31 March 2016

Think Tank: The US Asian pivot and Australia’s role (part 2)

Kim Beazley

Washington in 2010—one year into the Obama Administration, still mired in the fall-out of the global financial crisis and troubled by Afghanistan and Iraq—didn’t provide fallow ground for new commitments in the Asia–Pacific. A new posture in Asia had its supporters and its sceptics.

In DC, the Administration subjected me to a hostile full-court press. On the Asian Community initiative, the White House was convinced we were talking above ourselves. Our Asian friends derided the idea and our place to raise it. We pushed back. We were aware of the problems. The Americans needed to understand that a key part of our motivation was to find a structure that would embed them in the region’s politics and economy. It was about them, not us. If not the Community, then the US should seek membership of the East Asian Summit. Australian government pressure for US engagement became relentless from that point.

AUS: HMAS Canberra returns from Fiji

HMAS Canberra off the Fijian coast launches a MRH-90
HMAS Canberra returns to Australia today following its successful maiden deployment to Fiji in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Following a request from the Fijian Government, HMAS Canberra was deployed to Fiji on 1 March to deliver much needed humanitarian aid and assistance.  

HMAS Canberra was loaded with 60 tonnes of emergency relief supplies, three MRH-90 helicopters and around 760 Australian Defence Force personnel including engineers, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. Australian forces worked closely with Fijian authorities to conduct recovery efforts and engineering assessments. 

At the request of the Fijian Government, around 200 Defence personnel will remain as a Suva-based humanitarian assistance and disaster relief force. Four MRH-90 helicopters from Townsville’s 5th Aviation Regiment will also remain to support Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office. 

HMAS Canberra will unload Queensland-based personnel and equipment in Brisbane today before arriving in Sydney later this week.

We thank the families of the men and women deployed to Fiji under Operation Fiji Assist for their support. 

USA: HM-14, ROK Navy Practice Mine Countermeasures

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jermaine M. Ralliford

Sailors assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) prepare an MK-105 Magnetic Mine Sweeping System for aircraft mine countermeasures training during Foal Eagle. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Jermaine M. Ralliford) >>

POHANG, Republic of Korea - Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron (HM) 14, Detachment 2A, participated in mine countermeasure (MCM) training during exercise Foal Eagle, March 29.

Foal Eagle is a series of joint and combined field training exercises conducted by Combined Forces Command (CFC) and U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) ground, air, naval and special operations component commands operating alongside Republic of Korea forces.

“One of the biggest opportunities we have is the ability to jointly-train with our Republic of Korea counterparts,” said Lt. Cmdr. Seth J. Ervin, HM-14 Detachment 2A’s officer-in-charge.

USA: US 7th Fleet, Sri Lanka Enhance Bilateral Cooperation

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Indra Bosko, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (NNS) -- Senior military leaders from U.S. 7th Fleet and the Sri Lanka navy and air force met to discuss operational topics aboard the Fleet's flagship USS Blue Ridge, March 29.

Sixteen officials from Sri Lanka attended the bilateral meeting hosted by 7th Fleet, designed to share knowledge and discuss lessons learned within the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

"I hope that we can have something constructive so that we can follow up for months and years to come," said Director General Operation for Sri Lanka Navy Rear Adm. Dharmendra Wettewa, who attended the bilateral meeting.

There were also discussions about potential bilateral training between the U.S. and Sri Lanka during Pacific Partnership, a joint effort between the United States, foreign militaries, and other organizations to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian and civic assistance, as well as veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support. 

Industry: Northrop Grumman Australia, HTC Corporation Collaborate to Develop Secure Smartphone Solutions

CANBERRA, Australia, March 30, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman M5 Network Security, an Australian subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), has announced an agreement with HTC Corporation, a global innovator in smart mobile devices and technology.

With corporate, critical infrastructure and government organisations concerned about the increasingly hostile cybersecurity environment, the collaboration between Northrop Grumman and HTC will bring together market-leading capabilities to set a new standard of data security for mobile devices. The collaboration will enable the continued development of next-generation secure devices, enabling users to access highly sensitive data through intuitive applications on smartphones.

