protection for rotary wing assets, known as Project Echidna.

Mr Combet said Defence will complete modifications to 12 Black Hawk helicopters to provide a basic level of electronic warfare self protection but discontinue work on a more advanced equipment suite including the Australian developed ALR-2002 radar warning receiver.

"Defence has reassessed the operational requirement and has determined that the fitting of additional electronic warfare self protection capabilities would have an adverse effect on aircraft availability," Mr Combet said.

Chinook firing flares (photo : chinook helicopter)

"Black Hawk helicopters are currently being utilised for a wide variety of roles for the ADF and it is vital that they continue to be available to fulfil these roles.

"Defence also advised the Government that the return on investment involved in completing, installing and sustaining the advanced electronic warfare suite would not be justified given the remaining life of the Black Hawk fleet."

"This decision will return savings of $50 million to Defence"

"Project Echidna has already enhanced the survivability and protection of the Australian Chinook fleet for operations in Afghanistan. This has included fitting warning systems coupled to flare dispensers to counter heat seeking missiles and ballistic protection against direct fire weapons.

"The twelve Black Hawks to be fitted will have similar levels of electronic warfare self protection and ballistic protection to that fitted to the Chinooks. Five Black Hawk aircraft have been modified and the remaining seven aircraft will be completed before mid 2010," said Mr Combet.

Project Echidna also included the modification of all 12 C130H aircraft to provide a missile warning, radar warning and counter measures dispense capability.

In announcing this decision, Mr Combet stressed that the performance of the prime contractor BAE Systems on the Echidna project had met all expectations and that development of the skills, capabilities and technology by BAE Systems during the conduct of the project will pay dividends for Defence and the company into the future. BAE Systems should be congratulated on its performance."

The C-130H modification program, the equipment fitted to Chinooks for operations, and an equivalent capability currently being fitted to some Black Hawks, has markedly increased the knowledge and capability of the ADF and Australian industry in the complex and sensitive area of aircraft electronic warfare self protection."

(Defense Aerospace)

18 September 2009

New Combat Kit for NZ Soldier

18 September 2009
NZ soldiers wearing the new protective equipment in pre-deployment training for Afghanistan. September 2009. OH 09-0562-013 (photo : DefenceNZ)

New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) troops deploying to Afghanistan this October will be equipped with the latest, battle tested body armour and protective equipment.

The Army has invested in a variety of gear, from patrol packs to ballistic glasses, to ensure the modern soldier is equipped to do the job they need to do on operations overseas.

The improved body armour has been developed based on lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq. The body armour is a Special Forces variant and is currently in use with US Navy SEAL’s and US Army Rangers.

The protective equipment includes new, lighter combat helmets, improved body armour, ballistic goggles and gloves, modular webbing and pouches, an enhanced individual torch, ergonomic camelback patrol pack, and for some, an improved hand-held GPS unit.“While the soldier is the first part of Army capability, it is also about ensuring our soldiers are well-equipped to do the job they are required to do,” says the Chief of Army Major General Rhys Jones.“This new protective equipment will enable our soldiers to undertake the tasks and demands we require of them in a range of complex operational environments like Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands.”

The equipment will be first used by NZDF personnel deploying to Afghanistan in October. Remaining missions will be supplied with equipment in order of threat level over the next six months.

“There are currently 790 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed on 14 operations, UN missions and defence exercises in 10 countries around the world,” MAJ GEN Jones says.

“They are often twelve months away from their families and the Army is committed to investing in their safety by ensuring they have the equipment and training to achieve their goals to a world-class standard.”The new equipment is lighter, more comfortable and provides the wearer with enhanced ballistic and fragmentary protection. The modular system can also by personalised by the soldier in how they attach the pouches to their webbing.

The current operational pool of equipment will be distributed for wider Army training purposes as the new equipment is phased in.