29 Februari 2012

Preferred Tenderer Announced for Anzac Frigate Maintenance

29 Februari 2012

HMAS Perth 157 Anzac class frigates (photo : Aus DoD)

A $300 million maintenance and repair contract for the Anzac Class Frigates will be negotiated with Naval Ship Management Australia, following their selection as preferred tenderer. Minister for Defence Materiel Senator Kim Carr said the new five-year contract was expected to provide better outcomes for industry and more effective, value for money outcomes for the Navy.

“In June of last year my predecessor Minister Jason Clare announced the Government’s intention to reform the naval ship repair sector – commencing with the release of the tender for the repair and maintenance of the Navy’s eight Anzac Class frigates,” Senator Carr said.

“I am pleased to announce the outcome of the Tender evaluation. I congratulate Naval Ship Management Australia, a joint venture of Babcock Australia and United Group Infrastructure, for being selected as the preferred tenderer.”

Senator Carr said the announcement follows extensive consultation with industry on a new approach to contracts for repair and maintenance work.

“In contrast to the previous arrangements which required every new maintenance activity to be individually contracted out, the grouping of ship repair and maintenance tasks offers the potential for significant cost savings.

“These savings are achieved through reductions in contracting activity, greater ability to forecast work effort, and productivity gains through greater investment in workforce skills and infrastructure.

“This initiative will provide industry with the predictability, certainty and stability that it needs to achieve efficiencies and provide job security for, and investment in, its workforce.

“This new contracting approach is good for industry, it is good for job security and development, it is good for Navy, and it is good for Australian taxpayers who rightly demand maximum efficiency from every dollar spent on Australia’s defence.”

Contract negotiations are expected to be finalised by June 2012.

28 Februari 2012

Singapore and Malaysian Navies Conduct Bilateral Maritime Exercise

28 Februari 2012

Three Formidable class frigates will take part in the exercise (photo : Mindef)

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) are conducting Exercise Malapura, a bilateral maritime exercise, from 27 Feb to 7 Mar 2012. Singapore is hosting this year's exercise, the 22nd in the series held since 1984. RSN Fleet Commander, Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han and RMN Fleet Operations Commander, Vice Admiral Dato’ Wira Jamil bin Hj Osman officiated at the opening ceremony held at Changi Naval Base (CNB) today.

About 540 personnel from the RSN and RMN are involved in the 10-day exercise which will see both navies carry out joint planning and training at CNB, and conducting drills in conventional naval warfare and maritime security in the Malacca Strait. The RSN is taking part in the exercise with a frigate (RSS Formidable), a missile corvette (RSS Valour), and a patrol vessel (RSS Brave); while the RMN is participating with a frigate (KD Jebat) and two patrol vessels (KD Terengganu and KD Selangor).

Two Kedah class corvettes and one frigate will take part ini the exercise (photo : RMN)

The RSN and RMN interact regularly across a wide range of activities. These include professional exchanges and courses, as well as multilateral activities as part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements. The two navies have also been working closely to enhance maritime security through the Malacca Strait Patrols arrangement. These regular interactions serve to strengthen mutual understanding and professional ties among the personnel of both navies.

27 Februari 2012

Experts Doubt North Korea’s Rocket Upgrade

27 Februari 2012

North Korea's M-1991 multiple launch rocket system (photo : Korea Times)

Military experts and insiders downplayed Monday media reports that North Korea has succeeded in doubling the range of its 240-millimeter multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) in time to celebrate the centennial of the nation’s founder Kim Il-sung’s birth in April.

They said it was nonsense to believe that the impoverished North has made significant progress in the development of a propulsion system that doubles the range of the rockets.

Citing an anonymous government source, media outlets, including Yonhap News Agency, claimed that the communist North recently completed upgrading its model of the 22-round M-1991, a truck-mounted MLRS.

They argued that the South’s entire capital area, home to more than 20 million people, will come under the range of the modified rocket, dubbed “Juche 100 Gun,” as it is capable of travelling more than 120 kilometers.

A senior rocket expert at the Defense Acquisition and Program Administration (DAPA) said the media reports were baseless unless the North has successfully developed a propulsion system that is a quantum leap ahead of advanced countries, including the United States and Russia.

“I’m highly skeptical that the North has technology that even the United States has yet to develop and the world has yet to witness,” he said.

“The range of the South’s 227-millimeter multiple launch rocket system is limited to 45 to 46 kilometers, despite the fact that it has employed the advanced technology of the United States.”

The expert said the range may be doubled if nearly all of the rocket’s explosives are removed to add more fuel. However, then not only the weapon’s accuracy, but its impact too would drop radically.

A senior missile expert at the Ministry of National Defense (MND) also downplayed media reports, saying military intelligence authorities have yet to recognize any noticeable improvement in the North’s 240-millimeter M-1991 rockets.

“If the North has already deployed such a long range rocket as reported, intelligence sources would have spotted it much earlier during the testing of such weapons,” he said.

An intelligence official at the MND concurred with him, saying no intelligence has been received on a major breakthrough in the improvement of the communist nation’s MLRS.

“I’m not sure how the news was generated. It is doubtful that the North has succeeded in doubling the range of a rocket,” he said.

“The North might have intentionally tipped off sources to such misleading information in an attempt to exaggerate its military might without actually having to prove it.”

He said the Pyongyang might have been pressured to do so to dodge criticism of failing to fulfill its pledge of becoming a “powerful and prosperous nation” by 2012.

Officials of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) declined to comment on the matter, saying they are not allowed to provide any explanation to North Korean weapons development.

The North is known to have been operating two types of 240-millimeter rocket launchers, the 12-round M-1985 and the 22-round M-1991.

According to media reports, intelligence officials here believe the Stalinist state will likely unveil an upgraded version of the M-1991 to the public during a massive military parade on April 15 this year, the 100th birthday of the late Kim.

High Flying with 723 Squadron

27 Februari 2012

AgustaWestland A109E (photo : RAN)

The Royal Australian Navy’s 723 Squadron has begun 2012 on a high tempo as they prepare to upgrade their capability.

The 723 Squadron’s Retention and Motivation Initiative (RMI) program currently operate three
AgustaWestland A109E helicopters under lease from Raytheon Australia.

The aircraft were recently on a training mission in Queensland where they were prepared to conduct relief during the recent flood. However their services were not required.

Commanding Officer of 723 Squadron, Commander Matthew Shand said these flights provide valuable opportunities for junior aircrew to plan and execute tasks in a wide variety of environments.
“It’s been an active start to a promising year” Commander Shand said as the Squadron eagerly await the arrival of three new Bell 429 helicopters to augment their existing fleet of 13 AS350BA Squirrels.

