August 31, 2020

Grave of Chinese soldier killed by Indian Army emerges

 The photograph of a 19-year-old Chinese soldier’s gravestone, circulating on the China’s social media site Weibo, could be evidence of Chinese casualties in the Galwan Valley clash with India on the intervening night of June 14 and 15.

Indian Army already had claimed that there had been losses on the Chinese side as well in the Galwan clash. It is likely that such leaks are because of discontent within PLA 

The inscription on the gravestone, in Mandarin, says, “Tomb of martyr Chen Xiangrong, soldier of the Unit 69316 of the Southern Xinjiang Military District of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army 13th Regiment. Born in December 2001, from Pingnan county, Fujian province China. Sacrificed in the fight against India’s border defence in June 2020.”

PHL Signs Contract with Japan for 4 Air Surveillance Radars

 Philippine Air Force to get air surveillance system boost, as Secretary Lorenzana signs contract with Japan

Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana has signed the Contract Agreement and Notice to Proceed for the Horizon 2 Air Surveillance Radar System (ASRS) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force, under a negotiated government-to-government procurement with Japan.

The project, which has an Approved Budget for Contract of PHP 5,500,000,000.00, was awarded to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) with a total contract price of $103,500,000.00.

This cooperation signifies Japan’s first time to export Japanese-made defense equipment under a restructured government policy, permitting sales of defense equipment, as long as it is deemed for the promotion of international peace.This is also the first defense equipment and technology cooperation project between the two countries in realization of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Japan concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology signed in 2016.

The recommended ASRS sites will cover large areas of the Philippine Rise, Southern Areas of the country, and the Southern portion of the West Philippine Sea. Operations from these strategically vital locations will enable the Philippine Air Force to provide optimal airspace monitoring, aircraft control, perform its Air Defense mission and enhance the security in Areas of Interest identified by the DND. Specifically, the ASRS will help to detect, identify, and correlate any threats and intrusions within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and deliver radar images to decision-makers and relevant operating units.

The ASRS package includes three (3) fixed long-range Air Surveillance Radars, each with building facilities and one (1) mobile Air Surveillance Radar, and are expected to be delivered to the Philippines starting 2022.

Malaysia Issues MPA and UAV Tenders

The much anticipated tenders for the supply of two Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and three Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MALE UAV) have been issued to international bidders on August 25.

Apparently, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is looking for up to 4 new MPA to replace the 3 remaining Beechcraft B200TMP Super King Air currently soldering on with No 16 ‘Sintar’ Skn.

The recent tender is actually Phase 1 of the whole MPA program.According to a statement by Senior Minister of Defence, the Beechcraft is expected to be withdrawn from service by 2024, exactly 30 years since it was inducted into the RMAF in 1994.

The B200TMP lacks sufficient range and endurance. The small cabin space means that it is not able to carry much sensors for surveillance.Having said that, the Beechcraft has provided excellent service with sterling safety record of 22 years until a training hazard accident occurred on December 21, 2016 killing the pilot and instructor Mej (posthumously promoted to Lt Kol) Kayamboo Chellam TUDM.

In all, the RMAF operates two Beechcraft B350i King Air for Multi Engine and Crew Training (MECT) at Tactical Flight Training Centre – Transport (Pusat Latihan Terbang Taktikal – Angkut or PLTT-Angkut) and four B200TMP with No 16 Skn. The two units currently based at Subang AFB although the B350i has been pulled out of service after the leasing contract has lapsed.A tender has been issued for replacement of the B350i albeit in much smaller size. Two IAe CN235-220M tactical transport aircraft operated by No 1 Skn will be converted into MPA by the Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) at its Bandung facility under US funded Maritime Security Initiative (MSI).

The CN-235 and its larger development, the Airbus C-295 were considered as leading contenders as they share logistic commonality with the existing fleet including 4 Airbus A-400M Atlas strategic transport aircraft operated by No 22 Skn also at Subang AFB.

