30 November 2011

News Story: Russia denies allegations over Indian T-90 tank contract

RIA NovostiT-90S main battle tankRussia denies allegations over Indian T-90 tank contract
01:14 30/11/2011 Moscow is puzzled over Indian media rumors claiming that Russia refuses to fulfill a decade-old contract on licensed production of T-90S main battle tanks in India, a Russian defense industry source said.>>

India: Bangladesh Army Chief on a Visit to India

General Md Abdul Mubeen, Bangladesh Army Chief is on a visit to India from 28 Nov to 02 Dec 11. The visit assumes special significance in the light of improving military cooperation between the two countries in consonance with our growing relationship with Bangladesh.

India-Bangladesh relations are multifaceted and founded on historical linkages. The successful culmination of recent visit of Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh in Sep 2011 has contributed significantly to the consolidation of the existing ties and given a further boost to the cordial relations between both the nations. The high level visits of both Army Chiefs in 2008, 2010 & 2011 has boosted our Military to military relations.

Military-to-Military Cooperation between Bangladesh and Indian Armed Forces encompasses exchange of high and medium level visits, availing of training courses in each other’s training institutions, witnessing of designated exercises by military observers from both sides, exchange of War Veterans, UNPKO, sharing experience in disaster management, sports and adventure activities.

During the visit, General Mubeen is scheduled to interact with Defence Minister, NSA, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary and other members of Indian Armed Forces hierarchy. In addition, he will be visiting Agra, Jaipur, Kolkata, important training establishments and field formations.

The visit will further cement our defence relationship with Bangladesh and add impetus to ongoing defence cooperation. Maintenance of enhanced military to military contacts with Bangladesh by Indian Army is mutually beneficial to the strategic interests of both the neighbours. The ensuing visit of Bangladesh Army Chief has a major significance in the burgeoning defence cooperation between both the countries.

Indian Press Information Bureau

Editorial: The Real North Korea Threat

By Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi

A year has passed since North Korea conducted its unexpected shelling of Yeonpyeong Island. Yet, while tensions between the two Koreas seem less intense now, the threat posed by North Korea’s military continues to be as complex and diversified as ever. Indeed, even as the North Korea looks like it is edging toward collapse, there are signs of dangerous military changes, including the further politicization of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and the diversification of its military capabilities.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: West’s Woes Help India Defense

Eurofighter Typhoon, contesting
the MMRCA competition.
By Ramesh Phadke

If India is really serious about reducing its dependence on foreign sources for its defense needs, this is the time to act.

The Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraftselection process is nearing its end. The tenders were scheduled to be opened early this month, with the lowest bid to be compared with the notional figure that the Indian government calculates on the basis of prevailing prices of the same or similar equipment. But problems could arise if the difference between the two is large, which could prompt further delays.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial:Does China Get Freedom?

By David Cohen

As Nitin Gokhale noted at the weekend, China has put off plans to send state councilor Dai Bingguo to Delhi for a round of border negotiations this week, after India declined to prevent the Dalai Lama from appearing in the city at an international Buddhist conference.  Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil canceled plans to attend the same conference in deference to Chinese sensibilities.  The bulk of the 40 Chinese scholars expected to attend the conference also canceled, the Hindustan Times reports, although a few managed to come.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

News Story: SKorean Navy conducts exercise with Aegis destroyer

King Sejong the Great
class Destroyer - Wiki Info
SEOUL (BNS): The South Korean Navy Tuesday conducted a maneuvering exercise in the Yellow Sea with the South's first Aegis destroyer 'Sejong.'

The one-day exercise was aimed at developing interoperability among units from all branches of the South Korean Navy and to prepare against possible North Korean maritime infiltration, a Yonhap report quoting a Navy official said.

Read the full story at Brahmand

News Story: Chinese aircraft carrier begins second leg of sea trials

File Photo
BEIJING (BNS): Over three months after it completed its maiden sea trial, China's Soviet-era aircraft carrier started the second phase of sea trials on Tuesday, the official media reported.

The warship -- China's sole aircraft carrier -- set sail for its second leg of sea trials "for relevant scientific research and experiments," the Xinuha news agency reported quoting a Chinese Defence Ministry statement.

