We are accepting donations

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Philippines' Second Warship to Arrive in June

PF-16 BRP Ramon Alcaraz (photo : timawa)

MANILA - The Philippines' second warship, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, is expected to arrive in the country by end of June or early July, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Monday.

Gazmin said it will take some time for the Hamilton-class cutter to arrive in the country as it will travel from Charleston, South Carolina passING through the Panama Canal.

Fernando Manalo, Defense Undersecretary for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Materiel, said the ship would be "limited" in terms of equipment and arsenal but was "better than the first one," referring to the first Hamilton-class cutter acquired by the Philippines, the BRP del Pilar.

The arrival of the second warship is expected to boost Philippine naval presence, especially with the ongoing dispute at the West Philippine Sea.

2 new frigates

Meanwhile, Manalo also revealed that the Philippines opted to purchase two brand new frigates instead of the earlier plan to buy secondhand ones following a DND study that says buying brand new frigates are more practical than buying used ones.

"It will be more expensive in the long run if we're going to buy secondhand ships, considering the repairs," Manalo told reporters.

He said purchase of the two brand new frigates will be done via public bidding and has a budget of P18 billion.

Countries that have already expressed interest to participate in the bidding include South Korea, Singapore, and Spain, among others.

Aside from the frigates, the DND is also finalizing plans to purchase 12 jet fighters from South Korea.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Acquisition of 21 Choppers for Election Support Stalls

Acquisition of 21 refurbished Huey choppers for the Philippine Air Force has been stalled, but officers insist this would not hinder PAF's ability to support the Comelec airlift of poll materials to far-flung, risky areas.(photo : Rice Aircraft)

MANILA, Philippines – Delivery of 21 refurbished Huey helicopters meant to augment the air assets of the Philippine Air Force in helping Comelec airlift materials to far-flung, risky territory has stalled, but Department of National Defense (DND) officials insist this will not hinder the PAF’s work.

A check with PAF on the status of the acquisition revealed there was no update yet about the reported acquisition of the choppers. This, even though Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin had earlier said the acquisition of the choppers can be done before the May 13 polls.

Despite the stalled acquisition, PAF spokesman Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said there are enough choppers for the lift requirement, and the absence of the 21 choppers would not disrupt the military’s capability to support Comelec’s requirements.

Okol noted, “the term is augment,” so non-delivery of the 21 will not unduly impact operations. “Of course, if the units will come on time, this will make it easier and better for us. But we assure you that with or without the additional 21 choppers this will not impede or hold or stop our operations especially the requirements that will be needed for that activity (election).”

PAF now has 16 operational Hueys, or 51 units fewer than the ideal number of units.

Still, Okol stressed that other air assets from the 505th Search-And-Rescue (SAR) and 205th Helicopter Wing may be used in case of emergency.

PAF chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz earlier directed key officers and units to prepare the needed air assets to support the Comelec in ferrying election materials. According to Okol, “our air assets are being used to transport election materials especially to far-flung places where land transportation is bogged down.”

Poland-based PZL Swidnik recently completed the delivery of 8 brand-new Sokol helicopters to PAF. The choppers are also ready anytime for Comelec’s use.

‘Issues’ with Korean-made lead jets

As this developed, the Philippine and South Korean governments are still threshing out “issues” involved in Manila’s acquisition of two squadron of T50 South Korean-made lead jets, said Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo.

He said Manila is “waiting for some requirements that should be provided by South Korea,” but did not elaborate on what he called other issues that must also be resolved including the Terms of Preferences (TOR).

Manalo is confident such issues could be resolved by end-April and the contract for the acquisition could be signed in May.


Philippine Nears Deal on Purchase of Korean Fighter Jets

KAI F/A-50 Golden Eagle (photo : Militaryphotos)

MANILA - The Department of National Defense (DND) is in the last stages of procuring 12 fighter jets from South Korea worth P18 billion.

Some of the hitches that authorities saw in the transaction can be ironed out by May.

DND spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said the terms of reference could be finished by next month. The terms of reference contains provisions on the delivery, technical specifications, payment scheme, among others.

“It’s in the final stages of crafting, in preparation for the procurement of the jets…After that (crafting of TOR), the contract follows, the negotiations for the contract (starts)," he said.

