22 Agustus 2014

Singapore Quietly Expanding F-15 Fleet from 20 to 40

22 Agustus 2014

The RSAF has being quietly augmenting the size of its F-15SG fleet. (photo : US Air Force)

Singapore appears to have quietly boosted the size of its F-15SG fleet from 24 aircraft to 40, according to Boeing financial statements, aircraft registration filings, and US congressional reports.

Singapore originally bought 12 F-15SGs - with an option for eight more - under a contract signed in December 2005. In October 2007 the city-state modified this option by buying 12 more to give it a total of 24.

These aircraft have all been confirmed as delivered and have US-type serial numbers running from 05-0001 to 05-0024. Several remain in the United States with the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) 428th Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base (AFB) in southwestern Idaho, while the remainder are active in Singapore with 149 Squadron.

Aircraft operating in Singapore use four-digit serial numbers in the 83xx sequence, starting at 8301, although these do not run consecutively.

In January 2014, several aircraft with new serial numbers - 05-0025, 05-0028, 05-0030, 05-0031, and 05-0032 - were seen at Mountain Home AFB. These had not been previously reported and suggest that Singapore has obtained another batch of eight aircraft.

Meanwhile, a 26 November 2012 letter from the US State Department to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner under the Arms Export Control Act refers to the "sale, modification, and follow-on support of eight F-15SG aircraft to the Government of Singapore".

Figures released by Boeing show that eight F-15s were delivered to an unspecified customer in 2012.

Boeing financial data also shows that a total of 93 F-15s were delivered from 2005 to 2012. South Korea has confirmed that it received 61 and Singapore that it received 24 for a total of 85, leaving eight unaccounted for in public records.

Finally, on 5-6 August 2014, Boeing took out civil aircraft registrations for what it described as F-15SG aircraft: N361SG, N363SG, N366SG, N368SG, N373SG, N376SG, N378SG and N837SG.

Neither Boeing nor the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) would confirm whether the city-state had acquired 16 more F-15s than previously disclosed, although they also did not deny it.

A Boeing spokesman told IHS Jane's that the company was "unable to discuss" the number of F-15s it had supplied to Singapore, while a MINDEF spokesman said: "The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) bases our procurement on the assessed long-term defence needs, and the RSAF has purchased sufficient F-15SGs to meet our defence requirements."


Singapore's reticence on its follow-on purchases of F-15s is unsurprising: it has long demurred on outlining the extent of its defence procurement and capabilities, instead preferring to quietly build up what is widely seen as the best equipped military in Southeast Asia.

One retired armed forces officer told IHS Jane's that this was a strategic decision to keep its neighbours guessing, and also because the country's leaders did not need to use military procurement as a populist crutch.

However, this refusal to confirm acquisitions can occasionally lead to surreal conversations with military and defence industry officials, such as at the 2012 Singapore Airshow, when Israeli officials would not confirm the sale of IAI Heron unmanned aerial vehicles to Singapore despite the presence of one on static display at the show.


StandardAero Awarded Over $145 Million of Propulsion System Maintenance Contracts by the RAAF

22 Agustus 2014

RAAF AP-3C Orion (photo : aircraftinformation)

Tempe, Ariz. – StandardAero, in partnership with Airbus Group Australia Pacific (formerly known as Australian Aerospace), has signed a $42 million T56 propulsion support systems contract for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orion aircraft fleet. The contract includes full overhaul and repair services for all the associated systems as well as logistical, inventory and fleet management support. The AP-3C propulsion system comprises the Rolls-Royce T56A-14 engine, Lockheed Martin P-3 Quick Engine Change (QEC) assembly, Hamilton Sundstrand 54H60 propeller and the Honeywell GTCP 95-3 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). Intermediate Level support services will be delivered from facilities at both RAAF Base Edinburgh and RAAF Base Richmond with depot support for the engine and propeller being delivered from StandardAero's facility in Winnipeg, Canada.

This contract builds upon a $104 million contract awarded to StandardAero in 2014 by the Commonwealth of Australia for providing Through-Life Support (TLS) for propulsion systems on its fleet of C-130J aircraft. StandardAero has been supporting the RAAF C-130J fleet since entering into service and has been the prime contractor for these services since 2007. The most recent C-130J competitively won contract is for an initial period of five years and includes sustainment services for the Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 engines, the Lockheed Martin C-130J QEC Assembly, GE-Dowty's R-391 propellers, APUs and associated accessories and technical support.

