Thursday, June 29, 2023

Indonesia receives second C-130J Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft


The second C-130J for TNI-AU upon arriving in Jakarta, Indonesia on 28 June 2023. Photo c/o Indonesian MOD.

The second of five C-130J Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft ordered by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence for the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has arrived in the country’s capital Jakarta on 28 June 2023.

The aircraft, with tail number A-1340 was given a traditional water salute upon arriving at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport, as well as wearing of batik slings for the four American crewmembers of the aircraft by TNI-AU Deputy Chief of Staff Air Marshall Augustine Gustaf Brugman.

The aircraft is scheduled to be officially handed-over of the aircraft to the TNI-AU in the next few days.

The aircraft flew in from Lockheed Martin’s facility in Marietta, Georgia and had several technical stops along the way before finally arriving in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The aircraft is expected to be assigned with the Squadron 31 based at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airbase in Jakarta, which already received the first C-130J Super Hercules last March 2023.

Lockheed Martin is scheduled to deliver the third aircraft by July 2023, and the fourth aircraft by October 2023. The fifth and final aircraft is scheduled to arrive in Indonesia by January 2024.

[1] Indonesian Ministry of Defence

[2] Asia Pacific Defense Journal

Friday, June 23, 2023

Vietnam to receive gifted Khukri-class missile corvette from India


The INS Kirpan (P44), one of the Khukri-class corvettes of the Indian Navy. Photo c/o Overt Defense.

As part of improving defense relations, the Indian Minister of Defence has confirmed that it would be transferring one of its Khukri-class missile corvettes to Vietnam.

This was announced during the bilateral meeting between Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart General Phan Van Gang in New Delhi on 19 June 2023, which was focused on strengthening defense ties and discussing regional security issues including the maritime disputes in the South China Sea, as well as potential cooperation on defense industrial research and  production.

The corvette, which was identified to the be INS Kirpan (P44), is scheduled for decommissioning from the Indian Navy soon out of the three remaining ships of the class. The first ship of the class, INS Khukri (P49) was already decommissioned in 2021 and was converted to a museum.

The ship is expected to boost the overall capability of the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) by having additional platform to perform naval defense roles including patrols and naval warfare. The transfer also signifies that the two other ships of the class could be transferred or sold to Vietnam in the near future.

The Khukri-class was design and built in India by Mazagon Dock Limited and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, with 65% local content including the French-designed diesel engines which were manufactured under license in India.

They are 91.1 meters long, have a maximum beam of 10.5 meters, and displaces at around 1,400 tons. They are powered by two diesel engines allowing a maximum speed of 24 knots and a maximum range of 4,000 nautical miles at cruising speed of 16 knots.

It sensors and weapons are mostly of Soviet / Russian origin which includes the MR-352 Cross Dome air-search radar, Garpun B surface-search radar, and MR-123 Bass Tilt fire control radar. 

They are equipped with a Soviet/Russian AK-176 76mm naval gun, two AK-630 30mm close-in weapon systems, four launchers of P-15 Termit anti-ship missiles, and a launcher for 9K32 Strela-2 man-portable air defense system.

It also has a helicopter deck which allows the take-off and landing of a light helicopter.

The INS Kirpan was laid down on November 1985, launched on August 1988, and commissioned with the Indian Navy on January 1991. 

Frontier India
[2] Voice of America
[3] Overt Defense

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Taiwan commissions first 10,000-ton Yushan-class landing platform dock


The ROCN Yushun (LPD-1401). Photo c/o Chris Cavas / Cavasships@Twitter.

The Republic of China Navy (ROCN) has commissioned into service its first 10,000-ton indigenously designed and built Yushan-class landing platform dock (LPD).

The vessel, which was named ROCN Yushan (LPD-1401), was officially brought into service during ceremonies on 19 June 2023 at Kaohsiung. 

The ship was named after Mount Yushan, which is the highest mountain in Taiwan, and symbolizes the ROCN's efforts in pursuing excellence and being at the frontline of the country's defense, according to the ROCN's Deputy Commander Vice Admiral Tang Hua.

The new ship will be used for amphibious combat operations and support of its offshore islets, as well as for logistics support and transport including performing disaster relief and international humanitarian rescue missions in response to natural disasters.

The ship was built as part of a contract worth NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million), and was launched in 2021. It was handed over to the ROCN by its shipbuilder China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) to the ROCN on September 2022.

It has a length of 153 meters, and a maximum beam of 23 meters, displaces at 10,600 tonnes and has a maximum range of 7,000 nautical miles. It can reach a maximum speed of 22.1 knots.

It is fitted with a Oto Melara Mk. 75 76mm naval gun in the forward position, two Mk 15 Phalanx close-in weapon systems, and two missile launchers that can fire a total of 32 TC-2N Tien Chien II surface-to-air missiles. It can also be fitted with missile launchers for up to 16 Hsiung Feng II anti-ship cruise missiles.

