May 31, 2021

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May 26, 2021

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Thailand - Several Defense Equipment Replacement were Postponed Due to Budget Cuts



 Replacement of AH-1F and C-130H an also second and third S-26T submarines were delayed due to defence budget cuts (all photos : AAG)

Thailand plans to cut the defense budget for the fiscal year 2022 in response to the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. This will be Thailand's third consecutive military budget cut if approved by the House of Representatives of Thailand in June 2021.The annual budget summary for the year 2022 in Thailand was recently published by the Thai Government Budget Office. Represents Thailand's defense budget (which will start in October 2021) that has been proposed around 203.280 million baht ($ 6.5 billion).

According to the 2022 budget document, this shows that the defense budget has been cut to about 11,000,000,000 baht (or 5% cut) compared to the annual defense budget Year 2021 that has been allocated 214,530,000,000 baht.The allocation of the defense budget for the year 2021 has been cut down to approximately 17,000,000,000 baht (or 7% cut) compared to the annual defense budget 2020 approved at 234,740,000 baht.However, in terms of the overall proportion of the budget for the year 2022 proposed by the Thai government the defense budget is raised to 6.6 percent. While in the fiscal year 2021, Defense accounted for 6.5 percent.

The Thai government has been forced to reduce the overall expense budget allocation plan by 5.6 percent. This is largely due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.In 2020, the defense budget ratio was 7.2 percent. The total budget of the country and in 2019 was approximately 7.5 percent. Janes analyzed the observations that the last time the Thai defense budget ratio was below 7 percent was the year 2006.In the framework of the defense budget for the year 2022, the budget summary document shows that The Royal Thai Army will receive a budget that is about 99,370,000 baht (equivalent to 49 percent of the total defense budget).


The Royal Thai Navy received a budget around 41.3 million baht and the Royal Thai Air Force received a budget around 38.4 million baht respectively.Several years of ongoing defense budget cuts have resulted in the modernization of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, including a new attack helicopter to replace Bell AH-1F Cobra delayed by the Army.Chinese S26T submarines, second and third phases, the Thai Navy that has been postponed for another year and a new transport aircraft to replace Lockheed Martin C-130H, Royal Thai Air Force, that should start in the year 2022. 

Philippine Air Force (PAF) Looking Forward to Delivery of 10 Black Hawks


 National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said that he is looking forward to this year’s delivery of remaining 10 S70i Black Hawk Combat Utility Helicopters built by Poland-based company PZL Mielec.

In December 2020, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) accepted the delivery of 6 S70i Black Hawks as part of the 16 units ordered from PZL Mielec.“Since their acquisition, our Blackhawk S-70is have greatly boosted the operational readiness of the PAF in both combat and non-combat missions. Their larger capacity and impressive horsepower allows for a faster and long-range transport,” Secretary Lorenzana said.

“Looking forward to the delivery of the remaining 10 Blackhawks this year,” he added.


Australian Army Begins Operational Testing of Carl-Gustaf M4

 

The Australian Army commenced operational test and evaluation of the manportable 84 mm Carl-Gustaf M4 reloadable recoilless rifle at the Army’s School of Infantry in Singleton, New South Wales, in early May. The M4 is the intended replacement for the army’s in-service M3 variant as it reaches its 10 year lifespan.Weighing 6.3 kg, the M4 is lighter than the M3 (10 kg), with the length of the overall launcher reduced from 106.5 cm (M3) to less than 100 cm (M4). Driven by a universal requirement to reduce the load burden on ground combat operators, weight savings have been achieved through the development of an improved carbon fibre casing, the introduction of a titanium liner, and the substitution of the M3 steel venturi with a reduced-size titanium venturi recoil damper. 

The standard launcher sight is the same telescopic sight with a manual ballistic setting drum featured on the M3, although the M4 design is also optimised to interface with attachable intelligent sighting systems (Fire-Control System [FCS]) and new Carl-Gustaf programmable ammunition – essential discriminators in terms of improved precision and kill probability. The M4 also features an adjustable shoulder rest and grip, along with a ‘transport safety’ function for the cocking lever, which enables the loaded round to be carried safely in combat. The M4’s range is characterised by Saab as ‘munition-dependent’.