The fact that the CN-235 is built in Indonesia means that the procurement cost is much lower than any other contenders. No 1 Skn (previously No 21 Skn) has been operating the CN-235s for more than 20 years with commendable safety record. One CN-235-100 VIP transport aircraft was lost in an accident but the incident never tarnished the overall good record the fleet has.

As ad hoc MPA, the CN-235 was deployed to conduct maritime surveillance during the search of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in 2014 and Covid-19 border patrol as part of Ops Benteng.

In terms of provision of training, the existing flight simulator facility at Kuching AFB could be well used to train future MPA pilots. Even the CN-235 offers seamless maintenance support both in country and abroad.

As for the MALE UAV, preparation has been well on the way since the first time the RMAF mooted the idea for MPA configured MALE UAV REQUIREMENT during the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace (LIMA) 2017 airshow. By the time the 2019 edition of LIMA opened up its curtain, international Request for Information (RFI) has been issued to potential bidders.

The US Government has cleared Malaysia to purchase the General Atomic Sky Guardian MALE UAV, derived from the famous MQ-9 Reaper.Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) on the other hand has continously renewed its cooperation and relationships with Malaysia’s DEFTECH which also include local development of the former’s Anka MALE UAV.

In conjunction with RMAF anniversary on June 1, the Chief of the Air Force has announced that the squadron operating 18 KNAAPO-built Sukhoi Su-30MKM (NATO Reporting Name: Flanker) Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA), No 11 ‘Bisa’ Skn will be undergoing number plate change to reflect its new role and preservation of historical facts.

The Sukhoi had since being operated by No 12 ‘Jengking Merah’ Skn while No 11 Skn will be operating a mix of Tactical UAV (TUAV) and the MALE UAV. A tender has been issued for the supply of unspecified number of TUAS for No 11 Skn out of Melaka International Airport near Batu Berendam.The spirit of the tender is nevertheless to provide training and surveillance platform in anticipation of delivery of the much capable MALE UAV.

The RMAF will certainly following closely the training syllabus and operational doctrine of two Maritime agencies namely the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Aviation Branch (Cawangan Udara TLDM –  CUT) with its US supplied Boeing/In-Situ ScanEagle Mk 2 operated by No 601 Skn and the Malaysian Coast Guard (officially known as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency or MMEA) Thales Fulmar X TUAVs out of its Bagan Datuk class New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPV)

The MALE UAV tender is expected to be closed by November while the MPA tender is closed in early December 2020. This could mean that two winners might be selected in 2021, the first year of 12th Malaysia Plan.

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T-6 Texan II Selected for Royal Thai Air Force

 The T-6 Texan II becomes the new Air Force training aircraft. This includes a new type of attack aircraft of the Royal Thai Air Force. This acquisition will replace the expiring PC-9M trainer aircrafta and will replace the L-39ZA/ART attack aircraft at the 411 squadron in Chiang Mai, which will replace at least 24 aircraft per squadron, which is considered to reduce the number of aircraft per squadron. But it comes with the opportunity of the Thai industrial sector to participate in the manufacture and improvement of aircraft like this. This is the first time that Thai people can participate in this much.

The T-6 Texan II defeats the KT-1 Wongbee and PC-21, although it did not exceed expectations. But it is considered quite surprising Let's get to know the T-6 Texan II a little more.

The T-6 Texan II is the purchase of a PC-9 trainer to be developed to compete in the United States Army's Joint Initial Training Aircraft Program. It was finally chosen as the standard training aircraft for all three US Army pilots. It first entered service about 20 years ago, it is also a standard training aircraft of the United States Air Force, Air Force of New Zealand, Morocco Air Force, Mexican Air Force and Navy, Israeli Air Force, Greece Air Force, Iraqi Air Force,  Argentinian Air Force and Canadian Air Force. The Royal Thai Air Force will be the 11th national user of the T-6 Texan II with more than 850 aircraft produced.

The T-6TH, which is the Royal Thai Air Force code, will be based on the T-6C Texan II, as well as the A-6TH that will be the attack aircraft, it should also be based on the AT-6B Wolverine.

