31 October 2013

Think Tank: Why Indonesia will side with the US (despite its ‘non-alignment’ policy)

By Benjamin Schreer

This week, I participated in the 39th meeting of the Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Co-operation in the Asia-Pacific (Aus-CSCAP) in Darwin. This year’s theme was the US ‘rebalance’ and Southeast Asia, with a specific focus on the implications for Australia–Indonesia defence cooperation.

Comprising officials, academics and journalists from both countries, the discussions were open, frank and refreshing. For me, one of the key messages during the meeting was that Indonesia increasingly sees defence cooperation with the US as both a strategic and a tactical asset amid power shifts in Southeast Asia. My clear impression was that, if push comes to shove, Jakarta will side with Washington against Beijing’s attempt to establish a hegemonic position in Southeast Asia.

Much has been made of Indonesian concerns over the US ‘pivot’ announcement in November 2011 and the accompanying decision to rotate US Marine contingents through bases in northern Australia. However, as became very clear at the meeting, Jakarta’s criticism of the pivot was more for domestic consumption than reflecting serious strategic concerns about the Darwin deployment. In fact, Indonesian participants readily admitted that Jakarta very much welcomed the pivot for strategic and tactical reasons.

AUS: Exercise 'Faru Sumu' tests Super Hornets at Tindal

Fighter jets and personnel are participating in Exercise Faru Sumu at RAAF Base Tindal from October 21 until November 8. Faru Sumu is a three week biannual exercise during which up to 18 F/A-18F Super Hornets and 250 personnel from No 1 and 6 Squadrons are tested in the employment of weapons systems.

The Commanding Officer of No. 6 Squadron, Wing Commander (WGCDR) Robert Denney said the exercise involved a series of air-to-ground and air-to-air scenarios that tested students on the Super Hornet Operational Conversation course. "For the first time, No 6 Squadron has been joined on Exercise Faru Sumu by No 1 Squadron," WGCDR Denney said. "This gives personnel and aircrew from both squadrons the opportunity to work together and maintain a high level of weapon proficiency. "Exercise Faru Sumu also provides invaluable training for our logistics, support and maintenance personnel as they practice deploying to other bases and working together with different squadrons. Deploying up to 18 jets and 250 personnel is a massive effort for the planning team," he said.

For the first two weeks the Super Hornets will operate in the Delamere and Bradshaw Range Complex, which offer adequate space and ranges for crews to simulate full-scale ground attacks. In the third week, aircrew will fly air-to-air gunnery sorties.

News Story: China jeopardising peace in island row - Japan

Beijing is jeopardising peace in a row with Tokyo over disputed islands, Japan's defence minister said Tuesday, days after China warned that any bid to shoot down its drones would constitute "an act of war".

Itsunori Onodera's comments are likely to further heighten fears that the two countries could be sliding towards conflict over the outcrops in the East China Sea. They come as China showed off its fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and as Japan readies for war games.

"I believe the intrusions by China in the territorial waters around the Senkaku islands fall in the 'grey zone' (between) peacetime and an emergency situation," Onodera told reporters in Tokyo.

The two sides have been at loggerheads over the island chain, which China claims and calls the Diaoyus, since Tokyo bought three of them from their private Japanese owner in September 2012.

Read the full story at SpaceDaily

News Story: WZ-10 Is A Starting Point, China Will Develop Heavy-Duty Armed Helicopter

PLA's WZ-10 Attack Helicopter (File Photo)

The development of Chinese armed helicopters as represented by the WZ-10 and WZ-19 continues to draw international attention. Du Wenlong, a military expert, responded to media questions by saying that WZ-10 was only a starting point and that China would go on to develop heavy-duty armed helicopters. 

When asked where the development of Chinese armed helicopters stands currently, Du Wenlong said that China's WZ-10 and WZ-19 should be seen as a revolution in Chinese armed helicopters for special purposes. Although we have had armed helicopters in the past, they were for general service. For example, the WZ-9 could serve as a transport and an attack helicopter, and also as a platform for other air missions. However, since the WZ-9 was based on upgrading a general armed helicopter, it could not meet special demands in such areas as attack, protection and electronics.

Read the full story at Defense-Unmanned

News Story: (US) Congress Plans Series of Asia Pacific Oversight Hearings


WASHINGTON — Almost two years after the Obama administration released a new “strategic guidance” that prioritized a shift of diplomatic and military focus to the Asia-Pacific region, Capitol Hill is finally taking notice.

