31 Mei 2020

Meggitt Training Systems Wins ADF Contract for Additional Wireless Virtual Weapons

31 Mei 2020

ADF will train with the BlueFire® wireless virtual weapons (photo : thales)

SUWANEE, Ga.--Meggitt Training Systems announced today it has been awarded a US $1.8 million contract for 73 additional BlueFire® EF88 assault rifle wireless virtual weapons to be used by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) on its Weapon Training Simulation Systems (WTSS), also delivered by the company as a program of record. These latest EF88 weapon simulators will be used at several ADF bases throughout the country with all deliveries to take place in the first half of 2021.

“BlueFire wireless simulators provide the highest level of realism by maintaining form, fit and function of the original weapon,” said Andrea Czop, vice president of strategy, sales and marketing at Meggitt Training Systems. “Like all our simulators, this version of the EF88 reinforces marksmanship training by providing sensor feedback on a variety of fundamental parameters.”

The development and ongoing delivery of 533 BlueFire EF88 simulators has allowed the ADF to continue to train and qualify soldiers on its new rifle using the WTSS. BlueFire EF88s are manufactured at Meggitt Training Systems in Suwanee, Georgia, with service and maintenance conducted in Australia under the Operations & Maintenance Support Services (OMSS) contract, which has been held by Meggitt Training Systems Australia (MTSA) since 1999.

“This order builds on the original EF88 contract awarded in 2018 to Meggitt Training Systems Australia and further proves the value of BlueFire weapons for soldier readiness,” said Kevin McNaughton, managing director of MTSA. “As the Australian Army transitions from the F88 to the EF88 as its primary frontline assault rifle, its BlueFire equivalent paired with upgraded WTSS units being delivered by Meggitt this year will significantly improve ADF weapon training capabilities.”

BlueFire EF88 simulators bring a substantial improvement in capability to the ADF over the tethered F88, including the use of commercial wireless technology to communicate with WTSS and other FATS 100MIL-based virtual training systems. This provides the same control as tethered weapons, but with full range of movement. For enhanced, more realistic visuals, Meggitt’s BlueFire weapon simulators feature a 3D marksmanship training environment. The after-action review allows engagement and shot assessment in a 3D virtual environment, while providing detailed trainee diagnostics for skill reinforcement or correction.


30 Mei 2020

Proyek Drone Gantikan Pesawat R80 dan N245 dalam PSN

30 Mei 2020

Drone Elang Hitam (image : Tempo)

Jokowi Hapus Proyek Pesawat R80 Habibie, Fokus Pengembangan Drone

Pemerintah akan menindaklanjuti 89 proyek yang masuk dalam Program Strategis Nasional (PSN) di tahun 2020 hingga 2024. Jumlah proyek diambil berdasarkan usulan sebelumnya yang mencapai 245 PSN.

Menko Perekonomian Airlangga Hartarto menyebut 89 proyek tersebut diharapkan bisa segera terealisasi berdasarkan dukungan dari pihak-pihak terkait. Sejumlah proyek itu diklasifikasikan dapat membantu pertumbuhan ekonomi dalam negeri.

"Dari 245 proyek baru yang memenuhi kriteria sebanyak 89 proyek. Dengan demikian, 156 proyek belum direkomendasikan karena itu masih membutuhkan dukungan kementerian teknis dan perlu kelengkapan dan perlu memenuhi kriteria yang ditetapkan sebagai PSN di mana presiden harapkan ada dampak kepada masyarakat, terhadap pertumbuhan ekonomi dan terkait dengan pengembangan sosial ekonomi," kata Airlangga dalam konferensi persnya, Jumat (29/5).

Menariknya, dari 89 proyek tersebut salah satunya berkaitan dengan pengembangan drone yang secara otomatis menghapus rencana proyek pengembangan pesawat R80 dan N245.

Pesawat penumpang N245 (image : Darel Y)

Diketahui, dua proyek tersebut merupakan program pengadaan pesawat dalam negeri. R80 digarap PT Regio Aviasi Industri, milik mantan Presiden BJ Habibie dan putranya, Ilham Akbar Habibie. 

Sedangkan N245 digarap PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) bersama Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional (LAPAN).

"Kemudian terkait dengan 3 proyek drone. Di mana 3 proyek terkait pengembangan drone itu sebagai pengganti proyek yang dikeluarkan antara lain R80 dan N245," jelasnya.

