30 Juni 2015

Myanmar may be in Talks to Buy Thunder Fighters from Pakistan

30 Juni 2015

Pakistan JF-17 Thunder (photo : defence.pk)

Myanmar could become the first overseas buyer of the JF-17 Thunder or FC-1 Xiaolong multirole fighter jointly developed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group of China, according to China's official newswire Xinhua on June 28.

Li Yuhai, the deputy general manager of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) said three Thunder fighters from the Pakistan Air Force were displayed at the Paris Air Show between June 15-21. A number of countries including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Argentina, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and the Philippines reportedly expressed interest in purchasing the fighter from Pakistan.

Air Commodore Syed Muhammad Ali, spokesperson for the Pakistan Air Force told Agence France-Presse that one of the aforementioned nations had made a final decision to buy the fighter. An earlier report from Pakistan's 92 News had said Sri Lanka had already singed a contract to become the first overseas buyer of the plane. Wing Commander Gihan Seneviratne, spokesperson for the Sri Lankan air force, told Xinhua on June 22 however that his nation had not yet reached any deal with Pakistan for the fighters.

The Washington DC-based Defense News said the mystery nation is likely to be Myanmar because the head of the country's air force, General Khin Aung Myint, was in Pakistan at the end of May for a four-day visit where he visited various bases and installations though very little was said about his trip at the time.

Myanmar has a long tradition of operating Chinese military aircraft. It currently has 48 A-5C attackers, 52 F-7M fighters and four Y-8 cargo planes.


TKMS Starts Construction of Singapore's Type 218SG Submarines

30 Juni 2015

TKMS Type 218SG (photos : mypaper, mdc)

Work on the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN's) two new Type 218SG diesel electric submarines has started, a MINDEF spokesperson confirmed to IHS Jane's on 29 June.

The spokesperson said Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Lai Chung Han witnessed the steel-cutting ceremony at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems' (TKMS') facility at Kiel on 24 June, which marked the commencement of construction for the service's future submarines, as part of an official visit to Germany.

Singapore signed a contract with TKMS for two new air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarines in December 2013. Initial details of the contract were scant, although a TKMS statement said the new design has been customised to meet the country's unique requirements, and includes capacity to accommodate additional equipment to meet future operational requirements. It will also feature an advanced combat system co-developed by Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics, a subsidiary of Singapore defence prime ST Engineering Group, and the Bremen-based Atlas Elektronik.

Fresh details of the Type 218SG submarine finally emerged during the IMDEX 2015 exhibition that was held in Singapore in May 2015. According to specifications provided by TKMS, the Type 218SG will be 70 m in length, 6.3 m in beam, and will displace approximately 2,000 tonnes.

A company source told IHS Jane's that the Type 218SG is developed from the Type 214 design, although the new submarine has been extended in length to accommodate additional mission systems as well as to support future upgradability.

IHS Jane's was also told that the new design combines the "best features" of the Type 212A-class and the Type 214-class platforms. For example, the Type 218SG features an X-rudder stern configuration similar to the Type 212A, which offers enhanced manoeuvrability in confined littoral waters, as opposed to the Type 214's cruciform rudder arrangement.

"The Type 218SG will also use the same air independent propulsion (AIP) system found the Type 214 submarine," the source said. According to IHS Jane's Fighting Ships , the Type 214-class is equipped with an AIP system based on a pair of HDW/Siemens polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell modules that generate up to 120 kW each.

Unlike the RSN's current 1,500 tonne Archer-class SSKs (ex-Type A 17 Västergötland) that were modernised and refitted to accommodate a Stirling Mk 3 AIP system, the Type 218SG will be AIP-capable in its baseline configuration.

The new submarines will replace the RSN's ageing Challenger (Type A 12 Sjöormen)-class submarines, which were first commissioned in the 1960s for the Royal Swedish Navy and acquired by Singapore in the mid-1990s.


Cubic Selected for the Australian Army’s Exercise and Advanced Services Standing Offer (EATSSO)

30 Juni 2015

EATSSO training services is highly complementary to Cubic’s other Australian capabilities in air and land live simulation and deployable instrumentation systems (photo : Cubic)

SAN DIEGO – Cubic Global Defense (CGD), a business of Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB) today announced the selection of Cubic Defence Australia as the prime contractor for the Australian Army’s Exercise and Advanced Services Standing Offer (EATSSO). Under the new award, Cubic will support the Australian Army with exercise planning, management and evaluation; the delivery of simulated environmental effects, including both live and constructive support; and the provision of medical training.

