Standart Missile on Adelaide class FFG (photo : Trimarshall)
The projects are:
ABAB is one of the nine air bases eyed for the priority development programs of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Maximizing the use of its land resources is the primary objective of coming up with a Master Development Plan for ABAB. The lay-outs of the land areas of both WESCOM and NFW were integrated inconceptualizing the plan since the two are adjacent to ABAB.
As the three military headquarters share some common needs, the planners aim to come up with a strategic design that would serve as a basis for deciding where to put up a facility, like a hospital for instance, that is most convenient and accessible to all.
Equally important is that conceptualizing the Master Development Plan would allow the planners todecide what project is most suited to a certain land area so as to maximize its utilization.
Experts have been consulted in formulating the conceptual plan for ABAB. For instance, with the help of an environmentalist, the effect of a certain project on the natural environment has been assessed and taken into consideration.
Should the National Headquarters approve the plan and the National Government provide the fund for its implementation right after, it would not only translate to an improved headquarters’ lay-out, but it would also mean better services for the people.(Zamboanga Times)
Forgive and forget as Dili signs Jakarta defence pact
EAST Timor's small army will be supplied with Indonesian weapons after the signing of a ground-breaking agreement between the two countries that were once deadly enemies.
Australia has 380 military personnel in the half-island state and has a close security relationship, but some in the capital, Dili, complain that Canberra can be excessively bureaucratic in its dealings on defence.
On a recent visit to Dili, Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and East Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who also serves as Defence Minister, signed a memorandum of understanding covering security co-operation, including training and military logistical support.
The deal was expected to be quickly ratified by the East Timor parliament, diplomatic and government sources in Dili told The Australian. It is understood the agreement will also cover the training of East Timorese military and police officers.
At the signing on August 8, Mr Gusmao and Mr Yusgiantoro were pictured hoisting aloft an Indonesian-made light machine gun of a type to be acquired by the East Timor Defence Force.
The weapon is a local variant of the Belgian 5.56mm FN Minimi.
The agreement will also provide for the establishment of a Timor Leste-Indonesia Defence Co-operation Joint Committee to co-ordinate broader areas of co-operation.
The agreement also covers co-operation on aviation, although no details of this have emerged. However, there have been suggestions that East Timor wants to acquire military helicopters.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said last night that the government welcomed any positive development in security co-operation between East Timor and Indonesia.
"Australia has an unwavering commitment to the long-term security and prosperity of East Timor," Mr Smith said. Australia had close defence co-operation with East Timor in areas including engineering, maritime security, logistics, financial management, communication and English-language training.
East Timor has gone to diverse sources for its military equipment and has patrol boats from Portugal, South Korea and China.
The executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, retired major general Peter Abigail, said that the new East Timorese defence link with Indonesia was a very positive move.
It made a lot of sense for Australia, Indonesia and East Timor to have a strong collective relationship and good relations with one another, Major General Abigail said.
He said that Australia would remain very deeply involved in training the East Timorese forces and advising the Dili government.
Clinton Fernandes, a lecturer at the Australian Defence Force Academy, said East Timor clearly wanted to improve relations with a powerful neighbour.
"East Timor is diversifying its contacts in the region and clearly wants good relations with them all," Dr Fernandes said.
Chengdu J-20 aircraft (photo : Sina)
A Pentagon report has highlighted major advances by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), with specific mention of the developmental Chengdu J-20 aircraft.
Washington believes the J-20 could achieve an "effective operational capability" by 2018, and suggests the aircraft's role is as not a fighter, but rather a long-range attack platform. It says engine technology is the main challenge China will face in developing the J-20.
The US Department of Defense's annual report to Congress, entitled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China," covers all aspects of China's defence modernisation.
"The J-20 will eventually give the People's Liberation Army Air Force a platform capable of long-range, penetrating strikes into complex air defense environments," said the report.
There has been debate in defence circles as to the exact role of the J-20. Some have speculated that it is intended as a direct rival to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIfighter. Another popular theory indicates that it is designed specially for long-range attacks against American aircraft carriers and other targets.
One table in the report underlined the speed and scale of PLAAF modernisation over the last decade.
J-20 during flight test (photo : Highpants)
In 2000, around 2% of its platforms were considered modern, whereas today the number is 25%, with the force being filled out with types such as the Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30, as well as the Chengdu J-10.
