21 April 2018

TNI AU Studi Banding Network Centric Warfare RTAF

21 April 2018

Network Centric Warfare RTAF dikembangkan oleh Avia Satcom/Rohde & Schwartz (photo : fantom)

Hadiri Presentasi Network Centric Warfare RTAF KASAU Berharap TNI AU Makin Maju

TNI AU, Don Mueang,  Dispenau – Disela-sela kunjungannya ke Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), Kasau Marsekal TNI Yuyu Sutisna, S.E., M.M. berkesempatan mengikuti penjelasan tentang Network Centric Warfare (NCW) RTAF. Presentasi disampaikan langsung oleh Commander in Chief (C in C) RTAF Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Johm Rungswang di Headquarters (HQ), Don Mueang Air Force Base (AFB), Thailand, Jumat (20/4).

Kasau menyampaikan ucapan terima kasih dan kebanggaannya dapat mengikuti briefing dan penjelasan mengenai NCW RTAF.

“Saya berharap kunjungan ini makin mempererat hubungan persahabatan dan meningkatkan kerjasama TNI AU dan RTAF yang sudah berjalan dengan baik selama ini” kata Kasau.

Kasau menilai penjelasan NCW RTAF sangat penting bagi delegasi TNI AU. Kasau berharap informasi yang diperoleh akan meningkatkan pengetahuan dan pemahaman perwira TNI AU tentang RTAF dan NCW.

“Presentasi ini sangat penting bagi TNI AU dan saya berharap dapat menambah wawasan untuk kemajuan TNI AU” tambah Kasau.

Sementara C in C RTAF, AFMJohm Rungswang menyampaikan apresiasinya atas beberapa pertanyaan dari delegasi TNI AU.

Dalam kegiatan tersebut, Kasau didampingi oleh Irjenau, Koorsahli Kasau, para Asisten Kasau, Staf Khusus Kasau, Pangkohanudnas, Pangkoopsau l dan ll, Dankoharmatau, Gubernur AAU, Danseskoau, serta para Kepala Dinas di Mabesau dan Atud RI di Bangkok.


Testing Times Ahead for Malaysian SOF Vehicles

21 April 2018

Special Operation Vehicle contenders (photo : Shephard)

The competition is hotting up for new special operations vehicles for special forces and airborne units of the Malaysian Army, with a quartet of companies exhibiting their designs at DSA 2018 in Kuala Lumpur in anticipation of trials later this year.

Three contenders came from Malaysian companies while the fourth heralded from the UAE.

One was the Special Operation Vehicle from Cendana Auto, with the project kicking off two years ago. The company displayed two SOF vehicle variants – a 1.8t light strike vehicle  (pictured bottom left) and a longer 2.2t utility vehicle suitable for carrying up to 12 troops.

Keith Bulman, the vehicle’s designer, said the universal chassis was custom-made for these vehicles and for the Malaysian climate and terrain. He described the advantages of the fit-for-purpose vehicle having a bespoke design for Malaysia.

Nimr Special Operation Vehicle (photo : Army Recognition)

These vehicles have a low centre of gravity, light weight employ a 2.8-litre Mercedes-Benz diesel engine and ZF transmission to obtain a maximum road speed of 170km/h. The radiator is laid flat to minimise the risk from gunfire, while the engine is mid-mounted.

Development is believed to be around 90% complete, although the latest body panels were not ready for installation in time for the exhibition in the Malaysian capital. The vehicle measures 4.95m long, 1.85m wide and 1.85m high

Cendana is also looking at export potential with other countries in Southeast Asia, such as the Philippines, also in the market for such a vehicle.

The prototypes were seen fitted with M10 and M08 light machine gun mounts from Danish company Rubtec.

Cendana Special Operation Vehicle (photo : Army Recognition)

Another SOF vehicle platform at DSA 2018 came from Kembara Suci (KSSB) (pictured top left), and again it was designed entirely with the Malaysian Army requirement in mind. This 4x4 Special Operation Vehicle’s kerb weight is 2,010kg, plus it possesses a payload capacity of 1,500kg.

Mohd Azfaruddin Fitri B. Mohamad Zaini, an engineer at KSSB, told Shephard that it uses a commercial chassis, 3.2-litre 197hp turbo-diesel engine and six-speed gearbox but he declined to state which company they were from.

Operated by a crew of four, it is suitable for utility, patrol and fast attack missions. The vehicle’s dimensions are listed as 5.362m long, 1.86m wide and 1.815m high.

The prototype was put together in rapid time and Zaini said the vehicle had already attracted interested from several Asian customers.

Kembara Suci Special Operation Vehicle (photo : Malaysian Defence)

The third contender, again from a Malaysian company, was the GK-M1 from Weststar (pictured top left). The GK-M1 family of vehicles is derived from a 4x4 light tactical vehicle from the CTV Cho company in Thailand and is widely fielded by the Royal Thai Army.

