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In a reflection of global economic and technological changes since the Second World War, some nations have given up the ability to produce conventional submarines and new players are emerging. Countries that are no longer in the game are the United States and Britain – concentrating exclusively on nuclear boats – as well as Italy and the Netherlands
While presenting the Annual Budget to the Parliament on February 28th, India’s Finance Minister hiked the defence allocation by 5.3% to $37.4 billion to be spent during the financial year 2013-14 starting from April 1st.
The Royal Australian Navy is part of a joint force, and thus the RAN’s role has to be seen against a backdrop - which not only encompasses the Australian Defence Force but also the whole of the government’s approach to security, states RAN Chief VAdm Ray Griggs.
Perhaps the greatest danger to a warship is an anti-ship missile (AShM) streaking towards it at supersonic speed over the wave tops. A ship has mere seconds to react to an incoming missile fired by submarine, surface combatant, coastal battery or released from aircraft at long range, although it does have several tricks up its sleeve to defeat such attacks.
Protestors in the Norwegian capital Oslo recently demonstrated against Europe being collectively awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the basis that the continent is the world’s second largest defence spender, after the United States.
China said it has successfully landed a J-15 fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier, a move that would help project its growing military power amid simmering maritime disputes with some of its key neighbours.
The recent European summer witnessed two keel-laying ceremonies for Russian submarines. The first one, held on 30 July 2012 in Severodvinsk, was for the Duke Vladimir (named after the Kievan Rus ruler, 978-1015)
Asia’s ‘second front’ in the US-led Global War on Terror has not been grabbing news headlines in recent months, especially in light of continued high-profile operations in Afghanistan and Pakistani border areas.
The US is a leader in terms of military radio technology, and its Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) was slated to be the crème de la crème with its wide-ranging multipurpose communication capabilities.
In a major review of the Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has recently announced its revised Defence Offset Guidelines (DOG), which have come into effect from August 01, 2012. The guidelines have included several new provisions besides modifying and clarifying some of the existing ones.
On the basis of their communist heritage, one might expect Russia and China to be allies. However, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) possesses unhappy relations with fellow ideologically driven neighbours such as Russia and Vietnam. In April, though, a significant event in the pathway of Sino-Russian cooperation took place - an unprecedented exercise between the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Russian Navy. The bilateral exercise in the Yellow Sea involved 18 Chinese and seven Russian vessels. In this article we outline the scope of the exercise, and also some strategic implications. Oddly, the exercise name was not widely publicised, but “Maritime Cooperation 2012” seems the best fit.
According to official statistics, in 1955-1993 the Soviet Union [and then Russia] constructed 234 nuclear powered submarines falling into three generations. These included 123 n-subs made in Severodvinsk, 56 in Komsomolsk, 39 in St. Petersburg and 25 in Nizhny Novgorod.
In recent years the presence of Asian visitors in the facilities of major Israeli defence industries has become almost a daily occurrence. But without any doubt, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is the main beneficiary from the appetite of some Asian countries for very advanced weapon systems. In some cases the development of systems is being partially funded by these customers.
The growing military potential of Japan and China - and continuing territorial disputes over the Kuril island chain and Arctic Shelf - is causing Russia to increase spending on her naval nuclear deterrent and blue-water forces.
The Union Budget 2012-13, presented to the Indian Parliament in March 2012, has allocated US $40.3 billion for the Defence Services that include the three armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force), the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories. The allocation - which constitutes India’s official defence budget - is an increase of 17.6 per cent over the previous amount.
There has been a lot of discussion over the past five years regarding the rapid and impressive build up of the PLA(Navy). They have added new classes of frigates, destroyers, submarines, amphibious ships and even their first large aircraft carrier is now conducting her sea trials. Ostensibly, this is a navy on the move. These are the clear signs of a nation undergoing an economic evolution unprecedented in its history. China, traditionally an autarky, must now trade with the rest of the world. China has gone from a net energy exporter in 1990 to a major energy importer now, and domestic sources are not able to cope with ever-increasing demand for energy. In 2010, Chinese oil imports passed 5,000,000 barrels a day.
The destruction of a South Korean corvette by a CHT-02D torpedo in March 2010 provided ample testament to the practicality of submarine warfare in this day and age. This incident is made even more dramatic when we consider the responsible party was an elderly North Korean mini-submarine. The Asia-Pacific is witnessing an explosion in submarine acquisitions, and indeed by 2025 the region could host as many as 150 diesel-electric submarines. This article provides a roundup of extremely buoyant regional submarine programmes.