Industry: India to acquire Raytheon Stinger missiles

Air-to-air Stinger will add firepower to India's new combat helicopters

TUCSON, Ariz., March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Indian Ministry of Defence has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense to acquire Stinger air-to-air missiles made by Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN). As part of the deal, India will receive 245 Stinger air-to-air missiles, along with launchers and engineering support.

"India joins nations around the globe who recognize that air-to-air Stinger can be a key component of attack and light attack helicopter mission configurations," said Duane Gooden, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president. "Stinger significantly improves the ability of the aircraft to successfully perform today's missions while countering existing threats." 

Combat-proven in four major conflicts, Stinger has more than 270 fixed- and rotary-wing intercepts to its credit. It is deployed in 19 nations and with all four U.S. military services.

India's Stinger acquisition is part of a $3.1 billion deal with the U.S. that includes combat helicopters, weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites. 

About Stinger

The combination of supersonic speed, agility, highly accurate guidance and control system and lethal warhead gives Stinger the operational edge against all classes of helicopters, UAVs, cruise missiles, and fixed-wing aircraft. Stinger not only has a surface-to-air capability from land and sea, but also an air-to-air capability that can be integrated into most fixed- or rotary-wing platforms.

Industry: James Fisher Defence to design, build and supply two complete submarine rescue systems

Recovering the James Fisher Defence LR5 submarine
rescue vehicle during Australian Navy exercise
Black Carillon 2011-1
JFD, the leading global subsea operations and engineering company and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, today announced that it has been awarded a £193m contract by the Indian Navy for the provision and long term support of its submarine rescue capability.

The contract includes the design, build and supply of two complete submarine rescue systems, and a 25-year all inclusive annual maintenance contract. This further enhances JFD’s worldwide submarine rescue service presence following last year’s announcement award of a £12.1m contract by the UK Ministry of Defence for operation of the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS). With this additional contract, JFD will be delivering submarine rescue services to 6 of the most advanced navies in the world confirming the company's leadership in this elite niche.

Industry: SAAB and Ashok Leyland to manufacture truck simulators in India

Indian Army Ashok Leyland Stallion 4x4 Truck
(Image: Wiki Commons)
Defence and security company Saab and Ashok Leyland have joined hands to manufacture Truck Simulators in India under the Make in India concept. The two companies signed a teaming agreement in the end of 2015. The simulator is based in original Ashok Leyland cabin with Saab simulation technology integrated.

The simulator is developed on the Ashok Leyland Stallion 4x4 vehicle, the most widely used in the armed forces and paramilitary forces. The simulator will bring in a drastic change in drivers' skills development. It enables the driver to drive and operate the Ashok Stallion vehicle in different terrains, different weather conditions and under all types of potential day to day challenges. The simulator combines the Ashok Stallion cabin realism with a powerful motion base, 4K computer graphic visualisation for total trainee immersion.

News Report: China Defends Deployment of Anti-Ship Missiles to South China Sea Island

A People’s Liberation Army Y-62 missile test
launch during development
By: Sam LaGrone

Beijing is defending the deployment of anti-ship cruise missiles to Woody Island in the South China Sea, according to a Wednesday statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

“China’s deployment of national defense facilities on its own territory is reasonable and justified,” ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Wednesday.

“It has nothing to do with the so-called militarization.”

Last week, several international news outlets reported the Chinese fired an YJ-62 cruise missile from Woody Island based on images that emerged on the Chinese language Internet.

Woody Island is part of China’s disputed holdings in the Paracel Island off the coast of Vietnam. In the last few months, China has moved more offensive military hardware to the chain Beijing has controlled since the early 1970s.

Interview: Adm. Tomohisa Takei, Chief of Staff, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force

DDH183 Izumo Helicopter Carrier/Destroyer
Christopher P. Cavas

Mindful of the past, Japan straddles the lanes of armed deterrence, staunchly supporting the US while striving to avoid an aggressive stance. But in an increasingly dangerous neighborhood, where China challenges Japan in the Senkaku Islands, North Korea is constantly rattling nerves and a resurgent Russia remains a question mark, the Japanese military is clearly on a heightened state of alert.