The GKM1-SOV has been in development since 2012. Weighing 3t, it uses either a Toyota 2.5-litre or 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. It can carry five soldiers.

A Weststar spokesman noted that the Royal Brunei Land Forces had already tested the GKM1-SOV, with this being one of six vehicle contenders in a competition that is still waiting for a winner to be announced.

The fourth SOF vehicle platform on show came from Nimr in the UAE (pictured bottom right). Last November Nimr announced a tie-up with Malaysian firm DefTech acting as a marketing, sales and logistics partner and potentially a future assembly centre if regional vehicle sales are achieved.

GK-M1 Special Operation Vehicle (photo : Malaysian Defence)

Its Ajban Long Range Special Operations Vehicle (LRSOV) offering, one of which was displayed at the show in Malaysia, is designed for self-sufficient operations lasting up to ten days at a time. It can carry 4-5 soldiers. It has an under-slung capability by CH-47 helicopter and smoke grenade launchers mounted front and aft.

‘Southeast Asia is an important market for us.’ Nimr also had an Ajban 440A light armoured vehicle on display at DSA 2018,' Miles Chambers, Nimr’s senior international business development and sales manager, confirmed to Shephard.

It is unclear when exactly trials of the SOF vehicles will take place in conjunction with the Malaysian Army. Companies that Shephard spoke to provided dates varying from June to October 2018.

With two of the four contenders using commercially available chassis a key factor in deciding a winner may be robustness.


Saab Receives Order for Australian OPV Situational Awareness System

21 April 2018

EOS 500 electro-optical fire control director (photo : Saab)

Saab has received a contract from Luerssen Australia for the Situational Awareness System (SAS) for the Royal Australian Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). The contract is expected to run over the 12 year OPV shipbuilding programme, which will see the delivery of 12 new ships. 

In addition to the SAS, which is based on Saab Australia’s 9LV Combat Management System, the OPV will be fitted with Saab’s EOS 500 (electro-optical fire control director).

“Saab Australia is pleased to receive this order from Luerssen Australia. This is also an important step towards system commonality for the Navy, with 9LV installed, or contracted for delivery, across four classes of ship.” says Andy Keough, Managing Director for Saab Australia.

“The development work being undertaken by Saab in Australia will also support export opportunities and position us well for future maritime projects.”

Saab Australia will carry out the majority of the work in its Adelaide facilities, which will create and sustain up to 50 jobs. Local Australian companies will be contracted to fabricate selected components of the SAS including command consoles and computer cabinets, providing a high level of Australian industry participation and sovereign capability. The contract is received within the business area Surveillance.


Thales Shows Rapid Ranger Configuration of Starstreak of TDM

21 April 2018

Starstreak Rapid Ranger configuration (photo : Shephard)

Thales, in conjunction with local partner Global Komited (a Weststar subsidiary), exhibited a Starstreak very short-range air defence system mounted on a URO Vamtac 4x4 vehicle at the DSA 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.

The system, in the Rapid Ranger configuration, is currently being delivered to the Malaysian Armed Forces. Shephard understands that six such Rapid Ranger systems were ordered. Each has four ready-to-launch missiles, plus additional Starstreak missiles are stored in the rear of the Vamtac.

A crew of three operates the Rapid Ranger – the commander, driver and missile operator. While the Rapid Ranger can operate autonomously, it can also be cued from a vehicle-mounted Thales Ground Master 200 radar installed on a 7m mast. The radar will be delivered ‘soon’ to complete the programme.

Malaysia also acquired the Lightweight Multiple Launcher - Next Generation (LML-NG), which features three Starstreak missiles ready to launch, as part of its 2015 order worth approximately $130 million.

Starstreak LML on tactical vehicle configuration (photo : Malaysian Defence)

Thomas Pistre, Malaysia country director for Thales, explained that Starstreak is a joint procurement between the Malaysian Army and Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), and he said the programme is ‘completely on track’.

Pistre said Thales had been present in Malaysia for 40 years and had a significant installed base, including a joint venture with Sapura that focuses on communications. Indeed, all new communication systems for the Malaysian Army are being supplied by Sapura, which also exports to places like Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

On the six new 3,100t Littoral Combat Ships being built by Boustead for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Thales will supply the SMART-S Mk2 surveillance radar, SATCOM link, Vigile electronic support measures and CAPTAS-2 sonar.

On the RMN’s six Kedah-class New Generation Patrol Vessels that were commissioned from 2006-10, Thales provided the Sceptre-X electronic support measures suite and communications.

The RMAF has been operating a single Ground Master 400 radar in Kuching, Sarawak for a couple of years, but Pistre believes Malaysia will need more radars in the future.

Damocles targeting pods are fitted on RMAF Su-30MKM fighters, and last week trials for laser-guided rockets on Hawk and F/A-18 aircraft were completed. New FZ220 composite launchers will be installed on the army’s awaited MD 530G scout helicopters.

Three Fulmar X UAVs are now operational on those New Generation Patrol Craft already handed over to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) while a fourth is in transit and two more are awaited. 

