March 31, 2020
March 30, 2020
USS Carney, USS Porter and USS Donald Cook are on patrol together, supported by P-8As from VP-4, to ensure maritime security and regional stability
Three #US6thFleet #FDNF destroyers are operating together in the Eastern Atlantic. #USSCarney, #USSPorter and #USSDonaldCook are on patrol together, supported by P-8As from VP-4, to ensure maritime security and regional stability. @US_EUCOM @USAfricaCommand pic.twitter.com/6MIrADhAo2— U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet (@USNavyEurope) March 29, 2020
Japan’s defense minister Taro Kono told reporters on Mar. 27 that his ministry will decide on the development of the successor to the F-2 fighter by end of this year.
The U.S. military intends to test an upgrade common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB) paired with a new booster for future hypersonic tests.
March 29, 2020
March 28, 2020
HMAS Canberra recently took time out of the Fleet Certification Period 2020 to replicate conditions encountered during #OpBushfireAssist
#ICYMI @Australian_Navy HMAS Canberra recently took time out of the Fleet Certification Period 2020 to replicate conditions encountered during #OpBushfireAssist and build capability through conducting a Defence Assistance to Civil Communities exercise. #YourADF pic.twitter.com/jKlx8vHmZ0— Defence Australia (@DeptDefence) March 28, 2020
China - MASSIVE protests developing right now on the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge that joins the Hubei and Jiangxi provinces in Eastern China
There are MASSIVE protests developing right now on the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge that joins the Hubei and Jiangxi provinces in Eastern China.— Things China Doesn't Want You To Know (@TruthAbtChina) March 27, 2020
The situation is rapidly evolving.
THREAD 👇 pic.twitter.com/4J2LCdssDd
More flipped police cars.— Things China Doesn't Want You To Know (@TruthAbtChina) March 27, 2020
This is truly unbelievable!
Can you imagine what the #HongKong police would do if this happened in Hong Kong? pic.twitter.com/KWLjGCzLDY
These people really do not like cop cars. pic.twitter.com/PfgZSQMqri— Things China Doesn't Want You To Know (@TruthAbtChina) March 27, 2020
March 27, 2020
USS Blue Ridge command ship joins ships of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and USS America Expeditionary Strike Group
#US Pacific Fleet:— Indo-Pacific News (@IndoPac_Info) March 27, 2020
The #USSBlueRidge command ship joins ships of the #USSTheodoreRoosevelt Carrier Strike Group and #USSAmerica Expeditionary Strike Group for formation steaming as part of ongoing expeditionary strike force operations in the #Philippine Sea #NavyReadiness pic.twitter.com/LZ8035pjet
March 26, 2020
Turkish KIRPI II armored vehicle in use by the Turkish Army immobilized during a joint patrol of Russian-Turkish forces in Syria's Ayn al-Arab
Vietnam People Army firing at distant targets from cover using a Soviet DShK heavy machine gun chambered in 12.7×108mm
March 25, 2020
March 24, 2020
Artillerymen of Vietnam People Army firing a Soviet M1955 (D-20) 152mm gun-howitzer at zero elevation.
March 23, 2020
March 22, 2020
March 21, 2020
March 20, 2020
In the latest in a slew of infantry firearms purchases for the Indian Army, the Indian MoD today signed a $118 million deal with Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) for 16,479 NEGEV NG7 7.62mm light machineguns (LMG). The order is a little less than half of a total requirement for 40,000 LMGs. Today’s order is the single largest order for LMGs, and adds to smaller numbers of Negev 7.62x45mm LMGs already in service. The NG7 was introduced in 2012.
While it isn’t clear just yet, some of the Negevs could potentially be manufactured in Madhya Pradesh, India by a joint venture of the Adani Group and Israel’s IWI, though the MoD contract awarded today is to IWI alone.
In a statement today, the Indian MoD said, “The Indian Armed Forces’ long-standing requirement of a modern state-of-the-art Light Machine Gun (LMG) has finally fructified. The Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence has signed the capital acquisition contract with Israel Weapons Industries for procurement of 16,479 LMGs at a cost of Rs 880 crore with the approval of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh. “
Today’s LMG contract comes a year after the Indian government contracted for over 72,000 SIG716 assault rifles (first pictures from deliveries here) from U.S. firm Sig Sauer Inc., and ahead of an expected contract for over 90,000 CAR816 battle carbines from UAE firm Caracal, and 650,000 AK-203 assault rifles from an Indo-Russian Make in India joint venture. The two latter contracts are expected to be signed this year. The LMG deal today is part of a concerted drive since 2016 to end piecemeal procurements of firearms, and give infantry units the basic weaponry they need. The LMG requirement has meandered for years. Deliveries of the new Negevs are expected from the end of this year.
