30 September 2011

News Story: Pak paying heavily for its mistakes in 1970s - Tony Blair

Tony Blair - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009
Pakistan is “paying heavily” for its mistakes in the 1970s when it started mixing religion with politics and promoted extremism, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

"I think Pakistan is paying a heavy price for the mistakes of 1970s by linking religion with politics and developing religious schools which are, in some cases, dangerous sources of extremism," Blair told Karan Thapar in an interview on CNBC TV18.

The former British Prime Minister was responding to queries relating to the role of ISI in spreading terrorism and its links with the Haqqani group in Afghanistan.

Read the full story at the Deccan Chronicle

News Story: US warns Pakistan of unilateral action against terror groups

Keeping up the pressure on Islamabad to act against Haqqani network's safe havens in Pakistan, the United States has warned that it would act on its own as it did against Osama bin Laden hiding in Pakistan.

"The fact of the matter is we are fighting a war in Afghanistan, and one of the problems we've had, which is where this issue arises from, is with the safe havens that the Haqqani network has in Pakistan," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Thursday

Read the full story at the Deccan Chronicle

AUS: Five Australian soldiers wounded in separate incidents

© Commonwealth of Australia,
image by Department of Defence
Five Australian soldiers were Wounded in Action as a result of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts during two separate incidents in Uruzgan Province on 23 and 25 September 2011.

On Friday 23 September, three soldiers from Mentoring Task Force – Three (MTF-3) were wounded when their Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV) struck an IED during a partnered Mentoring Task Force – Three (MTF-3) and Afghan National Army (ANA) resupply mission in the Karmisan Valley.

Director of Health, Headquarters Joint Operations Command, Group Captain Karen Leshinskas said the three wounded soldiers received immediate first aid and were evacuated by helicopter to the Role 2 Medical Facility in Tarin Kot.

“The soldiers were assessed as being in a satisfactory condition and have since returned to restricted duties,” Group Captain Leshinskas said.

On Sunday 25 September, two soldiers were wounded as a result of an IED blast while conducting a partnered MTF-3 and ANA foot patrol in the Mirabad Valley.

Group Captain Leshinskas said the two soldiers received immediate first aid at the scene and were transported to the Medical Facility in Tarin Kot.

“One soldier has been subsequently transferred to the Role 3 Medical Facility at Kandahar for further assessment and the second soldier has been discharged from the Medical Facility at Tarin Kot,” Group Captain Leshinskas said.

“Both soldiers have been medically assessed as being in a satisfactory condition.”

The soldiers have notified their next of kin. Defence’s immediate priority is to provide medical care to the wounded soldiers and support to their families, and no further information will be made available at this time.

The announcement of these casualties was delayed until the respective operations were concluded. Defence will not release further details for security reasons.

Thirty-four Australians have been Wounded in Action in Afghanistan this year and 199 soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan since 2001.

Any Australian Defence Force member who is serving in war-like conditions and is hurt as a consequence of action against the enemy is classified as having been ‘wounded’. An ADF member hurt in an incident that has not been the result of enemy action in war-like conditions is classified as having been ‘injured’.

NZ: NZSAS Afghanistan - Death of a trooper

It is with deep regret that the Chief of Defence Force, LT GEN Rhys Jones, has announced that a serving member of the NZSAS has been killed in Afghanistan.

The man’s immediate next of kin have been informed.

“Once again we are facing the death of one of our brave men in a country far away. My thoughts and indeed the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with this trooper’s family as they face the loss of their loved one.

“The SAS mission in Afghanistan was always going to involve high risk as they actively worked with the Kabul based Crisis Response Unit (CRU) to try and confront the insurgent threat in the country.

“On this occasion a group from the CRU including Interior Ministry legal officials, were serving a Ministry of the Interior judicially authorised arrest warrant in a compound suspected to house suicide bombers in Wardak Province, south east of Kabul. They were accompanied by a number of NZSAS personnel.”

It’s believed that the intent of the insurgents was to conduct an operation in the Kabul region.

“In the early hours of the morning (Afghan time) on Wednesday 28 September, as the group moved to the compound it was engaged by suspected insurgents.

“The SAS trooper was struck in the head by a bullet gravely injuring him, and he was medically evacuated to a hospital where he later died.”

The coalition hospital was approximately ten minutes away by air and had a neurosurgeon working in it.
The battle is ongoing with significant exchanges of fire and reports of explosions.

The name of the deceased will not be released for at least 24 hours to give the family time and space to grieve.

