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Contents APRIL/MAY 2014 VOLUME 22 / ISSUE 2

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Preparing for Tomorrow Digesting the lessons learned from the 2013 incursion by the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army insurgent movement in Sabah, northern Borneo, Hong Kong-based defence photojournalist Gordon Arthur investigates the modernisation plans of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

Front Cover Photo: The cockpit of Saab’s JAS-39C/D Gripen Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCA), a jet which is in Royal Thai Air Force service. This aircraft, along with several other MRCAs, and their prospects in the Asia-Pacific region are examined in this month’s ‘Jack-of-All-Trades’ article by David Oliver © Saab

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Jack-of-All-Trades

Why so Amphibious?

Talk Talk

The Asia-Pacific region is one of the hottest markets for the acquisition of new multirole combat aircraft, and for the upgrade of existing jets. David Oliver, an aviation journalist based in the United Kingdom, examines some recent developments.

From ship-to-shore, the humble landing craft has made its mark in history as a vital platform for navies around the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific. United Kingdombased naval affairs journalist Edward Hooton examines the amphibious support vessel market in this region and the wider world.

AMR editor Thomas Withington takes a look at recent happenings in the Personal Role Radio domain, profiling some of the latest innovations in hardware and software realised by European, Israeli and North American defence telecommunications suppliers.

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Defence journalist Claire Apthorp, based in the United Kingdom, takes stock of recent developments in the field of armour protection for soldiers, examining several ongoing programmes in the Asia-Pacific region.

APRIL/MAY 2014

UK-based weapons of mass destruction expert Andy Oppenheimer details some of the important advances being made in the AsiaPacific region, and elsewhere, regarding personal Chemical, Biological, Nuclear and Radiological protection.

A new feature for the Asian Military Review, our Pulse column will provide all the latest news and analysis across the defence RF (Radio Frequency) spectrum with editor Thomas Withington looking at happenings across the tactical radio, radar, electronic warfare and satellite communications domains.

Protected tactical vehicles are now de rigueur for armed forces around the Asia-Pacific. Washington DC-based defence journalist Stephen W. Miller explains the factors behind their development, and the current status of several relevant programmes.

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Something in the Air

Pulse

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Protection Money Suited and Booted

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Index of Advertisers ADAS PHILIPPINES AFRICAN AIRSHOW AIMPOINT AIRSHOW CHINA BARRETT BELL HELICOPTERS BRUNSWICK EURONAVAL EUROSATORY EXELIS GENERAL ATOMICS GSA IDEAS PAKISTAN INDO DEFENCE LAAD MBDA NARDA NEXTER NORTHROP GRUMMAN RENAULT TRUCKS ROSOBORONEXPORT SAAB THALES TRIJICON VECTRONIX

61 69 33 73 53 15 37 71 COVER 3 5 49 41 67 65 63 9 7 45 COVER 4 25 26-27, 55-57 COVER 2 21 31 11

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Editorial SITTING IN THE WAITING ROOM

atience is the art of hoping” quipped the eighteenth century French essayist Luc de Clapiers, the Marquis de Vauvenargues. The Marquis’ sage observation is no doubt sorely felt by Dassault Aviation, France’s purveyor of the Rafale-A/B/M Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCA).

“P

Reports in a number of media sources emerged in early February 2014 to say that negotiations to procure the aircraft, which had been selected as the preferred solution for India’s Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirement on 31 January 2012, had stalled. The decision of the Indian government in January 2012 was not a commitment to procure the aircraft but to open negotiations with Dassault as the preferred supplier with a view to eventually signing a contract for the procurement of up to 126 Rafales to equip India’s air force.

The news is no doubt a bitter blow to Dassault. The aircraft, which is in frontline service with the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) and Aeronavale (French Naval Aviation), has seen combat supporting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-led operations in Afghanistan, and NATO’s combined air and sea campaign in 2011 mounted to protect Libyan civilians against the forces of its then leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi as that country slid into civil war.

Yet success on the battlefield has not opened any cheque books beyond the French procurement. The Rafale came close to selection for a Brazilian Air Force requirement but was pipped at the post by the Saab JAS-39 Gripen-NG MRCA. It also came close to selection in Switzerland (losing again to the Gripen), and has been short-listed in other competitions in Singapore and the Republic of Korea. The Rafale may yet win selection by the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and/or Qatar, but the size of the Indian requirement for its MMRCA programme represented a major coup for Dassault. Of course it is premature to say that Dassault is out of the running for the Indian procurement. While negotiations have stalled they may well recommence and be concluded in the coming months with palpable relief in Dassault’s headquarters in St. Cloud, outside Paris. That said, when your editor was speaking to industry sources who declined to be named, at the Singapore Air Show in February 2014, the consensus appeared to be that New Delhi would either restart negotiations after the forthcoming Indian General Election commencing in April once a new government is formed, or reopen the MMRCA competition once again to solicit bids from across industry.

There is endless speculation as to why the Rafale has not been selected for these previous requirements, and it is not the role of this magazine to articulate such conjecture. However, the MRCA market is a buyers market. Several manufacturers are chasing a finite number of orders and customers realise that they can take their time to negotiate the best deals in terms of price, specification and domestic industrial packages. Dassault are no doubt keeping to the Marquis de Vauvenargues’ maxim while patiently sitting in the waiting room. Thomas Withington, Editor

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PULSE by Thomas Withington Pulse is the Asian Military Review’s new column dedicated to covering news and developments in the radio, radar, electronic warfare and satellite communications domains. Radar

United Kingdom-based radar specialists Kelvin Hughes will supply eleven of its SharpEye maritime surveillance radars to Azerbaijan to protect British Petroleum’s (BP) offshore hydrocarbon facilities in the Caspian Sea, Central Asia. The radars will complement the Marine Asset Protection and Surveillance System (MAPSS) being provided to BP by VisSim of Norway. The MAPSS is based upon the company’s Vessel Traffic Management System which is designed to present a Recognised

Raytheon’s Advanced Combat Radar, better known by its RACR acronym, was on display at the Singapore Air Show. The company is supplying this radar to equip the Republic of Korea’s Lockheed Martin KF-16C/D Block50/52 Multirole Combat Aircraft © Thomas Withington

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Maritime Picture of sea traffic in a specific area. The delivery and installation of the radars is expected to be completed by the end of 2014, according to a Kelvin Hughes press release of 27 January 2014. Although not confirmed by either Kelvin Hughes or VisSim the SharpEye radars and the MAPSS could be used to protect gas production platforms located in the Shah Deniz gas field in the southern Capsian Sea, and oil platforms in the Azeri-ChiragGuneshli oil field to the west of the Shah Deniz field where BP has significant interests. All of the radars to be supplied by Kelvin Hughes will be the firms’ X-band variant of its SharpEye. This radar has a peak output power of 200 Watts, and an average output power of 26 Watts. At a range of 20 nautical miles (37 kilometres) the radar has a Pulse Repetition Frequency of 2,300 Hertz (Hz), which reduces to 1,180Hz at 48nm (89km). Up to 64 filters provide clutter discrimination and the radar has optional frequency diversity. Kelvin Hughes will supply ten SBS-800-1 sensor systems which will use the SharpEye X-band transceiver for installation onboard the production platforms which have a 3.7-metre (twelve-foot) long antenna, while a single SBS-800-2 system, which has a larger 5.5m (18-feet) antenna will be supplied to equip a shore installation. There are some remarkable design characteristics regarding the SBS-800 series radars. For example, these radars use a solid state, coherent upmast design with the radar’s transmitter/receiver housed in the same unit as the antenna. Crucially this means that an externally-routed waveguide can be dispensed with which would usually be required to transfer the Radio Frequency (RF) energy from the radar’s transmitter/receiver at the bottom of the mast to the antenna at the top which can lead to a loss in outgoing RF signal strength. Moreover, Kelvin Hughes’ upmast design dispenses with a need for cooling fans, helping to save on maintenance and power consumption. The larger antenna of the SBS-8002 system compared to the SBS-800-1 design can provide a sharper horizontal beamwidth providing the user with the ability to separate two targets detected at a short distance. Away from the Caspian Sea, a contract worth $32 million has been awarded to Exelis of the United States for the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity supply of the company’s AN/APY11 airborne multi mode radars to furnish Lockheed Martin HC130J Search and Rescue (SAR)/Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) equipping the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The AN/APY-11 is based upon Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Elta Systems division’s EL/M-2022 radar. Exelis received its first contract to supply the USCG with this radar in October 2012. The EL/M-2022 has a surveillance range of up to 200nm (370km), and can track up to 1,000 targets simultaneously. This radar also

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IDA 2: Dive deep into interference analysis

Northrop Grumman is moving ahead with its Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) which is to equip the Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block-50/52 Multirole Combat Aircraft operated by the Republic of China Air Force © Northrop Grumman

has an in-built Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator and is operational on a variety of MPAs including Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion aircraft and Airbus Military C-295 turboprops, plus Unmanned Aerial Vehicles such as the IAI Heron. According to Pete Vuolo, senior programme manager for Exelis Electronic Systems, deliveries of these new radars will commence in January 2015 and will conclude in July of that year. Mr. Vuolo adds that, despite being based upon the Israeli EL/M-2022 radar, the AN/APY-11 contains a number of features specific to the USCG. “The adaptation Exelis has won includes a belly-mounted antenna an indefinite with 360 degrees of coverage and an interface to connect the radar delivery, indefinite with the HC-130J’s system conquantity supply trols and crew displays.” contract to furnish Along with its involvement the company’s regarding the EL/M-2022 airAN/APY-11 borne maritime search radar (see above), IAI Elta Systems took airborne radar advantage of the Singapore Air Show in mid-February 2014 to launch a new combined surface search radar capable of spotting targets at sea and on land. Designed to be mounted in the belly of a business jet and shown in model form at the exhibition onboard a Gulfstream platform, the EL/I-3150 is an X-band (8.5-10.68 gigahertz) Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. Few details have been made publicly available by the company regarding the EL/I-3150, although IAI Elta is confident that it will commence deliveries of the radar within the next five years. The radar is offered as part of IAI Elta’s MARS2 (Multi-Mission Airborne Reconnaissance and Surveillance System) package which is designed to equip a business jet with a Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI) in the form of the

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PULSE

Israel’s Commtact showcased its IDLS Mk.2 (Integrated Datalink System Mk.2) at the 2014 Singapore Air Show held this February. The company also displayed its new AMLS (Advanced Mini Link System) which boasts much of the functionality of the IDLS Mk.2 © Thomas Withington

EL/I-3150, together with Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Communications Intelligence (COMINT) packages and an optronics payload. This will enable the jet to perform over-water and overground intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance gathering. Northrop Grumman was also present at the Singapore Air Show. Prior to the event, it had announced in an official press release published on 4 February 2014 that its Scalable Agile Beam Radar, also known as ‘SABR’, had completed several programme milestones. The firm was selected by Lockheed Martin to provide the SABR for a planned Radar Modernisation Upgrade (RMU) of Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block-50/52 Fighting Falcon Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCA) flown by the United States Air Force (USAF). The RMP is a component part of the overall USAF Combat Avionics Programmed Extension Suite (CAPES) F-16 modernisation programme. The SABR is also earmarked to furnish the 117 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) operated by the Republic of China Air Force in Taiwan. The Northrop Grumman press release announced that the SABR had completed a Systems Requirement Review, a Hardware Preliminary Design Review and a Hardware Critical Design Review, a process which took just five months according to the press release. The key design factor of the SABR is its use of AESA architecture, using a multitude of individual Transmit/Receive (T/R) modules mounted on the radar antenna which can perform dif-

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ferent functions. This allows the radar to perform several tasks simultaneously. For example, some T/R modules can watch the skies above while others watch the ground below, rather than having to physically tilt the antenna upwards or downwards, as is the case with conventional mechanically-steered arrays. In terms of performance, the SABR is an X-band system in the frequency range of 8.5 to 10.68 gigahertz. The range of the radar, which has also not been revealed, will almost certainly allow the detections of targets in the air across hundreds of nautical miles. During a Northrop Grumman press conference held on 12 February 2014 at the Singapore Air Show Jeff Leavitt, vice president of the company’s combat avionics systems division, announced that he expects deliveries of the first production SABR radars to commence to Taiwan in 2016. As of late February 2014 the future of the CAPES programme seems to be in flux following a report in Defense News on 27 January 2014 that the USAF has not included a request for funding for the CAPES programme in its budgetary request for Fiscal Year 2015. That said Mr. Leavitt refused to speculate on the long-term future of the CAPES programme when asked by AMR how this may affect the SABR’s roll-out in the USAF F-16C/D fleet. He said that he expects Northrop Grumman to commence delivery of SABR Engineering Manufacturing Development (EMD) units to Lockheed Martin before the end of 2014. These EMD units will be used for final test and integration activities regarding the SABR’s installation on the F-16C/D. Fresh from their success in supplying the SABR to Taiwan, the company is also keenly looking forward to the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s planned upgrade of its circa 60 F-16C/D Block-50/52 MRCAs, which includes a requirement for the procurement of up to 70 AESA radars for these aircraft. However, it remains unknown as to whether Singapore will solicit bids for the new radar.

Exelis is equipping several of the United States Coast Guard’s HC-130J Search-and-Rescue/Maritime Patrol Aircraft with new AN/APY-11 airborne multimode radars which are based on Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta Systems’ EL/M-2022 radar © US DoD

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PULSE While Northrop Grumman is offering its SABR radar to F-16 operators around the world keen to upgrade their fleets, Raytheon has scored success with its Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR); also an X-band AESA. The company is supplying this radar to the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) to equip its Lockheed Martin KF-16C/D Block-50/52 aircraft with deliveries commencing in 2016, according to the company. Ken Murphy of Raytheon said that the firm expects to begin testing the RACR radar in 2014 at BAE Systems’ integration laboratory in Fort Worth, Texas. BAE Systems is the prime contractor for the RoKAF upgrade with Raytheon acting as a subcontractor on the programme for the supply of the radar. The testing of the RACR at the integration laboratory will ensure that the radar can work with the aircraft’s avionics and weapons. Mr. Murphy says that this will be the first time that the RACR has been linked to the KF-16C/D’s architecture, adding that by mid-2016 the first RACR-equipped KF-16C/D aircraft will commence flight testing at the Fort Worth facility. Raytheon has demurred from providing specifics regarding the RACR’s range, except to say that it is two-to-three times that of legacy F-16 radars, depending on the radar variant.

Electronic Warfare

Along with announcing the news regarding its contract to supply AN/APY-11 airborne maritime surveillance radars to the United States Coast Guard (see above), Exelis has told AMR that it is partnering with the pan-European Airbus Defence and Space (formerly Cassidian) company to offer the PIDS+ Missile Warning System (MWS) to satisfy a United States Air National Guard (USANG) requirement for new MWSs to equip the force’s Lockheed Martin F-16A/B Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft. Exelis’ PIDS equipment currently equips these aircraft but the company, in conjunction with its Airbus Defence and Space partner, is looking forward to equipping the USANG aircraft with its PIDS+ product, should it win selection for this requirement. PIDS+ essentially teams Exelis’ PIDS product with Airbus Defence and Space’s AAR-60 MWS. Designed to be pylonmounted on the F-16, the PIDS+ already equips F-16AM/BMs operated by the Luftforsvaret (Royal Norwegian Air Force). The US Department of Defence is expected to have an acquisition strategy in place for the procurement of a new MWS for the USANG’s F-16A/Bs by the end of 2014.