Damen Shipyards Group and its partner PT PAL recently completed installation and testing of combat systems to the second of the Indonesian Ministry of Defence’s SIGMA 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) guided missile frigates, the KRI Gusti Ngurah Rai (332).
The PKR frigates are constructed via a modular process operating simultaneously at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) in the Netherlands and the PT PAL shipyard in Indonesia. In this manner, Damen is able to build high quality vessels anywhere in the world. This method also enables Damen to fulfil its commitment to the Indonesian Ministry of Defence to deliver an extensive knowledge and transfer of technology (ToT) programme.
A significant part of this transfer programme is the installation of combat systems along with provision of training to the crew in their usage and maintenance.
Hein van Ameijden, managing director of DSNS, said, “From the outset of this project DSNS and our partner Thales Netherlands have been fully committed to the development of the Indonesian defence industry and its supporting sectors. This commitment is demonstrated with a series of ToT and local content programmes starting in 2013 when project execution commenced.
“For example, DSNS has trained and educated more than 328 yard personnel, including welders, planners and engineers, during the project. Thales Netherlands has contributed by subcontracting local industry for software development, providing support, ultimately, for Indonesia to develop an indigenous combat management system.”
The combat systems installed and tested include the following:
-VL MICA for defence from airborne threats
-Exocet for defence from offensive targets at greater distance
-Torpedo system for protection against submarine threat
-35mm rapid-fire cannon to respond to threats from both air and sea
-Electronic detection system to divert enemy attacks with electromagnetic redirection
-Modification of the computer operated operational system in order to operate the above
The final phase prior to handover was successfully completed on February 21st with sea-going trials – the sea acceptance test (SAT). The purpose of this was to demonstrate that installations throughout the entire chain of weapons systems meet desired efficiency and accuracy.
“All our prior efforts paid off. Already at the start of the tests it was clear that installation had been carried out with great precision during construction and that preparatory alignment activities and agreements had been carefully followed. The second PKR vessel achieved similar results to the first one. This demonstrates that the complete concept implemented in the SIGMA PKR Class can be considered reliable and robust”, concluded Mr Van Ameijden.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)’s 83.6-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) BRP Gabriela Silang has resumed its voyage to Philippines. This is after a stop in Malta to provide ready assistance for Filipinos who want to be repatriated from the Middle East.
MaxDefense Philippines said it “received confirmation from several community members that the Philippine Coast Guard’s new offshore patrol vessel, the BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) has already passed through the Suez Canal and is en route to Colombo, Sri Lanka for a technical stop and goodwill visit.”
“It is expected that the ship would be home in 2 weeks time,” MaxDefense added.
BRP Gabriela Silang officially left France, where it was built, December 30, however, PCG said that it “docked at the Malta Freeport to conduct ferry missions to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the Middle East who may need immediate extrication.”
PCG said that BRP Gabriela Silang is considered as the largest and most advanced aluminum hull OPV in the world to date, the BRP Gabriela Silang is designed to meet the demanding mandate of the PCG which highlights the responsibility to perform maritime search and rescue in service to the nation.
“The OPV can ferry approximately 500 people at one time and is more than capable to perform beyond its contractual specification of 20 knots of speed. It has a range of 8000 nautical miles at 15 knots and an endurance of up to five weeks of operation. It has an excellent sea keeping ability and maneuverability on top of the great comfort it offers for people onboard,” it noted.
The Indonesian Air Force's (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU's) planned procurement of Sukhoi Su-35 'Flanker-E' multirole combat aircraft from Russia is still "active", Dmitry Shugayev, the director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS), said on 16 March, denying media reports that Jakarta, under US pressure, has dropped a deal to buy 11 of the Russian-made fighters.
"There is no official cancellation of the [Indonesian] order [for the Su-35s]," Shugayev told the Russia 24 news channel. "We haven't received any papers regarding the issue and haven't been told about it."