The new Bell 429 helicopters will still be leased from Raytheon Australia, and with their composite construction, full glass cockpit and advanced systems, the Bell 429 helicopters are set to be the most modern aircraft in Australian skies when they start flying with the Squadron mid this year.

“The experience we’re getting flying the A109E has a big impact on our ability to plan and evaluate complex missions” said Lieutenant Trine Themsen an Aviation Warfare Officer currently training with the Squadron.

“We’re excited about introducing the new Bell 429 into our training and seeing what it can do”.
The first of three new Bell 429 helicopters are due to arrive at
HMAS Albatross in Nowra during March before undergoing a limited test program and entering service with 723 Squadron in May.


26 Februari 2012

Puspenerbal Akan Tambah 10 Helikopter dan 3 Pesawat

26 Februari 2012

Pesawat CN-235 pesanan TNI AL per Januari 2012 (photo : Indonesia Raya)

TRIBUNJATIM.COM,SURABAYA- Program pembangunan kekuatan unsur udara untuk mengantisipasi potensi ancaman dari laut dalam tahun ini Pusat Penerbangan Angkatan Laut (Puspenerbal) TNI AL akan menambah 10 Helikopter dan tiga pesawat patroli maritim (Patmar).

KSAL Laksamana TNI Soeparno mengatakan, kebutuhan Helikopter dan Patmar tersebut adalah tuntutan mengimbangi kekuatan lawan, terutama Helikopter yang memiliki kemampuan Anti Kapal Permukaan (AKPA) dan Anti Kapal Selam (AKS).

“Ini adalah Prioritas teutama Helikopter dengan kemampuan AKS yang paling ditakuti oleh kapal selam lawan yang disinyalir sering melakukan kegiatan spionase melalui perairan teritorial maupun alur laut,” papar Soeparno usai menjadi Irup Sertijab Komandan Puspenerbal di Apron Hanggar Lanudal Juanda, Jumat (23/2/2012).

Heli Anti Kapal Selam dan Anti Kpal Permukaan akan melengkapi arsenal TNI AL (photo : ADF)

Selain Helikopter AKPA dan AKS pihaknya juga memesan jenis Helikopter angkut taktis. Untuk pesawat terbang, Puspenerbal dalam tahun ini juga akan menambah tiga pesawat Patroli Maritim (Patmar).

“Satu pesawat sudah selesai dan akan diserahkan tanggal 28 nanti,” jelasnya.

Sementara untuk pesawat lama seperti jenis pesawat Nomad, kata Soeparno jika masih bisa dirawat, pesawat tersebut tetap akan dipakai.

“Akan dipelajari lagi rencana grounded, kalau bisa dipertahankan akan dipakai,” pungkasnya.

Journey of Vietnam Made UAV

25 Februari 2012

In 1996, Vietnam has successfully fabricated a target aircraft, marking a step forward of the aviation engineering industry of the Vietnam (all photos : BaoDatViet & ttvnol)

The goal is not just for flying training mission air defense units, but also the foundation for Vietnam to design UAV reconnaissance.

After a period of research, manufacturing and testing, in 1996, the target aircraft launched a mark a great progress of aviation engineering Air Defense-Air Force.

Up to now, not only in the types of target aircraft, unmanned aircraft (UAV) training service, Air Defense - Air Force is also home study, created the UAV for military purposes to participate a. That success has made Vietnam become one in five Southeast Asian countries design and manufacture successful UAV.

The Target Aircraft

Previously, after the season firing of the air defense forces, air force, the unit is excited to destroy the target performance is relatively high and stable.

However, the head of Air Defense - Air Force at the time the utmost concern. Scientific and Technical growing military activities of the enemy in combat increasingly sophisticated, especially the means of offensive fire air. Failure to improve training innovation is difficult to meet mission requirements in the new situation.

Therefore, the research, production targets flying as a mission imperative and necessary. To prepare for this mission, in 1996, Air Defense - Air Force bought the combination DF-16 flying machines of Israel and delivered to the Defense Department of Education (Department General Staff - Air Force) research and learning. Next, the High Command of U.S. spy agency assigned to coordinate with the A40 plant research, manufacturing target aircraft.

After 3 years of research, design, fabrication and testing, in late 1999, two target aircraft symbols M-96 (flight day) and M-96D (night flights) have been shipped factory and flew A40 successfully tested in the sky Mieu Mon (Ha Noi).
M-100CT target aircraft for training firing artillery unit high-radiation missile.

This target type of glass TZK support, and manual controls make the flight with the naked eye visibility. And since then, the target M-96 and M-96D is the Air Defence - Air Force series production for the missile force, high-radiation artillery training.

However, compared to other types of target aircraft in the world for air defense forces, air force training, M-96 has many limitations such as short range, low ceiling and small speed. Therefore, M-96 was studied further improvements and upgrades to the wide operating range, high ceiling, greater speed, especially flying devices automatically predefined program.

Continued military service assigned to the engineers involved in the production of each M-96. After The research objective of the Institute of Technical Chamber of aircraft - Air Force (VKTPK-KQ) was established, Colonel Trinh Xuan Dat was appointed chief, Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Thanh Tinh as deputy director, the Board granted with funding of infrastructure, material and equipment for research and production.

After nearly half a year of research the Institute has completed its mission of M-96 M-100CT, ensuring the technical requirements. The flight program was conducted in the report in July 2004, the Institute has performed successful flights of the target M-100CT.

Improvement program target M-96 to M-100CT success is both a step forward in the field of aircraft manufacturing goals, this is a firm basis for the U.S. spy scientists towards the realization of dream UAV successfully fabricated dream.

UAV "Made in Vietnam"

Indeed, before the success of M-100CT, early 2001, VKTPK - KQ has started the project "Research, design, fabrication UAV control program", symbol M-400CT. This device has many similarities with the flying machines The DF-16 production by Israel. Until the test is successful M-100CT, assigned to The Research Institute target aircraft continue to improve our products.

Colonel Trinh Xuan Dat said, this is a difficult task, requiring effort and invest more intellectual, the most difficult is the design and manufacture of automation control program. Meanwhile, this component is not imported, the water is increasingly scarce, so the engineers have a lot of experimental research on the different components.

As part of making the shell, the fuselage, unlike the target aircraft, this time in collaboration with the Institute of Polytechnic University of Hanoi using composite materials (instead of wood as before), the material is both cheap and reduce the weight of the plane, bringing the ability to bring the plane's fuel.

After 4 years of research, testing, on 09/15/2005, 2 the UAV M400-CT version 405 and 406 successfully flew the last report at the airport flying Dual (Bac Giang), with high 2000 m, 15 km radius of operation.
Colonel Trinh Xuan Dat-head study of target aircraft is one of those instrumental in making unmanned aircraft in Vietnam.