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May 25, 2021

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Philippines to take delivery of six T129s from third quarter

The Philippines has acquired Turkish Aerospace Industries T129B "ATAK" helicopters for its attack helicopter program, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday."We have already ordered six (T129B helicopters)," Lorenzana said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The budget for the attack helicopter program is placed at around PHP13.8 billion."According to schedule, (deliveries will start in the) third quarter," Lorenzana said.

The T129 is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform and is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions.The defense chief earlier said the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is more interested in acquiring the T129B for its attack helicopter program.The PAF is looking to acquire dedicated but affordable attack helicopters to beef up its fleet of lightly-armed helicopters like the MG-520 and AW-109E which are being used for counter-terror and ground support missions. 

 

Taiwanese F-16s Have Fired AIM-120 AMRAAM Missiles Locally For The First Time

 




Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets operated by Taiwan’s Republic of China Air Force, or ROCAF, have test-fired AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles, or AMRAAMs, for the first time on the island, according to reports. The missiles were apparently launched from a pair of recently upgraded F-16V jets, which had reached initial combat capability last March.

In the past, the United States has prevented the ROCAF from conducting live-firing campaigns with the AMRAAM, thought to be due to concerns about China’s possible reaction. However, a report in Taiwan’s Liberty Times today states that Washington granted permission for this test after “continuous incursions into [Taiwan’s] southwestern airspace by Chinese military aircraft and the tense international situation in the South China Sea.”

The AMRAAM test took place southeast of Taiwan, on the opposite side of the island to the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) that sees most activity by Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft. Four two-seat F-16Vs were reportedly involved in the live-fire mission, launching from Chiayi Air Base early on the morning of May 10. Each jet was said to be armed with two AMRAAMs and two short-range AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.“Planes 1 and 3 each launched an AIM-120 AMRAAM hung on the right wingtip,” Liberty Times reported, “and they all hit the target drone accurately.” Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense did not provide any comment on the event.While the ROCAF conducts weekly combat readiness exercises including live-fire training with air-to-air, anti-ship, and air-to-ground weapons, an example of the AMRAAM has never been fired by one of the service’s aircraft in Taiwan itself.Taiwan’s possession of the AMRAAM in the first place is a somewhat controversial point. In September 2000 the U.S. government agreed to sell Taiwan 200 AIM-120Cs to arm its fleet of F-16A/Bs, although only 120 were ordered. Originally, it was stipulated that the missiles be stored at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam until they were required for combat use. The American stance changed in June 2002, once China began to test R-77 (AA-12 Adder) medium-range air-to-air missiles received from Russia. The first batch of AIM-120C-5 missiles arrived in Taiwan by November 2003. Since then, the purchase of another 218 AIM-120C-7s was approved in 2007.

The small stocks of AMRAAMs available to the ROCAF — approximately two for each of the 141 F-16s in service — are, of course, nowhere near enough to employ in any kind of large-scale confrontation with the PLA. In times of crisis, those numbers would be boosted by further orders, while Taiwan has also developed an indigenous medium-range air-to-air missile, the Tien Chien 2 that arms the F-CK-1 Indigenous Defense Fighter. French-supplied Mirage 2000-5 fighters, meanwhile, are armed with MBDA MICA medium-range weapons.

Previous live-fire trials of the AMRAAM have been conducted by the ROCAF but all have been over U.S. territory. The first such mission was in Guam in October 2000, while another followed at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, in early 2001.“The United States has always considered the AIM-120 a sensitive system,” Roy Choo, a defense journalist and lead author of a forthcoming book on the ROCAF, told The War Zone. “While the missile has been deployed by the ROCAF for nearly 17 years, live-fire tests in Taiwan have been prohibited to avoid any leaks of measurement and signature Intelligence (MASINT) to the PLA. Apart from the initial missile firings in the earlier years, the ROCAF F-16 crews train on the utilization of the missile in simulators. The missile live-fires on Monday would have been approved by the US and come at a time of heightened tensions over the Taiwan Strait.”