Shugayev said Indonesia is still interested in acquiring the Su-35s, adding, "We hope that the contract will be implemented." No further details were provided.
Bloomberg had quoted an unnamed official "familiar with the matter" on 12 March as saying that Jakarta had recently decided against moving ahead with the plan to procure the 11 fighter aircraft for about USD1.1 billion.
The official was also quoted as saying that, as recently as February, Washington had also pressured Indonesia into walking away from talks with China to procure several naval patrol vessels for about USD200 million, adding that the moves "illustrate how the US is having some success - at times by using financial and economic levers - in deterring countries from dealing with Russia and China, which the [Donald] Trump administration has identified as the biggest threats to US national security".
Jane's reported in November 2019 that Indonesia's procurement of the Su-35s had stalled due to several factors, including the Indonesian presidential election held in April of that year, funding and countertrade issues, and concerns in Jakarta about US legislation - notably the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) - under which Washington seeks to penalise defence customers of Russia.
The TNI-AL plans upgrade the Exocet MM40 anti-ship the missiles on its KRI Usman-Harun multirole light frigate to the Block 3 variant (photo : NavalNews)
The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) plans to upgrade the Exocet MM40 Block 2 anti-ship missiles on its KRI Usman-Harun (pennant number 359) multirole corvette/light frigate once the vessel’s mission systems are modernised.
Speaking to Jane’s on 18 March on condition of anonymity, two industry sources said the MBDA missiles will be upgraded to the longer-range Block 3 variant, adding that the vessel will also be equipped with MBDA’s VL (vertical launch) MICA short-range surface-to-air missiles. According to Jane’s Fighting Ships, Usman-Harun is already capable of firing the VL MICA but has yet to be armed with the weapon.
The revelation comes after Thales and PT Len Industri signed a contract on 10 March to modernise the mission systems on the warship, which entered service in August 2014 after being purchased from Brunei.
In a statement issued that same day Thales said that the upgrade work on the 95 m-long Bung Tomo-class frigate, which was formerly known as Bendahara Sakam, will include the installation of the TACTICOS combat management system, the SMART-S Mk2 air-and-surface surveillance radar, the STIR EO Mk2 radar and electro-optical fire-control system, and the Vigile Mk2 tactical multi-purpose R-ESM (radar - electronic support measures) system.
The upgrade work on Usman-Harun's mission systems is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and will considerably extend the service life of the frigate, the company said at the time, pointing out that these new systems have already been installed on the TNI-AL’s Raden Eddy Martadinata (SIGMA 10514)-class frigates, thus “enabling consistency in operations for the navy”.
Modernisation of the two other corvettes of the class – KRI Bung Tomo (357) and KRI John Lie (358) – are expected to be funded once the USD60 million modernisation work on Usman Harun is completed, said the industry sources.
March 19, 2020
Flight lead of Operation Neptune’s Spear revealed how he evaded missile lock from rogue Pakistan Air Force F-16 three times
It was just 30 seconds into the mission to kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011 when special operations Chinook pilot Chief Warrant Officer 5 Douglas Englen heard the call of “Black Hawk down” come over his radio.
Black Hawk 2′s pilot alerted Englen — the pilot in charge of the air operation that night — that Black Hawk-1 had just crashed inside the 9/11 mastermind’s Abbottabad compound.
Englen, the air component planner for Operation Neptune’s Spear, was pissed off.
His crew in Chinook-1 and another crew in Chinook-2 had been setting up a refuel site for the two Black Hawks, about 30 miles to the north. But his Chinook immediately went straight to the objective area, to pick up the ground force and the aircrew. Meanwhile, the other Chinook stayed at the refueling site.
“We just went into contingency mode,” said Englen, talking about the raid, and his life, for the first time in an exclusive interview with Military Times. “Didn’t know the severity — if it was crashed with casualties? If it crashed in civilian area? All we do is minimize our time and get there as quick as possible," Englen said.
Englen had studied the area around bin Laden’s compound for months. He knew exactly where everything was; he didn’t need a map. When he flew over Abbottabad, it felt as familiar as flying over his hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee.
He could see where the police lights were, where the commotion was happening. Blue police lights don’t show up in night vision goggles, so Englen looked under his goggles to see those blue lights.
Indian Navy to berth new aircraft carrier at private shipyard
New Delhi , Mar 15 : Amid declining share in defence budget for its projects, the Indian Navy is now planning to deploy the indigenous aircraft carrier at a private shipyard in Kattupalli near Chennai.