While all three services of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) have been hoping to extensively replace some of their aging capital equipment - along with improving and upgrading existing hardware - the existing financial and political realities have stalled many plans. Fiscally the Malaysian Armed Forces struggle with the fact that since the 1980s, it has been subjected to an irregular development pace with a number of programs postponed or abandoned at the Malaysian government’s convenience. This is despite such programs being initially agreed to and budgeted for.
The past few decades have seen electronics make radical changes in almost every aspect of human endeavour - including the way naval operations are conducted. Indeed the changes are as revolutionary as those in the equivalent period of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, but one of the most intriguing must be the emergence of the robot warship.
he ability to detect, track and destroy submarines is returning as a primary mission for modern naval forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Many nations are currently reinforcing their submarine fleets for the first time in many decades;
Lakota program remains on budget and schedule as it enters its seventh program year The U.S. Army has awarded EADS North America a $212.7 million contract on January 10 to deliver 39 UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) as part of its total acquisition plan. Thirty-two of these Lakotas will be produced in the Army’s Security and Support (S&S) Battalion configuration. EADS North America has already delivered 198 UH-72A Lakotas to the U.S. Army, on time and within budget, along with five H-72A versions to the U.S. Navy for test pilot training.
Despite the fact that Malaysia is a country consisting of two halves, namely Peninsular and East Malaysia, which are separated by the South China Sea, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is fairly undersized for the scale of its tasks - consisting of only 39 surface ships and 2 submarines. The smallness of the RMN becomes even more acute when given the fact that Malaysia forms one half of the vital Straits of Malacca and the scale of Malaysia’s 200 NM EEZ claims - which includes portions of the disputed Spratly Islands that are also claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei. Matters for the RMN are not helped by the fact that a significant portion of the surface fleet have seen more than 20 years of service with the result that these ships spend more and more time undergoing maintenance and repair. Since the 1990s, the RMN has been planning continuously to increase it’s fleet size and capabilities, but much of its plans have been stymied or set back by the approach of the Malaysian government towards defence development, where planned defence programs are either carried out or postponed based on political convenience.
The United Kingdom held its Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi) defence exhibition at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands in September and it proved another successful event. The show is one of Europe’s largest displays of defence equipment and is unusual in covering land, sea and air aspects. There were more than 1,300 exhibitors and numerous delegations including those from the Pacific Rim.
With the proliferation of submarine capability in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years, there is an increasing urgency for weapons systems to counter the threat. The need for an organic shipboard Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability was brutally highlighted in May last year, with the sinking of the South Korean naval corvette ROKS Cheonan by a North Korean midget submarine off the island of Baengnyeong. The threat posed to surface combatants and merchant shipping alike in the region has now brought forward programmes to acquire or renew existing ASW capabilities in several countries.
A number of simmering naval tensions exist in the Asia-Pacific region, with the most obvious ones being the Korean peninsula, Taiwan Strait, East China Sea and South China Sea. Naval confrontations have occurred, and in the worst case a South Korean corvette was sunk last year. This article examines the important topic of regional surface warship programmes.
Over recent years India has created a vast defence industrial base which presently consists of 40-odd Ordnance Factories (OFs), nine Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), 50-odd R&D labs and a small but growing private sector. The industry as a whole is responsible for producing a vast variety of items, ranging from small arms and ammunition all the way through to tanks, fighter aircraft, warships - plus radars and other electronic items. Although long overdue, the Indian Ministry of Defence unveiled in early 2011 the first ever Defence Production Policy (DPrP), intended to give a focussed direction to industry. The policy document, which came into force since 1st January, lists four broad objectives: (1) “to achieve substantive self reliance in the design, development and production of equipment / weapon systems / platforms required for defence in as early a time frame as possible”; (2) “to create conditions conducive for the private industry to take an active role in this endeavour”; (3) “to broaden the defence research and development (R&D) base of the country”; and (4) “to enhance potential of SMEs [Small and Medium Enterprises] in indigenization”. To achieve these objectives the policy document has included various enabling provisions, with the broader aim to create a self-sufficient domestic defence industry that would be able to meet most of armed forces’ hardware requirements.
Recent skirmishes between China, Vietnam and the Philippines have threatened to reignite the long-standing and protracted dispute in the South China Sea. The potentially resource-rich islands in the South China Sea remains a source of friction and instability between the claimant states of the Asia-Pacific region. A peaceful resolution to the South China Sea dispute is imperative for the stability and security of the region.
Elbit announced on August 17 that it was awarded contracts by several customers in Asia to supply many dozens of observation systems for maritime patrol aircraft, vessels and observation towers. The total value of these new contracts is approximately $20 million, to be supplied over three years.