Awarding of these two propulsion system contracts demonstrates the Commonwealth of Australia's confidence in StandardAero and continues a long association and partnership with the RAAF. The contracts allow for extensions, subject to continued high performance, with the potential for StandardAero to continue these services until the RAAF's planned withdrawal of the Orion fleet from service in the year 2020 and the C-130J Super Hercules fleet from service in 2030.

"StandardAero is excited to partner with Airbus Group Australia Pacific on the AP-3C Orion program. Our companies have close alignment in terms of business practices and focus on customer needs and together we are able to offer the Commonwealth much greater savings due to the optimisation of maintenance services across both the airframe and the propulsion system," said Fritz Wolkenstein, Vice President, Defence Services, StandardAero. "We have repaired more T56 and AE2100D3 engines than any other company in the world. The Commonwealth and StandardAero have worked together to realize additional efficiencies and cost savings from these propulsion system contracts. We look forward to further enhancing our long term partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force."

"The C-130J contract generates more than 25% savings from our 2010 Strategic reform baseline and StandardAero and Defence are already achieving world's best practice for C-130J QEC time on wing having recently exceeded 5,000 hours. We look forward to similar excellence from StandardAero and Airbus Group supporting our AP-3C fleet," said Air Vice Marshal Leigh Gordon, Head of Aerospace Systems Division of the Defence Materiel Organisation.

"StandardAero has delivered significant improvements and innovation in performance based and life-of-type support contracting that has been recognized by our customers," said Rick Stine, President of the Military & Components Sector for StandardAero. "We are proud of our innovative and customized solutions that feature tailored outcomes, powerful metrics and incentives for StandardAero to enhance the quality of our services. We also offer an ancillary suite of services that includes engineering, prognostics and fleet planning services to complement the Air Force and DMO teams."


Chinese Experts: Vietnam Can Buy Amphibious Assault Ship, A-10 and Apache from US

22 Agustus 2014

Wasp class amphibious assault ship (photo : US Navy)

Expert: US-Vietnam military relations warming Vietnam was America intentionally offensive weapons

During the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff revealed Martin Dempsey on the 16th visit to Vietnam, the United States in the "near future" to discuss whether to cancel the ban lethal weapons to Vietnam provisions. Military expert Du Wenlong said during an interview with CCTV, said Vietnam needs offensive weapons, thereby improving sea and air forces of neighboring countries deterrent. China Research Institute of International Ruan Zongze that the warming of US-Vietnam military relations between the two countries, the United States marked the further deepening of the South China Sea issue involved.

Vietnam hopes to obtain weapons deterrent from the United States

U.S. arms embargo against Vietnam has experienced a process from tightening to relax. United States arms embargo against Vietnam South Vietnam regime collapse began in 1975, when the Viet Cong seized a large number of American arms left over to South Vietnam, the United States this has been brooding. 1984, Washington formally implemented an arms embargo against Vietnam. However, in recent years the attitude taken by the United States embargo has been softened. In 2007, the United States policy toward Vietnam weapons ban obvious change, the Bush administration revision of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, as the case may allow the sale of non-lethal weapons to Vietnam, but all deadly weapons remains limited. The United States if the "partial lifting of the ban on the sale of lethal weapons", arms exports to Vietnam will further relaxed.

A-10 attack aircraft (photo : USAF)

Du Wenlong believes that Vietnam needs to obtain two types of weapons: one is able to defend their vested interests weaponry; second is to improve the weapons of naval and air forces around the country have a deterrent, mainly offensive weaponry.

Du Wenlong noted that the Vietnamese want to get the most air and sea and amphibious equipment. Most Vietnam helicopters currently in use or during World War II and the Vietnam War from the United States seized the UH-1 helicopters, if Vietnam has A-10 attack aircraft and AH-64 "Apache" helicopter gunships, then Vietnam will be the ability to control at low altitude substantial increase in the target for reconnaissance capability will enhance the surrounding seas. In addition, the special needs of amphibious ships in Vietnam to improve amphibious capabilities, such as second-hand "Wasp" class amphibious assault landing craft or other common, with these weapons, the ability to defend and attack capabilities Vietnam vested interests will be greatly improved. Vietnam may also purchase radar, through a wide range of remote surveillance and early warning, raise the South China Sea maritime and aerial reconnaissance capabilities.