“Cubic looks forward to supporting the Australian Army by delivering a broad range of training and simulation services that will complement the ongoing Instrumentation and Communication Programs we currently conduct with the Australian Army,” said Mark Horn, general manager, Cubic Defence Australia. “Cubic has assembled a strong Australian team and is also able to draw on training services capabilities from the Cubic Global Defence business. We will continue to bring significant added value to large scale collective training events by providing a single point of coordinated exercise support in Australia.”  

EATSSO replaces the existing Collective Training Services Standing Offer (CTSSO) that was also supported by Cubic since 2011. EATSSO will operate for an initial period of five years with two further optional extension periods of up to two years.  Cubic’s delivery of EATSSO training services is highly complementary to Cubic’s other Australian capabilities in air and land live simulation and deployable instrumentation systems. Services will be flexible to requirements and will include support to both mission specific and foundation training events.


Singapore Debuts Stealthy Naval Interceptor Ahead of 50th Anniversary Parade

30 Juni 2015

RSN Special Marine Craft (photo : NDP2015)

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has unveiled a new high-speed and stealthy naval interceptor designed to perform a range of missions, including base defence for the service's two naval facilities, force protection, as well as maritime security operations alongside its existing Fearless-class patrol vessels and future Littoral Mission Vessels.

The new interceptor, called the Specialised Marine Craft (SMC), will be officially revealed to the public as part of the military display aimed at showcasing the Singapore Armed Forces' latest capabilities during the country's National Day celebration on 9 August. The SMC replaces the service's Fast Boats, which were retired in 2008.

The Republic of Singapore Navy's Specialised Marine Craft is being shown to the public for the first time since it became operational in 2009. The vessel on parade is visibly less equipped than the model shown in a publicity video, suggesting that this particular example is either a prototype or a newly built hull awaiting further outfitting. (photo : Jane's)

According to specifications provided by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), the 40-tonne SMC - which is based on an aluminium hullform with a low radar cross section (RCS) design - measures 22 m in length and has a beam of 5.5 m. IHS Jane's understands that the draft of the vessel is approximately 1.2 m.

A screenshot from a publicity video showing the wide, low profile hull form of the new Specialised Marine Craft. The vessel's electro-optical sensor and what is likely to be a navigation radar can be seen mounted on its starboard mast. (photo : Republic of Singapore Navy)

Major Lee Pui Yau, commander of the SMC squadron, told reporters during a media preview event on 27 June that development of the SMC began in 2003 in collaboration with Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine, with the first vessel entering service in 2009 after extensive trials and design refinements in the intervening years.

Maj Lee said the vessel's complement of four comprises a commander, a coxswain, a navigator, and a weapons specialist. He added that the SMC is not designed to embark additional personnel.

The Specialised Marine Craft is armed with a stabilised 12.7 mm Oto Melara Hitrole G remote weapons station, which features a low radar cross section shield design. (photo : Republic of Singapore Navy)

Propulsion is achieved with two Hamilton waterjets, likely the HM series that are designed for marine craft ranging from 17 to 60 m, which enable unfettered operation in shallow waters, while enabling the vessel to attain maximum speeds in excess of 30 kt.

The SMC is armed with a foredeck-mounted stabilised Oto Melara Hitrole G remote weapons station that is equipped with a 12.7 mm FN Herstal M2HB QCB machine gun and complements the stealthy profile of the SMC with its low-RCS shield. According to company literature, the Hitrole G weapon station is capable of engaging surface and aerial targets and has an internal capacity for 400 rds of ammunition. Additional ammunition can be stored under the mount. The company also stated that the Hitrole G is also equipped with a daylight camera, a cooled infrared imager, and a laser rangefinder.

The Specialised Marine Craft is operated by a four-person crew. (photo : Republic of Singapore Navy)

Specifics of the SMC's electronic systems were not disclosed, although MINDEF said the vessel features "advanced sensors" that provide "state-of-the-art surveillance capabilities" as well as a communications suite that enables improved integration with other RSN fleet assets and facilities. However, IHS Jane's understands from Maj Lee that the vessel is equipped with a mast-mounted electro-optical sensor turret as well as a radar system, although he declined to elaborate further on their origins.

According to Maj Lee, the RSN currently operates three vessels with a further five expected to enter service by 2017.

(Sing Mindef)

Helikopter Chinook Diharapkan Dapat Mulai Perkuat TNI Pada Tahun 2019

30 Juni 2015

TNI  berencana membeli 4 helikopter Chinook untuk TNI AD (photo : Boeing)

Jakarta, DMC - Perusahaan Boeing berharap proses administrasi rencana Menhan melakukan pengadaan Helikopter Chinook buatan Boeing selesai pada tahun 2016. Sehingga setidaknya 4 unit Helikopter Chinook dapat dikirimkan ke Indonesia pada tahun 2019 untuk memperkuat alutsista TNI.

