Monday, March 30, 2020

Malaysia receives delivery of first batch of ScanEagle 2 UAVs donated by US

The Insitu ScanEagle 2 UAV of the Philippine Air Force, also obtained as donations from the US Southeast Asia MSI Peogram. Photo c/o Rappler.

The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) has received the first batch of 6 Insitu ScanEagle 2 unmanned aerial vehicles together with all associated support equipment from the US government, according to British defense news outlet IHS Jane’s.

A total of 12 ScanEagle 2 UAVs are for transfer to the MAF as part of the US government’s Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) program that was started in early 2016 by former US President Barrack Obama.

The MAF confirmed to have received the first batch of 6 ScanEagle 2 UAVs in late February 2020, while the second batch of 6 units are scheduled to transfer by 2022. The UAVs will be operated by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) 601 Squadron, which was formed on November 2018 to specifically operate the new assets.

As part of the program, US assistance also includes training, maintenance, and sustainment of the entire system for the first 2,000 flying hours of the UAVs.

Aside from Malaysia, other Southeast Asian countries will benefit from receiving ScanEagle 2 UAVs from the US, as 34 units have been programmed for transfer between 2020 to 2022. Indonesia and the Philippines are scheduled to receive 8 units each, while Vietnam will be receiving 6 units.

The Philippines already received an initial batch of 6 ScanEagle 2 UAVs in 2018, also as part of the Southeast Asia MSI program.

[1] Jane’s Defence Weekly

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Chinese shipbuilder lays keel of second Type 54A frigate for Pakistan

The Type 054A frigate. The Pakistan Navy model would be similar but with updates. Photo c/o Sino Defense.

Chinese shipbuilder Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard has recently laid the keel of the second Type 54A frigate for the Pakistan Navy (PN).   

The PN made the announcement on 24 March 2020, which marks a significant milestone on their acquisition of four (4) Type 54A frigates from China. 

The PN-specific model is known as the Type 054A/P.  

The Pakistan defence ministry signed an agreement with China for the purchase of 2 frigates in 2017, with another 2 ships ordered in June 2018. 

Steel cutting has also been made for the third and fourth ships on November 2019, and are expected to reach keel laying in a few months.  

All four frigates are expected to be delivered by 2021, and will become the PN’s most capable surface warships, enabling them to meet future challenges and threats.   

The Type 054A/P will have a similar hull to the Type 054A used by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), but will have improved weapons and sensors suite.  

The standard Type 054A is around 134 meters long, displaces at 4,050 tons, and is powered by four SEMT Pielstick diesel engines, which allows the ship to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots, a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 18 knots.  

While the PN Type 054A/P variant may have a different weapons suite, it is expected that the ships would still be armed with a PJ26 76mm naval gun, eight anti-ship missiles, an a 32-cell vertical launching system (VLS) for HQ-16 surface-to-air missiles, and two triple torpedo launchers.   

[1] Navy Recognition   
[2] Director General Public Relations, Pakistan Navy  
[3] Defpost

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Australia releases shortlist for acquisition of new Tactical Unmanned Aerial System

The RQ-7B Shadow 200. Photo c/o Australian DOD through ADBR.

The Australian Department of Defence (DOD) released the shortlist of proponents it is considering to supply a new Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) to replace the Australian Army’s RQ-7B Shadow 200 system.

The project to acquire new TUAS is part of the LAND 129 Phase 3 project, which released an Invitation to Respond (ITR) to manufacturers in September 2019 . No specific quantity has been released by the MOD.

The four companies shortlisted were Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd, Leidos Australia, Ratheon Australia Pty Ltd, and Textron Systems Australia Pty Ltd.

After the shortlisting, the project is expected to proceed with the competitive evaluation and a more comprehensive tendering process before the Australian government decides by 2021.

The Australian Army’s RQ-7B Shadow 200(v1) is its first non-man-portable UAS in service, and were procured in 2010 and delivered in 2011. The UAS are operated by the 20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment, and has been involved in support of Australian and coalition operations in Afghanistan and within Australia.

It was found that the RQ-7B Shadow 200 (v1) are getting obsolete due to a number of capability shortfalls, and a new system is needed to replace it and further improve in providing surveillance capabilities to the Australian Army’s combat capabilities.

