27 Mei 2017

Philippine Restarts Maritime Patrol Aircraft Acquisition Programme

27 Mei 2017


Airbus CN295 is the platform was understood to be a leading contender in the previous LRPA acquisition project. (photo : wikiwand)

The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) has invited bids for a PHP5.976 billion (USD120 million) contest to supply the country's air force with two new maritime patrol aircraft.

The platforms, which are being acquired under the programme formally known as the Long Range Patrol Aircraft (LRPA) Acquisition Project, are to be delivered equipped with sensors and mission support facilities. The integration of these sensors and a logistics package to deliver the aircraft are also required, according to a tender notice posted by the DND.

Invitation for tender LRPA (photo : maxdefense)

Bidding is open to all qualified local or foreign suppliers who have completed a similar contract within the last 10 years from the date of submission of tender documents. The winning bidder must deliver the aircraft within 1,035 calendar days from the receipt of notice to proceed.

The DND Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) will hold a pre-bid conference for the contest on 16 June 2017 at 10.00 a.m. at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City, near Manila. Parties interested in the contest will have to submit their bids by 30 June 2017.

(Jane's)

Singapore Army's Commando VSV Breaks Cover

27 Mei 2017


The 16 m-long Very Slender Vessel provides the Singapore Army's commando units with an organic high-speed interdiction capability. (photo : Jane's)

Although its existence was officially announced as far back as 2009, the Singapore Army's Very Slender Vessel (VSV) finally made its debut public appearance as a static exhibit at its Army Open House 2017 event that is being held from 27 May to 28 May.

According to army specifications, the VSV is a wave piercing watercraft that measures 16 m long, 2.4 m wide, and 2.5 m tall. The service also stated that the VSV operated by the Singapore commando forces for high speed interdiction missions at speeds in excess of 40 kt, although Jane's understands from manufacturer specifications that it is also designed to be deployed for covert insertion and exfiltration of personnel with maximum transit speeds in the region of 60 kt.


VSV from rear view (photo : Kementah)

It is understood that the VSV was built by military small boat specialist Halmatic, a subsidiary of former shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft before the latter's UK-based operations were acquired by Babcock International. Jane's earlier reported that the VSV product line includes three other models in the 18 m, 22 m, and 26 m sizes.

The VSV centres on a slender, low radar cross section canoe hullform with an elliptical cross-section and a length-to-beam ratio in excess of 6:1. The VSV's wide chines provide roll stability when stationary, while generating hydrodynamic lift during transit as well as control heeling when it performs tight manoeuvres.

An army commando spokesperson briefed Jane's on 25 May that the VSV is operated by three crew - comprising the boat commander, coxswain, and navigator - and is typically fitted seating for up to 10 personnel.

"A standard high speed craft, rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB), or even our own assault boat usually planes on the water's surface and this produces an extremely uncomfortable ride over long, high speed transits in higher sea states," the spokesperson said.

(Jane's)

Panglima TNI: Helikopter AW-101 Tidak Sesuai Spesifikasi

27 Mei 2017


Helikopter AW-101 TNI AU (photo : Liam Daniels)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Panglima TNI, Jenderal TNI Gatot Nurmantyo, menegaskan, helikopter angkut berat  AgustaWestland AW-101 Merlin yang didatangkan dari pabrikan Inggris-Italia itu tidak sesuai dengan spesifikasi yang diperlukan.

"Heli itu pintunya bukan ramp door, padahal harusnya ramp door dan PT Dirgantara Indonesia harusnya bisa membuat heli seperti ini dan sudah dipakai juga," kata dia, dalam konferensi pers, di Gedung KPK Jakarta, Jumat.

Bersama dengan Kepala Staf TNI AU, Marsekal TNI Hadi Tjahjanto, Ketua KPK, Agus Rahardjo, dan Kepala Pusat Penerangan TNI, Mayor Jenderal TNI Wuryanto, dia memaparkan potensi kerugian negara dari pengadaan helikopter AW-101 Merlin itu.

Sudah ada tiga tersangka ditetapkan, yaitu Marsekal Pertama TNI FA, Letnan Kolonel Administrasi BW, dan seorang pembantu letnan satu. Semuanya personel TNI AU.

Ramp door adalah pintu untuk keluar-masuk personel, kendaraan, barang ke dalam kabin. Posisi ramp door selalu di buritan fuselage.  Adapun spesifikasi teknis yang dikehendaki pengguna (TNI AU) pada pengadaan helikopter angkut berat ini adalah helikopter transport pasukan dan SAR tempur.

Semula, AW-101 Merlin digadang-gadang akan dibeli sebagai helikopter VIP kepresidenan, dengan konfigurasi sesuai hakikat tugas utamanya, yaitu membawa presiden-wakil presiden dan VIP. Jika mengacu ke sini maka ramp door tidak diperlukan, karena fokusnya pada keamanan-keselamatan dan kenyamanan VIP. 