Then VKTPK-KQ continue to improve and upgrade the M-400CT to a height of 3,000 meters, the speed of 250 - 280km / h, 30km radius of operation, can landing on the runway (earth or concrete).

Along with the construction of UAV, the Institute has also designed and built successful launch pad systems (for the absence of runway to take off) with the materials in the water, light and easy to maneuver.

With this success, dated 15.09.2006 is taken as date of birth of the UAV and successfully led Vietnam to become one of the few Southeast Asian countries built UAV.

Currently, VKTPK - KQ is the target aircraft production, UAV for the training of air defense forces, air force and army air defense forces.

Compared to the previous target and UAV, now we have to improve and upgrade more than to meet mission requirements of these new and modern weapons. Along with the target aircraft production, UAV for military purposes, VKTPK - KQ also design, create different types of UAVs for civilian purposes, such as spraying aircraft, flight shooting, photography of the terrain ...


25 Februari 2012

Sikorsky Puts in Bid to Supply 16 Choppers

25 Februari 2012

S-92 helicopter. Sikorsky is seeking to expand its market in Thailand by bidding to supply choppers for the kingdom’s first dedicated search and rescue operation. (photo : AirShowsReview)

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, the US helicopter producer known for its Black Hawk make, is seeking to expand its market in Thailand by putting a bid to supply aircraft for the kingdom's first dedicated search and rescue operation.

The Connecticut-based company will contest in a competitive international bid to be issued next week by the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) to deliver up to 16 helicopters for SAR missions in a transaction that could reach a value of more than US$320 million (9.8 billion baht).

Sikorsky will pitch its S-92, the larger advanced utility which can carry up to 19 passengers in airline-style configuration, against other bidders in the RTAF contest, Daniel Zsebik, Sikorsky's director for sales in Asia, told the Bangkok Post in Bangkok.

Although the RTAF's programme involves 16 helicopters, its initial budget would allow the procurement of four.

Depending on how the chopper is equipped with sophisticated technology and add-ons, an S-92 could cost $20-24 million a piece, Mr Zsebik said.

Included in its bid will be the training of RTAF pilots in the US and Britain in operating the S-92 as well as sending Sikorsky's own trainer pilots to Thailand to assist Thai pilots to ensure they can handle the aircraft properly.

Ahead of the RTAF bid, Sikorsky this week staged a series of demonstration flights over Greater Bangkok skies to the Thai armed forces to show off the S-92's multi-mission capabilities.

The Thai visit is part of an Asian tour of S-92 "Legacy of Heroes" (LOH) helicopter and includes Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and India - all considered potential buyers of the aircraft for different purposes including for SAR, as offshore oil rig transport and as a carrier for heads of state.

Thai armed forces already have Sikorsky helicopters in their fleets - Black Hawks with the Royal Thai Army, S-92s at the RTAF (used as carriers for royals) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) which flies Sea Hawks and S-76s which can carry 12 people.

The S-92 has a range of 880km with a top speed of 306km/hour.

Defence Minister Presses Ahead with U-boats Plan

25 Februari 2012

The navy had originally planned to buy six second-hand submarines from Germany (photo : Militaryphotos)

Sukumpol presses ahead with U-boats plan

Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat wants to submit the navy's proposals to buy second-hand submarines to the cabinet next week.

However, he said he was unsure whether they will be submitted in time for the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The minister said a few more days are needed to discuss the proposals before they can be forwarded to the cabinet.

ACM Sukumpol said it was a race against time as Germany, which makes the submarines, has given the government until the end of the month to decide whether to buy them or not.

ACM Sukumpol says he supports the navy's position that it needs the submarines to fulfil its maritime defence missions.

If and when the submarines are acquired, the navy will have to adjust its own budget to effectively maintain the upkeep of the submarines.

ACM Sukumpol was yesterday paying a formal visit to the navy for the first time since assuming the post of defence minister.

The minister was greeted by navy chief Surasak Roonroengrom and other senior navy officers.
He was briefed about the navy's development plans for the next 10 years, including its need to have submarines to boost its underwater capabilities to meet any external threats. The navy had originally planned to buy six second-hand submarines from Germany.

However, since the cabinet has not yet approved the proposals, Germany has in the meantime sold two of the submarines to Colombia. The navy now hopes to buy the remaining four for 5.5 billion baht.

"Now, Myanmar wants to acquire submarines ... Thailand's desire to have its own submarines does not mean that the country wants to follow the example of others," he said.

"There has been much talk about submarines since the time of HRH Prince Chumphon Khet Udomsak [the father of the Royal Thai Navy]," said the defence minister.

(Bangkok Post)

24 Februari 2012

Hercules Kembali dari AS Setelah Jalani Overhaul

24 Februari 2012

Pesawat Hercules A-1323 (photo : Kaksus Militer)

Jurnas.com PESAWAT tempur Hercules milik TNI AU kembali ke Indonesia setelah menjalani perbaikan menyeluruh (overhaul) di Amerika Serikat. Serah terima pesawat ini akan dilakukan di base ops Halim Perdanakusuma.

“Siang ini akan dilakukan upacara penyambutan,” kata Kepala Dinas Penerangan TNI AU Marsekal Pertama Azman Yunus saat dihubungi, Jumat (24/2). Menurut Azman, Hercules yang mengalami overhaul atas bantuan Amerika ini dilakukan sejak setahun lalu.

Selain perbaikan, mulai body, structure hingga persenjataan, pesawat ini juga di-up grade kemampuannya. “Serah terima dilakukan oleh dubes Amerika di Indonesia dengan Wakil KSAU,” ujar Azman. Pesawat ini diperbaiki di Oklahoma Amerika Serikat untuk menjalani pemeliharaan berat dalam Programmed Depot Maintenance di hanggar perusahaan swasta ARINC, di Oklahoma, Amerika Serikat.

Jika pesawat tersebut selesai diperbaiki, direncanakan dua unit Hercules lainnya akan juga diperbaiki. Menurut Azman, teknisi TNI AU sebenarnya punya kemampuan memperbaiki pesawat tersebut. Namun, kemampuan tidak didukung fasilitas dan peralatan pendukung.

"Alat-alat yang dibutuhkan tidak ada. Kalau beli (alat-alatnya), lebih jauh dan lebih mahal, lebih baik kita gunakan orang lain," katanya.

Singapore Next-Gen Concept Rifle

24 Februari 2012

Well hidden under a plastic, transparent cover of a conceptual prototype of a new Singapore rifle next generation, shown for the first time at Singapore Air Show 2012 (photo : PK Sengupta)

During the Singapore Air Show 2012 ST Kinetics presented a conceptual model of the new generation rifle. The design is developed in the classical system and bullpup.