Chen Guoming, the senior editor of Global Defense Magazine, told Liberty Times that the significance of the United States authorizing this weapons test lies in the message to Taiwan: providing assurance of U.S. intent to assist Taiwan in its defense against possible military action from China, continued military cooperation, as well as its confidence in Taiwan using advanced weapons independently. Allowing the ROCAF to conduct this test itself, rather than on a weapons range in the United States, is also an indirect acknowledgment of Taiwan’s independent status, Chen argued.

Officially, the United States has a “one China” policy that does not recognize Taiwan as independent, but it reserves the right to engage with officials there separately. Furthermore, the U.S. government has increasingly shown its support for Taiwan in more visible ways, including sending warships and aircraft through the Taiwan Strait and approving significant arms sales to the Taiwanese military. The timing of the AMRAAM test is also important for Taiwan’s F-16V upgrade program, too. The Viper was already the most capable fighter asset in the ROCAF inventory and the only one that can carry AIM-120 missiles, a weapon that is vital if the service hopes to keep pace with Beijing’s rapidly developing airpower capabilities. 


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May 23, 2021

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Philippine Navy Getting New Ocean-Going, Harbor Tugboats


 The Department of National Defense (DND) is acquiring two tugboats for the Philippine Navy with budget of 600 million pesos. The acquisition will provide the Philippine Navy with 1 harbor tugboat and 1 ocean-going tugboat.

In a supplemental bid, the DND moved the Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) from May 25 to June 8.Delivery of the tugboats is 540 days from the issuance of notice to proceed (NTP).

Among the capabilities of the tugboats is able “to tow vessel of at least 7,200 tonnage displacement, push or aid a vessel which has lost its means of propulsion or steering.”The tugboats should also be “highly maneuverable specifically on restricted waters to assist PN vessels during entering/leaving to/from their designated berthing and anchoring stations.”The harbor tugboat should be at least 26 meters in length and 8 meters in breadth. The ocean-going tugboat should be at least 30 meters in length and 10 meters in breadth.

Three Strongest Navies in Southeast Asia

TNI AL equipped with two Martadinata class frigates (photo : TNI AL)


Among the three navies that are said to be the most powerful in Southeast Asia, Thailand unexpectedly comes in third place with its aircraft carrier.

According to data from the newly published Military.Wikia site, the navy has the leading power in Southeast Asia today, which is said to be Indonesia.


TNI AL equipped with three Bung Tomo class light frigates (photo : TNI AL)


With a very complex geographical position, this country is required to invest heavily in the navy. Indonesia is also a rare country in the region, capable of building its own frigates.

The country's Martadinata-class missile frigates, locally built by Indonesia, are based on a Dutch license. In addition, the navy is also equipped with Exocet anti-ship missiles from France.
TNI AL also equipped with four Diponegoro class corvettes (photo : TNI AL)

In addition to extremely powerful missile frigates, Indonesia also possesses a large submarine fleet, along with the ability to build its own submarines based on technology transfer from South Korea.

In the event of war, the capabilities of the Indonesian navy will be further enhanced, with its excellent self-manufacturing capacity.

RSN equipped with six Formidable class frigate (photo : RSN)

Quite surprising when Singapore is said to be the country with the second largest naval power in Southeast Asia today.

In particular, the backbone of this country's navy is stealth frigates, built according to the Formidable class designed and manufactured by France.


RSN equipped with six Victory class corvettes (photo : RSN)

All 6 Formidable-class warships of the current Singapore Navy, have put the country into the second most powerful position in the region, despite the fact that Singapore only owns 38 pioneering warships in the service.


RSN also equipped with eight Littoral Mission Vessel (photo : RSN)

The main weapons of the Formidable-class warships in Singapore's service today are the world's most modern Harpoon anti-ship missiles, imported from the US by this country.