And unlike the crippling partisan gridlock that makes budgets unpassable and recently shut down the federal government, legislators are approaching the issue in a bipartisan fashion.

A group of Democratic and Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) announced on Oct. 29 that the committee is kicking off what they’re calling the “Asia Pacific Oversight Series” to start digging into the White House’s strategic rebalance, and how Congress can provide oversight.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: India Plays Down Prospect Of Early Rafale Fighter Deal

NEW DELHI — India’s defense minister played down on Wednesday the prospects of a speedy conclusion to contract negotiations with France’s Dassault Aviation for the acquisition of 126 Rafale fighter jets.

Asked about recent reported comments from a senior air force figure that the deal might be signed by March, A. K. Antony replied that the contract had to go through numerous stages of scrutiny.

“How can I set a deadline?” Antony told reporters. “The process is on.”

He said he could not interfere with the Contract Negotiation Committee, which is reviewing the $12 billion contract designed to bolster India’s aging air defenses.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: China, Malaysia To Hold Joint Military Drills

KUALA LUMPUR — China and Malaysia will hold their first-ever joint military exercises next year, the Southeast Asian nation’s defense minister said Wednesday, despite their rival claims to the tense South China Sea.

The announcement by Hishammuddin Hussein, who is in Beijing to meet Chinese military leaders, follows a visit to Kuala Lumpur earlier this month by China’s President Xi Jinping, in which the two countries pledged closer ties.

“Malaysia and China are expected to launch our first joint exercise in 2014 after the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation was signed in 2005,” Hishammuddin said in a statement sent to AFP.

The statement gave no details on the planned drills such as their location, scale, or which military branches would be involved.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: India develops new tactical missile 'Pragati'

<< Prahaar missile on which the 'Pragati' is based (Wiki Info - Image: Wiki Commons

NEW DELHI (PTI): India has developed a new tactical surface-to-surface missile 'Pragati' with a range between 60-170 km and will offer it to friendly countries.

The new missile, now on display at a defence exhibition in South Korea, is based on the Prahaar missile developed by the DRDO for the Army and can be termed as its export variant with minor differences, a DRDO official said Tuesday.

The government has approved that it may be offered to friendly countries if anyone shows interest in it, he said.

The missile is the main exhibit of the DRDO which is showcasing an array of indigenous weapons at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX 2013).

Read the full story at Brahmand

News Story: Lockheed Martin eyes Singapore for Sea Herc

Gareth Jennings

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) could adopt the Lockheed Martin SC-130J Sea Herc in fulfilment of its long-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) requirement, a company official told IHS Jane's on 29 October.

Speaking at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) in South Korea, Steve Pigott, Director Business Development International Air Mobility Programs, said that Singapore represents the most promising near-term prospect for the MPA-variant Hercules as it looks to augment and later replace its current Fokker 50 MPA fleet.

"Singapore has a real need [for a long-range MPA], and we could provide both a Level 2 [anti-surface warfare] or Level 3 [anti-submarine warfare] capability with the SC-130J," he said.

Read the full story at IHS Jane's 360

Editorial: Pakistan to Begin Exporting JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets

JF-17 Thunder (Wiki Info - Image: Wiki Commons)
By Zachary Keck

Pakistan will begin exporting the JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter jet next year Pakistani media outlets reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials from the Ministry of Defense Production.
According to a report that appeared in multiple Pakistani newspapers, “The Pakistan Air Force has been assigned [a] target of exporting 5 to 7 JF-17 Thunder planes next year and discussions in this regard are under way with Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Qatar and other friendly countries.”
The JF-17 Thunder aircraft is a low-cost, single engine multirole fighter aircraft jointly developed by China and Pakistan. It is referred to as the FC-1 Xiaolong by China.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

30 October 2013

USA: Possible Foreign Military Sale to Singapore for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2013 – The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Oct. 25 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Singapore for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $96 million.

The Government of Singapore has requested a possible sale of 88 Unitary High Explosive (HE) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Pods with Tri-mode Fuse, and containers, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S Government and contractor engineering, logistics, and technical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $96 million

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by increasing the ability of the Republic of Singapore to contribute to regional security. The proposed sale will improve the security of a strategic partner which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia Pacific region.

News Story: US Think-Tank - North Korea Upgrading Main Launch Site

SEOUL — North Korea has undertaken major construction work at its main missile launch site, possibly to cater to larger and more mobile weapons, a US think-tank said Tuesday.