In their briefing to the Standing Committee on Defence, the Indian Navy intimated that they are leasing a 260 metre berth in a private shipyard for eight years as an interim measure.
"The case for leasing of the 260 m berth at L and T shipyard, Kattupalli, for a period of eight years (2022-2030) for interim berthing of IAC 1 on the East Coast has been taken up with Defence Ministry. The total financial implications for leasing the berth along with 'ready to use' infrastructure are Rs. 30.48 crores / year + Rs. 48 crores refundable deposit. The case is being progressed for early approval of the Defence Ministry," the Navy told the Standing Committee on Defence headed by Jual Oram.
India has plans of having at least two aircraft carriers at any point of time looking after the eastern and western seaboards to look after the vast exclusive economic zone and maritime boundaries.
The Navy sources said the over 40,000 tonne warship would be deployed in Chennai as the planned base in Vishakhapatnam is not ready yet.
The Standing Committee also discussed the declining share of the Indian Navy in the defence budget and observed that Navy's fighting capabilities depend on the high value platforms like aircraft carrier, submarines, destroyers and frigates but the allocation of Capital Budget for Navy (percentage) wise has the sharpest decline.
"We recommend the Ministry not to make any cut while allocating budget for Capital Head for any of the Services in the demands to be made in the coming years," the committee said in its report.
Capt. Melanie Ziebart is a U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot on exchange with the Marine Corps. She currently flies the F-35B while stationed aboard USS America.
200307-N-BT681-1041 GULF OF THAILAND (March 7, 2020) United States Air Force pilot Capt. Melanie Ziebart poses for a photo on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). America, flagship of the America Expeditionary Strike group 31st MEU team, is operating in the 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathan Berlier)
Recent social media posting by China’s Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC) might be hinting that the company’s JL-9 advanced jet trainer will soon be converted for carrier-borne operations.
The company said it will “争取海山鹰飞机研制生产新胜利” which literally means to “secure naval Mountain Eagle (JL-9) development and production victory.”
Of note, the JL-9 is in service with the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF) as a land-based trainer.
March 18, 2020
The Pakistan Army conducted an Intelligence Based Operation (IBO) near Datta Khel area of North Waziristan District and killed seven terrorists, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
However, in an intense exchange of fire with terrorists, four security forces personnel were killed including an officer while one soldier got injured.
The ISPR said the operation was conducted in Mama Ziarat, 7 kilometers South West of Datta Khel, on confirmed intelligence about the presence of terrorists in a hideout.It said that as soon as troops cordoned the area, terrorists opened fire to flee from the hideout.
The ISPR said that during the operation, seven terrorists were killed. However, in the exchange of fire, four security forces personnel including the 26 year-old resident of Lahore Lieutenant Agha Muqadas Ali khan, the 36 year-old resident of Layyah Lance Havaldar Qamar Nadeem, the 24 year-old resident of Layyah Sepoy Muhammad Qasim, and 23 year-old resident of Narowal Sepoy Tauseef embraced martyrdom. Besides, one soldier received injuries.
Better action and transparency at the initial stage
Turkish Armed Forces Bayraktar shot down in Libya by Russian Air Defense System used by Libyan National Army
#Turkish Armed Forces Bayraktar shot down in #Libya by #Russian Air Defense System used by #Libyan National Army claimed to be sent by #Qatar.— Sukhoi Su-57 Felon 🇷🇺🇮🇳 (@I30mki) March 17, 2020
this is 10th Drone lost from December 2019, earlier one Bayraktar lost in Airbase attack by LNA. @AsianDef @200_zoka @IdaratL @Oded121351 pic.twitter.com/ZUl4He05Mi
March 17, 2020
The Philippine Embassy in Russia has reported that Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officials have inspected aircraft plant and training center in Moscow, Russia in connection with the planned acquisition of Mi-171 heavy lift helicopters for Philippine Air Force (PAF).
The Philippine delegation, headed by DND Assistant Secretary Josue Gaverza, Jr., was in Russia from March 3 to 7.
According to the Philippine embassy, the delegation also met with Sovtechnoexport officials and visited Ulan Ude Aviation Plant.
It noted that the said helicopter is a multipurpose transport aircraft that can perform combat, search and rescue, as well as medical evacuation missions.