RTN equipped with one Korean made DW-3000F frigates and two Chinese made Naresuan class frigates (photo : TAF)
The most surprising point is that 5 of the 6 Formidable-class warships that this country owns, up to 5 are built in the country, only the first one is imported from abroad.

And the most surprising is in third place with Thailand. Despite the country's main use of the Chakri Naruebet aircraft carrier for tourism and visitor service, it is still the only country in Southeast Asia that owns its own aircraft carrier.


 The surprising point is that Thailand, despite owning the "biggest" aircraft carrier in the region, does not have a submarine in service. Bangkok's plan to buy submarines S26T from China, has so far been postponed indefinitely.

May 19, 2021

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Chinese Army Inducts New Armored Vehicles, Howitzers & Rocket Launchers


 The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s Xinjiang Military Command has taken delivery of three new advanced weapon systems – armored vehicles, howitzers and self-propelled rocket launchers – over the past week.

The unit deployed in a snowy plateau region at an elevation of more than 4,500m inducted dozens of Type 08 eight-wheeled armored vehicles of different variants with some of them equipped with large caliber rifled guns, auto cannons, machine guns and howitzer systems, js7tv.cn, a video news website affiliated with the PLA, reported on Sunday.Another newly delivered weapons system is a new-type, four-wheeled 122mm-caliber self-propelled howitzer, to a group which recently conducted its first live-fire target practice deep in the Karakorum Mountains at an altitude of 4,500m. The howitzer partially uses technologies from the PCL-181 155mm-caliber self-propelled howitzer.

In addition, a batch of new PHL-03 long-range self-propelled heavy rocket launchers, which are highly mobile, fast-reacting, highly accurate, very deadly and jamming-resistant, recently went into service at a unit deployed in a snow-covered region at an elevation of more than 5,200m, Chinese media reported.

The command received the first batch of newly developed Type 15 light tanks in early 2021.

Indonesia Close to Signing Rafale Contract

 

Indonesia could become the latest customer for the French Rafale fighters with an agreement expected to be signed soon.

The contract is awaiting Indonesian presidential acceptance to route money from the Ministry of Defense account to buy the jets, LA Tribune reported today.Indonesian Air Force plans to buy at least 36 Rafales. During a visit to Paris in October 2020, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto reiterated his keen interest in the Dassault Aviation fighter plane.

The two countries have initiated a strategic dialogue this year with the objective of quickly signing a cooperation agreement in the field of defense.Indonesia recently turned down an offer from the U.S. to buy F-16 jets after the U.S. declined to sell it F-35 fighters. Besides, its deal to buy 12 Su-35 jets from Russia is in cold storage since 2018.

Dassault is on a roll with a recent order from Egypt and Greece to buy Rafale jets and on-going contracts with India and Qatar. The company might be ok to a parts-manufacturing eco-system which Indonesia is said to be proposing.According to reports, Jakarta’s wish list also includes eight Boeing F-15s, Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, three Airbus A330 tankers for aerial refuelling and six MQ-1 Predator drones.


Two active duty USAF pilots ejected from a F-15QA on May 18 at Midamerica airport during landing

US Issues Export Licenses to Turkey to Sell T129 Attack Helicopters to Philippines


 Turkey obtained the necessary export permits from the USA in order to export the T129 ATAK Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter to the Philippines. With the completion of the necessary approvals, a total of 12 ATAK exports will be made to the Philippines, 6 in the first batch and 6 in the second.

Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement to the press on 07 December 2018, Turkish Aviation and Space Industry Inc. (TAI) produced the T-129 ATAK Assault and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter and announced that 6-8 units would be purchased in the first place.

However, the sale in question did not come to life for a while due to awaiting export permission for US manufactured parts such as the engine in the T129 ATAK helicopter. In fact, the United States offered to sell AH-64 Apache and AH-1Z Viper helicopters to the Philippines in the meantime, but this offer was not accepted by the Philippines.