Bukan tanpa sebab, Airlangga beralasan bahwa pengembangan drone dianggap lebih sesuai dengan keadaan saat ini ketimbang realisasi kedua proyek tersebut.

"Sehingga dialihkan menjadi teknologi drone yang dianggap lebih cocok dengan situasi saat sekarang dan pengembangannya sudah dimulai oleh PTDI," jelasnya.

Pesawat penumpang R80 (image : wartabuana)

Di sisi lain juga ada proyek seperti pembangunan infrastruktur di sejumlah daerah yang juga masuk dalam 89 PSN.

"Jadi yang 2020-2024, yang proyeknya yang terkait jalan-jembatan, bandara, kawasan industri, termasuk kawasan industri di Brebes, bendungan-irigasi, tanggul laut, program lahan untuk sawah," jelasnya. 

Sebelumnya, Presiden Jokowi meminta para menterinya meninjau kembali 245 usulan PSN. Dia ingin mereka bisa menyaring program-program yang dianggap bermanfaat dan memiliki prospek ke depan.

Jokowi mengkhusukan agar memilih proyek yang mampu membantu pemulihan perekonomian. Terlebih pasca munculnya dampak yang ditimbulkan akibat COVID-19.

"Terkait dengan usulan 245 PSN (Program Strategis Nasional baru saya minta untuk betul-betul dilihat di lapangan, dihitung dikalkulasi secara rinci mana yang direkomendasi dan mana yang tidak direkomendasi," kata Jokowi dalam sambutannya di ratas Evaluasi Proyek Strategis Nasional Untuk Pemulihan Ekonomi secara virtual, Jumat (29/5).

Smart Bombs, Guidance Kits for KF-X Fighter have Chosen

30 Mei 2020

KF-X fighter aircraft equipped with Meteor BVRAAMs, forward-looking infrared pods, and Joint Direct Attack Munitions (image : KAI)

South Korea selects smart bombs, guidance kits for KF-X fighter

South Korea has completed the selection process for the precision-guided munitions and guidance kits that it plans to integrate with its future Korean Fighter eXperimental (KF-X) multirole fighter aircraft.

Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway II (image : Turbosquid)

South Korean military officials told Janes on 28 May that Raytheon’s GBU-12 Paveway II, Boeing’s GBU-31/38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), GBU-54/56 Laser JDAM, and GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb1 (SDB1), as well as Textron’s Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) CBU‐105 had all been selected for integration with the KF-X, which is being developed by Korea Aerospace Industries, with PT Dirgantara Indonesia as KAI’s industry partner on the project.

Boeing GBU-31/38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) (photo : Amazon)

They said the integration process for the smart bombs and guidance kits, all of which are already in service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF), will start later this year, with full integration expected over the coming 6-7 years.

Boeing GBU-54/56 Laser JDAM (photo : USAF)

The move comes after MBDA Missile Systems announced in November 2019 that it had been awarded a contract for the integration of its Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) with the KF-X.

Textron Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) CBU‐105 (photo : Defencyclopedia)

Also set for integration is the IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missile (SRAAM) by Germany’s Diehl Defence, with a contract expected to be signed in the near future.

Hanwha Systems active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar (photo : Yonhapnews)

The aircraft will feature terrain following/terrain avoidance (TF/TA) systems from Israel’s Elbit Systems.

Elbit Systems terrain following/terrain avoidance (TF/TA) systems (photo : Elbit)

The Haifa-based company announced 6 February that it had been awarded a contract by Hanwha Systems, which itself is working on an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the fighter, to equip the KF-X with its TF/TA systems under a USD43 million contract that is set to be fulfilled over a six-year period.


29 Mei 2020

U.S., Singapore Navies Exercise Together in the South China Sea

29 Mei 2020

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and RSS Steadfast (FFG 70) during exercise (photos : USN, RSN)

SOUTH CHINA SEA – The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and the Republic of Singapore Navy Formidable-class multi-role stealth frigate RSS Steadfast (FFS 70) conducted a bilateral exercise in the South China Sea, May 24-25.

The events were an opportunity for Gabrielle Giffords and Steadfast to practice and enhance bilateral interoperability between the two navies, with emphasis on the importance of communications and coordination while sailing together.

