29 Juli 2015

First RAAF P-8 on Track for Mid-2016 First Flight

29 Juli 2015

P-8As for the US Navy on Boeing’s mission systems integration line for the aircraft, which is adjacent to Boeing Field, Seattle. (photo : Australian Aviation)

Components for the first Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for the RAAF are already in production ahead of the aircraft’s first flight in mid-2016, Boeing says.

The fuselage for the first RAAF P-8A, dubbed ‘Aussie 01’, should arrive at Boeing’s Renton factory to begin final assembly by early 2016, James Detwiler, Boeing Military Aircraft’s director of business development for maritime projects, told Australian journalists in Seattle on Monday.

“We’ve already begun production on the first aircraft. Aussie 01 is in production right now in a very long-lead advanced procurement state,” Detwiler said.

“The first fuselage will be complete by the end of the year … and that first Australian [fuselage] will be here [Boeing’s mission systems integration line adjacent to Boeing Field in Seattle] in the first part of 2016.”

That would lead to a first flight in “mid-year 2016,” Detwiler said.

The Australian government announced approval of the RAAF’s acquisition of eight P-8As with options on a further four in February 2014. The first Australian aircraft is due to be delivered in early 2017 and all eight are expected in service by 2021. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at the time that acquiring the four optioned aircraft would be considered as part of the new Defence White Paper, which is due to be released in coming weeks.

To date Boeing has delivered 27 production P-8As to the US Navy out of a requirement – project of record – for 117. Fifty-three P-8As have been contracted for under low rate initial production (LRIP) batches 1 through 4 and the first full-rate production batch. Currently Boeing and the US Navy are finalising contracts for full rate production batch two and long-lead items for full rate production batch three, which will include all eight Australian aircraft. A contract for long-lead items covering the first four RAAF aircraft was signed last August.

So far India and Australia are the only confirmed P-8 export customers – but Detwiler said Boeing anticipated that further international orders would take total P-8 production beyond 200 units.

“We’re looking at numbers that would bring a fleet size in the 200 ballpark, maybe more,” Detwiler said.

India is acquiring eight P-8Is, a variant of the P-8A featuring a different communications suite and a digital magnetic anomaly detector (MAD). Seven of the eight Indian P-8Is have already been delivered.

(Australian Aviation)

Su-22M3K of Vietnam was Upgraded in Ukraine?

29 Juli 2015

 VPAF Su-22UM3K in Ukraine (photos : KienThuc)

Su-22UM3K Vietnam's fighter supposedly been sent to Ukraine to carry out repairs and upgrading.

Information on new military air Informant Military-page guide to sources Spotters.net.ua (Ukraine) said.

Fighter Su-22M3K 8556 numbers are thought of Vietnam People's Air Force is in Ukraine's Zaporozhye.

The source did not disclose how many Su-22M3K of Vietnam were sent to Ukraine for repairs. Only know through the images on Spotters.net.ua disclosed, at least 2 Su-22M3K.

Su-22UM3K are two seats fighters bomber that can be used for part-time as combat trainer.

Along with Su-22M3K number 8556 is a Su-22M3K bearing number 8551.

According to the Military-Informant, most likely these images taken since 2007 but only now revealed.

Su-22M3K and fighter Su-22M4 bombing of Vietnam is also rumored that could have been upgraded in Ukraine.


Australia Drops Plans to Use AWD Hulls for Future Frigates

29 Juli 2015

The air warfare destroyer Hobart after its launch at Osborne. (photo : AdelaideNow)

The option of using the Navantia-designed hull of Australia's Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs) as the basis for the proposed Future Frigate that will replace the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) Anzac-class fleet has been quietly dropped, informed sources have told IHS Jane's .

At the same time, a reported limit on the displacement of the Future Frigate has been set aside in favour of assessing the capability effects of competing platforms, an industry briefing was told on 15 July.

Both developments clear the way for a robust international competition to build at least eight Future Frigates under Project Sea 5000.


France in Advancad Discussion with Malaysia and UAE to Supply Rafale Fighter

29 Juli 2015

Rafale jet fighter (photo : militaryphotos)

France aiming for two more Rafale deals by early 2016

(Reuters) - France is confident of winning two more foreign orders for its Rafale fighter jet by the beginning of next year as it seeks to extend a spate of recent export successes, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

After failing for years to win an order for its warplane, France has sold 24 Rafales each to Egypt and Qatar in recent months and is in talks to finalise the sale of another 36 to India.

"There should be two other export contracts for the Rafale by the beginning of next year," not including India, the source said.