According to the information in Defense Industry; TUSAŞ Corporate Marketing and Communications Director Serdar Demir stated in his statement at the Defense's Star Shines event that the USA gave the necessary export permits for ATAK exports to the Philippines. 

A total of 12 ATAK exports will be made to the Philippines, 6 in the first batch and 6 in the second.

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May 17, 2021

Israel's Iron Dome has Blocked Some 90% of Rockets Fired by Hamas

 







Israel's Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted about 90% of the barrage of rockets fired by Hamas in recent hostilities, according to multiple sources.

The Israeli military says 1,600 rockets have been fired by Hamas, the biggest test for the Iron Dome, which works by firing its own projectiles to destroy the incoming rockets before they land.The system can track only so many rockets at once. Despite the intensity of the latest barrage, the system appears to have held up.The Associated Press reported that 400 rockets fell short and landed in Gaza, leaving Israel 1,200 to intercept.According to The Economist, the Israeli armed forces claim an interception rate for the Iron Dome of up to 95%. The AP reported that 90% were successfully intercepted in the most recent strikes.

Videos posted Tuesday by the Israel Defense Forces and onlookers give a picture of the airborne battle between rockets and interceptor missiles. Each flash of light represents a successful intercept."What you're seeing in the sky is the algorithm," an unnamed engineer who worked on developing the system, told The Economist. "We've been constantly improving the algorithm so it can face a barrage like this."

The Iron Dome algorithm has adapted to counter Hamas attempts to overwhelm the system with huge numbers of rockets, experts told The Economist.But it doesn't come cheap: Every interceptor costs around $40,000, per The Economist, which is many times the cost of the basic Hamas munitions they intercept."When they're firing at a big city like Tel Aviv, there's no question: You intercept every incoming rocket," Isaac Ben-Israel, a former major-general and weapons specialist, told the outlet.

Hamas "failed because this is specifically what the system was designed to do: Deal with multiple targets, and it's constantly been improved so it can deal with more."But some rockets still got through. As of early Thursday morning, the Israeli death toll reached seven, the AP reported. Among those struck by rockets was a 6-year-old child, according to the outlet.Gaza, an occupied territory, is far less capable of defending against attacks from Israel. According to the AP, Israel has sent around 600 airstrikes into Gaza since Hamas began firing rockets.An aerial view of a destroyed tower block by the coast in Gaza City, May 12 2021.These operations included the leveling of two high-rise buildings that Israeli authorities say housed Hamas leaders.

As of Thursday, the Gazan Health Ministry reported 69 people dead from the attacks, including 16 children and six women, the AP reported.The conflict has escalated in response to numerous renewed tensions, as Insider's Joshua Zitser has reported.These include the planned eviction of Palestinian residents from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to make way for Jewish Israelis; and heavy-handed Israeli policing around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in which police fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades toward worshippers.

First AW139 for Australian Army Delivered


 The Australian Army took delivery of its first Leonardo AW139 helicopter under its ‘Plan Corella’ Army Interim Commercial Helicopter (AICH) capability requirement on April 30.

As reported by ADBR last October, the uncapitalised Plan Corella will see up to three AW139s join 5 Aviation Regiment (5Avn) at Townsville to augment the training, non-combat general aviation support, and transport roles of the Airbus MRH 90 Taipans of A and B SQNs. MRH 90 aircraft availability has continued to be an issue for 5Avn in recent years.

“Leasing a helicopter capability is a novel concept for us in Army Aviation,” Director Aviation Capability Management (DACM), Headquarters Forces Command, COL Hayden Archibald said in a statement. “This presents a unique opportunity for our people to operate a modern advanced aircraft that will provide a valuable level of support to the wider Army, ADF, and Australian community as required.”

The AW139s are being leased from Helicorp Pty Ltd which trades as Toll Helicopters. Helicorp/Toll operates at least 10 AW139s and two Bell 412EPs in Australia in transport, aero-medical, and resource support roles. The AIHC AW139s wear Army markings but will remain on the civilian register.