Family of weapons called Next-Gen Concept Rifle (NGCR) was shown in Singapore in three models: two in the classical system (including a variant of rifle-grenade launcher) and in the bullpup system. It is not clear whether the weapons are, like the Polish MSBS-5, 56, based on a common chamber, the castle, or whether it be two separate rifles, which will be characterized by a high interchangeability of parts. The differences between the prototypes shown at the exhibition would show the parallel design rather two rifles, which are divided among themselves as much as possible components.

Regardless of the structural system, in addition to the standard version will be available also with a shorter barrel sub carbine and sniper rifle with a barrel of greater length and rifle-grenade launcher with a suspended 40-mm grenade launcher (currently STK 40GL). Addition, the weapon has to be adapted to future soldier systems, including the Singaporean individual combat system Advanced Combat Man System (ACMS).
Model for Next-Gen Concept Rifle in the bullpup system. For NGCR in the bullpup system as a standard, just as in the SAR-21 is planned for an optical viewfinder with 1.5x magnification with a laser pointer to, and for a variety of classical or holographic sight collimator mounted on the universal mounting rail (photo : ST Kinetics)

Next-Gen Concept Rifle was designed by ST Kinetics, a subsidiary of ST Engineering. Regardless of the structural system is to be supplied with ammunition 5.56 mm x 45 and operate in accordance with the principle of using the energy of powder gases discharged through the side hole in the barrel, with a short gas piston. ST Kinetics promotes NGCR been used as the successor to 5.56-mm rifle butt in the system SAR-21, introduced to arms in 1999.

Comparison NGCR without iron and classical. Weight of the latter is expected to be 3.3 kg, and 805 mm length of foot flask in the extended position and 740 mm in the summary. Kolb is not folded to the side and is equipped with buccal pad with adjustable height (photo : ST Kinetics)

In contrast to the older weapons, new construction is to be fully adapted to the shooters right-and left-handed, and all keypads should be equally accessible. Similarly, the SAR-21, Next-Gen Concept will be powered rifle with a 30-cartridge magazine made of transparent plastic (removable with a gun earlier generation), which allows to evaluate the remainder in the middle of the number of munitions or as an option, with the standard M16 magazine. Rate of fire arms to be at the level of 600-900 rds. / Min, slightly higher than the SAR-21, which amounts to 450-650 rds. / Min. Standard switch the type of fire is to be 3-position (described pictographs settings: secure, fire and single fire mode), but the manufacturer is assumed to introduce an optional serial some blasting fire.

Next-Gen without iron Rifle concept is to have smaller dimensions and weight of about 25% smaller than previously used by the army automatic rifle Singaporean SAR-21. Weight of the latter is 3.82 kg in the basic version and a length of 508-mm barrel, 805 mm, and without iron 3 kg, a length of 700 mm (with a barrel measuring 368 mm) (photo : PK Sengupta)

Next-Gen Barrel Rifle concept is to have a length of 368 mm, or 14.5 inches, the same as the American Colt M4 rifle. Jump the grooves is to be - depending on the needs of the client - 178 or 305 mm. This will allow you to use the weapon to the newer, heavier 4.0-g projectile cartridge 5.56 mm x 45 NATO, which is used in the M16A2 and the most modern rifles or lighter 3.56-g bullet cartridge older 5.56 mm x 45 M193 . The latter include powered M16/M16A1, but is also used in a standard army rifle Singapore - SAR-21 in the bullpup system. This follows from the fact that Singapore przezbrajaƂ the new weapon of M16S1 and wanted to maintain the interchangeability of ammunition between the old and new structures.


23 Februari 2012

Helicopter Dock Ships Boost Defence

23 Februari 2012

Canberra class LHD (image : McConrads)

THE arrival in 2014 of the first of two 27,000-tonne Landing Helicopter Dock warships represents the biggest change to Australia's "force projection capability" since the navy's first aircraft carrier was acquired more than 60 years ago, Defence Force chief General David Hurley said yesterday.
Speaking at a key defence conference in Canberra, General Hurley said restructuring of the army's three combat brigades into an amphibious assault force - the most ambitious revamp of Australian Defence Force doctrine in decades - was on track to enable company-size ship-to-shore landings by 2018.

He acknowledged "disappointment at the state of the amphibious fleet" and pledged new maintenance practices that would ensure ships "in the right condition" were available for future missions.

Last year, the Royal Australian Navy was unable to provide support to victims of Cyclone Yasi because none of its amphibious vessels was seaworthy.

The challenges in creating an Amphibious Task Force (ATF) should not be underestimated, he warned.

Much would be learnt from the shared experiences of the US Marine Corps, units of which will soon to be based in Darwin, and its British counterpart, the Royal Marines, General Hurley said.

As reported in The Australian in December, the testbed for the new capability will be the Townsville-based 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, just returned from Afghanistan.

However, outside Afghanistan, the Australian Defence Force's primary operating environment extends from the eastern approaches of the Indian Ocean to the island states of Polynesia and from the equator to the Southern Ocean.

"This area encompasses 25,000 islands, 85,000km of navigable waterways.

"The ADF must be able to maintain situational awareness across this vast area and must be capable of responding swiftly and decisively to a range of scenarios," General Hurley said.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith told the conference it was likely Canberra would follow Washington's lead and postpone the purchase of 54 of the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) beyond the 14 the federal government is committed to buy.

"It won't be a priority in my view this year to make judgments about the receipt or the delivery or the arrival of future or additional Joint Strike Fighters," Mr Smith warned.

Experts said that was likely to translate into a decision to upgrade at least six of the new 24 F/A-18F Super Hornet fleet to advanced electronic warfare variants.

The federal government had 12 Super Hornets hard-wired on the assembly line for possible conversion as EA-18G Growlers - a move that would give the air force a formidable new .

22 Februari 2012

Tiga Pesawat Sukhoi Uji Coba Bom Buatan TNI AU dan Pindad

22 Februari 2012

Pengecekan Bom BTN-250, yang terpasang di Wing pesawat Sukhoi, sebelum pelaksanaan pengeboman (photo : TNI AU)

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Tiga Pesawat tempur Sukhoi dari Skadron Udara 11 Lanud Sultan Hasanudin Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan, melaksanakan uji dinamis Bom Tajam buatan Dinas Penelitian dan Pengembangan TNI AU (Dislitbangau) bekerja sama dengan PT Pindad. Uji coba dilakukan di Lanud Iswahjudi dengan sasaran Air Weapon Range (AWR) Pandanwangi, Lumajang, Jawa Timur, Rabu (22/2/2012).