L-3 Link Simulation & Training (L-3 Link) announced on September 6 that it has been awarded a foreign military sale contract from the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command’s Training Systems Division to upgrade Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 flight simulators located at Cold Lake, Bagotville and Ottawa. “This upgrade effort will enable Canada to rapidly gain training system concurrency with its CF-18 aircraft while increasing simulation fidelity at the lowest risk and cost,” said Leonard Genna, president of L-3 Link. “By sharing a common F/A-18 training solution with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, our allied forces will be able to leverage future solutions and improvements that seamlessly benefit force readiness in both countries.”
On September 2,Airbus Military delivered the first Airbus A330-200 aircraft to Bournemouth, UK-based Cobham Aviation Services for conversion into the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) configuration for the Royal Air Force (RAF). This aircraft is the third of the 14 A330 MRTTs the Royal Air Force has contracted through AirTanker, a joint venture company also in charge of operating the aircraft. The first two aircraft have already been converted at Airbus Military´s facility in Getafe (Madrid), Spain.
The Cold War years pitted submarine forces of the United States and the Soviet Union against one another and spurned the development of sophisticated Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft to counter the undersea threat. Vast expanses of the Indian and Pacific Oceans provided ideal submarine operating grounds and the Asia-Pacific region played an important part in the battle plans of both American and Soviet Navies.
With its T-50 Golden Eagle, South Korea joined a select club of nations to have successfully developed a supersonic aircraft. Quite apart from breaking the sound barrier, South Korea is hoping to also break into new export markets with its advanced jet trainer. This article looks at the growing maturity of the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) aerospace industry, with a particular emphasis on specific platforms it is pinning its domestic and international hopes on. The remarkable growth of South Korea’s aerospace industry can be observed in the statistic that the 7,800 workers employed in this field in 2007 had burgeoned to 10,000+ just three years later.
The Indonesia Ministry of Defence has significantly expanded defence cooperation with its Republic of Korea (ROK) counterpart. While the two countries have long enjoyed close diplomatic and military ties, the two defence establishments are moving toward much expanded ties. The primary field of interest is in defence industry and import/export of defence systems and equipment.
Some cynics in Israel say that it's not that the country has defence industries but the other way round. This saying is of course an exaggeration but one fact is solid - Israeli defence industries are big, advanced and versatile. With defence exports of more than US $6 billion a year, Israel has become a member of the " big 5" club of top exporters. All estimates show that the export of defence items from Israel will continue to grow into the foreseeable future.
MMRCA competition. The shortlisting of the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon in India’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft competition highlights the lofty ambitions of the Indian Air Force, the fourth largest in the world. With the order for 126 aircraft, India will have more than 800 combat aircraft in its 1,700 aircraft inventory. Such purchases are part of the Air Force’s biggest expansion in thirty years and are transforming India into one of the leading air powers in Asia.
As in many other areas of defence spending Asia is now becoming a major force in naval development with a number of high profile shipbuilding projects underway in and for the region. The modernisation of these fleets is leading to new capabilities both in terms of the industrial base and the armed forces and the pace of change is expected to increase as the economic influence of the region continues to grow.
Boeing has announced that it has delivered two F-15K Slam Eagle aircraft -- designated F-15K49 and F-15K50 -- to the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) at Daegu Air Base on May 30. The aircraft departed the Boeing St. Louis facility on May 25 and made stops in Palmdale, Calif., Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, before arriving in Korea.
Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS, announced on May 31 that it will develop innovative solutions to protect ships of the Canadian Navy against new types of asymmetric threats. Under the designation LOCATES (= Laser Optical Countermeasures and Surveilllance Against Threat Environment Scenarios), the Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC), Valcartier, Québec, awarded Cassidian a contract to apply new technologies to detect and counter laser-based threats in harbors and littoral waters.
A guided missile that can be safely launched from dozens of kilometres away, and then skims across the sea surface with unerring accuracy and supersonic speed before striking with deadly effect, is a weapon every navy sailor fears. Within mere seconds of being fired, such a precision weapon can sink a multi-million-dollar warship. This type of deadly asset is known as the anti-ship missile (AShM), a weapon Germany pioneered in 1943. Today’s advanced AShMs are obviously far more lethal than Germany’s primitive designs, and they can be launched from aircraft, surface vessel, submarine or land-based platforms. This weapon class poses a direct and serious threat to ships of all sizes, and Russia is one nation that has developed an array of AShMs. This brief article “skims the surface”, if you will excuse the pun, of Russian systems that are available, plus it looks at their use in the Asian context.