“Meeting our partners at sea gives our navies the opportunity to practice maritime proficiencies, and further strengthen the bond between both countries,” said Capt. Ann McCann, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. “Engaging with our network of partners in the region is essential to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The events included a publication exercise, flashing light exercise, maneuvering exercise, large and small caliber gun shoots, and a photo exercise. All events were planned with an emphasis on COVID-19 social distancing measures, resulting in a successful multi-event exercise, with no in-person planning.

“This was the first time that Gabrielle Giffords Blue Crew sailed alongside the Singapore Navy at sea, and they demonstrated high tactical proficiency throughout the exercise,” said Cmdr. Dustin Lonero, commanding officer of Gabrielle Giffords Blue Crew. “Working with Steadfast was an excellent learning opportunity and gave us the chance to strengthen bonds, and enhance our mutual maritime professionalism in the shared naval environment.”

Exercise Pacific Griffin, U.S.-Singapore’s most complex naval exercise to date, occurred near Guam in October 2019 and was the last time the two countries exercised at sea.

Commanding Officer of RSS Steadfast, Lieutenant Colonel Carlin Song highlighted the importance of conducting the exercise.

“This exercise at sea provides both navies the opportunity to continue to hone our professional competencies and interoperability,” Song said. “Due to COVID-19, we had to conduct the exercise planning virtually. We were able to do so and execute the evolutions smoothly because of the good understanding that we have built over the years.”

The U.S. and Republic of Singapore navies work together on a number of initiatives at sea such as ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX), Exercise Pacific Griffin, Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), and Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), as well as combined operations such as multi-national counter-piracy.

Attached to Destroyer Squadron 7, Gabrielle Giffords is on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.


Thai Navy Uses Orbiter 3B UAV to Search for Illegal Fishing

29 Mei 2020

Orbiter 3B UAV of the Royal Thai Navy (all photos : RTN)

Royal Thai Naval Air Division, Royal Thai Fleet, Royal Thai Navy's Israeli Aeronautics Defense Systems Orbiter 3 Small Tactical UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) are used for Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing search operations in the Andaman Sea.

Center Preserve the interests of the nation by sea Region 3 (Chorn Buri) adds new abilities with added unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the Orbiter 3B, enhancing the efficiency of IUU fishing in the Andaman Sea.

Capability of the UAV with ORBITER 3B :
- operating distance of 50 nautical miles 
- operating time of 4 hours 
- able to operate day and night 
- accuracy in identifying surface targets by searching for targets at the specified coordinates
- able to identify fishing boats with visibility ship's mark or boat's name or boat's characteristics such as boat shade, fishing equipment on board clearly 

Increasing of Orbiter 3B UAV make tackling illegal fishing in the Andaman Sea is even more effective.

Earlier in early November In 2019, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Orbiter 3B, was posted in the Royal Thai Navy. The MECC (Maritime Enforcement Command Center) Chon Buri, Region 3, responsible for the Andaman Sea area, has been used to search for illegal fishing.

Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing is an important problem for marine resources around the world. In Thailand, which is part of the global community, it has to be responsible for correcting according to international standards that international acceptance
of the UAV to enhance the efficiency of the Thai Navy is part of the ongoing effort of the Thai Armed Forces and Thai government agencies. Until causing Thailand to cancel the yellow card status from the European Union (EU: European Union) in the end.

Orbiter 3 is a small tactical UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) developed by Aeronautics Defense Systems Israel and received back by spreading the parachute to the groun. From the set, you can see the control stations installed with IVECO trucks, Italy, which earlier that year 2014 (Aeronautics Defense Systems Israel) has brought many UAV systems to demonstrate to the Thai Navy.

The Orbiter 3B UAV unmanned aircraft was put into service at 104 Squadron, Wing 1, Naval Aviation Division. Battle Squadron (104 Air Squadron, Wing 1, Royal Thai Naval Air Division, Royal Thai Fleet).

The original squadron 104 the Royal Thai Air Force had served with 18 attack aircraft, the A-7E Corsair II, which served in the US Navy during the year 1996-2009. Currently, the squadron 104 was converted into an unmanned aircraft squadron.

The UAV unmanned aircraft system from Aeronautics Israel has been commissioned into the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF). Previously, many types have been used to tackle illegal fishing. IUU Fishing too, such as the Aerostar tactical unmanned aerial vehicle, the Orbiter II small unmanned aircraft and the Dominator mid-range unmanned aircraft that is stationed at 404 Squadron 4 Takhli.