Up Date: SAS trooper, LCPL Leon Smith, was killed in action yesterday.

Editorial: China Advances Maritime Ambitions With Its Growing Economy

China, with its vast territory and agrarian culture, has historically been a continental power. But as the country celebrates its National Day on Saturday, the focus has moved to the oceans, which increasingly are viewed as critical to China’s economic future. China’s renewed emphasis on its maritime territorial claims is making its neighbors wary.

When China unveiled its first aircraft carrier in August, the rest of the world took notice.

Chinese officials repeatedly stress that the country's military intentions - on land or on sea - are benign. They point out that China was the only one of the five permanent United Nations Security Council members not to have an aircraft carrier.

Read the rest of the story at Voice of America

USA: Assistant Secretary Campbell's Travel to Asia

Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. Campbell will travel to Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Hong Kong, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, and China October 5-11, 2011.

Arriving in Tokyo on October 6, Assistant Secretary Campbell will meet with senior Japanese officials from various ministries to discuss a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues.

He will travel to Seoul on October 7, where he will meet with senior Korean officials, including from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in advance of President Lee Myung-bak’s upcoming State Visit to the United States.

Assistant Secretary Campbell will travel to Hong Kong on October 8 and meet on October 9 with members of the American Chamber of Commerce. Later that day he will travel to Brunei Darussalam for meetings with senior Bruneian officials. He will also participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the New Embassy Compound.

Assistant Secretary Campbell travels to Bangkok on October 10 to meet with the new government in Thailand. He will underscore the U.S. commitment to strengthening the U.S.-Thailand alliance, and review progress on a range of bilateral and regional issues.

He will continue on to Beijing, arriving on October 11 to meet with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai for the second round of U.S.-China Consultations on the Asia-Pacific. The consultations are an outcome of the third U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in May, and reflect the shared commitment expressed in the joint statements of our leaders to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship.

Assistant Secretary Campbell departs for Washington, D.C., on October 11.

News Story: Vietnam, Philippines to boost military ties

HA NOI, Sept. 29 (PNA/VNS) -- Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty, Chief of the General Staff of the Viet Nam People's Army received General Eduardo San Lorenzo Oban, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in Ha Noi yesterday.
Ty spoke highly of the visit by Oban and his entourage, saying he believed that the visit would contribute to strengthening the friendship between the armies and peoples of the two countries.

Read the full stort at the Philippines News Agency

Singapore: Minister for Defence Makes Introductory Visit to Malaysia

Dr Ng and Dato' Seri Zahid
exchanging momentos at
the end of their meeting
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen met with his Malaysian counterpart Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi as part of Dr Ng's introductory visit to Malaysia earlier today. During the meeting, the Ministers reaffirmed the good cooperation between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Malaysian Armed Forces, and noted the increasing exchanges and exercises between the two armed forces. Dr Ng cited the stopovers and refuelling of fighter aircraft from the two air forces at each other's air bases under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) in May this year as one such example. The Ministers also discussed the regional security situation and the importance of enhancing bilateral ties. In addition, Dr Ng expressed appreciation for Malaysia's search and rescue (SAR) operations in response to a maritime incident off Mersing, Johor and reiterated Singapore's offer of assistance for the SAR operations.

Read the full story at MINDEF

Saab deepens its commitment with a new Indian entity - Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Saab strengthens its commitment as a long-term partner to the Indian defence industry, armed forces and national security with its new Indian entity “Saab India Technologies Private Limited”. The company is a fully owned subsidiary of Saab AB starting 1 October 2011.

Saab has been a supplier to the Indian armed forces since decades. Saab signed its first license agreement in India very early in the relationship, which continues to be strengthened. Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a result of a continuous presence in India together with the defence industry private and public sector as well as research and development organizations.

Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab, establishing India as a strategic home market of the future. Saab provides world-leading products, services and solutions within the fields of defence, aviation and civil security. Saab offer it’s complete product range in India for all defence and aviation related business opportunities from underwater, land and aerospace.

Saab contributes, with its know-how and commitment, to development in India by strengthening an indigenous and independent defence base, transfer of technology and thus economic development enhancing civil security and thus social development.