The Thai "TH" code represents a specific improvement of the Royal Thai Air Force. Because the Air Force specifies the need for the Air Force and Thai private companies to be able to improve the flight control software or Operation Flight Program of the machine, Textron Aviation, the manufacturer, agrees to all requirements. Manufacturers, Textron Aviation and Lockheed Martin, as well as CMC Electronics and Diehl will collaborate with Thailand's RV Connex and TAI in final refurbishment and assembly to deliver to the Air Force. This may include the production of some parts in Thailand.

As planned, the Air Force is expected to make significant improvements to the A-6TH, which will be equipped with the current Air Force standard IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missile. This will be the first time that the T-6 Texan II will be able to install IRIS-T, which will be primarily operated by RV Connex, who previously joined the IRIS-T installation on the F-5TH. It uses the same mission system architecture that is installed on the A-10C Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and uses an enhanced sensor suite from the MC-12W Liberty reconnaissance aircraft. The cockpit is expected to be co-designed by CMC Electronic, a partner with The Thai RV Connex in the Alphajet cockpit design has come before.

Weapons systems will be able to use a .50 inch or 20 mm gun equipped with a 500 pound laser guided bomb, and other types of bombs. And in the future will include the installation of the Link-TH Datalink system, which is the standard link of the Royal Thai Air Force. The final assembly will be carried out in Thailand. It is expected to be at TAI's factory and may include private Thai companies to manufacture some parts.

Buying Thai weapons or buy foreign weapons, but Thais get jobs, produce, get technology.  There will be continued, if the Air Force is successful in implementing its White Paper policy for the next 20 years, a project like this would be a fine excuse to ask political support to generate industry and income for the country. And will help support the Thai economy reduce the loss of military budget going outside the country. And is a high utilization of the budget and many dimensions This should be an important example of the Thai military procurement and development.

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August 28, 2020

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Two Australian ADW Test Cooperative Engagement

 Sailing in company to test combat system

Navy’s newest guided missile destroyer HMAS Sydney has sailed in company with sister ship HMAS Brisbane to conduct training and testing of the Aegis Combat System.Commanding Officer of Sydney Commander Edward Seymour said it was the first time the ship sailed in company with another guided missile destroyer and the first time joining another vessel at sea equipped with the cooperative engagement capability.

“This activity is a great opportunity to use some of the more complex systems that we have to provide crew training and preparedness,” Commander Seymour said. Sailing in company with Brisbane has also allowed the ship to exercise bridge and navigation teams, watchkeeping and communications. 

Sydney has been progressing through the DDG Force Generation cycle, which includes conducting Aegis waterfront training with the support of a team of specialists from Lockheed Martin in the United States.“The waterfront training let’s us train ourselves to generate the ship’s combat systems training team and integrate this as part of the whole ship training regime,” Commander Seymour said. “We have achieved this with valuable assistance from the team from the United States who bring expertise and experience on the Aegis Combat system.”  

Principal Warfare Officer in Sydney’s combat information centre Lieutenant Daniel James said the training contributed greatly to test and validate the system and train its maintainers and operators. “This is one of the few occasions that Australian ships have been able to employ this capability other than with US Navy platforms,” Lieutenant James said.Following the Aegis Waterfront Training, Sydney will begin unit ready work-ups in preparation for final live weapons and systems tests in the United States next year. 

August 27, 2020

Pakistan Army rescue operations in Drowned Karachi

Pakistan's biggest city Karachi sank yesterday


BRP Antonio Luna Sea Trials Set Mid-September Phillipines Navy

 Sea trials for the Philippine Navy (PN)'s second missile-frigate, BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), are tentatively scheduled by mid-September."The tentative schedule for (sea trials is on) mid-September. However, it is still not yet finalized," said Navy public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, in a message to the Philippine News Agency on Monday.

Sea trials are the last phase of construction prior to the frigate’s delivery to the Philippines scheduled tentatively for January or February of 2021.BRP Antonio Luna is the sister-ship of BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the PN's first missile-frigate, which is now participating in the ongoing Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises off Hawaii.