Hal tersebut mengemuka dalam pembicaraan Menteri Pertahanan Ryamizard Ryacudu, Senin (29/6), dengan Presiden Boeing untuk Asia Tenggara Mr Young Tae Pak di Kantor Kemhan, Jakarta. 

Kunjungan Presiden Boeing untuk Asia Tenggara ini adalah untuk memastikan lebih lanjut keinginan Menhan untuk melakukan pengadaan Helikopter Chinook buatan Boeing untuk mencukupi kebutuhan Operasi Militer Selain Perang penanggulangan bencana. Menhan mengatakan akan berkoordinasi secepatnya dalam penyelesaian administrasi pengadaan Helikopter Chinook ini.

Sebelumnya, Indonesia juga melakukan pembelian Helikopter Apache yang sangat mematikan. Mr Young Tae Pak menjelaskan bahwa gabungan antara kemampuan kedua helikopter ini adalah kombinasi yang tepat dalam menghadapi ancaman nyata dan tidak nyata. Proses pemeliharan antara Helikopter Chinook dan Apache juga hampir sama, jadi memiliki keduanya akan menghemat biaya perawatan. Boeing juga telah melakukan pembicaraan dengan PT DI untuk melakukan kerjasama transfer teknologi Helikopter Chinook ini.

Pesawat Maritime Surveillance

Pesawat Boeing P-8A Maritime Surveillance (photo : Defense Update)

Dengan PT DI Boeing juga membicarakan mengenai alih teknologi pesawat Maritime Surveillance Aircraft. Karena diyakini, sesuai yang ditekankan pada Shangri-La Dialogue bahwa diperlukan kerjasama yang lebih erat antara negara-negara di Asia Tenggara terutama dalam hal pengamanan perairan dan berbagi informasi intelijen mengenai pelanggaran-pelanggaran yang terjadi di perairan.


29 Juni 2015

Republic of Singapore Extends Air Grading Contract with BAE Systems

29 Juni 2015

BAE Systems to provide the RSAF with CT-4B aircraft inflying training located in Tomworth (photo : ocean software)

Tamworth, NSW: BAE Systems has been awarded an extension to its contract to support the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Air Grading Centre (AGC) – Flying Training Institute (FTI) from its Flight Training Academy located in Tamworth, NSW.

BAE Systems will continue to provide the RSAF with aircraft, purpose built training facilities, instructor training, student accommodation and recreational facilities until the end of 2019.

Under the contract extension, the RSAF aims to increase the number of students that undertake air grading from 220 to 240 annually. The AGC will continue to be supported by a permanent detachment of 12 RSAF personnel who, along with their families, make a valued contribution to the local Tamworth community.

During the recent AGC Contract Performance Review, the RSAF Head of Air Training, Colonel Ho Yung Peng, stated that the excellent working relationship between the RSAF and BAE Systems has delivered solid contractual outcomes to date.

BAE Systems Australia Director Aerospace Steve Drury said: “We are honoured to continue providing the Singapore Air Force with aircraft and training equipment to meet their future aircrew training needs. We welcome the RSAF’s continued support for Flight Training Tamworth and BAE Systems as their on-going partner for air grading activities.”

Mr Drury continued: “This extension with the RSAF maintains our broad customer base beyond the Australian Defence Force, which is an important element of our long-term flight training business in Tamworth.”

(BAE Systems)

First RAAF C-27J Touches Down

29 Juni 2015

A34-001 on approach to Richmond. (photo : Seth Jaworski)

The first of 10 Alenia C-27J Spartan tactical airlifters for the RAAF has touched down at its new home of RAAF Base Richmond.

The aircraft, A34-001, landed at Richmond at approximately 3:45 on Thursday afternoon at the end of the last leg of its delivery flight from prime contractor L-3’s Waco, Texas facility, where it departed on June 15.

A second C-27J, A34-002, is expected to be delivered to Richmond in August.

A34-001 had entered Alenia Aermacchi’s Turin assembly line in December 2012 and first flew on December 18 2013. It was ferried to L-3 in Waco in March 2014 for fitment of its ballistic protection matting, EW/self-protection systems, and communications suite. The RAAF then accepted the first two C-27J Spartans onto the Commonwealth register, and commenced training on the aircraft at L-3’s facility at Waco, last December.

The C-27Js are being acquired as battlefield airlifters to replace the capability lost with the retirement of the DHC-4 Caribou in 2009. Ultimately the C-27Js will be based at Amberley.

(Australian Aviation)

27 Juni 2015

PHL Willing to Acquire Other Excess Japanese Defense Equipment

27 Juni 2015

JASDF C-130 Hercules (photo : Aria H Kanzaki)

The country is open to acquire other military equipment, which may be declared surplus by Japan.