"The most advanced discussions are with Malaysia and the UAE," the source added.

In a further development, the source said that France was negotiating with India for options to supply further aircraft on top of the 36 Rafales the country has provisionally agreed to buy.

In April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had ordered 36 "ready-to-fly" Rafale fighters to modernise his country's warplane fleet, dealing directly with the French government after three years of inconclusive negotiations with the plane's manufacturer, Dassault.

India has signalled any further purchases will come though government channels, raising doubts over the future of the stalled commercial negotiations with Dassault for 126 jets


The recent spate of Rafale export orders has shaken up the global defence market and given fresh momentum to the French warplane as available production slots begin to dwindle.

Analysts and diplomats say the appetite for the jets has also risen as a result of the United States' diminishing influence in the Arab world along with wider security concerns.

However, Dassault still faces tough competition from U.S. and European rivals.

Kuwait is expected to announce soon an order for 28 Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, a $3 billion-plus deal that will keep the jets' St. Louis production line running well into 2019, according to people familiar with the deal. .

Malaysia, which wants to replace its fleet of Russian MiG-29 fighters, is looking at the Rafale, the F/A-18, Swedish firm Saab's Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

While a Malaysian decision had been expected this year, aviation industry executives have warned that fiscal troubles due to lower oil and commodities prices could lead to delays in placing the order.

Indonesia, which needs to replace ageing U.S.-built F-5s, is reported to be studying the Rafale, Eurofighter and Russia's Sukhoi Su-35 as well as Sweden's Gripen and the Lockheed Martin F-16. The Eurofighter consortium comprises Airbus Group , representing Germany and Spain, Italy's Finmeccanica and Britain's BAE Systems.


28 Juli 2015

Two Navy Vessels Arriving Next Week from Australia: Three More to be Procured

28 Juli 2015

BRP Ivatan (AT298) and BRP Batak (AT299) will arrive next week (photo : snipview)

The Philippine government will purchase remaining three decommissioned Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) vessels from the Australian government. This was confirmed by President Benigno S. Aquino III in his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA) July 27 at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

“We plan on buying three more, once all the paperwork has been put in order, the processes to procure them will begin,” Aquino said in Filipino. The said vessels are part of five recently decommissioned Australian Balikpapan-class LCVs. Two were donated to Philippine Navy and are expected to arrive next week.

“By next week, two Landing Craft Heavy will arrive from Australia,” the President said.

He added that the turnover of these vessels was very generous. “They even came with spare parts and generators.”

“These vessels will reduce our dependence on the kindness of other nations; we will be able to accelerate delivery to different parts of the Philippines, and more promptly send aid, supplies, and other heavy equipment such as bulldozers, which are needed for clearing and relief operations,” Aquino said.

The Department of National Defense previously said remaining three Australian LCHs will be procured at a giveaway price of PhP726 million.


Singapore Debuts S-70B Naval Helicopter on Board US Navy LCS

28 Juli 2015

A Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter from the Republic of Singapore Air Force lands on the USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) during deck landing qualifications as part of 'CARAT' 2015. (photo : US Navy)

In a sign of greater interoperability between the armed forces of the two countries, the US Navy's (USN's) Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) has conducted deck landing qualifications for a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF's) S-70B naval helicopter during a bilateral naval exercise.

"The RSAF's S-70B Seahawk deck landing qualification on board Fort Worth during this year's Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training' ('CARAT') 2015 Singapore was the first time that the aircraft has landed on a littoral combat ship," Lieutenant Lauryn Dempsey, spokeswoman for the USN's Destroyer Squadron 7, said in response to questions from IHS Jane's on 27 July.

The qualifications were conducted during the sea phase of the exercise, part of a series of bilateral naval drills between the USN and the armed forces of nine partner countries in south and Southeast Asia.

'CARAT' Singapore 2015 ran from 13-24 July and featured ashore and at-sea phases, the latter focusing on conventional maritime warfare operations including anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine operations.

"With LCS now a routine presence in the region, the ability to cross-deck RSAF helicopters on LCS brings significant versatility to our joint operations together, and provides opportunities for our navies to strengthen our interoperability during future exercises," Lt Dempsey said.

Another highlight of this year's drills was the inaugural deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in conventional maritime operational scenarios by both the USN and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

The RSN operated Boeing-Insitu ScanEagle UAVs from its Victory-class guided-missile corvettes RSS Vigour (P 92) and RSS Valour (P 89), while the USN deployed a Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV from Fort Worth . The UAVs were employed for maritime surveillance operations.