Also, Roxas said BRP Antonio Luna has earlier conducted her builder's sea trials which are normally "conducted to do an initial test at sea and do minor adjustments".Earlier, the PN said the delivery for the country's second missile-frigate is projected for October 2020 but this was pushed back to early next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic."If not for this Covid-19 pandemic, the second frigate (FF-151) should have been delivered by October this year but because of this pandemic, it will be moved to the first quarter of Calendar Year 2021," PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo earlier said in an online forum.

BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) was launched on Nov. 8, 2019 at the Ulsan facility of South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.Its keel-laying on May 23, 2019 coincided with the launch of BRP Jose Rizal. The contract for the BRP Jose Rizal and the BRP Antonio Luna was placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions.These ships are capable of conducting anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and electronic warfare (EW) operations. 

Japan cleared to buy 32 AIM-120C-8 missiles

The U.S. government has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan of 32 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) with support for an estimated cost of $63 million.


Taiwan deploys Albatross UAVs to South China Sea

 Taiwan has deployed a small number of its indigenous Albatross unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to Pratas and Taiping Islands in the South China Sea.

Chinese shipyard launches first Type 054 A/P frigate for Pakistan Navy


For the record, in 2018, the Pakistani Defense Ministry signed with the Chinese foreign trade association China Shipbuilding Trading Company Ltd. a contract for the construction of two more frigates of the Chinese project 054A for the Pakistani fleet. The cost of the contract was not disclosed. Thus, in total, the Pakistani Navy has ordered four frigates of the 054A project to date, which should be commissioned by the end of 2021.

About the Type 054A is a multi-role frigate:

The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is recognized as the backbone of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet of surface combatants with 30 vessels in commission. They have a length of 134 meters, a beam of 16 meters for a displacement of 4,000 tons. They have a crew complement of 165 sailors.

The Type 054A is armed with HQ-16 medium-range surface-air missiles fired from 32-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) developed by Luoyang Electro-Optics Technology Development Centre (EOTDC). The HQ-16 missile can engage aerial targets from all angles up to a range of 50km. The VLS is also expected to launch an anti-submarine missile.

The primary Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) system of the Type 054A is the YJ-83 (C-803) sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile. The missile is launched by two quadruple launchers mounted at the mid-ship position. The YJ-83 missile can carry a 165kg conventional warhead to an operational range of 250km.

Once constructed, these ships will be the most technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan Navy which will strengthen its capability to meet future challenges and maintain peace, stability & power equilibrium in the Indian Ocean Region.

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August 23, 2020

Overview of Kh-35 Main Anti-Ship Missiles of the Vietnam Navy


Currently the surface force of the Vietnam Navy with the core of fast attack missile ships as well as guard ships are using popular Kh-35E Uran-E missiles, so What is so special about this weapon known as "national missile"?

In recent years, the Navy is one of the forces prioritized by higher levels to go straight to modern with the investment in many new and extremely modern weapons and equipment, meeting the requirements of security protecting the Fatherland's sacred sea sovereignty. Along with the timely and synchronous investment, the Vietnamese surface warships with the core of the Gepard 3.9 frigate ships and the fast attack ship 12418 Molniya have created a strong deterrent, the "steel fist" our main force in combat. And when it comes to the most powerful weapons on these warships, we immediately think of the Kh-35E Uran-E surface-to-air missile. 

Kh-35E anti-ship missile (Russian name: X-35, NATO designation: AS-20) is a subsonic anti-ship missile that is most commonly used on Navy warships today, in addition it can also be launched from many different platforms such as fighters, helicopters, ground launchers, ... Designed by the Zvezda Design Department in 1983 to replace the P-15 Termit missiles, outdated, slow speed and limited range.