This was stressed by Department of National Defense (DND) Spokesman Dr. Peter Paul Galvez on Thursday.

“If they [Japanese] will have excess defense articles [in the form] of Hueys [UH-H helicopters] and C-130 cargo planes, we will be very much interested in acquiring them,” he said in Filipino.

JGSDF UH-1 Huey (photo : Esa Kaihlanen)

Galvez said that it is easy for the Philippines to “absorb” these equipment as the country has the maintenance facilities, spare parts and know-how to operate these machines as the Filipino military has the same type of planes in its inventory. He earlier confirmed the DND’s interest in acquiring P-3C “Orion” maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft from Japan.

“We are interested in acquiring them [P-3Cs], especially if they become excess defense articles, as we can acquire these at a very reasonable price that is advantageous to the government,” he added.

Sources said that Japan and the Philippines are talking about the possible transfer of two to four P-3C to the Filipino military.

(Business Mirror)

Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar System for the ADF

27 Juni 2015

Giraffe AMB radar used by ADF for early warning of incoming missiles, artillery or mortar ammunition (photo : Aus DoD)

The Australian Government has given a combined First and Second Pass approval for project LAND 19 Phase 7A – Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar System (C‑RAM) Sense and Warn capability.

Force protection of personnel is of the highest priority, particularly given the increasingly complex operating environments.

C‑RAM Sense and Warn provides early detection and warning of incoming indirect fire threats. It gives personnel additional time to evade danger, minimising potential casualties.

The capability was initially acquired as an accelerated acquisition in 2010 for ADF force protection in Afghanistan.

Since then, the Australian Defence Force have used the C-RAM Sense and Warn capability at forward operating and patrol bases in Afghanistan, including Multi-National Base Tarin Kowt and a number of patrol bases in Uruzgan province.

The system effectively detected rocket, artillery and mortar threats falling within these bases. It provided warning to Australian and Coalition troops, enabling personnel to seek cover, which significantly reduced the risk of injury or death.

Approval of LAND 19 Phase 7A provides about $325 million to sustain C-RAM Sense and Warn capability for use on future operations.

The Commonwealth of Australia is currently in negotiations with the preferred tenderer, SAAB Systems Australia regarding the through life support arrangements for C-RAM. The contract is expected to be finalised in September 2015 and SAAB is intending to employ approximately four personnel for this contract.

Due to the importance of force protection to deployed personnel, funding for this capability has been accordingly prioritised ahead of the 2015 Defence White Paper.

(Aus DoD)

Funds for AFP Modernization Assured

27 Juni 2015
Defence spending in the region (all images : PAF)

THE modernization of the Armed Forces will continue as the government will continue acquiring equipment to provide the needs of its soldiers, Malacañang said Tuesday.

“The AFP has a modernization plan and the Aquino administration has consistently made sure that it is funded,” deputy presidential spokeswoman said in a text message to reporters.

“We continue to acquire equipment that will serve the needs of our soldiers as well as engage with other countries to continue training and learning best practices.”

Valte made her comments after she was asked about the AFP’s capability to defend the South China Sea, where China has been building islands.

The AFP recently said one of its problems was  its “limited equipment and facilities” to defend Philippine territory against China’s creeping expansion in the South China Sea.

A report says the Philippine Air Force has also acknowledged its weaknesses in territorial defense in its strategic plan called Flight Plan 2028.

The Air Force cited limited equipment, bases and facilities for territorial defense as well as inadequate training and the absence of established doctrines for territorial defense.

It also admitted in a report in April that it is not configured for territorial defense.

The Philippine military has been trying to build a minimum credible defense amid China’s expansion in the South China Sea.

The report says the Air Force’s breakthrough goal is to “build capability to detect, identify, intercept and neutralize intrusions in the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone and West Philippine Sea by 2022 and the entire Philippines by 2028.”

The Air Force aims to have Area Readiness 3 to Area Readiness 1.

The report says the ability to neutralize incursions refers to 51 to 74 percent of Philippine territory while Area Readiness 1 means 100 percent of the country’s territory, which is estimated to be 40,000 square nautical miles.

On the other hand, Jane’s Defense Magazine in 2012 said the Philippines has no fighter aircraft compared to China’s 1,082 with radars, missile defense, ballistic missile and nuclear arms.

Vietnam, one of the claimants in the South China Sea, has 208 fighter aircraft, Thailand has 55, Indonesia 48 and Malaysia 42.