Babcock Offers Bell 429 for Army Special Ops Helo

29 Mei 2020

Bell 429 special operation version (all photos : Babcock)

Babcock Selects Bell for Special Forces Helicopter Bid

Babcock has down selected the Bell 429 aircraft in its bid for the LAND 2097 Phase 4 Project to support the Australian Defence Force’s Special Operations helicopter capability.
As one of the world’s largest and most experienced helicopter operators, and the largest commercial operator in Australia, Babcock completed a comprehensive assessment of the platforms available in order to provide the most capable, low risk solution.

Babcock Australasia’s Managing Director – Land, Graeme Nayler, said the Bell 429 Global Ranger was assessed to be the most suitable helicopter in response to the evolving needs of the ADF.

“The Bell 429 has a relatively new paramilitary design, with high levels of safety, role flexibility and performance that will meet the demands of Australian Special Forces,” he said. “Working together, Babcock and Bell draw on a global track record of successful helicopter operations to deliver a trusted solution.”

“Babcock has put the customer first in selecting a reliable, adaptable solution that will remain responsive to the needs of our Special Forces.”

“The Australian Defence Force requires absolute confidence in its Special Operations helicopters capability together with cost-effective customisation and ongoing sustainment. Our solution is trusted to deliver.”

Bell is an iconic American helicopter manufacturer with over 80 years’ experience supporting the US military and other Defence forces throughout the world.

Bell’s Managing Director, Asia Pacific, David Sale, said Bell has a well-earned reputation for ruggedness and reliability.

“As one of the world’s leading helicopter manufacturers, Bell is in a strong position to offer reliable, cost-effective global support for the ongoing maintenance and sustainment of the ADF’s Special Operations helicopter fleet,” he said.

“The Bell 429 is rugged and reliable. It is operationally robust and favoured by pilots and crew throughout the world with more than 330 aircraft exceeding 330,000 hours of operation.”

“With an open architecture system and global support in place, the Bell 429 Global Ranger has the capacity to perform consistently and adapt rapidly to new technologies and evolving requirements.”

The Bell 429 Global Ranger will be customised to meet the specific requirements of Australian Special Forces, using Babcock’s proven low risk approach to systems integration.

“Babcock’s success as a Defence Prime is attributed to its ability to offer capability-focussed solutions that select the best products and services tailored to the specific needs of the customer,” said Graeme Nayler.

“Babcock operates helicopters from all of the major manufacturers and understands the relative advantages of each system and provider.”

“Babcock’s selection of Bell and the Global Ranger also offers closer ties to US Defence industry, and an opportunity to improve interoperability with US and other contemporary military capabilities.”


28 Mei 2020

Chimera - Kendaraan Intai Amfibi Baru dari Belarusia

28 Mei 2020

Chimera kendaraan intai amfibi 4x4 Belarus (photo : Altair)

Belarus telah mulai melakukan produksi kendaraan beroda empat baru untuk melakukan diagnosis kontaminasi chemical, biological, radiological dan nuclear (CBRN). Platform untuk pengembangan ini adalah kendaraan angkut multiguna lapis baja beroda empat - Cayman.

Cayman dirancang sebagai reinkarnasi dari BRDM-2 ex-Soviet yang telah ketinggalan zaman, namun di pabrik perbaikan kendaraan tempur No. 2 (no 2 repair plant) di Borisów, wilayah Minsk konstruktornya adalah seorang wanita - Eng 0lga Piotrowa. 

Cayman dengan bobot 6-ton dapat menampung total 6 tentara, dilengkapi dengan pelat baja setebal 14 mm dan kaca lapis baja anti peluru. Kendaraan ini didukung oleh mesin diesel D-245 dengan 130-tenaga kuda. Ia dapat melaju hingga 100 km/jam di jalan dan memiliki jangkauan dengan tangki penuh hingga 1.000 km di jalan beraspal. Kendaraan dapat disesuaikan untuk berenang. Cayman juga dibuat untuk operasi penjaga perdamaian dalam konflik dengan risiko rendah dari senjata berat.

Cayman kendaraan pendahulu Chimera (photo : Defence Blog)

Di Minsk, diumumkan bahwa Chimera - yang dibuat dari platform kendaraan Cayman dalam rancangannya diatur oleh Komite Militer dan Industri Belarusia. Chimera setelah menyelesaikan programnya akan menjadi platform bagi kendaraan untuk mengenali sumber ancaman CBRN bagi pasukan Belarusia. 