AH-64 attack helicopter (photo : GlobalAviationReport)

US-Vietnam military relations warming signs U.S. intervention in the South China Sea intensified

Ruan Zongze said, warming US-Vietnam military relations, and that the United States has begun to advance the Indochina region.

Ruan Zongze noted contradictory words and deeds of the United States, the United States on the one hand that the South China Sea issue "do not choose sides", on the other hand is sliding into the South China Sea issue has become a third party. He pointed out that the recent ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meeting, the United States formally thrown "freeze the South China Sea Action" three-point initiative, the proposal stood a non-objective and fair stance by China and the countries of resistance and opposition. Vietnam is now the United States tried to seize the South China Sea issue to intervene more forcefully, "military strength and economic strength in Vietnam belong to class level in the ASEAN region, and guardian of the southeast peninsula, geopolitical location of important American approached Vietnam relations, probably marks U.S. intervention to further deepen the South China Sea issue. "Ruan Zongze said.


New Zealand's OPVs Complete Typhoon Gun Acceptance Trials

22 Agustus 2014

The offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago (P 148) conducts trials of its Rafael Typhoon 25 mm gun system in August 2014. (photo : RNZN)

The Royal New Zealand Navy's (RNZN's) Otago-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Wellington , have completed successful acceptance trials of the Typhoon naval gun system, an RNZN spokesperson told IHS Jane's on 20 August.

The trials were conducted over 11-12 August at an undisclosed location. "The aim of the trials was to verify that the installed Rafael Typhoon Weapon System functions correctly firing live ammunition at a towed target," said Lieutenant Commander Vicki Rendall.

The vessels, formerly armed with the MSI DS 25M Autsig 25 mm gun system as primary weapons, were installed with the Rafael Typhoon 25 mm stabilised naval gun as part of an upgrade programme.

The ships also had their Vistar 350 day and night surveillance system replaced with Rafael's Toplite multi-sensor optronic payload, which incorporates a laser designator, advanced correlation tracker, and a forward-looking infrared sensor.

"The integrated weapon system with Typhoon Toplite replaces the existing MSI Naval Gun System and the Vistar 350 Electro-Optical Surveillance System," said Lt Cdr Rendall. As well as the 25 mm guns, each vessel is equipped with two 12.7 mm machine guns.

Otago and Wellington were inducted into the RNZN in February and May 2010 respectively under the Project Protector programme. The programme aims to meet patrol and surveillance requirements in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and to assist South Pacific states in patrolling their own EEZs.

The upgraded Otago-class OPVs are expected to achieve full qualification by the end of 2014.

Lt Cdr Rendall also told IHS Jane's that besides the Otago-class vessels, a similar Typhoon gun system had been installed on the RNZN's Canterbury-class multirole vessel, also as a replacement for the MSI DS 25M Autsig 25 mm gun.


Malaysian Training Ships Delayed by Manufacturer's Money Troubles

22 Agustus 2014

Malaysia launched the 75.9 m-long training ship Teguh Samudera at the NGV Tech shipyard in Sijangkang on 27 February 2013. (photo : panzercho)

The entry into service of two Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) training ships, Gagah Samudera and Teguh Samudera , remains in limbo owing to financial issues surrounding the Malaysian shipbuilder NGV Tech.

RMN sources said that NGV Tech was in financial difficulties and as a result, its creditors had a call on both ships, which prevents the RMN from formally accepting and commissioning them. The sources also said that neither ships was completed, with Gagah Samudera being about 95% complete and Teguh Samudera being 80% complete.

No further work can be carried out on the ships for the time being, though the Ministry of Defence is working to resolve this impasse and at the same time is looking for a local shipbuilder to finish them. Boustead Naval Shipyard, which is currently building the Second Generation Patrol Vessel - Littoral Combat Ship for the RMN, is said to be the lead contender for this contract once the dispute over the ships' ownership has been resolved.

Both ships are currently berthed at the RMN's National Hydrography Center, Port Klang, with RMN personnel overseeing the care of them.

The Samudera-class ships were being built by NGV Tech in collaboration with South Korea's DSME and were planned to replace the RMN's aging training ship KD Hang Tuah. Launched in December 2012 and February 2013 respectively from NGV Tech's shipyards at Sijangkang, near Kuala Lumpur, the two training ships were scheduled to enter service by the end of 2013.