[1] Australian Department of Defence 
[2] ADBR
[3] Australian Army

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

India proceeds with order for Turkish-designed Fleet Support Vessels

CGI of future Fleet Support Vessels of the Indian Navy. Photo c/o TAIC through Defense World.

Indian state-owned shipbuilder Hindustan Shipyards Ltd. (HSL) has signed a deal with Turkish shipbuilding consortium TAIS on behalf of Turkish shipbuilder Anadolu Shipyards, for the construction of 5 Fleet Support Vessels (FSV) for the Indian Navy.

The deal, worth INR150 billion (US$2.3 billion), was signed on February 2020, several months delayed due to political issues involving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements on Jammu and Kashmir which irked the Indian government. India strongly rejected Pres. Erdogan’s statement.

HSL was designated the primary shipbuilder, with TAIS winning in 2019 as the lowest bidder, with their role to include improving the HSL’s shipyard in Vizag, designing and engineering services, production planning and management, and providing the materials needed to construct the ships.

The first ship is expected to start construction before the end of 2020, and delivered by 2024. The four other ships will be completed in 10 month intervals.

The Indian Navy’s future Fleet Support Vessels are expected to be around 45,000 tons displacement. Based on TAIS’ posted CGI image, the ships are to be equipped with two Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS), a large helicopter landing deck, a forward-positioned crane, and four refuelling stations.

[1] Naval News
[2] Economic Times India

Monday, March 23, 2020

Japan receives, commissions first Maya-class Ballistic Missile Defense-capable AEGIS destroyer

The JS Maya (DDG-179). Photo c/o The Diplomat.

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force  (JMSDF) has commissioned the first ship of the Maya-class guided missile destroyers, the JS Maya (DDG-179) during ceremonies held on 19 March 2020 at Japan Marine United’s (JMU) Yokohama shipyard, and attended by the Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kano.

The ship was assigned with the JMSDF’s Escort Division 1 of Escort Flotilla 1 based at Yokosuka Naval Base. JS Maya is the 7th ship in the JMSDF fleet equipped with the AEGIS combat system.

The JS Maya was laid down on April 2017, and launched in July 2018. The ship was reported to have costed at around JPY172 billion (US$1.61 billion) to build.

The Maya-class is an improvement of the JMSDF’s Atago-class guided missile destroyers, featuring the latest Aegis Baseline 9 system, compared to the Atago-class’ Aegis Baseline 7. It was also built to include Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability from the start, unlike other Aegis-equipped ships in the JMSDF that underwent modifications to gain such capability.

The Maya-class is also around 5 meters longer than the Atago-class at 170 meters, and has a width of 21 meters, a standard displacement of 8,200 tons, and a full-load displacement of around 10,250 tons. 

As part of the Aegis combat system, the ship is equipped with a Lockheed Martin/Raytheon AN/SPY-1D(V) phased array radar and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band high resolution fire control radar. It also has the American-developed Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system that allows the ship to be part of a larger system of sensors and weapons platforms to share surveillance and targeting data.

Weapons include a BAE Systems Mk.45 Mod.4 127mm naval gun, two Phalanx 20mm close-in weapon systems (CIWS), Type 17 anti-ship cruise missiles, 96 cells of Mk.41 vertical launching systems (VLS) for SM-2ER Block IIIB, SM-3 Block IIA and SM-6 air defense missiles, and Type 07 anti-submarine rockets. It will also be equipped with two Type 68 triple torpedo tubes capable of lauching the US Mk.46 and Japanese Type 73 anti-submarine torpedoes.

The JMSDF is expected to receive the second ship of the class, the Haguro (180) by March 2021.

[1] Defpost
[2] Naval News
[3] Jane’s Defence Weekly

Friday, March 20, 2020

India orders 16,479 IWI Negev 7.62x51mm light machine guns

The IWI Negev NG7 7.62x51mm general purpose machine gun. Photo c/o Defpost.

India has signed an agreement worth INR8.8 billion (US$118 million) for the purchase of 16,479 Negev 7.62x51mm light machine guns from Israeli arms manufacturer Israel Weapon Industries (IWI).

These LMGs will be supplied to the Indian Army, which has a requirement of around 43,000 LMGs to fill gaps and replace older model.