Read the full story at Brahmand

29 November 2011

AUS: Pakistan – Australia 1.5 Track Security Dialogue

The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, has co-chaired the second round of the Pakistan – Australia 1.5 Track Security Dialogue with Pakistan’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Khalid Shameem Wynne, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Last week’s Dialogue involved key security decision makers from a range of agencies, and selected think tank representatives, from Australia and Pakistan.

General Hurley said the Dialogue was an important mechanism for senior security decision-makers and strategists from Australia and Pakistan to share their perspectives on areas of critical importance to both countries.

“Australia is aware of the significant challenges posed by violent extremism in the border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as the considerable price Pakistan has paid, and continues to pay,” General Hurley said.

Delegates discussed the security challenges facing Pakistan, and how Australia could assist Pakistan to address the threat posed by violent extremism. Discussion also focused on broader regional security with a particular emphasis on Afghanistan.

“Australia will continue to support Pakistan’s efforts to confront the challenges posed by extremism. Only concerted international cooperation and engagement will reduce the space in which such terrorists hide,” General Hurley said.

During the visit, General Hurley also met separately with Chief of Army Staff, General Kayani, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, to discuss Australia’s defence engagement with Pakistan.

General Hurley also had discussions on broader domestic and regional security matters with the Minister for Defence, Chaudry Ahmed Muhktar.

General Hurley thanked General Wynne for the hospitality shown to the Australian delegation throughout the visit.

“The Dialogue and meetings with senior Government figures and Pakistan military chiefs reflect both countries’ sincere desire to learn from each other’s experience and engage in a frank exchange of ideas on security matters,” General Hurley said.

Subsequent to the Dialogue, General Hurley offered his condolences to the Pakistan military and the families of the soldiers who were killed and wounded in the cross border incident on 26th November.

News Story: Navy gets ready to add more muscle

NEW DELHI: India is all set to formally launch the hunt for over 75 heavy-duty "stealthy'' naval helicopters with potent anti-submarine and anti-warship warfare capabilities, as also customized for amphibious assaults and commando operations against conventional, terror, piracy and other threats.

The Defence Acquisitions Council, chaired by defence minister A K Antony, on Friday discussed the mega naval multi-role helicopter (NMRH) project, which is likely to cost well over $2 billion.

Read the full story at The Times of India

News Story: Australia offers strong training opportunities, vibrant off-duty options for visiting Marines

By Seth Robson

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. Marines should feel right at home in northern Australia when they start regular training there in the near future.

President Barrack Obama visited the Northern Territory state capital and announced Nov. 17 plans to deploy 2,500 Marines to the city in coming years.

Darwin’s Lord Mayor Graeme Sawyer told Stars and Stripes last week that the Marines should fit in well in a town that’s already home to about 7,000 Australian military personnel and about 120,000 civilians.

Read the full story at Stars and Strips

News Story: ASEAN, China to start talks on conduct in South China Sea

THE ASSOCIATION of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China will start talks as early as January preparatory to drafting a binding document governing activities in the South China Sea, an official said yesterday.

“A meeting between ASEAN and China will be held by January to identify the main elements in crafting the Code of Conduct (COC),” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda F. Basilio said in a hearing of the Senate foreign relations committee.
“The meeting is scheduled by the first week or second week of January,” she added.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario earlier said that ASEAN members have agreed to draft a more binding document to guide activities in the contested area that will be presented to senior ministers in July 2012.

Read the full story at BusinessWorldOnline

USA: Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group Arrives in 7th Fleet

Makin Island ARG consisting of USS
Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), USS Makin
Island (LHD 8) & USS New Orleans
(LPD 18) transit together off the southern
coast of California. (U.S. Navy photo
by Chief Mass Communication
Specialist John Lill/Released)
From Amphibious Squadron 5 Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN - The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) entered the second phase of its scheduled deployment Nov. 27, when the group crossed the international date line and entered the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

The Makin Island ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), which serves as the command ship for Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5 and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), as well as the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52).

"A key component of the U.S. maritime strategy is building regional partnerships to ensure security, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region," said Capt. Humberto L. Quintanilla, PHIBRON-5 commander.