Communications

Several companies offering airborne communications were showcasing their wares at the Singapore Air Show including Commtact of Israel which took the opportunity of the exhibition to launch its AMLS air-to-ground/ground-to-air datalink. The AMLS (Advanced Mini Link System) takes the features which the company offers in their IDLS Mk.2 (Integrated Datalink System Mk.2) including line-of-sight S-band (two to four gigahertz), C-band (four-to-eight gigahertz) and Ku-band (twelve-to18 gigahertz/GHz) communications in a package weighing 300

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Boeing and Lockheed Martin are the prime contractors for bilateral United States and Australian Department of Defence’s Wideband Global Satellite Communications (WGS) project. Work will continue during 2014 on the last four of ten satellites which will comprise the WGS constellation © USAF

grams (0.7 pounds), as opposed to the two-kilogram (4.4lb) weight of the IDLS Mk.2. Despite the AMLS having less output power than the IDLS Mk.2 (one watt as opposed to 15 Watts), it is still able to offer a range of circa 54nm (100km). Commtact told AMR that it is currently testing a new ground-to-ground waveform for the AMLS to enable this datalink to be used in groundbased applications such as for the transmission of information toand-from Unmanned Ground Vehicles. It hopes to offer this new waveform in the third quarter of 2014. Rockwell Collins’ launched its new RT-8400 Next Generation Talon airborne radio at the Singapore Air Show. Building upon the company’s highly successful AN/ARC-210 Talon airborne radio, which has sold in its thousands around the world, the RT8400 is “platform agnostic” according to Jay Little, senior director of marketing and strategy for Rockwell Collins in the AsiaPacific. The software-defined RT-8400 supports all the legacy waveforms carried by the AN/ARC-210 and covers the 30-512 megahertz High Frequency, Very High Frequency and Ultra High Frequency bandwidths. The radio itself weighs five-and-ahalf kilograms (twelve pounds), has up to 23 Watts of output

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eventually replace the DSCS-II spacecraft as they leave service towards the end of the decade, and will supply 4.875 gigahertz of instantaneous satellite bandwidth; up to ten times the bandwidth offered by the DSCS-II satellites. According to Mark Spiwak, Boeing WGS programme director; “WGS satellites Seven, Eight, SATCOM Nine and Ten are currently in production at the Boeing Satellite Boeing has provided AMR with an update regarding the progress Development Centre in El Segundo, California.” He adds that; it expects to make vis-à-vis the United States’ Department of “unit, subsystem and systems level integraDefence (DoD) and Australian Department tion and tests will be taking place across all of Defence Wideband Global Satellite Rockwell Collins’ four of these spacecraft in 2014.” During Communications (WGS) initiative. The WGS launched its new 2013, Boeing launched the fifth and sixth programme is being led by the United RT8400 airborne radio WGS satellites (WGS-5 and WGS-6), taking Launch Alliance; a consortium which is led at the Singapore Air to the heavens on 24 May 2013 and 7 by Boeing and Lockheed Martin as prime August 2013 respectively. The first WGS contractors. The WGS includes a constellaShow, building upon craft (WGS-1) was launched on 10 October tion of ten satellites and accompanying the company’s highly 2007, to be followed by WGS-2 on 4 April ground infrastructure intended to provide a successful AN/ARC2009, WGS-3 on 6 December 2009 and significant increase in bandwidth for mili210 system WGS-4 on 20 January 2012. According to tary Satellite Communications (SATCOM), Mr. Spiwak: “The first six WGS satellites compared to the current US DoD Defence are delivering quick and reliable access to global satellite comSatellite Communications System-III (DSCS-III) SATCOM conmunications in support of the United States military and allied stellation of 14 spacecraft. partner’s combat and humanitarian efforts.” The WGS satellites (four have already been launched) will power and can achieve channel bandwidths of five, 6.25, 8.33, 12.5 and 25 kilohertz. Channel bandwidths are also software definable by the user.

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COMBAT

A I R C R A F T S

JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES – THE MULTIROLE COMBAT AIRCRAFT Multirole is the buzzword of armed forces around the world. It encompasses both personnel and equipment, and especially the modern combat aircraft. Not all modern combat aircraft were originally designed as multirole platforms and the very nature of the task, requiring integrated air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons, is often a compromise.

by David Oliver

he fifty year-old McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F-4 Phantom epitomized the Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCA), and is a hard act to follow. Some 200 F-4s remain in service with Asia-Pacific air forces, the largest fleets are operated by Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK), plus a similar number of Northrop Grumman F-5s of similar vintage, all of which need to be replaced by the end of the decade. There is no shortage of advanced MRCAs on offer from suppliers in the United States, Europe, Russia and China and there is lot at stake for all of the man-

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ufacturers in this crowded market. The leading US contenders include the latest multirole variant of Boeing’s F-15 Eagle (the F-15 Silent Eagle/F-15SE), which was originally designed as an air superiority fighter more than thirty years ago, its younger stable mate, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin’s F35A/B/C Lightning II which has yet to enter service. Europe is offering the Saab JAS-39C/D/E Gripen, the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon while Russia is peddling Sukhoi’s Su-30 and the firm’s fifth-generation T-50 PAK-FA. China’s rapid expansion and modernisation of its armed forces is supported by

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the development of a raft of new indigenous MRCAs such as Chengdu’s twin legendary creatures the FC-1 Fierce Dragon and the J-10 Vigorous Dragon. Both of these types are in service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the FC-1 is co-produced by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). In PAF service, the FC-1 will also be used in the anti-ship role equipped with the Chinese Tri-River Aerospace Industrial Corporation CM400AKG ‘Wrecker’ anti-ship missile. It is also planned that PAC will be involved in the production of 36 J-10B Super-10, an advanced export version with the more


COMBAT A I R C R A F T S

The Eurofighter consortium is enhancing the Typhoon’s air-to ground capabilities by integrating new stand-off weapons such as Storm Shadow. In the future, the aircraft could also receive the Captor-E Active Electronically Scanned Array radar © AleniaAeronautica

an effort to speed up the process, the French Direction Générale de l’Armement (General Armaments Directorate) procurement agency agreed on a series of upgrades for the Rafale in December 2013 to be rolled out across the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) and Aeronavale (French Naval Aviation), the only two operators of the type. The goal of these upgrades is to enable the integration of MBDA’s Meteor Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile which will increase the Rafale’s strike range to over 54 nautical miles (100 kilometres) and notably enhance the aircraft’s other combat capabilities. Other modifications to be included in this so-called ‘F-3R’ upgrade programme for the French Rafales includes the supply by Thales of a new laser designation targeting pod known as the PDL-NG which allows all-weather air–to–ground strikes, day and night, and will also upgrade the data link of the aircraft’s Thales RBE2 Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar and its Mode-5 protocol Identification Friend-or–Foe (IFF) combined interrogator/transponder. Mode-5 is the cryptographically secure version of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Mode-S air traffic management protocol which enables the aircraft to transmit its location via use of the Global Positioning

System satellite constellation in addition to other flight information. Another part of the Rafale upgrade will be Sagem’s provision of a laser-guided version of the air-to-ground AASM (Armement Air-Sol Modulaire/Air-toGround Modular Weapon) Hammer powered smart bomb kit that offers enhanced accuracy on soft moving targets such as pick-up trucks and armored vehicles compared to unguided munitions. Dassault Aviation claims that the Rafale’s multirole capability, which was demonstrated during North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) air operations over Libya in 2011, will be expanded to perform a large spectrum of operations to include air superiority and air defence, land and sea engagement, close air support of troops and reconnaissance gathering. During a speech to Paris’ École Polytechnique (Technical School) in November 2013 France’s Minister of Defence and Veterans

India is focused on replacing its fleets of Dassault Mirage 2000H/TH and SEPECAT Jaguar M/S MRCAs with 126 Dassault Rafale-B/C/Ms

powerful NPO Saturn AL31FN M1 engine and passive phased array radar of the J-10A for the PAF but doubts have been raised about the country’s ability to fund the $1.4 billion deal.

India

India is focused on replacing its fleets of Dassault Mirage 2000H/TH and SEPECAT Jaguar M/S MRCAs with 126 Dassault Rafale-B/C/M aircraft (see Rahul Bedi’s ‘New Orders’ and Bianca Siccardi’s Regional Air Forces Directory in the February/March 2014 edition of AMR) in a $15 billion deal that seems unlikely to be finalized any time soon. In

Pakistan is also negotiating to purchase up to 58 advanced Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon multirole combat aircraft. To date, Pakistan is the only export customer for the MRCA which is serving with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force and PLA Navy © CATIC

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In addition, there are serious doubts about HAL’s capability to produce such an advanced aircraft following the Indian Air Force’s recent criticism of the company’s inability to deliver several indigenous programmes on time, and problems experienced building BAE Systems Hawk 132 trainers under licence. For Russia’s part, although five prototype T-50 have flown, including one with the new Tikhomirov NIIP N050 AESA radar, much of its composite construction has yet to move into production and the type is unlikely to meet its scheduled in-service date of 2015 with the Russian Air Force. The Eurofighter consortium has emulated Dassault by announcing a range of upgrades and capability improvements to enhance the Typhoon’s air-to-ground capability. Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi, one of the consortium partners, has confirmed that flight tests to integrate the MBDA

A brace of Malaysian Sukhoi Su-30MKM multirole combat aircraft formate with US Navy Boeing F/A-18 jets over the USS George Washington ‘Nimitz’ class aircraft carrier during an exercise in the South China Sea © US Navy

The Eurofighter consortium has emulated Dassault by announcing a range of upgrades and capability improvements to enhance the Typhoon’s air-to-ground capability

Affairs, Jean Yves- Le Drian argued that these upgrades will improve Rafale’s attractiveness in the export market, including to potential customers such as India and Malaysia. In the meantime, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is manufacturing Sukhoi Su30MKI MRCAs under a license agreement from that Russian company and the firm is co-developing with Sukhoi a new Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) for the Indian Air Force based on the Sukhoi T-50

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PA-50 under an agreement due to be concluded by the end of 2014. However, this programme is already facing a number of challenges. The Indian Air Force has alleged that the Russians are reluctant to share critical design information. Meanwhile technical and cost issues are delaying the negotiations of a $11 billion research and development contract to be shared between the two countries. Subsequently, the air force has scaled down its original requirement for 250 FGFAs to 144.

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Storm Shadow air-to-ground cruise missile on to the Typhoon have taken place. The trials began in November 2013 at the Alenia Aermacchi Flight Test Centre at Decimomannu airbase in Sardinia, Italy, with the support of BAE Systems and Airbus Defence and Space (both constituent Eurofighter consortium members). According to the chief executive officer of Eurofighter GmbH, Alberto Gutierrez, this is one of a number of enhancements that are coming on stream and there are many more to come. Storm Shadow, already used by RAF Panavia GR4/4A Tornado ground-attack aircraft in Afghanistan and Libya, is a conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range stand-off precision weapon designed to neutralize high value targets. Powered by a turbojet, with


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COMBAT

A I R C R A F T S

China’s Chengdu FC-1 Fierce Dragon is also produced in Pakistan as the JF-17 Thunder. It is thought that the Pakistan Air Force currently has around 110 of these aircraft on order, with the aircraft being produced locally by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex © CATIC

a range in excess of 135nm (250km), the Storm Shadow missile weighs approximately 2,860 pounds (1,300 kilograms) and is just over five metres (16 feet) long. In January 2014, flight trials of the Taurus KEPD 350 stand-off cruise missile, a joint venture development by MBDA and Saab of Sweden aboard the Typhoon also began. The 189nm (350km) class weapon is a similar size and weight to Storm Shadow. It is designed for use against hardened and buried targets using a Multi-Effect Penetrator Highly Sophisticated and Target Optimized (MEPHISTO) warhead. Alenia Aermacchi has confirmed that the first in a major series of flight tests to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto Eurofighter Typhoon has now taken place. Both these large weapon systems will be available as upgrade options to operators from 2015 when the Eurofighter Typhoon Phase 2 Enhancements becomes operational. These enhancements, however, may come too late to influence future sales of the Typhoon, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. The Typhoon has already been dropped from South Korea’s FX-III programme which calls for the procurement of 60 advanced stealth jet fighters, leaving only Malaysia which has a requirement for at least 18 aircraft to replace its MiG-29N MRCAs from 2015 (see Bianca Siccardi’s Regional Air Forces Directory in the

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February/March 2014 edition of AMR). Another competitor for the Malaysian competition is the Saab JAS-39C/D/E Gripen which has already penetrated the regional market with a contract from Thailand, and the latest variant, the JAS 39E has sold to Switzerland and Brazil. One of Gripen’s selling points is the remarkable array of weapons that it can carry including those produced by American, European, Israeli and South African suppliers. One of the shortcomings that the Gripen shares with the Typhoon is its current lack of an AESA radar, something that most of

the latest US multirole combat aircraft are equipped with. All three of the European aircraft manufacturers mentioned in this article have announced plans to fit AESA radars in their products with Saab moving ahead with the installation of the Selex ES05 Raven to its Gripen E. Dassault, meanwhile is equipping the Rafale with the RBE2 radar (see above). Although an AESA capability is considered vital for the Typhoon to win future export orders, the programme is not yet fully funded despite Eurofighter’s plans to begin flight testing the Euroradar Captor-E AESA radar before the end of 2014. The Republic of Korea’s (RoK) FX-III acquisition has proved to be a movable feast after Eurofighter’s unsuccessful Typhoon bid and the apparent selection in mid-2013 of Boeing’s F-15SE Silent Eagle which was the only competitor to meet the programme’s $7.2 billion budget. But in September 2013, the RoK’s Defense Acquisition Programme Administration overturned the decision to acquire the F15SE, which was a stealthy development of the South Korean Air Force’s F-15K Slam Eagle which is fitted with conformal fuel tanks, and announced its intention to buy 40 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs for delivery from 2018. A major criticism of the F-15SE was that it lacked the advanced radar-evading stealth capabilities of other modern jet fighters like the F-35A.

Dassault’s Rafale has been selected by the Indian Air Force and contract negotiations are ongoing. Currently, the aircraft is only operated by the French Air Force and by French Naval Aviation © Dassault

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18E/F Super Hornet, 36 of which are on order, with the last of twelve of the EA-18G electronic warfare variant of the aircraft to be delivered by 2016. In the event of serious F-35A production delays and cost overruns, it is possible that additional F/A18E/Fs will be purchased and the number of F-35As reduced. The only other potential F-35A customers in the region are Indonesia and Singapore although neither have any outstanding requirements for a fifth-generation multirole combat aircraft. Singapore does, however, plan to upgrade its fleet of 60 Lockheed Martin F16C/D Fighting Falcon MRCAs, and the US Department of Defence notified the US Congress as of 14 January 2014 that it has approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of F-16 upgrades, including advanced radars, new Global Positioning Systems, improved IFF equipment and new advanced weapons. Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems are vying for the $2.43 billion contract to perform the upgrade.

Russia’s Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA is being developed with India for its Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme. India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is collaborating with its Russian counterparts to this end © Sukhoi

The RoK’s military procurement needs, especially where the air force is concerned, have overwhelmingly been met by US suppliers in the past, which is a reflection of the two countries’ close military alliance. The RoK will also reconsider the required operational capabilities and security situations to buy another 20 MRCAs with a goal of deployment starting 2023, apparently giving the two other competitors, namely Boeing and Eurofighter, another opportunity to secure a contract.

Taiwan

Australia

Australia is the third nation in the AsiaPacific region to order the F-35A, the first of which will be delivered in 2014. It is planning to buy up to 100 F-35As (see Bianca Siccardi’s Regional Air Forces Directory in the February/March 2014 edition of AMR) at a cost of $16 billion to replace its Boeing F/A-18A/B Hornets by the end of 2020. Australia is also the only country to operate a land-based variant of the Boeing F/A-

Japan

The F-15SE also lost out to the F-35A for Japan’s F-X competition in 2011 when the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force issued a requirement for up to 42 F-35As with a Final Assembly and Checkout (FACO) facility to be built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The other competitors for the F-X programme were the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Boeing F/A18E/F Super Hornet. Although Japan initially favoured the acquisition of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, the US government demurred from the export of the advanced multirole fighter.

Lockheed Martin’s F-35A/B/C Lightning II family of multirole combat aircraft is expected have a major influence in the Asia-Pacific market during the next decade. Australia is one nation in the region which is acquiring the F-35A variant of the jet © Lockheed Martin

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Lockheed Martin has already won a $5.3 billion contract to upgrade Taiwan’s 145 F16A/Bs with Northrop Grumman’s Scaled Agile Beam Radar (SABR – please see this issue’s Pulse column) which is based on the F-35A’s AN/APG-81 AESA radar. Taiwan is also spending $587 million on a Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) programme for its fleet of 71 Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) F-CK-1 MRCAs. Carried out by the state-owned AIDC, the MLU includes improvements to the aircraft’s flight control, avionics and radar along with integrating the Wan Chien stand-off air-to-surface missile that carries multiple warheads. A further upgrade contract, worth more than $1 billion was won by BAE Systems in 2013 to upgrade the RoK’s 130 F-16C/D aircraft with new avionics including the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR – please see this issue’s Pulse column) AESA radar. For those nations with tight defence budgets where the acquisition of new aircraft is not an option, upgrades may provide an alternative to buying and maintaining state-of-the-art multirole combat aircraft in their fleet.