Japan continues to steadily modernize its naval and military forces. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is fielding two new 24,000-ton helicopter-carrying destroyers and building up its Aegis ballistic missile defense fleet. Soryu-class submarines with advanced propulsion are being delivered annually, and new Kawasaki P-1 aircraft are replacing older US-built P-3C Orions in the maritime surveillance role.

Takei spoke with Defense News in February at his headquarters in Tokyo. He spoke both in English and through a translator.

How do you characterize your relationship with the American Navy?

The relationship between the US Navy — especially the Seventh Fleet — and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force is a core for the Japan-US alliance and also the core of the peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. The good relationship between the US Navy and JMSDF could become a basis for the further maritime relationship, for example US-Japan-Australia, US-Japan-India, US-Japan-South Korea as well.

So I would like to keep and enhance the relationship with the US Navy. In April last year, the Japan-US agreement for defense cooperation was revised, improving our peacetime cooperation and enhancing our deterrence capability. The cooperation with the US military, including the US Marine Corps and especially the US Navy — which is the core of the US-Japan alliance — is very indispensable for Japan to ensure peace and stability in this region. This close cooperation between the JMSDF and the US Navy is created by interaction over the last 60 years.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Israel’s State-Owned Defense Firms Hail Ties With India

Barbara Opall-Rome

TEL AVIV — Israel’s top two state-owned firms are flagging strengthened ties to the Indian market, with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) reporting “hundreds of millions of dollars” in deals during the past quarter while Rafael is establishing a joint venture with one of India’s largest conglomerates.

In remarks Wednesday at the Indian Defexpo 2016 trade show in Goa, India, IAI President and CEO Yossi Weiss cited the firm’s 25 years of activities in the Indian market in support of Indian government customers.

He noted that IAI executives met with dozens of top Indian officials and partners during this week’s event, and that IAI has registered “hundreds of millions of dollars” in sales spanning UAV, air defense, radar and naval warfare sectors.

“The deals that were signed in the last months are a manifestation of the central and prominent partnership between India and IAI,” Weiss said, according to a statement released by his firm.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Ukraine Pitches To Break Russian Monopoly in India

INS Vikramaditya
Vivek Raghuvanshi

GOA, India — Ukraine has launched an aggressive effort to manage multiple overloaded armaments and weaponry that New Delhi acquired during the Soviet era and which have become a liability for the Indian defense forces.

Armed with the salutations of a government-level delegation (to negate the strains in the relationship between the two countries since Ukraine sold T-80 U tanks to Pakistan in the early 1990s) and with over a dozen defense companies showcasing new programs at Defexpo, Ukraine is attempting to embrace India and break the Russian monopoly on the Soviet-era platforms.

Perto Fedoruk, chief adviser to Ukraine’s largest defense industry consortium, Ukroboronprom, said: “We are here now [in] India for the long term to manage Soviet-era headaches, which India cannot manage alone.”

“For nearly a decade Russia has forcefully blocked our entry," Fedoruk said. "We have offered multiple solutions to give new life to Soviet-era weaponry [with Indian defense forces], as we are the original equipment manufacturer.”

According to a Ukrainian diplomat, “India cannot resolve the headaches of overloaded Soviet-era platforms without Ukraine."

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Japan's PM defends new security laws as protesters denounce them

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that new security laws that took effect Tuesday will strengthen Tokyo's ability to defend itself amid increasing threats as opponents took to the streets to say they risk hurling the country into war.

Legislators in September passed the bills into law, a shift that could see Japanese troops fight abroad for the first time since the end of World War II.

The approval was a milestone in Japan, where a constitution imposed by the United States after Japan's defeat renounces its sovereign right to wage war.

That clause, known as Article 9, is unchanged, but staunch nationalist Abe wants to revise the constitution to throw off what he and many conservatives see as outdated foreign-imposed constraints that hinder Japan from playing a more robust role in regional and global affairs.

"The security environment surrounding our country is becoming more severe," Abe told a nationally televised news conference, citing threats including from nearby North Korea, which this year has carried out fresh nuclear and ballistic rocket launches.

"No country in the world can protect itself alone," he added.