Satellite images taken earlier this month suggest construction of a second flat mobile launch pad at the Sohae missile site, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University posted on its 38 North website.

Work has also been carried out on Sohae’s main launch pad, “possibly to upgrade that facility to handle future larger rockets,” the post said.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Cobra Crash Serious Blow For Pakistan Army

A Cobra Gunship (Image - Wiki Commons)


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts suffered a serious blow yesterday with the loss of an AH-1F Cobra gunship. The fleet is aging fast as it is heavily deployed in harsh terrain along the border with Afghanistan.

A report by the Associated Press of Pakistan quoted the military’s Inter Service Press Release (ISPR) media arm saying the helicopter had made a forced landing near the town of Rahwali after a “technical fault.”

The two crew members were said to have suffered slight injuries, and were taken to nearby Central Military Hospital, Gujranwala. The crash site was secured by local police and Army personnel.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Software Innovations Boost Australian UAV Tracking Capabilities

Australian operated Shadow 200 UAV (File Photo)


MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Innovations by Australian software companies have improved the military’s ability to track targets in difficult environment and rapidly disseminate data to analysts and deployed units.

More recently, Sentient Vision Systems and General Dynamics (GD) Mediaware combined forces to develop capabilities for UAVs to spot hard-to-see targets and to provide near real-time data analysis.

Sentient first developed its Kestrel Land MTI software under an Australian Defence Force Capability and Technology Demonstrator program in 2008 for use with the Boeing/Insitu ScanEagle UAVs, then being used in Afghanistan. Today, it is used on the Australian Army’s AAI RQ-7B Shadow 200 unmanned systems in theater, as well as the fixed-wing Lockheed Martin AP-3C Orions flown by the Air Force.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: India to Bolster UAV Fleet for Border Surveillance


NEW DELHI — India plans to spend more than US $2 billion in the next five years to boost its UAV fleet, including mini UAVs, and sharpen its border surveillance, intelligence and communications capabilities.

More than a dozen domestic private-sector players are eyeing the mini-UAV market, while the Defence Research and Development Organisation concentrates on developing high-altitude, long-endurance; vertical takeoff; medium-altitude, long-endurance; and combat UAVs.

The Army this month floated a tender to acquire 49 UAVs to be used for real-time intelligence and surveillance, to detect human or vehicular movement, target recognition and identification, and electronic intelligence and communication intelligence.

The tender has been sent to private Indian companies Idea Forge, Dynamatrics, Hi-tech Robotics, Ufcon, Omnipresent Technologies, Datapattern, Tata Advance Systems and state-owned Bharat Electronics.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Vietnam to Get Russian ‘Black Hole’ Sub Next Month

RIA NovostiVarshavyanka class diesel-electric submarineVietnam to Get Russian ‘Black Hole’ Sub Next Month
22:44 28/10/2013 Vietnam will next month take delivery of a Russian submarine dubbed “a black hole in the ocean” by the US Navy for its undetectability when submerged, a military industry source told RIA Novosti on Monday.>> Read the full story HERE <<

Editorial: Why Don’t Allies Trust the US?

By Zachary Keck

A series of events in recent weeks has created a widespread narrative that the U.S. is an unreliable ally and a weak partner.
First, the U.S. government shutdown forced President Barack Obama to cancel his trip to a couple of Asia summits. Then, new Edward Snowden leaks revealed that the National Security Agency has been spying on up to 35 world leaders, including top U.S. allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Both events take place against a backdrop of concerns about U.S. credibility from top Middle East allies, most notably Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both countries are fearful that Washington will cut a deal with Iran over its nuclear program, and have taken exception to the Obama administration backing down on its various threats against the Assad regime in Syria.
Taken together, the general sentiment was summarized succinctly by former Vice President Dick Cheney, when he observed that “our friends no longer count on us, no longer trust us and our adversaries don’t fear us.”