“The delegation members, majority of whom are veteran air force pilots, also visited the training center for pilots and maintenance crew, where they had the opportunity to try the pilot simulator systems used for flight training of the aircraft,” the embassy aid.
“The first batch of Mi171 helicopters is expected to be delivered by mid-2021,” it noted.
Russian and Indonesian military have agreed upon terms and location of the first Orruda-2020 joint naval exercises, Russian Pacific Fleet press service announced Friday.
"The sides have preliminary agreed upon the location, the timeline and the membership of the upcoming exercise," the fleet said without providing further details.
The working groups’ negotiations have been ongoing in Vladivostok since March 10. Russia was represented by the Pacific Fleet International Military Cooperation Division, and Indonesia was represented by a delegation led by Captain Sigit Santos.
A cultural program has also been prepared for the Indonesian guests, which included a visit to the Pacific Fleet Museum, the S-56 museum submarine and a tour of historic places of Vladivostok.
The Philippine Navy’s first missile-capable frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), is a few steps away from delivery next month.
Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Navy chief, told reporters on Tuesday (March 10) that so far the warship has “all systems okay.”
“We are just waiting for a certification on the combat management system,” he said, referring to the ship’s CMS, or its brains.
BRP Jose Rizal had undergone sea trials recently which showed “generally satisfactory” results.
The CMS became a source of contention of the frigate acquisition project, which triggered a controversy two years ago.
The Philippine government signed a deal with Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of two frigates for P16 billion in 2016.
The Philippine Navy’s Technical Working Group and Project Management Team had selected Tacticos Thales for the CMS, which met their requirement of Tactical Data Link 16 (TDL 16) compatibility, a military network used by NATO and allied forces to exchange data in real time.
HHI recommended two brands of CMS for the Philippine warships — Tacticos Thales and Hanwha Systems. It first offered Tacticos Thales to the Navy, but later suggested Naval Shield of Hanwha Systems, which was not yet compatible with TDL 16.
Hanwha Systems had said in 2018 that TDL 16 compatibility with the CMS for the frigates would be in place by 2019. But in May that year, Hanwha said compatibility won’t happen until 2020 because of issues between the Korean armed forces and US requirements.
It remains to be seen whether the CMS certification, which would come from the United States, would be obtained.
The ship is expected to be delivered by third or fourth week of April.
The second vessel, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), is expected to be delivered by September or October this year.
The Navy chief said the coronavirus outbreak, which is threatening South Korea, would not hamper the scheduled delivery of the first frigate.
He also allayed concerns that Filipino sailors and crew of the ship training in South Korea could be infected by the virus.
“They are exercising maximum caution and even at the HHI facility, they are also doing that,” Bacordo said.
The capability, cost and scheduling of Australia’s AUD80 billion (USD47.2 billion) Future Submarine programme have been criticised in a report by consultancy firm Insight Economics that proposes the introduction of a ‘Plan B’ involving Saab’s Kockums naval business area.
The report, which was prepared for Sydney-based businessman Gary Johnston and backed by an expert reference group, suggests Canberra should commission Saab’s Kockums, which designed the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) current fleet of six Collins-class submarines, to develop a preliminary design study (PDS) for an evolved version of the class.
Introducing a parallel pathway would create valuable competitive pressure as well as recognise that evolving a new submarine from an existing successful platform is the approach followed by all other countries that build and operate submarines, the report notes.
March 16, 2020
Lt. Thorys Stensrud II from VFA-147 is the first F-35C pilot to earn the Britannia Award from the Royal Navy.
Lt. Thorys Stensrud II from VFA-147 is the first F-35C pilot to earn the Britannia Award from the Royal Navy.
Since 1956, the award – consisting of a scroll and a trophy – has been given to Navy or Marine Corps student naval aviator graduate of the Strike Pipeline who demonstrates the highest overall weapons score and performance in the strike phase of Advanced Strike Training during the previous calendar year.
Stensrud won the 2018 award during his time with VT-21 in 2017.
March 15, 2020
The #Italian airforce gives a big emotional lift to their nation with Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma (let no one sleep)and where lyrics say venceremos(we will overcome)they have their planes dramatically facing and overpowering the single plane (virus) with their National Flag! pic.twitter.com/M9ma96DxPY— Sukhoi Su-57 Felon 🇷🇺🇮🇳 (@I30mki) March 15, 2020