Quintanilla said the months of training conducted by the different components of the Makin Island ARG, as well as the ARG-MEU certification exercises, have forged a well-trained three-ship amphibious ready group for a variety of littoral operations.

"The Makin Island ARG is a highly capable group of Sailors and Marines poised to execute various types of combat or disaster relief missions in various regions of the globe," said Quintanilla. "From providing humanitarian assistance during a natural disaster, to ensuring the free flow of commerce, the Makin Island ARG is proof of America's commitment to peace and stability wherever we are needed."

This is the maiden deployment for Makin Island, the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship and the only U.S. Navy ship with a hybrid electric propulsion system.

By using this unique propulsion system, the Navy expects to see fuel savings of more than $250 million during the ship's lifecycle, proving the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation.

The 7th Fleet AOR includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian oceans, stretching from the international date line to the east coast of Africa, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south.

More than half of the world's population lives within the 7th Fleet AOR. In addition, more than 80 percent of that population lives within 500 miles of the oceans, which means this is an inherently maritime region.

India: Indigenous Building of Ships

For indigenously building ships and other naval crafts, in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure, 2011, Chapter-Ill, Procedure for Defence Shipbuilding - Defence shipyards are awarded some contracts on nomination basis while other contracts are awarded on competitive basis. Defence shipyards are participating with private yards in an open competition. In some of the cases they have lost out to private shipyards.

Defence Shipyards quoted for Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels, Barges, Hovercraft, Fast Patrol Vessels, Interceptor Boats, Cadet Training Ships and Fast interceptor crafts but lost to private yards.The Defence shipyards have indicated that major reasons of losing out are:

(i) Higher wage rates for the labour and thereby increase in overheads;

(ii) Longer time taken to procure the materials byobserving the laid down procedures thus pushing up their prices.

To enhance the competitive edge in future, following measures are being undertaken:-

(i) Modernisation of DPSUs including Defence shipyards with latest state-of-the-art facilities and introducing modernintegrated construction methodology,

(ii) Strengthening of design and production facilities,

(iii) Induction of manpower both at the skilled worker level and at management level.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Shri MM PallamRaju in written reply to Shri Partap Singh Bajwain Lok Sabha today.

India: Vulnerability of Submarines

The DRDO proposes to develop a technology to reduce vulnerability of the Submarines available with the Indian Navy.

Naval Material Research Laboratory (NMRL), Ambernath, under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is progressing a technology demonstration project "Development of Land-based Prototype for Air Independent Propulsion (AIP)" for submarine propulsion. Vulnerability of a submarine can be reduced by increasing its underwater endurance (dived conditions). Normally diesel electric generators are used to charge the batteries that provide propulsion power when the submarine is in dived conditions. To run the generators the submarine has to surface for taking in air and throwing out the exhaust. Using AIP system, submarine can charge the batteries without surfacing.

The full scale operations of such System is likely to be demonstrated by 2015.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Shri Dhruva Narayana in Lok Sabha today.

Saab to upgrade all ANZAC class ships combat systems

HMAS Perth
The Australian Government has approved an upgrade of all ANZAC class frigates to the full anti-ship missile defence standard. Saab will work with the Defence Materiel Organisation and BAE Systems for systems integration of a further seven naval combat systems.

The Royal Australian Navy will receive the highly successful upgrade of the ANZAC class frigate comprising an enhanced 9LV combat management system, phased array radar and missile director, infrared sensors and an advanced navigation radar system.

Saab, teamed with BAE Systems and CEA Technologies, created the latest variant of the 9LV combat management system (CMS) for HMAS PERTH earlier this year. The upgrade entailed an extensively redesigned operations room to give the ship unprecedented situational awareness and weapon systems coordination. The highly modernised ship has been engaged in radar, missile and combat system trials for much of 2011 which have validated the entire combat system.

Australian Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs said, “The tests proved that the new system can defend the ship from modern cruise missile attack.”

The operations room has been reorganised to enhance the capability of the ship’s command team. Newly-designed consoles come with 30 inch wide screen displays and 42 inch large screen displays show operational command information across the room. The CMS integrates the entire combat system through a dual redundant Gigabit optical fibre LAN.