Read the full story at SpaceDaily

News Story: THAAD deployment in ROK is strategic issue instead of technical matter - FM spokesperson

BEIJING, March 30 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday reiterated its opposition to the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), an advanced U.S. missile defense system, in the Republic of Korea (ROK).

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Tuesday he hoped China would accept the offer to attend a technical briefing on the new missile defense system the United States wants to deploy in the ROK.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Afghan conflicts claim 19 lives in 24 hours

KABUL, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Afghan militancy and counter-militancy have claimed 19 lives including 11 militants and seven security personnel in the country over the past 24 hours, officials said Wednesday.

Government forces in crackdown against Taliban outfit in the northern Kunduz province have claimed the lives of 11 militants over the past 24 hours, an army spokesman in the province Nasratullah Jamshidi said.

"The security forces have killed 11 armed rebels in several villages outside provincial capital the Kunduz city and Dasht-e-Archi district since Tuesday morning," Jamshidi told Xinhua.

There was no casualty on security personnel, the official contended.

Backed by helicopters, the operations would last until militants are wiped out from the area, the official added.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: India to seal border with Bangladesh in state of Assam to stop infiltration

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) personnel
patrol India-Bangladesh border
NEW DELHI, March 30 (Xinhua) -- India said Wednesday that it would seal the border with Bangladesh in the northeastern state of Assam in a bid to stop infiltration.

Assam shares only 263 km of the 4096-km border between India and Bangladesh.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that he had visited the India-Bangladesh border a couple of months back and held "talks with the Bangladesh government".

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Sri Lanka recovers second stock of explosives from former war zone

COLOMBO, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan police on Wednesday recovered a stock of explosives in the north of the country hours after a suicide jacket had been discovered at another location.

Police Spokesperson Ruwan Gunesekara said that several explosives including small bombs and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher had been discovered from an abandoned well in Mannar in the north after police had conducted a search operation in the area.

Gunesekara said that the explosives are believed to have been hidden by the Tamil Tiger rebels during the war period and after obtaining a court order, the army had destroyed it.

Police had earlier on Wednesday recovered a suicide jacket and explosives from a house in Chavakachcheri, also in the north, sparking concerns from opposition parliamentarians that the Tamil Tiger rebels may try to regroup.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: U.S. encouraged by China's leadership on nuclear security - Obama aide

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- An advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday spoke highly of a nuclear security center recently opened in China, saying the United States is encouraged by China's leadership in the realm.

Earlier this month, the Nuclear Security Center of Excellence, the largest nuclear security center in the Asia-Pacific region, which was financed by both governments, opened in Beijing.

"We're really quite encouraged by the leadership that China is beginning to show in the nuclear security realm, not only in managing its own material but in creating a platform for cooperation regionally and internationally through the Center of Excellence that it's been carrying out," Laura Holgate, special assistant to Obama and a senior director at the National Security Council, said at a briefing in Washington ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit slated for Thursday and Friday.

Calling the launch of the center a "milestone" in the history of U.S.-China nuclear cooperation, Holgate said the United States is pleased with the role China is showing in terms of cooperating with other countries internationally on the nuclear security issue.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Sri Lanka recovers suicide jacket and explosives in former war zone

COLOMBO, March 30 (Xinhua)-- Sri Lanka on Wednesday recovered a suicide jacket and explosives from a house in Chavakachcheri located in the north of the country.

Chavakachcheri was a battle ground when Sri Lanka fought Tamil Tiger rebels for 30 years before the war ended in 2009.

The Tamil Tigers used suicide bombers to attack targets in the north and in capital Colombo.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: S.Korean fighter jet crashes, no casualty reported

An F-16 Fighting Falcon (File Photo)
SEOUL, March 30 (Xinhua)-- A South Korean fighter jet on Wednesday crashed in the southeastern region, with no casualty reported, Yonhap news agency reported citing the military.

The KF-16 combat plane went down at about 4 p.m. (0700 GMT) in the southeastern county of Cheongsong for an unidentified reason. The Air Force formed a task force to investigate the incident.

