June 20, 2018

Otokar debuts its Light Tank in Paris



Otokar, a Koç Group company, debuted its TULPAR Light Tank for the first time at Eurosatory 2018, Europe's largest defense industry exhibition in Paris, France between June 11th and 15th. Within its wide product range Otokar will also display its ARMA, COBRA II, KAYA II and COBRA armored vehicles with superior mobility as well as ballistic and mine protection along with turret systems.

Otokar TULPAR Light Tank stands out with its mobility, fire power and protection. The vehicle is integrated with CMI Cockerill®'s  3105 turret with autoloader, which is capable of firing all kinds of 105 mm NATO ammunition and the Falarick Gun Launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile (GLATGM) with its high pressure 105 mm tank gun.The Fire Control System (FCS) with fully stabilized day/night (thermal imaging) sights and coincidence firing logic provides high first-round hit probability against static or moving targets and Hunter-Killer Capability provides single and multiple target engagements. CMI Cockerill® 3105 turret has a two-man crew.

TULPAR Light Tank offers effective solution for missions requiring high fire and destructive power. Thanks to its superior mobility, TULPAR Light Tank can operate in diverse terrains where the Main Battle Tanks cannot serve due to their weight and size; like bridge capacities or in built up areas.
TULPAR is designed as a multi-purpose vehicle platform in regards to users' needs of diverse missions. The vehicle offers an ideal platform for the light tank. Tested in the toughest climate conditions and the most challenging terrains, TULPAR features a modular armor technology that can be configured and scaled according to threats as well as the best mine protection in its class.

TULPAR can be integrated with active protection systems and has the capacity to accommodate 3 crew (Commander, gunner and driver) plus 2 personnel. Its outstanding Integrated Logistic Support System provides low lifecycle support costs.



Thailand, China Progress Plans to Establish Joint Industrial Facility





Thailand and China have advanced plans to establish a facility to support Chinese-made military vehicles in Thailand such as the VT4 MBT seen here. (photo : 77kaoded)

Thailand and China have progressed plans to set up a jointly run defence industrial facility in the Southeast Asian country that will be focused on supporting Chinese land systems operated by the Royal Thai Army (RTA).

State-run news in Thailand reported the industrial facility will be established later this year. The project, it reported, was the subject of bilateral discussions on 12 June between the Chinese military and RTA chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart, who is currently on an official visit to Beijing.

State-run news added that Gen Sitthisart also discussed with Chinese counterparts the progress of two major RTA procurement programmes: its order of VT4 main battle tanks and its planned acquisition of VN-1 armoured personnel carriers. Both platforms are produced by the China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).

The RTA has so far ordered 38 VT4s over two orders in 2016 and 2017, worth a combined THB7 billion (USD218 million). An initial batch of 28 VT4s arrived in Thailand in late 2017. Jane’s understands that additional orders of the type – the export version of the MBT-3000 – are expected to meet an overall RTA requirement of more than 100 MBTs.

Jane’s understands that the proposed VN-1 acquisition has not yet been set to contract, although the Thai government has ring-fenced THB2.3 billion (USD68 million) for the procurement of an initial 38 units.


Defence Seeks Innovative Concepts to Enhance Stealth of UAS




Defence is inviting Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to submit proposals for new technologies to protect Australian small, fixed-wing unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by making them harder to detect.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said this was another opportunity for SMEs to contribute innovative solutions to enhance Defence capability.

“Australian SMEs are great innovators and we want them to put forward innovative concepts to protect our UAS from being readily seen or heard in different environmental conditions,” Minister Pyne said.

“Defence is looking for outcomes to reduce both the visual and acoustic detection of UAS from ground-based observation without disrupting the operation of the aircraft.

UAS’s are used for intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance and especially in situations where manned flight is considered too risky. Having the ability to remain undetected conveys significant tactical advantages for such operations. 

These proposals are being invited under the Small Business Innovation Research for Defence (SBIRD) initiative of the Next Generation Technologies Fund.