Chairman of Saab Technologies Australia, Gunilla Fransson said, “The modernisation of the entire ANZAC class is testimony to the future-proof 9LV combat management system and Saab’s combat system engineering capability in Australia.

”This fully integrated combat system is now one of the most modern CMS in the world. It gives the ANZAC ships a fully flexible capability to utilise all its weapons, sensors and countermeasures simultaneously.”

Editorial: Does Malaysia Need the ISA?

By Choong Pui Yee

Two months since Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the repeal of the infamous Internal Security Act (ISA), which allowed detention without trial, Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussien has said that the law replacing the ISA will have similar provisions. The home minister has justified the move by drawing parallels with the U.S. Patriot Act and Britain’s Terrorism Act, but this argument hasn’t been enough to assuage the anger of the country’s middle class.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: Why U.S. Needs India’s Air Force

SU-30 Flanker (File Photo)
Wiki Info
By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Greater co-operation between the Indian and U.S. air forces would be good for America’s China policy. It would also help India realize its strategic dreams.

During his visit to India last November, U.S. President Barack Obama characterized relations with India as “one of the defining and indispensable partnerships of the 21st century.” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in turn, stated that India had “decided to accelerate the deepening of our ties and to work as equal partners in a strategic relationship that will positively and decisively influence world peace, stability and progress.” Arguing that cooperation extended to India’s immediate neighborhood, Singh said the two countries “have a shared vision of security, stability and prosperity in Asia based on an open and inclusive regional architecture.” 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

News Story: Chinese warships on Kuwait visit

BEIJING (BNS): Two warships of Chinese Navy are on a five-day official visit to Kuwait, according to an official media report.

The PLA Navy's destroyer 'Wuhan' and frigate 'Yulin' docked at Kuwait's Shuwaikh port on Sunday, the Xinuha news agency reported.

This is the first visit by the Chinese naval vessels to the Middle-Eastern country after the two sides established diplomatic ties 40 years ago, the report said.

Read the full story at Brahmand

News Story: (India) IAF to hold its biggest ever wargame 'Operation Livewire'

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Air Force will hold its biggest ever wargame by deploying all its frontline aircraft, including the Su-30MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 and AWACS, at its exercise codenamed 'Operation Livewire'.

The aerial exercise will be held between March 24 and April 15 and will involve the assets of IAF's main operational formations including the Delhi-based Western Command and Gandhinagar-based South Western Command, IAF officials said here.

Read the full story at Brahmand

28 November 2011

News Story: (AUS) Delays, mechanical problems put Defence chopper project on concern list

Brendan Nicholson

THE plan to re-equip the army and navy with 46 high-tech European helicopters worth $2.6 billion has been added to Defence's "projects of concern" list because of long delivery delays and mechanical problems.

Announcing the listing of the multi-role helicopter, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare said the project was running two years behind schedule and there was a risk of further delays.

Being added to the list brings a major review of the performance of the company providing the equipment.

The MRH 90 is built by European giant Eurocopter and assembled in Brisbane by its subsidiary Australian Aerospace.

Read the full story at The Australian

AUS: New Cutting Edge Missile Defence System for ANZAC Ships

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Government has approved the upgrade of all eight of the Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac Class frigates with an advanced Anti-Ship Missile Defence system.

The total project cost is in excess of $650 million, including the funds already spent upgrading HMAS Perth.

The ANZAC Class Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) project has also been removed from the Projects of Concern list.

The 2009 Defence White Paper outlined the Government’s intent to put all of the ANZAC Class ships through an ASMD upgrade program, subject to the successful outcome of at-sea trials on the first ship.

The upgrade of HMAS Perth as the lead ship for the ASMD program was successfully completed earlier this year.

Following exhaustive testing, including in theUnited States, the Chief of Navy agreed to the operational release of the system in July 2011. 

Government has now approved the installation of the system on the remaining seven ships of the ANZAC class by 2017. 

Minister Smith said this was the latest weapon in Navy’s arsenal and meant the Navy’s ANZAC frigates would be a lot more capable.

At the moment our ANZAC frigates can track and destroy one target at a time.

The new system is able to identify, track and guide missiles to multiple targets at the same time.

Minister Clare said the project was a great Australian success story – cutting edge technology developed right here inAustraliaby CEA Technologies.