Aside from space to carry tanks and amphibious assault vehicles, the ship is also equipped with medical facilities including a negative-pressure isolation ward, which will allow the ship to be used for medical and humanitarian purposes.

Taiwan plans to construct a total of 4 ships of the class.

[1] Focus Taiwan
[2] South China Morning Post

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Indonesia orders 13 Ground Master 400 Alpha long range air surveillance radars from France


The Ground Master 400 Alpha radar. Photo c/o Thales.

French defense company Thales and its partner, Indonesian electronics company PT LEN Industri has confirmed that the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MOD) has ordered 13 long range air surveillance radars for the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU).

The radars were identified as the Thales Ground Master 400 Alpha, which is mobile, has a maximum instrumental detection range of up to 515 kilometers, and is integrated with artificial intelligence capabilities to manage the large amount of data it processes.

The procurement is being made to bridge the existing radar coverage gap identified by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence as part of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) Minimum Essential Force Modernization Program which is already in its third and final phase.

According to Thales and PT LEN Industri, the new radars would allow the TNI to detect all types of aerial threats which includes aircraft, missiles, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, while also integrating its detection capabilities to create a single image.

As part of the contract, Thales will supply the Ground Master 400 Alpha radars and command and control systems, while PT LEN Industri will be responsible for building the stations installing the radars and connect it to the Indonesian air defense system, and managing associated civil works, and is said to manufacture and supply certain components related to the radar system.

Thales revealed that more than 80 Ground Master 400 and 400 Alpha radars have been sold to 19 countries with Malaysia being the other operator from Southeast Asia.

Kompas Media
[2] The Jakarta Post
[3] AIN Online

Monday, June 19, 2023

Thailand considering acquisition of 3 JAS-39 Gripen fighters from Sweden


The JAS-39E Gripen, this example with the Brazilian Air Force. Photo c/o Saab.

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is reported to be looking at potentially procuring three JAS-39 Gripen fighters from Sweden’s Saab, after the United States rejected a request for the acquisition of the 5th generation F-35A Lightning II made by Lockheed Martin. 

This was reported by Bangkok Post based on a RTAF source’s information revealed on 15 June 2023.

The RTAF previously acquired 12 JAS-39C/D Gripen fighters, with all aircraft delivered in 2013 and assigned with Wing 7 based at Surat Thani,  but one aircraft was lost in an airshow accident in 2017.

Bangkok Post reported that the RTAF has not yet formed a panel to determine and select a replacement for their F-16 Fighting Falcon, which are early-model F-16A/B OCU and ADF variants that have been in service since the late 1980s 

As an alternative to the F-35A Lightning II, the United States was said to have offered to sell the 4.5-generation F-16 Block 70/72 Viper and the F-15EX Eagle II fighters to the RTAF to prepare the RTAF for the future procurement of the F-35A. But it appears that the Thai Government is not prepared to make a commitment to fund for such program.

Aside from a long delivery lead time for the F-35A which is said to be close to 10 years, the US requires Thailand to construct and provide for specific infrastructure and facilities for support, training and security for the F-35As.

Instead, it only has enough to acquire a small number of fighters, with the JAS-39 Gripen eyed since it already operates the type and would not require for additional infrastructure to be built. 

It was not determined if Thailand is interested in the JAS-39C/D Gripen similar to what it already uses, or the newer JAS-39E/F Gripen. The former is already out of production although used aircraft could be sourced from the Swedish Air Force. The latter has already started production and is available for export, with Brazil being the first export customer of the variant.

Bangkok Post

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Indonesia procures 12 used Mirage 2000-5 fighters from Qatar


One of the Mirage 2000-5EDA of the Qatar Emiri Air Force to be transferred to the Indonesian Air Force. Photo c/o Airspace Review.

The Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MOD) has confirmed that it has signed a US$795 million contract early this year to procure 12 used Dassault Mirage 2000-5 single-engine fighter aircraft previously used by the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

The deal was justified by the Indonesian MOD as a quick stop gap measure to plug the fighter and air defense gap of the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU), despite criticisms from lawmakers that the price is too high, issues on maintenance are a concern as spare parts as proving to be more difficult to obtain, and the TNI-AU currently operates too many types of fighter aircraft in small numbers.

Czech company Excalibur International, a unit of defense company Czechoslovak Group (CSG) will facilitate the deal, while foreign loans will be used by the Indonesian government to pay for the aircraft, with the company expected to complete the delivery of all aircraft within 2 years from signing of contract.

The deal includes the transfer of 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighters consisting of nine single-seat Mirage 2000-5EDA and three twin-seat Mirage 2000-5DDA variants. It also includes 14 engines, ground support equipment, and will also include training of air and ground crew, and three years of support services.

The procurement of stop-gap fighter aircraft comes as Indonesia failed to realise an earlier deal with Russia to procure 11 new Sukhoi Su-35 fighter aircraft, which were suppose to replace the Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II fighters that were recently retired from TNI-AU service.