Two pilots successfully ejected from the falling plane. At the site, fire broke out after the crash.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: New Zealand steps up aid for rebuild of cyclone-battered Fiji

WELLINGTON, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government on Wednesday trebled its total aid package to help rebuild public infrastructure in cyclone-battered Fiji.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced an additional package of 10 million NZ dollars (6.85 million U.S. dollars), saying the impact of Cyclone Winston last month was widespread and the task of restoring infrastructure would be long and expensive.

New Zealand navy supply ship HMNZS Canterbury's original deployment had also been extended and it would remain in the area until mid-April to support construction tasks by the New Zealand Defence Force in the northern Lau Islands.

Read the full story at Xinhua

30 March 2016

Think Tank: The US Asian pivot and Australia’s role (part 1)

Kim Beazley

The importance of the ‘rules-based global order’ as a defence priority appears as frequently in Defence White Paper 2016 as ‘self-reliance’ did in Defence White Paper 1987. It’s the leitmotif of the publication.

Multiple challenges from state and non-state actors are identified throughout DWP 2016. The ‘rules based order’ rationale underpins the equal priority extended to global commitments as a force structure determinant for the ADF with the more traditional focus on the defence of Australia’s approaches. The rationale’s emergence deserves some analysis, particularly when it comes to Australian involvement with the US rebalance to Asia. The saliency of the concept of the ‘rules-based order’ wasn’t a product of an allied imperative—it’s as much a product of Australia’s efforts to influence American strategy.

The origins of the saliency of a priority, given the ‘rules-based order’, don’t lie in the multiple challenges to it identified in DWP 2016. It lies in one of them; the strong pursuit by China of its claims in the South China Sea. It has become the crucial moral/legal rationale legitimising American-led demonstrations of freedom of navigation rights against assertions by states in the region attempting to unilaterally assert maritime borders.

Think Tank: How might Indonesia manage the China challenge?

Lachlan Wilson

Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s strategy for reinforcing state sovereignty and strengthening maritime integrity is being tested with the latest incursion by Chinese fishing boats into Indonesian waters off the Natuna islands. Indonesian Minister for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Susi Pudjiastuti’s public criticism of China’s activities is the first step in what’s likely to become a series of reluctantly enacted but necessary responses from Jokowi’s administration—unlike in the past, Indonesia can’t afford to do otherwise.

This isn’t the first time Indonesia has had to contend with Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. Over the last four years, Jakarta’s attempts to enforce its fisheries’ laws by arresting Chinese fishermen operating illegally in Indonesia’s EEZ has led to a series of confrontations between the Chinese Fisheries Law Enforcement Command and Indonesian law enforcement vessels. Traditionally, Indonesia’s foreign ministry has tried to dismiss those engagements as minor in order to maintain its relationship with China.

Industry: Aegis Energised - Lockheed Martin Begins Testing and Integration on the Royal Australian Navy’s First Aegis-equipped Hobart Class Destroyer

This milestone represents a significant step towards Australia’s Hobart Class Destroyers joining the Aegis International fleet.

ADELAIDE, Australia, March 30, 2016 – Lockheed Martin’s Integrated Test Team (ITT) begins Aegis combat system integration and testing aboard the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) first Aegis-equipped Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), HOBART.

The Aegis Combat System testing will be facilitated by Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians who are responsible for testing the Aegis Combat System to ensure the equipment is properly installed and functional.

“The Lockheed Martin team has successfully brought Aegis to life,” said Rob Milligan, Lockheed Martin Australia, surface ships program lead. “Our team is dedicated to ensuring the successful delivery of HOBART’s Aegis capability to the Royal Australian Navy.”

Lockheed Martin anticipated the need for the future Australian domestic sustainment of Aegis on AWD several years prior to this event. Lockheed Martin used internal funds to develop specialist skills in the Aegis Combat System for our Australian AWD Program workforce.  “We strengthened the AWD test team which now includes experienced Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians from both Australia and the U.S. to conduct the Aegis combat systems integration,” Milligan added.

The Hobart-class destroyers are being built under Australia’s SEA 4000 program, which will ultimately deliver three advanced multirole ships. These ships will be Australia’s first ships to be equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Weapon System including the SPY-1D(V) radar. When paired with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, Aegis is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare. The RAN has received the Lockheed Martin Aegis Baseline 8 configuration, which integrates commercial-off-the-shelf technology and open architecture into the combat system.