(Malaysia Standard Today)

Markas Yontaifib-2 Marinir Pindah ke Marunda

27 Juni 2015

Batalyon Intai Amfibi (Yontaifib) Marinir TNI AL (photos : Marinir, Kaskus, Tempo)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Komandan Korps Marinir Mayjen TNI (Mar) Buyung Lalana memindahkan sekaligus meresmikan markas baru Batalyon Intai Amfibi-2 Korps Marinir (Yontaifib-2 Mar) dari Kesatrian Marinir Cilandak, Jakarta Selatan ke Kesatrian marinir Baroto Sardadi, Jalan Sungai Tiram Marunda, Jakarta Utara, Jumat.

"Ini merupakan program pengembangan Korps Marinir TNI AL, salah satu kesatuan kita pindahkan dari Jakarta Selatan ke Jakarta Utara di Marunda, agar lebih segar lagi satuan ini sekaligus menjaga aset TNI AL yang berada di wilayah ini," ujar Dankormar.

Menurut Dankormar, markas yang memiliki luas 101 hektare ini akan dilengkapi berbagai fasilitas pendukung bagi peningkatan kemampuan personel diantaranya, lapangan tembak jarak pendek dan akan dikembangkan hingga jarak 1.000 meter.

Fasilitas lainnya, perumahan anggota sarana olah raga dan kemarkasan seperti, Markas Pasmar-2 yang sementara ini ada Jakarta Pusat. Setelah dipindah ke Marunda, Markas Pasmar-2 akan dibangun museum sejarah perjalanan Korps Marinir dari sejak lahir 15 November 1945 sampai saat ini.

"Museum ini akan menceritakan perjalanan perjuangan Marinir, museum ini juga dinobatkan sebagai museum nasional, tempat edukasi dan terbuka untuk umum," katanya. 

Kepala Dinas Penerangan Kormar Letkol Marinir Suwandi mengatakan, Yontaifib-2 Mar merupakan salah satu komando pelaksana (Kolaks) Pasmar-2, dituntut mampu memelihara dan meningkatkan kemampuan prajurit dalam melaksanakan tugas pengintaian amfibi, pengintaian darat, dan operasi tempur darat maupun operasi khusus dalam membantu satuan tempur lainnya.

Kesatuan ini juga memiliki tugas pokok membina dan menyediakan kekuatan serta kemampuan unsur amfibi maupun pengintaian darat guna pelaksanaan tugas-tugas operasi khusus seperti pendaratan amfibi, operasi TNI AL dan sebagainya.

Oleh karena itu, Yontaifib-2 Marinir dituntut memiliki kemampuan yang mencakup daya tahan fisik, keterampilan teknik dan taktik serta prosedur dasar kemiliteran perorangan sampai tingkat kompi/detasemen.

Termasuk kemampuan perencanaan dan pelaksanaan pengintaian amfibi pada operasi tingkat BTP/Brigat dan pengintaian darat pada operasi tempur darat tingkat batalyon atau brigade serta kemampuan pengamanan objek vital dan VVIP, operasi SAR dan Combat SAR. 

Sebagai pasukan khusus, Yontaifib-2 Mar tidak melaksanakan tugasnya dengan jumlah pasukan yang besar karena menyangkut kerahasiaan, disiplin lapangan yang tinggi serta mempunyai keahlian khusus di tiga media baik di darat, laut dan udara.


RAAF to Get Two More Tanker Transports

27 Juni 2015

RAAF KC-30A and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet (photo : breaking defence)

It appears likely that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is to acquire two more Airbus Defence A330-based multirole tanker transports (MRTT) to add to its current fleet of five, although no formal confirmation is yet available.

A brief comment to this effect - since removed - appeared on the website of the Spanish Embassy in Canberra on 25 June.

The embassy and an Airbus Defence spokesman subsequently declined any comment to IHS Jane's , as did the office of Minister of Defence Kevin Andrews.

The acquisition of an additional two MRTTs (KC-30A in Australian service) was informally forecast by then defence minister David Johnston in August 2014.


26 Juni 2015

HMAS Melbourne Fires Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles

26 Juni 2015

An Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile fires from HMAS Melbourne's MK-41 vertical launcher during training in the East Australian Exercise Area off the New South Wales coast. (photo : Aus DoD)

The Royal Australian Navy Adelaide class frigate, HMAS Melbourne, has successfully fired two Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, reinforcing her war-fighting and mariner skills.

The missile firings were conducted off the coast of New South Wales on 24 June against two unmanned aerial targets launched from the Beecroft Range at Jervis Bay.

Melbourne’s MK-41 Vertical Launch System deployed the missiles, controlled in flight, resulting in a successful engagement with the target as part of her operational training program.

Navy ships conduct mariner and war-fighting training all year round to prepare for operational duties and Commanding Officer Melbourne, Commander Bill Waters, said the firing proved the effectiveness of the frigate’s combat systems.