Kendaraan ini dapat bekerja dalam mode remote dan otomatis - sebagai moda tanpa awak. Kendaraan akan dilengkapi dengan stasiun cuaca GMX500. Data yang diperoleh oleh sensor Chimera dapat ditransmisikan ke pos komando hampir secara real time. Kendaraan bersifat kedap udara dan dilengkapi dengan sistem filtrasi. Chimera dapat melakukan pemotretan dengan pengaturan posisi yang dikendalikan dari jarak jauh dan dilengkapi dengan pivot atau peluncur granat otomatis di bagian atas kendaraan.

Tidak seperti Cayman, Chimera akan menerima mesin diesel berkekuatan 170 tenaga kuda baru, dan bobotnya akan meningkat menjadi 7 ton. Kecepatan maksimum di jalan naik hingga 110 km/jam. Chimera dapat  berenang dengan kecepatan hingga 8 km/jam.


S. Korea to Develop Close-in Weapon System for Warships

28 Mei 2020

30mm Goalkeeper CIWS on ROKS Yulgok Yi I (DDG-992) (photo : WarshipPorn)

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- South Korea decided Tuesday to develop an indigenous close-in weapon system (CIWS) for its warships by 2030.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said the defense project promotion committee approved the 350 billion-won (US$283.51 million) project that will be launched next year.

The CIWS is designed to detect and destroy short-range anti-ship missiles and aircraft that have penetrated outer defenses. Currently, South Korea uses the U.S. CIWS system.

The new weapon is expected to be mounted on the country's major naval ships, including its 6,000 ton-class destroyers, which have been built under the Korean Destroyer Next Generation (KDDX) project, and 3,000-ton Batch-III Ulsan-class frigates, according to the DAPA.


Vietnam Unveils VCM-01 Anti-Ship Cruise Missile

28 Mei 2020

Vietnamese VCM-01 anti-ship cruise missile (all photos : QPVN)

This is your first close-up look at the Vietnamese VCM-01 anti-ship cruise missile.

Seen here are the missile's launch tubes and rocket casings being manufactured at Factory Z189. The missiles internal radar, sensors, & other electronic systems are produced by the Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group.

The VCM-01 is a continuation of the KCT-15 missile project, itself originally based upon the Russian Kh-35.


Jembatan Ponton, Begini Cara Kerjanya

28 Mei 2020

Indonesia menggunakan jembatan ponton M3 buatan CzechoSlovakGroup (CSG) dengan lisensi GDELS dengan basis truk 4x4 (photo : TNI AD)

Sosok Buaya Raksasa Zeni TNI AD, Panjangnya 12 Meter

VIVA – Indonesia memiliki kendaraan tempur berat sejenis tank, kendaraan dengan bobot yang tidak ringan. Tapi pernahkah terlintas di pikiran kita bagaimana jadinya jika tank ini harus melalui sungai yang cukup lebar.

Untuk itu, guna mendukung mobilitas kendaraan tempur dengan berat 60 ton itu, Zeni sebagai satuan bantuan tempur melengkapi persenjataan TNI AD dengan membeli Amphibious Ponton 3M buatan Jerman yang memiliki  spesifikasi tertentu dalam pemakaian dan pemeliharaannya.

Penggelaran M3 Ampibious bridge (photo : Corps of Royal Engineers)

Berdasarkan informasi Direktorat Zeni Angkatan Darat yang diterima VIVA Militer Rabu 27 Mei 2020, M3 Amphibious Rig adalah kendaraan perang amfibi yang dapat dipakai di darat dan di air. Selain sebagai senjata perang, kendaraan ini memiliki fungsi utama sebagai jembatan bagi tank dan kendaraan perang lainnya.

Kendaraan ini seperti buaya karena merupakan jenis amfibi, bisa digunakan di darat dan di air. Fungsinya adalah sebagai jembatan atau proyeksi bagi tank dan kendaraan konvensional lainnya dalam menangani hambatan air.

