20 Juli 2017

Third Australian F-35A on Production Line

20 Juli 2017

A35-002 (photo : Richard Sanchez)

Third F-35A Forges Ahead

Air Force’s third Australian F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (A35-003) is progressing along the production line in the United States (US). 

The program’s milestone coincided with a visit by Australian Ambassador to the US Mr Joe Hockey, who toured the Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth facility where the F-35A Joint Strike Fighters are being assembled. 

Meeting with Lockheed Martin representatives and Joint Strike Fighter Division’s US embedded staff, Mr Hockey was briefed on the achievements of the F-35 Program. He signed the bulkhead of the aircraft as it made its way down the assembly line at the Fort Worth facility. 

Head Joint Strike Fighter, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Leigh Gordon said the A35-003 was the first of the next batch of eight Australian F-35s currently in production in Fort Worth to begin the “mate” process, where major components of the aircraft were joined together to form the aircraft structure.

A35-001 (photo : ChrisK48)

“The aircraft will then make its way down the assembly line and through its check flights in preparation for delivery in early 2018,” AVM Gordon said. 

A35-003 is the first F-35 to be assembled for Australia since the delivery of the first two RAAF F-35A’s in 2014. 

“Like its two RAAF F-35A stablemates, A35-003 will be delivered to Luke Air Force Base Arizona in early 2018, where it will be used for F-35 pilot and maintainer training until permanently re-locating to Australia in 2020,” AVM Gordon said. 

AVM Gordon said as Australia was a strategic partner in the global F-35 Program it was delivering significant benefits to Australian industry. 

“As with every F-35 being produced, A35-003 includes components made by Australian companies, with more than $800m in production contracts so far.” 

“More than 50 Australian companies have directly shared in production work to date, with hundreds more Australian companies who are indirectly benefiting through supply chain work,” he said. 

“Australian industry will also be closely involved in sustaining the RAAF F-35As and providing through-life support services for the global fleet.” 

Defence estimates industry involvement in F-35 production is expected to reach $2 billion by 2023. 

(Aus DoD)

PH Completes Inspection of Raytheon for FA-50’s Air-to-Air Missiles

20 Juli 2017

FA-50PH (photo : Efrainnoel Morota)

The Philippine has completed post qualification inspections for Raytheon Missile Systems Co. last week in United States for Fighter/Surface Attack/Lead-in Fighter Trainer (F/SA/LIFT) Aircraft Munitions Acquisition Project Lot 1.

According to MaxDefense Philippines, Raytheon is in the running to supply AIM-9L/I-1 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for the Philippine Air Force’s FA-50 Fighting Eagle aircraft.

“If the results are positive, it won’t be long before a Notice of Award will be provided,” MaxDefense said.

MaxDefense added that air-to-air missiles being acquired are also for “future aircraft capable of carrying and firing the missiles.”

However, MaxDefense noted the decrease in Approved Budget for Contract (ABC) for the F/SA/LIFT Aircraft Munitions Acquisition Project Lot 1.

AIM-9L/I-1 missiles (photo : wiki)

It noted that ABC was decreased to PHP 1.016 billion for unspecified number of AIM-9L/I-1 missiles including associated accessories and support, from PHP 2.636 billion for 312 missiles.

“Budget decrease was also made as the PAF opted to increase the budget to acquire AGM-65G Maverick missiles (Lot 2) instead, diverting almost half the original ABC for F/SAA/LIFT Munitioms Lot 1 to Lot 2,” MaxDefense said.

AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground tactical missile (AGM) designed for close air support.

F/SA/LIFT Aircraft Munitions Acquisition Project is divided into several Lots. Lots 3 and 4 are for Countermeasures and 20mm Ammunition, respectively.


T-50i Akan Menjaga Keamanan Udara di NTT

20 Juli 2017

Pesawat latih tempur T-50i (photo : kristianto wibowo)

TNI AU Tambah Pesawat Tempur Perkuat Keamanan Udara di NTT

KUPANG, KOMPAS.com - Kepala Staf TNI Angkatan Udara Marsekal TNI Hadi Tjahjanto mengatakan, pihaknya akan mendatangkan pesawat tempur T50 untuk menjaga keamanan wilayah Provinsi Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT).

Penambahan pesawat tempur itu, sebut Hadi, mengingat lokasi wilayah NTT yang sangat strategis karena berbatasan dengan dua negara, yakni Timor Leste dan Australia.

"Dalam waktu dekat akan didatangkan pesawat tempur T50 dan tanggal 21 Juli ini sudah hadir di Kupang," kata Hadi, saat acara jamuan makan malam bersama gubernur NTT, Selasa (18/7/2017) malam.

“Terkait dengan pertahanan negara, NTT memiliki nilai yang sangat tinggi, oleh sebab itu kami hadir di sini dalam rangka menginventarisir kekuatan, khususnya kekuatan udara yang perlu ditingkatkan," sambungnya.

Selain itu, lanjut Hadi, pada rencana strategis tahap dua, pihaknya akan menambah sembilan buah pesawat Kasa.

Satu pesawat akan ditempatkan di bandara Lanud El Tari Kupang, sehingga kegiatan-kegiatan pemerintah daerah, kapolda NTT dan danrem Wira Sakti Kupang. Apabila ada permasalahan-permasalahan di luar Kupang segera bisa ditindaklanjuti dengan cepat.

Sementara itu, Gubernur NTT Frans Lebu Raya mengatakan, sebagai daerah kepulauan, dengan 1.192 pulaunya, Provinsi NTT memiliki wilayah seluas 247.000 kilometer (km) persegi, di mana luas daratan 47.000 km persegi dan 200.000 km persegi. Untuk menjangkau pulau-pulau itu, memang pihaknya tentu akan membutuhkan fasilitas yang lebih memadai.

