01 Agustus 2015

MRH90 Proving Indispensable for RAN

01 Agustus 2015

A Royal Australian Navy MRH90 helicopter conducts pre-flight checks before departing HMAS Choules during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015. (photo : RAN)

Personnel from HMAS Albatross' 808 Squadron have ably supported Navy's role in the recent Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, embarked in HMAS Choules.

Commanding Officer Choules Commander Chris Aulmann said that the reliable and flexible MRH90 helicopters operated by the Squadron provided essential logistical support, in both a ship-to-ship, and ship-to-shore environment.

“Initially assigned a range of people, mail and cargo tasks by the Air Operations Cell on USS Bonhomme Richard, the role of the MRH90 grew to supporting front line operations, including the re-supply of rations and water to soldiers ashore.

"This was a great vote of confidence in the aircraft and team of 18 who make up Flight 1 onboard Choules,” said CMDR Aulmann.

During the Exercise, the MRH90 also completed a record number of cross deck landings on US ships including to US Ships Bonhomme Richard, Green Bay, Ashland and Preble.

Flight Commander, Lieutenant Commander Steve Brown, said that it was vital that the Australian Defence Force could transport personnel to various ships throughout.

“As an extremely complex exercise with many moving parts, it was essential to the success of the Combined Expeditionary Force assault, that US and Australian planners were able co-ordinate and de-conflict both aviation and amphibious craft movements.

"The best way to do this was often by face-to-face meetings, which is why we were called upon to fly to so many different US Navy ships,” he said.

A highly capable and versatile successor for the Black Hawk, the MRH90 has an endurance of greater than three hours, and a cruising speed in excess of 140 knots, the MRH90 is capable of carrying 10 fully equipped soldiers or 19 passengers in air-conditioned comfort, thereby reducing flying fatigue.

“The greatest advantage of the MRH90 is its advanced safety features.

"For example it’s fitted with flotation devices which automatically inflate if forced to land on water, thereby giving a greater chance for the occupants to escape the aircraft safely,” Lieutenant Commander Brown said.

Participating gave many of the flight crew and maintainers the opportunity to put practice into reality.

“As a result of our successful operations over the past few weeks, I am looking forward to the MRH90 making an even bigger contribution to the next TALISMAN SABRE in 2017", Lieutenant Commander Brown said.


Navy Releases Document on Why it Needs Submarines

01 Agustus 2015

Royal Thai Navy fleet group (phoro : mdc)

THE NAVY has released a nine-page document detailing what it says are the reasons why the country needs to spend Bt36 billion on buying three submarines from China.

The move came after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha suspended the procurement of the Yuan Class S26T submarines and told the Navy to explain to the public the necessity of protecting the country's marine interests and why it wanted to buy the subs.

In the document, drafted on the order of Navy chief Admiral Kraisorn Chansuwanit, the Navy stated that Thailand's maritime interests amounted to Bt24 trillion per year with an increasing value. They include marine natural resources, marine transport, downstream industries and tourism. 

The submarines would be only 0.006 per cent of the total marine interests because they could be used for at least 30 years, the Navy stated.

Almost 95 per cent of the country's imports and exports are transported by sea, it said, adding that about 15,000 cargo vessels passed through the Gulf of Thailand per year. If the gulf, which is 400 kilometres wide, were blocked, as happened during World War II, the country would be badly affected.

The Navy said although there was no war looming, maritime conflicts between countries existed and no one could guarantee that the conflicts would not descend into wars. Having the submarines would be a defensive strategy against wars and a balance of power mechanism. 

In terms of its marine capability, the country is lagging 10 years behind neighbouring countries like Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia.

In response to claims the Yuan Class S26T would not be useful because it can only dive in shallow water and are easy targets for enemies, the Navy argued that the Gulf of Thailand is about 50 metres deep and some operations need to be done near the shore. Planes cannot see submarines which dive down 20 metres, it said.

The Navy said it wanted to buy the submarine because it was efficient and the most value for money. Five other countries would provide only two submarines for Bt36 billion. 

The Chinese submarine also had air-independent propulsion that enabled it to stay under water for 21 days compared with subs from other countries that had to emerge to charge batteries every four or five days.

The Chinese subs are also equipped with weapons, including torpedoes and sea mines, the Navy said, adding that their safety is on par with European submarines with a double-hull body.

China also offered eight years of parts service and a two-year guarantee on all equipment in the sub, while other countries offered only a one-year guarantee. China would also transfer knowledge on the sub maintenance, its systems and weapons. 

The Navy said the Bt36-billion fund would be paid through instalments over seven to 10 years, or around Bt3 billion to 5 billion per year depending on how much each instalment was set at. The money would not be taken from the central fund or special funds but the Navy's annual budget allocation from the government.

The document was released in response to the government's order for the Navy to explain the plan.

Former Democrat Party MP Watchara Petthong disapproved of the purchase, saying it would be unnecessary spending given the condition of the country's coffers and economy.

"I wonder if the move to push for the sub purchase has something to do with the commission fee,'' he said.