“Our commitment to the security of the Indian society manifests through R&D investments, customized solutions and tailor made offset projects. We are intensifying our operations in India with a long-term perspective contributing with technological know-how to the Indian defence industry,” says Jan Widerström, Chairman of the board for Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

“In Saab’s ambition to enable India to develop a strong distinct position with its developing defence industry, the company continues to develop its competence in India with a growing organisation bringing in Swedish experienced personnel and hiring local Indian expertise. Saab India Technologies is the preferred employer for all competence and resources under the Saab umbrella," says Inderjit Sial, Managing Director for Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd., reconfirming that with this new company Saab has a stronger handshake with India.

RAAF C-130J Hercules full-flight and mission simulator upgraded to provide enhanced tactical training capabilities

Sydney, Australia, September 29, 2011 – (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) – CAE Australia today announced that it has upgraded the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) C-130J Hercules full-flight and mission simulator (FFMS) to provide additional tactical training capabilities. The upgrade was completed on budget and without taking the simulator out of service.

CAE Australia, prime contractor under the Management and Support of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Aerospace Simulators (MSAAS) contract, upgraded the C-130J simulator with a new radar warning receiver (RWR) simulation, which will be used to provide RAAF C-130J aircrews with early warning and threat detection alerts during training. Instructors will also be able to insert various radar threats into the simulator training sessions to provide RAAF aircrews with realistic tactical mission training scenarios.

“The addition of the RWR simulation to the C-130J simulator is consistent with the Commonwealth’s objective to ensure the Royal Australian Air Force’s training systems are concurrent with the platforms they simulate,” said Peter Redman, acting Managing Director, CAE Australia Pty Ltd. “We completed this simulator upgrade without any downtime to current training, and in advance of the upgrades being completed on the actual aircraft. The RAAF C-130J aircrews will now be well-trained and prepared as the RWR-capable Hercules aircraft re-enter service.”

The addition of the RWR simulation not only ensures the ongoing fidelity of the C-130J simulator, but also enhances the tactical training capabilities of the C-130J aircrew training system. The C-130J FFMS includes CAE’s Interactive Tactical Environment Management System (ITEMS) for creating complex tactical environment scenarios, as well as Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) functionality so the C-130J FFMS can be networked with the C-130H FFMS co-located at RAAF Base Richmond.

CAE Australia performed the upgrade under CAE’s Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) Letter of Authority. As a certified AEO, CAE is delegated design approval authority for engineering upgrades on in-service simulators for the Australian Defence Forces.

News Story: Indian Navy's P-8I aircraft completes first flight

SEATTLE (BNS): Indian Navy's first P-8I aircraft being built by Boeing-led industry team has completed its initial flight.

The P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for the US Navy.

The aircraft on Wednesday took off from Renton Field at 12:02 p.m. Pacific Time and landed two hours and 31 minutes later at Boeing Field in Seattle, Boeing said in a statement.

Read the full story at Brahmand

News Story: Taiwan arms sale will disrupt US exchanges - China

BEIJING (AP): China’s military exchanges with the US will suffer after Washington announced a USD 5.85 billion arms package for Taiwan, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday, confirming expectations that Beijing would retaliate over the sale.

High-level exchanges, joint drills, and other large-scale activities will be affected “in light of the serious damage” resulting from the sale, ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a news conference open to Chinese reporters only.

Read the full  story at Brahmand

News Story: China deploys new surface-to-air missile system

BEIJING (PTI): China has deployed a new land-based mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system capable of intercepting both high and very low-flying targets, boosting its air defence capability.

The new SAM system called Hongqi-16, or Red Flag-16, was delivered to an air defence unit in the Shenyang Military Region, official media reported.

Read the full story at Brahmand

News Story: India top weapons buyer among developing nations

WASHINGTON (PTI): India was the top weapons purchaser among the developing countries in 2010, acquiring armaments worth USD 5.8 billion, according to a US Congressional report.

Taiwan ranked second with USD 2.7 billion arms purchases followed by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Read the full story at Brahmand

29 September 2011

Editorial: India and the South China Sea

By Ambassador R. S. Kalha

China has warned India against collaborating with Vietnam over oil and gas exploration in the disputed South China Sea. The warning comes as reports suggest an Indian state-owned oil producer is about to start joint exploration of gas resources despite protests from Beijing, the official Global Times has reported.

It’s a reminder of the dangers that still exist in the Sino-Indian relationship.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

AUS: ADF Combat Support Unit rotation returns from Operation Slipper

© Commonwealth of Australia,
image by Department of Defence
Combat Support Unit rotation Five (CSU 5) returned to Australia this week (28 September) following a successful six-month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) as part of Operation SLIPPER.