According to the Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD), the new LMGs are expected to enhance the lethality and range of frontline troops, improving their overall combat capability.

The decision to acquire more than 16,000 LMGs was decided in 2018, as the Indian government tries to reduce the requirement gap after several failures to acquire the needed small arms for the Indian Army’s 382 infantry battalions. 

The Indian Army is no stranger to the Negev LMG, as its Para Special Forces units are already using the Negev NG7 since 2012 as its standard Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).

The IWI Negev NG7 is the 7.62x51mm variant of the Negev family of light machine guns, which is also available in 5.56x45mm variant. It is able to use belt-fed, drum, or standard 7.62mm NATO magazines, and weighs around 17.4 pounds. 

It is the main light machine gun of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and is also used by several armed units around the world. Aside from India, other Asian countries using the Negev LMG are the Royal Thai Army, the Vietnamese Naval Special Forces, and the Philippine National Police.

[1] Times of India
[2]  Defpost
[3] The Defenstar

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Japan retires its last McDonnell Douglas RF-4E/EJ “Photo Phantoms” recon aircraft

One of the RF-4E Photo Phantoms of the JASDF. Photo c/o K. Yuuki through

The Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) has retired its fleet of McDonnell Douglas RF-4E/EJ Phantom photo-reconnaissance aircraft, with the last flight conducted on 09 March 2020 to pay tribute to the type’s service.

The last six (6) RF-4Es were retired, all being operated by the 501st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron based in Hyakuri Air Base. 

With the “Photo Phantoms” retirement, the squadron will also be disbanded, with reconnaissance missions to be handed over to other units as the JASDF introduces new assets, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk.

The RF-4E was first introduced with the JASDF with the delivery of the first aircraft “Shark 901” with tail number 47-6901 in 1974 and eventually replacing the North American RF-86F Sabre recon aircraft.

The aircraft type was famous for their signature “Woody Woodpecker” squadron emblem and different camouflage schemes including the “blue offshore” pattern.

[1] The Aviationist

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

South Korea signs contract for first FFX-III “Ulsan-class” frigate

A pre-production rendering of the FFX-III frigate, as designed by HHI. Photo c/o HHI through YNA.

The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has awarded a KRW400 billion (US$325 million) contract to design and build the first FFX-III frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN).

The ship is said to be known as “Ulsan-class”, and is a further development from the earlier Daegu-class frigate that was designed under the FFX-II program.

DAPA announced on 16 March 2020 that South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has received the contract, and is expected to deliver the ship to the ROKN by 2024.

An earlier concept design was already made by HHI, and the contract includes finalizing the design to production model that would be used to construct 5 more frigates in the near future.

Based on earlier information released by DAPA, the new Ulsan-class FFX-III frigate would have a length of 129 meters, a width of 15 meters, and will displace at around 3,500 tons. 

It will be powered by a hybrid gas and electric propulsion system, with the electric propulsion provides an advantage during anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations due to its quiet propulsion, while still allowing the ship to reach a maximum of speed of around 30 knots using the gas turbines.

It is also expected to be equipped with an indigenous four-sided fixed multifunction phased array radar, which enables 360-degrees multi-directional detection, tracking, and engagement or aerial and surface targets. 

The ship would be armed with a 5” naval gun, a close-in weapon system, an indigenous vertical launching system (VLS) for firing air defense missiles, anti-ship and land attack missiles. It would also have facilities to accommodate a naval helicopter capable of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW).

[1] Yonhap News Agency
[2] Naval News
[3] Jane’s Navy International

Monday, March 16, 2020

India releases RFI for possible procurement of Loitering Munition System

The UVision Hero family of loitering munition was among those the Indian Army showed interest in. Photo c/o Army Technology.

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD) has released a Request for Information (RFI) on a possible procurement of up to 100 loitering munition systems for the Indian Army.

The RFI mentioned that the loitering munition system would weigh less than 20 kilograms, is man-portable, a range of 15 kilometers, and an endurance of at least 30 minutes, can fly to an altitude of at least 4,500 meters above sea level, has anti-jamming countermeasures, and can be used against soft skinned targets and infantry.

The ground control station should be compact enough to be man portable to be carried by troops deployed to area of operations by helicopters.

The RFI also requires the delivery of the entire order within 18 months from contract signing.