Starstreak Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML) (photo : Malaysian Defence)

Pistre said the Fulmar X is invaluable for catching illegal fishermen, which poach 3 billion ringgits’ worth of fish annually. These unseen UAVs can catch offenders red-handed, and legal issues of using such imagery in court prosecutions are now being worked through.

At the moment it appears that the MMEA’s three new offshore patrol vessels will not be equipped with UAVs.

Additionally, Thales has a significant input into the AV8 armoured vehicle programme. The company’s AS 4000 fire control solution will also accompany the recently announced acquisition of LG1 105mm towed howitzers from Nexter.

Pistre also mentioned Malaysia’s plan to buy new maritime patrol aircraft, for which it believes the AMASCOS mission system is an ideal solution. Pundits believe the ATR 72 and Airbus C295 are currently the top contenders for this requirement.

The company’s AMASCOS mission system is presently installed on just one RMAF King Air B200T aircraft, but there are plans to migrate it onto another legacy aircraft platform possessing a longer range.

Finally, Thales Australia exhibited its Bushmaster MR6 at DSA 2018 as well. The vehicle is making its way home to Australia after participating in trials in the UK for the Multi-Role Vehicle Protected programme.


Senegal Berniat Membeli Kapal Tanker, Kapal Kargo dan Kapal Patroli dari PT PAL

21 April 2018

Kapal angkatan laut 60m yang difungsikan oleh TNI AL sebagai Kapal Cepat Rudal (photo : TLDM)

Senegal pesan kapal tanker dan kargo dari Indonesia

London (ANTARA News) - Setelah membeli pesawat dan kereta dari Indonesia, Senegal akan membeli kapal tanker dan kargo seberat 18.500 ton dan berminat membeli dua kapal patroli ukuran 60 meter untuk mengawasi wilayah pesisirnya sepanjang 700 km.

Hal itu disampaikan Menteri Urusan Pengembangan Jaringan Perkeretaapian Nasional Senegal, Abdou Ndene Sall, mewakili Pemerintah Senegal dalam kunjungannya ke PT. PAL dan Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) di Bali pekan lalu.

Pensosbud KBRI Doha, Dimas Prihadi dalam keterangan kepada Antara London, Jumat menyebutkan bahwa keinginan pemerintah Senegal membeli kapal tanker dari Indonesia di konfirmasi oleh Direktur Utama PT. PAL Indonesia, Budiman Saleh yang mengatakan Senegal akan membeli kapal tanker dan kargo seberat 18.500 ton.

Selain itu, Senegal juga berminat membeli dua kapal patroli ukuran 60 meter untuk mengawasi wilayah pesisirnya sepanjang 700 km.

Menurut Budiman Saleh, Senegal juga berniat akan membeli beberapa kapal lainnya dari PT. PAL, antara lain kapal VIP 50 penumpang untuk presiden, kapal feri 250 penumpang untuk transportasi ke Pulau Goree dan kapal feri cepat kapasitas 500 dan 2000 penumpang untuk transportasi ke Provinsi Ziguinchor dan wilayah sekitarnya dengan spesifikasi kelas ekonomi, bisnis dan first class.

Dubes RI di Dakar, Mansyur Pangeran, mengatakan saat ini kapal yang digunakan untuk mengangkut penumpang dari Dakar ke Ziguinchor adalah kapal dari Korea Selatan.

"Kami harap Indonesia dapat segera merealisasikan kerja sama ini untuk memenuhi kebutuhan transportasi laut di Senegal karena antara Indonesia dan Senegal sudah pernah ada ikatan sejarah di bidang ini," kata Dubes Mansyur Pangeran.

Dikatakannya proses pembelian kapal ini sudah dimulai sejak tahun 2017 dan instansi menangani yaitu Conseil d`Administration du Conseil S n galais des Chargeurs (COSEC) pun sudah melakukan kunjungan ke PT. PAL, kebutuhan kapal di Senegal sangat besar.

Menurut Dubes Mansyur, Indonesia dan Senegal memiliki ikatan historis ketika kapal Senegalle Joola" dengan trayek Dakar - Ziguinchor tenggelam dan digantikan kapal feri Wilis yang disewa dari Indonesia (Pelni) lengkap dengan kapten kapal dan awaknya.

"Ikatan historis ini membuktikan komitmen yang tinggi dari Pemerintah Indonesia untuk membina kerja sama dengan Senegal,"ujarnya.

Budiman menyambut baik minat Senegal, dan perusahaannya akan menyampaikan proposal dengan spesifikasinya untuk mendapatkan tanggapan resmi dari Senegal. Budiman juga menawarkan kapal tunda atau tug boat dan meminta agar Menteri Ndene Sall dapat menyampaikan kepada pihak terkait di Senegal.