“We do extensive simulation, but by conducting a live missile firing we validate this training and prove the accuracy and precision of our combat systems,” CMDR Waters said.

The Evolved Sea Sparrow is a medium-range, semi-active homing missile that makes flight corrections via radar and midcourse data uplinks. It can be used against surface-to-air and surface-to-surface targets. The missile is part of the suite of weapons use by Australian frigates.

Later this year, Melbourne will deploy to the Middle East as part of Operation MANITOU where she will support efforts to counter and deter terrorism and the trade of narcotics.

MANITOU is the Australian Defence Force’s maritime security contribution to the international effort to promote security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region.

(Aus DoD)

Chinese Win Bid to Supply Three Subs to Navy

26 Juni 2015

China has offered Yuan class (3.600 tonnes) diesel-electric submarine for Royal Thai Navy (photo : Navy 81)

The navy has picked Chinese submarines costing 12 billion baht each to be commissioned in the force, a source on the procurement committee says. 

The majority of the 17-strong committee voted to buy three Chinese submarines, saying it was the "best value for money". 

The rest were split between submarines from Germany and South Korea. 

The navy also received offers from Russia, Sweden and France.  

The source said China beat other competitors as it offered subs equipped with superior weaponry and technology. Its subs are also able to stay underwater longer.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon backs the submarine project, citing a growing territorial threat and an increasing number of maritime missions. He said many neighbouring countries are also deploying submarines.  

Gen Prawit said he would forward to the cabinet the navy's submarine procurement decision once it becomes available.  

Before the procurement panel made its decision, Gen Prawit was quoted by a navy source as saying that if the submarines were not bought by the current government, the navy might not have the chance to get them again. 

See full article Bangkok Post

PHL Keen on Acquiring P-3C 'Orion'

26 Juni 2015

JMSDF P-3C Orion, aside from the Orion aircraft, DND is also eyeing to acquire helicopters from Japan (photo : militaryphotos)

MANILA (PNA) --The Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday confirmed that the country is interested in acquiring P-3C "Orion" maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft from Japan.

"We are interested in acquiring them (P-3Cs) especially if they become excess defense articles as we can acquire it at a very reasonable price which is advantageous to the government," National Defense spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez said.

Japan is in the process of replacing its P-3Cs with its homegrown Kawasaki Heavy P-1 patrol aircraft, which has twice the range of the "Orion," which is pegged at 2,380 nautical miles.

The Japanese military is known to operate 70 plus units of P-3Cs.

And when asked if the country is capable of maintaining and operating the P-3C, Galvez said that the DND would try to program it from its budget.

He also admitted that the P-3C transfer was mention in passing during the June visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to Japan. (PNA)

LRPA project still on go, says DND official

Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary for Modernization Fernando Manalo said on Thursday the country's "long range patrol aircraft" (LRPA) project is still on go.

But he clarified that the bidding process for the LRPA is suspended pending the approval and signing of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

This is in the wake of reports saying that defense officials of Japan and the Philippines are talking about a possible transfer of two to four P-3C "Orion" maritime patrol aircraft to the country's military forces.

Manalo said that the LRPA acquisition is a separate project from the P-3C

The DND's LRPA project is worth PhP5.9 billion and is for two aircraft.

The LRPAs are for the use of the Philippine Air Force.

Earlier, in a supplemental bid bulletin posted at the DND website, prospective bidders were told to submit aircraft designs with systems that allow autonomous operation.

"The aircraft must be equipped with a system that allows autonomous operation in remote bases ensuring electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic power on ground. The system must also be able to start the engines without ground support," it said.

This means that the LRPAs can be deployable in remote airfields lacking modern start-up facilities.

Aside from this, the planes must be equipped with a noise reduction system which is capable of reducing both cabin vibration and noise and eliminate many of the buzzes and rattles which would otherwise be a major source of annoyance and distraction for surveillance and patrol mission crew. (PTVNews)

RAN Prepares to Decommission HMAS Tobruk

26 Juni 2015

HMAS Tobruk sails into Sydney Harbour for the final time before decommissioning on 31 July 2015. (photo : Aus DoD)

HMAS Tobruk , the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's ) only heavy landing ship, completed its final voyage to the Garden Island naval base in Sydney on 25 June prior to decommissioning on 31 July.

The 5,800-tonne vessel, based on the design of the Round Table class of the UK's Royal Fleet Auxiliary, was constructed in Newcastle, Australia, and commissioned in April 1981.

During its 34 years in service Tobruk was a mainstay of the RAN's heavy sealift capability, but in recent years became increasingly unreliable.