This is a type of missile belonging to the group of extremely popular anti-ship missiles in the world such as Harpoon of the US, Sea Eagle of the UK, Exocet of France, with the ability to attack targets at long range outside the horizon and ceiling, ultra-low flight to minimize the time it takes to expose in front of reconnaissance vehicles, target detection radar and ship defense systems.In terms of basic specifications, Kh-35E is 4.40m long, wingspan 0.93m, diameter 0.42m, weight 630kg. It can be seen that the missile is quite compact in size, convenient to move and install. For example, on board the 12418 Molniya missile ship can carry a base of 16 rounds of Kh-35E even though it only displaces more than 500 tons.The Kh-35E missiles are housed in the reusable launcher cum storage tube KT-184, which can be mounted individually or in groups of four available for replacement. While inside the launcher, the wings of the Kh-35E were folded back and fully opened after firing.The Kh-35E missile carries the ARGS-35E active radar self-guided warhead, which is designed to be able to lead bullets to hit assigned targets at the end of the journey. The self-guided head performs functions such as: detect and select the right target of the water surface to attack according to the parameters loaded from the beginning, determine and provide the target parameter and access speed to the target for the computer launch ship. Can scan targets from a maximum distance of 20km, a weight of 40kg, work in X-band and environments from -50 to +50 degrees C, maximum sea level 6.

Next is the missile's penetrating bullet block, which is detonated by the bottom fuse according to the slow-hold explosion mechanism after the warhead block breaks the outer armor layer into the enemy ship compartment. The warhead weighs 145kg, can destroy surface ships with water displacement of 5,000 tons or less with just one hit.

In addition, the missile also has an inertial conductor block, which is used to guide Kh-35E missiles according to pre-parameterized routes to the target before activating the active radar self-guided warhead. The unit includes a cruise state control computer, an accelerometer sensor system and a radio high-speed measuring system. The computer synthesizes the parameters from the systems at the same time comparing with the original parameters, thereby leading the missile according to the expected journey or self-destructing if there is an error or deviation from the target.Equally important on the missile is the TRDD-50AT turbojet engine block, which is a small two-threaded jet engine developed for a winged missile. The block is 330mm in diameter, 850mm in length, and 82kg in weight. The engine helps to stabilize the Kh-35E missile at Mach 0.8 subsonic cruise speed.Kh-35E anti-ship missiles attack the target according to the principle of "fire and forget", with the combined guided missile system operating completely autonomously after leaving the launch tube. This guiding principle helps the means of carrying launch and reconnaissance and to ensure the missile's combat maneuver immediately after launch to avoid the enemy's response. The missile's target attack sequence is divided into three phases: the target detection phase, the missile launch preparation stage and the missile attack phase.

At the target reconnaissance stage, the on-board reconnaissance or search radar detects, identifies and determines the parameters of the enemy ship to be attacked, in addition, this process is also possible  aided by both shore and satellite reconnaissance stations.In the stage of preparing to launch the missile, the combat unit, after receiving the full target parameters from the reconnaissance activities, will load the firing element into the missile and be ready to receive the firing order. Because the Kh-35E missile has a steering mechanism, when launched, the ship does not need to turn toward the target like the 1241REs with P-20M missiles.

And finally, the missile attacks the target, after receiving the launch command, the missile bullets will quickly activate and fly towards the target, and use independent navigation methods with parameters  preloaded, using a flying mechanism close to the sea and being able to use multiple bullets to attack the target at the same time will increase the rate of hitting enemy ships very high.

It can be seen that, the Kh-35E is a modern missile with great strength, high independence and sophisticated combat, worthy of being the main anti-ship missile model of our Navy today. Not only stopping at the import of large quantities, our Army is also trying to perfect and self-control the process of manufacturing domestic Kh-35E missiles with the recently announced KCT-15 and VCM-01 programs. , shows us a remarkable development of Vietnam Defense Technology that can manufacture advanced weapons to meet the military's operational needs.