DND undersecretary for finance, munitions, installations and materiel Fernando Manalo said issues will need to be clarified before a contract is pursued.

"Within the month of May, the issues may be resolved…(We're hoping) that the issues will be settled within the month of May," said Manalo.

Asked when the contract will finally be signed, he said: "We are following a process.”

The purchase of the fighter jets is part of the military's modernization program.

It is also a signal that the country will finally have a "credible external defense."

The Air Force decommissioned its F-5s in 2005, leaving the country without a legitimate fighter aircraft to address external threats, such as in the West Philippine Sea.

(ABS CBN News)

Ship to Shore : Amphibious Support Ships in The Asia-Pacific Region

HTMS Ang Thong 791 the first LPD of the Royal Thai Navy (photo :TAF)

This space can also be used to accommodate refugees, casualties, field hospitals and even military headquarters. Secondly, such vessels provide a platform to move personnel and equipment rapidly en masse from beyond the horizon to the shore. A lack of shore facilities and ports present few problems for both landing craft and amphibious support ships as they are designed to operate with austere facilities and can often disgorge their cargoes without any shore assistance. Despite their utility, modernization efforts for these vessels are following a halting and piecemeal path in the Asia-Pacific region; several navies continuing to operate ageing vessels and have no immediate plans to perform their replacement.

Canberra class LHD (photo :forumdefesa)

One exception to this rule is Australia. The country is performing an important expansion of its amphibious capabilities in the form of the two ‘Canberra’ class Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) which it is acquiring from Spanish shipbuilder Navantia. Both of these vessels will be commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) by 2015. When fully-loaded the ‘Canberra’ class ships displace 27,851 tonnes. They can achieve a top speed 20.5 knots and accommodate up to four Landing Craft Air-Cushioned (LCAC) vehicles in their dock plus up to 24 helicopters. The RAN design includes a ski-jump augmenting the flight deck to allow the operation of Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning-II Joint Strike Fighter Short Take-Off/Vertical Landing combat aircraft in the future. It almost goes without saying that the acquisition of these ships represents a major improvement in the RAN’s capabilities allowing the country to not only project power a significant distance beyond its borders, but to perform a commanding role in military operations other than war; notably the provision of humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural disasters.
Once underway, these ships can sustain themselves at sea for up to 50 days before they require replenishment. The space which these ships accommodate provides 830 lane metres for heavy and light vehicles and room for over 1,000 troops. The advent of the ‘Canberra’ class is occurring alongside the supply of twelve LCM-1E fast landing craft from Navantia. These vessels will replace the RAN’s existing amphibious support ships which includes one ‘Choules’ class Dock Landing Ship (LSD), six ‘Balikpapan’ class Heavy Landing Craft (LCH), and single ‘Tobruk’ class Heavy Landing Ship (LSH).


Makassar class LPD (photo :kaskus militer)

Perhaps unsurprisingly because of the size of its archipelago, Indonesia maintains a large amphibious support force. Large vessels in this fleet include the single 'Tanjung Dalpele' LSD and its four ‘Makassar’ class LPDs. The LST fleet comprises six ‘Teluk Semangka’, twelve ‘Teluk Gilimanuk’ and two ‘Teluk Cirebon’ class ships. Finally, twelve LCUs supplement these vessels. It does not appear that the Indonesian Navy is performing any additional expansion or modernization of its amphibious support fleet either present, nor is it expected to in the near future;


Ex KD Sri Inderapura (photo : Azri Zainul)

The Republic of Korea Navy is not the only force in the Asia-Pacific region operating a mix of ex-US Navy landing craft. The Royal Malaysian Navy has one ex-US Navy LST which complements five LCMs, 15 LCPs, four LCUs and 165 ‘Damen’ class assault craft. This fleet may undergo an enhancement via the procurement of the Multi-Role Support Ship vessels in coming years.

LCM 1613, newest coastal land craft mechanized of Myanmar navy (photo : Myawady)

A modernization could also be in the offing over the long term for the Burmese Navy, which uses four LCUs and ten ex-US Navy LCMs, particularly as the country is now emerging from prolonged international isolation following the commencement of its process of democratization.