Notwithstanding Tobruk 's retirement, the RAN's sealift capability is approaching an all-time high with the commissioning in November 2014 of the 27,500 tonne helicopter landing dock HMAS Canberra , sea trials of sister ship Adelaide now underway, and the in-service availability of the 16,190 tonne dock landing ship HMAS Choules .


25 Juni 2015

PAF 'Flight Plan 2028' Reveals Shift to External Defense

25 Juni 2015

Flight Plan 2028 (all images : PAF)

Manila (PNA) - With military modernization in full swing, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) has released its "Flight Plan 2028" which highlights its shift to external defense mode.

The PAF was forced to shift into internal defense operations due to the rise of the insurgency and secessionist threats in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.

By 2028, as stated in "Flight Plans 2028," the PAF will be able to build up its capability to detect, identify, intercept and neutralize incursions from "Area Readiness 3 to Area Readiness 1."

"Area Readiness 3" refers to 51 to 74 percent of Philippine territory while "Area Readiness 1" means 100 percent of the country's territory which is estimated to be 40,000 square nautical miles.

The PAF will do it once its modern radar systems, long-range patrol aircraft (LRPAs), airborne early warning and control system (AEWCS), surface-attack aircraft (SAA) , light interim fighter trainers (LIFTs), multi-role fighters (MRFs) and missile defense systems (MDS) get online by 2028.

Detection capability will be provided by modern radar systems, and the LRPAs, identification of the threat will be done by the AEWCS, while interception capabilities will given by the SAA, LIFTs, and MRFs.

While neutralization will be done by the MDS should intruding aircraft intrude over land.

PAF spokesman Col. Enrico Canaya said this is the breakthrough goal of the Air Force.

The decision to made public "Flight Plan is aimed at informing the public of efforts to modernize the PAF and make it more relevant.

"And by 2022, (the PAF) will (have) already build up its capability to detect, identify, intercept and neutralize incursions in the PADIZ and the West Philippine Sea from 'Area Readiness 4' to 'Area Readiness 3'," Flight Plan 2028 stressed.

PADIZ is short for the "Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone and Area Readiness" which was established in 1953.

It covers the entire Luzon region, parts of Visayas, and locations north of Palawan.

"Area Readiness 4" refers to 50 percent of known Philippine territory while "Area Readiness 3" means 51 to 74 percent of Philippine territories (including PADIZ and the West Philippine Sea).

And by 2022, the PAF hopes to have in service 24 SAA and LIFTs, four LRPAs, six ADSRS platforms, six ground based air defense systems, two AEWCS units, 12 MRFs, one C2C center, four electronic countermeasure aircraft, one AA (airborne aircraft) refueler, and four medium-to-heavy lift helicopters.


Peremajaan Fregat Kelas Van Speijk Mendesak

25 Juni 2015

Fregat kelas Van Speijk TNI AL (photo : Kaskus Militer)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - TNI AL memiliki enam kapal fregat kelas Van Speijk bekas pakai Angkatan Laut Kerajaan Belanda yang berasal dari dasawarsa ’70-an. 

“Sudah terlalu tua dan perlu diremajakan dan kami juga fokus pada hal ini,” kata Kepala Staf TNI AL, Laksamana TNI Ade Supandi, di Markas Besar TNI AL, Cilangkap, Jakarta Timur, Rabu malam. 

Dia menyatakan itu menanggapi wacana dari sebagian anggota Komisi I DPR tentang perkuatan TNI AL dan TNI AU. Pemerintah seharusnya lebih menguatkan kedua matra TNI ini ketimbang TNI AD mengingat fokus pembangunan yang bervisi kemaritiman. 

Jika fokus ini konsisten dilakukan, menurut sebagian anggota Komisi I DPR dalam satu diskusi, Selasa (23/6), maka anggaran pertahanan perlu ditambah dan alokasi anggaran kepada TNI AL dan TNI AU harus ditambah. 

TNI AL, menurut Supandi, berpatokan pada peta jalan Kekuatan Efektif Minimum (MEF) yang telah ditetapkan sejak pemerintahan Presiden Susilo Yudhoyono. 

Salah satu peta jalan perkuatan arsenal TNI AL itu adalah melanjutkan pembangunan dua kapal fregat berpeluru kendali buatan PT PAL dan koleganya di Belanda, penggantian kapal latih tiang tinggi KRI Dewaruci —juga akan dinamakan KRI Dewaruci— yang sedang dibangun di Spanyol, dan pengadaan dua kapal hidrografi canggih dari Prancis (satu sudah datang, KRI Rigel). 

