30 June 2012

News Story: Contract tightens scrutiny on (Australian) sub fleet maintenance

The Australian Submarine Corporation will be subject to closer scrutiny under a new five-year contract to service the nation's troubled Collins class submarine fleet.

A Federal Government review of the fleet last year found serious flaws with the way the six vessels are maintained.

At times, Australia had only one working Collins submarine.

The company has now signed a new rolling contract, which is valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

Managing director Steve Ludlam says the new arrangements place greater emphasis on the company's performance.

Read the full story at ABC News

News Story: India, Republic of Korea, Japan hold a trilateral meet; discuss South China Sea

NEW DELHI: Noting that the South China Sea was witnessing "competing claims", India today strongly pitched for co-operation instead of competition in the seas and oceans at a trilateral meeting with Japan and South Korea. 

Asserting that India, Japan and Republic of Korea depend heavily on the Sea Lanes of Communications (SLOCs) for their energy security which are also the mainstay for trade and connectivity, Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East) in Ministry of External Affairs, said "there is indeed a compelling case for us to cooperate on maritime security." 

"India has a valued geostrategic location straddling the SLOCs. The Indian Ocean Rim is characterized by large Exclusive Economic Zones and unexplored and untapped marine resources. Similar potential exists for example in the South China Sea which today is witnessing competing claims.

Read the full story at The Economic Times

News Story: China to set up new military base in south China sea

Sutirtho Patranobis

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is likely to create a base in the newly established city of Sansha in the South China Sea, set up last week to administer a group of islands locked in dispute with Vietnam and other countries. 

Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a press 
conference that China may set up local military command organs in the city according to relevant regulations.

Last week, the State Council, China's cabinet, approved the establishment of the prefectural-level city of Sansha to administer the Xisha (Paracel), Zhongsha and Nansha (Spratly) island groups - all three are under dispute -- and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea.

The islands are said to be located in potentially resource-rich area of the region.

The government seat will be stationed on Yongxing Island, part of the Xisha Islands, according to a statement from the ministry of civil affairs.

Read the full story at Hindustan Times

News Story: Gorshkov (Vikramaditya) air trials to begin mid-July


The trials of the Aviation Facilities Complex onboard the Admiral Gorshkov, part of the ongoing sea trials of the carrier, are set to begin next month. These trials will test and prove the operational status of the equipment crucial for aviation operations off the carrier.

Equipment and facilities like navigational and landing aids, directional and control systems, deck lighting, arresting gear system, restraining gear (which are the equivalent of hydraulic chocks before the nose wheel and one of the main wheels, imposed before take-off) will be tested in these trials, expected to be completed over a period of three months.

Read the full story at Strat Post

News Story: S. Korea, Japan Postpone Landmark Military Pact


SEOUL — South Korea Friday postponed at the last minute the signing of a landmark military agreement with Japan, amid anger in Seoul over the planned pact with a former colonial ruler.

The information-sharing pact would have been their first military agreement since the end of Japan’s brutal 1910-45 colonial rule over Korea.

It would have enabled the two sides, both of whom are close U.S. allies, to swap intelligence about North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs and other defense issues.

Many older Koreans have bitter memories of Japan’s rule and military cooperation is a sensitive issue. Both the ruling and opposition parties in Seoul called for a delay, saying details have been kept secret.

A senior official of the ruling New Frontier Party, Chin Young, said the public opposes some aspects and it was inappropriate “to rush the signing of the agreement, with its details remaining unknown to the public”.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Japan Accepts First F-35s Despite Cost Premium


TOKYO — Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said June 29 it had agreed to purchase the first four of 42 Lockheed Martin F-35s and two simulators for 10.2 billion yen ($127.8 million) each, plus parts, for a total cost of 60 billion yen, according to a news release.

The price of the initial four jets in the Letter of Offer and Acceptance singed by the MoD is significantly above the 9.9 billion yen ($124.1 million) agreed to last December, when, in a contentious decision, the ministry selected the advanced but still developmental F-35 to replace its 1960s-era F-4EJs.

After a tough request for proposals review, the MoD opted for 42 of the stealthy F-35s over the flight-proven and less expensive Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

29 June 2012

Editorial: Religious Intolerance In Indonesia - Political Lassitude Or Budgetary Constraint?

