24 Mei 2015

Asia Navies Introduced to the ‘Tank Boat’

24 Mei 2015

X-18 Tank Boat for riverine operations (image : Lundin)

Indonesian shipyard PT Lundin and turret manufacturer CMI Defence are working on an innovative craft aimed at the riverine and amphibious assault market.

Dubbed the X18 Tank Boat, the design essentially wraps a boat around a CMI gyrostabilised 105mm turret, according to the head of PT Lundin, John Lundin. 

‘We identified the need for better boats for riverine operations and amphibious assault operations for countries without good air support some years ago,’ Lundin told Shephard.

They began initial discussions with CMI three years ago, quickly identifying the company’s 105mm as having the necessary firepower and elevation for the mission. ‘That elevation also allows the gun to be used as artillery if needed,’ added CMI’s local representative Patrick Ledig.

PT Lundin has used its expertise in advanced composites to design the 18m craft to ‘wrap around the gun’. 

‘We’ve used a lot of existing technologies and put them together in an innovative design,’ Lundin stated.

The companies believe that marrying existing technologies has allowed them to jump-start the engineering process and they have already conducted CAD and structural design feasibility studies.

The X18 only has a 0.8m draught making it ideally suited for the confines of riverine operation and is propelled by two MJP waterjets making it highly manoeuvrable.

According to PT Lundin, the boat should be capable of maximum speeds of 30kts and have a range of some 900nm. The size needed to accommodate the 105mm also means that alongside the crew of six the X18 can also carry up to 20 troops.

Although it is a composite design, Lundin said that the crew areas would have a level of ballistic protection. ‘We believe we will be able to give protection against 7.62mm, but the weight costs of moving up to 12.7mm were prohibitive,’ he added.

Further crew protection would be provided by integrating a number of close-in systems. The company has already had discussions with Bofors about potentially integrating its Lemur fire control system that would integrate a remote weapon station designed to carry missiles, weapons up to 30mm and 40mm AGL.


BRP Lake Caliraya, Navy's First Oil Tanker, Joins Philippine Fleet

24 Mei 2015

BRP Lake Caliraya (AF81) on the right (photo : firstknight)

A former tanker of the Philippine National Oil Company was commissioned into the Philippine Navy in rites at Fort San Felipe in Cavite City on Saturday.

According to the Philippine Navy, BRP Lake Caliraya (AF81), formerly MT Lapu-Lapu, was donated to the military in March 2014 and went through dry dock and repairs in Batangas and Cavite before beinf commissioned.

“With the commissioning of this oil tanker, the Navy has now a credible POL [petroleum, oil, lubricants] delivery platform that shall extend the operational range and scope of our ships especially those operating in the high seas and the [Exclusive Economic Zone],” Vice Adm. Jesus Millan, flag officer in command of the Philippine Navy, said.

BRP Lake Caliraya is a single product replenishment platform that has a depot-to-ship, ship-to-depot, and a ship-to-ship refueling capabilities, the Navy said.

Built in Zhejiang Zhongxing Shipyard in Taizhou, in the Peoples Republic of China in November 2007, the tanker was one of the biggest vessels in the PNOC's fleet and was used to transport bunker fuel across the country.

Now a part of the Philippine Fleet, BRP Lake Caliraya is commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Mamerto Goleta and crewed by selected officers and men of Sealift Amphibious Force. 

(GMA News)

CMN Offers Stealth Corvette to Malaysia and Vietnam

24 Mei 2015

CMN C Sword 90 95m missile corvette (image & photos : CMN, militaryphotos, Navy Recognition).

CMN introduces new missile corvette positioned for littoral warfare operations

French shipyard Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) has introduced a new 95 m missile corvette design to the Asia-Pacific market.

A model of the corvette, known as the C Sword 90, was unveiled at the IMDEX 2015 exhibition in Singapore. The company is marketing it to navies that operate in littoral waters, especially in the Southeast Asian region.