The remaining upgrade installation and integration work will be undertaken by the ANZAC Ship Integrated Materiel Support Program Alliance, comprising SAAB Systems, BAE Systems and the Defence Materiel Organisation.

Minister Clare said that the ASMD upgrade program is a good demonstration of how the Projects of Concern process can effectively manage difficult projects and deliver successful national security outcomes forAustralia.

AUS: Air Warfare Destroyer update

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today provided an update on the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project.

Australia is constructing three AWDs based on a proven design from the Spanish Navy.  When complete, the AWD will be one of the most capable warships of its size in the world.

The Government and Defence have been actively working with Defence Industry and the AWD Alliance, which is managing the AWD project, to deliver the project.  The AWD Alliance consists of ASC, the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Raytheon.

Construction of the AWDs involves the fabrication of 90 separate steel blocks, 30 for each ship, as well as three additional sonar blocks at a number of shipyards in Australia and overseas.

These blocks will be brought together by ASC at the South Australian Government’s Common User Facility in Adelaide where the ships are being assembled.

Across Australia 2,100 workers are currently working directly on the AWD project with that number expected to increase to 2,400 at the peak of the project next year.

All blocks for the first AWD, HMAS Hobart, are now under construction with some in advanced fit-out, and work has also commenced on 11 blocks for the second ship, HMAS Brisbane.

In May, Mr Smith and Mr Clare announced the reallocation of the construction of up to 18 blocks to assist the project’s schedule.  The AWD Alliance has now finalised the reallocation of these blocks:

• Forgacs (Newcastle) –  four blocks;
• BAE Systems (Melbourne) – two blocks;
• ASC (Adelaide) – seven blocks; and
• Navantia (Spain) – five blocks.

This reallocation is expected to reduce forecast delays to the completion of the project by up to 12 months.

The AWD project has achieved a number of important milestones this year. They include:

• New Blast and Paint facilities were commissioned at ASC and Forgacs;
• Forgacs expanded into a second Newcastle region shipyard;
• Most of the AWD Foreign Military Sales-sourced equipment for HMAS Hobart has been transported to Australia and received at the shipyard;
• Three shipsets of the Mk 45 gun mounts were delivered in July;
• Six Mk 25 Typhoon guns arrived in August – two for each ship;
• The first two shipsets of the Australian Tactical Interface were delivered in September;
• Vertical Launch System modules for HMAS Hobart have been delivered;
• Four of six planned builds of AWD Aegis software have been completed, representing approximately 98% of the AWD Aegis software adaptation effort by lines of code;
• Successful testing was conducted on how the Aegis combat system and Australian Tactical  Interface work together;
• Work has begun on the sustainment strategy for the ships including the recruitment of staff and development of a sustainment plan;
• AWD’s internal communications equipment contract worth approximately $37 million was signed with Navantia’s divisional company, FABA Systems.; and
• All 17 contracts for the procurement of the Combat System have now been implemented.

In 2012 and 2013, the amount of work and the number of workers on this project is expected to increase:

• 36  more blocks are due to be constructed and delivered to ASC;
• The keel blocks of HMAS Hobart and the second ship HMAS Brisbane will be laid on the building berth in preparation for consolidation;
• Hull integration for HMAS Hobart begins next year and will be completed in 2013;
• Work will begin on the construction of blocks for the third ship, HMAS Sydney;
• Combat System Software will be formally delivered and demonstrated in early 2012;
• Gun weapons systems and radar will be received; and
• Trials crew training commences in 2013.

AUS: Australia Cooperates with China on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith today announced that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has commenced Exercise COOPERATION SPIRIT 2011 with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Sichuan Province, China. The exercise began on 27 November and will continue until 1 December.

“Exercise COOPERATION SPIRIT is a bilateral Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise, and aims to enhance coordination and cooperation between our two countries in responding to unforeseen disasters that occur in the Asia-Pacific,” Mr Smith said.

“The conduct of this exercise demonstrates the deepening practical cooperation between the ADF and the PLA and the commitment by both countries to developing strong and positive defence relations.”

Exercise COOPERATION SPIRIT follows the 14th annual Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue co-chaired by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin, Deputy Secretary Strategy, Mr Peter Jennings and General Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of General Staff, People’s Liberation Army at HMAS Watson in Sydney on 7 November.