LOI for VL MICA for LCS Signed

21 April 2018

MBDA VL MICA surface-to-air missile (photo : Malaysian Defence)

MICA On The Way

KUALA LUMPUR: One of the three letters of intent (LOI) handed out on Apr. 18 at DSA 2018, was for the VL MICA surface-to-air missiles by MBDA.

The MICAs are being bought to arm the LCS, of course. Unlike the NSM, this was not a contract yet, though it is likely to be awarded soon.

As Malaysian Defence (MD) had posted earlier, MBDA had been contracted by BNS to supply the launchers and associated equipment though not the missiles. All weapons for the LCS – from guns to missiles – are “government furnished equipment” to be supplied directly to BNS once the contracts had been awarded. Hence it is the government (through the Defense Ministry) that signed the contract and LOI for the missiles – NSM and MICA -with Kongsberg and MBDA, respectively.

As for cost and number of MICA missiles to be procured, MD have yet to double confirm them. However as the six LCS each supposedly has 16-launchers each, we can assume at least 100 missiles will be procured. It is likely also that both the RF and IR versions of the missile will be bought.

Anyhow from the schematic of the LCS as shown by BNS at DSA 2018, MD think that they could fit the Aster 15 or 30 missiles for the follow on ships, if funding is available of course. The schematics showed the A-35 launcher on the LCS penetrated only one deck with at least three decks below. Of course they need to redesign the whole bow area if they do this but MD dont think its undoable or expensive. The expensive part is of course the missiles itself!

Converting the first six LCS for Asters however will be quite expensive as they need to modify at least two deck at least.

(Malaysian Defence)

Birdon Hands Over First of Bridge Erection Boats to US Army

21 April 2018

Bridge erection boats (photo : Birdon)

The little boats that could: from Port Macquarie to the US Army

Birdon, a family-owned engineering and services business headquartered in Port Macquarie, today handed over the first of 374 Australian designed Bridge Erection Boats to the US Army under a $325 million contract.

It’s an outstanding export success for Birdon, who recently completed the upgrade of the Australian Army’s own Bridge Erection Boats under a $16 million contract.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, congratulated Birdon for the successful delivery and upgrades as it demonstrates the effectiveness and the export potential of Australian defence industry.

“These boats are used by engineers to put together portable floating bridges for improvised crossings, so our vehicles and troops can keep on the move. It’s a vital capability for any Army, and it is fantastic that the US Army chose an Australian company to build them,” Minister Pyne said.

The upgrade of Australia’s boats sustained over 20 Australian jobs in Port Macquarie. The boats for the US Army are built in Birdon’s facility in Denver, Colorado.

“The delivery of the first of 374 of these boats to the US Army shows that Australia’s defence industry is creating innovative, globally competitive products,” Minister Pyne said.

“Through the Defence Export Strategy, we will see more companies like Birdon achieving success in the highly competitive international defence market.”

Birdon received support from Efic to establish their new production facility in the US and support their growth.

The first 34 boats were handed over during a First Unit Equipped Ceremony at the US Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

The Defence Export Strategy was released on 29 January 2018. The Government has committed an additional $20 million funding annually from 2018-19 to support Australia’s defence exports through the initiatives detailed in the Strategy.

(Aus DoD)

20 April 2018

Kembara Suci Unveils Its 4x4 and 6x6 Vehicle

20 April 2018

KS new Buraq 4x4 Mortar Carrier Vehicle (photo : Army Reconition)

Malaysia’s Kembara Suci unveils 4×4 mortar-carrying system

Malaysian defence company Kembara Suci unveiled a mortar carrier based on a recently developed 4×4 high-mobility tactical vehicle at the Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur on 16–19 April.

Named Buraq, the 9-tonne platform is equipped with the Alakran light mortar system developed by New Technologies Global Systems (NTGS), which is part of Spain’s Everis Aerospace and Defence.

KS new Buraq 4x4 equipped with Everis 120mm mortar (photo : Army Reconition)

Designed to fire both 81 mm and 120 mm mortar ammunition, the Alakran, which has a maximum range of 8.2 km using 120 mm high-explosive ammunition, is not deployed from inside the vehicle but automatically lowered to the ground for firing, thus avoiding the need for a recoil absorber system.

“The 1.1-tonne Alakran, which can be also installed on light combat vehicles, incorporates geographic information system technology combined with a firing-control and ballistic computer,” an Everis official told Jane’s. (Jane's)

A rendering of KS 6x6 wheeled armored vehicle project seen at DSA 2018 (photo : Army Recognition)

New project of 6x6 wheeled armored vehicle 

The Malaysian vehicle manufacturer Kembara Suci (KS) is working on a new 6x6 wheeled armoured vehicle, it unveiled at Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA).

According to KS, this new project of armoured vehicle can carry up to 8 to 10 equipped soldiers. It features excellent road holding thanks to independent suspension axle system with coil spring and damper, as well as hydraulic steering system and hydraulic brake system with ABS.

The vehicle survivability is provided by Level 2 Ballistic & Artillery and Level 3b Mine Blast armour levels.