CSU 5 was responsible for providing medical, transport, security and accommodation support to more than 2500 Australian and ISAF personnel, who operate at the Al Minhad Air Base (AMAB) in the United Arab Emirates, as well as Multi National Base – Tarin Kot and Kandahar in Afghanistan.

The unit’s Commanding Officer Wing Commander John Leo said CSU 5 successfully provided passenger and air-cargo-loading services, force protection for visiting dignitaries and medical services for all Australian and ISAF agencies at AMAB.

“The unit was extremely effective in managing a large array of medical issues including the emergency treatment of patients requiring aero-medical evacuations,” Wing Commander Leo said.

The 118 personnel who made up CSU 5 came from all Australian states and territories and were recruited from 41 separate Navy, Army and Air Force units.

Wing Commander Leo said, despite working in temperatures which regularly exceeded 45 degrees centigrade, the commitment by the CSU 5 Air Load Team ensured that no missions were delayed or cancelled because of air movement technical deficiencies.

“Australian Defence Force operations in the MEAO are very high tempo, which is demonstrated by the fact that CSU 5 loaded more than 15,000 passengers and almost six million pounds of cargo during their rotation across three airfields of operation,” Wing Commander Leo said.

CSU 5 was also responsible for accommodation and meals for over 9000 personnel who transited through AMAB over the six-month period.

“I am very proud of the CSU 5 team. They performed extremely well under difficult circumstances and I am pleased we were able to provide a range of services that Defence Force members from both Australia and Afghanistan rely on to do their jobs effectively.”

Operation SLIPPER is Australia’s military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, maritime security in the Middle East Area of Operations and countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

NZ: Kiwis return from deployment to Afghanistan

The eighteenth rotation of the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT), who have completed a five month deployment to Afghanistan returned home last night.

Approximately 70 personnel from 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR) and supporting units were met by Commander Joint Forces Major General Dave Gawn, and family and friends at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea.

Senior Military Advisor to the NZ PRT, Lieutenant Colonel Hugh McAslan, said the contingent was fortunate to be deployed during a significant chapter in Bamyan’s history with the commencement of the transition process.

"The fact Bamyan was selected to be the first province in Afghanistan to hold a ceremony signifying the commencement of transition is in itself testimony to the combined efforts of the people of Bamyan and the NZ Defence Force’s efforts over the past eight years.

"It was certainly a privilege for us to be a part of an important stage in Bamyan’s history, and tops off what has been a challenging but enjoyable deployment.

"The deployment has also been significant in the fact that it saw the introduction of NZLAV to the NZPRT. The LAVs are providing us with a significant increase in capability and have provided our soldiers with a lot of confidence when out patrolling. It is a great capability that has well and truly proved its worth during this deployment.

"The team has maintained a high tempo throughout the deployment and should be proud of their achievements in helping to build the capacity of local security forces in Bamyan and maintaining a secure environment which has enabled development projects in the Province to continue."

The rest of the contingent returned to New Zealand last week

USA: USS Russell Arrives in Maldives for Visit

110714-N-RI884-184From Commander Task Force 70 Public Affairs

GAN, Maldives - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) arrived in Gan, Maldives for a port visit Sept. 28.

The visit to Gan is an opportunity for Russell Sailors to engage with their Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) counterparts and to interact with the local community.

“We are honored to be here in Gan,” said Cmdr. Joseph Carrigan, Russell’s commanding officer. “The U.S. and the Maldives share a common interest in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. My crew and I look forward to this experience and fostering a growing relationship with our Maldivian counterparts.”

While in port Gan, Russell Sailors will provide guided tours of the ship for media and guests, participate in a soccer match and a culinary exchange where coast guardsmen from the Maldivian Coast Guard Ship (CGS) Shaheed Ali will teach Sailors how to cook traditional Maldivian dishes aboard Russell.

Sailors look forward to enjoying the hospitality, culture, and sights of Gan, and some female Sailors will have the chance to spend time and share high tea with 30 local female high school students, teachers and parents. During the engagement, Sailors will share their experiences and talk about life for women in the U.S. Navy and gain a better understanding of Maldivian life from the students.

Sailors will visit CGS Shaheed Ali and train alongside MNDF coast guardsmen in small engine and diesel maintenance, preventative maintenance and trouble shooting. While aboard CGS Shaheed Ali, Sailors will also participate in damage control drills, train on firefighting and dewatering to help all the participants gain an understanding of the different techniques used.

Russell’s visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) team will have a chance to board a Maldivian government own fishing vessel during an exchange with the MNDF coast guardsmen.