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: What We Don’t Know About Drones

By Cameron Paxton

The gaps in public understanding of the effects of drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere was made clear during a presentation given by Pakistani journalist Kiran Nazish, at O. P. Jindal Global University near Delhi. The talk, called, “Drone Attacks on Pakistan: The impact on Humanitarian Life and the Legal Debate,” was moderated by Dr. Robert Barnidge Jr., Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the University, and author of The Liberal Way of War.
On hand was an international audience that included Indians, Africans, Nepalese, Canadians and Americans, all with their own perspectives on drone warfare. Most quickly realized, however, how little they understood about the repercussions of drone strikes in Pakistan and the humanitarian and legal dynamics.
Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: Philippines Should Apologize for False Scarborough Claims

By Carl Thayer

On September 3, Philippine Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin presented aerial photographs taken of Scarborough Shoal to a congressional hearing. These photographs were taken by the Philippines Air Force a few days earlier and showed what appeared to be thirty concrete blocks, two vertical posts and a white bouy in the lagoon.
Secretary Gazmin speculated that the concrete blocks “could be a prelude to construction” and were a violation of the 2002 Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
A day later, the Department of National Defense reported that new photographs had identified a total of 75 concrete blocks at Scarborough Shoal. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto del Rosario announced that the Philippines intended to file a diplomatic protest with China.
An official Chinese spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to a question about the concrete blocks by stating, “what the Philippine side said is not true.” China released its own photographs of Scarborough Shoal showing the tips of rocks jutting out of the sea at high tide.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: China’s Expanding Cabbage Strategy

By Harry Kazianis

In one of the best pieces on the subject in recent years, the New York Timesmagazine released what can best be described as an interactive feast regarding the delicate subject of the South China Sea. Beneath all the interactive maps, previously unreleased photos and eye-catching video were some interesting aspects of China’s strategy regarding this disputed area that is sure to be of interest to Asia hands.
The article itself is certainly worth your time just for the sheer artistic quality in which this important issue is covered. Sticking to the business at hand, there was one specific section that caught my eye. The piece notes comments from PLA General Zhang Zhaozhong regarding what is being called China’s “cabbage strategy.” The Times describes it as “surrounding a contested area with so many boats — fishermen, fishing administration ships, marine surveillance ships, navy warships” that the disputed island is essentially wrapped like layers of cabbage. A friend of mine has another name for this strategy: small-stick diplomacy.
While General Zhang is not one to shy away from controversial statements, the actual idea is nothing new and has made the pages of many other publications. Yet, looking at Chinese actions over the last two years or so, one has to wonder whether such a cabbage strategy has moved into a more active phase beyond the South China Sea and into even more deadly waters.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: Al-Qaeda in Xinjiang Autonomous Region?

By Zachary Keck

On Monday an SUV carrying three individuals drove through Tiananmen Square, killing themselves and two others while injuring scores more.
It was initially unclear whether the incident was an accident or a deliberate attack. Although China has kept tight-lipped about the incident, Reuters is reporting, citing unnamed Chinese officials, that Beijing now believes that it was a suicide attack. Reuters asserts that Chinese authorities believe the assailants were from China’s restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and they are currently searching for two Uyghurs in connection with the attack.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: China’s Pivot West

By Ankit Panda

China has begun “Marching Westwards” in Asia. The consequences could be huge.

Here at The Diplomat, we’ve devoted extensive attention to covering China’s many sources of friction in the Asia-Pacific region, ranging from Japan, to the Philippines and, of course, to India. Fortunately, it may have been the case that booming trade and economic promise have been the glue keeping the Asia-Pacific largely peaceful for so long despite the rise of China: an often-assertive superpower.
Nonetheless, experts hardly manage to get through a conversation on China’s relationship with Japan, South Korea, ASEAN or India without referring to what these countries might be doing to “hedge” against a potential downturn in relations with China. On the contrary, China’s “hedge” in the region is less well understood and it is best captured in its “Marching Westwards” policy – its very own pivot to Eurasia.

Read the full 2 page story at The Diplomat

29 October 2013

Think Tank: Mapping the nine-dash line - recent incidents involving Indonesia in the South China Sea

By Scott Bentley

In a recent post here on The Strategist, Benjamin Schreer spoke of China’s ‘Achilles heel’ in Southeast Asia: its unwillingness to compromise in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. This is an excellent point and undoubtedly true, as concerns over China’s claims are longstanding in the region, though it’s also important to emphasise the ongoing incidents at sea as a driving factor in the strategic perceptions of ASEAN. In other words, it’s not just China’s claims that cause concern in Southeast Asia—it’s China’s seeming willingness and intention to enforce these claims that’s currently driving anxiety in ASEAN capitals.

While incidents between China and claimants such as Vietnam and the Philippines in the northern part of the South China Sea have received their fair share of publicity (and rightfully so), there have also been a number of less publicised incidents in the south involving Malaysia and Indonesia. As the Director of Intelligence and Information Operations at US Pacific Command, Captain James Fannell observed earlier this year: ‘If you map out their (China’s) harassments, you will see that they form a curved front that has over time expanded out against the coast of China’s neighbours, becoming the infamous nine-dashed line.’