Dalam siaran persnya, TNI AU menyatakan, ketiga pesawat Sukhoi tersebut menguji Bom Tajam Nasional (BTN)-250 dan Bom Latih Asap Practice (BLA P)-50, dengan tujuan untuk mengetahui daya ledak serta ketepatan sasaran. Kepala Penerangan dan Perpustakan (Kapentak) Kapentak Lanud Iswahjudi, Mayor Sutrisno, menuturkan jika uji coba Bom Tajam Nasional (BTN)-250 tersebut sukses sesuai dengan yang diharapkan, serta mendapat sertifikat kelaikan dari Dislitbangau, kemandirian di bidang alat utama sistem senjata atau alutsista akan terwujud.

"Sehingga pesawat TNI-AU, khususnya Sukhoi memiliki bom sendiri tanpa tergantung dari luar negeri," katanya.

Uji coba disaksikan langsung oleh Kepala Dinas Penelitian dan Pengembangan Angkatan Udara (Kadislitbangau), Marsekal Pertama TNI Basuki Purwanto, mulai dari pemasangan bom di body maupunwing pesawat Sukhoi hingga pelaksanaan pengeboman di AWR Pandanwangi, Lumajang.


$200m Refit to Give Fighter Jets Growl

22 Februari 2012

Boeing EA-18G Growler (image : FlightGlobal)

THE Federal Government will spend more than $200 million to transform six air force fighter jets into hi-tech electronic warfare planes.

The RAAF purchased 24 Boeing Super Hornet fighters under a $6 billion deal with the US Navy to fill the gap between the retirement of the F-111 fighter bomber and the expected delivery of the first batch of 14 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jets later this decade.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith will announce the decision to upgrade the jet fighters early next month to EA-18G models known as "Growlers" to plug an emerging air combat capability gap.

The G-model entered service with the US Navy in 2008 and it allows attacking forces to detect and jam enemy radars to protect friendly aircraft from all known surface-to-air missile threats.

The Growler is the launch platform for the "Next Generation Jammer" that uses advanced radar technology from Northrop Grumman to conduct precision jamming.

Australia purchased 12 Super Hornet fighters wired for the Growler upgrade during the production process at a cost of $35 million. Retro fitting has never been attempted before and will cost between $200 million and $300 million.

News Limited understands that the first aircraft will be converted at the Boeing factory in St Louis and the remainder at Amberley RAAF base near Brisbane.

Meanwhile, Mr Smith is facing criticism from air force brass for his move to buy 12 more Super Hornets to cover the likely delay into service of up to 70 Australian JSFs.

A decision is due by September this year, but the RAAF is arguing against more Super Hornets because they fear that will leave less funds for Joint Strike Fighters.

"The RAAF doesn't want to run two types of fighter jets," a source said. Mr Smith told theAustralian Defence Magazine congress in Canberra yesterday that Defence would be expected to deliver a further contribution from its $27 billion budget to the government's quest for a surplus this year.

"The current 2012-13 Budget process will also examine whether Defence is able to make a further contribution to the Government's Budget bottom line," he said.

Defence budget analyst Mark Thomson said Mr Smith had taken a "shot across the bow" of Defence before the May budget. "They will be going through this budget with a finetooth comb," he said.

21 Februari 2012

Taiwan Navy Asks for Funds for 8 New Subs

21 Februari 2012

Three countries have offered Taiwan build submarines (photo : Qinetiq)

TAIPEI — Taiwan's navy will ask parliament to fund the purchase of up to eight new submarines within the next two months, reviving an acquisition that has been in limbo for over a decade, local media said Feb. 20.

The navy may not necessarily buy U.S. technology and is looking at three different countries as potential suppliers, the United Daily News reported.

In April 2001, then-U.S. President George W. Bush approved the sale of eight conventional submarines as part of Washington's most comprehensive arms package to the island since 1992.

Since then, however, there has been little progress as the U.S. has not built conventional submarines for more than 40 years, and Germany and Spain had reportedly declined to offer their designs for fear of offending China.

But the United Daily News said new options have emerged lately as three countries have offered either to help Taiwan build submarines or sell the island several German-built submarines. It did not name the three countries.

"Purchasing submarines from the United States has been given top priority in the past years and will remain so in the future," the Taiwan navy said in a response to the report. "But if there are any other sources to provide submarines, they are also welcome."

Taiwan's navy operates a fleet of four submarines, but only two of them, both Dutch-built, could be deployed in the event of war. The other two were built by the U.S. in the 1940s.

Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008 promising to boost trade links and allow more Chinese tourists to visit the island.

But Beijing still sees the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, even though Taiwan has governed itself since 1949 at the end of a civil war.

China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare formal independence, prompting Taipei to seek more advanced weapons.

Singapore Issues RFI For Six Tankers

21 Februari 2012

RSAF KC-135 tanker (photo : 9VOrion)

Singapore has moved ahead with plans to order aerial refueling tankers to replace its Boeing KC-135Rs.

Industry sources say Singapore has issued a request for information (RFI) for six aerial refueling tankers. One of the sources says they anticipate a request for proposals (RFP) may be issued mid-year.

The Southeast Asian nation has four Boeing KC-135R aerial refueling tankers, the first of which the island nation received in late 1999. These aircraft are in fact A-model KC-135s that Boeing upgraded to R-model by re-engining the aircraft with new CFM International CFM-56 power-plants.
Industry sources say new aerial refueling tankers are a top priority for the Singapore Air Force, which has been complaining about the cost and difficulty involved in maintaining the KC-135R. This tanker is based on the Boeing 707 commercial platform.

One of the sources says the reason Singapore’s KC-135Rs may be difficult and costly to maintain is because Singapore’s KC-135Rs are a lower block standard than the U.S. Air Force’s.

At the Singapore Airshow (Feb. 14-19), Airbus Military had on display a U.K. Royal Air Force A330MRTT. Israel Aircraft Industries was also at the show promoting its 767 Multi-Mission Tanker Transport and Boeing was promoting its KC-46 aerial refueling tanker.

Boeing would ordinarily be the front-runner in the competition, because of Singapore’s close ties with the U.S., but the KC-46 is still in development. Boeing is already committed to deliver 18 KC-46As to the U.S. Air Force by 2017, leaving no early delivery slots for foreign customers. The earliest Boeing can delivery KC-46s to international customers is 2018. That may be too late for the Singaporeans.

Turkey Loses Bid for Indonesia Submarines, but the Cooperation will be Countinued by Aselsan, Rocketsan and FNSS

21 Februari 2012

Rocketsan T122mm Sakarya (photo : Asian Defence)

Turkey loses bid for Indonesia submarines

Indonesia picks up a South Korean offer for three U209 model submarines instead of a Turkish-German joint offer. Still, the two countries may bid for a tender for the more developed U214 models, Jakarta says.

Indonesia has informed a German-Turkish partnership that South Korea has won Jakarta’s competition for U209 submarines and that the duo should instead focus on the sale of more-developed U214 subs to the Southeast Asian giant, a senior Turkish official has said.