Russell is currently on an independent deployment from her homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and on patrol in the Western Pacific Ocean.

28 September 2011

News Story: (AUS) China cables reveal military fear

Michael Sainsbury

CONFIDENTIAL diplomatic cables show Australia believes China is spending much more than it says on its rapidly growing military and security forces.


China's military modernisation has caused anxiety across the region. In a cable dealing with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's annual "work report" -- the country's equivalent of the Treasurer's budget speech -- the embassy says "it is likely that both defence and public security enjoy a great deal of off-budget funding, making an accurate comparison (between military and domestic security) impossible".

Read the full story at The Australian

Editorial: A Trilateral Challenge

By Richard Weitz

A conference I attended in Phuket, Thailand on trilateral relations between China, India, and Pakistan underscored for me the subtle but often overlooked dynamics among the three nations – and their importance for the rest of the world.

The United States and other great powers have found it hard to manage this Asian strategic triangle, but have also found that they have no choice but to try. The reality is that unless third parties fully understand this triangular dynamic, poorly designed policies aimed at one can easily result in a worsening of relations with the others.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

News Story: Tokyo, Manila step up sea security ties amid China claims

Japan and the Philippines on Tuesday agreed to strengthen links between their navies against a backdrop of Beijing's growing military might and increasingly assertive territorial claims in the region. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Tokyo with the pair reaffirming their "vital" interests in the disputed South China Sea.

"The two leaders confirmed that the South China Sea is vital, as it connects the world and the Asia Pacific region, and that peace and stability therein is of common interest to the international community," said a signed Japan-Philippines Joint Statement issued after the summit.

Read the full story at MSN News Malaysia

USA: Pacom Commander Hopes for Continued U.S.-China Engagement

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2011 – When the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific discussed regional challenges today, China topped the list.

“The United States’ relationship with China is a very important relationship that continues to need to be managed well,” Navy Adm. Robert F. Willard told reporters at the Foreign Press Center here.

“As always, the Asia-Pacific [region] remains a thrilling and challenging part of the world, critical to the global economy, critical to the United States and its interests,” he added.

Asked about China’s reported plan to curtail military exchanges with the United States in response to U.S.-Taiwan arms sales, Willard said he is hopeful that high-level discussions between U.S. and Chinese officials will continue. When the subject of Taiwan arms sales surfaced in the media last week, Willard said, he was hosting China’s Jinan Military Region commander, Gen. Fan Changlong, at U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii.

“We discussed many things,” Willard said, mostly the things that the United States and China have in common. Taiwan arms sales also came up, he added, but Fan “did not raise the issue of consequences to our military-to-military relationship, should that occur.”

The past year has seen extensive senior-leader engagement between the two nations, the admiral said, noting that he attended the Strategic Security Dialogue between U.S. and Chinese defense and foreign affairs representatives. That meeting was effective in addressing some strategic-level issues, he added.

“I think that regardless of the effects of this particular round of Taiwan arms sales and disagreement between our two governments on that issue, China will be very likely to retain the high-level visitation … that will enable us to continue those strategic-level discussions,” he said.

The admiral said the combat power China directs toward Taiwan is “very significant,” and the U.S. interest, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, is that Taiwan have the necessary capabilities and services to defend itself. That defensive capability enhances stability across the Taiwan Strait and enables the ongoing dialogue between China and Taiwan. That, he added, ultimately will “lend to a more favorable outcome, not detract from it.”

The United States and China are too concerned in security issues both in the Asia-Pacific region and the world “to allow any single disagreement between governments to stop consultations altogether,” Willard said.

“And I’m very hopeful that the Chinese leadership recognizes that,” he added.

Senior Defense Department officials recognize the importance of close communication with Chinese military leaders, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters today.

“Our expectation, clearly, is that we’ll continue to maintain communication and cooperation as we can with the Chinese,” Little said. “It’s essential, of course, to continue dialogue with our Chinese military counterparts, and transparency is a key touchstone of that. So, we hope to continue along those lines.”

China’s relationship with Pakistan also is a factor in the “very complex” security dynamic in South Asia, Willard said.

China and Pakistan’s longstanding military-to-military and government-to-government relationship, Willard said, is significant given the overall dynamics of the region, including India’s dispute with Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the contested border between northern India and China, and Afghanistan.

Willard said he believes China recognizes the importance of a regional outcome in which relations among Afghanistan, Pakistan and India continue to be managed.