By Baladas Ghoshal

The recent budgetary rollback aimed at accommodating the swelling fuel subsidies triggered by soaring global oil prices has particularly affected the National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT). For the last two years, it has been on the frontline of the battle against growing religious radicalism that often ignites acts of violence. These measures will undoubtedly force the agency to cut down many of its programmes and its operational budget for uncovering terrorist networks, and preventive measures in its campaign to ‘de-radicalise’ government-supported schools and mosques through partnerships with moderate religious leaders and groups. Eventually it would affect Indonesia’s fight against terrorism and radicalism in the future.

But this is only one side of the picture, as the BNPT attempts to curb extremism that is perpetrated by terrorist violence alone; dealing with terrorists alone may not help much. Extremism that breeds terrorism needs to be checked, according to the Wahid Institute, which works towards “a just and peaceful world by espousing a moderate and tolerant view of Islam and working towards welfare for all.” There are extremist groups in Indonesia that are not known to have exploded bombs, but they practice violent moral policing and persecute minorities. A small minority can create havoc when the so-called ‘silent majority’ remains really silent for the fear of being branded as ‘not true Muslims’.

Since the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued its much-criticized ‘fatwa’ banning liberal concepts of Islam, secularism and pluralism, hard-line Muslim elements have been pushing for the eviction of JIL (a cultural complex set up by progressive and moderate Muslims and headed by noted Muslim scholar Ulil Absar Abdalla, who himself received death threats for publishing articles criticizing the conservatism of some Muslim leaders in the country). In the recent years, Indonesian politics has been roiled by an Islamist attempt to label anything deemed sexually arousing as a form of “porno-action.” Even some “pondoks,” or religious boarding schools in Indonesia, have come under the influence of more extremist clerics. Islamists from the Middle East, Pakistan, Bangladesh and ex-Mujahideen have taken control of the mosques and madrassas radicalizing the discourse on religion and trying to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims at the grassroots.

Read the full story at Eusasia Review

USA: The Fourth U.S.-Laos Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue

Today, the United States and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic met for the Fourth U.S.-Laos Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Vice Foreign Minister of Laos Bounkeut Sangsomsak co-chaired the dialogue. The dialogue provided an opportunity to engage in a comprehensive discussion of bilateral and regional issues that reflected our expanding relationship.

The delegations discussed matters including the forthcoming entry of Laos into the World Trade Organization, ongoing bilateral efforts to help resolve the problem of unexploded ordnance in Laos, and our cooperation on a range of activities including health, educational exchanges, counternarcotics, law enforcement, trafficking-in-persons, and environmental protection. The delegations also discussed ongoing efforts to resolve the cases of American personnel still missing in Laos from the Vietnam War period.

In the meeting, the United States reaffirmed its support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving ASEAN-led regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific and underscored the importance of ASEAN unity on pressing regional issues. The U.S. side noted the addition of Burma into the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) and reaffirmed its commitment to broaden collaboration and information sharing among the six LMI partner countries. The United States highlighted the importance of the Mekong River Commission for development and environmental protection of the region.

The United States affirmed its continued robust support for educational and cultural exchange programs, including the Fulbright Scholarship Program, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and English-language training programs.

The United States welcomed the positive trends in the bilateral relationship. Both delegations look forward to continuing regular consultations on a broad range of issues, including at the next U.S.-Laos Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.


Australian Blackhawk (File Photo)

POLAND, Tuesday 26 June 2012 - On 02 December 2011, the Ministry of Defence, Brunei Darussalam (MINDEF) signed a contract with Sikorsky International Operations, Inc. for the delivery of twelve (12) S-70i™ BLACK HAWK helicopters with spare parts, ground support equipment and training package. To date, the project has achieved several major milestones which include the completion of several design reviews and the completion of several baseline aircraft built in PZL Mielec, Poland. PZL Mielec, a Sikorsky company, which is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp, produces the S-70i™ baseline BLACK HAWK helicopter which is the latest international variant of the UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter employed by the US Army.

A team from MINDEF recently conducted a site visit to the PZL Mielec facility in Poland to witness the factory acceptance test for Brunei’s third baseline S-70i™ BLACK HAWK helicopter. The first two baseline aircraft recently completed its factory acceptance tests in Poland in April 2012. The first aircraft is scheduled to be inducted to Sikorsky Military Completions Center (SMCC) in the United States on October 2012 for the start of customization work to produce the uniquely configured aircraft that meets the Royal Brunei Armed Forces requirements. The delivery of the twelve (12) S-70i™ BLACK HAWK helicopters will replace the current fleet of Bell 212 helicopters and enhance the Royal Brunei Air Force’s rotary wing capabilities in air mobility, Search and Rescue (SAR) and enhance surveillance of Brunei’s waters and borders. The delivery of these advanced new aircrafts will also allow the Royal Brunei Armed Forces to further strengthen its troop deployment capabilities in military and humanitarian and disaster relief operations in the region.