Australian Navy Experiments with Mine Hunting Drones


Mine-hunting robots get smart

Whether providing a bird’s eye view of the battlefield or searching the ocean for mines, it’s well known robotic systems are ideally suited to dull, dirty and dangerous jobs.The operator of an uninhabited aerial vehicle can remotely control a drone using radio or satellite communications. However, communicating through water is more difficult, driving a need to incorporate a greater degree of autonomy in uninhabited underwater vehicles (UUVs).

Defence is experimenting with deploying UUVs to undertake mine countermeasures operations. Hunting for naval mines is obviously dangerous work, and the task of interpreting vast amounts of sonar imagery is monotonous and tiring for humans.There are a range of technological solutions that can be used to seek out mines in the ocean, but Navy primarily relies on sonar.As it moves through the water, a sonar device sends out pulses of sound and listen for echoes to bounce back. From this data, sonar produces acoustically generated images that should reveal any mines that might be lurking on the seabed.

Defence scientist Dr Phil Chapple has developed software that processes sonar imagery automatically detecting any objects of interest.Known as SonarDetect, the software can be used to carry out post-mission analysis, including processing data all at once after it has been collected. But the software can also work in real time as a sonar-equipped UUV moves around the ocean.“These robotic vehicles are normally programmed to follow certain fixed paths,” Dr Chapple said. “They will cover an area of the seabed and go backwards and forwards to cover an area and provide images of all of the seabed.

“Those images are sent back for analysis later by the naval operator but we are trying to make that more autonomous so vehicles can respond immediately if they see something of interest.“To do that, you have to get a good detection rate and a low false-alarm rate and that’s the challenge. If they respond to every rock on the seabed, or every fish, you’ll never get anywhere.”

Once it detects something, the vehicle might pause its predetermined search pattern to take a closer look at the object, capturing images from different angles to help identification.The UUV might return to the surface and alert the operator of what it has found, and to await instructions.“The software is replicating what a human would do, but a trained operator could generally do better,” Dr Chapple said. “Humans have an ability to recognise certain objects and they know what is likely to be in certain places, so there’s a whole lot of contextual understanding that a human has which is difficult to program.”

Dr Chapple said human operators were prone to getting tired and could be distracted by other tasks.“They start off being quite good at processing data but after a while they get fatigued and they miss things, whereas the software will just keep going,” he said.“The software alerts the human to look at certain objects and make a decision, so it’s still a teaming between what the both can do.”

Dr Chapple said robotic vehicles were not intended to replace naval personnel but envisaged UUVs being deployed as part of a team to enhance Navy’s mine countermeasures capability.“We’re trying to build in autonomy because it will enhance the ability of the naval operator to conduct a mission,” he said. “If they can send out robotic vehicles, trust what they’re going to do and rely on them to come back safely then that will be a force multiplier going forward.”

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ROK Navy to Receive First Aircraft Carrier LPX-II


The South Korean Ministry of Defense (MOD) has announced that the Republic of Korea’s (RoK) Navy will receive its first ever light aircraft carrier, LPX-II.

In October last year, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) won the contract to design the LPX-II.

The vessel was originally designed to be an amphibious assault ship. However, as per the latest advancements, the LPX-II aircraft carrier will be dedicated to air operations with F-35B and rotary wings.

HHI is scheduled to conclude the conceptual design later this year.In October 2019 South Korea order 20 F35B VTOL aircraft (photo : Simon Mortimer)Originally expected to be launched in 2033, LPX-II’s project schedule has been fast-tracked to be launched later this decade.

The vessel will be based on the existing Dokdo-class amphibious assault LPX-I ship project designed by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction.

It will be longer and heavier than the Dokdo-class vessel and will not include a well deck and launch catapult.

Australia and US Sign Agreement on Development of Airborne Multi-Platform EW Project


Airborne Multi-Platform Electronic Warfare Project Arrangement

United States Department of Defense and Australian Department of Defence have established an international agreement concerning the cooperative development of Airborne Multi-Platform Electronic Warfare capabilities (AMPEW Project Arrangement).

Personnel from the United States and Australia are continuing to engage daily to develop technologies under the six year agreement.