“This program is designed to stimulate innovative research for Defence application by SMEs with this being the first project under the initiative requiring a novel application of material sciences and advanced sensors.”

Funded proposals will be eligible for up to $100,000, for completion within nine months.

If successful, SMEs will then be eligible to apply for funding to support further research and concept maturation within 24 months, with maximum funding of $750,000.

”I look forward to a strong response from SMEs and cutting-edge solutions in their proposals,” Minister Pyne said.


Royal Thai Army Prepares Attack Helicopter Acquisition





The Royal Thai Army is looking to procure new attack helicopters, with several platforms under review including the Z-19 Black Whirlwind from China. (photo : sinodefence)

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) is preparing to acquire at least six new attack helicopters to replace its ageing fleet of Bell AH-1F Cobras, with funding for the procurement provided in the 2019 defence budget.

Confirming the plan in a press conference on 12 June, Major General Weerayuth Intaworn, commander of the RTA’s Aviation Centre, said the service has established a dedicated procurement committee, which is now evaluating proposals from several foreign countries.

Jane’s understands that helicopters under review include the Mil Mi-28 and Kamov Ka-52 from Russia, the Bell AH-1Z Viper and Boeing AH-64 Apache, Airbus Helicopters’ Tiger, Leonardo’s AW129 Mangusta, and the Z-19 Black Whirlwind produced by China’s Harbin Aircraft Industry Group.

The RTA’s Aviation Centre, based in Lopburi, has operated a small number of AH-1F Cobras since the early 1990s but three of these aircraft are scheduled to be decommissioned in the near future, confirmed Maj Gen Intaworn.

The RTA’s attack helicopter requirement is long-standing but has previously been hindered by a lack of funds. The country’s 2019 defence budget, which was announced in early June, outlines military spending of THB227.67 billion (USD7.1 billion). Official documents show the expenditure is an increase of THB9.16 billion – or 4.2% over actual defence spending in 2018.


PN to Test Fire its Spike-ER Missile this July




The Philippine Navy (PN) will conduct the first test fire of its Spike-ER surface-to-surface missile in July.

This was bared by Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad in an interview with military-run radio DWDD Wednesday.

“(This) July, we might be testing our very first missile aboard our small ships, (the) MPACs (multi-purpose assault crafts where the weapon is now being fitted), the President would like to see that testing,” he added.

Empedrad is hoping that the test will be successful as it will allow them to acquire more ships with missile capability.

“We’re hoping that we will be able to successfully test it and ‘pag naging maganda ang testing (if the testing will be successful), then we will acquire more ships with missile capability,” he stressed.

The PN’s Spike-ER missiles with its launchers and tracking systems were delivered to the Philippines from Israel last April.


Euro Main Battle Tanks Unveils by KMW and Nexter





After being kept under wraps, the French-German KNDS Group (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann + Nexter Defense Systems) has unveiled its first joint project, the EMBT, or European Main Battle Tank. Essentially a technology demonstrator, with further development, “the EMBT is a short-term response to the operational need of the market for high-intensity battle tanks”.

The EMBT consists of the KMW Leopard 2A7 MBT platform fitted with the Nexter Leclerc MBT turret. The two elements were integrated at Nexter’s facility at Roanne, where Leclerc production was originally undertaken. Since then, the EMBT has undertaken mobility and firing trials, the latter performed in Portugal, with 22 rounds fired from the 120mm smoothbore gun.

The standard Leopard 2A7 has a three-person turret armed with a manually loaded 120mm smoothbore gun, whereas the Leclerc turret is fitted with a 120mm smoothbore gun fed by a bustle-mounted automatic loader.
The Leclerc turret is lighter and more compact, which reduces the combined weight by six tonnes.

According to KNDS, the EMBT demonstrates that their combined skills make it the legitimate and essential industrial actor of the two key French- German future programmes.

