27 Mei 2016

LMV Independence Joins the RSN Family

27 Mei 2016
LMV Independence cruising into its new home Tuas Naval Base.(photo : Sing Mindef)

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) welcomed a new addition to its fleet as Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) Independence finished its sea trials and cruised to its new home at Tuas Naval Base on 26 May.

LMV Independence is one of the eight LMVs that will replace the current Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs). The new ships will be more efficient than their predecessors in areas such as speed and versatility.

Speaking at the event, Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lai Chung Han said: "It is an important milestone for the (LMV) programme. The homecoming of LMV Independence marks the conclusion of almost 2 years of the construction phase. It also marks the beginning of about 11 to 12 months of ICIT (Installation, Checkout, Integration and Testing). I think this is something we can be very proud of and something that we want to thank all involved for bringing the project to this point."

Touching on the commissioning of LMV Independence next year, RADM Lai said: "This will be a significant moment to mark the Navy's coming of age at 50 years, as we complete our 3rd Generation transformation, as we move into our redesign for LMV Indy to be the lead platform, to be, if I can borrow the phrase, the 'flagship of our future Navy'."

The event also marked the renaming of 182 Squadron (SQN) and 189 SQN, which are formed by the current eleven PVs -- to 182 SQN. The new logo for 182 SQN was also unveiled. The eight LMVs will be fully operational by 2020 and they will then complete 182 SQN.

"Now, as we're in the advanced stages of our 3rd Generation transformation, the return of LMV Independence to 182 SQN marks a major milestone for the squadron and its new logo (which says) Sharp and Vigilant, which rightly encapsulates what the squadron will do: Remain sharp and vigilant 24/7, safeguarding our water and protecting our nation."

(Sing MoD)

Sukhoi Kembali Pulang Setelah Menjalani Perawatan Berat

27 Mei 2016

Pesawat Su-30MK2 tiba kembali di Makassar (photo : TNI AU)

Satu unit jet tempur Sukhoi kursi ganda, Su-30 MK2 nomor ekor TS-3006,  tiba di Lanud Sultan Hasanuddin, Makassar setelah diangkut menggunakan pesawat Antonov An-124-100 Ruslan dari Belarusia, Kamis (26/5/2016). Pesawat ini bukan pembelian baru, melainkan dibawa kembali pulang ke Indonesia setelah menjalani perawatan berat.

Jet tempur Beruang Merah ini tiba berikut puluhan peti material dan belasan awak pesawat. Peti-peti ini berisi komponen pesawat yang akan dirakit ulang di Skadron Teknik 044 Lanud Sultan Hasanuddin. Sebagaimana diketahui, untuk bisa diangkut ke dalam pesawat An-124 jet tempur Sukhoi harus dicopot beberapa bagiannya, seperti sayap tengah, sayap ekor, dan ekor tegaknya. Kemudian komponen-komponen tersebut dirakit kembali dan setelah itu pesawat menjalani uji terbang oleh pilot uji untuk memastikan semua sistem bekerja dengan sempurna.

Komandan Lanud Sultan Hasanuddin Marsma TNI Nanang Santoso didampingi para pejabat lanud menyaksikan langsung kedatangan penempur bertubuh bongsor itu yang dikeluarkan melalui “mulut” pesawat An-124-100 Ruslan di bagian depan.

TNI Angkatan Udara mengoperasikan 16 pesawat Su-27/30 yang dibeli dari Rusia sejak tahun 2003 dan dioperasikan oleh Skadron Udara 11. Sepuluh tahun setelah dioperasikan, armada Sukhoi TNI AU baru dilengkapi persenjataan. Dan saat ini, pesawat Su-27/30 menjadi jet tempur yang paling mematikan di TNI AU karena beragam persenjataannya yang sudah dimiliki. Mulai dari peluru internal, roket, bom, hingga rudal udara ke udara jarak menengah, maupun rudal penghancur sasaran di darat dan lautan.

Sementara itu, rencana pembelian jet tempur Su-35 yang merupakan varian termutakhir keluarga Flanker hingga saat ini masih berada di tataran ketidakpastian. Penyebabnya, kontrak pembelian yang disebut-sebut akan ditandatangani bulan ini belum juga dilaksanakan. Bahkan, dalam kunjungan Presiden Joko Widodo ke Rusia beberapa hari lalu, Menlu Retno Marsudi mengatakan tidak ada pembicaraan mengenai pembelian pesawat Sukhoi.


The Fourth Frigate "Gepard" for the Vietnamese Navy was Launched in Tatarstan

27 Mei 2016

The Fourth Frigate "Gepard" for the Vietnamese Navy (photos : TASS)

KAZAN /TASS/ The fourth frigate "Gepard-3.9" for the Navy of Vietnam into the water at the Zelenodolsk plant named after Gorky in Tatarstan. Told Tass the official representative of the plant Andrey Spiridonov.