Head of Air Force Capability, Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts AM, CSC said the agreement builds upon the long history of close collaboration.

“The AMPEW Project Arrangement establishes a cooperative project to jointly design, develop, test, and demonstrate dynamic multi-platform electromagnetic manoeuvre warfare resource allocation management (EMW RAM) tools and decision aids,” Air Vice-Marshal Roberts said.

“The primary objective is to decrease aircrew cognitive workload and automate Command and Control of manned and unmanned EW systems from stand-in to stand-off ranges.

“The Project Arrangement serves as the mechanism under which the United States Navy and Australia are executing the EMW RAM Coalition Warfare Program project and Future Naval Capability.

“This is a partnership between Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division Office of Naval Research; Naval Air Systems Command; Royal Australian Air Force; Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group; and Industry for both the US and Australia.”

The parties will jointly undertake studies to identify future cooperative development opportunities directed toward increased airborne multi-platform EW capabilities.

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August 17, 2020

Singapore Navy Participates in Group Sail with Australia, Brunei, Japan and United States Navies

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s Formidable-class frigate RSS Supreme participated in a Multinational Group Sail (MNGS) with five other warships from Australia, Brunei, Japan and the United States from 1 to 11 Aug 2020 (local time) in the Pacific Ocean. RSS Supreme exercised alongside Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Anzac-class frigate HMAS Stuart and support ship HMAS Sirius, Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) Darussalam-Class Offshore Patrol Vessel KDB Darulehsan, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Atago-class destroyer JS Ashigara and United States Navy (USN) Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Rafael Peralta. 

The ships conducted a series of drills while transiting from Guam to Hawaii, with RSS Supreme leading a component of the MNGS, which included manoeuvring and communication exercises, underway replenishment and protection of a simulated high-value unit. The exercise was planned virtually, without any physical contact among navies.

RSS Supreme is sailing to Hawaii for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise. Hosted by the USN, the biennial Exercise RIMPAC will be conducted in the waters off Hawaii from 17 to 31 Aug 2020 (local time). This is the seventh time that the RSN will be participating in the world's largest international maritime exercise, and the RSN will be undertaking the role of commander of a task group during the exercise. The multilateral Exercise RIMPAC and the MNGS are important avenues for the RSN to hone its competencies and strengthen interoperability and professional ties with other navies.

The crew of RSS Supreme were isolated and tested negative for COVID-19 prior to deployment.


Singapore's MPA Launches Six Next-Generation Patrol Craft to Grow its Frontline Capabilities


The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) launched six next-generation patrol craft to enhance its frontline capabilities to ensure navigational safety, and enhance the protection of the marine environment in the Port of Singapore. Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, graced the occasion at Marina South Pier this morning.

Next-Generation Patrol Craft

These new 17-metre patrol craft will be equipped with the Intelligent Port Marine System to enhance MPA’s seaward capabilities in conducting enforcement patrols and responding to marine emergencies. With predictive capabilities using both real-time and historical data, MPA’s next-generation patrol craft can carry out targeted enforcement and response mitigation. Integrating data analytics with onboard surveillance, navigation and communication systems also improves information relay from the craft to shore-based command centres and increases MPA port inspectors’ situational awareness of ground activities.

The new patrol craft possess new surveillance capabilities such as the multi-sensor marine thermal cameras, chemical gas detectors and drones. Each patrol craft also has a rescue boat fitted with a man overboard recovery system and towing capabilities for small craft to support search and rescue operations. Equipped with a dispersant spray system and containment booms, the patrol craft can also be deployed to respond to oil spills. 

The six new patrol craft replace the existing fleet of patrol craft, which operated between 2012 and 2020.

New Patrol Launches

In addition, MPA has deployed two new patrol launches for flag and port state control inspections, and to conduct checks on bunkering and private wharves activities. These 15-metre patrol launches will also support enforcement patrols and response efforts during emergencies.