This 20-tons armoured vehicle is powered by a 450hp+ engine allowing the vehicle to reach a maximum speed of 110 km/h within an operational road range of 700 km. Its modular design allows users to fit the vehicle with a wide range of sub-systems and weapon systems, such as 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns, or 40 mm AGL. According to the rendering presented by KS, a variant can include a medium calibre turret and at least one antitank guided missile pod.

It is 7.5 m long, 2.8 m high and 2.6 m wide, allowing the vehicle to be deployed by C-130 Hercules tactical airlifter. The vehicle has a 60% climb capability gradient and a 30% side slope gradient. (DSA 2018 DailyNews)

Malaysia’s Kembara Suci unveiled its Tafuq special operations vehicle at the DSA 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur (photo : Jane's)

Malaysian companies unveil special operations vehicles

Two Malaysian companies unveiled at the 16-19 Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) new 4x4 vehicles that are being marketed for special operations forces (SOF) in Southeast Asia.

Selangor-based firm Kembara Suci (KS) showcased its 5.3 m-long Tafuq special operations vehicle (SOV), which has been primarily designed to meet a requirement for the commando units of the Malaysian armed forces, but is also being offered to other Southeast Asian countries.

Powered by a 197 bhp diesel engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, the 1.86 m-wide and 1.81 m-high vehicle can be equipped with up to three weapon mounts that can carry a 7.62 mm, a 12.7 mm machine gun, and a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher.

Designed for quick-reaction teams the recently developed four-seat platform has a kerb weight of 2,010 kg, a maximum payload capacity of 1,500 kg, a ground clearance of 250 mm, and a fording capability of 500 mm.

An SOV currently under development by Putrajaya-based Cendana Auto was also displayed at the show. The 4.95 m-long and 1.85 m-wide platform is powered by a 2.8-litre diesel engine generating 197 bhp and can reach a top cruising speed of 170 km/h.

The 1.8 tonne vehicle, which has a lower centre of gravity to enhance manoeuvrability, has a fording capability of 750 mm and is fitted with two Rubtec-made soft mounts for 7.62 mm light machine guns and one ring mount for a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 50 mm grenade launcher.

Once development of the four-seat platform is completed the company wants to offer it primarily to the Malaysian Army for the service’s fast-assault-vehicle requirement, but a company official told Jane’s that Cendana Auto will also promote the vehicle for the broader Asian market. (Jane's)

Dubes Korsel: Korsel-Indonesia Terus Lanjutkan Proyek Pesawat Tempur KFX/IFX

20 April 2018

Pesawat tempur KFX/IFX seri C-107 (photo : Jane's)

Duta Besar Republik Korea Selatan untuk Indonesia Kim-Chang-beom menyatakan bahwa Korsel dan Indonesia terus melanjutkan pengembangan proyek pesawat tempur generasi 4.5 KFX/IFX.

Duta Besar Kim dalam sesi wawancara khusus dengan Antara di Jakarta, Kamis mengungkapkan bahwa KFX/IFX adalah proyek kerja sama jangka panjang antarpemerintah yang telah berlangsung dengan cukup lancar.

Pemerintah Korsel memiliki hubungan yang dekat dengan Menhan Ryamizard Ryacudu dan terus berkonsultasi dalam pengembangan proyek pesawat tempur KFX/IFX yang bisa mengakomodasi kemampuan siluman, atau tak terdeteksi oleh radar itu.

“Sejauh yang saya tahu, keseluruhan presentasi berjalan dengan baik dan saya belum mendengar adanya keputusan resmi terkait pengunduran diri dari proyek yang sedang berlangsung ini,” kata Kim.

Proyek KFX/IFX adalah proyek kerja sama jangka panjang antara Korsel dengan Indonesia untuk membangun kemandirian industri pertahanan di tengah keberadaan negara-negara besar dalam laju pengembangan alat utama sistem persenjataan dunia.

Proyek pembuatan pesawat tempur yang mempunyai rentang spesifikasi teknis di antara generasi 4 dan 5 tersebut pertama kali ditawarkan oleh pemerintah Korsel ke Indonesia pada 2010.

Kerja sama tersebut dilaksanakan melalui tiga tahap yaitu Fase Pengembangan Teknologi, Fase Pengembangan Mesin dan Manufaktur, dan Fase Pengembangan Produksi.

Indonesia dan Korea Selatan pada Januari 2016 menandatangani perjanjian senilai 1,3 miliar dolar AS untuk pengembangan jet tempur baru.

Berdasarkan atas perjanjian itu, yang ditandatangani dengan Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), Kementerian Pertahanan Indonesia akan menanam sekitar 1,6 triliun won (Rp13 triliun) dalam program Korea – Indonesia Fighter Experimental (KFX/IFX).

“Kami harap proyek ini dapat dilaksanakan tanpa hambatan,” kata dubes Kim.