Think Tank: India Brazil Expand Defence Cooperation

Indian AirForce EMB-145 AEW&C Aircraft built by Embraer

India Brazil are gradually expanding defence cooperation. This is evident from the Agreed Minutes of the Sixth Meeting of the Brazil-India Joint Commission on Political, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation signed on October 15, 2013 during the visit of Indian Minister of External Affairs, Salman Khurshid to Brasilia for the Sixth Brazil-India Joint Commission Meeting on 14 and 15 October.

AUS: Battle Tanker is Back

HMAS Success sails past Sydney's iconic Fort Dennison

LEUT Joseph McKay (author), 
ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

HMAS Success returned to sea on 25 October and has commenced Sea Qualification Trials and a Unit Readiness workup package.

The significant milestone marked the end of a complex refit package, which included an extensive docking, considerable engineering plant overhaul and structural work.

Commander Australian Fleet RADM Tim Barrett, AM, CSC, RAN and Commander Surface Force CDRE Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN were on the wharf to farewell the ship, and were visibly proud of what their personnel and supporting agencies had achieved.

The crew enjoyed a period of calm reflection as Success sailed through the harbour on a picturesque Sydney day, relishing in the end result of their efforts.

USA: First Multilateral Sapper 13 Exercise Closes in Timor-Leste

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Fahey

<< U.S. Navy Seabee Navy Lt. Brent Oglesby, the officer-in-charge of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3’s Construction Civic Action Detail in Timor-Leste, receives a tais, or scarf, from a Timorese girl during an official ribbon cutting ceremony and close of the 28-day Sapper 13 exercise. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Fahey)

METRINARO, Timor-Leste - Nearly 200 American, Australian and Timorese watched as the Duyung community located in Timor-Leste’s Metinaro province received a three-classroom school house, playground and related support facilities, during an official ribbon cutting ceremony held Monday, Oct. 28.

The ribbon cutting marked the end of Sapper 13 – a multilateral exercise designed to increase interoperability between U.S. Navy Seabees, U.S. Marine Corps combat engineers, Royal Australian Engineers and engineers from the Timor-Leste Defense Force.

This was the first year an exercise of its kind was executed in Timor-Leste.

USA: U.S., New Zealand Announce Expanded Defense Cooperation

By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2013 – The United States and New Zealand today announced a resumption of military-to-military contacts as part of expanded defense cooperation that will see the first visit by a New Zealand naval vessel to an American port in more than three decades.

The announcement followed a meeting at the Pentagon between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his New Zealand counterpart, Jonathan Coleman.

Hagel told reporters significant progress had been made in the defense relationship since both countries signed a declaration last year setting out expanded cooperation. The enhanced ties will include the first joint defense policy talks in almost 30 years.

“We look forward to continuing to deepen our defense cooperation in the future,” Hagel said during a Pentagon news conference, with Coleman alongside. “Near-term steps include military-to-military talks next month in Honolulu, New Zealand’s deployment of a frigate to the multinational antipiracy coalition in the Gulf of Aden, and the United States’ upcoming participation in what will be New Zealand’s largest ever multinational and interagency exercise.”


Darussalam Class OPV (Same type as KDB Darulaman)

MUARA, Monday 28 Oct 2013 – After completed a 52-day deployment, KDB DARULAMAN has safely arrived at Muara Naval Base this afternoon after participating in ADMM Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (ADMM PLUS MS FTX) in Jervis Bay and Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review (RAN IFR) in Sydney, both in Australia earlier this month.

Welcoming the arrival of KDB DARULAMAN was First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Abdul Halim bin Haji Mohd Hanifah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy.

ADMM PLUS MS FTX is one of the initiatives taken by the ADMM PLUS members to strengthen and improve the collaboration and understanding between respective members in overcoming the maritime security challenges which was co-hosted by Australia and Malaysia. The exercise was mainly maritime interdiction operations but also includes boarding exercises and Critical Contact Of Interest (CCOI) tracking. It was then followed by International Fleet Review hosted by Royal Australian Navy so as to mark the 100th year anniversary of first RAN Fleet ships coming into Sydney Harbour.