(Nation Multimedia)

NIOA Wns 40mm Grenade Launcher Contracts

01 Agustus 2015

Under the Land 40 Phase 2 project, NIOA will deliver the MK47 40mm Automatic Light Weight Grenade Launcher. (photo : GDATP/NIOA)

NIOA has been awarded contracts by the Commonwealth of Australia for the supply and support of the next generation of Light Weight Automatic Grenade Launchers (LWAGL) for the Australian Army. 

Under the Land 40 Phase 2 project, NIOA will deliver the MK47 40mm Automatic Light Weight Grenade Launcher, fitted with Lightweight Video Sight (LVS2) sighting system. The advanced LVS2 provides a new level of capability for light weapon sighting systems with integrated colour video and thermal imaging. 

Delivery of the LWAGL systems and spares will commence in mid-2016, with systems being systematically introduced into service across the ADF.

NIOA’s managing director, Mr Robert Nioa, said “we are very excited that NIOA has been awarded these contracts to supply and support the MK47 40mm ALGL with LVS2. With the award of these contracts, NIOA will become Australia’s only Australian-owned contractor capable of supporting the bulk of the Commonwealth’s infantry, direct fire and medium calibre weapon systems. 

"NIOA’s engineering and support capability developed under these contracts will become a major component of the Priority Industry Capability (PIC) for support of infantry weapons in Australia, and provides the Commonwealth with a viable option for the support of these weapon fleets," Nioa said.

(Australian Defence)

31 Juli 2015

Philippine Coast Guard Capability Progresses

31 Juli 2015

MRRV for PCG was designed by Marubeni (image : Marubeni)

The Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project took a major step forward after the government awarded a contract to a Japanese shipbuilder for ten 44m patrol boats.

With 7,107 islands and 10.2% of the world’s coastline the Philippines faces daunting challenges such as human trafficking, illegal fishing, pollution, criminal activity, piracy, terrorism and smuggling. Oil companies estimate US$500 million annually is lost to smuggling.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) ordered the vessels from Japan Marine United (JMU) on 4 June. Jun Abaya, the DOTC secretary, declared, ‘These ten new vessels will help the coast guard in its functions of maritime law enforcement, search-and-rescue operations, and upholding maritime security within Philippines seas.’

Considering that the PCG surface fleet currently comprises only 22 vessels, these new Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) will contribute greatly to a more rapid response to maritime security incidents.

The PCG told Shephard: ‘With the increasing volume of maritime traffic and trade the risk of maritime incidents has likewise risen proportionately. With increasing commerce and movement of people, the probability of crime on the high seas also threatens the country’s security and the safety of various stakeholders.’

The PCG said the new MRRVs will be used as primary rescue vessels, marine environment protection, enforcing maritime laws (e.g. illegal fishing and sea patrols), disaster relief operations and transportation. They will be stationed in Manila, La Union and Puerto Princesa amongst other PCG bases.

The ten boats and associated spare parts will be delivered over a 24-month period beginning in late August 2016. Being implemented as an Official Development Assistance project, the procurement is being funded under a $161.7 million loan by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, with the Philippine government investing the balance of $31.5 million.

The PCG boats are manned by 25 crewmen, and an artist’s depiction indicates the design is based on the Bizan class used by the Japan Coast Guard (JCG). Powered by two MTU 12V 4000 M93L engines, the MRRV’s cruising speed is 15 knots and it has a range of 1,500 nautical miles. JMU has extensive experience building vessels for the JCG, while Marubeni Corporation will assist their introduction into the PCG.

The PCG possesses 7,590 uniformed personnel and 287 civilians. The organisation acknowledged to Shephard it has a ‘formidable task of protecting the country’s maritime jurisdiction and economic interests…In internal challenges we have limited numbers of surface and air assets and limited numbers of personnel.’

The PCG plans to recruit 1,000 personnel in 2015 to man vessels and field stations, as well as acquire two new helicopters.


Prototipe Pesawat Habibie R80 Mulai Dibuat 2016

31 Juli 2015
Rancangan pesawat R-80 (image : Kaskus Militer)

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — Prototipe atau purwarupa pesawat terbang rancangan Presiden ketiga RI BJ Habibie bertajuk Regio Prop 80 (R80) ditargetkan mulai dibuat pertengahan 2016, kata Komisaris PT Regio Aviasi Industri (RAI) Ilham Habibie.

"Semoga pertengahan tahun depan sudah tuntas semua (desainnya) sehingga pertengahan tahun depan kami sudah mulai membuat prototipe (purwarupa). Masih lama dari segi desain," ujar Ilham di Jakarta, Rabu (29/7/2015).

Ia menuturkan, saat ini pihaknya masih dalam tahap pembuatan desain awal R80, yakni dalam proses pemilihan komponen utama seperti mesin dan sistem pengendalian pesawat.

Pesawat R80 sebelumnya ditargetkan mulai terbang pada 2019, tetapi karena masalah teknis, Ilham memperkirakan pesawat tersebut baru siap diterbangkan pada 2021.