Thales’ FZ220 Rocket Launcher Completes Qualification for MD 530G Helicopter

20 April 2018

FZ220 is a lightweight composite material high-drag, straight cylindrical 7-tube reusable launcher designed for helicopter use. The FZ220 is equipped with removable universal dual purpose FZ125 detent mechanism enabling to fire FFAR and WA rockets. (photo : FZ)

Thales Belgium’s FZ220 rocket launcher has completed its qualification process for MD Helicopters Inc’s (MDHI’s) MD 530G light attack helicopter.

The development follows comprehensive live-fire trials carried out in March at the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) facility in Arizona, Thales announced on 17 April at the Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.

MD530G of the Malaysian Army (photo : Bryan Suits)

The munitions fired during the trials consisted of the FZ275 70 mm laser-guided rocket (LGR) and of unguided ammunition using the FZ90 rocket motor. The warheads fitted to the munitions were not revealed.

The company pointed out that the qualification comes as “McDonnell Douglas is helping modernise the light helicopter fleet for multiple countries across the globe”, including Malaysia, which ordered six MD 530G platforms in 2016.


Philippine Navy Receives Donation of 41 Inflatable Boats from US

20 April 2018

41 Zodiac Milpro inflatable boats donated for PN (photo : Philippine Navy)

The Philippine Navy has received a donation of 41 inflatable rubber boats from the Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG).

These boats, which have been supplied by military equipment manufacturer Zodiac Milpro, were handed over on 13 April in a consignment that includes a 30 hp outboard motor for each vessel and other associated equipment.

Each boat measures 13.5 ft in length, has a hull weight of 205 lb, and can deliver a payload of 2028 lb, such as an eight-men troop detachment.

The inflatable boats will be distributed across the Philippine Navy’s fleet of surface vessels, said the service in a statement on 17 April.


Malaysia Expected to Have Own Fighter Aircraft by 2030: Academician

20 April 2018

The size of the aircraft was similar to the Russian's MiG-29 and also categorised as fifth generation (photo : Wish Eiddkaew)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is expected to have its very own combat aircraft by 2030, said Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Faculty senior lecturer Dr Mohd Roshdi Hassan.

He said he was now embarking on a study which involved various technical aspects, including the design and capability of the engine, for the aircraft.

"We already have the design of the aircraft body according to its functions. Basically, it is the design of a two-engine multi-role combat aircraft or MRCA.

"(In fact,) the design can be modified into a single-engine light combat aircraft (LCA). It is up to the government to determine which type of design to be developed into the real aircraft," he told Bernama when met at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security (NatSec) Asia 2018 exhibitions here.

Mohd Roshdi said the aircraft would take at least 10 years to be built if it was given the go-ahead by the Defence Ministry and there were interested parties from defence companies to work together in developing the design.

This was because the process would involve various developments of the aircraft and weapons prototypes before it could be fully operational or marketed to the regional and international markets, he said.

The academician explained that the size of the aircraft was similar to the Russian's MiG-29 and also categorised as fifth generation, at par with other fighter aircraft produced by developed nations that were now entering the sixth generation.

Asked on the aircraft specifications, Mohd Roshdi said among them were high-performance radars, electronic warfare system and stealth technology to make the jet invisible to enemy radar.

"The thing about this aircraft is that it will be covered by a special type of paint, namely the Hydrophobic Radar Absorption Material Coating which serves to strengthen the stealth technology. It can also be used in any kind of situation and climate.

"Compared to United States' technology, they use the Hydophilic Radar Absorption Material Coating. Although this material has the same effect in terms of stealth technology, the downside is when the aircraft is flying in rain or wet weather as this kind of paint absorbs water and is feared will disrupt the aircraft's systems," he said.

Mohd Roshdi, who is also the founder of the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC), said the idea of building a Malaysian-made fighter aircraft started back in 2007 when he worked at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre, University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

"Upon returning to Malaysia in 2008, I began gathering a group of experts to conduct research in every area such as weaponry, aerospace, radar and navigation system.

"We are only ready to discuss this with the Defence Ministry more seriously after 10 years," he said.

The four-day exhibition at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) which started Monday brought together about 1,500 defence-related companies and 350 foreign delegates from 45 countries. 


ADF Demonstrates Cooperative Engagement Capability on AWD

20 April 2018

The Royal Australian Navy has demonstrated the Cooperative Engagement Capability of its Hobart-class vessels. System provides the service with a layered and collaborative defence system against hostile aircraft and precision-guided weapons (all photos : RAN)

The Australian Defence Force’s ability to defeat enemy air threats has been boosted with the successful testing of the new Cooperative Engagement Capability, the first use of this cutting edge technology by a nation outside the United States.

Over the past few weeks off the coast of South Australia, Air Warfare Destroyers HMAS Hobart, and NUSHIP Brisbane, successfully tested the Cooperative Engagement Capability, which combines radar and fire control data into a common picture, allowing one ship to engage an adversary based on the other ship’s data. Cooperative Engagement Capability is one technology that will form a part of the Australian Joint Integrated Fires Capability being implemented in the Australian Defence Force. 