A loitering munition system are similar to small unmanned aerial vehicles, but are armed with a warhead and act as a flying munition. It can be flown for surveillance before plunging to a target in a suicide manner as designated by the ground controller. This is a cheaper alternative to missiles, although the destructive power could be less and is best used against smaller, less armored targets.

India has been interested in loitering munition systems, and has seen Israeli companies like UVision offering their products and even partnering with local companies for potential supply to the Indian armed forces.

[1] Defense World
[2] Indian Defence Research Wing
[3] The Defenstar

Friday, March 13, 2020

Indonesia cancels deal with Russia to acquire Sukhoi Su-35 fighters

Indonesia dropped the acquisition of Sukhoi Su-35 fighters from Russia due to CAATSA concerns. Photo c/o Defense World.

The Indonesian government has dropped plans to acquire the Sukhoi Su-35 twin engine multirole fighter from Russian state-owned arms export agency Rosoboronexport, according to a report from news media agency Bloomberg.

The decision was made due to American pressure and possible imposition of sanctions under the US government’s Countering American’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The deal between Indonesia and Russia has been in negotiations since 2017, and a contract was signed in February 2018 for the sale of 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters for the Indonesian Air Force, as a replacement for their ageing fleet of US-made Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II lightweight fighters.

Indonesia was not able to move the contract forward due to CAATSA issues, despite the Indonesian government’s negotiations with the US to exempt Indonesia from possible sanctions. So far, American pressure has been undisguised since they approved the CAATSA policy as a way to hit Russia’s most profitable export which is arms and ammunition.

The Indonesian government planned to pay Russia through barter scheme, offering palm oil, rubber,  coffee beans and spices to pay for the fighters which are worth around US$1.1 billion.

While Indonesia was pushing to acquire the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter from Russia, it was also negotiating for the acquisition of fighters from the US, with the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70/72 Viper being offered. Although reports mentioned that Indonesia was more interested in the latest American fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

[1] Bloomberg
[2] TASS Russian News Agency

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Philippines to order 4 long range air defense radars from Japanese company

Mitsubishi Electric displays a scale model of the FPS-3ME radar at LIMA 2019 defense exhibition in Langkawi, Malaysia. Photo c/o Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) has awarded a project to acquire air defense radars to Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) as part of the modernization efforts of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

A Notice of Award was issued by the DND on 04 March 2020, with a contract for 3 fixed and 1 mobile air defense radars worth around PHP5.26 billion (US$105 million) is expected within 2 months.

According to MaxDefense Philippines, the radars included in the deal are the J/FPS-3ME 3D Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) advanced long range fixed radar system, and the J/TPS-P14ME truck-mounted long range mobile radar system, which MELCO has been offering for export to countries. 

It is expected to be the first major export of military radars by Japan, which has only recently revised its policies on arms exports. 

The J/FPS-3ME is a development of the 90s-era J/FPS-3 radar in service with the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), incorporating AESA technology, improved signal processing, and jamming resistance. It also has a secondary antenna optimized for short range detection.

The J/TPS-P14ME is also a development from the J/TPS-P14 mobile AESA  radar used by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) and operates in S-band frequency, with improvements including upgrades on signal processing and modernized hardware. 

Both radar systems are capable of detecting medium and high altitude targets beyond 300 kilometers.

The PAF is expected to receive the radars between late 2021 to 2022, and are expected to be deployed in the northeast, central and southwest parts of the country.

[2] MaxDefense Philippines
[3] Philippine Defense Resource

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Mission systems upgrade underway for Indonesian multirole corvette

The Bung Tomo-class corvette of the Indonesian Navy, the KRI Usman-Harun (359). Photo c/o Thales Group.

The Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) is expected to proceed with the mission system modernization of one of its Bung Tomo-class multirole corvettes, the KRI Usman-Harun (359).

The project will be undertaken by state-owned electronics company PT LEN Industri in partnership with Thales Group, which signed a contract on 10 March 2020. PT LEN Industri is the appointed system integrator for the project, with Thales to provide technical assistance and the products to be used for the upgrade.

The project will see the installation of the Thales TACTICOS Combat Management System, the SMART-S Mk.2 air and surface surveillance radar, the STIR EO Mk. 2 fire control radar and EO fire control system, and the Vigile Mk.2 tactical multipurpose Radar-Electronic Support Measures (R-ESM) system. 