“This milestone is a significant step towards an increase in the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime security capabilities through the seamless integration of the Aegis combat system to defend against advanced air, surface and subsurface threats,” said Commodore Craig Bourke, CSC, RAN Program Manager Air Warfare Destroyer “With more than 100 Aegis-equipped ships deployed worldwide, Australia is joining a family of allied nations that continues to push the boundaries of innovation with adaptable and affordable capabilities that meet the warfighter’s multi-mission needs.”

Lockheed Martin is the Aegis Combat Systems Integrator and engineering agent for the U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers and cruisers, Australian Air Warfare Destroyers, as well as a range of other international customers for both new construction and modernisations.  Lockheed Martin also provides the combat system engineering, integration and test for the U.S. Navy’s future frigate and Freedom class Littoral Combat Ship programs.

With more than 40 years of significant investment by the U.S. Navy and its allies, the Aegis Combat System is used globally by five navies, across seven ship classes. Lockheed Martin is the trusted Aegis Combat Systems Integration partner to governments around the world, enabling mission ready, combat capable ships affordably and timely to the fleet.

Industry: SAAB and Tata Power SED to jointly develop and manufacture self-protection systems for land based platforms in india

Defence and security company Saab and Indian company Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division (Tata Power SED) have started the process of manufacturing Self-Protection Systems for Land-based Platforms, for the Indian market and for export to Saab’s global market. The partnership will also involve joint development of the next generation Self-Protection System.

The process of Transfer of Technology for production of initial orders for Saab’s global customers has already commenced at Tata Power SED.’s facility in Bangalore. Tata Power SED will eventually manufacture a large part of the system in India and also do final assembly. Tata will also be responsible for marketing the system in India.

“Saab is fully committed to working with Indian industry to Make in India, and this partnership is another step in that direction. Tata Power SED’s strengths in Defence Electronics manufacturing are a perfect complement to Saab’s expertise in Electronic Warfare systems, sensors and self-protection systems for all domains”, says Jan Widerström, Chairman and Managing Director, Saab India Technologies.

Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS) 50 MK2 is a subset of an integrated and modular, active defense system consisting of a Laser Warning Segment (LWS) and Effector Control Segment (OSCS). The solution provides combat personnel with vital situational awareness on laser threats and countermeasure availability and areas of coverage/protection offered under dynamic conditions, allowing manual or fully automatic responses against threats.

“Tata Power SED is excited to be a part of this synergetic collaboration that has already been kicked off by Saab and us. Given the long-term potential for self-protection systems for combat vehicles, both in India and abroad, we see this collaboration with Saab as an important milestone in boosting India’s capabilities in building defence systems. It is perfectly aligned with the actual essence of “Make In India” initiatives being implemented by the Indian government”, says Rahul Chaudhry, CEO, Tata Power SED.

News Story: DPRK fires short-range projectile in show of force

SEOUL, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday fired a short-range projectile in an apparent show of force toward the ongoing U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises and sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

The projectile was launched at about 5:40 p.m. local time (0840 GMT) from the DPRK's eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the northeast region, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

It was believed to have been fired from the DPRK's new 300-mm multiple rocket launcher as it flew about 200 km.

Yonhap news agency cited the military authorities as saying that the projectile may have landed in a DPRK soil, not in east waters, as Pyongyang may have test-fired the projectile at a target on the ground to improve its precision strike capability.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Pakistan airs video statement of alleged Indian spy

ISLAMABAD, March 29 (Xinhua)-- Pakistani officials on Tuesday aired a video of an alleged Indian spy agent who was arrested last week in southwestern Balochistan province.

The man Kul Boshan Yadev, in a seven-minute video statement, said he was a"serving Indian Navy officer working for the Indian intelligence agency RAW."

The video was released at a joint press conference by Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid and the military spokesman, Lt. General Asim Saleem Bajwa in Islamabad.

The military spokesman said that the Indian national was tasked to"destabilize Pakistan, create unrest, sponsor terrorism and separatism in Balochistan."