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PREPARING FOR TOMORROW: MALAYSIA’S ARMED FORCES Malaysia’s physical geography, divided between a peninsular and the island of Borneo, creates a unique set of defence challenges for the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) that is armed with a disparate range of weapons. Yet recent events have reminded the country of the need to modernise its equipment.

by Gordon Arthur

alaysia’s proposed 2014 core defence budget has increased by six percent to $5.1 billion. However, just $868 million of this will go towards new equipment, despite current security threats. For example, China’s state news agency, Xinhua, reported in January 2014 that a three-ship People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) task force had patrolled James Shoal, 43 nautical miles (80 kilometres) from Sarawak, one of two Malaysian states on Borneo. Xinhua reported sailors aboard the amphibious warfare ship and two destroyers that comprised the task force “swore an oath of determination to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and maritime interests”. China regards James Shoal in the

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South China Sea as its southernmost territory, a claim vigorously contested by Malaysia. In March 2013, Malaysia protested the incursion of four Chinese ships in the same location. The PLAN is becoming more active in the South China Sea, with the Liaoning aircraft carrier conducting its first drills there in December 2013. China is intent on tightening its grip within its “historic nine-dash line”, an expansive line drawn on maps marking its territory in the South China Sea. China went a step further on 1 January 2014 when legislation from China’s Hainan Island came into effect to restrict fishing in these hotly contested waters. In light of the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) that was established on 23 November 2013, this unilateral Chinese

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move is not a surprise. It is yet another example of China using domestic legislation to advance jurisdictional claims. China’s growing maritime aggression has neighbours like Malaysia, which claims part of the Spratly Island archipelago in the South China Sea and has garrisons on five reefs, greatly concerned. Malaysia does not publicise Chinese incursions to avoid jeopardising economic ties with Beijing, although it is stepping up maritime patrols despite being hampered by a small naval fleet and the need to maintain a picquet off Sabah (on the north Borneo coast) against insurgent incursions.


REGIONAL M I L I T A R Y

The MAF confronted approximately 235 Muslim separatists from the Philippines in Sabah between February and March 2013. These Filipino gunmen from the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army insurgent movement, were supposedly reclaiming ancestral lands, occupied Tanduo village in Sabah. After a three-week standoff, the MAF finally launched Operation Sovereignty, which included aircraft, ships, naval special forces, army soldiers, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and helicopters, to root out the invaders. Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar, Malaysia’s chief of navy, told AMR: “What we’re doing now is making sure those who want to come in will not be able to.” Protection is now the function of the newly formed Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM). The above two events highlight the need for the MAF to modernise its equipment.

Navy

The Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) biggest acquisition programme revolves around six Second-Generation Patrol Vessel-Littoral Combat Ships (SGPV-LCS) to be built by Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) located in Lumut, Perak. Based on its ‘Gowind’ class design, DCNS shipbuilders of France is providing technical assistance to Boustead for the project. The SGPV-LCS follows on from the ‘Kedah’ class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) used by the RMN, but the design is bigger and better armed. The corvette’s armament is expected to include the MBDA Mica surface-to-air missile (SAM), Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missile, two torpedo launchers, BAE Systems Bofors Mk3 57 millimetre (two-inch) guns and two 30mm MSI Defence cannons. The ships will feature Thales Smart-S Mk2 radar and CAPTAS-2 towed-array sonar. Construction should start this year, and delivery of the first example is slated for 2018. These vessels are desperately needed as the navy is suffering under a high operational tempo that is apparently affecting morale. A limited number of hulls make it difficult to meet all obligations. One such task is Operation Fajar, the anti-piracy escort mission in the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea for Malaysian-flagged cargo ships. Ongoing since 2008, the government recently renewed this commitment until at least June 2014. Because of a lack of suitable vessels, the

RMN acquired two converted container ships (MT Bunga Mas 5 and MT Bunga Mas 6 in 2008 and 2011 respectively) to support Operation Fajar. In other construction news, Selangorbased NGV Tech has built two 76-metre (249-feet)-long ‘Samudera’ class training vessels for the RMN. The local shipbuilder collaborated with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) in their technical development. The second vessel was launched in February 2013 as part of the $96.1 million contract signed in 2011, and it should commission by the middle of 2014. The navy chief has called for the procurement of two more armed ships based on this type to help overcome a platform shortfall, but no movement has occurred to date. The earlier ‘Kedah’ class Next Generation Patrol Vessel (NGPV) programme delivered six vessels based on the Blohm and Voss ‘Meko-A100’ class OPV design. From the third NGPV onwards the ships were constructed locally, but the lightly-armed fleet could be upgraded with anti-ship missiles in the future. There is also speculation that the RMN has a preference for Kongsberg Naval Strike Missiles (NSM). Two ‘Kasturi’ class frigates are undergoing a Service Life Extension Programme (SLEP) to enable 15 more years of service. KD Kasturi rejoined the fleet in January 2014, and her sister is now undergoing a SLEP at the hands of BNS; she should begin sea trials by late 2014. KD Kelantan, a ‘Kedah’ class offshore patrol vessel built indigenously by Boustead Naval Shipyard for the Royal Malaysian Navy, was commissioned in 2010 © Gordon Arthur)

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This is one of the two modern DCNS ‘Scorpene’ class submarines that the Royal Malaysian Navy operates in regional waters © Gordon Arthur

The SLEP overhauls the engines, replaces the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, and an Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24C hull-mounted sonar is fitted. The frigates now have eight Exocet MM40 Block 2 missile launchers, two EuroTorp AS244 torpedo launchers, a Bofors 57mm Mk1 gun and two MSI Defence 30mm cannons. Thales’ TACTICOS is the ships’ new combat management system. In further refurbishment work, four ‘Laksamana’ class corvettes will be refitted and re-designated as Fast Attack Craft (Gun). Their outdated missile systems have been retired, their torpedo launchers removed, and they will rely on 76mm (three-inch) and 40mm guns as their armament. Malaysia obtained two DCNS ‘Scorpene’ class submarines in 2009, though their upkeep continues to drain money from the RMN budget. These 1,550tonne submarines based at Sepanggar in East Malaysia are equipped with Exocet SM39 Block 2 missiles and Whitehead Black Shark torpedoes. Since 2008 Malaysia has had a requirement for a large-displacement Multipurpose Support Ship (MPSS) for peacekeeping and humanitarian-assistance

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Ocean surveillance is critical to the country’s security and because of this the navy wants to purchase up to four maritime patrol aircraft

duties. This need became more acute in 2009 when the navy’s solitary amphibiouswarfare ship (KD Sri Inderapura) was engulfed by fire. France has offered an amphibious support ship based on a downsized variant of DCNS’s ‘Mistral’ class design while the RoK is offering a smaller version of the ‘Dokdo’ class amphibious support vessel. The USA has also proffered

Pennant number ‘F30’ is one of two ‘Lekiu’ class frigates operated by the Royal Malaysian Navy. KD Lekiu is seen here arriving at Changi Naval Base in Singapore © Gordon Arthur

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REGIONAL M I L I T A R Y

the USS Denver ‘Austin’ class amphibious support ship as a hot transfer once she decommissions in 2014. The MPSS project has been deferred indefinitely but it may be reinstated in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP) governmental spending programme in the 2016-20 timeframe. The Sabah confrontation demonstrated the RMN’s need to boost its asymmetric capabilities. Consequently, it is deploying locally built fast interceptor craft to East Malaysia. The RMN has three regional naval commands, but a fourth will be added at the planned Bintulu naval base in Sarawak, according to the RMN chief. “It will be a major effort there and we are currently in discussion with both the federal and state government there as to the size and development of the base and its facilities,” said ADM Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar. Bintulu will be the closest facility to the James Shoal. The RMN operates six AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 and six Airbus Helicopters AS555 Fennec maritime support rotorcraft. However, the navy further requires at least six maritime support helicopters, most likely to be procured under the 11MP. Christophe Nurit, Sikorsky’s vice president in Asia, told AMR, “Malaysia has a stated requirement for antisubmarine warfare helicopters. We’re supporting the US Navy to offer the MH-60R Seahawk.” Maritime surveillance is critical to the country’s security, so the RMN wants organic Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). Up to four are required, though four

Beechcraft B200T MPAs of the RMAF are presently performing long-range patrols. Eight US-funded coastal surveillance radar stations have been incrementally established on the Sabah coast as part of a counterterrorism initiative. Able to track boats up to 38nm (70km) offshore, this radar network could expand still further in the future.

Air force

The most important programme for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is replacing its 14-strong MiG-29N fleet with 18 Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCA). Four suppliers attended last year’s LIMA (Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition) show in force: Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Eurofighter’s Typhoon, Dassault’s RafaleB/C/M and Saab’s JAS-39C/D Gripen were all on show. The programme was picking up momentum, but has since skidded off the runway because of insufficient funds. It is unclear when the MRCA will be dusted off, but a capability gap is looming once the MiG-29Ns retire in 2015. In May 2013 the RMAF chief, General Rodzali Daud, said his force might have to lease second-hand JAS-39C/D fighters from Sweden if money was unavailable to replace the MiG-29Ns outright. Meanwhile, Mark Kane, managing director of combat air at BAE Systems, noted the Eurofighter Typhoon solution would offer Malaysia comprehensive industrial participation: “We can offer Malaysian industry access to more than 400 aerospace and

defence companies and suppliers. The combined skills of Malaysian industry and the Typhoon supply chain are ideally suited to long-term growth.” The RMAF’s most potent aircraft remains 18 Su-30MKM MRCAs. Additionally, Boeing received a $17.3 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) award in 2011 to upgrade eight F/A-18D Hornets. Due for completion in April 2015, the programme includes the addition of a colour moving-map display, new Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment and a Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS). Nineteen Pilatus PC-7 Mk.II trainers were bought to replace existing PC-7 basic trainers. However, more are needed, so the 2014 budget allocates funds for approximately twelve additional PC-7s. Malaysia, the only Asian customer to date, ordered four Airbus Military A400M Atlas turboprop freighters in 2005, and they are finally due for delivery in 2015-16. They will be based at Subang near Kuala Lumpur, where facilities are being upgraded to accommodate them. Upgrades to the 15strong Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules turboprop freighter fleet are required too, primarily focusing on cockpit and navigational improvements. Replacement of the Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri medium-lift utility helicopter fleet has been a long-running saga, reignited by another crash in December 2013. The Eurocopter EC725 Cougar medium-lift rotorcraft was selected to take over air mobility and search-and-rescue roles from the S-61A4, and the last of twelve examples

The pride and joy of the Royal Malaysian Air Force is the Sukhoi Su-30MKM multirole combat aircraft, of which 18 examples were obtained from Russia © Gordon Arthur

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Pictured in flight, this is one of the first Airbus Helicopters EC725 Cougar medium-lift rotorcraft to enter service in the Royal Malaysian Air Force © Gordon Arthur

are due for delivery in early 2014. Initial operational capability should be gained by the middle of 2014. However, twelve EC725s will be insufficient for the tasks they will perform, and so the long-suffering S-61A4 may be upgraded. A SLEP for 15 helicopters has been allocated, probably taking the airframes to zero hours life and installing glass cockpits. To rectify a weak air defence umbrella, the MAF needs a comprehensive radar and medium/long-range SAM network. Raytheon, in combination with Kongsberg of Norway, told the author it was working closely with Malaysia to offer a groundbased air defence solution in the form of its Fire Distribution Centre (FDC) Command and Control (C2) architecture that can integrate many SAM types: “We can tailor our offering to their needs and requirements,” explained Patrick Marcoux, senior manager of Raytheon’s integrated air and missile defence division. In February 2013, ThalesRaytheonSystems announced full acceptance by the RMAF of an enhanced national C2 system.

The Malaysian Air Defence Ground Environment Sector Operations Centre-III (MADGE) incorporates Sentry C2 software and Ground Master-400 radars. Up to eight Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft would further improve situational

Replacement of the Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri medium-lift utility helicopter fleet has been a longrunning saga, reignited by another crash in December 2013

awareness, but for now even significantly less than this figure remains out of reach due to budgetary constraints. Contenders waiting in the wings include Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Hawkeye turboprop AEW platform and Saab’s Erieye radar, which can be mounted on a turboprop or turbofan airframe.

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Army

The Malaysian Army’s mobility will be enhanced when new Deftech AV8 eightwheel-drive armoured vehicles start arriving to bolster some 267 FNSS ACV300 Adnan APCs. Further announcements are expected at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition to be held in Malaysia in April 2014, but it is known that a sixmonth long vehicle trial of the AV8 concluded in 2013. The AV8, derived from the Turkish FNSS Pars platform, won a $2.4 billion order for 257 vehicles in twelve variants. These vehicles are desperately needed to replace over 450 geriatric Rheinmetall Condor four-wheel-drive and 184 Belgian-made SIBMAS six-wheeldrive vehicles, and Malaysian-based Deftech is partnering with companies such as BAE Systems, FNSS, Thales and Denel. One definite area of deployment for the new vehicles will be in Eastern Sabah to deter further Sulu incursions. The 11th Royal Armoured Regiment is equipped with 48 Bumar-Labedy PT-91M Pendekar Main Battle Tanks (MBT), but

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The FNSS ACV-300 Adnan is the primary tracked Armoured Personnel Carrier in the army’s inventory, but the AV8 should begin joining it soon © Gordon Arthur

made inroads into the Thai and Indonesian defence markets, and it is trying to do the same in Malaysia. Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein visited Beijing in October 2013, and he promised closer defence industrial collaboration as part of a growing strategic partnership. The two sides will also conduct joint military exercises. Malaysia emphasises regional cooperation and encourages bilateral defence cooperation within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) framework. The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) with the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore remains an important alliance for the country too.

A soldier of the 9th Royal Malay Regiment, a battalion that has an amphibious role, wades ashore during an exercise with the United States © Gordon Arthur

the artillery still desires 155mm SelfPropelled Howitzers (SPH) further down the line. A mixed fleet of tracked and wheeled SPHs may be the best combination. Malaysia now has in service 36 Brazilian-made AVIBRAS ASTROS II multiple rocket launchers. The Army Air Corps fields eleven AgustaWestland A109LOH helicopters in the light observation role, although one crashed on 30 January 2014. This corps still lacks tactical transport and attack helicopter squadrons, however. Many see the Airbus Helicopters EC665 Tiger attack rotorcraft as a frontrunner for the latter requirement, and 2013’s Sulu incursion demonstrated how useful such attack helicopters would be.

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Significantly, Malaysia is planning to create a marine corps. Details are bare on what it will look like, but the MAF is consulting with the US Marine Corps on the next steps. The amphibious force will be drawn from all three services, and one of its prime tasks will be defending Sabah. The bulk of the force will come from the army’s 10th Parachute Brigade, which already has two battalions that maintain a secondary amphibious role. It is not clear whether the force will fall under navy or army command.

Other concerns

Malaysia is trying to boost indigenous defence production and, in 2011, it introduced an updated offset policy. China has

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Malaysia’s emergence as a defence industrial power is demonstrated by the expertise of local firm FNSS which has developed a niche in the supply of Self-Propelled Mortars (SPM), notably the company’s products are currently in service with the Turkish armed forces, and their counterparts elsewhere in the Middle East and South East Asia. FNSS also has expertise in integrating 120mm mortars onto chassis, from conventional systems to semi-automatic weapons with automated fire control. One of the firm’s flagship products is its ACV19 Self Propelled Mortar which uses a tracked chassis. This mortar requires a crew of only three-to-four personnel for operation. It also has a high degree of commonality with the ACV15 and M113A4 tracked vehicles, reducing the maintenance and logistics burden for armies operating these vehicles alongside the ACV19.


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RUSSIAN COASTAL SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

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he entire second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of this century have been marked by a noticeable population and industry movement towards coastal areas in many countries. This trend is typical of most states on all continents. To date, about 60 percent of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population lives within 60 km of the shoreline. According to UNESCOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s projections, by 2025 this figure could rise to 75 percent. Suffice it to say that even today 16 of 23 megacities in the world are located in the coastal zone. The concentration of diverse economic, military and political interests in the coastal region and adjacent water areas dictates the need to establish the sustainable and integrated coastal zone development systems.

This concept is gradually becoming not only one of the key decision making criteria, but also the growth strategy for any nation. For example, in 1993 only 57 coastal countries used the integrated coastal zone management principles, whereas ten years later this figure exceeded 120. As a result, maritime activities have increased significantly in the coastal zone. In particular, traditional coasting and fisheries were supplemented by shelf mineral exploration and mining. Unfortunately, along with the positive growth dynamics, we still have to deal with illegal maritime activities, including smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal harvesting of bio-resources and illegal migration. Piracy poses a serious threat to merchant shipping in some areas. Some acts of maritime terrorism persist.