Singapore menggunakan jembatan ponton M3G buatan General Dynamics ELS Jerman dengan basis truk 4x4 (photo : 75 Engineer Regiment)

Kendaraan ini memiliki panjang 13.03 m, lebar 3.35 m dan tinggi 3.97 m dengan berat total 26 ton. Alat perang ini dilengkapi mesin Diesel 289 kW sehingga dapat mencapai kecepatan maksimal 80 km per jam dengan jarak tempuh 750 km di darat. Kemudian 14 km per jam di air.

Konsep operasi dari Amphibious Ponton 3M dapat dikontrol sendiri melalui jalan darat, beroperasi sebagai kendaraan roda 4×4 dengan kecepatan jalan maksimum 80 km / jam.

Malaysia menggunakan jembatan ponton PFM buatan CNIM Prancis, dengan basis truk trailer beroda10 (photo : Lowyat) 

Sementara untuk di air, kendaraan ini menyebarkan dua ponton aluminium besar, membentang di sepanjang lambungnya. Di dalam air, M3 didorong dan dikemudikan oleh 2 jet pompa yang dapat dilalui dengan kecepatan hingga 14 km / jam.

Beberapa Amphibious Ponton M3 dapat terhubung untuk membentuk rakit atau jembatan terapung yang lebih besar. Dua atau lebih rig digabungkan dalam waktu 3 menit untuk membuat feri, yang mampu membawa tank tempur utama terberat sekalipun, seperti Leopard 2A6 dan British Challenger 2 Jerman.

Vietnam menggunakan jembatan ponton PMP-60 buatan VIKST Uni Sovyet dengan basis truk 6x6 (photo : Soha)

Tiga Amphibious Ponton gabungan bisa membawa dua MBT. Dalam waktu 15 menit total 8 Amphibious Ponton dapat digabungkan bersamaan dan membentuk jembatan sepanjang 100 m. Ini memiliki kapasitas muatan 85 t untuk kendaraan yang dilacak dan 132 t untuk kendaraan roda.

Hadirnya Amphibious Ponton M3, yang berwujud bak “mega structure” dengan bobot 28 ton. Saat melaju di darat, Amphibious Ponton M3 tak ubahnya truk berukuran raksasa, dengan panjang 12,74 meter, lebar 3,35 meter dan tinggi 3,93 meter. Sebagai platform yang sifatnya self deployable by road dengan penggerak 4×4. Saat melaju di jalan mulus, Amphibious.


27 Mei 2020

COVID-19 Delays Korea’s Defense Exports

27 Mei 2020

Mock up of the KFX fighter (photo : afbase)

South Korea’s 18-trillion-won ($14 billion) fighter jet project is facing payment delays amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, while officials involved have assured it does not mean it is being shut down.

Korea Aerospace Industries -- the country’s only aircraft manufacturer -- is currently co-developing next-generation fighters with Indonesia.

Launched in 2016, the KF-X project aims to develop a next-generation fighter jet and mass-produce 180 units by 2026. The project, the biggest in Korean history, needs 8 trillion and 10 trillion won for development and mass production, respectively. Indonesia is responsible for 20 percent of the development costs, or 1.8 trillion won. However, it has been delaying its payments lately, with 500.2 billion won overdue as of April.

“Typically, defense contracts between military and defense companies involve collaterals. However, the KF-X project doesn’t include a collateral as it is a co-development project based on a memorandum of understanding, not a defense contract. Indonesia is supposed to pay its share on a yearly basis,” a military official said.

The MOU was signed in 2010 between Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the Indonesian military.

KFX fighter (image : DAPA)

As the project lacks a collateral, there is no leverage to force Indonesia to meet the payment deadline. Under the deal, Indonesia will use 50 fighter jets, and Korea the rest.

“KAI is not in a position to comment on the budget status, but the next-generation fighter jet is being developed as planned and will be introduced by 2021,” a company official said.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is another defense company affected by uncertainties from Indonesia.

Though Indonesia placed a purchase order worth $1 billion to DSME for manufacturing three 1,400-ton submarines in April last year, advance payments haven’t arrived yet.

“The Indonesian navy hasn’t paid advance payments yet, but once the payments are completed, it’s almost 100 percent Indonesia will pay the rest of the $1 billion deal as the country’s state-run Bank Mandiri stands surety,” a DSME official said.

Meanwhile, Hanwha Defense said the COVID-19 outbreak is adding difficulties in its efforts to win defense contracts overseas. Currently, its Hybrid Biho short-range air defense system -- equipped with LIG Nex1’s land-based short-range surface-to-air missile Chiron -- and Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle have been shortlisted for military projects in India and Australia, respectively,

“As countries are adjusting their budgets to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been challenges in our plans for winning defense contracts,” a company official said.

