May 22, 2018

Teamwork at its finest

North Korea flight attendants are welcoming reporters to observe nuke site dismantling

Launch of Third Air Warfare Destroyer HMAS Sydney

Today’s launch and formal naming of the third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, Sydney, showcases the success of the AWD Program.

The milestone marks a 60 per cent productivity improvement from the first ship to the third ship since the implementation of the Government-led reform initiative.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said today’s achievement shows the strength of the shipbuilding and systems integration skills which have been developed by the AWD Program.

“Today we celebrate the highly skilled workers from ASC, Raytheon Australia, Navantia Australia and Defence,” Minister Pyne said.

“It’s difficult to imagine just ten years ago, this shipyard at Osborne was a brownfield site with no infrastructure.”Since then more than 5,000 people have worked directly on the AWD Program to build and integrate three of the most capable and potent warships the Navy has ever possessed.”

“This is underpinned by the 1,500 suppliers who have supported the AWD Alliance in its efforts to exceed Australian Industry Capability targets for the overall Program.”

The lessons, skills and experience developed throughout the AWD Program will deliver low risk solutions and real cost savings for Australia’s future complex naval programs.

“The AWD Alliance is on track to deliver the second ship Brisbane to the Commonwealth in coming months, followed by the delivery of Sydney next year.”

Philippine Navy’s Jacinto Class on Track to Conclude Combat Systems Restoration in 2018

A third phase to extend service life of the Philippine Navy’s Jacinto-class corvettes is expected to complete by end-2018. Restorations are expected to cap a multiphase series of upgrade efforts that have been ongoing since the mid-2000s.

A project to restore combat systems of the Philippine Navy’s fleet of three Jacinto (Peacock)-class corvettes is on track for completion by end-2018.

The restoration and sustainment works are done under Phase 3 of a service life extension programme (SLEP) that began in the mid-2000s. Under this stage, which has been further divided into Phase 3A and Phase 3B due to fiscal considerations, weapons and fire-control systems on each of the vessels are being repaired and refurbished with new components where required.

AFP Plans Naval Base, Backs Research at Philippine Rise

The Armed Forces of the Philippines wants to build a naval base in Casiguran to guard against foreign intrusions on Philippine Rise off the coast of Aurora province.

“That is on the planning board,” Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, the head of the Northern Luzon Command, said on Wednesday.

Salamat said he also proposed the upgrade of port facilities to maintain the military’s presence in order to support efforts “to secure, preserve and conserve our rich resources here in Philippine Rise.”

Big ships, such as frigates and strategic sealift vessels like the BRP Davao del Sur, were needed to patrol the vast region.

“All area commands require this kind of [naval] platform to be able to ensure the protection and preservation of our natural resources and secure our territory,” he pointed out.

He hoped that the national government would provide the resources to improve the AFP’s “sea power.”

Big ships, such as frigates and strategic sealift vessels like the BRP Davao del Sur, were needed to patrol the vast region.

The Navy also will be backing scientific research.

Support committed

“All area commands require this kind of [naval] platform to be able to ensure the protection and preservation of our natural resources and secure our territory,” he pointed out.He hoped that the national government would provide the resources to improve the AFP’s “sea power.”

The Navy also will be backing scientific research at Philippine Rise.

Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna said President Duterte has committed support to underwater researchers and would be given full use of the BRP Gregorio Velasquez, a research vessel capable of conducting oceanographic and hydrographic survey.

“Just make a request and the Navy, the Coast Guard, our boats are ready,” Luna said.

The ship was commissioned by the Navy in June 2016. It was named after a Philippine physiology pioneer and national scientist, Gregorio Velasquez.

Then US President Barack Obama committed to provide the ship to the Philippines during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in 2015.

Gil Jacinto of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute said he hoped that the research to be undertaken on Philippine Rise would be institutionalized.

“Work here will take us not only a couple of years, it will take decades. It is not for our generation only, it is for the next generation,” Jacinto explained.

The rise is a submarine prolongation of Luzon, extending up to 589 kilometers from the eastern Philippine seaboard. Its reefscapes—containing corals, algae, sponges and Halimeda—sustain a variety of fish including the Pacific bluefin tuna.

Its seabed is believed to hold cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, hydrothermal polymetallic sulfides and gas hydrates.

Arrival of VL MICA and Exocet Missiles for TNI-AL

PT. FPS Indonesia successfully handled a project shipment of ammunition to include: 3 VL MICA, 1  Exocet missiles, and weapon spare parts from Chateauroux France to Surabaya, Indonesia for the Indonesian Navy.

To facilitate the shipment FPS Indonesia arranged for a Boeing 747 through airline operator ACG for transport.

FPS Indonesia is experienced in transporting military shipments and has carried out many shipments for the Indonesian military. With the most recent shipment FPS Indonesia has handled:
-MICA and Exocet missiles from France
-90mm ammunition and Tarantula vehicle from Belgium
-Oerlikon 30mm ammunition from South Korea
-C-212 & C-235 engines from Spain
-F-16 spare parts from USA
-Torpedoes from Italy
-Trimaran missiles from China
-Radar systems from Canada
-Military Land Rover and spare parts from the UK

PT FPS Indonesia does more than military shipments and has also worked with the Indonesian government to support the Indonesian Railway by handling the carriage of train cars from factory to arrangement sites.

America's Division, as seen from above

India to Hold Naval Exercise with Vietnam

India will hold its first naval exercise with Vietnam, as part of the overall strategy to steadily build military ties with nations in the Asia Pacific region with an eye firmly on a confrontationist and expansionist China, even as defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman is slated to visit Hanoi next month.

Three Indian warships on operational deployment to South East Asia and North West Pacific region, stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, missile corvette INS Kamorta and fleet tanker INS Shakti, will enter the Tien Sa Port (Danang) on Monday.

“From May 21 to 25, there will be a professional interaction between personnel of the two navies, official calls and interaction with dignitaries of the Vietnamese Government. On completion of the harbour phase, warships from the two navies would be undertaking the exercise,” said Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma.

With defence cooperation being a vital component of the “comprehensive strategic partnership” between the two countries, Sitharaman is scheduled to visit Vietnam in June to further bolster bilateral military ties. The chief of general staff of the Vietnam People's Army and the commander-in chief of Vietnam People's Navy are also slated to visit India later this year.

The two countries are wary of China’s aggressive tactics in Asia-Pacific, especially the contentious South China Sea, and have steadily cranked up their bilateral military ties over the last few years.

There have also been a series of high-level visits to Vietnam, with PM Narendra Modi visiting Hanoi in September 2016 and announcing a new $500 million defence line of credit.After inking a “joint vision statement on defence for 2015-2020” in May 2015, the two countries also decided to elevate their “strategic partnership” to “comprehensive strategic partnership” during Modi’s visit in September 2016.

India has also offered the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles as well as the Akash surface-to-air missile defence systems to Vietnam.

India is also set to train Vietnamese fighter pilots to fly the Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, much like it has been tutoring sailors from that country on the complex art of operating Kilo-class submarines for the last four years, as earlier reported by TOI.

Apart from regular port calls by warships, the Indian Navy cooperates with the Vietnam People’s Navy on a wide range of issues from operational interactions and training to logistics support and exchange of experts.

India, of course, has also stepped up defence cooperation, ranging from expansion in military visits and exercises to training and technology-sharing, with other Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.

As for the South China Sea, India has repeatedly stressed the need for all to respect the freedom of navigation in international waters, right of passage and overflight, unimpeded commerce and access to resources in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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