The said subsystems are the same as those already installed on the TNI-AL’s new Martadinata-class frigates, which allows for commonality and consistency between the naval assets.

The modernization program enables the TNI-AL to have a cost-effective way of extending the ship’s life cycle while improving its capabilities for optimum performance. The works are expected to be completed by late 2023,

The upgrade works will be PT LEN Industri’s first major mission modernization and integration program, and would enable it to build on its capabilities after receiving technical support and technology transfer from Thales.

[1] Thales Group
[2] Naval News

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Malaysia receives first batch of French 105mm towed howtizers

Colombian Army soldiers with their LG1 105m light towed howitzer. Photo c/o Malaysia Defence.

Malaysian company Advance Defence Systems (ADS) has received kits for the assembly of six (6) LG1 105mm light towed howitzers from French defense firm Nexter Systems bound for the Malaysian Army (MA), as reported by IHS Jane’s.

The kits were part of a larger order for 18 howitzer systems made by the Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MOD) on April 2018. ADS is Nexter’s Malaysian partner and is in charge of assembling the kits and delivering them to the Malaysian Army’s 1st Royal Artillery Regiment.

Delays has hampered the delivery due to a decision by the current Malaysian government to review all defense contracts entered upon by the previous administration. All 18 howitzers were originally scheduled for delivery by February 2020, although Nexter confirmed that they would be able to deliver all 18 howitzers within 2020.

The contract includes the 18 fully digitizer LG1 Mk. III light guns, the BACARA compact portable ballistic computer for battery unit level, and an unspecified quantity of high explosive base-bleed extended range G3 ammunition, which have a maximum range of up to 17 kilometers.

The new LG1 Mk. III howitzers will start to replace some of the MA’s older Oto Melara Model 56 105mm pack howitzers.

[1] Jane’s Defence Weekly
[2] Shephard Media

Friday, March 6, 2020

Australia sells 42 F/A-18A/B Hornet fighters to American training private contractor

The RAAF is on the way to retire the F/A-18A/B "Classic" Hornets as more F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters become available. Photo c/o Military Contact Australia.

The Australian Department of Defence (DOD) announced on 5 March 2020, that it has sold all 42 Boeing F/A-18A/B Hornet multirole fighter aircraft in its inventory to a US-based private contractor.

The Hornet fighters, numbering 46 units, are currently operated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and are slated for retirement in the next few years. 

American private contractor Air USA, which offers tactical airpower training and adversary support for the US armed forces and other international air forces, has not disclosed how much it will be paying for the deal.

The fighter aircraft will be prepared over the next three to four years, according to the Australian DOD. The preparation work will provide direct jobs in Australia, with the work expected to be made in RAAF Williamstown.

According to Flight Global and based on earlier information when Canada bought 25 of the RAAF’s Hornets, there were 52 single-seat F/A-18A Hornets in RAAF service with an average age of 32 years, and 16 twin-seat F/A-18B Hornet with an average of 33 years.

These are all being replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, 72 units of which was ordered for the RAAF.

With the acquisition, Air USA will have a significant growth and improvement on the services they can provide, which is currently served by 16 aircraft comprising 11 BAE Systems Hawk Mk.67, 4 Aero Vodochody L-39Zas, and a 41-year old L-39C.

[1] Flight Global
[2] The Drive – The Warzone
[3] Jane’s Defence Weekly

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Singapore to introduce new patrol vessels, temporarily retain 4 Fearless-class ships

An indicative design of the proposed new patrol vessel. Photo c/o Defense Min. Ng Eng Hen's Twitter account.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) plans to introduce a new purpose-built patrol vessel to deal with increasing maritime and security threats in the Singapore Strait and coastal waters as part of the SAF’s restructuring of its Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF).

The ships are planned to be delivered to the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) in around 5 years, and would be using a new design. Photos emerging from the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) shows a design that is smaller than the existing Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessels (LMV).

Not much details were provided although it appears to be armed with an Oto Melara 76mm naval gun, a 3D search radar, and will be capable of deploying rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB).

While the plan is still being realized, the RSN will retain four (4) of their Fearless-class patrol vessels as an interim measure to cover gaps that will eventually be covered by the new ships. 