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, congratulated the Royal Australian Navy and the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance on reaching this important milestone.

“The new Cooperative Engagement Capability is a significant step-change for Australia as we face increasing threats from cruise missiles and advanced aircraft,” Minister Payne said.

“Together Hobart and Brisbane bring revolutionary air defence capabilities – not by adding new radars or weapon systems, but by utilising existing sensors and weapons in a more effective manner.

“In the coming years, the Australian Joint Integrated Fires capability will link our ships, aircraft and land-based assets to create an increasingly sophisticated air defence network that can see over the horizon.”

“Not only does this capability enable us, for the first time, to share targeting data in real time between ADF assets, it will also enable us to share it with United States assets, providing new levels of interoperability within a coalition force.

“Australia is the first international partner outside the United States to gain access to this cutting-edge technology, further demonstrating the strong alliance between our two countries.

“This new capability will provide Australian and United States warships the ability to share targeting data in real time. This means a combat system can engage a target that it otherwise could not see, by using data from another warship’s sensors,” Minister Payne said.

The Australian Government is planning to integrate the CEC into other ADF capabilities, including the E-7A Wedgetail aircraft and our Integrated Air and Missile Defence program.

The CEC will also be integrated into the Future Frigate’s Aegis combat management system together with the Saab Australia developed interface and the CEAFAR phased array radar, as part of our strategic enterprise approach to combat management systems. This technology will provide the ADF with longer range, cooperative and layered air defence.

“When NUSHIP Brisbane joins her sister ship, HMAS Hobart, in the fleet later this year, it will mark the beginning of a new era for air defence in Australia and our partners,” Minister Payne said.

(Aus DoD)

19 April 2018

Malaysia’s Boustead Lines up Second Batch of Kedah-Class Vessels

19 April 2018

Boustead NGPV Batch II concept (photo : Navy Recognition)

Malaysia’s Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) is preparing a proposal to supply the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) with a second batch of MEKO 100 Kedah-class corvettes, the company has confirmed to Jane’s .

Speaking at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur on 19 April, Zulkefli bin Mohd Ghazali, BHIC’s head of project planning and co-ordination, said that the company has offered a batch-two design based on the original hull, the licence for which BHIC has acquired.

BHIC has also recently formed a partnership with the RMN to review the design and make improvements based on RMN requirements, he said.

The first batch of six Kedah-class corvettes, referred to in Malaysia as New Generation Patrol Vessels (NGPVs), were built through a partnership between BHIC and Blohm+Voss. The first two vessels were built in Germany between 2001 and 2003 and entered service in 2006. BHIC built the remaining four vessels in Malaysia, the last of which was delivered to the RMN in 2010.

The RMN has a stated requirement for an additional 12 Kedah-class corvettes, which are expected to be built through two additional batches. The acquisition forms part of the RMN’s ’15 to 5’ modernisation programme, through which the RMN plans to consolidate its fleet of 15 ship classes into five to improve cost efficiencies.

Ghazali said that in line with this programme, the batch-two proposal is “budget driven with a cost ceiling we cannot exceed”. Jane’s understands that the targeted unit price of the second-batch ships is less than MYR500 million (USD129 million).

Although most of the proposed dimensions and specifications of the batch-two class are the same as the batch-one vessels, Ghazali added that cost efficiencies will be achieved by “scaling down” some of the configurations and capabilities, including weapons systems.


M113 Armored Vehicles and AH-1F Helicopter Offered by Jordan for Donation to the Philippine Army

19 April 2018

Jordanian AH-1F Cobra (photo : Exotic Air Force)

Recently, Pres. Duterte himself, in his speech in a bridge ceremonial opening in Mindoro Island last 03 April 2018, mentioned that the Kingdom of Jordan was providing the Philippine government "2 gifts" that are expensive. 

AH-1F Cobra helicopter

Instead, it appears that the 2 Cobra helicopters are just part of Jordan's Gift #1.

MaxDefense was initially informed by one of our community members about the possible arrival of Cobra helicopters last July 2017. The initial info is that the Kingdom of Jordan offered to donate 2 used Bell AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters to the Philippines, and Philippine Air Force officers/technical team and defense officials were able to check out the Cobras in Jordan last June 2017. MaxDefense has a photo to support the PAF inspection but has not yet receive approval to post the photo through any of our public pages.

Succeeding information that MaxDefense received from its sources confirmed that the Jordanian offer was originally for four units, but was reduced to two. The Philippine Air Force is still finalizing the acceptance of the helicopters, while defense officials are said to be negotiating with Jordanian defense officials toincrease it back to four helicopters. It still remains to be seen if this request could be approved.

It is still for clarification if the Jordanian AH-1F Cobras being offered are among those new builds they obtained in the late 1980s from the US, or ex-US Army units transferred in 2001. While Jordan received former Israeli AH-1F Tzefas a few years ago, it is highly unlikely that the units offered to the Philippines are from this batch of helicopters from Israel.