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Over 600 terror suspects arrested after blast in Pakistan's Lahore

Pakistan school killings protests 2014
ISLAMABAD, March 29 (Xinhua) -- At least five terrorists were killed and over 600 suspects arrested in an extensive operation launched by security forces across Pakistan's eastern Punjab province following the Sunday's deadly suicide blast in the provincial capital of Lahore, local media reported on Tuesday.

At least 74 people including 29 children were killed and over 300 others injured in the blast that hit the crowded Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in downtown Lahore on Sunday evening. A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Local Urdu TV channel Dunya reported that the five terrorists, belonging to a banned militant group, were killed in two separate shootouts with security forces during the search operations in Rajanpur district and Muzaffargarh district in southern part of Punjab.

According to the reports, at least 250 suspects were detained in Sialkot district, 200 in Gujranwala, 80 in Faisalabad, 34 in Rahim Yar Khan, 18 in Kasur, 10 in Bhakkar, six in Attock and one in Bahawalpur, while several others were also arrested from other different districts of the province.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: UN atomic chief warns on 'nuclear terrorism'


The world needs to do more to prevent "nuclear terrorism", the head of the UN atomic watchdog has warned ahead of an important summit and in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks.

"Terrorism is spreading and the possibility of using nuclear material cannot be excluded," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano told AFP in an interview late Thursday.

"Member states need to have sustained interest in strengthening nuclear security," he said. "The countries which do not recognise the danger of nuclear terrorism is the biggest problem."

Amano's comments came before a summit of around 50 leaders in Washington on March 31-April 1 on ensuring that nuclear material in the world's roughly 1,000 atomic facilities are secured.

Highlighting the risks, in December Belgian police investigating the November 13 Paris terror attacks found 10 hours of video of the comings and goings of a senior Belgian nuclear official.

The material, filmed by a camera in bushes outside the official's home, was reportedly found at the property of Mohamed Bakkali, incarcerated in Belgium for his links to the Paris attackers.

One Belgian newspaper reported that the device was collected by none other than brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui -- two of the suicide bombers in this week's Brussels attacks.

Read the full story at SpaceDaily

News Story: Obama to discuss N. Korea threat with S. Korea, Japan leaders

US President Barack Obama will discuss the growing threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea at a meeting this week with the leaders of Japan and South Korea, the White House said Monday.

The trilateral sit-down on Thursday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye will take place on the sidelines of a wider nuclear security summit bringing together delegations from dozens of countries.

It has been scheduled for the same day Obama holds one-on-one talks with Xi Jinping, the president of North Korea's main diplomatic ally and economic benefactor, China.

"This meeting will be an opportunity for the three leaders to discuss common responses to the threat posed by North Korea and to advance areas of trilateral security cooperation in the region and globally," the White House said.

Read the full story at SpaceDaily

News Story: Chinese media laud hacker for US spying

Spying on the US is a service to China, state-run media said Wednesday, singing the praises of a man who confessed to hacking American defence contractors on Beijing's behalf.

Chinese national Su Bin, 50, pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from the companies, including plans for transport planes and fighter jets.

In a plea agreement filed Wednesday, he admitted to conspiring with two unnamed persons in China to try to acquire plans for F-22 and F-35 fighter jets and C-17 transport aircraft.

Boeing, the American airplane manufacturer, was among the companies hacked.

If he had done so, "we are willing to show our gratitude and respect for his service to our country", said an editorial in the Global Times, a nationalistic newspaper with close ties to the ruling Communist Party.

"On the secret battlefield without gunpowder, China needs special agents to gather secrets from the US," it added.

Read the full story at SpaceDaily

News Story: Indo-French Surface-to-Air Missile Unveiled at Defexpo

Vivek Raghuvanshi

GOA, India — India and France are showcasing a static mock-up of a vertical-launch short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) for naval applications at the MBDA stand at Defexpo.

India's state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and MBDA of France will jointly develop and build SRSAM systems in India to meet the requirements of the Indian Navy and other nations' navies.

SRSAM systems will replace the Indian Navy's Israeli Barak-1 air defense systems and its ageing Russian close-in weapon systems.