The Dialogue agreed to a plan for enhancing Defence engagement over the next two years, including in the areas of: maritime security; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief cooperation; peacekeeping exchanges, senior-level dialogue and professional and working level exchanges.

As part of our growing military cooperation with China, the Royal Australian Navy Frigate HMAS Warramunga conducted reciprocal visits in September last year to the Chinese ports of Qingdao and Zhanjiang.

During her visit HMAS Warramunga successfully completed the first live firing exercise of its kind with the Chinese Navy off the coast of China. HMAS Warramunga also conducted joint helicopter operations, search and rescue drills and personnel exchanges.

At the same time, two PLA-Navy ships, the training ship Zhenghe and frigate Mianyang, conducted reciprocal visits to Sydney and Darwin. In a historic first, the PLA Navy extended an invitation for two Australian Midshipmen from the Australian Defence Force Academy to join the training ship Zhenghe on her journey from Auckland to Sydney.

The Government is committed to developing bilateral Defence ties and the military to military relationship with China through dialogue and practical activities.

News Story: China Defends Naval Drills in Western Pacific

Chinese state media say a planned naval exercise that is causing concern in Japan is not related to recent maritime tensions in the Pacific region.

Japan's defense ministry reported Wednesday that six Chinese naval vessels have crossed between two of its islands into the western Pacific Ocean. The NHK television network said one of the vessels was an intelligence-gathering ship.

China's defense ministry announced hours later that it is planning a naval training exercise in the western Pacific. It said the drill will adhere to relevant international laws and practice and is not directed against any particular country.

Read the full story at Voice of America

News Story: China, India perform dangerous new dance of encircler, counter-encircler

By Simon Denyer

NEW DELHI — It was billed as a new assertiveness, when India’s usually meek Prime Minister Manmohan Singh supposedly looked his Chinese counterpart in the eye at a summit in Bali last weekend and defended his country’s “commercial” right to explore for oil and gas in the South China Sea.

But it was also a sign of rising frictions between India and China, and of what experts see as a dangerous new game between the world’s most populous nations.

Read the full story at The WashingtonPost


By Siti Diana Othman & Dyg Noor Serena

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND 21 – 23 November 2011 - The 1st ADMM-Plus Experts Working Group Meeting on Peacekeeping Operations (ADMM-Plus EWG PKO) was held in Wellington, New Zealand. The meeting was co-chaired by Brigadier Kevin Riordan, Director-General of Defence Legal Services, New Zealand Defence Force and Colonel Claro C Casis, Commanding Officer of Peacekeeping Operations Center, Armed Forces of the Philippines.

This first formal meeting of the ADMM-Plus EWG PKO featured a seminar on the legal aspects of peacekeeping operations. The objective of the seminar was to introduce legal officers to the expertise and skills necessary for peacekeeping, thereby increasing the capacity of ADMM-Plus member states to contribute to Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs). Participants were exposed to the legal procedures, models and mechanisms that have been adopted by armed forces experienced in PKOs. Among the topics covered were international and national legal regimes applicable to PKOs; perspectives from legal officers on operating in the field; national perspectives on Status of Forces Arrangements/Agreements (SOFA); Laws of Armed Conflict (LOAC) during PKOs; military and police interactions in peace operations; UN Personnel’s privileges and immunities under the UN Model SOFA; discipline, jurisdiction and peacekeeper misconduct during PKOs and challenges and opportunities for ASEAN and ADMM-Plus in PKOs.

The inaugural meeting was attended by the ADMM-Plus countries and representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat. Brunei Darussalam was represented by one senior military officer from the Military Legal Unit and civilian officers from the Directorate of Defence Policy and Legal Unit, Ministry of Defence.

Sri Lanka: Pakistan Naval Ship “Saif” arrives at the Port of Colombo

Zulfiquar (Sword) class Frigate
Wiki Info
Pakistan Naval Ship “Saif” (FFG-253) arrived at the Port of Colombo on 26th November 2011 on a goodwill visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. The ship’s Commanding Officer Captain Muhammad Zubair Shafique called on Director General Naval Operations Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera at the Naval Headquarters. He was accompanied by Pakistan Defence Adviser in Sri Lanka Colonel Sheharyar Parvez Butt.