“However, there hasn’t been any disruption regarding contracts that had been already signed.”

The Indian military, which plans to spend $130 billion in the next five to seven years to modernize its armed forces, had selected the Korean-built missile system for acquisition in October 2018, though the deal hasn’t been signed yet. Australia’s Land 400 Phase 3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle program, which aims to procure up to 400 modern IFVs, is worth between $6.3 billion to $9.4 billion.


RMN Adopts Similar Mothership Approach

27 Mei 2020

KD Gagah Samudera 271 traing ship (photo : MFH)

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has also adopted mothership approach adopted by the Malaysian Coast Guard (officially known as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency or MMEA) as part of the maritime enforcement, anti illegal immigrants and human smuggling operations during the Movement Control Order (MCO) dubbed Ops Benteng.

KD Gagah Samudera, a Samudera class training ship was deployed to the Straits of Melaka to serve as mothership for various patrol boats operated by the coast guards as well as the Marine Police.

Similar to the coast guard, these smaller patrol boats will rely on the ship’s long range radar detection as well as inputs from the patrolling aircraft above.

Adopting mothership concept during Ops Benteng will provide deterrent to stop the entry of illegal immigrant into the country as there has been concern that these illegal immigrants were infected by the coronavirus from China and that they could cause a resurgence of infection at times when data is showing a steady decline in domestic infection cases.

Patrol boat oprated by Coast Guard (photo : MFH)

The operation also shows the flexibility of Samudera class training ship built jointly by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Malaysia’s NGV Tech. While their main role is for training of naval cadets, recruits and young naval officers, their systems on board allow them to perform patrol duties as Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV).

All of the ships of the cf lass are equipped with a single MSI DS30M 30mm cannon and two M2HB Browning 12.7mm machine gun. The design of the ships features “fitted for but not with” concept similar to the Kedah class New Generation Patrol Vessel (NGPV) allowing the future installation of missiles and torpedo such as RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile(RAM) Surface to Air Missile (SAM) ,Exocet MM40 Block 2 Anti Ship Missile (AShM) and triple torpedo launcher. For the aviation facilities, both ship are able to accommodate one medium size helicopter for anti surface (ASuW) and anti submarine Warfare (ASW).

The RMN had high hopes for the South Korean design ships. In 2014, DSME receives contract worth RM1. 2 billion to build 6 Missile Surface Corvette (MSC) for the RMN. Utilising similar design of the Samudera class training ships, the MSC would augment the Kasturi and Laksamana class corvettes as well as replacing the Fast Attack Craft (Missile) boats.

6 Missile Surface Corvette (MSC) will be built for the RMN (photo : MFH)

The MSC will be equipped with Hyundai Wia K76L/62 76mm naval gun, two MSI DS30M 30mm gun, 4 units of Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM), two S&T Motiv K6 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG), torpedo launcher and Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) missile system.

Just like the Samudera class training ship, it has a heli deck that could receive a medium size helicopter. There are two cranes that could able to Deploy the ships’ Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB).

3 MSC will be built in South Korea while the rest will be built in Sijangkang, Selangor by NGV Tech.  The first of the ship should be delivered to RMN by 2018.

NGV Tech was also supposedly build mini Dokdo class Landing Platform Dock (LPD) for the RMN but everything goes into disarray as NGV Tech enters into insolvency. 

This caused significant delays of the completion and delivery into service of the two training ships.


KAPA Marinir Menemukan Anggarannya

27 Mei 2020

KAPA Tipe PTS-10 (depan) dan K-61 (belakang) milik Korps Marinir TNI AL (photo : Marinir)

Berdasarkan sumber yang layak dipercaya, Korps Marinir mendapatkan persetujuan anggaran untuk membeli 54 kendaraan KAPA atau senilai USD 398 juta. Item yang disepakati adalah pembelian 54 kendaraan transport amfibi beroda rantai/Tracked Amphibious Transpoter (TAT).