The message was conveyed during the visit of Adm. Agus Suhartono, the chief of staff of Indonesia’s military forces, to Turkey last week, the Turkish official said this weekend.

Turkey, led by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, SSM, and Germany, led by ThyssenKrupp’s shipyard, HDW, entered the Indonesian Navy’s competition of more than $1 billion after it came to an end, effectively ensuring Seoul’s victory.

South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering announced on Dec. 22 that it had won the Indonesian deal $1.1 billion for three submarines.

As for Turkey, a $2 billion submarine deal with HDW for the joint manufacture of six U214 platforms formally took effect in July, the German company said. Turkish procurement officials also confirmed the information. “As a longstanding partner and supplier to the Turkish Navy, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems can now begin executing the order. The order will contribute to securing employment at [ThyssenKrupp’s] HDW in Kiel, as well as at many subcontractors in Germany and Turkey, for the next 10 years,” it said.

A major loan deal between German banks and the Turkish Treasury rescued the multibillion-dollar submarine contract between the Turkish state and Howaldswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) on the last day of 2010, Turkish procurement officials said earlier.

“We will try to work hard to meet the requirements for the second competition [for the U214 deal],” said the Turkish procurement official.The Indonesian side also offered a number of consolations to the Turkish side.

The Indonesians will come up with a $100 million Turkish proposal to make military radios produced by Aselsan, the procurement official said.

The Indonesians separately plan to propose a facility to produce Roketsan-made missiles after they sign a contract with the company.

Jakarta will also produce FNSS-made 8x8 vehicles.

Turkey and Indonesia are two of the largest Muslim countries and are keen to develop their defense industries and ties.

Indonesia dan China Sepakati Alih Teknologi Rudal

21 Februari 2012

Menurut siaran pers resmi, kerja sama industri pertahanan tersebut terkait dengan produksi peluru kendali darat ke darat (ground to ground), darat ke udara (ground to air), serta udara ke darat (air to ground) untuk melengkapi arsenal persenjataan Indonesia (photo : Kaskus Militer)

RI China Produksi Bersama Peluru Kendali

JAKARTA - Pemerintah Republik Indonesia (RI) dan China sepakat memantapkan proses alih teknologi serangkaian produksi bersama peluru kendali C-705. Proses alih teknologi menjadi syarat utama dalam setiap pembelian alat utama sistem senjata (alutsista) dari mancanegara, termasuk peluru kendali dari China.

"Selain itu, kita juga telah menjajaki kerja sama produksi bersama rudal tersebut sebagai produk nasional," kata Kepala Pusat Komunikasi Publik Kementerian Pertahanan (Kemhan) Brigjen TNI Hartind Asrin, di Jakarta, Senin (20/2).

Rangkaian proses alih teknologi itu, antara lain ditandai dengan kunjungan Menteri Pertahanan (Menhan) Purnomo Yusgiantoro ke China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMEIC) yang menjadi pemegang proyek pengerjaan rudal C-705 yang akan dibeli TNI AL disertai proses alih teknologi.

Sebelumnya, kedua pemerintah telah menandatangani nota kesepahaman kerja sama teknis pertahanan kedua negara. Penandatanganan nota kesepahaman dilakukan Wakil Menhan Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin dan Kepala Badan Pengembangan Teknologi dan Industri Nasional Pertahanan China, Chen Qiufa.

Lima Poin

Nota kesepahaman itu mencakup lima poin. Pertama, pengadaan alutsista tertentu yang disepakati kedua pihak dalam kerangka G to G. Kedua, alih teknologi peralatan militer tertentu yang antara lain mencakup perakitan, pengujian, pemeliharaan, modifi kasi, up grade, dan pelatihan. Tiga poin lainnya adalah kerja sama produk peralatan militer tertentu, pengembangan bersama peralatan militer tertentu, serta pemasaran bersama di dalam dan di luar negara masing-masing. Selama di China, Menteri Pertahanan Purnomo Yusgiantoro melakukan kunjungan kehormatan kepada Wakil Perdana Menteri China Li Keqiang.

Menhan bersama pejabat lainnya berkunjung ke China pada 19-21 Februari dalam rangka memenuhi undangan Menteri Pertahanan China Jenderal Liang Guanglie. "Segera setelah mendarat di Beijing, pada hari pertama, Menhan melakukan kunjungan, menggelar diskusi, serta meninjau dua kompleks industri pertahanan China yang terkait dengan produksi peluru kendali yaitu China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC) dan Aerospace Long March International Trade & co., Ltd. (ALIT)," tulis siaran pers Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia di Beijing.

Di akhir pertemuan tersebut dicapai kesepakatan untuk kerja sama industri pertahanan yang meliputi alih teknologi yang diharapkan menguntungkan kedua negara.

Delegasi Kemhan hari ini dijadwalkan melakukan pertemuan dan perundingan dengan Menhan China Jenderal Liang Guanglie, kemudian bertukar pikiran dengan salah satu lembaga riset/produksi industri pertahanan terkemuka lainnya di China yaitu State Administration for Science, technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND). Pertemuan lain yang merupakan bagian dari kunjungan itu adalah pertemuan dengan Wakil Kepala Komite Sentral Militer China Jenderal Guo Boxiong yang merupakan orang pertama di Angkatan Perang China (PLA).

20 Februari 2012

US Formally Offers 2nd Warship to AFP

20 Februari 2012

USCGS Dallas WHEC 716 (photo : Shipspotting)

MANILA, Philippines - A top military official bared yesterday that the United States has formally offered to the Philippines a second warship that is expected to boost the country’s territorial defense capability.

Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said the US sent last week a letter notifying them about the availability of another US Coast Guard cutter, Dallas.

“They (US) sent a letter offering us formally (the ship). They are telling us this is available and their government has approved (the giving of the ship to the Philippines). They are asking us if we are interested,” Pama said.

He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expected to reply to the letter next week.

“We will respond to the letter and tell them that we are interested. Once they receive that, the formal, detailed discussion would start,” Pama said.

The Navy chief said the transfer of the warship might be held in May if discussions run smoothly.

“If the talks are continuous and smooth flowing, we are looking at a formal transfer to be held in May,” Pama said.

The transfer cost would be funded by proceeds from the Malampaya natural gas project off Palawan that the Department of Energy will provide.

Officials have said the transfer cost for the cutter Dallas would be close to the P450 million spent for the first Coast Guard cutter that the Philippine Navy acquired last year.

The first Coast Guard cutter that was converted into the BRP Gregorio del Pilar was acquired from the US Coast Guard last year to improve the Philippines’ territorial defense capability.

The Gregorio del Pilar is the Navy’s first Hamilton-class vessel and was acquired under the US Foreign Military Sales program.

The ship is 380 feet long and is now the Navy’s largest ship. The ship is currently deployed in Palawan since Dec. 23 to secure the country’s natural resources.