Captain Kevin Wong, MPA’s Port Master, said, “The next-generation patrol craft and launches enhance our incident response capabilities and improve the operational effectiveness of our officers in conducting their work in the Port of Singapore. MPA consistently explores and adopts new technology to meet our operational needs and improve our frontline capabilities. The feedback we received from our officers were integral to the design of these vessels.”

MPA’s next-generation patrol craft will make a public appearance at the Maritime Sailpast segment of National Day Parade 2020 on 9 August. It will join MPA’s hydrographic survey vessel, Discovery, as well as 11 other vessels from the Republic of Singapore Navy, Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force in an expression of unity among maritime agencies to keep Singapore’s waters safe and supply chains secure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The future Jose Rizal-class frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) was spotted conducting sea trials on August 12 in Ulsan, South Korea.

MaxDefense Philippines posted a photo showing “Jose Rizal-class frigate Antonio Luna (FF-151) conducting sea trials off the coast of Ulsan, South Korea last Wednesday 12 August 2020.”

“The photo came from a community member who is a commercial ship crew,” MaxDefense added.

According to Philippine Navy Flag Officer-on-Command Vice Admiral Giovnni Carlo Bacordo, “we are expecting FF-151 January or February 2021, still ahead of the delivery date per contract, which is March 2021.”

MaxDefense said according to “sources that the FOIC’s estimated arrival schedule is actually conservative and there is still possibility for HHI to deliver the frigate before year end, depending on the situation and because this is beneficial for HHI.”

Moreover, the Philippine Fleet said the pioneering crew of future BRP Antonio Luna “is scheduled for Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) training facilitated by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) at South Korea starting Monday, Aug 17, 2020.”

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Australian Navy's newest warship, NUSHIP Supply, recently completed Sea Acceptance Trials ahead of sailing from Ferrol to Australia later this month for her Australian fit-out. 

Navantia Australia is Prime for sustainment of Supply and sister ship, Stalwart.The Royal Australian Navy's NUSHIP Supply, lead ship for the Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships, performed Sea Acceptance Trials in Ferrol, Spain from 4-8 August 2020.

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The Morrison Government is increasing Army’s experimentation, prototyping and exploration of autonomous vehicle and emerging technologies with a $12.2 million boost in Australian industry contracts.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the development of robotic and autonomous systems are central to meeting Australia’s future operational challenges, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and combat operations.

“These technologies are ‘disruptive technologies’ that provide marked advantages on the modern battlefield by bolstering ADF capability while protecting Australian personnel,” Minister Reynolds said.

“In the 2020 Force Structure Plan, I set out how Defence plans to seize these opportunities through greater development and implementation of robotic and autonomous systems.”

Thecontracts will be delivered over the next three years and include:

-$7.7 million contract with BAE Systems Australia to convert 16 M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers into Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicles (OCCVs), increasing the OCCV fleet available to 20 vehicles and support experimentation over two years. Conversions will be conducted in South Australia by BAE and in regional Victoria by Defence’s Joint Logistic Unit (Victoria).

 -$3.5 million contract with the Institute for Intelligent Research and Innovation (IISRI) at Deakin University for the expansion of Army’s leader-follower vehicle technology prototyping.

 -$135,000 contract with QinetiQ Australia for the modelling of the value of conversion of a Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle to hybrid-electric drive.

 -$897,000 contract with EPE for small wheeled robots to experiment with human and machine teaming in reconnaissance roles.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the investment will boost robotic and autonomous vehicle studies and help to build opportunities for local defence companies.“These are exciting times for developing world-class, cutting-edge technology right here in Australia,” Minister Price said

“We are investing $12 million to boost Defence’s experience and understanding of new and emerging technologies in partnership with Australian industry and academia.

“There is a global increase in the use of these types of technologies and investments like these ensure both Defence and Australian industry are well positioned to take advantage and further develop these state-of-the-art technologies.”

Army’s Robotic & Autonomous Systems Implementation & Coordination Office (RICO) was launched in March 2020 to explore, coordinate and develop concepts for disruptive technology in pursuit of its Robotic and Autonomous Systems Strategy.

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