India: Western Fleet of Indian Navy Manoeuvers in Littorals Off Gujarat and Maharashtra

INS Teg (Talwar class) Frigate (File Photo)

A large scale annual operational exercise of the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy will conclude tomorrow off the littorals of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The week long exercise termed ‘Defence of Gujarat Exercise’ tested the operational readiness of the Western Naval Command in relation to littoral combat and the defence of vital offshore assets in the northern coastal states of Western seaboard of India. 

In addition to large ship’s like Delhi class destroyers, Teg and Godavari class frigates operating under the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF) the exercise also involved a large number of vessels of the local flotilla including potent missile vessels of the 22nd Killer Squadron, Patrol Vessels and Minesweepers operating under the Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area (FOMAG). Coast Guard Patrol Vessels, integrated into the operations played a key part in providing multiple layers of defensive surveillance. In addition to ships, the exercise also witnessed intense flying activity by the TU 142Ms, IL-38SDs, IN and CG Dorniers and Searcher and Heron UAVs. 

Industry: Rockwell Collins successfully delivers and supports installation of new fixed site V/UHF radios for United States Air Force in the Republic of Korea

SEOUL (Oct. 29, 2013) – Rockwell Collins has successfully completed the delivery and installation support of the company’s new 721S Fixed Site Ground V/UHF Radios providing  advanced networked ground communications in this region of the world. Through a contract awarded by the U.S. Air Force 621st Air Control Squadron, Rockwell Collins provided multiple next generation radio systems, including ancillary equipment and training. The radios are located at various sites throughout the Republic of South Korea and are part of an integrated communications upgrade recently initiated by the U.S. Air Force.

The 721S radio, a drop-in, software-defined radio replacement for the legacy Rockwell Collins AN/GRC-171 communications system, requires only five minutes to install, weighs 60 percent less than its predecessor and offers updated technology.  It is fully interoperable with legacy radios in use by coalition forces and includes a new remote control feature that allows customers to upgrade their installations for "lights out" operation, reducing manpower needs.  The radio also features Rockwell Collins’ patented Clarity™ technology, which eliminates background noise in both transmit and receive modes and provides four times the communications coverage compared to legacy radios.

The U.S. Air Force is the first customer in the region to receive the new 721S radio.

Industry: Korea Aerospace Industries selects Rockwell Collins HF-9000 radio system for the South Korea Marine Helicopter

SEOUL (Oct. 29, 2013) – The Rockwell Collins HF-9000 high-frequency radio system has been selected by Korea Aerospace Industries for the Republic of Korea Marine Helicopter program. The system will be used for voice communication, primarily during Navy amphibious missions. 

“This contract marks the first time that a Republic of Korea helicopter program will feature the advanced technology of the HF-9000,” said Rich Eisenhart, vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific, Rockwell Collins. “Rockwell Collins has established a reputation as a worldwide leader in airborne communications over the past 75 years and we look forward to providing the system’s high levels of reliability and advanced capabilities to this program.”

The HF-9000 high-frequency radio system is designed for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Its antenna coupler offers full operational capability at extreme altitudes and temperatures, while maximizing the radiated high-frequency signal power. The system stores 50 manually tuned frequencies and can learn and store tuning data for 99 preset channels.

The initial contract is comprised of two hardware ship sets, on-site training, and documentation.  Follow-on production orders are anticipated in 2016.

News Story: Malaysian Ministry of Defence Confirms Construction of Gowind ships for LCS program

Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation BHD (BHIC) announced in early october that its associate company Boustead Naval Shipyard has received confirmation from the Malaysian Ministry of Defence on a 10 year contract worth RM9 billion to build six Second Generation Patrol Vessel (SGPV) as part of the Malaysian Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.

“The company wishes to inform that on Oct 1, 2013, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BN Shipyard) has received an amended letter of acceptance dated Sept 27, 2013, from the Ministry of Defence Malaysia for the contract to design, construct, equip, test and deliver six units of second-generation patrol vessels with combatant capabilities for the Royal Malaysian Navy,” BHIC said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Read the full story at Navy Recognition

News Story: Pakistan to sell JF-17 fighter jets to Sri-Lanka

JF-17 Thunder (Wiki Info - Image: Wiki Commons)

According to Daily Mirror from Sri-Lanka, Pakistan has decided to start sale of state of the art JF-17, Thunder combat planes developed by the collaboration of China to several other countries including to Sri Lanka from next year, Pakistan’s The Nations news agency reported.

Pakistan Defence ministry Production sources said as many as 42 JF-17 Thunder planes have been developed so far under joint venture with China.

Read the full story at Air Recognition