The first of these is the follow-on to the Leopard 2/ Leclerc MBT, which is called the Main Ground Combat System and has a potential in-service date of around 2035. This could well be brought forward because the design of these two MBTs is now many years old and the point will be reached where they can no longer be upgraded.

The second programme is the future artillery system. Called the Common Indirect Fire System, this has a number of elements, including the replacement of the German Army 155mm PzH2000 tracked and French 155mm CAESAR wheeled self-propelled artillery systems.


Major Sonar Upgrade for Collins Class Submarine





Australia’s Collins Class submarine fleet will receive significant sonar upgrades further extending its superiority in our region.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, today announced work will commence this year to enhance sonar systems across the Collins Class fleet.

This will better enable our submarines to safely navigate, detect and locate other vessels while remaining hidden themselves.

Minister Pyne said with the majority of the project being delivered by Australian industry, it demonstrates the maturity of the national submarine enterprise.

“Australian defence suppliers are central to the sovereignty of our current and future military capability,” Minister Pyne said.

“As a result of their continued demonstration of expertise, Australian companies will have an enduring role in keeping our submarines superior and safe.”

Minister Payne said the upgrades are critical to maintaining Australia’s highly capable Collins Class submarine fleet until the introduction of the Future Submarines.

“The 2016 Defence White Paper clearly outlines the importance of a potent submarine capability to ensure our sovereignty and defend Australia,” Minister Payne said.

“Submarines offer capabilities no other platform can provide, and that’s why the Turnbull Government is committed to investing in the Collins Class fleet to maintain its advantage in an increasingly complex and uncertain strategic environment.”

“Enhancing the Collins Class’ high-end warfighting capabilities so they can continue to detect and locate other vessels, ensures it will be an effective deterrent to potential adversaries.”

The project is valued at $542 million and the Australian Industry Content is approximately 70 per cent, creating more than 100 direct jobs.

51 jobs will be based in New South Wales, 25 in Western Australia, 21 in South Australia and 13 in the Australian Capital Territory.

“It’s yet another sign of the strength of Australia’s defence industry that the vast majority of this complex project will be done locally, creating jobs while delivering the capability our Navy needs,” said Minister Pyne.

“Raytheon Australia and Thales Australia will play lead roles in delivering the sonar system upgrades, with ASC and a range of small and medium sized Australian companies supporting system integration.”

In the 2018–19 financial year, most of the spending will be on the design and production effort in NSW with Raytheon Australia in Macquarie Park and Thales Australia in Rydalmere.

The upgrades will then be installed at maintenance facilities at Osborne in South Australia and Henderson in Western Australia.


Duterte Very Inclined to Support Submarine Acquisition Program





President Rodrigo Duterte is inclined to support to submarine acquisition program of the Philippine Navy, this was bared by Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad on June 13.

“I remember the National Security Adviser (Secretary Hermogenes Esperon) told me that the President is very inclined to support our submarine acquisition program,” Vice Admiral Empedrad said over DWDD.

“Nagcreate na kami ng Submarine Group, we are already sending people abroad for training in preparation of the acquisition of submarine,” he said. “Kasi ang pag-acquire ng submarine it would take 7 to 10 years.”

The Navy chief that he is also supporting the submarine project. It can be remembered that Empedrad told a senate hearing in February 2018 that the future of naval warfare is submarine warfare.

“The trend now is submarine warfare because it is hard to fight an enemy that you cannot see. Mahirap kasi i-detect ang submarine,” he said.

“I just attended the future surface fleet conference in London a week ago, at ang trend ngayon is modern navies now changing strategy to anti-submarine warfare. A lot of countries are building their submarines so we have to develop also ‘yung capability pano sila i-detect,” he explained.

“So we buy submarines, we buy also anti-submarine ships,” Vice Admiral Empedrad said.

He added that the upcoming frigates being built by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries and upcoming AW-159 Wildcat helicopters from Leonardo are all capable of anti-submarine warfare armed with torpedoes.

Earlier this week, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the country is now looking for possible suppliers of diesel-electric submarines to beef up the Philippine Navy’s capabilities.


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