LST 501 BRP Laguna (photo : mbb8356)
While the Pakistan Navy may lack a major amphibious capability, the same cannot be said of Philippines Navy which has a fleet of two vehicle landing ships, five LSTs, two LCUs, the same number of LCMs and up to ten auxiliary vessels.

Endurance class LPD (photo : RSN)

Interestingly, despite the size of the nation, the Republic of Singapore Navy retains a formidable amphibious force. The largest combatants in this respect are the four ’Endurance’ class LPDs which are the largest surface combatants in the fleet. When fully loaded, these ships displace 8,500 tonnes and can reach a speed in excess of 15 knots. Four landing craft can be carried on davits with the ship able to accommodate up to 18 tanks, 20 vehicles plus cargo and 500 troops. On the flight deck, helicopters of Boeing CH-47F Chinook size can be comfortably accommodated with the hangar able to house up to two medium-lift utility helicopters. The ‘Endurance’ class vessels are complemented by six LCMs and 30 LCUs.


HQ-521, newest landing craft of Vietnamese Navy (photo : ttvnol)

Similarly, over the long term the Vietnamese Navy may choose to enhance its amphibious capabilities. The fleet includes three ex-Russian ‘Polnocny’ class landing vessels, and a total of six ex-US Navy LSTs and LSMs which are reinforced with a total of 24 LCM and LCUs, also drawn from ex-US Navy stocks.

Market Developments

HMNZS Canterbury L-421 multi role vessel of the Royal New Zealand Navy (photo : Bob Leask)

Apart from a few notable exceptions such as the RAN’s’s acquisition of its ‘Canberra’ class ships, the market for amphibious support vessels and landing craft in the Asia-Pacific region appears to be largely stagnant. Much of the combined fleet in the region is old, and notably drawn from ex-US Navy and ex-Russian stocks. Large-scale procurements are few and far between. This is surprising given the security concerns throughout much of this region, and the large-scale humanitarian tragedies that this part of the world has witnessed in recent years.

Spanish Shipbuilder Navantia which is building the RAN’s ‘Canberra’ class ships has observed this trend noting that; “We don’t think that there is a renewed demand for amphibious vessels in Asia-Pacific” in a statement from the company supplied to the Asian Military Review. Where demand is being witnessed, the company argues that this is being driven by; “The necessity of having better resources to face humanitarian missions and also to protect national sovereignty with this type of vessel.” The company adds that there are factors which may slow or dampen amphibious vessel acquisition efforts in this region which it cites as; “The current economical and financial crisis,” believing that this will “probably have a big impact on future programs.” Where vessels are either being either acquired, or where requirements are being expressed, Navantia says that navies are typically looking to procure ships upwards of 10,000 tons in displacement built to an LPD configuration. 

Navantia expects that requirements for such a vessel could emerge in Malaysia over the medium term, with the Philippines also possibly acquiring an LPD-sized combatant in the short term. Ultimately, the company does not believe that the dynamic being experienced in the Asia-Pacific region regarding amphibious capabilities is notably different from any other region of the world: “Many countries are expecting to increase their capacities with LPDs or LHDs in the future,” it adds, “Firstly, because their existing fleets are sometimes more than 20 years old. That means that they must think about replacements, while other countries may desire to purchase new units.”
See Full Article : Asian Military Review

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Philippine Interested in Super Tucano in LAAD 2013

Super Tucano of the Indonesia Air Force (photo : cavok)

Aeronautics confirms sale of Super Tucanos to Guatemala and Senegal

The commander of the Air Force, Brigadier Juniti Saito, today confirmed the sale of nine Embraer Super Tucano to Guatemala and Senegal.

According to him, interest in the model turboprop light attack, produced by Embraer, has recently increased after the U.S. Air Force confirmed the purchase of 20 aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force, according to Brigadier, has also authorized the purchase of another 35 Super Tucanos, which brings the contract value of $ 427 million to about $ 1 billion.


"The commander of the Philippine Air Force came to me today during the fair international LAAD to talk about his interest in acquiring the Super Tucano," said the Commander.

The brigadier said he will meet with the commander of the Philippines to talk about the experience with the FAB aircraft. The Brazilian Air Force is the largest operator of Super Tucano in the world, with a fleet of 99 aircraft.

Your Ad Here Click here to join ugg
Click to join ugg