The RSN’s Fearless-class patrol vessels are already in their final phase of service, as most of the ships of the class were already retired after being replaced by the new Independence-class LMVs.

Aside from the new ships, the SAF also plans to enhance its counter-terrorism intelligence capabilities and improve cyber detection capabilities. The SAF will restructure their intelligence units and acquire new systems to better detect, forewarn and respond to terrorists plots, while working closer with national agencies and foreign to allow sharing of information.

A new Integrated Cyber Command is also being planned to detect and respond against cyber aggressors.

[1] Channel NewsAsia
[2] Straits Times

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Australia receives its third and final Hobart-class air warfare destroyer

The Hobart-class air warfare destroyer, NUSHIP Sydney (42). Photo c/o Defpost.

The Australian Department of Defence (DOD) received the third and final Hobart-class AEGIS-equipped air warfare destroyer for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) during ceremonies at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, South Australia on 28 February 2020.

The ship, which will be named as the HMAS Sydney (DDG-42) once it gets commissioned with the RAN, was formally received by Defense Minister Linda Reynolds, and the Chief of the RAN, Vice Adm. Michael Noonan. 

The ship was delivered several months earlier due to changes in construction process involving the ship’s storage for munitions to be used by its complimenting Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk naval helicopter.

Commissioning of the ship is expected to take place in Sydney, New South Wales on 20 May 2020, which marks a milestone in the RAN as it goes closer to completing the replacement process for their six decommissioned Adelaide-class frigates that were previously the RAN’s primary air warfare surface assets, and completing the A$9 billion (US$6 billion) Air Warfare Destroyer programme that took 13 years to complete.

The last ship of the Adelaide-class, the HMAS Melbourne (FFG-05) was decommissioned on October 2019.

After commissioning, the future HMAS Sydney is expected to undertake a 6 month deployment to undergo Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials with the US Navy in California, USA to enable to ship to reach full operational capability (FOC). 

The trials will include testing its combat systems, and live fire testing of ship’s RIM-66 SM-2 Standard Block 3B and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles.
The Hobart-class are currently the RAN’s most capable surface warships, and are based on Spanish shipbuilder Navantia’s F100 surface warship design. They have an overall length of 147.2 metres, a maximum beam of 18.6 metres, and a draught of 5.17 metres. The ships have a full-load displacement 7,000 tonnes.

They are armed with a single Mk. 45 Mod. 4 5” naval gun, eight (8) Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles in two quadruple cannisters, a 48-cell Mk. 41 vertical launch system (VLS) capable of firing the RIM-66 SM-2 Standard and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, two Mk.32 Mod. 9 twin torpedo launchers, a Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS), and two 25mm M242 Bushmaster autocannons mounted on Rafael Typhoon mounts.

[1] Navy Recognition
[2] Jane’s Defence Weekly

Monday, March 2, 2020

Indonesia and the Philippines signs defense MOU on defense industry cooperation

The Harimau medium tank during demonstration to Philippine defense officials. Photo c/o Antara News.

The governments of Indonesia and the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support bilateral defense industrial cooperation between the two countries, which was held on 27 February 2020 as Philippine defense officials visited their counterparts in Jakarta, Indonesia.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MOD), the MOU will act as a legal framework for defense industry cooperation, technology transfer, and defense acquisitions between the two neighboring countries. 

The scope of cooperation includes supply, service, and maintenance, logistics, as well as research and development. 

It improves the chances of Indonesian defense products to be procured by the Philippines, as the deal also provides framework for Government-to-Government (G2G) engagements.

Indonesian defense companies like PT Pindad, PT LEN, PT PAL, PT Dirgantara Indonesia, and PT NTP are expected to benefit the most from this agreement, as these companies are competing for several defense acquisition projects of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), or are part of the supply chain supporting the competing Indonesian defense products.

The Philippine delegation also visited the facility of PT Pindad and was given a demonstration of some of their major products including the Harimau medium tank, and Anoa, Badak, and Komodo armored vehicles, and various small arms and ammunition. The Harimau and the Anoa are currently competing for the Light Tank and Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier requirements of the Philippine Army, respectively.

[1] Tempo Indonesia
[2] Jane’s Defence Industry
[3] The Jakarta Post