To fight crime, almost all coastal countries set up their Coast Guard forces and spend significant resources to equip them. Dozens of ships and helicopters, hundreds of motor boats are forced to patrol the exclusive economic zone and territorial waters. However, the experience of many countries suggests that there is an effective and economic way to ensure the safety of navigation and control of maritime activities. It consists in establishing coastal surveillance systems. In this context, Rosoboronexport, Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major exporter of the entire range of the final defense and dual-use products and services, informs that Russian developers are developing flexible and scalable surveillance systems relying on cuttingedge information technology, which are comparable to their best foreign counterparts in performance and are superior to them in many aspects. To date, more than 200 Russian-made coastal surveillance systems have been installed in 100 ports of 50 countries. Their innovative system solutions meet international standards and have incorporated the integration and commonality concepts. In practice, this means that the information about a maritime situation is integrated in a single database and can be used in a specified manner by the Coast Guard, naval forces, other relevant ministries, agencies and government bodies. Moreover, if necessary, the information

Gambrinus


Komor-1 may even be exported to neighboring countries. The system receives information in real time from automatic or attended shore communications and observation posts, equipped with the Atlantika-KKh, Neva-M or Bussol-S dual-band radars, Proton-B and Baltika TV long-range electro-optical cameras, and T214 automatic identification system’s receivers. At border guard posts, these aids can be integrated into complexes like the Rapsodiya and Rubezh-PTN. A network of fixed posts is deployed on the coast and not only monitors the waters, but also provides multiuser communications c remote subscribers in E&M frequency, TDM and TCP/IP channels. The monitoring efforts can be enhanced in operationally critical sectors by the Gambrinus or Neva-MP mobile posts mounted on Ural and KAMAZ all-terrain vehicles. As regards offshore oil platforms and other vital facilities, the Gradient-type radar/optical millimeter-wave systems are used there. They are supplemented by the Komor and Komor-1 magnetoacoustic

Rubezh-PTN

Bussol-S

AMR Marketing Promotion

systems offering unique functionality and designed to proactively detect enemy combat swimmers. Such a system ensures reliable physical protection against underwater saboteurs and prevents multi-million dollar losses stemming from damage to oil drilling equipment and potential environmental disasters. It is necessary to draw attention to the fact that the information produced directly by the surveillance system is continuously updated using the data coming from the vessel traffic management systems, port administrations, Coast Guard ships and shore stations, weather and other external systems, including global systems and Internet. Network data exchange and processing protocols are implemented in the Ontomap intelligent geoinformation software system and Navy-Traffic and Navi-Monitor vessel traffic management software. The benefit of the integrated surveillance system architecture approach is that the customer state doesn’t need to establish separate surveillance systems for each ministry and agency, which will finally cost several times more and will functionally duplicate each other. Rosoboronexport is offering potential buyers the latest equipment and technologies as well as technical assistance in establishing such surveillance systems, including the use of equipment produced in the customer’s country. Equipment delivery and deployment can be carried out in a phased manner. Existing successful implementations of such large-scale projects can be exemplified by navigation safety and maritime border protection systems built by Russia in the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea and in the Gulf of Peter the Great – the biggest bay in the Sea of Japan, on the coasts of which the cities of Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Bolshoi Kamen, Fokino and Vostochny, Russia’s largest port on the Pacific Ocean, are located. The coastal surveillance systems have proved highly effective in the real world by providing comprehensive and total security of the 2014 Winter Olympics on the east coast of the Black Sea and directly the coastline in Sochi.


SOLDIER

PROTECTION

SUITED AND BOOTED: SOLDIER SURVIVABILITY AND PERSONAL PROTECTION

Afghan-bound Australian troops firing weapons while wearing the newly-issued Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS) © Australian Department of Defense

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An industry survey published in 2012 by ASDReports estimated that the value of the global body armour and personal protection market would increase from its then current value of $1.5 billion to a peak of $2.4 billion by 2022. This article will detail the key issues driving the demand for improved soft and hard body armour and protective headwear for soldiers.

by Claire Apthorp

he 2012 survey pointed to the increasing need for protection equipment as a consequence of the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, and with Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons programme further heightening tensions between the Islamic Republic and the international community, it has encouraged countries to increase spending to ensure that their troops are properly protected in the field. Major areas of concern for the United States and her allies engaged in the above theatres over the past decade have been the relentless battle against the use of homemade insurgent bombs, along with the threat from small arms, mortars and rocket launchers. This has forced armies to seek new, improved technology to counter the threat to their troops on the ground. Now, as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-led coalition forces begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan, body armour and protective headgear must be capable of addressing the threat from the unknown. The past decade has seen a focus on threats of a relatively low level of sophistication from insurgents, but the demand for high-grade technology must be sustained to ensure that soldiers are equipped to face more advanced and capable enemies and their weapons in the future.

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Improved survivability

Overwhelmingly the requirements of the personal protection market revolve around increased survivability without adding to the weight of the already overburdened soldier. As armies continue to roll-out infantry soldier modernisation programmes, the emphasis on increasing the connection of the soldier to the Command and Control (C2) network through their equipment means that they will soon be

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carrying more weight in batteries than ever before. As a result, the requirement for the rest of their equipment—including body armour and protective headgear—to be lightweight is an increasing priority. The Asia-Pacific is a significant market. The requirements of armed forces in this region are typified by India’s FutureInfantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS) programme, which includes plans to equip soldiers with advanced weaponry, communications and instant access to C2 networks on the battlefield, all the while reducing the weight carried by the soldier by at least 50 percent. Under the original plans, F-INSAS, being led by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), aims to equip the first battalions of soldiers with upgraded weapon systems—including helmet and jacket—for trials by 2015, with the remainder of the infantry incrementally equipped by 2020. The planned helmet is understood to be equipped with thermal sensors, video cameras, and chemical and biological agent sensors, with a visor fitted with an integral head-up display monitor equivalent to two 30 centimetre (twelve-inch) computer monitors. It was reported in late 2011 that global tenders for light-weight (10.5 kilograms/23.1lbs) ballistic helmets with internal communications were due to be issued by the Indian Ministry of Defence following a favourable response from a number of vendors from earlier issued requests for information. The tender was retracted in late 2011 and re-issued in 2013, along with the tender for bullet-proof jackets. The army’s bulletproof jacket requirements are based on a waterproof and breathable solution that will protect troops from chemical agents, while also being fitted with sensors to monitor sol-

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SOLDIER

PROTECTION dier health parameters and enable quick medical relief. It will include hard armour plate protection in the front, rear, sides, upper arms, groin and throat against an AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle firing 7.62mm x 39mm mild steel core ammunition from ten metres (32 feet). India’s indigenous market has a number of manufacturers producing potential solutions for the army’s programmes: Approved NATO supplier MKU of Kanpur, India, confirmed in February 2014

that it had responded to the 2013 tender for bullet-proof jackets and helmets. In 2013 the company, which has strong links to German industry, used the 2013 Defexpo defence exhibition held in Bangalore, southwest India to display its body armour solutions, including its Instavest single action quick release ballistic over-vest, its CVC-C2 Communications helmet designed for head protection and unhindered communication in noisy environments, and its Boltfree helmet—anoth-

er MKU patented product that uses No Hole-No Bolt technology and offers uniform 360 degree head protection to soldiers. The company has developed its No Hole-No Bolt design to overcome the threat posed by lethal secondary fragmentation of bolts mounted on the outer shell of a helmet; instead the helmet has been designed as a composite shell that requires no metal parts, negating the secondary fragmentation threat. Additionally the Boltfree helmet increases protection against ballistic threats and uses a shock absorbent modular pad suspension system to withstand multiple compressions without failure. India’s largest provider of defence armour and protective systems, TATA Advanced Materials (TAML), is also understood to be interested in the helmet and body armour components of the programme. TAML’s lightweight Bullet Proof Jacket was developed in close cooperation with the Indian Army, and has been designed to protect against AK-47 and Self Loading Rifle 7.62mm ammunition plus Dragunov 7.62mm sniper rifle bullets. TAML also produces bullet proof helmets that protect against nine millimetre Full Metal Jacket rounds and nine millimetre ammunition used by India’s STEN and Heckler and Koch MP-5 submachine guns. The weight of the helmets range are approximately just over one kilogram (two pounds), depending on additional components that can include a visor and/or communications gear, and they have been designed for simple incorporation with night vision devices and binoculars. The company has already supplied over 160,000 lightweight Bullet Resistant Jackets and 50,000 bullet resistant helmets to the Indian armed forces under previous contracts, and it will likely be looking to expand upon this existing relationship via the F-INSAS programme. A key advantage provided by the new Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS) for the Australian Army is the versatility of being able to insert different types of ballistic plates into the system. This enables it to be worn at a lighter weight that current systems © Australian Department of Defense

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Tiered solution

The Australian Armyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Land 125 programme aims to deliver successive enhancements to the Soldier Combat System (the combination of individual combatants, their units and the interfaces with the internal and external battle environment) and enhance the capabilities of the dismounted close combat force. Phase 3B of the programme addresses solider survivability. This phase covers the acquisition of the Solider Combat Ensemble (SCE), which will provide a range of body armour components to protect individual combatants from physical threats and the environment. It will see a number of components procured including a Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS), Pelvic Protection System, helmets, protective eyewear and hearing protection. The SCE will absorb a number of systems already introduced into service, and dispose of obsolete and legacy individual SCE systems already in service. The TBAS entered service with the

The new issue of Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS) that Australian troops will carry is designed to integrate with other combat equipment and provide enhanced freedom of movement Š Australian Department of Defense

Australian Army in 2011, being first rolled out to members of Mentoring Task Force (MTF) 3 and the Special Operations Task Group. The system was jointly developed by the Australian DMO (Defence Materiel Organisation), and the army and industry partner Australian Defence Apparel of

Victoria, which also produces the system. It includes two tiers of protection with both safeguarding against small arms fire and fragmentation. TBAS Tier 2 is issued to all combatants operating outside the wire in hostile territory, while TBAS Tier 3 is issued to all support combatants. Both have a quick release mechanism so that the armour can be rapidly removed in an emergency, and can be integrated with a wide range of ammunition and equipment pouches. According to the DMO, the TBAS has been designed to be a lighter, better fitting, more comfortable body armour solution, allowing more mobility for soldiers than previous systems such as the Modular Combat Body Armour System (MCBAS) designed for Australian soldiers conducting static protection tasks. The MCBAS was effective but heavy given that it was optimised for conditions in Iraq where troops were not regularly required to patrol on foot.


SOLDIER

PROTECTION an Improved Body Armour (IBA) solution. The IBA is the BAE Systems Releasable Body Armour Vest which provides enhanced ballistic and fragmentation protection for personnel, with two main (front and rear), five smaller side and groin plates and soft armour throughout providing ballistic protection. It also has groin, throat, neck, upper arm and side protection, a MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment) exterior for attaching pouches and has a quick release system to enable the user or another person to discard the vest quickly if the wearer is injured or submerged in water.

International interest

Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Jeramie Faint of the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment, Bombardier Chris Heagney of 4th Regiment and Private Alex Oscini display different configerations of the Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS) © Australian Department of Defense

The TBAS, however, allows troops to insert different types of ballistic plates in the vest depending on their mission, and better integrates with combat equipment providing much greater freedom of movement, especially around the shoulder area. This allows soldiers to get into better firing positions and manoeuvre more freely on the battlefield. The programme is also seeking an improved solution to the protective headwear in use with Australian Army soldiers – currently supplied by Israeli company Rabintex, in the form of the Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH). The process to upgrade this helmet with improvements is ongoing, with the most recent upgrades in 2011 and 2012. These upgrades improved the helmet’s internal padding, suspension system and added a shroud to integrate night fighting equipment onto the helmet via an improved mounting system.

A busy market

Elsewhere in the region, Singapore has now completed the roll-out of the Integrated Body Armour (iBA) system to

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its entire armed forces. The iBA allows protection plates to be fitted into the soldier’s Load Bearing Vest (LBV) as and when necessary, rather than the previous method of wearing a bullet-proof vest underneath the LBV, which added weight and greatly restricted soldiers’ movements. With three levels of protection and

The Tiered Body Armour System entered service with the Australian Army in 2011

a near infra-red coating to negate detection by night vision goggles, the iBA features pouches for essential items such as ammunition, navigational equipment and utilities, and has reduced the weight of protective equipment for the soldier from over ten kilograms (20 lbs) to over six kilograms (twelve pounds). The New Zealand Army has also improved the protection of its soldiers with new soldier survivability equipment, including an advanced combat helmet and

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As well as stimulating local industry, the strong demand for soldier protection equipment from the militaries of the AsiaPacific is capturing the attention of Western companies eager to supply to customers in the region. In 2012 Denmark’s TenCate Advanced Armour and TenCate Protective Fabrics USA joined forces to open TenCate Protective Systems in India, with an eye to becoming the main materials supplier for the country’s defence modernisation programmes (see above). The same year, TenCate Advanced Armour opened a sales office in Singapore as part of its worldwide growth strategy, offering local content to country specific programmes. Cyril Veillat, business manager for personal protection, TenCate Advanced Armour Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific told AMR that the company is working on a number of new developments with Asian countries, including Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Mr. Veillet says that the biggest issue is matching the protective technology available to the threats faced by these militaries in the field. “For the Asian market we try to offer new products because the ones we have in Europe are not always relevant for the types of threats seen there,” he added. “In Europe, armed forces want to protect against the highest threat possible, which is (NATO) Level Four, and often what you see in Asia is companies trying to push Level Four compliant solutions that aren’t actually compliant to Level Three threats.” (For more information regarding NATO


An Australian solider wears the newly issued Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS) ahead of deploying to Afghanistan as part of Mentoring Task Force Three (MTF-3) © Australian Department of Defense

ballistic protection levels see http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/STANAG_4569). “In Asia the customers are much more practical in wanting to protect their troops against what they are actually encountering, and we have a lot of requests for AK47 MSC (Mild Steel Core) and SS109 Bullet Proof Plate protection which enables us to design plates which are lighter. There’s no point supplying equipment that can protect against one armour-piercing round but not three AK-47 shots, which is the real issue.” Mr. Veillat adds that the company is taking advantage of this by designing equipment that is very lightweight, and has sold a very light armour plate insert (weighing less than one kilogram) to an unnamed customer in the region. It is also developing a new Level Four shield that weighs just 17kg (37lb) for which it is seeing interest from Japan and Singapore where this level of threat is present. A spokesperson from US company Ceradyne of Lexington, Kentucky told AMR that it also seeing interest from customers in the Asia-Pacific for its products. “We see demand growing from smaller elite units (military and law enforcement)

in the Asia-Pacific region for the types of ballistic protection solutions we produce,” the spokesperson said. ”We design and produce solutions which offer high levels of ballistic protection at relatively low weights as compared to traditional metallic armour materials such as steel; for the soldier, mobility and reduced fatigue are essential in combat so offering soldiers the lightest weight solutions that can defeat projectiles at velocities likely to be experienced in combat is a main priority for our customers and our business.” Looking ahead, Ceradyne says it will continue to focus on the weight issue as a major area of concern for the personal protection market in the coming decade. “The trend that we observe is continuing to reduce weight for equal levels of ballistic protection and reduce or maintain current weights with increased levels of protection. These challenges, as they relate to body armour and helmets, could be accomplished in the future by using new raw materials with improved weight-tostrength properties—as compared to what’s available today—coupled with new processing technology developments.”