The Philippines deployed the ship amid a territorial row over the Spratly Islands, an area in the West Philippine Sea that is rich in mineral and marine resources.

The Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan claim either part or the entire Spratly Islands, which has been the subject of a territorial dispute in the region.

Last November, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her government is ready to provide a second war ship to the Philippines.

Clinton, who visited Manila to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty, said the US would remain “in the corner” of the Philippines, its “trusted ally.”

Early this month, US Rep. Ed Royce said the ship “should soon be on its way to Manila” and that the review process for its transfer would be completed soon.

Dallas is a weather high-endurance cutter and has features similar to that of Gregorio del Pilar.

The US Coast Guard had used the ship for drug and migrant interdiction, law enforcement, search and rescue, living marine resources protection, and defense readiness.

The ship can accommodate up to 180 officers and sailors.

Submarine All at Sea on Repairs

20 Februari 2012

The Collins class submarine HMAS Rankin. (photo : The Age)

BY THE time Australia's newest Collins class submarine returns to service in September or October next year the vessel will have been laid up for repairs and maintenance for longer than it has been in use.

A Senate estimates hearing has been told HMAS Rankin was pulled out of service in 2008 because a crew could not be found. Commissioned 41 months late on March 29, 2003, the vessel was not due for a full cycle docking until March 2011.

It was subsequently cannibalised for parts during work on its sister subs, including HMAS Sheean - the second youngest of the troubled Collins class fleet - and HMAS Dechaineux.

The Sheean was also sent to Adelaide for repairs well ahead of schedule in 2008.

''[Rankin and Sheean went in early] largely because of our manpower situation,'' The Chief of Navy, Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs, told the estimates hearing.

It was, in short, more palatable to have the billion-dollar submarines in Adelaide awaiting maintenance than languishing at Garden Island in Perth advertising the crew shortage.

The Sheean is now three years into a 900,000 man-hour, $200 million-plus maintenance regime.

Defence experts told the hearing the submarine was back in the water and undergoing testing. ''We envisage [HMAS Sheean] will be out [of its deep maintenance period] by the middle of the year,'' Air Vice-Marshal Chris Deeble said.

He said the current cost of a full cycle docking for a Collins class submarine varied between $200 million and $220 million.

The Dechaineux was involved in a dramatic incident on February 12, 2003, which led to all Collins class submarines at sea being recalled for safety checks.

Opposition defence spokesman David Johnston was critical of the Collins class sustainment program, noting he had been given cost estimates ranging from $435 million to $629 million a year. ''When you throw in depreciation [on top of the $629 million] you get $821 million,'' he said.

19 Februari 2012

Philippines to Get Second Hamilton Ship by May

19 Februari 2012

USCGS Dallas WHEC 716 (photo : Eucom)

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—If things go according to plan, the Philippine Navy would be getting its second Hamilton ship by May of this year, Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in a chance interview after the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming, Pama said that he has received the formal letter of offer on the Hamilton Class Cutter US Coast Guard Dallas.

“Kung masusunod yung schedule, bago matapos and taon, dalawa na yung Secretary Class natin. Maaring May (If the schedule will be followed, before the end of the year we will have two Secretary Class vessels),” Pama told reporters.

In May 2011, the Philippine Navy Acquired a Hamilton Class Cutter, which the Philippine Navy christened as BRP-Gregorio del Pilar, from the United States as excess defense article under the Foreign Assistance Act.

Like the BRP-Gregorio del Pilar, the Dallas will likely be stripped off most of its equipment and armaments. Pama said they requested that some of the equipment be retained on the ship.

“Naiintindihan naman natin na ibang kaggamitan doon ay di basta-basta pwedeng ipamigay… Kasama sa pag-uusapan kung ano iyong pwedeng i-retain (We understand that some of the equipment they can’t give away easily… This is still included in the negotiations, which equipment can be retained),” Pama said adding that both parties are still in the initial stages of the negotiation
When asked where the Dallas will be deployed, Pama said: “We will cross the bridge when we get there.”

He said that they are currently arranging for the transfer of the vessel and training personnel.

However, he admitted that normally, vessels are deployed in tandem. BRP-Gregorio del Pilar, which was commissioned last December 2011, was deployed to the Malampaya natural gas field in the West Philippine Sea.

The United States Congress formally approved the transfer of the Dallas Cutter to the Philippines on February 10.

The New Russian Main Battle Tank Prototype Armata will be Completed by 2013

19 Februari 2012

Future view of Russian main battle tank Armata (image : Army Recognition)

Russia will complete the first prototype of the new Armata main battle tank by 2013 and begin production and deliveries to the Russian Armed Forces in 2015, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and the CEO of tank manufacturer Uralvagonzavod Oleg Sienko told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the Lenta.ru news portal reported.

Uralvagonzavod and the military are testing the main components of the new tank. No other details were reported. Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry has signed a contract worth six billion rubles with Uralvagonzavod to upgrade 170 T-72 main battle tanks, to be carried out at a specially prepared facility in Omsk, Lenta.ru said.

Russian-made Black Eagle main battle tank. According to the Sverdlovsk "Regional Newspaper", the Russian military, so, in fact, refused to purchase T-90 tanks, has been repeatedly criticized by the Commander of Land Forces Alexander Postnikov and Chief of General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov. (photo : Army Recognition)

“The Russian armed forces will have a new main tank with fundamentally new characteristics, fully automated loading and separate crew compartment by 2015,” Lieutenant-General Yuri Kovalenko, former First Deputy Head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Automotive Armor Directorate said last April.Kovalenko said work from other projects, including Object 195 and Black Eagle, will be incorporated in Armata's design.

18 Februari 2012

South East Asian Nations Seek Improved ASW, AEW

18 Februari 2012

Indonesia - The air chief of Indonesia says the country would be looking for a larger system than the AEW concept put forward by Airbus Military. The AEW aircraft will need more endurance than the C-295 can deliver, he notes. (photo : Jetphotos)

Concerns over China’s claims to the South China Sea are sparking an arms race among its Southeast Asian neighbors, some of which have maritime patrol, airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft high on their priority lists.

China has laid claim to most of the South China Sea, a body of water that includes vital sea lanes and under which lie rich deposits of oil and gas.

In May of last year, Chinese ships reportedly cut the cables of Binh Minh 02, an oil-surveying vessel within Vietnam’s 200-nm exclusive economic zone and operated by the Vietnam Oil & Gas Group. In the same month, two Chinese fighters allegedly entered Philippine airspace, an intrusion related to the disputed Spratly Islands. The Philippine navy also found wooden posts erected on Amy Douglas Bank, Reed Bank and Boxall Reef—all within Philippine-claimed waters. The navy, which promptly removed the posts, accused China of placing them there.