PNS Saif is a SWORD class frigate with a Z9EC – 20 helicopter, onboard dedicated for ship borne operations. The ship, equipped with the state of the art weapons, sensors and machinery, is the front line ship and potent platform of the Pakistan Navy. It is 123 meters in length and has a displacement of 2688 tons. The ship’s complement consists of 251 naval personnel which includes 29 officers and 222 sailors. The ship is en route from the Port of Karachchi in Pakistan to participate in the Langkavi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2011 (LIMA – 11) held in Malaysia from 06th to 10th December

Editorial: China’s U.S. Sub Hunter?

China_Y-8F-600_ASWBy David Axe

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has a new maritime patrol plane apparently optimized for finding and destroying submarines. But whose submarines? And how effective will it be?

The first pictures of the Y-8F-600 patroller, a derivative of the Soviet-designed An-12 cargo plane, appeared online last week. Sources indicate the PLA has taken possession of two of the patrol planes, apparently for testing. The PLA traditionally builds large numbers of new warplanes only after extensive trials and design changes.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: Is it China’s Turn to Pivot?

By Minxin Pei

The U.S. ambushed and isolated China at the East Asia summit. If China wants to recover it needs to manage its competition with the United States – and not scare its neighbors.

If 2010 was the year China made a series of strategic and tactical moves to strengthen its position in East Asia, 2011 saw the region push back.   

Nobody knows this better than Beijing.  At the recently concluded East Asia Summit in Bali, Indonesia, China was literally ambushed by the United States, which skillfully coordinated a pushback against China’s assertiveness on the South China Sea.  Except for Burma and Cambodia, every other country present at the summit, including Russia, implicitly criticized China’s stance on the South China Sea and called for a multilateral solution, which China has consistently opposed.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

News Story: Raytheon's RACR competes in SKorean F-16 radar procurement

EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA (BNS): Raytheon is responding to the Republic of Korea's official launch of the F-16 radar upgrade competition with the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar system (RACR).

RACR employs active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology, which Raytheon pioneered for the US Air Force's F-15C and fielded in December 2000.

Read the full story at Brahmand

News Story: Indian, Russian armies to hold joint exercise in Moscow

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Army personnel will participate in a wargame with their Russian counterparts in a joint exercise to be held close to Moscow's boundary with China and Mongolia next year to increase inter-operability between the two armies.

The fourth round of INDRA series of army-to-army exercise between the two countries will be held in 2012 in Russia.

Read the full story at Brahmand

Editorial: India, China Militaries Go Local

China's J-20
By Christopher Whyte

Fighter technologies have evolved at an impressive rate since the end of the Cold War. In industrial defense establishments across the world, the production and development of relatively cheap and viable versions of fourth generation aircraft continues. Incorporation of modern electronics suites and advanced upgrades have extended the life of such platforms for decades. At the same time, defense corporations and government contracted tech giants are focusing on newer breeds - fifth generation aircraft that boast the latest in stealth technologies, advanced interlinked sensor suites and more.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

27 November 2011

Editorial: India-China Ties Just Got Chillier

By Nitin Gokhale

The cancelation of the latest talks over their disputed border, allegedly due to Chinese pressure on India over the Dalai Lama, is likely to stoke growing tensions.

Clear signs of an approaching chill in India-China relations had been evident for the past couple of months. But the final confirmation that it may have arrived came Friday, when the two sides called off a crucial round of talks on their complicated boundary dispute, just two days before they were to begin in New Delhi.

Although officially both sides maintained that scheduling issues were to blame for the postponement of talks, sources in the Indian establishment said last minute and “unacceptable” demands by Beijing forced New Delhi to call off this round of negotiations.