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AMPHIBIOUS

O P E R A T I O N S

rom 1937 (the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War) to 1950 (the outbreak of the Korean War) amphibious operations changed the Pacific Rim’s political geography and history destroying the Japanese Empire and paving the way for the emergence of several new states in the region, following the end of European colonialism. Meanwhile, the nature of amphibious operations has changed significantly since the end of the Second World War and this has had a marked effect on the role of amphibious forces in the Asia-Pacific. Traditional approaches to amphibious assault saw land forces reach their objective from the sea in dedicated attack transport vessels embarking the landing craft that would carry them to the shore. These attack ships were augmented with dock landing ships (LSD) equipped with a flooded well deck for loading the landing craft with troops and vehicles. These larger

F

WHY SO AMPHIBIOUS? LITTORAL ASSAULT IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC The long coasts of Asia’s mainland, together with the numerous archipelagos throughout the Pacific Rim are ideal for amphibious warfare, the projection of land forces from the sea onto the shore, as history has shown.

by Edward Hooton

LHD and LPD type ships have flooded well decks housing landing craft or hovercraft. Internal ramps allow personnel, vehicles and supplies to be moved easily down to the well deck to facilitate loading © DCNS

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AMPHIBIOUS

O P E R A T I O N S ships deployed landing craft for infantry (LCI/Landing Craft-Infantry) and vehicles (LCT/Landing Craft-Tank) which then carried the assault force to the beaches supported by fire from surface combatants. Once the beachhead was established and secure shallow-draft landing ships for tanks, medium loads, infantry or simply utility vessels (collectively referred to as Landing Ship-Tank/LST, Landing Ship Mechanised/LCM, Landing Ship Infantry/LSI and Landing Ship Utility/LSU) would beach themselves, open bow doors and drop ramps for rapid disembarking of men and equipment to thus expand the beachhead. Western naval powers, the chief proponents of amphibious warfare during the Second World War, began to amend their amphibious doctrine with the development of nuclear weapons which made the traditional accompanying large assemblies of ships witnessed during this conflict extremely vulnerable. Because of the threat from nuclear attack amphibious doctrines around the world began to emphasise greater dispersal and the delivery of the assault force from, or over, the horizon. This doctrinal requirement became even more important with the development of Anti-Ship Missiles (AShMs) in the years following the end of the Second World War. The proliferation of these weapons launched from aircraft, ships, submarines and even coast defence batteries made and continue to make the approach to the shore for the assault force hazardous. The problem becomes yet greater with the traditional threat of increasingly technologically sophisticated mines. As a consequence of the development of AShMs and the nuclear threat, amphibious warfare now has to be conducted by smaller, more sophisticated and versatile task groups. Landing craft continue to be an important means of deploying assault forces but at comparatively longer distances than those seen during the Second World War. Today, the United States Marine Corps opts for deploying from some 25 nautical miles (46 kilometres) beyond the shore. Rotary wing aircraft have proved another, and extremely effective, means of delivering men and supplies, the first occasion in

This picture of the interior of a ‘Mistral’ class Landing Helicopter Dock shows how a modern amphibious warfare vessel can store vehicles and equipment on spacious cargo decks which are easy to access from the shore © DCNS

which they were used as such was during the French, British and Israeli involvement in the Suez Crisis of 1956. More recently helicopters proved their worth during Coalition amphibious operations on the Al Faw Peninsula in the Persian Gulf during US-led combat operations in Iraq in 2003. In both instances helicopters were important in neutralising the ground-to-air threat

Landing craft continue to be an important means of deploying assault forces but at comparatively longer distances than those seen during the Second World War

from coastal defences before follow-on forces arrived in LSDs and LSTs. Since the 1960s a third means of transporting troops has emerged exploiting hovercraft technology. The Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC), to use the US Navy term, can transport loads up to 75 tonnes, including main battle tanks, across soft sand, marsh and swamp at speeds of up to 40 knots (74

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kilometres-per-hour) with a range at that speed of some 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres). They are increasingly associated with LSD-type ships but they are noisy and vulnerable to artillery, mortar and even anti-armour weapons.

Air Cushion Expansion

Only six Asian navies – China, Japan, North Korea, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Sri Lanka and Thailand – operate LCACs and in both Sri Lanka and Thailand these are actually general-purpose utility craft rather than amphibious warfare assets and as such they lack any offloading capability. Japan operates six US LCACS while China has about ten Jingsah II vehicles, which can carry 15 tonnes. That said, the country is acquiring four Russian ‘Pomornik’ class vessels capable of carrying 130 tonnes. China’s attempts at domestic production with its Yuyi LCAC design appears to have been unsuccessful with only one built to date. North Korea is Asia’s largest LCAC user with 136 ‘Kongbang’ class vehicles ranging in length from 18 to 21 metres (5969 feet) but these are mostly raider units carrying 40-50 special operations troops. By contrast its southern neighbour has two LSF-II LCACs similar in design to the US

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AMPHIBIOUS

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The US Navy has a long tradition of amphibious warfare and the fleet’s USS Bonhomme Richard ‘Wasp’ class amphibious support vessel has attributes which many major Asian navies wish to emulate as she can carry helicopters and even multirole combat aircraft © Ingalls

LCAC and three Russian-built ’Tsaplyas’ class hovercraft which can carry up to 130 troops. While Asian navies benefited greatly from the US Navy’s Second World War amphibious warfare construction programme given the large numbers of surplus US vessels which were available to them after the conflict, these vessels are being now replaced by newer platforms which reflect current doctrines. The changes are also reinforced by the realisation that amphibious warfare vessels are extremely valuable in supporting humanitarian relief operations. The trend in the Pacific Rim is away from the attack transport, LSD and LST vessels into a multirole platform with excellent command and control facilities which is capable of acting as a mini-base. The first stage is to give the LSD a helicopter deck for several aircraft enabling it to become a de facto dock landing platform (LPD). Examples of such designs include India’s INS Jalashwa

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amphibious support ship and the Indonesian Navy’s ‘Makassar’ class of LPD. Such ships are designed to carry a fullyequipped mechanised battalion (800-1,000 men) and deliver it to the shore in small landing craft by using LCACs or via helicopter from a stern flight deck. They can feature large side doors and ramps between the decks so that personnel and material may be swiftly loaded and then moved around the vessel for decanting into the platforms which will carry them to the shore. They also possess extensive and sophisticated command and control as well as medical facilities.

Second-Hand Platforms

While some navies, such as Australia, India and Taiwan, have acquired secondhand LSDs from the US Navy, Asian yards are now meeting the growing demand. China has completed four ‘Yuzhao’ class LSDs, Singapore has produced five ‘Endurance’ class ships includ-

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ing one for the Royal Thai Navy, RoK yards have produced five ‘Makassar’ class ships, although one is designated a ‘multipurpose hospital ship’ while Japan has built three ‘Oosumi’ class LSDs. India’s experience with the former US Navy INS Jalashwa (formerly the USS Trenton ‘Austin’ class amphibious support ship) has encouraged plans for a class of four new vessels, of which two will be built in foreign yards. The importance of air power to support over-the-horizon amphibious operations has led Western navies to expand the LPD concept by providing a flight deck extending along the whole length of the ship giving it the appearance of an aircraft carrier although such ships are often officially designated as Landing Helicopter Assault/LHA or Landing Helicopter Dock/LHD vessels. It is interesting to note that the Royal Navy’s HMS Ocean deployed AgustaWestland AH.1 Apache attack helicopters when supporting NATO combat operations over and around Libya in 2011 while Spain’s LHD SPS Juan Carlos-I can deploy Short-Take Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL) fixed-wing aircraft. The Spanish design is the basis of the Royal Australian Navy’s new ‘Canberra’ class LHDs which have been built in Spain and are being fitted out in Australia to join the fleet from 2014. Navantia, which is building the ‘Canberra’ class ships, beat France’s ‘Mistral’ class design produced by DCNS to win the Australian order but the French yard is currently building two ‘Mistral’ class vessels for the Russian Navy of which the first, RFS Vladivostok, is scheduled to join the Pacific Fleet in 2014. At present the RoK Navy (RoKN) is the only Asian navy which deploys an amphibious assault ships, the Dokdo, but it was reported in the RoK press in 2013 that that a second vessel will be ordered in the near future and possibly a third at a later stage to support the RoKN’s three-fleet concept.

New Zealand

While the overall LHA, LHD and LPD concepts remain the keel of Asian amphibious forces, one interesting exception if is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s


AMPHIBIOUS

O P E R A T I O N S

HMNZS Canterbury whose design is based upon a civilian roll-on, roll-off cargo ship. She provides a limited tactical sealift capability with 250 troops and can operate two helicopters and four landing craft. This could yet be the solution for smaller Asia-Pacific navies rather than purchasing a larger ship. Malaysia, for example, has a requirement for two or three Multi-Purpose Support Ships (MPSS – see Gordon Arthur’s ‘Preparing for Tomorrow’ article in this issue) and originally sought a vessel capable of carrying a half-battalion battle group of around 800 troops. The programme has been much delayed but may be implemented towards the end of this decade. Taiwan’s 15-year military procurement plan envisages the order of an LHD/LPD vessel while the Philippines also has a long-term requirement which is moving towards fruition. Since 2009 it has sought a strategic sealift capability and looked at various options including the Indonesian ‘Makassar’ class design, and in August 2013 it was announced in the local Philippines press that Indonesia’s PT PAL shipbuilders had won a contract for two strategic sealift vessels, although Manila would like four by 2020.

New Landing Craft

The work-horse of Asia’s amphibious forces remains the LST and the LSM of which there are more than 145 hulls in the region’s navies. Second-hand vessels are widely encountered including the Russian ‘Polonochny’ class LSMs of which India has five and Vietnam has three while Second World War vintage US Navy LSTs are still to found in the RoK (two), Philippines (four), Taiwan (eleven) and

One reason for the popularity of the LST/LSM is that it provides a long range transport capability essential for nations largely composed of islands

Vietnam (three) while the Indonesia Navy acquired a dozen ‘Frosch-I’ class LSTs from the former East Germany. Newer vessels have been provided from foreign yards such as Thailand’s two ‘Normed’ class LSTs designed by the French Chantier du Nord (Northern Shipbuilders)

yard, but building these vessels is well within the capability of Asian yards and this is the growing trend. The majority of China’s 81 LSTs are ‘Yutings/Yukans’ class augmented by ‘Yuliang’, ‘Yuhai’ and ‘Yunshu’ class LSMs. India has built five 5,655-tonne ‘Magar’ class LSTs, eight Mk 2/3 LSMs while the Philippines has built two ‘Balcolod City’ class LSMs. North Korea has built ten ‘Hantae’ class LSMs while the RoK had constructed three ‘Alligator’ class vessels. Under the RoKN’s LST-2 programme, the contract for which was signed on 26 December 2013, the Hanjin yard in Pusan will build four ships to replace these former US Navy wartime vessels from 2014. It is interesting to note that some LSTs are equipped with small helicopter landing decks such as China’s ‘Yuting’, India’s ‘Magar’ and Indonesia’s ‘Tacomas’ class vessels to accommodate one or two aircraft. At best this provides a limited overthe-horizon assault capability because only one aircraft at a time can be operated, but these navies have the capacity to overcome the problem by using other ships which can embark aircraft. One reason for the popularity of the LST/LSM is that it provides a long range transport capability essential for nations largely composed of islands but strategically vital also in states with a limited road network. Just as, historically, the transport of large cargoes was more efficiently performed by sea so this often continues to apply in the present day. It is also the reason why landing craft remain widely used. Landing craft, which can be easily produced in small yards, are open-decked, shallowdraught vessels with diesel engines whose payloads are offloaded through a bow ramp. They continue to be valuable for use both autonomously and with larger amphibious warfare platforms to carry men and material from ship to shore. For this reason the contracts to improve Australia’s amphibious capability include one for a Navies unable to afford Landing Helicopter Dock-type ships are looking at Landing Platform Dock vessels which are almost as versatile. Some of the latest US Navy LPDs include the ‘San Antonio’ class © Northrop Grumman

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Asian navies are seeking major amphibious warfare ships like the USS Iwo Jima because they are immensely versatile. Not only can they be used for strategic sealift and amphibious warfare but also they can play a major role in disaster relief © US Navy

dozen medium landing craft with water jet propulsion which will be embarked from the ‘Canberra’ class LHDs.

Forthcoming Programmes

The future of amphibious warfare will be driven, for the foreseeable future, by the Western naval powers. The US Navy has invested substantially in improving its amphibious warfare capability with new ships including the ‘America’ class of amphibious assault ships which will be able to embark the latest STOVL combat aircraft. They will also embark Bell-Boeing CV-22 Osprey family tilt-rotor transport aircraft which have a larger payload than conventional helicopters and comparatively higher speeds. These aircraft distinguished themselves at the end of 2013 in humanitarian operations after Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Philippines. The US Navy also intends to replace the LCAC with the Ship-to-Shore-Connector (SSC) of which the first (of an eventual 73) is scheduled to enter service in 2018. Powered by Rolls-Royce Marine MT7 gas

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turbines the SSC is designed to require comparatively low maintenance while its performance will be slightly greater than the LCAC, and it will be able to carry a larger payload of some 74 tonnes. European navies are considering a slightly different approach based upon very high speed landing craft. France’s Constructions Industrielles de la Méditerranée (CNIM/Mediterranean Industrial Construiction) has delivered its Engin de Débarquement Amphibie Rapide (Rapid Amphibious Disembarkation Craft/EDA-R), to the French Navy for use with its ‘Mistral’ class LHDs. The EDA-Rs are said to have a cost similar to that of a conventional landing craft but with far

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higher performance, the 80-tonne payload being carried on a platform between the hulls but with ramps positioned at either end of the vessel for offloading the payload. The diesel-powered craft can travel at 18 knots (33km/h) with a full load and they have a range of 1,000 nautical miles (1,850 kilometres). The British are looking at a combined LCAC/catamaran concept to meet their Fast Landing Craft requirement. The British research organisation Qinetiq has produced the Partial Air Cushion Supported Catamaran (PASCAT) technology demonstrator in association with the United Kingdom’s Griffon Hoverwork. This diesel and water-jet powered craft has a designed payload of 55 tonnes and has demonstrated unloaded speeds of 30 knots (56km/h). If these concepts prove successful they will certainly filter into the inventories of Asia’s navies over the next decade. It is also likely that the region’s amphibious forces will be expanded both in quantity and in quality to match those of Western navies within a lifetime.


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The RG32M, developed by OMC in South Africa, incorporated lessons learned from the employment in combat of the Casspir and RG31 mine protected vehicles to be one of the first light tactical vehicles to defeat the roadside bomb © BAE Systems

PROTECTION MONEY: TACTICAL PROTECTED MOBILITY

Casualties suffered by the combatants involved in the Afghan and Iraqi theatres have focused the attention of vehicle designers on the provision of protection to a wide range of tactical vehicles. It appears that this is a trend they are approaching in very different ways.

by Stephen W. Miller

n the past when discussing military vehicles one spoke of “tactical vehicles” and “armoured vehicles”. “Tactical” vehicles were for support. These included light vehicles for utility, liaison and miscellaneous duties; medium-weight trucks for transport, maintenance plus artillery prime movers and heavy trucks. “Armoured” vehicles required protection for their combat roles or their proximity to the “front”. However, recently this distinction has changed. In

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many armies major efforts and money are being spent on providing significant levels of protection to tactical trucks. It is also a driving requirement in new procurements like the United States’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). What is behind this new emphasis on protection? What are the ramifications for vehicle design, capabilities and cost? What operational aspects remain to be understood? All these questions are worthy of further examination.

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History

The term “tactical wheeled vehicles” has been largely a distinction made to reflect trucks specifically adapted to military conditions and uses. These may be commercial trucks equipped with features like tactical lights, special camouflage paint, offroad tires and Central Tire Inflation Systems (CTIS) to aid the traverse of soft ground. Other armies have trucks specifically designed from the wheels up for military use. They pretty much fill the same


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Komatsu’s KU50W Light Armoured Vehicle was designed specifically to provide protection to embarked personnel performing internal security missions and has been utilised by the Japan Ground Self Defence Force for humanitarian operations © JGSDF

roles as their commercial counterparts carrying supplies, fuel and people, and performing a variety of everyday tasks. A limited number of tactical vehicles also fill “combat support” roles like reconnaissance and security but were not generally seen as “combat” systems. Initially many of these were identical to the “support” versions; however, some armies recognised the limitations of “trucks” in these roles and developed purpose built reconnaissance and security vehicles, with protection being a key addition. Adding protection to tactical trucks as needed based on local threats has often been done by military units in the field. The armoured “gun trucks” fabricated by US Army and Marine units and used during the Vietnam War for convoy duty are an instructive example. These were limited efforts and not adopted across fleets. Overall, though, even in other counterinsurgency operations which occurred in Algeria and South Africa during the years

The US AM General High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle was originally fielded as a family of light tactical vehicles with exceptional mobility. A limited number designed for reconnaissance and security were provided with limited ballistic protection © AM General

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IVECO’s approach vis-à-vis its Light Multirole Vehicle offers a base configuration with inherent blast defence features and the ability to include armour modules with levels of protection sufficient for armour-piercing small arms. The basic appearance of the vehicles in the family is the same © Iveco

of the Cold War the distinction between tactical trucks and purpose-built armoured vehicles, like the French Panhard AML (Auto Mitrailleuse Légère/Light Gun Amoured Car) wheeled light armoured reconnaissance vehicle and the South African BAE Systems Casspir remained clear. Several development programmes during the 1980s saw attention being given to including protection from the outset in the design of some tactical wheeled vehicles. Initially this was restricted to moderate ballistic and fragment protection on specific mission vehicles. The US M1114 Armoured High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) from AM General, better known as the ‘Humvee’, introduced in 1985 had integrated ballistic protection in its reconnaissance and security configurations while retaining the

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basic vehicle configuration. Still, the majority of the HMMWV fleet remained unarmoured. The French Panhard VBL (Véhicule Blindé Léger/Light Armoured Vehicle) went a step further by utilising a welded steel armour crew unit placed on to its automotive chassis. The VBL was small, mobile and designed specifically for combat missions. Thus it was opti-

Several development programmes during the 1980s saw attention being given to including protection from the outset in the design of some tactical wheeled vehicles l

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mised for its primary role and not envisioned for general or utility use. The Japanese Self Defense Forces took a similar view. Komatsu Defence developed its KU50W LAV (Light Armoured Vehicle) which was fielded from 2002. It is similar to the VBL but with four side doors as opposed to two on the VBL. Its compact size and tight turning circle are ideal for narrow roads and urban areas. It can perform internal response, base security and defence roles and has provided protected transportation for Japanese Ground Self Defence Force contingents in humanitarian operations. Nevertheless, without integral blast protection its future suitability for operations outside Japan is open to question.