P-3C Orion (photo : Airliners)

Vietnam’s foreign minister, Pham Binh Minh, and the Philippines foreign minister, Albert del Rosario, met in Hanoi last year to discuss implementation of a defense cooperation agreement.
The dispute with China has led the Philippines and Vietnam to seek closer defense ties with the U.S., a remarkable development in terms of U.S.-Vietnam relations considering their history. It seems that memories of the Vietnam War are no longer a stumbling block. On Sept. 19, Vietnam’s deputy defense minister, Nguyen Chi Vinh, and the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense, Robert Scher, signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at boosting military cooperation.

Sources say the Vietnamese are seeking to buy ASW aircraft and have shown interest in the Lockheed Martin P-3. The Southeast Asian nation wants the P-3s to protect its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea and to help stop Chinese submarines from entering Vietnamese waters. China’s largest submarine base is on the southern tip of Hainan Island, just off the northern Vietnam coast.

C-295 ASW (photo : Airbus Military)

Vietnam has a 3,444-km (2,135-mi.) coastline, so it needs long-range aircraft. Advanced sonar-detection equipment also is required to combat China’s increasingly advanced submarines. For ASW, Vietnam has been using four Beriev Be-12 amphibious aircraft that it received in 1981, as well as dozens of Kamov Ka-25/-27 helicopters.

When the P-3s last operated in Vietnam during the war, Cam Ranh Bay coincidentally was their main base. The U.S. Navy used P-3As to patrol the coastline in search of gunboats and Chinese trawlers providing supplies to the Vietcong hiding in South Vietnam.

The other contender for Vietnam’s ASW requirement is the Airbus Military C295. The Spaniards have already developed a relationship there, having sold three Airbus Military C212 maritime patrol aircraft to the Vietnam marine police. The first aircraft was delivered late last year.


CN-235 ASW (photo : Militaryphotos)

The Philippine air force is also seeking to buy maritime patrol aircraft. Some of the models being considered include the Alenia ATR 42MP, Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350ER, Airbus CN235, Viking Air Twin Otter and Bombardier Q-series.

The country’s leaders have also talked up the prospect of the Philippines once again procuring fighter aircraft. The Philippines has had no fighter aircraft since 2005 when it retired its last Northrop F-5.

ATR-42MP (photo : Alessandro Buffa)

Philippines President Benigno Aquino, 3rd, disclosed in December that he will be visiting the U.S. early this year and plans to ask U.S. President Barack Obama for military assistance. “I will meet President Obama next year, perhaps by April. I will remind him of our strategic partnership and he might remember that we don’t have a fighter [jet],” Aquino said in a speech to Philippine air force personnel late in 2011. He added that he will ask the U.S. to donate used fighter aircraft to the Philippines, under an arrangement similar to that between the U.S. and Indonesia. The U.S. last year agreed to donate 24 second-hand Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs to Indonesia, which could then pay to upgrade them to the C/D standard.


Saab Eriye (image : Saab)

Malaysia also has a requirement for fighters and is seeking to buy 18 new aircraft to replace its MiG-29s. The contenders are the Boeing F/A-18E/F, Saab Gripen, Dassault Rafale, Sukhoi Su-30, Sukhoi Su-35 and Eurofighter Typhoon.

The MiG-29s are stationed at Kuantan AFB, in West Malaysia overlooking the South China Sea. If Malaysia ever has an armed conflict with China, it is likely that the fighter squadron at Kuantan will be at the front line. East and West Malaysia are separated by the South China Sea, and Malaysia has a requirement for maritime patrol and airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft to monitor its exclusive maritime economic zone. Malaysia’s defense minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, says Malaysia has a requirement for three AEW aircraft, one each to be stationed in East and West Malaysia and one standby.

Northrop Grumman is proposing to sell the E-2D, Saab is promoting its Saab Erieye radar mounted on an Embraer EMB-145, and Airbus Military is pushing the C295 AEW. Lockheed Martin U.K. and Thales, meanwhile, are each proposing that Malaysia use one of the air force’s existing aircraft, such as a Lockheed Martin C-130, and upgrade it with AEW capabilities using roll-on, roll-off mission systems.

Malaysia’s air force chief, Gen. Rodzali bin Daud, says “It is important to maintain a high degree of situational awareness and central to this is AEW.” Malaysia is relying on ground-based radar supplemented by some Beechcraft King Air 350s fitted with Thales radar, but these small aircraft have limited flying range. Rodzali also says: “Land-based radar’s lack of mobility puts it second to airborne systems.”

AW-159 Lynx Wildcat (photo : All Britain)

Malaysia has a requirement for ASW aircraft as well. Its navy has stated it wants to buy six ASW helicopters. It is considering the Sikorsky MH-60R and the AgustaWestland AW159. Defense Minister Ahmad told DTI’s sister publication Aviation Week & Space Technology in December that “the project is in our pipeline, but because of budget constraints, it hasn’t been given a priority [go-ahead] yet.” Industry executives say the government may be waiting until after the next national election, expected sometime in 2012, before moving ahead with this procurement.

In fact, this is the case with all the other requirements. Malaysia will only allocate a budget and select a winner for its AEW and fighter requirements after the elections.

Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is also still waiting for a budget for the five maritime patrol aircraft it plans to acquire on long-term wet leases. Three types are in the running—the RUAG 228NG, Cessna Grand Caravan and Alenia ATR 42MP.


G-550 CAEW (image : FlightGlobal)

Singapore uses Fokker 50s for maritime patrol and has one of the most advanced AEW capabilities in the region, thanks to its Gulfstream G550s fitted with AEW mission equipment from Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta Systems. For ASW, it has Sikorsky S-70Bs, but industry executives say is also planning to buy fixed-wing ASW aircraft.

The island nation, unlike other countries in Southeast Asia, has no territorial disputes with China. But Singapore, which is dependent on sea trade for its livelihood, can ill afford to have submarines blocking its sea lanes.

China has been adding Shang-class nuclear-powered subs, while India has announced that it plans to buy six more diesel-electric models. (Russia’s arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, disclosed that it will be proposing Russian-built Amur 650-class subs.) Six French Scorpene vessels from an earlier tender are under construction in India.

Singapore’s closest neighbors have also been adding submarines, largely in response to China’s submarine buildup.

Vietnam’s defense minister, Gen. Phung Quang Thanh, says his country has six Kilo-class diesel-powered subs on order from Russia. Malaysia recently added three submarines: two new Scorpene-class subs jointly built by French and Spanish companies, and one reconditioned ex-French navy Agosta-class vessel. Indonesia has two German-built Cakra-class subs and in December ordered three submarines from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. Thailand’s navy is eyeing second-hand Type U206As from Germany, according to local news reports.