The first batch of the uniquely configured aircraft is expected to be delivered to Brunei in early 2014.

Editorial: Will China Colonize And Incorporate Siberia?

By: Richard Rousseau

In June 2010, the Xinhua News Agency reported that China had leased a total of 426,600 hectares in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (District) – popularly known as Birobidzhan – and the Khabarovsk region of Russia to Chinese farmers. This has caught Russian nationalists’ attention; they have called the arrival of waves of farmers the beginning of “the Chinese conquest” of Siberia.

A floating population of tens of thousands Chinese traders and seasonal workers continually moves back and forth across the border, one of the longest in the world. The immigrants settle not only in border areas but increasingly deeper into Russian territory, and some backlash is imminent. These developments raise several questions for Russia as to the migration’s impact, China’s long-term plans for Siberia, and potential Chinese dominance in the region. And yet, diplomatic relations between China and Russia have never been better. China and Russia enjoy mutual cooperation in the spheres of defense, technology, energy and bilateral trade. Why would China take any steps which would destroy such mutually rewarding relations?

Read the full story at Eurasia Review

News Story: United Technologies Fined $75 Million for Military Exports to China

Z-10 Attack Helicopter


Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp., a Canadian subsidiary of Connecticut-based defense contractor United Technologies, has pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act and has settled with the U.S. government for $75 million.

The company admitted June 28 to making false statements in connection with its illegal export to China of U.S. software used in the development of China’s military attack helicopter, the Z-10.

“We accept responsibility for these past violations and we deeply regret they occurred,” United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert said in a statement. “As a supplier of controlled products and technologies to the Department of Defense and other domestic and international customers, we are committed to conducting business in full compliance with all export laws and regulations.”

Read the full story at DefenseNews

Editorial: An Authoritarian Axis Rising?

By William C. Martel

It isn’t the “axis of evil.” But a number of authoritarian states are showing a troubling tendency to look out for each other.

It takes time for societies and policymakers to understand that a major shift in global affairs is afoot. But what we see clearly, in recent months, is the emergence of a new constellation of powers.

Such a concert of nations can only inject turmoil into the international system. It is a relatively new phenomenon that represents a radical shift in international politics, perhaps as momentous as the Soviet Union’s collapse two decades ago. By coordinating their policies, this grouping of powers is beginning to profoundly reshape global affairs, especially in the Asia-Pacific, Indo-Pacific, and Eurasian regions.

Who are the members of this group? Today, it includes China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.

Why does it exist? Fundamentally, this new axis signals growing anxiety on the part of its members that they are “behind the curve” of history. Simply put, these states are on the wrong side of history, politics and economics – and they know it.

Its members share certain characteristics that raise questions of how it is, precisely, that they and their peoples missed the curve in building democratic states and free markets.

Most worrisome of all: we see strong evidence that they actively coordinate their foreign policies. Such coordination appears to be a relatively recent development that coincides with Vladimir Putin’s return to Russia’s presidency.

Read the full 4 page story at The Diplomat

28 June 2012

News Story: S. Korea, Japan To Sign First Military Accord

SEOUL — South Korea will soon sign a military agreement with Japan, officials said June 27, in what would be the first such pact since Tokyo’s colonial rule ended in 1945.

The pact calls for sharing intelligence about North Korea and its nuclear and missile programs, among other topics, the Yonhap news agency said, citing an unnamed foreign ministry source.

It said the North’s long-range missile launch in April and its other military threats had highlighted the need to swap information.

A Seoul foreign ministry spokesman told AFP the agreement covers the “protection of classified information” and would be signed as soon as the two countries complete domestic procedures.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: U.S. sees momentum on South China Sea code


WASHINGTON — The United States said on June 27 it saw momentum in talks between China and Southeast Asia on agreeing to a code of conduct to ease deep friction over competing claims in the South China Sea.

The South China Sea is likely to be high on the agenda when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads next month to Cambodia for talks of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and regional powers including China.