New Threats

Lessons from United Nations (UN) military interventions and, in particular, The Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia 1993 which saw United States-led UN forces battling

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The M-ATV from Oshkosh has provided United States military units in Afghanistan with a successful off-road-capable protected vehicle that has been credited with significantly reducing casualties from insurgent bombs © Oshkosh Defence

heavily armed militias demonstrated the value of light vehicles with enhanced protection. However, it was the escalating attacks in 2004 by insurgents against US and Coalition vehicles in Iraq that starkly highlighted the vulnerability of tactical vehicles to homemade bombs which exceeded ballistic protection and targeted the unprotected belly of these platforms.

Despite local efforts to enhance vehicle armour, casualties increased. On top of this, insurgents were also attacking unarmoured logistics vehicles. Responding to the threat the US military developed and rapidly-fielded Armour Survivability Kits (ASKs). Though effective against projectiles they were less effective at defeating bombs. A

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larger problem, especially regarding the HMMWV, was their increased 3501,000kg (770-2,200lb) weight. This reduced the vehicle’s payload and overloaded their engines and suspension while reducing reliability. Only introduction of the purpose-built Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in 2007 in the Iraqi theatre effectively countered the threat, reduced casualties and allowed freedom of operation to be regained. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) involvement in Afghanistan and the subsequent 2006 ramp up of operations against the Taliban saw the large number of countries present in the Alliance-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) threatened by insurgent bombs. By now the lessons of Iraq (see above) and the implication for military forces engaged in peacekeeping, stabilisation and other combat and potential combat operations was being appreci-

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Australia has adopted the Thales Hawkei four wheel drive light tactical vehicle for its Project Land 121 initiative following a competition involving several international candidates © Thales Australia

ated worldwide. Sensitivity toward casualties and the impact on public support within several ISAF members was also recognized as a growing concern. This was especially true for militaries in Europe, Japan, the United States and South America. Undoubtedly the greatest challenge was addressing the roadside bomb and mine, particularly in lighter vehicles. The MRAP had done so but were heavy at 13,00018,000kg (28,600-39,600lb) in terms of combat weight. This was far beyond the eight or nine tonne all-up weight sought in light vehicles. With its history of dealing with mines resulting from its experience in the southern African ‘Bush Wars’ of the 1970s and 1980s, it is not surprising that South Africa was one of the first countries to introduce a fully-protected light tactical vehicle. The OMC Land Systems South Africa RG32M and its sister the RG32M LTV (Light Tactical Vehicle) were derived from the earlier unarmoured Scout light tactical vehicle. The RG32Ms have an armoured “crew

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citadel” coupled with a shallow V-shaped hull allowing it to survive a six-kilogram (13lb) blast under its hull or wheel despite its low 9.5 tonne combat weight which includes a payload of up to 2,200kg (4,400lb). The design effectiveness is illustrated by an incident in Afghanistan where a Swedish RG32M hit a large mine with an explosive power in excess of the design and was flipped over, yet the crew walked away without major injury. The RG32M was adopted in 2005 by Sweden and subsequently fielded by five other countries. Johan Steyn, managing director of OMC Land Systems South Africa, stated that today “over 480 RG32M vehicles are in service with several armed forces”. IVECO Defence of Italy developed its Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV) with the concept of a baseline vehicle inherently adaptable to meet user protection demands. The goal was to offer a vehicle weighing under eight tonnes that could be armoured to the customer’s requirement. The LMV accomplishes this also with a “citadel’ structure much like the RG32M discussed above. Around the LMV’s citadel frame armour modules are installed

The Komodo four wheel drive vehicle by Pindad in Indonesia is another example of a locally-designed and produced protected Light Tactical Vehicle. By using the Renault Sherpa LTV chassis and engine Pindad was able to reduce development risk and simplify logistical support © thaiarmedforces.com

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Kraus Maffei Wegman’s Dingo uses the Mercedes Benz UNIMOG chassis to perform a broad range of missions ranging from patrol to cargo and vehicle recovery. Its 12.5 tonne weight was viewed by the six armies which use this vehicle as an acceptable tradeoff © KMW

at the factory level to achieve mine and some levels of ballistic protection. The LMV offers up to NATO Standardisation Agreement 4569 Level 3 ballistic protection against 7.62mm armour-piercing ammunition at a range of 30m (98ft) and Level 2A mine and grenade protection safeguarding against a six-kilogram explosion under any wheel. Other LMV design features include automotive commonality allowing the interchange of service and spares across the LMV product line. The vehicle can also carry a 2,600kg (5,732lb) payload in its unarmoured configuration and up to 1,500kg (3,306lb) payload with a protected crew cab. The LMV’s adaptability is demonstrated by the many variants available from IVECO Defence including a new extended-length cab version with a 3.5m (eleven feet) wheel base (compared to 3.2m/ten ten feet) in the standard LMV). It is perhaps not surprising that LMV has been selected by ten countries with over 4,000 vehicles fielded to date. The United States has pursued a competition for a small and light mine-protected vehicle suitable for conditions in Afghanistan. Oshkosh Truck of Wisconsin, United States won the sole award in June 2009 and subsequently began delivery of its MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). Its 14,700kg (32,340lb) gross weight includes a 1,800kg (3,967lb) payload. The M-ATV’s mobility has proved attractive for forces wishing to use the vehicle in the patrol role. Nevertheless the M-ATV’s tight interior and limited stowage space are issues as regards its employment as a general utility vehicle. Over 9,500 MATVs were delivered to the US Army and ordered by the United Arab Emirates. General Dynamics

European Land Systems (GDELS), meanwhile, offers what might be called a dualdesign approach in the form of its Duro which is a purpose-built armoured logistic and support vehicle with a configuration optimised for these roles. It also offers the Eagle light tactical vehicle configured for protected patrol. They appear completely different but are designed to share automotive components to reduce the logistics burden of each vehicle.

Future directions

The US tactical vehicle programme receiving the most attention as been the JLTV development. The original 2006 joint service approved requirement viewed the JLTV as a successor to the HMMWV family discussed above. Since then the JLTV programme has been repeatedly restructured with the greatest impact on the programme being the combat experiences of the Iraq theatre as regards insurgent bombs. These altered the design drivers and shifted the focus from a broadly capable tactical vehicle to one with MRAP levels of protection. These high protection levels appropriate for combat versions are, however, negatively effecting the achievement of a lower vehicle weight and are driving up the overall price of the platform. The military say

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they can meet a base unit price goal of $250,000 but some defence acquisition experts including the United States Congressional Research Office are sceptical if this is achievable and suggest that a price tag of $400,000 is more likely. Considering the investment and current tight budgets in the United States it is difficult for the US Army to revisit the requirements without threatening the survival of the programme. Recently Kevin Fahey, head of the US Army Programme Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support, stated that “our problems have had nothing to do with the programme, and everything to do with the budget”. AM General, Lockheed-Martin and Oshkosh Defence all have candidates in testing to fulfil the JLTV requirement. A production award is expected in late 2015 for the construction of 50,000 JLTVs for the Army and 5,500 for the Marine Corps with the first units equipped by 2018. However, the Marines have price and weight concerns with a spokesperson for the Corps saying that “(t)he focus right now is on what is good enough… and on how that’s going to impact across ground combat tactical vehicle strategy.”

Australia

The Australian Army, as part of Project Land 121 ground vehicle replacement programme, is pursuing the fielding of its own Protected Mobility Vehicle Light known as the PMV-L. This four-wheeldrive vehicle will have off-road mobility and protection against mines and projectiles while its seven tonne weight allows helicopter lift. In December 2011 a team led by Thales Australia was awarded a $34.4 million contract to provide its Hawkei vehicle as the local Manufactured and Supported in Australia (MSA) option. Hawkei has integral Vee-hull blast and small arms protection. Its 6,613lb (3,000kg) payload is considerable for a vehicle of its class and allows additional armour to be

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Army also showing an interest in the vehicle. This initiative parallels those of a number of other countries which have seen the indigenous production of light protected tactical vehicles as an ideal avenue to achieving some economic return on their defence spending.

Colombia

The Colombian Army’s introduction of the locally-designed Hunter TR-12 from Armour International SA illustrates both the desire for indigenous vehicles and Colombia’s capability to provide them © Armor International SA

fitted to its hull. With a 2016 production delivery and a potential order quantity for up to 1,300 vehicles Hawkei may offer an interesting option for countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Germany

Germany has also been addressing the need for protected support vehicles. KraussMaffei Wegmann (KMW) introduced the versatile Dingo-2 in 2004 with versions ranging from an enclosed patrol/reconnaissance model, to a repair and recovery and even a “pick-up” configuration. It uses the proven Mercedes Benz UNIMOG (Universal Motor Gerät/Universal Motor Device) commercial chassis. Weighing 12.5 tonnes, the Dingo-2 might better be classified as a medium vehicle. Its adoption by six countries and delivery of 800 vehicles shows it fills a perceived need and KMW views the vehicle as having export potential.

Indonesia

In 2012 Indonesia unveiled its four-wheeldrive light protected vehicle, the Komodo, designed and produced by the local company Pindad. It is similar to the Renault Sherpa light truck which their army also uses. The company is intending to source up to 80 percent of the vehicles’ components locally, although the Komodo’s engines are supplied by Renault. Komodo is offering specialised versions for military, internal security and disaster response with over 92 reportedly ordered for the Indonesian Army, although some unconfirmed reports speak of the Royal Thai

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As the Columbian military has had greater success against the domestic insurgency being led by the Fuerzas Amandas Revolucionaries de Colombia (FARC/ Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), a Marxist guerrilla movement, over the past five years, the FARC has reverted to using ambush against Colombian army and law enforcement personnel using homemade bombs. The older Brazilian ENGESA Urutu Armoured Personnel Carriers and tactical trucks used by the Ejército Nacional de Colombia (Colombian Army) have showed their vulnerability in such attacks. Purchases of Textron M1117 Armoured Security Vehicles from the United States initially in 2009 provided a partial answer to these attacks. The delivery of two Hunter TR-12 four-wheel-drive protected vehicles from Armour International SA, a local company, in December 2012 and July 2013 finally provided the army with a well-protected light vehicle. The vehicle, weighing a shade over nine tonnes, has fully enclosed mono-hull positioned on an independent suspension which accommodates the crew plus ten soldiers.

Striking the balance

Studying light vehicles over the past 15 years, the clear focus has been on protecting more vehicles and increasing protection levels therein. Two dominate approaches have been used: One recognises profound differences between the

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demands for reconnaissance and patrol “combat” and “logistics and support” vehicles. Here very different designs optimised for each role are accepted as in the Panhard VBL, the LSSA RG32 and KMW Dingo (see above). The other approach seeks a single common base design that can fill all roles. This is the objective of the US JLTV programme. GDELS takes the middle road with the Duro and Eagle designs providing different platforms but maximizing commonality. Which approach is better is hard to assess. Vehicle developers must strike a balance in often contradictory operational

General Dynamics European Land Systems offers two very different protected vehicle configurations with the Eagle designed for ‘combat’ and the Duro for logistics and support. Both systems are offered in four-wheel and sixwheel drive configurations © GDELS

and performance desires. Greater transportability, particularly by helicopter, limits weight yet higher protection increases weight. Logistics vehicles need payload volume for more cargo. Patrol and reconnaissance troops prefer vehicles to be discrete. Opposing demands can sometimes be rationalised by new materials but often at increased cost. Without hard decisions on what capabilities are absolutely essential, the greater the number of “mandatory” requirements will be, thus the more expensive the vehicle becomes. In addition, it is critical that the military user has a sound concept of employment for their vehicle as without this balance a platform can result that is neither mission capable nor affordable.


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Selex ES’s H4855 Personal Role Radio has been in service with the British armed forces for well over a decade. An enhanced version of this radio, called the EZPRR, is now available to customers © Selex

TALK TALK

Improving the quality and quantity of voice and data communications at the squad level is an ongoing endeavour for the world’s defence communications firms. Such developments are particularly important for the Personal Role Radios (PRRs) used by individual soldiers.

by Thomas Withington

RRs are typically small, lightweight tactical radios used by individual soldiers at the squad level. Typically, they enable primarily voice, but increasingly data, communications with the squad leader who in turn liaises with higher echelons of command at the platoon level and beyond. Broadly speaking, PRRs are capable of communicating across ranges of up to 500 metres (1,640 feet) or even longer at perhaps up to one

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kilometre (0.6 miles) range. They tend to utilize the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) segment of the electromagnetic spectrum (300 megahertz to three gigahertz) providing a line-of-sight range, unlike High Frequency (HF) communications, but with the means to penetrate walls and buildings to ensure communications during urban combat. Moreover, PRRs are small in physical size, typically weighing under two kilograms (four pounds) and will include some basic encryption and

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waveforms to enable the transmission of position information for Blue Force Tracking (BFT). Increasingly PRRs also have the means to transmit imagery gathered by soldiers using their personal optronics to higher levels of command. The British armed forces have used the H4855 Personal Role Radio, produced by Selex ES, since 2002. With a range of 500m, the UHF H4855 has 20 hours of battery life and 256 channels. The company currently has its Frontline Soldier Radio (FSR) in production, and is also offering its enhanced PRR, known as the EZPRR and the Soldier System Radio Plus (SSR Plus). Selex ES commenced EZPRR sales in 2007, with sales of the SRR Plus commencing one year later. According to Paddy Crowley, sales manager defence communications systems at Selex ES, the firm’s FSR uses a modular architecture which allows the radio to be easily enhanced during its service life to improve its capabilities. Mr. Crowley says that this could include ensuring the radio’s compatibility


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COMMUNICATION with third- and fourth-generation cellular telephone networks and also wi-fi wireless internet communications. In terms of capabilities the SRR Plus “addresses the need for communications over greater ranges than that offered by traditional PRRs,” says Mr. Crowley. In particular this radio has a ‘dual net’ capability which enables, for example, “a section commander to exercise command and control on one radio net, while maintaining communications with their platoon commander on the second net,” he adds. In terms of performance, the SSR Plus has a range in excess of two kilometres (over three miles). An integral Global Positioning System geolocation reporting device is embedded. The radio itself has a duration in excess of 24 hours and can operate on up to 256 distinct networks, each of which can support up to 32 fulltime members and an unlimited number of listeners. The SSR Plus can handle data and voice traffic simultaneously and includes AES-256 standard encryption, all in a package weighing under 300 grams (137lbs) without the radio’s battery. Selex ES’ FSR also operates in the frequency range of 350-450Mhz and uses both the Soldier Broadband Waveform (SBW – 350-450Mhz) and the Soldier Networking Waveform (SNW – 350400Mhz) allowing dual net capability giving a commander the means to monitor both the squad and platoon nets. The EZPRR, meanwhile, has an operating range of up to 800m (2,624ft) in open terrain, and the ability to penetrate through three floors of a building thanks to its 100 megawatts of transmit power. The wireless push-to-talk function, with which the EZPRR is equipped, has a range of up to two metres (six feet). One useful capability of the EZPRR is that it comes equipped with a dual Push-To-Talk (PTT) function allowing a commander to communicate with their squad and also further up the chain of command to third party networks using the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) waveform utilized by combat net radios along with the Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) networks used by civilian emergency service first responders.