Saat itu (sekitar akhir 2014 hingga 2016) bagi publik peminat kemiliteran terjadi pro-kontra soal perlu atau tidak perlu dan harus-tidak harus memiliki helikopter baru VIP kepresidenan. Hal ini terutama di ranah media massa dan media sosial. Apalagi ada UU Nomor 16/2012 tentang Industri Pertahanan berhadapan dengan tuntutan tugas militer.


Pintu belakang heli AW-101 TNI AU (photo : defence.pk)

Adapun TNI AU memiliki skuadron udara helikopter khusus VIP, yaitu Skuadron Udara 45 VIP yang bermarkas di Pangkalan Udara Utama Halim Perdanakusuma, Jakarta. Skuadron udara ini bermaterialkan NAS-332 Super Puma.

Namun atas perintah Presiden Joko Widodo, pengadaan helikopter baru untuk VIP itu dibatalkan. Namun ternyata muncul perjanjian kontrak No KJP/3000/1192/DA/RM/2016/AU tanggal 29 Juli 2016 antara Markas Besar TNI AU dengan PT Diratama Jaya Mandiri tentang pengadaan heli angkut AW-101 Merlin. 

"Rp738 miliar itu pun untuk VVIP, tapi kemudian untuk heli angkut juga habisnya dalam jumlah yang sama padahal spesifikasinya lebih tinggi VVIP, itu saja sudah kelihatan (korupsi)," kata Nurmantyo.

Helikopter AW 101 Merlin yang disebut untuk angkut berat-personel dan SAR tempur itu akhirnya datang pada akhir Januari 2017, secara diam-diam.Sejak dia datang hingga kini, belum pernah dipertunjukkan langsung pada publik, kecuali sekali saja kepada pers. Itupun secara terbatas. 

"Desember 2015 memang sudah ada perintah untuk menghentikan pengadaan helikopter, satu buah. Kemudian awal 2016 helikopter VVIP diubah menjadi heli angkut dan juga hanya satu buah. Memang betul TNI AU belum memiliki helikopter (yang dilengkapi) ramp door itu," kata Nurmantyo.

Menambah keterangan Nurmantyo, Tjahjanto berkata, "Tapi kenyataannya pada 2017 heli datang pada akhir Januari dan helikopter itu masih tidak sesuai spesifikasi sehingga heli tersebut belum kami terima sebagai kekuatan AU dan speknya belum memenuhi versi militer."

Saat ini helikopter AW 101 Merlin itu masih berada di salah satu hanggar di Pangkalan Udara Utama TNI AU Halim Perdanakusuma, Jakarta. 

"Helinya belum diterima sebagai inventaris TNI masih di Halim, ada garis polisi. Belum diterima sebagai (unsur) kekuatan TNI," kata Rahardjo, kemudian.


Karena nilai strategisnya, maka proses pengadaan dan pembelian arsenal dan perlengkapan TNI melalui proses dan mekanisme yang panjang dan melibatkan matra-matra yang bersangkutan di TNI, Markas Besar TNI, Kementerian Pertahanan, Kementerian Keuangan, Bappenas, dan lain-lain. Khusus untuk peralatan perang, tender terbuka tidak pernah diumumkan kepada publik. 

(Antara)

U.S. Transfers Hamilton-Class Cutter to Vietnam

27 Mei 2017

USCGC Morgenthau WHEC-722 which will be renamed as CSB 8020 into Vietnam Coast Guard (photo : FleetMon)

U.S. transfers high endurance cutter to Vietnam coast guard

HONOLULU — The U.S. Coast Guard transferred a high endurance cutter to the Vietnam coast guard during a ceremony in Honolulu, Thursday at 10 a.m. 

The ship, which will be renamed CSB 8020, is expected to improve the Vietnam coast guard’s maritime domain awareness, increase its capacity to perform maritime law enforcement operations, and conduct search and rescue and other humanitarian response operations.


"This cutter provides a concrete and significant symbol of the U.S-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership," said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Michael J. Haycock, assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer. "The Coast Guard is honored to see this vessel continue to preserve global peace and prosperity as a part of the Vietnam coast guard."

The CSB 8020 was transferred to the Vietnam coast guard from the U.S. Government through the Excess Defense Articles program. The EDA offers excess military equipment to U.S. partner and allied countries in support of their military and security modernization efforts.

(DVIDS)

26 Mei 2017

Ukraine Offers Joint Production of Guided Air-to-Air Missiles

26 Mei 2017


R-27 guided missiles at the Ukrobronoprom's booth. (photo : J.Sabak)

Indonesian marines begin using Ukrainian BTR-4M armored personnel carriers

The all-purpose maritime battalion of Indonesian marines have officially begun to use a test batch of BTR-4M armored personnel carriers produced at Ukraine's Kharkiv-based Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau. The contract was signed in February 2014 between the state-run SpetsTechnoExport Concern, which is part of Ukrainian state-run Ukroboronprom, and Indonesia's Defense Ministry.

Ukroboronprom's press service on Thursday cited SpetsTechnoExport CEO Pavlo Barbul as saying the first five BTR-4 vehicles have completed testing and have been transferred to Indonesia's military for use.