"Fourth" Gepard-3.9 "launched in a ceremony attended by representatives of Vietnam and the" Rosoboronexport ", - said Spiridonov." A bottle of champagne on board the vessel broke Commissioner Vietnamese Navy Vice Admiral Dinh Nhat Over ", - he added.

As noted by the agency, until the end of summer, the frigate will be in the water area of ​​the plant where the vessel will install the latest items of equipment. "On sea trials planned to send a frigate in September 2016", - said Spiridonov.

In 2011, the plant delivered the first two Vietnamese Navy frigate "Gepard-3.9", the third "Gepard-3.9" was launched in April 2016.

Patrol Frigates Project 11661 (code "Gepard") are constructed at the Zelenodolsk plant named after Gorky in 1990. They are designed to search and anti-submarine, surface and air targets, a patrol, conducting convoy operations, as well as protection of the marine economic zone. Ship displacement of 1.5 thousand tons, they are equipped with artillery, antiship, anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weaponry.


26 Mei 2016

South Korea Picks GE to Supply Engines for KF-X Fighter

26 Mei 2016

General Electric F414-GE-400 engines (photo : cc)

South Korea picks GE to supply engines for homegrown fighter jets

South Korea has picked General Electric Co (GE.N) to supply engines for its homegrown KF-X fighter jet project, preferring the U.S. giant over a European consortium in a deal that could be worth an estimated $3.5 billion.

The decision, announced on Thursday by the country's arms procurement agency marks the latest step in Seoul's multi-billion dollar plans to develop its own fighter jets to reduce its heavy reliance on the U.S. military for air defense.

The move gives GE preferred bidder status, with a contract expected to be finalised and signed in June. Financial details weren't disclosed, but South Korean media have estimated the deal could be worth about 4.08 trillion won.

Last year, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration picked Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) (047810.KS), which partners with Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), to develop the 8.7 trillion won ($7.4 billion) KF-X jet project.

North and South Korea, in a technical state of war since their 1950-1953 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, are separated by the world's most heavily militarized border.

KAI plans to develop and produce 170 twin-engined jets initially, with 50 destined for export to Indonesia, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity because the situation was confidential.

More engines are expected to be sold if KAI successfully exports the KF-X to other countries seeking a relatively cheaper replacement for their U.S.-supplied jets.

To power the aircraft, KAI has opted for F414-GE-400 engines, produced by GE Aviation, over a rival bid to supply Eurojet EJ200 engines, made by a consortium that includes Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (RR.L) and MTU Aero Engines AG (MTXGn.DE).

GE Aviation scored better results than Eurojet in all four main criteria for the contract, the DAPA said in a statement: technology, costs, localization and management.

South Korea plans to localize production of parts of the KF-X engines by 2022, according to the DAPA.


Vietnam May Request F-16s with EDA Schemes

26 Mei 2016

Refurbished F-16D of the TNI AU (photo : Kaskus Militer)

Vietnam May Request F-16s, P-3 Orions From US

TAIPEI, Taiwan — With the lifting of the US arms embargo to Vietnam, a US defense industry source indicates Hanoi is seeking to improve its air defense and maritime security capabilities with the procurement of F-16 fighter aircraft from the US Pentagon’s excess defense articles (EDA) program and refurbished P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, armed with torpedoes.

The source also said Vietnam could seek US-made UAVs for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

Torpedoes were banned under the embargo, but now the Vietnamese want the same P-3 program the US sold to Taiwan, the source said. On the F-16 EDA, they want the same deal the Obama administration gave Indonesia.

Defense News has also acquired an unclassified defense industry briefing prepared by the US Pacific Command. According to the report, “Socialist Republic of Vietnam — Country Security Cooperation Plan,” the US Embassy in Hanoi “possesses a robust security cooperating program operating in accordance with US policy goals and interests to promote integration and access focused on key areas within the Vietnamese security architecture.”

These include achieving air and maritime domain awareness, providing maritime security against traditional and nontraditional security threats, delivering all-hazards response and support to civil authorities, participating in regional contingency response and international peacekeeping operations, and addressing the impact of Vietnam War legacy issues on civil society.

“The SCO [Security Cooperation Organization] is manned and capable of providing in-country support and coordination for programs to expand US defense article procurement ... and assist Vietnam in developing and sustaining professional armed forces,” the report said.

According to the report, Vietnam’s strategic outlook involves the survival of the Communist Party by maintaining sovereignty and independence, achieving freedom of maneuver, and ensuring sovereignty over its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and unfettered access to natural resources and the global economic market.

China has been testing Vietnam’s EEZ claims with incursions by maritime patrol vessels, aggressive commercial fishing vessels and the stationing of an oil drilling test platform in 2014, dubbed the Haiyang Shiyou 981 standoff.