The report indicated that most of China's modernisation efforts are aimed squarely at being able to prevail in a conflict over Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway province.
China has a total of 1,680 fighter aircraft, of which 330 are stationed within range of Taiwan, where they are opposed by Taiwan's fighter fleet of just 388 aircraft. As for bombers and attack aircraft, 160 are within range of Taiwan, out of a total of 620.
"Currently, 490 aircraft could conduct combat operations against Taiwan without refueling," said the report. "This number could be significantly increased through any combination of aircraft forward deployment, decreased ordnance loads or altered mission profiles."
A war over Taiwan could draw in the USA. Recognising this, China has developed new capabilities tailored for an "anti-access" strategy, aimed at delaying or preventing American intervention.
A joint group of Turkish and German companies are competing with a South Korean attempt to sell two HDW-class 209-type diesel submarines to Indonesia.
A team of Turkish and German companies, as well as Turkey’s procurement office, are jointly looking to sell two HDW-class 209-type diesel submarines to Indonesia in a $1 billion deal, a senior Turkish procurement official said Friday.
“Our package is excellent. We are hopeful and waiting for Indonesia’s decision,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The only competitor for the German-Turkish partnership is South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine, which emerged as the favorite after French and Russian bidders for the Indonesian Navy’s tender fell off.
Daewoo was expected to bid together with Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, or HDW, but later decided to join the competition on its own.
Facing the threat of being left out of the deal, HDW, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, then approached the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, or SSM, Turkey’s defense procurement agency, to seek the Indonesian contract jointly; at the same time, President Abdullah Gül was paying an official visit to Indonesia in April during which the two countries signed a comprehensive defense industry cooperation agreement. Both Muslim nations, Turkey and Indonesia share close political and cultural ties and are developing their industrial relations.
HDW is also co-manufacturing six modern U 214-type diesel submarines with Turkey for the country’s Navy. Turkey earlier built 14 U 209-type submarines with the German company that Indonesia now wants to buy.
In June HDW sent a letter to SSM, confirming that “SSM is entitled to market and sell HDW class U 209 1,400-tonne submarines to be built in Turkey for the Project of Procurement of Diesel Electric Submarines by the Indonesian Navy.”
A decision on the bid is expected either late this year or in early 2012.
A 2-billion-euro submarine deal between SSM and HDW for the joint manufacture of six U 214 platforms for the Turkish Navy formally took effect July 1.
Sweetening the deal
In an effort to win the bid over their Korean rivals, SSM is reported to be offering sweeteners. In a letter sent to Indonesian Adm. Soeparno, who uses one name like many Indonesians, SSM chief Murad Bayar said, “Our offer includes one or two 209-class submarine leases to the Indonesian Navy as a ‘gap-filler’ solution until your submarines have been built.”
Bayar also pledged a maximum work share for Indonesian defense companies, including the Indonesian national shipyard PT-PAL, in emphasizing HDW’s full support for the Turkish bid.
“A very attractive and advantageous financial package will be included as well,” Bayar said.
“Our Navy and defense companies shall provide full support to your Navy and defense companies for operational and maintenance training, as well as military exercises in the shallow waters of your country,” he said.
“As a well-known worldwide brand and proven technology, 209-Class submarines will increase your country’s industrial capabilities and will bring us a chance to share our knowledge to provide regional peace and stability,” Bayar said.
In a letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in late July, Gül confirmed and reiterated Turkey’s sweeteners and stated his desire for increased defense industry cooperation.
If the Turkish bid is chosen, the two Class-209 submarines will be built at Turkey’s Gölcük naval shipyard in the northwestern province of Kocaeli by the Turkish company STM under license from HDW.
South Korea optimistic
Despite Turkey’s hard push for the deal, many in the South Korean press are convinced that their country will win the bid. The Korea Times quoted a South Korean industry source as saying that “Indonesia will likely pick Korea as the preferred bidder for its submarine acquisition program, worth $1.08 billion.”
One South Korean official said he was aware of his country’s rivalry in the project with Turkey, but did not comment further.
Despite competing against each other this time, Turkey and South Korea are very close allies, particularly in terms of the defense industry. Turkey is building howitzers under a South Korean license and the two countries are jointly producing basic aircraft trainers for the Turkish Air Force. South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries is among the strongest candidates in a bid being offered by Turkey to design, develop and manufacture a fighter aircraft by 2020.