"The procedure for transferring Ukrainian BTRs to Indonesia's military has taken place. Since the start of May, Indonesia marines have been using them," Barbul said.

As earlier reported, the contract to produce and send a test batch of five BTR-4Ms was signed in February 2014. The contract provides the option for further supplies of 50 vehicles. The first batch was offloaded in Indonesia in 2016.

The success of the Indonesia contract comes within the framework of increased capacity of Ukraine's military industrial complex after supplying BTR-4s to Ukraine's armed forces.

Indonesia is one of Ukraine's best potential partners in the Asian Pacific region. Ukrainian tank and armored vehicles, as well as aviation equipment, have been provided to Indonesia on a bilateral basis, as well as repair and modernization services.

Kyiv and Jakarta have stepped up talks about increased military cooperation. Indonesia today is interested in the creation of a joint enterprise for the production of guided air-to-air missiles, Ukrainian radar systems and Ukrainian military cargo planes.

(Interfax)

Phillipines Eyes Russian Submarines

26 Mei 2017

Amur Class Submarine (photo : Angad Singh)

DND mulls purchase of Russian weaponry

MANILA -- The Philippines is planning to acquire weapons, including advanced diesel-electric submarines from Russia

This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in an interview on PNA Exclusive in Moscow, Russia around 2 p.m. Tuesday (7 p.m., Manila time).

"Yes, we have plans to purchase weapons from them. They have also very sophisticated and advanced weaponry. We will look into them, we have not decided what equipment but off the bat, we are looking, we would like to develop our submarine force so we will look into their submarines one of these days," he added.

Lorenzana was with President Rodrigo Duterte on his official trip to Russia which was cut short by the ongoing clash between government forces and Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur.

"If we can buy submarines or if they are affordable for us, or if the Philippine Navy would be willing to go there because we will give it to the Navy to decide what kind of submarine they would like to purchase. That is one of the plans that the PN (wants) is to develop some submarine capabilities," the DND chief pointed out.

And when asked on where these vessels will be based, Lorenzana said that they are looking into that detail.

"We will look into that. We don’t have any submarine base yet in the Philippines but if we will purchase already then we have to develop a submarine base to keep those submarines safe," Lorenzana pointed out.

Another Russian-made weapon being looked by the Philippines is sniper rifles and precision-guided munitions which can be used for the country's brand-new FA-50 "Fighting Eagle" jet aircraft and AW-109 attack helicopters.

"So one of the things that we are considering is the sniper rifles of the Russians, they have very good sniper rifles. They also have very good precision-guided munition that we can use with our FA-50s, and our attack helicopters. Those are the items. But we have to see more because sometime this year, there will be this defense exhibition that they are going to hold here and we will send some people to look into it," the DND chief added. 

(PNA

Singapore and Indian Navies Conclude Annual Bilateral Exercise

26 Mei 2017


The RSN and IN ships sailing in formation. R1: RSS Formidable; R2 (left to right): INS Kamorta, INS Sahyadri, RSS Victory; R3 (left to right): RSS Supreme, INS Jyoti, INS Shivalik. (photo : Sing Mindef)

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Indian Navy (IN) conducted the Singapore-Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) from 18 to 24 May 2017. Hosted by Singapore, the exercise comprised a shore phase held at RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base and a sea phase in the South China Sea. This year's exercise is the 24th iteration of the annual bilateral exercise held since 1994.

The RSN deployed two frigates (RSS Formidable, equipped with an S-70B naval helicopter, and RSS Supreme) and a missile corvette (RSS Victory), while the IN participated with two frigates (INS Sahyadri and INS Shivalik), a corvette (INS Kamorta), an oiler (INS Jyoti) and a P8-I maritime patrol aircraft.

SIMBEX 2017 saw the inaugural participation of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s F-15SG fighter aircraft. Aside from the two F-15SG fighter aircraft, the RSAF also deployed two F-16D+ fighter aircraft and a Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft for the exercise.

INS Shivalik, India's stealth frigate. (photo : Shiv Aroor)

During the exercise, the two navies conducted a series of advanced naval warfare serials, including air defence exercises and gunnery live-firings. The sea phase culminated in a mission-oriented surface action group exercise wherein assets and personnel from the two navies worked together to plan and execute a series of warfare missions.

Over the years, SIMBEX has grown in scope and complexity, expanding beyond its traditional emphasis on anti-submarine warfare to incorporate elements of maritime security, anti-air and anti-surface warfare. CO RSS Formidable, Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Albert Khoo said, "SIMBEX has progressed both in scale and complexity over the years – from a serial-based exercise to today's mission-based exercise incorporating scenarios with threats from surface, underwater and air."

Apart from SIMBEX, the two navies also interact regularly through professional exchange programmes, staff talks and training courses. Testament to the warm and long-standing defence ties between both countries, INS Sahyadri and INS Kamorta joined in the RSN's Golden Jubilee celebrations, participating in both the inaugural Singapore International Maritime Review at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base on 15 May 2017, and the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) Asia from 16 to 18 May 2017. Both navies are also exploring new and enhanced areas of cooperation in the maritime domain.

(Sing Mindef)