Each ship is designed to carry 45 crew and 60 trainees. Armament consists of a single MSI Seahawk 30 mm cannon and they are fitted with a Samsung-Thales fire control system. Both are to have a helideck although no hangar is fitted.


PA to Get 28 Upgraded APCs by Q1 of 2015

22 Agustus 2014

Philippine Army will get upgraded 28 M-113 with 25 mm unmanned turrets and 12.7 mm RCWS by 2015 (photo : dmilt)

MANILA (PNA) -- The Philippine Army (PA) announced that the delivery of its 28 Israeli upgraded APCs (armored personnel carriers) is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.

This was revealed by Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato Thursday.

"Delivery of all APCs is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015," he added.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that the payment for the PHP 882 million upgraded armored personnel carrier (APC), bagged by Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems Ltd., will be done in three tranches.

Dr. Peter Paul Galvez, Defense spokesperson, said first payment will be pegged at P405 million, the second will be PHP 335 million and the third at PHP 142 million.

Elbit Systems Ltd., formally announced the signing of the PHP 882 million deal (roughly USD20 million) last June 22.

Upgrades include 25 mm unmanned turrets, 12.7 mm remote controlled weapon stations (RCWS) and fire control systems (FCS) for 90 mm turrets.

The APCs, 28 in all, will be supplied over a one-year period.

The contract marks a significant breakthrough for Elbit Systems, as it is the first one awarded to the company in the Philippines.

"We are very pleased to be awarded our first contract for the Philippines Armed Forces, which we hope will be followed by others. Our extensive portfolio and our vast experience enable us to offer our customers advanced solutions, answering the specific requirements of various combat vehicles, and this award further positions us as world leaders in the field of ground vehicle upgrades," Elbit Systems' Land and C41 general manager Udi Vered said.

The APCs are for the use of the Philippine Army.

The latter operates around 343 AFVs (armored fighting vehicles) and APCs.

Around 85 percent of these AFVs are on green status (fully mission capable) while another 10 percent are on yellow status (undergoing repair) and five percent are on red (beyond repair)

150 of these are the United Kingdom-built GKN "Simba" with the remaining AFVs consisting of US designed V-150 and V-200 APCs, M-113 "Bradley", Turkish made ACV-300s and British Scorpion CVRTs.

These vehicles give the PA its armor capability and are organized into a 14-vehicle mechanized infantry companion for deployment with regular units. 


21 Agustus 2014

Menteri BUMN Minta DPR Izinkan Rp 2,5 Triliun Untuk Bikin Kapal Selam

21 Agustus 2014

Dalam kontrak pembelian 3 kapal selam DSME 1400 class, kapal selam ketiga akan dibangun di Indonesia (photo : panzercho)

Jakarta-Indonesia lewat BUMN, yaitu PT PAL Indonesia, berencana untuk membuat kapal selam sendiri di Surabaya. Namun PT PAL membutuhkan suntikan modal pemerintah Rp 2,5 triliun.

Untuk itu, Menteri BUMN Dahlan Iskan meminta izin kepada Komisi VI DPR, agar suntikan modal lewat penyertaan modal negara (PMN) Rp 2,5 triliun pada tahun depan. 

"Ini keniscayaan. Kita harus bangun kapal selam tahap 2 di Indonesia. Nggak mungkin di tempat lain selain PT PAL," kata Dahlan di depan rapat kerja dengan Komisi VI di Gedung DPR, Senayan, Jakarta, Kamis (21/8/2014).

Program pembangunan kapal selam ini sebetulnya untuk mendukung program Kementerian Pertahanan Indonesian. Kemenhan sedang mengembangkan kapal selam dengan menggandeng Korea Selatan. Di dalam program tersebut, ada produksi kapal selam yang nantinya akan dilakukan di tanah air maka PT PAL diminta membangun infrastruktur tersebut.

"Ini nggak kepentingan komersial. Ini kepentingan negara," katanya.

Sementara itu, Ketua Komisi VI DPR Airlangga Hartarto menerangkan, DPR ingin mendalami lebih detil terkait pemberian PMN untuk membangun fasilitas kapal selam. Pembahasan PMN untuk kapal selam bakal digelar lagi dalam wujud rapat pendalaman dengan manajemen PT PAL dan Kementerian BUMN.

"Pembahasan PT PAL agar dilengkapi datanya. Termasuk dana PMN masa lalu untuk apa," sebutnya.