Indonesia also have an existing deal with France to procure new Rafale multirole fighter, and is in discussion with the United States for the possible procurement of the Boeing F-15EX Eagle II multirole fighter. It also partnered with South Korea in the production of the KF-21 Boramae fighter, in which Indonesia committed to procure around 50 aircraft.

Defense News
[2] Channel News Asia
[3] Benar News

Friday, June 9, 2023

Indonesia receives two new Pulau Fani-class mine countermeasures vessels from German shipbuilder


One of the new MCMV, the KRI Pulau Dani (731). Photo c/o Abeking & Rasmussen.

The Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formally received the two new Pulau Fani-class mine countermeasures vessels (MCMV) built by German shipbuilder Abeking & Rasmussen for the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) on 26 May 2023.

Indonesia was represented by its Defense Deputy Minister M Herindra and other officials from the Indonesian Navy, with the turn-over ceremony conducted as Abeking & Rasmussen’s shipyard in Lemwerder, Gemany.

The two ships, which will be named the KRI Pulau Fani (731) and KRI Pulau Fanildo (732) once in service with the Indonesian Navy, are based on the Germany shipbuilder’s MHV-60 design.

The Indonesian MOD and Abeking & Rasmussen signed  a contract to design and build two new MCMVs for the TNI-AL on January 2019 in a deal worth US$204 million, using the MHV-60 design which was derived from the Frankenthal-class mine hunting vessels used by the German Navy.

The ships are equipped with the Synapsis NX navigation and bridge system, an integrated SYNTACS command and control system, as well as modern mine-hunting sonar and unmanned vehicles.

The ships are propelled by a MAN hybrid propulsion package system combining two MAN 12V175D-MM diesel engines with an AKA hybrid PTI system for silent operations while conducting manhunting operations.

[1] Indonesian Ministry of Defence

[2] Military Leak

Malaysia to receive two new Tun Fatimah-class patrol vessels within 2023


The first ship of the Tun Fatimah-class during launching on October 2022. Photo c/o Malaysian Defence.

Malaysian shipbuilder TH Heavy Engineering (THHE) has confirmed that it intends to deliver two Tun Fatimah-class offshore patrol vessels to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) within 2023.

This was confirmed by MMEA’s spokesperson to British defense news outlet Janes during the recently-ended Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2023 (LIMA 2023) in Malaysia last week.

TTHE is targeting the delivery of the first ship of the class to MMEA by July 2023, which has been delayed for more than 3 years, considering the ship had its first keel laying ceremony in 2017 and should have been delivered to the MMEA in mid-2020.

The second ship of the class is expected to be delivered to the MMEA by October 2023, and the third and final ship of the class by April 2024.

The Tun Fatimah-class offshore patrol vessels were based on Dutch shipbuilder Damen’s OPV 1800 design, which has a length of 83 meters, a beam of 13.7m meters, and a displacement of around 2,600 tonnes.

The ship is propelled by two Caterpillar 3512C diesel engines, enabling it to reach a maximum speed of 20 knots, and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at cruising speed of 12 knots.

It is equipped with X & S-band surface search and navigation radars, and has a 30mm autocannon mounted on an ASELSAN SMASH remote controlled weapon station as its main weapon, as well as several manually-operated 12.7mm heavy and 7.62mm light machine guns.

It is also equipped with a helicopter landing deck and is expected to have a complimenting VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle for surveillance, and can also accommodate a light helicopter.

[1] Janes

[2] Malaysian Defence

Monday, June 5, 2023

Indonesia commissions new combat-capable presidential ship


Inauguration of KRI Bung Karno on 01 June 2023. Photo c/o Antara News.

The Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) has inaugurated its new combat capable presidential ship, which was named the KRI Bung Karno (369) on 01 June 2023.

The ship, which was classified as a ""VVIP and Presidential Helicopter-Carrying Guided Missile Corvette" by the TNI-AL, was named after former Indonesian president Sukarno, who was also called Bung Karno (Comrade Karno) during his revolutionary days against Dutch colonial rule.

The inauguration also coincides with the birth month of former Pres. Sukarno, and the birthdate of the Pancasila (Five Principles) of the Indonesia.

The inauguration of the ship was held at the Kolinlami Pier, Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, and was attended by Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) Commander Admiral Yudo Margono, and TNI-AL KOARMADA I Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Erwin S Aldedharma, as well as former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who is the daughter of former President Sukarno.

The new ship, which was built by Indonesian shipbuilder PT Karimun Anugrah Sejati in Batam, will replace the current presidential ship, the KRI Barakuda (814) which has been in service for 27 years.

The KRI Bung Karno is armed with a 40mm naval gun from Leonardo, as well as two 20mm automatic cannons and two SIMBAD surface-to-air missile launchers for the Mistral short-range air defense system.

The ship is 73 meters long, and has a crew of 45 officers and personnel. It displaces at around 650 tons, and has a maximum speed of 24 knots.

[1] Indonesian Navy KOARMADA I
[2] Indonesia Defense Magazine
[3] Tempo