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May 14, 2021

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New Details of Hamas' Rockets Emerge


 Hamas used a new rocket in its attack against Jerusalem on Monday called the A-120 and named for a commander killed by the IDF during the Gaza War of 2014.


The "A-120" is said to have a range of about 120 kilometers and was seen in footage shared by Hamas of a long rocket being loaded by masked terrorists into a launcher in the Gaza Strip. Seven rockets were fired toward Jerusalem on Monday, one of which hit a home in a nearby suburb, causing damage but no injuries.The rocket is strikingly similar to the R-160 which Hamas boasted as its longest-range domestically-made rocket, first fired in the 2014 war, at one point hitting as far north as near Haifa. 

The "R" referred to a former top Hamas commander, Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, who was killed in an Israeli targeted killing in 2004. 

The A-120 is said to be named for Ra'ed Al-Attar, who was the commander of Hamas’s Rafah Brigade in southern Gaza and a member of the terror group’s military council. His command was viewed as important due to Rafah’s proximity to the border with Egypt and being the home to smuggling tunnels into Gaza. 

Congressional reports claim that Attar authorized the August 2010 firing of Grad-style rockets from the Sinai Peninsula into Eilat and Aqaba, Jordan.Israel claimed that Attar was also responsible for the murder and abduction of IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and that the Rafah brigade under his command was involved in other incidents during the campaign in which IDF soldiers were wounded.

In 1994, Attar was involved in a shooting which killed an Israeli soldier along the Egyptian border. In 2002, he planned a deadly attack on an Israeli military post near Kerem Shalom in which four IDF soldiers of the Bedouin desert patrol unit were killed.

China fields J-10 jets powered by homemade engine


Chengdu J-10 jets powered by indigenous engines have entered operational service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, representing China’s confidence in the local technology to equip the single-engine, multirole aircraft.

Images posted by China National Radio of a PLAAF live-firing exercise at an unspecified location show J-10C Vigorous Dragons with the distinctive exhaust nozzles of the WS-10B Taihang turbofan engine, marking the first time the WS-10 has been officially seen on an operational J-10.

The serial numbers on the tails of the J-10Cs were removed from the images by Chinese censors, making it impossible to identify the PLAAF unit operating the jets.

The confirmation of J-10s powered by an indigenous engine represents a key milestone for China’s aviation industry, and it suggests China is now satisfied by the performance and reliability of the WS-10. China has been testing the engine on the J-10 since at least 2011, with the engine seen on J-10B and J-10C test bed aircraft belonging to the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, although the engines were not seen on production aircraft until the fourth production batch of J-10Cs in 2019.

It’s unknown when these initial aircraft with WS-10 engines were delivered to the PLAAF. China does not routinely publicize such milestones, although Andreas Rupprecht, who has authored several books on Chinese military aviation, believes a Shantou-based PLAAF brigade was the first to receive the aircraft.

China has had troubles with the design and manufacture of fighter engines over the past decade or so. Despite having used the WS-10 to power the twin-engine Shenyang J-11 and J-16 jets since around 2010, the country has continued to use imported Russian AL-31 engines to power the Shenyang J-15 carrier-borne fighter and earlier batches of J-10s.

China is also continuing work on indigenous engines, with a J-10B test bed version fitted with a stealthy, thrust-vectoring WS-10B performing at the 2018 Zhuhai Airshow. It is also developing the WS-15 engine for its stealthy Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon and the WS-10 high-bypass turbofan for its Xi’an Y-20 airlifter.

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Rheinmetall Presents the New Generation of HX3 Vehicles

 






With the HX3, Rheinmetall has presented the latest generation of its HX trucks, which have been tried and tested around the world. The future-proof military truck, which thanks to new technologies meets military and automotive megatrends, has been redesigned from the ground up. Among other things, users expect improved protection, further increased mobility, greater driving comfort and a digital interface architecture for an even more flexible range of applications and future increases in performance. At the same time, the valued core strengths of the HX2 and the family concept are retained.