Vietnam’s goals, according to the report, are to enhance its presence in the South China Sea with upgrades for submarine warfare, maritime air-ground interdiction, anti-surface warfare (ASUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), maritime domain awareness (MDA), early warning, and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR).

In the past, Vietnam has procured defense articles from sources within the former Soviet Union and former East Bloc nations, but it has “begun reaching out to the European Union, Israel, and others.”

On radar issues, the Vietnamese are procuring a high-frequency surface wave radar from the US for $30 million, according to the report. This is part of their overall effort to improve early warning and ISR.

The report breaks down each service requirement.

For the Army, it must transition from a territorial defense structure, retain a central role as defender of national sovereignty and improve capacity to respond to natural disasters.

The Air Force must improve early warning and airborne ISR, enhance maritime interdiction, develop anti-access/area-denial capabilities, and revamp pilot training.

The Navy must improve MDA, electronic countermeasures/electronic counter-countermeasures, electronic intelligence, expand maritime law enforcement capabilities, develop a naval aviation arm, and enhance ASW and ASUW.

The US Embassy’s primary cooperation vision is to promote the United States as a “reliable partner to address complex, forward looking security issues.” It also hopes to establish military relationships outside the traditional theater support command that include defense sales, cross-servicing, voyage repairs, and science and technology cooperation.

The report said that priorities include the “establishment” of sustainable lines of effort (LOE) and “synchronize” operations, actions and activities (OAA); instill a programmatic, regularized approach to security cooperation; and focus on nontraditional security approaches and humanitarian activities.

According to Carl Thayer, emeritus professor at the Australian Defence Force Academy, big-ticket sales may be a long way off: “Vietnam does not have the defense budget for that. It is fully committed to integrating six advanced Kilo-class submarines into its fleet,” and all maintenance, repair and logistics network and workforce are geared to work with Soviet/Russian technology.

Another hurdle for Vietnam is that Hanoi will continue to face the same restrictions that all other countries face when trying to procure US arms, Thayer said, including human rights issues and the authoritarian nature of the government in power.


USN, Royal Thai Navy Conduct "Most Complex" Anti-Submarine Exercise to Date

26 Mei 2016

Navies of Thailand and the United States are conducting anti-submarine exercises in the Andaman Sea. Drills are being conducted against the backdrop of submarine proliferation in the Southeast Asian region (photos : Jane's, RTN)

The USN Navy (USN) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) are carrying out a series of drills that includes the "most complex" anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise conducted between the two services to date.

The drills, which are being conducted as part of the annual bilateral naval exercise known as 'Guardian Sea', are being held in the Andaman Sea from 23 to 27 May. The exercise in 2016 involves a USN Los Angeles-class attack submarine, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol craft and the RTN's sole aircraft carrier, the 182 m HTMS Chakri Naruebet .

Also participating from the USN is the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Stethem , the RTN's two Chinese-made Naresuan-class frigates, HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Taksin , and an unspecified number of S-70B naval helicopters, according to information provided to IHS Jane's on 25 May.

"Guardian Sea provides our navies the opportunity and challenge of detecting and tracking submarines, and to practice procedures related to anti-submarine warfare," said Capt H. B. Le, commodore of the USN's destroyer, Squadron Seven , in a statement on the bilateral drills.

"This year's exercise will be the most complex to date and we look forward to working alongside the Royal Thai Navy ashore and at sea to improve our skills and enhance our interoperability," he added.

Exercise 'Guardian Sea' in 2016 will also feature a shore phase with seminars and exchanges between subject-matter experts from both navies.


Helicopter Deck-Landing Training on BRP Tarlac Set

26 Mei 2016

AgustaWestland AW-109E prepare to landing on BRP Tarlac (image : Update)

DLQ training aboard BRP Tarlac to start after June 1

MANILA (PNA) -- Philippine Navy (PN) helicopters, mostly the newly-acquired AgustaWestland utility and attack units, will start their deck-landing qualification (DLQ) training on the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) after June 1.

This was stressed by PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a message to the PNA Tuesday.

"DLQ (training) will start after June 1 (the scheduled commissioning date of BRP Tarlac, the country's first strategic sealift vessel)," he added.

DLQ training involves actually deck landing of the helicopters and crews to receive and maintain these aerial assets.

The PN operates three AgustaWestland AW-109E utility units and two of its attack versions.

The BRP Tarlac is capable of housing three helicopters, with two on the helideck and one on its hangar deck.

The ship can carry a payload of 2,800 tons. BRP Tarlac's gross tonnage is placed at 7,300 tons.

The PN earlier announced that the BRP Tarlac can accommodate 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters.

The ship has an overall length of 120 meters, breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and carry a payload of 2,800 tons.

She has a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots.

The BRP Tarlac was one of two SSVs acquired from PT PAL (Persero) for the sum of PHP3.8 billion.

Her sister-ship is expected to arrive by May 2017.