Saat ini Korps Marinir mengoperasikan 2 tipe KAPA (Kendaraan Amfibi Pengangkut Artileri) yaitu K-61 dan PTS-10 buatan Uni Sovyet. Di Korps Marinir kendaraan ini bertugas untuk  mengangkut artileri (howitzer), kendaran truk ukuran sedang, dan prajurit infanteri

PTS-4 produksi Tranmash Rusia (image : Tranmash)

Saat ini setidaknya ada 2 produsen kendaraan transport amfibi beroda rantau (TAT) yaitu Tranmash di Omsk Rusia dengan kendaraan PTS-4 dan Excalibur Army di Praha Ceko dengan kendaraan KAPA. 

PTS-4 telah dipakai secara resmi oleh Marinir Rusia sejak tahun 2013, sebagai pengganti kendaraan PTS dan PTS-2 yang sudah menua. Kendaraan dengan bobot 30 ton ini mampu membawa payload 12 ton ketika di darat dan 18 ton saat berenang.

KAPA produksi Excalibur Army (photo : Excalibur Army)

Perusahaan Ceko Excalibur Army juga membuat kendaraan TAT dengan nama KAPA, belum ada keterangan apapun akan kendaraan ini selain foto di atas, namun jika menilik dari jumlah rodanya, KAPA dan PTS-4 sama-sama menggunakan 7 roda rantai yang menjejak tanah, artinya bobot kedua kendaraan ini tidak jauh berbeda.

Dengan kebutuhan 54 kendaraan yang akan diakuisisi hingga tahun 2024, jika dibagi dalam 3 Pasukan Marinir (Pasmar) maka setiap Pasmar akan mendapatkan jatah yang sama yaitu 18 unit kendaraan transport amfibi beroda rantai ini. Jumlah 54 unit ini pun juga melampaui kebutuhan MEF yang telah direvisi pada tahun 2016 yaitu 40 unit.

(Defense Studies)

Coronavirus Threatens Further Delays to Australia's JSF and Future Submarines

27 Mei 2020

Australia's new fighter jets could be delayed after a US company foreshadowed a "slowdown" in production (photo : newcastleairport)

A parliamentary committee has been told a key milestone on the Future Submarine program has been pushed back, and the eventual cost of building the new fleet could reach $90 billion.

Meanwhile, Australia's next batch of Joint Strike Fighter aircraft could also be delayed after US defence company Lockheed Martin foreshadowed a production slowdown for three months due to the coronavirus impact.

"In response to COVID-19 F-35 supplier delays, Lockheed Martin is taking proactive measures to mitigate impacts and position the program for the fastest possible recovery," a company spokesperson told the ABC.

"The corporation is tapering its production rate over a three-month period, temporarily adjusting the work schedules for the F-35 production workforce in Fort Worth, Texas, and continuing to accelerate payments to small and vulnerable suppliers".

Australia is due to accept another 15 F-35s in 2021, as part of a $17 billion deal to eventually acquire 72 Joint Strike Fighters.

"A small number of Australian aircraft could potentially be delayed in the region of one to two months," the Defence Department told the ABC.

The department insisted that Australia's "full operational capability planned for 2023 is not expected to be impacted", despite the production delays in the United States.

Defence officials appearing before a parliamentary committee also warned the COVID-19 pandemic could further delay Australia's troubled $90 billion future submarine program.

A Preliminary Design Review originally due to be completed March 2020 is now expected to be finished in January 2021, despite a Systems Requirements Review also being months overdue.

The review of the submarine design has been pushed back to January 2021 (image : Naval Group)

The Defence Department's general manager of submarines, Greg Sammut, told the hearing that despite the impact of the coronavirus, he is relatively confident already missed deadlines can still be recovered.

"If I was to take into account the impact of COVID-19 and how that might play, and not to appear naive about the depth of that impact, we maintain a medium level of confidence that we can recover schedule by January 2021," Mr Sammut said.

The expected cost of building 12 new French-designed submarines has also blown out by a further $10 billion on top of the already expanded $80 billion price tag.

Defence and naval heads overseeing the project pointed to foreign exchange rates and inflation for the now estimated $89.7 billion cost to taxpayers.

Tony Dalton, the Defence Department's deputy secretary in charge of national shipbuilding, told the inquiry the future submarine project was exposed to the euro, US dollar and British pound.

"It could go higher or it could go lower depending on foreign exchange rate variations … I don't have a crystal ball," he said.

Following the hearings, Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick expressed scepticism that Defence would be able to catch up on delays.

"At every step they have been late but promised to make up time," Mr Patrick told the ABC.