According to CMN, the corvette has a maximum speed of 28 kt and can attain a standard range of 7,000 n miles at 12 kt. It can carry a crew of 65 with additional berths for 20. The vessel is powered by two propulsion diesel engines and two controlled pitch propellers.

The vessel features a hull design with reduced radar cross-section and has a flight deck that can accommodate a helicopter weighing up to 10 tonnes. The ship can also carry up to two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) with dedicated davits and can be equipped to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

The C Sword 90 can be equipped with either a 57 mm or 76 mm gun as a primary weapon and up to two 20 mm or 30 mm cannons as secondary armaments. The vessel has space for a 16-cell vertical launch system for surface-to-air missiles and can also accommodate up to eight surface-to-surface missiles.

The corvette can also be armed with one hull mounted sonar, a towed array module, and up to two triple-tube torpedo launchers for submarine prosecution.

"The main selling point of the C Sword 90 is that an operator can fit such a vast array of equipment on a compact platform that measures just 95 m," Cherif Rdissi, CMN's naval and civil commercial director, told IHS Jane's on 21 May. "The corvette has also been designed with a round bilge hull shape to reduce fuel consumption and operational costs," he said.

According to Rdissi, CMN is targeting countries including Malaysia and Vietnam, both of which have articulated a requirement for corvettes in the near- to medium-term. "Other than that we are looking to market to it to the Middle East to countries such as Oman," he said.


Indonesia Will Have Fastest Growing Defence Budget in Asia Pacific Over Next Five Years

24 Mei 2015

Indonesian defence spending 2010-2019 (image : Jane's)

LONDON, UK – Indonesia will have the fastest growing defence budget in Asia Pacific over the next five years, according to new analysis released today by IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight.

Indonesia’s defence budget will increase by 17 percent in 2015, from IDR83.3 trillion ($6.3 billion) to IDR97.4 trillion ($7.4 billion) and is expected to grow 14 percent a year until the end of the decade (average annual growth). IHS Aerospace, Defence & Security forecasts that the Indonesian Defence expenditure will pass IDR180 trillion ($14.3 billion) annually by 2020.

“Growth of this scale is certainly exceptional and the Indonesian government appears committed to raising defence spending significantly” said Craig Caffrey, principal budget analyst for IHS Aerospace, Defence & Security. “The economic outlook for Indonesia remains strong and President Widodo’s removal of the fuel subsidy will free up additional money for defence.”

For the next five years, Indonesia is likely to see a consistent level of growth. “Achieving sustainable high growth rates seems entirely possible given the strong political backing defence appears to have,” Caffrey said.

Indonesia was the world’s 15th largest importer of equipment in 2014, according to IHS data, importing $1.8 billion worth of equipment. The single largest supplier of equipment to Indonesia last year was South Korea ($450 million).

Asia Pacific Driving Global Growth in Defence Spending

Growth elsewhere in Asia Pacific is also expected to be robust over the remainder of the decade averaging 4.7 percent in real terms. “Asia Pacific is really expected to be the driver behind global defence spending increases over the next five years,” Caffrey said “By the end of the decade, regional spending is expected to reach around $550 billion, or around a third of all global expenditure.”


23 Mei 2015

Launch the First of Three Air Warfare Destroyer

23 Mei 2015

Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyer (photo : sbs)

In an important milestone for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program, the first of three destroyers, Hobart, was launched alongside thePortRiver wharf inAdelaide today.

This is a key achievement for the program and a big step towards the delivery of three highly capable warships to the Royal Australian Navy.

I am pleased to see the progress since my visit to Techport Australia earlier this year, when I saw Hobart fully consolidated with substantial combat and platform systems installed.

I have also had the opportunity to walk through the second destroyer Brisbane — now in an advanced state of fit-out with more than half of the blocks already consolidated on the hardstand.

Once fully operational, the warships will have a combination of great endurance, offensive and defensive weapons, flexibility and versatility. Hobart, Brisbane and Adelaide will assume a leading command and control role with the Australian Defence Force and Coalition forces capable of carrying out multi-mission operations.