The death of Osama Bin Laden is now being analysed, with new information emerging almost by the hour. He had been on the run for almost a decade and was able to frustrate US and allied intelligence agencies in their attempts to track him down, which added to his mythical status. In an extraordinary comment three minutes into his address to the nation, President Barak Obama revealed: “Shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the Director of the CIA to make the killing or capture of Bin Laden the top priority in our war against Al-Qaeda.”
The Asian-led recovery in the world economy is reflected by a burst of activity in the region’s submarine market where currently only Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), New Zealand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka appear to have either no interest in - or resources for - these platforms.
Over its 110-year history, the Rubin bureau has produced dozens of submarine designs. Over 950 submarines have been built to Rubin drawings, from the 1901 ‘Delfin’ which took part in the Russo-Japanese war, to the nuclear- powered intercontinental ballistic missile firing submarines such as the Project 667 and 941 which now formi the backbone of the Russian nuclear deterrent force. Asia-Pacific nations operate Rubin-developed Project 877EKM and 636 diesel submarines and are interested in the even more advanced Amur 1650. Defence Review Asia’s Vladimir Karnazov was privileged to spoke to general director Andrei Dyachkov, who kindly shared his views on current state of naval warfare and future prospects of Russian submarines.
iven the helicopter’s versatility, it is not surprising that they form a key component of a number of navies in the region. This is particularly so with the helicopter’s vertical takeoff ability - allowing it to operate from a ship deckpad, in contrast to an aircraft carrier flightdeck or land based runway. These are required by naval fixed wing aircraft - but the helicopter’s hover capabilities allows it conduct at-sea retrieval or ship boarding even where no suitable landing area exists.
A Russian was recently imprisoned for six years in Ukraine after being convicted of spying for China. The target of his nefarious activities was the Land-based Naval Aviation Testing and Training Complex (NITKA) in the Crimea, a facility for training Russian pilots to operate fighters aboard aircraft carriers.
The latest wave of internal unrest in the Middle East – Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya – is an indicator of the threats faced by all totalitarian regimes. Whether regimes survive in the face of popular protests is largely a factor of whether they can retain the loyalty of their security apparatus. When the military switches sides, as they did in Iran in 1979, Romania in 1989 and Egypt in 2011, regimes fall. When they remain loyal to their leaders in cases such as Iraq under Saddam Hussein, North Korea under the Kim Dynasty and – as seems increasingly likely – Libya under the Gaddafi clan, the regime survives.
TRS Prime, a subsidiary of ThalesRaytheonSystems announced on March 4th that it was awarded a contract by the NATO ACCS Management Agency (NACMA) for enhancements to the NATO Air Command and Control System as part of the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence programme1 being developed for the protection of deployed troops inside and outside of NATO Territory.
In January, India’s Ministry of Defence issued the Defence Procurement Procedure 2011 (DPP-2011). The 262-page document, which came into force from the first day of 2011, would guide Defence Ministry’s multi billion dollar capital acquisitions till 2013 when the next DPP is due. The revised document, which is based on “experience of procurement agencies” and feedback from a cross section of industrial stakeholders, has made a number of changes. According to the Defence Minister, AK Antony, the changes in the new DPP are aimed at “ expediting decision making, simplification of connatural and financial provisions and also to establish a level playing field for the Indian defence industry, both public sector and private sector.”
On 23 September Raytheon and Boeing announced that they have completed the final of three government-sponsored firings of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile. During the Sept. 3 test, the JAGM used its millimeter wave radar guidance system to hit a moving target at 6 kilometers (3.75 miles).
Swedish defence and security company Saab has received an order from Kockums AB for the overall design of the combat management system as well as solutions for integrating the system aboard next-generation submarines
On June 17, N.R.P. TRIDENTE, the first of two Class 209PN submarines for the Portuguese Navy, was delivered on the premises of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft – a company of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) – in Kiel, Germany. The new submarine has a combined diesel-electric fuel cell propulsion system. TKMS say that the Class 209PN combines the proven design principles of the Class 209 family with the innovative features of Class 214. Equipped with ultra-modern sensors and an integrated Command and Weapon Control System, the company says that it is optimally suited to its future reconnaissance and surveillance tasks.
The recent discovery of the remains of the Australian hospital ship Centaur, torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during the Second World War that ignored her clearly displayed markings (markings spotted immediately by the remotely operated vehicle which discovered the wreck), is a poignant reminder of the importance of dominating the underwater battlespace.