Kurt Campbell, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said he understood that a draft proposal on a code of conduct was being discussed and that the United States expected to hear more details while in Cambodia.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: PAF to get 25 more helicopters in December

Ben Cal, Philippines News Agency

MANILA, Philippines -– The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will get 25 more helicopters late this year to augment its depleting air assets.

This was announced during the Air Power Symposium 2012 held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia in Pasay City on Friday as part of its preparation for the forthcoming 65th PAF anniversary celebration on July 6.

The symposium was hosted by Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino G. de la Cruz, PAF commanding general.

This year’s theme was “Mobilizing Air Power for the Nation’s Multi-Dimensional Challenges.”

Read the full story at InterAksyon

Editorial: Iran’s Oil and U.S.-India Ties

By Ronak D. Desai

Less than a month before the latest round of U.S. sanctions were set to take effect against Iran’s oil industry, the Obama Administration announced  that it had exempted India from the tough new measures. Under the law that was enacted late last year, countries importing oil from Iran were given until the end of June 2012 to “significantly reduce” the volume of their oil purchases or face U.S. sanctions. The exemption, also given to six other nations, protects India’s financial institutions from facing the severe penalties for doing business with Iran, allowing them to continue to enjoy crucial access to the U.S. financial system. 

Although somewhat predictable, Washington’s decision to grant the sanctions waiver to India is significant. It not only recognizes New Delhi’s efforts to reduce its oil imports from Iran, but it also illustrates the extent to which the United States and India are committed to working through potential differences with one another and maintain a strong and robust partnership.
Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: The South China Sea Oil Card

By M. Taylor Fravel

Over the weekend, the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) quietly announced that nine new blocks in the South China Sea were now open to foreign oil companies for exploration and development.  This move reflects one of the starkest efforts by China to assert its maritime rights in these disputed waters – and constitutes a direct challenge to Vietnam’s own claims.
Unlike the blocks that CNOOC offered in 2010 and 2011, the new ones are located entirely within disputed waters in the South China Sea.  As this map shows, the new blocks lie off Vietnam’s central coast and comprise of more than 160,000 square kilometers. The western edge of some blocks appear to be less than 80 nautical miles from Vietnam’s coast, well within that country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. All the blocks overlap at least partially with PetroVietnam’s, including potentially ones where foreign oil companies have ongoing exploration activities. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: Why China Can’t Pick Good Leaders

By Minxin Pei

China’s next generation of leaders are expected to be chosen later this year. But factional strength and patronage may well trump talent.

 As China’s top leaders get ready for their summer retreat in Beidaihe, the exclusive beach resort  225 kilometers north of Beijing, the rest of the world remains in the dark about the jockeying for power inside the world’s largest ruling party. By convention, the appointments for the party’s top positions are usually finalized when Chinese leaders escape the oppressive summer heat, pollution, and humidity engulfing Beijing to swim and relax toward the end of July in Beidaihe, known for its cool weather and clean air.

The ugly purge of Bo Xilai may have removed a lethal threat to leadership unity at the top for the moment, but that hasn’t ended the fierce competition for the most senior and desirable positions or reduced the uncertainty over the impact of leadership change on China's domestic and foreign policies. Compared with previous leadership transitions, the impending shift is perhaps among the most significant in terms of scope and timing.
Read the full story at The Diplomat

27 June 2012

Editorial: An Eye On China - President Aquino Meets Obama

By Anil Kumar

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III met President Barack Obama (6-9 June 2012) in the Oval Office for the first time. His visit is seen as an important step towards the revival of defence and security cooperation between the US and its former colony. The visit has raised a few questions. What kind of military cooperation does President Aquino want? On what terms is the US ready to extend that cooperation? Finally, how does it affect regional security?

The visit comes in the wake of China hardening its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas. There is a fundamental shift in China’s foreign and security policies in Southeast Asia. It is no more about reassuring its immediate neighbours of its ‘peaceful rise/development’. Post 2008, with the successful completion of the Beijing Olympics and growing economic dependence on China by the West after the global economic slowdown, there is a spurt of nationalistic fervour in China which has started calling for a bold and assertive foreign policy. This new policy approach explains China’s recent territorial claims against Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines in its neighbouring waters.