"Bagaimana supaya kalau ada kejadian di Flores kami bisa sampai ke Flores, kalau ada kejadian di Sumba kami juga bisa segera tiba di sana dengan cepat," ucap Frans.

Frans pun meminta kepada KSAU agar terus membantu mendorong pembangunan Pos Lintas Batas Negara (PLBN) antara Kabupaten Kupang dan Oekusi (Timor Leste).

“Untuk perbatasan Oekusi dan Kabupaten Kupang sering terjadi masalah, namun untuk di Pos Motaain, Wini dan Motamasin hampir tidak ada masalah," tutup Frans.


Russia, Malaysia Sign Agreement on Modernization of Malaysian MiG-29

20 Juli 2017

Russia and Malaysia have signed an agreement on the renovation and modernization of the Russia-produced MiG-29 fighter aircraft that form parts of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon on Wednesday. (photo : Peter Gronemann)

ZHUKOVSKIY (Moscow Region) (Sputnik) — The document was signed by Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC) MiG Director General Ilya Tarasenko and Malaysian Air Force representative Mohamed Fadzar bin Sufad on the margins of the MAKS.

"The agreement confirms the extension of our contractual obligations for the Malaysian Air Forces on the operation of MiG-29 fighter jets. The RAC MiG will continue its cooperation with the Malaysian Air Forces and will provide technical support for these aircraft," Tarasenko said.

The MiG-29 supply contract was signed in Kuala Lumpur on June 7, 1994. The total contract value of 18 Russia-supplied aircraft was estimated at $560 billion. The MiG Corporation assumed the obligation to make the necessary adjustments and adapt the aircraft to Malaysian humid tropical climate. Malaysian MiG aircraft have come to be known as MiG-29N and MJG-29NUB, and formed Squadron 17 and Squadron 19 of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.


Indonesia Completes Installation of SATCOM Systems Across LPDs and Surface Combatants

20 Juli 2017

The Indonesian Navy has equipped a number of its ships with SATCOM systems. Move will improve ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communications across the service (photo : Patrakom)

The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut) has completed the installation of Ku-band stabilised parabolic antennas with radar domes, and associated satellite communication (SATCOM) systems on four of its landing platform dock ships, and across the Diponegoro (SIGMA) and Bung Tomo classes of surface combatants.

According to information provided to Jane's by TNI-AL and industry sources, the installations were done between mid-2016 and early-2017 by PT Patra Telekomunikasi Indonesia, which is a subsidiary of majority state-owned Telkom Indonesia.

The SATCOM system allows the ships to receive and transmit of two-way data and voice traffic, which can be used for communication applications such as email, web browsing, and voice over internet protocol (VOIP).

Jane's understands that coverage for such services on the Ku-band are available at most of the maritime regions that the TNI-AL vessels are expected to operate in, although the band is more susceptible to rain fade than C-band systems.

The TNI-AL is expected to equip more of its ships with SATCOM systems, although no details on which vessels these may be are immediately available. This is in line with a wider effort by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) to adopt more of such communication systems in the future.

The TNI currently relies on a satellite owned by Telkom Indonesia, for its satellite communication purposes. This satellite operates on both the Ku- and C-bands. There are also plans to further utilise a satellite owned by the People's Bank of Indonesia, known as BRIsat, which occupies the orbital slot of 150.5 degrees east longitude, once it is fully operational.


19 Juli 2017

Ukroboronprom: Contract with Thailand for Supply of Oplot Tanks will be Executed in Full

19 Juli 2017

RTA Oplot MBT (photo : DTech Journal)

Ukraine will fully execute the contract signed in 2011 for the supply to Thailand of new Oplot-T tracked armored vehicles manufactured at Malyshev Plant (Kharkiv), Ukroboronprom state concern has stated.

“It (the contract) will be executed in accordance with all the agreements provided. The executor of this order and the manufacturer of Oplot tanks is Malyshev plant, which is part of the concern,” a press release from the state concern reads.

Ukroboronprom Director General Roman Romanov stated the state concern also has enough production capacity to fulfill the order for the deliveries of Oplot armored vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“Ukroboronprom is able to produce the best Oplot tanks for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the mass production of these vehicles is well established,” he said.


Australia Should Aim to Become Major Arms Exporter: Minister

19 Juli 2017

Pyne said by the end of the current contracts, Australia would have built 12 submarines, 12 offshore patrol vessels, nine frigates and 21 patrol vessels for the Pacific. He said current contracts are worth $200bn over a decade. (image : SMH)

CANBERRA (Xinhua) -- Australia needs to "reverse the current situation" and become one of the world's premier arms exporters, according to the nation's Defense Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.

Speaking with local media on Sunday, the minister said that Australia must become self-sufficient in the way that it builds its defence capabilities, adding that creating an arms export industry would deliver self-sufficiency and build strategic relationships with ally nations in the Middle East.

Pyne said he would like to see Australia "design, build and export ships, vehicles, (and) missiles" with the 200 billion Australian dollars (152 billion U.S. dollars) the government has set aside for defence over the next decade.

"My ambition and the government's ambition is to reverse the current situation," Pyne told Fairfax Media, "There's absolutely no reason why we can't be as capable as Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain."

Currently, Australia is the world's sixth largest importer of defence goods, while it is the 20th largest exporter. Pyne said that within two decades, Australia should be exporting arms at similar levels to Germany, Britain and France, behind the United States and Russia as the world's largest defence hardware exporters.

Pyne said that creating a competitive arms industry would do wonders for the alliances which Australia holds with key Middle Eastern nations such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Why wouldn't we want to cement our relationship with a country like the UAE, which shares many of our values in terms of the geopolitical issues that we face through things like defence exports?" Pyne said.