An RSAF S-70B helicopter operating from the RSN's Formidable-class frigate RSS Supreme (73) also took part in combined torpedo firing exercises with a USN MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.

"CARAT Singapore has increased in scope and complexity over the years," Colonel Seah Poh Yeen, co-commander of the task group for 'CARAT' Singapore 2015, said in a statement released by Singapore's Ministry of Defence on 22 July. "The successful conduct of the combined torpedo firing and the UAV operations underscores the high level of interoperability and trust both navies have achieved," he said.

The US and Singapore armed forces have been involved in the 'CARAT' exercises series since it began in 1995. Following 'CARAT' Singapore 2015, additional bilateral phases of the exercise will occur through November 2015 with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.


27 Juli 2015

Pangkalan Selam TNI AL Ditargetkan Rampung 2017

27 Juli 2015

Pangkalan kapal selam di Palu untuk mendukung kedatangan 2 kapal selam baru dari Korea (photo : Kaskus Militer)

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID,JAKARTA -- Dalam kunjungan kerjanya ke Palu, Sulawesi Tengah, Kamis (23/7) silam, Menteri Koordinator Politik Hukum dan Keamanan, Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, sempat mengutarakan bakal mempercepat realisasi pembangunan pangkalam kapal selam di Pangkalan TNI AL (Lanal) Watusampu, Palu.

Pihak TNI AL pun menargetkan, pangkalan kapal selam itu sudah selesai pada awal 2017 mendatang. 

Kepala Dinas Penerangan TNI AL (Kadispenal), Laksamana Pertama TNI M Zainudin, mengungkapkan, saat ini pihaknya memang terus melakukan upaya pengembangan pembangunan pangkalan kapal selam di Palu, Sulawesi Tengah. Pengembangan ini pun diharapkan selesai pada saat kedatangan dua kapal selam baru yang dipesan dari Korea Selatan.

Rampungnya pembangunan pangkalan itu nantinya dapat mendukung kedatangan dua kapal selam baru yang memperkuat TNI AL tersebut. ''Dua (kapal selam baru) di awal 2017 dan di akhir 2017. Jadi (pembangunan pangkalan kapal selam) diharapkan bisa sudah siap di awal 2017,'' kata Zainudin saat dihubungi Republika, Ahad (26/7).

Kadispenal menambahkan, dalam upaya pembangunan pangkalan kapal selam itu, pihaknya melaksanakan secara bertahap. Selain itu, pembangunan itu disesuaikan dan berdasarkan anggaran yang didapat dari APBN. Saat ini, pembangunan dermaga dan dok untuk kapal selam sudah hampir rampung diselesaikan.

''Terutama fasilitas-fasilitas yang khususnya untuk kapal selam,'' ujar Zainudin.

Dalam Rencana Strategis Minimun Essential Forces (MEF), TNI AL memang sempat menargetkan menambah armada kapal selam yang mereka miliki.

Saat ini, TNI AL baru memiliki dua kapal selam, yaitu KRI Cakra 401 dan KRI Nanggala 402. Dua kapal selam itu pun sudah tergolong cukup tua dan beroperasi sejak 1980 silam. Alhasil, pemerintah lewat Kementerian Pertahanan telah menyepakati soal pembelian tiga kapal selam jenis Changbogo dengan sistem transfer of techology (ToT).

Rencananya, dua kapal selam itu akan dibuat di Korea Selatan oleh perusahaan galangan kapal Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). Kemudian satu unit kapal selam akan dibuat oleh industri galangan kapal dalam negeri, yaitu PT PAL.

Sebelumnya, dalam rencana pemenuhan alutsista yang mengacu pada MEF, 2013 silam. TNI AL mengungkapkan kebutuhan sekitar 12 kapal selam untuk bisa menjamin pengamanan wilayah NKRI.

Selain kapal selam, TNI AL juga terus melakukan program peremajaan dan modernisasi Alutsista, terutama untuk kapal-kapal patroli yang kondisinya sudah tua seperti, fast patrol boat (kapal cepat patroli), Kapal Frigate dan Korvet buatan Belanda, serta kapal penyapu ranjau.

''Jadi rata-rata sudah hampir 40 tahun kapal-kapal ini. Sebelum mereka habis, kita proses remajakan, jangan sampai terjadi kekosongan alutsista karena ketidaksiapan TNI dalam peremajaan. Mudah-mudahan semuanya itu sesuai waktu,'' ujar Kepala Staf Angkatan Laut (KSAL), Laksamana TNI Ade Supandi, beberapa waktu lalu.