Both sides have tried to play down the abrupt postponement.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: Chinese Aftershock

By Trefor Moss

Since the midsummer slump in its relations with the Philippines and Vietnam, China has been taking diplomatic steps to repair the damage. Despite nationalistic calls for China to “think ahead and strike first” at Philippine and Vietnamese forces, as the reliably demagogic Global Times tub-thumped back in September, Beijing has been charting a much wiser course. After agreeing a new set of guidelines for implementing the declaration of conduct (DOC) in the South China Sea with ASEAN in July, with a formalized code of conduct still to come, China hosted Philippine President Benigno Aquino for fence-mending talks in early September, and received Vietnamese Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong a month later.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

26 November 2011

AUS: Soldiers farewelled to the Solomons

Australian Soldiers disembark from
a Blackhawk Helicopter (file photo)
One hundred and five soldiers, predominately from Queensland’s 11 Brigade have been farewelled by family and friends today at a parade at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville.

The soldiers are deploying to Operation Anode in the Solomon Islands. Operation Anode is the Australian Defence Force contribution to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, has praised the deploying soldiers and acknowledged their commitment to community and country.

“This current deployment of Reserve soldiers continues Australia’s commitment to the development and security of the Solomon Islands,” Senator Feeney said.

“Our soldiers epitomise many of the values that the Australian community holds dear.

“The most prominent one is their commitment to serving their country by getting in there and making a positive difference to their community and more broadly to the international community,” Senator Feeney said.

“We are extremely proud of the Reservists deploying today.

“These fine young men and women supported their community during the recent natural disasters in Queensland and now they are deploying in service of their country,” Senator Feeney said.

“They are a credit to our nation,” the Senator said.

The purpose of RAMSI is to assist the Solomon Islands Government in restoring law and order and economic governance.

The military component of RAMSI is comprised of personnel from four troop-contributing nations: Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

News Story: China to hold naval drills in South China Sea

BEIJING (PTI): Striking a combative posture amid deepening row over the South China Sea, China announced naval exercises in the Western Pacific asserting that its lawful rights including navigation should not be hindered.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) naval fleet will go for routine training in the Western Pacific in late November, the Chinese Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Read the full story at Brahmand

News Story: Indian Navy pilots to go to Russia for carrier-based training

NEW DELHI (PTI): Ahead of proposed induction of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier by end of next year, the Navy will be sending a team of 10 pilots to Russia for training in operations of MiG-29K fighter aircraft from the warship.

India had signed a deal with Russia in 2004 for purchasing the carrier along with 16 MiG-29Ks.

Read the full story at Brahmand

25 November 2011

AUS: RAAF gear up for East Coast Exercise

F/A-18F Super Hornet

Royal Australian Air Force personnel will play an important role as fighter jets take to the skies for the East Coast Air Defence Exercise (ECADEX 11) next week.

The exercise will commence on Monday 28 November and will run until Friday 9 December, with essential work-up training being conducted this week.

Commander Air Combat Group, Air Commodore Mel Hupfeld, said, “ECADEX 11 is a vital training exercise for Air Force personnel, to maintain operational capability and to practice key air defence skills.

“The exercise also provides an opportunity for Air Force personnel to practise their skills at maintaining the integrity of Australian airspace and protecting vital infrastructure, such as a shipping port or an airfield.”

The majority of the aircraft assets and personnel will be operating out of their home bases at RAAF Williamtown (NSW) and RAAF Amberley (QLD) for the duration of the exercise.

Exercise flying will be conducted in the east coast military training area off the central coast of New South Wales with some exercise flying occurring inside the promulgated Williamtown low flying area.

The exercise scenario is designed to test both passive and active air defence capabilities where a ‘Blue’ or friendly force will protect the integrity of Australian air space and vital infrastructure against attack from a ‘Red’ or opposing force.

Up to 30 military aircraft from Amberley, Williamtown and Tindal (NT) will participate in the bi-annual exercise, including F/A-18F Super Hornets, F/A-18 Classic Hornets, Mk127 Hawk lead-in fighters and a Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.

Exercises such as these provide vital training for crew and ground personnel in preparation for domestic and overseas operations. ECADEX will also provide the opportunity to further develop integration of Air Force’s new capabilities, such as the Wedgetail and Super Hornets.

“Air Force is committed to minimising the impact of ECADEX on the local community, whilst still achieving essential training objectives in preparing our personnel to support Australia’s operational commitments and preserving the nation’s security,” Air Commodore Hupfeld said.

“We appreciate the ongoing community support for our need to conduct this vital training.”