The Philippines is also not the first country to receive AH-1F Cobras as donation from Jordan. Earlier this year Kenya was reported to have received at least one and probably more AH-1F Cobras from Jordan.

Jordanian M113 (photo : Arabi21)

M-113 tracked APC

Gift #2 is actually something else. And based on several information from sources, it appears that Jordan is also providing the Philippine government dozens of M113 tracked armored personnel carriers. 

They would also be donated, although the agreement involves the Philippine government paying for the repair and refurbishing done through the Jordanian Armed Forces, plus paying for the shipping of the armored vehicles to the Philippines.

No exact variant or quantities were provided to MaxDefense as of yet, but it is said to be, at least, more than 60 units, and MAY even include specialized models of the M113 family. These vehicles are said to have been part of those already stored by the RJA as they receives newer armored vehicles from other countries. The RJA is also a strong buyer of used armored vehicles, as they wisely use their limited resources to build up a strong Army in a very volatile region.

The Royal Jordanian Army operates more than a thousand M113A2 and the Jordan-upgraded M113A2MK-2J, including specialized variants like M577 Command Vehicles, M163 Vulcan Air Defense System vehicles, M901 TOW-mounted anti-tank vehicles, M106 Mortar Carriers, and M806 Armored Recovery Vehicles, and has in storage hundreds of M113s including M113A1 and M113A2 armored personnel carriers.

See full article MaxDefense Philippnes

Chinese LHD Design Contends for RMN’s MRSS Programme

19 April 2018

China’s CSOC displayed a model of an LHD with amphibious capabilities at DSA 2018. The company is offering the design to Malaysia to meet the RMN’s MRSS requirement. (photo : Jane's)

A Chinese landing helicopter dock (LHD) with amphibious capabilities is one of the designs being considered for the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN’s) multirole support ship (MRSS) programme, officials told Jane’s at the 16-19 Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.

The design being considered appears to be a smaller version of the 23,000-tonne LHD design unveiled by the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) at the 2012 Defense and Security exhibition in Bangkok. RMN officials said that the Chinese design could carry up to eight helicopters and would be equipped with a well-deck for deploying amphibious vehicles.

While officials at DSA 2018 stressed that the RMN has yet to select a final design, the experiences made with China’s different production and ship standards as part of the ongoing Sino-Malaysian co-operation to build littoral mission ships (LMSs) for the RMN has led to concerns about the desirability of China’s MRSS proposal. However, the officials also stressed that Beijing’s proposal could remain competitive if it becomes the low-cost option.

Malaysian officials indicated they expect the 15,000-tonne three-ship MRSS programme to be funded in 2018, with a final design expected to be selected in 2019.

The MRSS is part of the RMN’s ’15-to-5’ fleet transformation programme, which seeks to reduce operational costs and increase efficiency in logistics management, while bolstering vessel numbers.


Delivery of the Tenth and Final of C-27J Spartan Battlefield Aircraft Completed

19 April 2018

RAAF C-27J Spartan (all photos : Aus DoD)

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) wednesday welcomed the 10th and final C-27J Spartan into service during a ceremony at RAAF Base Richmond.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, congratulated RAAF on completing the upgrade to the Australian Defence Force’s comprehensive fleet of air mobility platforms.

Minister Payne said the Spartan was a highly versatile aircraft that would enhance battlefield airlift capability of the Australian Defence Force.

“The Spartan provides flexibility to Defence operations, allowing us to land at airfields that are smaller or unsuitable for our much larger transport aircraft like the C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster,” Minister Payne said.

“The Spartan can carry up to five tonnes of cargo and is capable of moving troops, equipment and supplies; conducting aero-medical evacuation missions and conducting air drops.”

Minister Payne said the Spartans are currently operated by No. 35 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond, and would relocate to RAAF Base Amberley in early 2019.

“The relocation to Amberley will allow No. 35 Squadron to work from facilities purpose-built for the Spartan, and to be more responsive when deploying across Australia and into the Asia Pacific,” Minister Payne said.

Minister Pyne said Australia’s defence industry would provide important sustainment support for the capability.

“Northrop Grumman Australia has been selected to provide through-life support to the fleet,” Minister Pyne said.

“In addition, Fibre Tech Solutions has delivered a cargo restraint system for use on board the Spartan and other air mobility aircraft, increasing the speed and ease of loading and unloading these aircraft.

“This project supports jobs at both RAAF Base Richmond and Amberley, and will contribute toward developing Australian defence industry into the future.”

Over the last 12 months, the Spartan has supported Whole-of-Government efforts in the 2017 Papua New Guinea parliamentary elections and during international exercises in New Zealand, Guam and New Caledonia.

Initial Operating Capability for the Spartan was declared in late 2016, and Final Operating Capability is scheduled to be declared in late 2019.

(Aus DoD)