“I think China’s interests and U.S. interests in the region, while we don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on this, are inherently convergent and desire a stable South Asia,” the admiral said.

India: Network of Radars Soon to Monitor India's Coastline - Antony

Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has said that all efforts are being made to secure the country’s vast coastline with a network of Radars. Addressing the 30th Annual Coast Guard Commanders’ Conference here today, Shri Antony said that the project has been taken up on priority.

“An important project to tighten our coastal security is the establishment of 46 Chain of Static Sensors atop the lighthouses along our coastline. Once the Coastal Security Network System is in place, it will surely boost our real time Maritime Domain Awareness”, Shri Antony said. “36 such radars will be installed in the mainland in the first phase that would be completed by 2012”, he added, later interacting with the media.

Pointing out that though the Coast Guard might be the youngest of the Forces under the Defence Ministry, Shri Antony said that it is the fastest growing force. “On the infrastructure front, the establishment of District Headquarters at Kavaratti and commissioning of three stations at Minicoy, Ratnagiri and Mundra has taken place since last year. The total number of Coast Guard stations now stands at 31. There are plans to establish Regional Headquarters (North-East), along with a station at Kolkata. Three more stations at Dahanu, Androth and Krishnapatnam are planned to be established soon. On the aviation front, there is a need to establish more air stations and air enclaves on a priority basis”, Shri Antony said. “156 boats are being built at various shipyards, both public and private, while the Coast Guard will get 12 more Donier aircrafts soon”, he later said.

The Defence Minister also assured that the manpower needs of the Coast Guard were also being simultaneously raised. “Since 2009, our government has sanctioned more than 4,300 posts to further strengthen the Coast Guard. There has been a 27% increase in the recruitment of personnel in the last three years. The Coast Guard too has taken steps to increase the intake of officers and personnel. It has also taken several other steps, such as increasing the number of selection centres, Short Service Appointment of CPL holders & women officer, and Fast Track Selection for Officers and Yantrikis.”

The Defence Minister also called upon the Coast Guard Commander to achieve synergy with other stakeholders in tackling piracy. “The increasing incidences of piracy off Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands call for a heightened security consciousness. The Coast Guard in coordination with the Navy has aptly responded to such situations. However, there is a need to build upon and further strengthen the synergy between Navy, Coast Guard and all other organizations in charge of coastal security”, Shri Antony said. “The Cabinet Committee on Security will soon take a decision on finalizing a new policy on fighting piracy”, he later said, in reply to a query.

The Defence Minister also underlined the need for an effective mechanism to check environmental pollution in the seas. “The proactive efforts and response of the Coast Guard in containing Oil Pollution and assistance in removal of the stranded ships from the shores have been appreciated. There is a need to put in place an effective mechanism to ensure maximum environmental protection by all the concerned Ministries, in coordination with the Coast Guard.”

The Conference was also attended by Defence Secretary Shri Shashikant Sharma, Special Secretary Shri RK Mathur and Director General Indian Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra.

India: LCA TEJAS (NAVY) Makes First Engine Ground Run, Objectives Successfully Met - DRDO

Dream of the country’s first indigenous effort to build a carrier borne Naval Fighter aircraft got a fillip with the crossing of another significant milestone of the first Engine Ground Run (EGR) in Bangalore on Monday, Sep 26, 2011 of first LCA(Navy) prototype NP1. The team steering LCA(Navy) project comprises, members of Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, HAL, DRDO, CEMILAC, DGAQA, CSIR Labs, Educational Institutions, other Public and Private Sector partners.

The first EGR of NP1 aircraft was conducted at about 1830hrs yesterday for its schedule time, had the primary objective of checking aircraft to engine integration and activation of the various systems like Flight control, Hydraulics, Fuel, Electrical, Avionics, etc., which was successfully achieved.

The aircraft will now go through a phase of refinements based on feedback identified during the course of the build up and also observed during the EGR, followed by a series of final integration checks and taxi trials before its maiden flight shortly.

Australia technology symposium showcases net-enabled warfare solutions

British soldiers using a FireStorm
targeting system during
Exercise Flying Rhino 2010
[Picture: Staff Sergeant Ian Houlding,
Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

Rockwell Collins brought members of the Australian defence industry together last week for a technology symposium to learn more about the company’s vision for net-enabled warfare.

This two-day event – held in Canberra, Australia – was led by Nick Gibbs, managing director for Australia, and TC Chan, vice president and managing director for the Asia Pacific region.