Untuk saat ini, tutur dia, terdapat tiga perusahaan penerbangan yang memesan pesawat itu mencapai total 145 unit, yakni dari Kalstar Indonesia, Nam Air, dan Trigana Air.

Sementara itu, untuk mesin pesawat, ia mengatakan, PT RAI akan menggunakan mesin dari tiga perusahaan, yakni Rolls Royce asal Inggris, Pratt and Whitney asal Amerika Serikat, serta General Electric asal Amerika Serikat.

Pesawat R80, menurut dia, memiliki beberapa keunggulan dibandingkan pesawat lain, di antaranya lebih besar dan hemat dalam penggunaan bahan bakar.

"Saya lihat biaya pengoperasian pesawat 30-50 persennya terkait bahan bakar, jadi mesin sangat menentukan. Kemajuan lain pesawat ini bisa juga di aerodinamika, kenyamanan kabin, material lebih maju, tapi yang paling penting lebih hemat 10-15 persen dibanding pesawat ATR," ujar dia.

Dengan keunggulan tersebut, Ilham mengatakan belum menentukan harga pasti untuk R80 karena belum menentukan mesin dan komponen-komponen yang akan dipakai. Namun, ia memperkirakan akan dibanderol sebesar 22 hingga 25 juta dollar AS per unit.

R80 merupakan suksesor dari pesawat N250 buatan IPTN yang kini disebut PT Dirgantara Indonesia. Sementara PT RAI yang mengembangkan R80 adalah perusahaan pembuat pesawat terbang komersial milik BJ Habibie.


Harris Corporation Awarded Contract to Provide Key Avionics Components for US's and RAAF's F/A-18 E/F and Growler

31 Juli 2015

RAAF EA-18G Growler (image : RAAF)

Harris Corporation Awarded $29 Million Avionics Production Contract

MELBOURNE, Fla.,  — The U.S. Navy has awarded Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) a two-year, $29 million full-rate production contract to provide key avionics components that will enhance flight crews' targeting capabilities on the U.S. Navy's and Australia's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft and EA-18G Growler electronic attack platform.

The avionics are a critical part of the Distributed Targeting System which will significantly improve the aircraft's networking capabilities, enhance targeting precision and shorten the time from target sensing to shooting.

"The F/A-18 brings critical Navy fighter and electronic warfare capabilities for the U.S. and key allies such as Australia," said Ed Zoiss, president, Electronic Systems, Harris Corporation. "Upgrading the mission- and image-processing prowess of the platform will help ensure that it continues to be the primary fighter aircraft for the U.S. Navy."

The combat-proven Super Hornet provides unequaled air dominance and precision strike capability. The EA-18G Growler, derived from the Super Hornet, is the U.S.' newest and most advanced airborne electronic attack platform. The Super Hornet and Growler programs support 60,000 jobs in the U.S. across 800 suppliers in 44 states, accounting for $3 billion in annual economic impact.

Incat Australia Minati Investasi Teknologi Perkapalan

31 Juli 2015

HMAS Jervis Bay, kapal AL Australia yang dibangun oleh Incat (photo : skyscrapercity)

Jakarta ( ANTARA News) - Produsen kapal Incat, Australia Pty Ltd berminat investasi bidang teknologi perkapalan yang diklaim sangat cocok dibangun di Indonesia, sesuai dengan dukungan pemerintah yang mendorong kemajuan industri maritim.

"Kami sangat senang dengan kemajuan (pembicaraan) yang signifikan. Kami serius akan berinvestasi pada bidang ini," kata Chairman Incat, Australia Pty Ltd Robert Clifford usai menemui Menteri Perindustrian Saleh Husin di Jakarta, Kamis.

Presdir PT Indocat Jayamahe Kris Sulisto mengatakan Menperin Saleh Husin meminta perusahaan untuk bekerja sama dengan perusahaan lokal dalam menerapkan teknologi perkapalan, yang nilai investasinya mencapai 10-50 juta dollar AS tersebut.

"Teknologi katamaran ini sangat cocok di wilayah Indonesia yang berupa kepulauan. Dengan adanya program poros maritim, makan akan dibutuhkan banyak sekali kapal," kata Kris.

Menurut dia, teknologi perkapalan milik perusahaan asal Australia tersebut mampu mengangkut banyak sekali barang, termasuk orang maupun kendaraan pengangkut, dengan kecepatan sekitar 50 knot per jam.

"Basisnya alumunium dan katamaran ini kapal yang di tengah permukaannya ada rongga, sehingga sangat stabil dan ini cepat sekali, sehingga bisa cepat sampai dari pulau satu ke pulau yang lain," ujar Kris.

Kris menambahkan, pihaknya akan bertemu dengan Asosiasi Industri Kapal Nasional Indonesia (IPERINDO) untuk mencari perusahaan galangan kapal lokal yang mau bekerja sama dalam menerapkan teknologi katamaran tersebut.

Saat ini, lanjutnya, perusahaan sedang menjajaki galangan kapal yang ada di Lampung, Jawa Barat, Jakarta, Jawa Timur dan Makasar.