Widening the net

French tactical radio specialists Thales began developing their StarMille soldier radio in 2008. According to Philippe Lardilleux, strategy and marketing director for Thales's Radio Communication Products, important evolutions for this product include the development of the radio in its own right to act as a node between the squad, the platoon commander and higher echelons of command. “The

Thales has evolved its StarMille PRR radio to act as a node between the squad and higher levels of command

demand now is to connect the squad to the platoon and then to the company level. Information captured at the squad level has to flow upwards and this information could include voice, data, imagery and positional traffic,” says Mr. Lardilleux. In this regard, the company developed a waveform for the StarMille to facilitate this connection from platoon level to company level via the combat net radios which a deployed force is using in theatre. “For this radio we can add squad waveforms, platoon waveforms or a wideband waveform to connect to higher echelons of command.” For MANET (Mobile Ad

Launched in 2008, Thales’ StarMille personal role radio has benefited from the development of a new waveform by the company to enable its connection from platoon up to company level © Thales

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COMMUNICATION Hoc Networking) the radio’s communications can hop across three dispersed StarMille transceivers to reach other command echelons. In the United States Thales has also scored a major coup as a European company as it was selected, alongside General Dynamics, to fulfil part of the erstwhile US Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) programme, which was extensively restructured in 2012. This restructuring placed

the acquisition of the myriad of tactical airborne, land and maritime radios that the JTRS was tasked with procuring through a single Department of Defence (DoD) organisation, namely the JTRS Joint Programme Executive Office, under the responsibility of the respective US armed services. Thales (along with General Dynamics) has provided its AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radio as part of the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase of the HMS (Handheld, Manpack, Small form factor) component of the old JTRS programme. The Full Rate Production (FRP) aspect of the HMS programme is expected to commence in the near future. The DoD is currently evaluating bids from a number of firms, including Thales, to satisfy this requirement which could see the procurement of up to 120,000 new radios. Thales is currently developing a new covert secure team radio called Cougar Team which has a small form factor with a transceiver the size of a cigarette packet. This UHF radio will offer voice and positional reporting and will be able to penetrate up to eight floors in a building making it ideal for covert secure urban warfare given the radio’s size and power. According to Mr. Lardilleux, the radio will be available this year with deliveries commencing in March 2014 for an undisclosed customer in the United Kingdom.

PRRs in Asia

Thales, alongside General Dynamics, has supplied the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radio to the United States armed forces as part of the erstwhile United States Department of Defence Joint Tactical Radio System programme © Thales

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The Czech Republic’s DICOM produces the UHF PR-20 PRR product which, according to Libor Mikl, DICOM’s head of sales, equips the armies of “the Czech Republic, Bangladesh, Indonesia and an undisclosed country formally in the Soviet Union.” The company began delivering the PR-20 in the 2009 and continues production today. Although not in the focus of this article, it is worth noting that DICOM’s PR-20 family includes the vehicular PR20V with which the PR-20 can link. One of the key discriminating factors of the PR-20 PRR is that, according Mr. Mikl, it is effectively “two radios in one, which means the radio consists of two receivers and two transmitters.” This significantly deepens the radio’s functionality. According to official literature from the company, this

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The Cougar Team is a new Thales Ultra High Frequency radio which is designed for covert operations. It has a small size and is able to provide communications even in buildings of up to eight floors in size © Thales

allows the radio to perform voice and data communications using Mobile Ad Hoc Networking (MANET) with “channel sharing based on a combination of time and frequency hopping”, which enables the radio to orientate its output and reception in such a way as to ensure both voice and data communications simultaneously. Israel’s Elbit Systems is one of the leading suppliers of tactical radios with its wares equipping several countries around the Asia-Pacific region, most notably Australia, Thailand and New Zealand to name but three. The company’s flagship PRR product is its PNR-1000 family. In an official statement supplied to AMR by Elbit Systems, it claims that this radio is the “smallest of its kind with Internet Protocol (IP) communications enabling voice and data communications.” Equipped with 225 programmable channels, the radio covers the 225-512 megahertz frequency range and can relay voice


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communications to facilitate MANET and can perform simultaneous voice, data and video communications, giving a good idea of the radio’s bandwidth. The radio has three power output settings: 0.5, one and two watts, and can achieve data transmission rates of up to 320 kilobitsper-second, but this may increase in the future to one megabit-per-second.

American efforts

Elbit Systems’ PNR-1000 is the company’s flagship personal role radio. The firm claims that it is the smallest product of its kind offering Internet Protocol-based voice and data communications © Elbit

Exelis of the United States has a PRR product line which includes its RO Tactical Radio. According to Dario Valli, business development manager at the company, the RO Tactical Radio can be ‘dual-hatted’ in that it can be employed as “both a personal role radio, as well as by larger command headquarters to communicate with subordinate units operating at extended distances.” The product’s appeal to the US armed forces is underlined by the fact that it is used by the US Army, Marine Corps and the country’s Special Operations

Israel’s Elbit Systems is one of the leading suppliers of tactical radios with its wares equipping several countries around the Asia-Pacific region

Forces (SOF) communities, along with the US Navy and US Air Force. “We began deliveries in 2010,” says Mr. Valli, “and have fielded over 8,000 radios to date.” The RO Tactical Radio has a key discriminating factor compared to some of the other PRRs surveyed in this article in that it uses Satellite Communications (SATCOM) which gives it a beyond line-of-sight range. “Our technical approach, and the satellite architecture we leverage, enables us to provide a very low-size weight and power hand-held radio and an on-the-move command and control capability that enables


TACTICAL

COMMUNICATION communications up to 805 kilometres (500 miles).” It is little surprise that this radio has attracted much interest in the SOF community, particularly given the long range communications it offers. Intra-squad communications are also facilitated by Exelis’s Soldier RadioRifleman (SR-R) which carries the Solider Radio Waveform (SRW). The SRW is one of the waveforms developed as part of the erstwhile JTRS programme and is designed to facilitate intra-squad communications. The radio handles UHF traffic across the same frequency spread with 1.2Mhz of channel bandwidth. Capable of achieving over eight hours of operation on a single battery charge, the SR-R has two watts of output power in both UHF and L-band. All up, the SR-R weighs a shade under one kilogram, and is Software Communications Architecture (SCA) 2.2.2 compliant. SCA is a series of open architecture standards which stipulate hardware and software requirements for radio engineers providing Software Defined Radios (SDRs), and the accompanying products and accessories intended to operate with them. Finally, in terms of squad radios, a mention should be made of Exelis’ UHF SpearNet that can handle data, voice and positional information via GPS over a range of circa eight kilometres (five miles). Its data transfer rate is in the region of 1001,500 kilobits-per-second. Such functions can be performed very securely given that the radio includes Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 safeguards. Exelis is joined by Harris, which took the opportunity of the International Defence and Security Exhibition, better known as DSEi, held in London in September 2013 to introduce new PRRs in the form of the RF-7850S SPR. According to Hironori Sasaki, product line manager for the firm’s FalconFighter and SPR products, the RF-7850S architecture means that the individual soldier “can now talk while simultaneously sending or receiving intelligence reports or command and control information.” The radio comes equipped with narrowband and wideband soldier waveforms, the latter allowing troops to also report their position to a wider network aiding BFT. This level of connectivity

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offers two important benefits in that it will connect soldiers to wider battlefield networks: “Through the network, commanders will be able to receive in-depth sensor information from every soldier, and every soldier will have access to the battlefield tactical internet.” Mr. Sasaki claims that the radio is “the only tactical soldier radio providing the flexibility of both wideband and narrowband communications; wideband for advanced networking and narrowband for traditional combat net radio users.”

Future visions

How might PRR technology develop in the future? Mr. Mikl believes that future PRRs will be “more integrated into standard VHF/UHF radios, where the PRR will be part of an overall radio family with limited parameters compared to ‘full’ VHF/UHF radios.” Much as it has done in the civilian cellphone world, radio functionality is greatly increasing thanks to trends in miniaturization and advances in battery power which have greatly increased a radio’s power, and hence the tasks it can perform. A civilian analogy of this is the fact that the ‘brick’ style mobile phones beloved of 1980s ‘yuppies’ look antiquated in terms of both the tasks that they can perform and their battery lives. Increasing functionality is also a trend which Exelis foresees: “There are several PRRs available,” says Mr. Valli, “and the end users have a need for the variety of capabilities that each provides. As technology advances, we will see more multi-mode PRRs; small handheld radios delivering variety of capabilities.” For Mr. Valentin, other important developments concern physical size and waveforms: “Moving forward with miniaturization will continue. Future improvements will also focus on the waveform with the ability to adapt to

The soldier radio of the future will have a role in its own right, but equally it must be able to be integrated with a whole host of other systems l

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Harris’ RF-7850S radio was launched by the company at the International Defence and Security Exhibition in London in 2013. The radio carries both narrowband and wideband soldier waveforms © Harris

the environment in which the radio is operating being key, to adapt to prevailing safety and security requirements in terms of encryption and robustness against electronic countermeasures and to support MANET across increasingly wider networks. Much of this will focus on the software equipping the radio.” One of the key considerations for Selex ES’s Paddy Crowley is ensuring that tomorrow’s PRRs can connect with as many sources as possible: “The soldier radio of the future will have a role in its own right, but equally it must be able to be integrated with a whole host of other systems, including but not limited to command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, infantry soldier and targeting systems. Furthermore, they must be capable of integrating with land, maritime and air platform communications.”


Club-N missile system

COUNTERING THE HIDDEN THREAT WHAT ARE THE MEANS OF COMBATTING THE NEWEST SUBMARINES?

M

odern submarines are rightfully considered the most effective naval armaments. They are covert, well-armed and have great endurance. It is extremely difficult to detect and destroy them, especially as they inherently have a number of advantages over surface ships, primarily in detection range, which enables them to deliver a decisive preemptive strike. However, antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capabilities and sustainability of surface ships grow significantly when ship- or shore-based ASW helicopters are used and when they are equipped with modern ASW weapons, primarily presentday missiles and torpedoes. In combat conditions, once a submarine is detected, it must be assuredly and immediately destroyed because a contact established may be lost at any moment and then the surface ship will quickly turn from a predator into a victim. Russian manufacturers have long been

leading the world in ASW weapon development. Their interests in the international market are represented by Rosoboronexport, a state intermediary agency. The Company offers a variety of missiles and torpedoes, both separately and as part of surface combatants of different classes (Project 11356, 22356 and Gepard 3.9 frigates, Project 20382, 1124M corvettes, etc.) delivered for export. The Club-N missile system, capable of engaging all types of submarines with its 91RTE2 two-stage missile across the entire envelope of their diving depths (up to 800 m), at range of 5 to 40 km, still remains one of the most formidable and largely unique ASW weapons. It consists of a transport/launch container, a solid rocket booster, a guided passive second stage and a separable warhead, which is the APR3ME antisubmarine underwater missile. The Club-N prelaunch procedure takes a mere 10 seconds. After launch, the missile flies autonomously along a ballistic AMR Marketing Promotion

trajectory to deliver an underwater missile and release it in a given area, whose coordinates are entered into the onboard control system from the target designation data before launch. In the expected target area, the underwater missile is separated and descends by parachute into water. Once the missile is under water, it turns on its homing system, detects and locks-on the target and its solid motor is fired. The missile closes in the target within minimum time and destroys it. According to leading experts, the Club-N is the best ASW system in its class offered on the international market. Its main operators are now Russia and India, where it has proved to operate excellently during various exercises and tests. A similar Club-S system is deployed on submarines (Project 636, Amur-1650) and is one of the key factors giving Russian submarines an edge over their rivals. The Paket-E/NK small-sized torpedo ASW system is an effective shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last-ditch


RPK-8E ASW rocket system

weapon against submarines and attacking torpedoes. It can be used independently or as part of a shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ASW barrier. The Paket-E/NK includes the Paket-E control system, launchers, dedicated Paket-AE sonar, and weapon modules with 324mm small thermal torpedoes and anti-torpedoes. The Paket-E/NK provides the following functions in automatic or automated modes:  generates firing data for thermal torpedoes from the shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sonar data;

 detects, classifies and determines the motion parameters of torpedoes attacking the ship, generates firing data for anti-torpedoes;  provides control of launchers;  provides prelaunch preparation of weapon modules and firing data entry;  fires anti-torpedoes or small thermal torpedoes Paket-E/NKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s effective ASW zone is up to 10 km and torpedo defense zone is 100 to 800 m. Being one of the newest

ASW weapons in the international market, the system can improve, in particular, torpedo defense capabilities of ships 3 - 3.5 times. The UGST versatile deep-water homing torpedo is another effective ASW weapon offered by Rosoboronexport. In addition to submarines, it can also engage surface ships and stationary targets at ranges up to 50 km and a depth of up to 500 m, both in autonomous and remote control modes. The torpedo is fired from

Paket-E/NK small termal torpedo and anti-torpedo


450 m. The torpedo can be used in ocean conditions with seawater salinity of 30-35 % and a temperature of 0 to 25 °C. The TE-2 torpedo versions vary depending on the type of data entry on the carrier’s torpedo tube (mechanical type – TE-2-1, electrical – TE-2-2). This torpedo is distinguished by a powerful power plant, an automated builtin testing system, a long life and low operating costs. Its homing system is capable of operating in a difficult countermeasures environment. The RPK-8E ASW rocket system, designed to protect surface ships against

UGST versatile deep-water homing torpedo

TE-2 versatile torpedo

533mm torpedo tubes. Moreover, several variants have been developed for both Russian standard and NATO torpedo tubes. The compatibility between the torpedo’s onboard systems and the carrier’s foreign-made systems is achieved through project-specific system software customization. As the UGTS torpedo has a modular design, it can be modified to meet requirements stemming from employment specifics. This applies to all torpedo components – from reprogramming the baseline model electronics to replacing the engine and/or tank compartment. Several warheads have been developed for the UGTS, differing in explosive composition and weight. The torpedo is equipped with a lownoise propulsion unit, which is directly connected to the engine without a

reduction gear unit and accelerates it to 50 knots in speed mode 1 and 35 knots in speed mode 2. Its hydrodynamic scheme features twin control surfaces, which are extended beyond the caliber of the torpedo once it leaves the torpedo tube. UGST’s electronics module, comprising homing, remote control and other systems, operates on the principle of a single reprogrammable compute kernel that combines the information parts of the on-board systems into a single information space using integrated control system technology. Another Russian-made torpedo is the TE-2 versatile torpedo, which can also be adapted to NATO standard torpedo tubes. The TE-2 is designed to destroy enemy submarines and stationary targets from on board surface ships (in autonomous mode) and from submarines (in remote control and autonomous modes) at a range of up to 25 km and at depths of up to

AMR Marketing Promotion

submarines, engage torpedoes attacking the ship and destroy underwater saboteurs, also has great potential in the global arms market. The RPK-8E includes, inter alia, the 12barrelled RBU-6000 rocket launcher, 212mm 90R ASW rockets with gravitational homing underwater projectiles, upgraded MG-94ME sonar countermeasures projectiles to protect the ship from active/passive homing torpedoes. The MG-94ME projectile is equipped with a separable drifting sonar countermeasures module, which either jams the required frequency bands or operates in simulation emission mode. Firing range of ASW rockets and MG94ME projectiles is 600 to 4300 m All the above systems have been developed around weapon models that are in service with the Russian Navy and many other navies and have proven themselves during numerous tests and exercises. Certainly, countering modern submarines requires a package approach, however really deadly and reliable weapons are needed to deliver a decisive strike. It is for this reason that Russian antisubmarine torpedoes and missiles are in strong demand on the international market.


CBRN

SYSTEMS

SOMETHING IN THE AIR: CBRN PROTECTION IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC The prime Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats in the Asia-Pacific region emanate from North Korea – and not just from its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, but also from its chemical weapons arsenal, believed to rival that of Syria.

by Andy Oppenheimer

eyond North Korea, Pakistan and India as nuclear powers face a risk of non-state nuclear and radiological attack. For example, Pakistan endures frequent suicide bombings perpetrated by Islamist insurgent groups and India faces serious threats from Pakistan-based Islamist paramilitary organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (‘The Army of the Righteous’) which was responsible for the 2008 multiple bomb and gun attacks in Mumbai. As the Indian economy grows, causing the construction of more largescale industrial complexes and facilities, there are fears of HazMat (Hazardous Materials) attacks if insurgents begin to target vital infrastructure such as railway stations and airports, as well as the chemical and biotechnology industries.

B Japan

However, the most serious CBRN event of recent times was not caused by war or terrorism, but by a natural disaster, namely the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami which occurred east of the Tohoku region of Japan’s Honshu island which triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear

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By harnessing the proven principle of bone marrow partial shielding, the StemRad 360 Gamma can dramatically reduce the likelihood of radiation sickness without compromising mobility to allow survival after exposure to high-dose gamma radiation © StemRad

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CBRN

SYSTEMS power plant meltdowns and explosions on the east coast of Fukushima Prefecture, Honshu. Several governments around the Asia-Pacific region are therefore veering towards acquiring multi-functional CBRN protection products that can address diverse threats such as deliberate attacks and accidents. Accidents producing large doses of radioactive contaminants, such as the Fukushima incident discussed above have brought radiation protection to the fore. Radiation risk also arises from thefts or accidental handling of radioactive material in many countries where civilian radioactive materials are dumped and unsecured. On 2 December 2013, in Tepojaco near Mexico City, thieves hijacked a truck transporting Cobalt-60 pellets from obsolete medical radiotherapy equipment to a nuclear waste disposal site. The Colbat-60 was recovered two days later, its shield partially removed; the thieves were detained and hospitalised, two with suspected radiation injury. Firefighters dealing with the meltdowns of three of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station undertook critical disaster mitigating activities without fully protecting themselves from lethal gamma radiation. Clean-up efforts have been haphazard and radioactive water has leaked into the Pacific Ocean. In an attempt to restore safety, in late November 2013 power plant workers successfully removed the first nuclear fuel rods from a cooling pool at the power station suspended above ground, in a highly hazardous four-day operation where the workers risked unleashing very high levels of radiation.