At the event, nearly 75 customers participated in product and system road map presentations on a range of topics relating to advanced net enablement. They also participated in live demonstrations of several solutions, including our software defined radios, Firestorm™ ground targeting system, satellite communication (SATCOM) systems and Sentinel™ soldier system.

Eurofighter Typhoon ready for Japan

Tokyo, Japan. BAE Systems, with the full support of the UK Government, the Eurofighter partner companies and nations together with the Sumitomo Corporation, has today submitted a response to Japan’s requirement for a new fighter aircraft to the Japanese Ministry of Defence in Tokyo.

Nigel Whitehead, BAE Systems Group Managing Director - Programmes and Support said: “This cost effective proposal offers Eurofighter Typhoon, the world’s most advanced multi-role combat aircraft, as Japan’s best option to meet the requirement for its F-X programme and the most capable deterrent to regional threats.  The aircraft already has operationally proven multi-role capabilities and through our ability to offer licensed production, maintenance and technology transfer, Japan can have sovereign control of manufacture, support and upgrade of Typhoon aircraft in Japan by Japanese industry.  We are also able to offer software source codes and other data, giving Japan the ability to develop the aircraft itself to meet its own unique needs, now and in the future”.

The UK Ambassador to Japan David Warren also commented: “I am delighted that BAE Systems has been able to submit such a compelling solution to Japan’s F-X requirement. Typhoon will deliver world-class capability for many years to come. It also offers our two nations an opportunity to significantly strengthen our defence and security relationship and an opportunity for ground breaking industrial cooperation which will contribute substantially to Japan’s defence and aerospace industries future.  The Proposal has HM Government’s fullest support”

AUS: Air Warfare Destroyer - Another two blocks delivered

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that two more keel blocks had been delivered to Adelaide to construct Australia’s first Air Warfare Destroyer.

This follows the delivery of the first keel block last month.

The blocks were constructed at the Williamstown shipyard in Melbourne.

They were loaded on to barges last week and transported to Adelaide over the weekend.

Mr Clare said this was another step forward in the $8 billion project to construct three new warships for the Royal Australian Navy.

“This is Australia’s biggest shipbuilding project,” Mr Clare said.

“90 separate blocks will be constructed to build the three most powerful warships the Royal Australian Navy has ever operated.

“About 70 blocks like this will be shipped to Adelaide over the next four years to be consolidated into Air Warfare Destroyers.

“These blocks weigh approximately 190 tonnes each. They are about 19 metres long, 17 metres wide and five metres high and will form part of the keel of the first warship – HMAS Hobart.”

The steel blocks are being built at shipyards in Adelaide (ASC), Melbourne (BAE Systems), Newcastle (Forgacs) and Ferrol, Spain (Navantia).

Three sonar blocks are being constructed in Spain and the United Kingdom.

The blocks will now be removed from the barge and transported by a large multi-wheeled vehicle to the pre-fit-out facility.

Further work on the blocks will then be completed including blast and paint, fitting pipes, installing communications and electrical cables and fitting internal walls.

Construction has begun on all main blocks for the first ship and work has also begun on blocks for the second ship, HMAS Brisbane.

Next year work will begin on blocks for the third ship, HMAS Sydney and the first ship will start to be consolidated in Adelaide.

Mr Clare thanked the more than 1,000 people currently working on the ships across the three Australian shipyards.

“The workers constructing these blocks are doing important work – building new warships for the Royal Australian Navy,” Mr Clare said.

“They’re working hard and I thank them for their efforts.”

27 September 2011

AUS: LHD Watercraft and Enhanced Joint Operations Centre Command and Control Capability Projects Approved

Minister for Defence
Stephen Smith

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Government had given Second Pass Approval for two important capability projects:   the purchase of 12 new watercraft for the two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships and the enhancement of information and technology infrastructure at Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC).

Purchase of watercraft for LHD (Joint Project 2048 Phase 3)

The Government has agreed to the purchase from Navantia of 12 medium-sized fast landing craft (the LCM-1E) for the LHD through Joint Project 2048 Phase 3.

This follows a decision in February 2009 to direct source the purchase of the watercraft to Navantia.

Navantia are building the hulls for the two LHDs and the watercraft will be purpose-built for these ships.

The watercraft will enable transport of troops and equipment from the LHDs to the shore including where there are no fixed port facilities.

The delivery of the first batch of four watercraft will be coordinated with the delivery of the first LHD, expected in 2014.

Construction of the LHDs is underway in Spain and Australia.

The LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier.

Each is 230 meters long and can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1000 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters. Each also includes a 40-bed hospital.

Maintenance and support for the watercraft will be provided by Australian industry.

The total cost of Joint Project 2048 Phase 3 is cost capped between $300 million to $500 million in the Public Defence Capability Plan.

The final cost is subject to the satisfactory negotiation of a contract with acceptable terms and conditions.

Australian Defence Force Command and Control (Joint Project 2030 Phase 8)

The Government has also approved enhancements to information and communications technology infrastructure at Headquarters Joint Operations Command (Bungendore) as well as software upgrades to better support military planning.

The enhanced command and control system will also allow better communication between operations staff and troops, particularly commanders and Special Forces.

Defence will purchase commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software products which will then be integrated to meet requirements.

It is expected that the capital expenditure for these enhancements will generate around 75 jobs and support around 25 on-going jobs in Australia.

Additional hardware and software upgrades to support better military planning will be considered by Government in future elements of Joint Project 2030 Phase 8.

The total cost of Joint Project 2030 Phase 8 is cost capped between $100 million to $300 million in the Public Defence Capability Plan.

Aus: Industry and Defence Cooperation on Projects of Concern

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today begins a two-day round of meetings with senior Defence officials and CEOs of companies which have projects on the Projects of Concern list.

In February this year, Mr Clare committed to holding biannual face-to-face meetings with industry and Defence.

The first round of meetings was held in February.

“The purpose of these meetings is simple – to make sure there is focus from the top of Government, Defence and industry to remediate these projects,” Mr Clare said.

 “It ensures that the senior Defence and industry people responsible for these projects are doing everything necessary to remediate them.

 “Ultimately, we want these projects off the list. This is about working together to get these projects back on track.”

On 29 June this year Mr Clare and Minister for Defence Stephen Smith announced at the Defence and Industry Conference in Adelaide a range of reforms to strengthen the Projects of Concern system.

These reforms include:

-       the establishment of a more formal process for adding projects to the list;
-       the establishment of a formal process for removing projects from the list;
-       the development of agreed remediation plans, including formal milestones for the removal of a  project from the list; and
-       increased Ministerial involvement and oversight of the process.

“The Projects of Concern process is working and the reforms we are implementing will make it even more effective,” Mr Smith said.

Since the Projects of Concern process began in 2008, 18 projects have been listed as Projects of Concern. Since then, nine of those have been removed – seven due to remediation and two due to cancellation.

 The current Projects of Concern list is attached.

Current Projects of Concern list:
Date added to list
Collins Class Submarine Sustainment and Projects
Nov 2008
AIR 5077Phase 3
‘Wedgetail’ Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft
Jan 2008
SEA 1448Phase 2B
Anti-Ship Missile Defence radar upgrades for ANZAC Class Frigates
Jan 2008
JOINT 129Phase 2
Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – airborne surveillance for land forces
Sep 2008
LAND 121Phase 3
‘Overlander’ replacement field vehicles, trailers and modules for land forces (‘Medium Heavy’ class of vehicles only)
Jul 2008
JOINT 2070
Lightweight torpedo replacement for ANZAC and ADELAIDE Class Frigates
Jan 2008
AIR 5402
Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft – Air to Air Refuelling Capability
Oct 2010
AIR 5276Phase 8B
Electronic Support Measures upgrade for AP-3C Orion aircraft
Oct 2010
AIR 5418Phase 1
Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles
Nov 2010

 Projects removed from Projects of Concern list:
Date removed from list
LAND 106
M-113 Armoured Personnel Carrier Upgrade (Remediated)
May 2008
AIR 87
Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (Remediated)
Apr 2008
SEA 1411
Sea Sprite Helicopter (Project cancelled)
Mar 2008
JP2088Phase 1A
SF Air Drop Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat Trailers (Remediated)
Sep 2009
SEA 1390Phase 2.1
Guided Missile FFG Upgrade (Remediated)
Jan 2010
AIR 5416Phase 2
Rotary Wing Electronic Warfare Self Protection ‘Echidna’ (Scope reduced and remediated)
Jul 2010
JP2043Phase 3A
High Frequency Communications Modernisation (Remediated)
Jun 2011
AIR 5333
Air Defence Command and Control System ‘Vigilare’ (Remediated)
Jun 2011
JOINT 2048Phase 1A
LCM2000 Watercraft for Landing Platform Amphibious Ships (Project cancelled)
Feb 2011