Ditanya apakah TNI AL menyiapkan “rencana cadangan” jika ada penambahan anggaran negara untuk perkuatan arsenalnya, Supandi menjawab, “Ada, percepatan fregat itu. Kami evaluasi kapal yang dari Belanda itu, kami punya enam fregat kelas Van Speijk itu dan evaluasi sedang dilakukan di PT PAL.”

KRI Karel Sasuit Tubun-356 dari kelas Van Speijk itu juga sudah banyak jasanya bagi negara, di antaranya menjadi “benteng” terapung TNI AL saat konflik Ambalat pertama mengemuka. 

Sejak KRI Karel Sasuit Tubun-356 hadir di perairan itu, kapal-kapal perang Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia menjaga jarak secara signifikan dari Karang Unarang dan perairan di Ambalat. 

Dalam doktrin perang di laut, keberadaan kapal perang kelas fregat ini sangat menentukan. Fregat tidak didedikasikan untuk pasukan pendarat dan berada di atas kelas korvet serta di bawah kelas destroyer.

Dengan ukurannya yang menengah dari sisi dimensi dan tonase, dia mampu menjadi pangkalan udara terapung, pijakan peluncuran peluru kendali permukaan dan bawah laut, penginderaan, intelijen (peluncuran tim pasukan khusus), dan pengamatan, hingga "jangkar" eksistensi angkatan laut di perairan. 


TNI AU Usulkan Peningkatan Status Lanud Tarakan dari Tipe C Menjadi Tipe B

25 Juni 2015

Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara (image : Google Maps)

Cegah Pelanggaran, TNI AU Usulkan Peningkatan Status Lanud Tarakan

JAKARTA - TNI Angkatan Udara (AU) mengusulkan peningkatan status Landasan Udara (Lanud) Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara dari tipe C menjadi tipe B. Hal itu sebagai upaya untuk memperkuat penjagaan terhadap kedaulatan udara Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI) dari gangguan keamanan. 

Kepala Dinas Penerangan TNI AU (Kadispenau) Marsma TNI Dwi Badarmanto mengaku sudah mengusulkan peningkatan status lanud tersebut kepada Mabes TNI. Peningkatan status ini diharapkan bisa memperkuat Lanud Tarakan sebagai salah satu pangkalan pertahanan udara terluar di wilayah NKRI. 

Menurut Dwi, dengan peningkatan status tersebut maka kemampuan lanud juga semakin bertambah dengan adanya satu skuadron pesawat tempur penyergap yang di tempatkan di Lanud Tarakan. Selama ini, dalam menindak pelanggaran wilayah udara, Lanud Tarakan, yang resmi berdiri pada 2009, masih mengandalkan bantuan pesawat tempur dari Lanud Sultan Hasanuddin, Makassar. 

”Ini tentu akan memakan waktu lama dalam hal penindakan karena jarak yang lumayan jauh,” ujarnya di Jakarta kemarin. Dwi menjelaskan, semua kajian soal peningkatan status Lanud Tarakan juga sudah disampaikan kepada pemegang kebijakan, termasuk hakikat ancaman yang mungkin terjadi di wilayah udara tersebut. 

Diakuinya, upaya peningkatan status lanud akan membawa konsekuensi logis, seperti kesiapan lahan, infrastruktur pendukung, baik untuk hanggar pesawat maupun perumahan buat prajurit. ”Sebisa mungkin akan segera terealisasi. Sejauh ini semua bentuk pelanggaran wilayah udara telah dilaporkan ke pimpinan tertinggi baik ke Kepala Staf Angkatan Udara (KSAU) maupun Panglima TNI,” ujarnya. 

Pengamat hukum internasional Universitas Indonesia Hikmahanto Juwana menilai, ada klaim tumpang tindih di perairan Ambalat di mana Indonesia mengklaimnya sebagai Blok Ambalat sesuai dengan dasar hukum UNCLOS, sementara Malaysia menyebutnya sebagai ND7 dan ND9 sesuai peta 1979. ”Ini masih menjadi negosiasi yang belum berakhir. Harusnya Malaysia menghormati status quo agar tidak terjadi konflik di tingkat masyarakat,” katanya. 

Menurut Hikmahanto, bila terjadi pelanggaran di daerah status quo sebaiknya dilakukan protes diplomatik. Memang dibutuhkan kesabaran yang tinggi. Hikmahanto menyarankan, pemerintah Indonesia untuk tidak tergesa-gesa menghadapi persoalan ini, bila belum mendapatkan apa yang diinginkan lebih baik jangan segera diselesaikan. ”Kalau mau cepat-cepat ke Mahkamah Internasional maka kalau putusannya tidak berpihak pada kita, maka Indonesia akan kehilangan klaim seperti Sipadan dan Ligitan,” ujarnya.