Read the full story at Eurasia Review

Editorial: South Korea In The Asia-Pacific Century

By Ruhee Neog

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was recently on an extensive tour of Asia to drive home the message that the US is a Pacific power reorienting its focus towards Asia. In this period of uncertainty, Asian powers are likely to hedge their bets to gain maximum leverage from both the US and China who are jostling for geopolitical influence. Given that the ROK has a strategic alliance with the US which limits its options, what are the factors that will enable the ROK to hedge its bets and seek its best interests?

China As Catalyst

If the ROK seeks balance and influence in the Asia-Pacific, China’s relevance will be two-fold: ROK-China and DPRK-China.

Read the full story at Eurasia Review

Editorial: Can Taiwan Be a “Worthy” U.S. Ally?

By Parris H. Chang

The renewed U.S. interest in the Asia-Pacific gives Taiwan a perfect chance to bolster ties and its own security. But will it seize the moment?

The United States’ strategic shift toward the Asia-Pacific is more than just rhetoric. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Asian defense leaders at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore earlier this month that the U.S. will “of necessity” rebalance towards the region, vowing that 60 percent of the Navy’s fleet, including six carrier battle groups, will be deployed to the region by 2020. He added that the U.S. presence would be bolstered by additional assets, while also becoming more agile, flexible and high-tech.
Such remarks have been welcomed by many in allies Australia, Japan and South Korea. On June 3, meanwhile, Panetta made a stop at a port in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, making him the most senior U.S. official to visit the harbor since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. He stood on the deck of a U.S. ship to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the normalization of U.S.-Vietnam relations, underscoring Washington’s intention to enhance military cooperation with Hanoi.
This comes as the U.S. promotes a new strategy to forge partnerships in Southeast Asia to protect vital maritime rights for all nations in the South China Sea, even as China makes expansive territorial claims there – claims that conflict with those of Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan, among other states.

Over the past 15 years, China’s defense budget has increased by about 500 percent, and Beijing’s perceived dominance and growing belligerence appear to be strengthening U.S. efforts to rally the support of friends in the Asia-Pacific region. But all this points to one of the biggest challenges for both the U.S. and China – addressing the status of Taiwan.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

AUS: Western Australia farewells soldiers bound for the Solomon Islands

Soldiers, predominately from Western Australia’s 13 Brigade, were farewelled by family and friends this week at a parade at Irwin Barracks in Karrakatta, Western Australia.

The 111 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). 

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator Feeney, expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the professionalism, courage and dedication shown by the men and women as they prepare to serve on overseas operations. 

“I know the soldiers of the 13 Brigade will proudly represent our nation and serve with utmost distinction and dedication,” said Senator Feeney.

Commander 13 Brigade and host officer of the parade, Brigadier Stephen Coggin, CSC, praised the deploying soldiers for their commitment to the mission.

“This current deployment of Reserve soldiers continues Australia’s dedication to the ongoing development and security of the Solomon Islands,” Brigadier Coggin said.

“I’m really proud of the young men and women here today and would also like to extend my gratitude to families, friends and regular employers for their ongoing support.” 

The highly-trained Reserve soldiers take leave from their civilian jobs for the duration of the deployment to offer their specialist skills to the local community.

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 five troop-contributing nations: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

USA: George Washington Completes Successful Trilateral Exercise with JMSDF, ROK

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brian H. Abel

EAST CHINA SEA – Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy leaders visited the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) at the closing of a two-day, trilateral exercise June 22.

Rear Adm. Hideaki Yuasa, commander of JMSDF Escort Flotilla Two, Rear Adm. Sung Bae Park, commander of ROK Navy Component Flotilla Five, were among several JMSDF and ROK Navy officers who toured George Washington’s hangar bay, navigation and signal bridges, flight deck control, air operations, combat direction center, and witnessed flight operations first-hand on the flight deck.

“It was very exciting to see flight operations,” said Yuasa. “I want to thank Commander Task Force 70 [Rear Adm. J. R. Haley] and George Washington commander [Capt. David A. Lausman] for our visit.”

The exercise reinforced regional security and stability and increased interoperability, operational proficiency and readiness. The exercise included integrated helicopter operations; visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exchanges and demonstrations; communication links; interoperability; dynamic ship maneuvers; and liaison officer exchanges.

“The sea makes us one, which is a symbol of our unity,” said Park. “The capability of our forces together is endless. I think it’s meaningful to conduct exercises to maintain peace.”