One DRDO scientist said the project is still awaiting the Indian government's blessing for final approval but declined to comment when the contract will be awarded.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Analysis – A Chinese Way of War

Wendell Minnick

CRS Warning for America’s China Watchers

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A new paper by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) warns of misreading Chinese tea leaves, such as the tendency of US-based China-watchers to use mirror imaging, ignore China’s lack of transparency and use of subterfuge, and the fact that the Chinese military advocates no differentiation between peace-time and war-time use of cyberwarfare.

Written by Ian E. Rinehart, a CRS analyst in Asian affairs, the report was released on March 24 for members of the US Congress. Entitled: “The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress,” Rinehart argues the US Congress must begin to examine “a Chinese way of war.”

These include numerous factors that are largely ignored in the US China-watching community that will greatly determine the winner of a war.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

29 March 2016

Think Tank: An underappreciated strategic option in North Asia

Tom Hanson

Continued Chinese maritime ‘gray zone aggression in the South China Sea (as well as further afield) requires that Australia make strategic choices now to avoid being militarily dominated or economically marginalised by Beijing in the future.

China is Australia’s largest trading partner, accounting for more than 25% of Australia’s total export market. The recently-concluded China–Australia Free Trade Agreement means that Australia has unprecedented access to Chinese markets for its agricultural produce, natural resource extraction industries and a range of service offerings. If Australia’s only concern was maintaining or expanding current levels of economic activity between the two countries, the question of whether or not to conduct a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea would be self-evident.

But Australia has much more at stake than balance sheets, and therefore a more problematic set of choices to confront. The greatest challenge for the Turnbull Government and its successors is how to create manoeuvre space between the two superpowers and thus avoid the fate of either tributary state or ‘expendable ally’.

Think Tank: Sea, air and land updates (29-MAR-2016)

Australian Collins class Submarine
Dione Hodgson, Ashleigh Sharp and Lachlan Wilson

Sea State

Tensions in the South China Sea continue to escalate, with around 100 Chinese ships detected in Malaysian waters near the Luconia Shoals on 24 March. In response, Malaysia sent its Maritime Enforcement Agency and navy to monitor the area, and Malaysia’s Minister for National Security, Shahidan Kassim, said it may take legal action if the ships enter Malaysia’s EEZ. China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, said in a regular briefing that he ‘did not understand the details’ of the matter, but wanted to point out that it was currently fishing season in the South China Sea. For some interesting background reading, The National Interest takes a look at the evolving role of Chinese coastguards here.

One of the USN’s most enduring naval mysteries has finally been solved, with a USN tugboat missing since 1921 discovered sunk off the coast of San Francisco. According to a statement released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Navy on 23 March, the wreck of USS Conestoga was found about 50km west of San Francisco. The boat, the last USN ship to be lost without a trace during peacetime, left San Francisco on 25 March 1921, and was bound for American Samoa—via Hawaii—with 56 officers and sailors on board, when it disappeared in bad weather. The Telegraph has a video of the wreckage here.

Think Tank: ANZUS and the US Asian alliance network

Elsina Wainwright

The US presence in the Indo–Asia–Pacific is transforming, and Australia has a major interest in how it unfolds. That transformation is driven in large part by China’s rise, and has several important features.

First, US alliances with Australia, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea are being updated according to each ally’s changing strategic outlook. The US is helping to build up allied maritime, cyber and space resilience capability.

Second, the US is moving beyond the hub-and-spoke alliance framework, and encouraging spoke-to-spoke linkages and allied interoperability. Australia–Japan maritime security and defence/technology cooperation is growing, for example, and Japan is providing maritime security assistance to the Philippines.

Third, the US is strengthening ties with Southeast and South Asian partners and supporting linkages between US allies and those new partners. An extraordinary array of strategic relationships have been forged or enhanced over the last few years, including India–Vietnam and Singapore–Vietnam defence agreements, Vietnam–Philippine, Singapore–India, and Australia–Singapore strategic partnerships, and minilateral frameworks such as the US–Japan–Australia trilateral strategic dialogue and an India–Japan–Australia trilateral dialogue.