Like their predecessors, the vehicles of the new HX3 generation are uncompromisingly designed as "Military off the Shelf" products for military use under the toughest operating conditions - a unique selling point in the industry. In addition to the robust chassis and the powerful engines, there is an optional new active rear axle suspension, which significantly improves the road and off-road mobility of the vehicle.

Even more than ever before, the new HX3 generation embodies the idea of ​​a platform for both logistical and tactical deployment scenarios. The HX3 will basically be available in the versions 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 or 10x10 and will be characterized by an even greater variety of variants and systems. Its classic role as a logistics vehicle can be further enhanced by the availability of new systems such as the fully automatic ALHS (Automated Load Handling System) or the torsion-free intermediate frame UTRS (Universal Torsion-Resistant Subframe). In addition, the HX3 is even more suitable than before as a system carrier for complex weapon or radar systems. These include, for example, truck-based artillery systems, which are likely to gain significantly greater importance in the next few years.

With its completely redesigned cab, the HX3 offers even greater user-friendliness and occupant protection. Thanks to the various assistance systems, it ensures more safety in everyday use, for soldiers as well as for the civilian environment. A completely redesigned electronic and electrical (EE) architecture and assistance systems such as Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), adaptive cruise control (Adaptive Cruise Control / ACC) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) ensure the future viability of the Vehicle - especially with regard to autonomous driving. Thanks to standardized interfaces, technologies available in the future, such as truck platooning or other automated applications, can be integrated.

The HX3 vehicles are optionally available with an armored cabin, the protection of which can be expanded modularly. In addition, the new generation of vehicles has a new digital camouflage mode in addition to the conventional one. If necessary, all transmission and reception functions can be switched off in order to reduce the vehicle's digital signature. For active self-defense, there is now space for weapon stations with heavy armament on the reinforced roof. In addition, additional options are available for the installation of further active and passive protection systems, such as the ROSY (Rapid Obscuring System) or the active distance protection system ADS (Active Defense System) from Rheinmetall.


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May 9, 2021

Chinese delegation in Argentina to discuss sale of JF-17


 A top-ranking delegation from China's National Aero-Technology import-export corporation, CATIC, is currently in Argentina to discuss defense cooperation and with the proposal to offer the Argentine Air Force supersonic capable aircraft, according to InfoDefensa.ar, an Argentine site which specializes in defense industry issues.

Following the retirement of its latest Dassault Mirage III in 2015, the Argentine Air Force is out of supersonic fighter jets in its fleet and has been using subsonic A-4 attack aircraft while negotiating the purchase of an intercept aircraft.

The Argentine Air Force lost most of its aircraft during the Falklands/Malvinas conflict, almost forty years ago, plus the natural obsolescence during that time.

After negotiations with Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) failed to offer the FA-50, Argentina has received offers from Russia, which includes the MIG 35, and from China.

Poorly designed Chinese rocket crashes back to earth off Maldives into the Indian Ocean

 Rocket fireball crossing the Bosphorus near Istanbul


A 21-ton section of a rocket launched by China’s space agency finally returned to Earth’s atmosphere Saturday night, falling above the Indian Ocean near the Maldives, after the booster spent days careering toward the planet in a fast, out-of-control orbit.

The core booster of the Long March-5B rocket re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at 10:24 p.m. Eastern time, the Chinese Manned Space Engineering Office said on social media Saturday.

It emerged south of India after orbiting Earth at 18,000 miles per hour, defying some experts’ projections that it would land in the Mediterranean or the South Pacific.

China’s space agency said most of the booster’s mass burned up while tearing through the atmosphere, and the rest fell into the ocean.

KEY BACKGROUND

The Chinese government launched Long March last week to put a component of China’s new space station into orbit. Rocket boosters usually maneuver themselves to fall into the ocean in a predictable manner after their mission is over, but Long March’s booster entered Earth’s orbit instead, causing it to speed up and circle the planet while gravity gradually pulled it back down.  

CHIEF CRITIC

China has caught some flak for this mishap: Scientists and Pentagon officials have accused the country of deploying a poorly designed rocket and acting recklessly.