The U.S. Navy, JMSDF and ROK Navy are no strangers to conducting annual exercises together, but this marks the first trilateral exercise involving the respective countries and a carrier strike group.

George Washington and its strike group regularly participate in military operations and events to maintain the highest possible mission readiness and strengthen the bond with its allies and partners.

“It was my personal honor to visit the carrier and experience everything,” said Park. “I’m very proud of George Washington!”

George Washington departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka on May 26 for its 2012 patrol. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, work to protect and defend the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

USS George Washington on Facebook and on Flickr

News Story: Tejas completes advanced weapon trials

By Anantha Krishnan M

Three platforms of India’s Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’ successfully completed advanced armament trials at Pokhran Ranges. Military sources confirmed to Express that this time the focus of the trials was locked on to specific modes of releasing various weapons. The current campaign saw Tejas testing various altitude and speed combinations of ‘critical nature.’

“During the just-concluded weapon trials at the forward areas of Pokhran Ranges,  practice, dumb and live bombs were released.  A laser-guided bomb (LGB) was also tested. The trials are important as the platform is now being tested for its conversion as a fighting machine from a successful flying platform,” sources said.

Read the full story at Indian Express

News Story: Indian Navy set to complete nuclear triad - Admiral Verma

INS Sahyadri under construction

LONDON (PTI): With the Navy poised to attain a retaliatory nuclear strike capability, India will soon have a "credible and invulnerable" deterrent nuclear triad in place, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said here on Monday.

Verma said such a nuclear triad was required in view of India's 'no first-use' policy.

Setting out his analysis of India's maritime security, Admiral Verma, who is here on a three-day visit as part of a bilateral Indian Navy-Royal Navy interaction, said there was increasing awareness in India that "the destiny of our nation is entwined with our maritime destiny".

Read the full story at Brahmand

News Story: Malaysia Defense Minister Denies French Sub Graft Claims

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s defense minister denied allegations on June 26 that a classified ministry report was sold to a French firm to land a controversial submarine deal.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has previously dismissed graft allegations linked to the $1.1-billion submarine purchase in 2002, when he was defense minister, saying it is an opposition-backed attempt to smear his image.

But in recent months, Malaysia’s online media have been aflutter with new “evidence” that opposition-leaning rights group Suaram and its lawyers say has been turned up by French judges probing the case.

The claims come at a sensitive time for Najib, who is preparing for elections, which he is expected to call soon.

They include an allegation that a classified Malaysian defense ministry report on the country’s naval needs was sold to submarine maker Thales, possibly to help the French firm land the $1.1 billion deal.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Rolls-Royce Engine To Power S. Korean Frigates

Incheon class (FFX) Frigate (Wiki Info)


LONDON — The South Korean Navy will use a Rolls-Royce engine to power a new batch of frigates being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.

The British-based engine supplier said June 26 it had secured an order for its MT30 gas-turbine power plant for the first of what is expected to be an eight-strong fleet of frigates known as the FFX Batch II program. A company spokesman declined to put a value on the contract win as final negotiations are still underway ahead of an expected signing of the deal by the end of July.

It’s the first time Rolls-Royce has secured an order for the MT30 in Asia and the first time the power plant has been ordered for a warship in a single engine installation rather than a pair.

The Batch I frigates ordered by the South Koreans used twin LM2500 engines provided by General Electric.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

Editorial: U.S. Navy’s Quantity Problem

US Navy: Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
By James R. Holmes

As naval technology gallops on, can fleets execute the same missions with fewer assets?
Eminent people say so; I have my doubts.
Officials like U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Undersecretary of the Navy Robert Work point to scientific and technical advances that supposedly render numbers of ships and aircraft less meaningful than in bygone decades. Unmanned reconnaissance aircraft able to detect, classify, and track hostile contacts across wide sea areas and feed targeting information to U.S. Navy task forces represent one such innovation. Sea-service leaders also point out that warships now entering service are far more technologically advanced than the ones they replace.
The message, seemingly, is that quantity no longer has much quality of its own.
Yet there’s an otherworldly feel to such claims. It’s certainly true that each new generation of ships, warplanes, sensors, and weaponry is far more capable in an absolute sense than the generations that went before. True, but not especially meaningful.
One of today’s Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers, for example, would surely outclass an Aegis cruiser from the early 1980s, when that combined radar/fire-control system first went to sea on board USSTiconderoga.
So what?

Read the full story at The Diplomat