The AWD program is one of the largest and most complex Defence projects ever undertaken in Australia and has been instrumental in building a strong shipbuilding capability in Australia.

It is an example of how a skilled Australian workforce working hand-in-hand with international partners can ultimately deliver warships that will have a combination of great endurance, offensive and defensive weapons, flexibility and versatility.

First of three AWD (photo : adelaidenow)

The Hobart has reached this milestone through Government and industry collaboration involving an Australian workforce of some 3000 people. This includes the AWD Alliance made up of lead shipbuilder ASC, mission systems integrator Raytheon Australia and the Department of Defence, including the Royal Australian Navy.

The program has also been supported the United States Navy, Navantia, Lockheed Martin, Forgacs, BAE Systems and MG Engineering.

As Hobart moves into this next phase, the second and third destroyers, Brisbane and Sydney, will benefit from the AWD Alliance applying lessons learned.

This experience will be drawn on should a continuous build strategy, with a regular pace of delivering new warships, be feasible.

An enterprise-level naval shipbuilding plan would provide for the long-term future of the Australian naval shipbuilding industry and avoid the peaks and troughs we are experiencing – and have experienced in the past.

With Hobart in the water, the second destroyer, Brisbane, can soon take its place on the hardstand to undergo final block consolidation, and the keel for the third destroyer, Sydney, will be laid.

The AWD Alliance can now focus on ship completion and system commissioning for Hobart, which will be followed by sea trials next year.

(Aus DoD)

ST Marine, KBR in Joint Talks for Australia's Pacific Patrol Boat Program

23 Mei 2015

A computer-generated image of what is believed to be ST Marine's offer for Australia's Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program should the joint bid proceed. (photo : Jane's)

Singapore shipbuilder ST Marine is in talks with Texas-based engineering company Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) to jointly bid for Australia's Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program, a source has confirmed to IHS Jane's during the IMDEX 2015 exhibition in Singapore.

The potential collaboration will cover the design, build, and sustainment for up to 21 40 m steel-hull vessels that will be gifted to 13 Pacific Island states.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program is an initiative by Canberra to enhance the security of its maritime region by augmenting the maritime capabilities of its immediate neighbours.

Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop and then defence minister David Johnston announced in June 2014 that the country was allocating AUD2 billion (USD1.6 billion) to replace 22 patrol boats gifted to 12 Pacific Island states between 1987 and 1997 that are now approaching the end of their service life.

"The Pacific Patrol Boat Program is an important pillar of the Australian government's commitment to working with our regional partners to enable cohesive security co-operation on maritime surveillance, including in fisheries protection and transnational crime," Bishop said in 2014.

The new vessels will be gifted to all states currently participating in the programme, including Papua New Guinea, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Cook Islands. Timor-Leste may be the 13th state added to the programme.


KONGSBERG to Deliver PROTECTOR RWS to Australia

23 Mei 2015

PROTECTOR Dual RWS (photo : Kongsberg)

KONGSBERG has signed a production contract with the vehicle manufacturer Supacat Pty, Ltd in Australia for the delivery of PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Systems. The end user is the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA).

Australia was one of the first export countries to purchase PROTECTOR RWS back in 2004.  

This is the first contract between the vehicle producer Supacat and KONGSBERG, and the first time PROTECTOR RWS will be integrated on an open vehicle. The parties’ intention is to further develop the cooperation into this segment of vehicles.

The contract is valued to app. MNOK 40, and the production of PROTECTOR Dual RWS will start immediately in Kongsberg, Norway. Deliveries are expected to commence by the end of the year.  Supacat is an innovative engineering and design house that has a pedigree of producing and supporting high-mobility, all-terrain vehicles. 

The PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Station is designed for small and medium caliber weapons and can be installed on any type of platform; it is a fully stabilized, combat proven system qualified for global operations.