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DBM Releases P835.1 Million for Philippine Army’s 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer Project


 The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved and released on April 19, 2021 a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) with amount of PHP835,128,700.00 for the 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer Acquisition Project for Philippine Army.DBM said the SARO will “cover the funding requirements for the 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.”

The DBM, in December 2019, also released a SARO with amount of PHP339,867,865.00 to cover the 15% advance payment for the said project.In early second quarter of 2020, MaxDefense Philippines said the Department of National Defense (DND) has released the Notice to Proceed (NTP) for the acquisition of self-propelled artillery from Israeli company Elbit Systems Land & C4I.

In preparation for the arrival of self-propelled artillery, the Philippine Army has activated 2 field artillery batteries under the Army Artillery Regiment (AAR).The Army said field artillery batteries will help in troop maneuver to destroy, neutralize, and suppress the enemies through its fire support to maneuver units.

Fresh Look of HMNZS Te Kaha F77

 

HMNZS Te Kaha’s former patchwork appearance is a thing of the past as Maritime Engineering Support Team (MEST) prepare her to depart Devonport Naval Base’s dry dock.

A lot of work has been done by Babcock’s specialist paint team and supplier Akzo Nobel, to blend the 'haze grey' paint ahead of a full paint system renewal during the ship’s next major maintenance period.

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Philippines Multi-role Jet Fighters Acquisition Program on Track

 

The program for the acquisition of multi-role fighter (MRF) aircraft remains on track as these aircraft are urgently needed in defending the country's airspace, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said. 

"We are pushing for the acquisition of multi-role fighter aircraft as it is (a) critical capability for the defense of our country's territorial airspace from any form of threat and enforcement of the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone or ADIZ," Lorenzana said in his speech during the Sanay-Datu Air Defense Exercises held in Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, Pampanga on Thursday.

He declined to give additional details on the progress of the MRF acquisition program.The DND is looking to acquire at least 12 MRF units to beef up the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) air defense capabilities.Lorenzana noted that MRFs are urgently needed by the PAF considering that the "situation in this part of the world is deteriorating.”

"Having MRFs in the PAF inventory would also allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines to explore the facets of airpower," he added.The DND has yet to make public the MRFs it is eyeing to acquire for the PAF.However, reports said the American Lockheed Martin F-16V "Viper", which is considered the latest and most advanced F-16 variant, and the Swedish Saab JAS-39 "Gripen" are among those eyed by the agency."Likewise, it is imperative to fast-track the establishment of a standardized tactical data link so all our assets can talk to each other," he said.

Lorenzana assured that the DND is fully supportive of the PAF's strategic goals in developing a credible air defense posture in line with its “Flight Plan 2028”.Meanwhile, he congratulated the members of the PAF Air Defense Command and 5th Fighter Wing for their successful conduct of the Sanay-Datu Air Defense Exercise."I congratulate everyone who took part in this ADEX (Air Defense Exercise), pilots and crews of the FA-50PH, the 5th Fighter Wing led by wing commander Brig. Gen. Fabian Pedragoza, and our entire Air Defense Command led by its commander, Maj. Gen. Connor Canlas," he said.

After getting a chance to fly aboard one of the participating FA-50PHs, Lorenzana said he was truly impressed to have experienced an "exhilarating ride" aboard the Mach 1.5 capable aircraft."Let me also congratulate the PAF leadership led by its commanding general, Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes, for ensuring the readiness of the command through its Sanay Datu Air Defense Exercise. Today's (Thursday) event gives us a glimpse of how far the PAF has come in its acquisition of new assets in terms of continuously improving its capacity and capability," he said.Lorenzana also called the exercise significant as it demonstrated the PAF's capability to integrate fighter aircraft operation with radars and command-and-control facilities."I am proud to have witnessed first hand how the PAF, through its new platforms, responds to a volatile and complex environment of air warfare. We have seen the integration of the fighter aircraft (with) the radars and the command-and-control facilities. This is vital in accomplishing the mission of the Air Defense Command, which is to contribute to guarding our sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said. 

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