Enhancing Protection

Exposure to gamma-emitting sources may result in Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) - the destruction of the individual’s bone marrow. This produces anaemia, infections, internal bleeding and often death. Alpha radiation emitted from nuclear explosions and accidents may produce long-term health effects such as cancers, most notably leukaemia, and is difficult to detect and also difficult to prove causation – as cancer is such a common group of illnesses worldwide. Therefore emergency

services personnel, nuclear power station workers and populations affected by a nuclear incident need specific protection as the clinical symptoms of exposure are often delayed with non-specific and sporadic symptoms, making it difficult to measure the individual dose received. Testing for radiation exposure is crucial to ensure people are treated in incidents where much of the general public will be frightened about being exposed.

United States

Currently, Geiger counters which measure ionizing radiation and electronic dose meters are only useful for identifying who has been contaminated with radioactive material following a nuclear disaster, rather than the precise dose that the individual has received. To assess that individual’s total absorbed dose, a high throughput testing system for radiation exposure has emerged from six programmes funded by BARDA (Biological Advanced Research and Development Authority), part of the United States Department of Health and

Exposure to gammaemitting sources may result in Acute Radiation Syndrome which causes the destruction of the individual’s bone marrow

Human Services, for the development of a high throughput testing system for radiation exposure, and the European Union’s MultiBiodose Project, with a target of developing biodosimetry testing of 2,000 samples per system per day using technologies currently utilised in existing commercial clinical laboratories. Biodosimetry is a method of measuring the amount of ionizing radiation dose received by an individual using biological materials, and is useful in cases of accidental exposure and where no physical dosimetry is available, or if the reading from a physical dosimeter is in dispute.

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The Demron class-2 suit by Radiation Shield Technologies (RST) of Florida, United States, is designed to resist gamma and beta radiation and has been worn for the dangerous clean-up operation following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan © Radiation Shield Technologies

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CBRN

SYSTEMS

Reducing Risk

The Safe Escape CBRN Respirator from US company MSA enables escape from an incident in a civilian setting such as a high-profile building or for non-specialist law enforcement officers and emergency workers © MSA Agency

The TransAire5 and TransAire10 Escape Respirators are self-contained devices designed to help personnel escape dangerous and deadly atmospheres, including those with high concentrations of toxic gases or vapours or oxygen deficiency © MSA Agency

The S-CAP Hood is designed to protect against smoke and gas from fires. Its wide lens provides an increased field of vision and the low breathing resistance is intended to reduce claustrophobia © MSA Agency

The Compact Escape Hood for short-duration escape into a contaminated area is an individual protection device that provides respiratory and ocular protection in the event of a chemical or biological attack © Scientific Protection Scotland Ltd

The REDI-Dx (Radiation Exposure Dosage Index Diagnostic) blood test kit from US-based DxTerity Diagnostics of California is the first commercial gene expression-based test for radiation biodosimetry. REDI-DX is performed with a simple finger-stick blood test, allowing patient sample collection earlier in the field while reducing the need for skilled nurses or physicians to perform blood tests. It uses

a unique sample collection method that allow blood samples to be stored and transported at ambient temperature, reducing the logistical costs and burdens of having to ensure the blood samples remain refrigerated. It can provide radioactive dose estimates within hours at the laboratory - with the ability to support tens of thousands of such tests each week allowing REDI-Dx to support a mass-scale response.

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Products are emerging for enhanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), such as the StemRad 360 Gamma produced by StemRad of Israel which selectively protects the minimal amount of bone marrow required to allow for recovery after the individual has received a dangerous dose of radiation. By preserving a volume of a person’s bone marrow in excess of what is needed for survival, the 360 Gamma is able to shift the median lethal radiation dose to above 1,000 rad. Normally, doses of radiation above 1,000 rad are fatal. The shielding has been shown to block high-energy gamma radiation while remaining at a manageable weight for the wearer. For suited protection during the Fukushima clean-ups, the Demron-W CBRN Class 2 full body suit from Radiation Shield Technologies (RST) of Florida, United States, was the chosen PPE supplier, having received multiple certifications for full protection from gamma radiation and significant reduction of heat stress by allowing passive cooling for the wearer. Made from a ground-breaking nano-metal material known as ‘Demron’ fabric, some 200 of the suits were donated by RST for power plant workers and rescue teams in the Fukushima operation after Demron’s inventor, Ronald DeMeo, saw on television that Japanese plant workers had inadequate PPE. The Demron suit, which weighs only under five kilograms (ten pounds), is claimed to block gamma radiation by 50% and beta radiation by 70%. That is enough of a reduction to allow people to work in some contaminated areas.

Aiding Escape

While the 11 September 2001 attacks against New York and Washington DC are not classed as CBRN incidents, it is estimated that at least 3,000 people, including many emergency service workers, will die in the coming years from respiratory illnesses contracted during the evacuation of areas contaminated by toxic chemicals and smoke. Had escape respirators been readily available in New York’s World Trade Centre complex after the attacks, many of these workers could have been saved. The


CBRN

SYSTEMS

US Government now requires escape respirators for all personnel in major government buildings and on diplomatic missions overseas. For first responders in Singapore and other Asia-Pacific countries, the US-based MSA Agency make the self-contained TransAire 5 and TransAire 10 Escape Respirators, which protect emergency workers from high concentrations of toxic gases. They feature a single switching operation for a swift exit and are lightweight. However, as current escape respirators are too bulky for civilian use, the lead counter-terrorism technology agency in the US, the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG), part of the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the US State Department, which procures and contracts counter-terrorism technology to all US government departments and agencies dealing with countermeasures and CBRN countermeasures, selected a British company, Scientific Protection Scotland, to

The US Army M50 mask, manufactured by Avon, is designed to be more compact, lighter, more comfortable and more effective than the older M40 mask. It gives over 24 hours of protection against chemical or biological agents and radioactive particulates Š USMC

develop a Compact Escape Hood and an Ultra-Low Profile Escape Hood to be at least half the weight of conventional gas masks or smoke hoods to fit inside a coat pocket or handbag to be available immediately in an emergency. With input from users in US government agencies and meeting EN (European Union Standard) CBRN requirements, the pocket-sized Compact Escape Hood is for short-duration use for escape into a contaminated

US forces conduct exercises with their Republic of Korea counterparts in April 2009. Among the more complex missions was an operation to secure a suspected chemical weapons lab Š US Army

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area. For civilian use, the MSA Agency also produces the Safe Escape CBRN Respirator, and the one-size-fits-all S-CAP Hood to protect against smoke and gas from fires, especially carbon monoxide. The high-performance filter offers thorough protection, while the wide lens provides a good field of vision.

Republic of Korea

For US Army troops stationed in the Republic of Korea (RoK), the new M50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSGPM) is the result of over 15 years of research work


CBRN

SYSTEMS

US forces in the Republic of Korea (RoK) don missionoriented protective equipment during Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear training on Camp Casey, RoK in October 2013 © US Army

by the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC). JSGPM project manager Bill Fritch said: “The new mask provides the Warfighter with improvements in nearly every single category over the older generations of masks: comfort, visibility, hydration, you name it.” Compared to previous models, the JSGPM is said to offer a more ergonomic design that increases optical clarity, comfort, and ease of use and maintenance in high stress and austere environments, along with ease of use while working with weapons and military equipment. The RoK has agreed to pay $867 million in 2014 towards the cost of the 28,500 US troops in the country after Washington’s decision in January 2014 to deploy more soldiers and tanks there as part of a military rebalance to Asia. Many respirators are now adapted for both military and civil agency use. The Avon HMK150 mask-to-helmet interface is designed for CBRN protection and converts to be compatible with conventional protective police helmets for use in nonCBRN environments, by a simple

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exchange of the harness for the helmet connecting straps, without the wearer needing to remove the helmet. Avon’s Europe, Middle East and Africa sales director John Penton explained the concept of the new mask, which will be available to overseas markets after approval stages in the first three months of 2014: “Avon’s HMK150 will be CE-approved (approved by the European Commission) for Germany and available for sale in other countries including in the AsiaPacific region. Avon’s combination ST-53 breathing apparatus system is also gain-

As well as masks, PPE suits have to be tailored for an allhazard response. Ansell of Sweden’s Trellchem Hands-Free Visor Light System is designed for HazMat responders in emergency situations l

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ing in popularity with specialist military units and law enforcement teams in Asia and Australasia.” As well as masks, PPE suits have to be tailored for an all-hazard response. Ansell of Sweden’s Trellchem Hands-Free Visor Light System is designed for HazMat responders in emergency situations in dangerous environments with little or no daylight or other light source. It encapsulates a built-in hands-free Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting solution which can outfit the firm’s Trellchem gastight suits giving the wearer a panoramic view with no blinding reflections. Typical situations include visibility limited by smoke generated by chemicals to the dark, non-lit space of an industrial building where normal lighting is unavailable. The system is based on a LED panel mounted along the top inside of the visor, providing a wide beam and connected to a standard nine volt battery giving the user at least one hour’s duration. Ansell specialty markets president and general manager Thomas Draskovics said that, “by adding an integrated lighting solution into


CBRN

SYSTEMS

our suits we are convinced that we will help create a safer environment for responders working in these sometimes lifethreatening operations.”

Sensing Sarin

Prompt detection of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) has moved to the fore since the nerve agent mass attacks on civilians on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus in August 2013. New methods are geared towards emergency workers, soldiers and specialists sent into conflict areas where chemical weapons are a threat, who need early detection of CWAs at trace level concentrations. This is particularly essential because lower-quality ‘kitchen’ Sarin nerve agent or other CWAs may be used, especially by insurgents, and as such may not be present in such high concentrations as chemical warfare agents or may be present in concentrations that have become more diluted by the time that readings are taken.

The Trellchem Hands-Free Visor Light System is a short-throw illumination system based on a LED panel mounted along the top inside of the visor for hands-free operation designed to offer improved visibility and a safer working environment. The wide beam of the LED panel creates a panoramic view in poorly illuminated environments © Trellchem

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New technologies based on enzymes and lasers show promise for near realtime detection, and for detecting small amounts of a CWA - which enable the early use of countermeasures and evacuation to prevent or allay loss of life and injury. Enzyme-based detection devices continuously monitor for and detect CWAs. These systems are sensitive to levels of contamination below those affecting the human body and therefore claim low false-alarm rates and can also detect tracelevel contamination in cases of long-term exposure. The enzyme used, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) which is targeted in the bodies of animals by the Sarin nerve agent, does not attract other non-toxic chemicals to bind to it, and can withstand extreme temperatures and humidity making it a specific sensing element for defence and security applications. Using enzyme polymer technology, FLIR Systems of the United States’ Fido C3 detector is currently fielded by several government agencies as an early warning system for nerve agent attack. It sounds an alarm when nerve agents are detected at trace or higher levels in the air - when sensing element activity decreases due to the presence of non-persistent (i.e. relatively easy to decontaminate) ‘G’ and persistent (hard to decontaminate) ‘V’ nerve agents. During normal operation, the sensing polymer changes colour periodically and the absence of colour change indicates the presence of chemical agents down to trace levels. The Fido C3’s main applications are to protect emergency service workers during an incident response, occupants of high profile buildings and event venues, military installations, or for ongoing monitoring on public transport systems. Dr Markus Erbeldinger of FLIR Systems, said: “Trace levels of life threatening nerve agents were impossible to detect until the Fido C3 became available from FLIR Systems. Our man-portable instrument is the most sensitive continuous air monitor available for sensing of otherwise undetected nerve agents at trace-level before they cause harm or loss of life. It provides early detection warnings, which allows for early deployment of counter-

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The FLIR Systems Fido C3 continuous air monitor for Chemical Warfare Agent detection has integrated audio and visual alarms which greatly aid on-scene decision-making for emergency service workers © FLIR Systems

measures and evacuation. This is an urgent requirement for customers in AsiaPacific and around the world dealing with force protection, military operations, first response, infrastructure and event security applications.” Companies will no doubt compete to produce more rapid and lightweight detection systems and technologies for CWAs in the air and water originating from acts of terror or offensive military action. But much depends on events and how much funding is available once the heat of media attention surrounding the Syrian Sarin bombardments of 2013 has faded, and once that country’s chemical weapons have been put beyond use later in 2014.


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REGIONAL NEWS

s o u t h A N D

a s i a

D E V E L O P M E N T S

ASIA PACIFIC PROCUREMENT UPDATE by Pierre Delrieu

air force and navy also operate about 100 IAI Searchers II tactical UAVs. These are mostly deployed along India's western, northern and eastern borders for surveillance. India had almost concluded a $220 million deal to purchase some 50 Herons from IAI in 2004, but the deal was postponed due to the change in government in New Delhi following a general election. Before the postponed 2004 deal, India already had about

twelve Heron-1 UAVs in service which played a crucial part in search and rescue operations conducted in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004. IAI Searcher and Heron UAVs were used to locate trapped survivors and missing bodies near the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal, relaying live images in flight and allowing the fast and efficient rescue of victims and survivors.

According to IAI’s online description, the Heron has an endurance of over 24 hours and a ceiling of around 32,000 feet (approximately 10,000 metres). With a maximum range of about 1,620 nautical miles (3,000km), the Heron UAV can carry a maximum payload of 550 pounds (250 kilograms). Moreover the Heron is designed to carry multiple payloads at a time including Synthetic Aperture Radar, optronics, laser designators, electronic intelligence systems and communications relays. Although not disclosing the specifications for the Heron’s payloads, the Indian Ministry of Defence specifies on its website that the country’s Searcher IIs are equipped with a day and night optronics, while India’s Herons are similar to those operated by the Israeli Air Force for maritime patrol which are equipped with an IAI Elta Systems EL/M-2022A maritime surveillance radar and a stabilized Tamam optronics turret.

involved large scale naval manoeuvres in all three dimensions viz. surface, air and underwater, across the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Admiral DK Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff and Vice Admiral

Anil Chopra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief, Eastern Naval Command, embarked the combined Fleets at sea off the East coast on 13 TH February . The exercise was conducted against the backdrop of two completely networked fleets, widely dispersed across the Indian Ocean Region, operating in a dense maritime environment. Missile, Torpedo and Gun firing was undertaken. This year’s exercise witnessed the maiden participation of the recently acquired P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft, as also the Hawk fighter trainer aircraft. Besides Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Airborne Early Warning helicopter of the Indian Navy, Air to Air Refuellers, Jaguars and SU-30 aircraft of Indian Air Force will also be

deployed during the exercise. The month long exercise was aimed to assess the operational readiness of naval units, validate the Navy’s war fighting doctrine and integrate newly included capabilities in its 'Concept of Operations'. Around 60 ships and submarines, and 75 aircraft took part in this exercise,along withparticipation of units from Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard. Theexercise also saw the 'maiden' participation by the newly acquired P 8I Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft and the nuclear submarine, Chakra. The exercise also provided the Indian Navy with an opportunity to validate its network centric warfare capabilities, with effective utilisation of the recently launched Indian Navy’s Satellite, GSAT 7.

INDIA TO ACQUIRE 15 ADDITIONAL HERON UAVS FROM ISRAEL

 The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security has reportedly approved a $300 million budget to acquire 15 new Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron Medium-Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and associated equipment, as well as communications systems upgrade for the Indian Air Force and navy’s existing fleet. The decision was made in early January 2014 according to reports published in The Times of India, and would bring the total fleet of India’s Herons from 25 to 40 aircraft. These UAVs are used for intelligence and reconnaissance gathering, especially along the border with Pakistan and along the Line of Actual Control (LAC); the 4,057-kilometre (2,521-mile) border between India and China. In addition to the Heron, India’s

INDIAN NAVY ENGAGES IN EXERCISE TROPEX 2014

 The Indian Navy’s major annual exercise ‘TROPEX’ (Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise) concluded on 28 Feb 14. The exercise

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INDONESIA BUYS THALES FORCESHIELD AIR DEFENCE SYSTEM

 French defence electronics contractor Thales has been chosen by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence to enhance the country’s Short-Range Air Defences (SHORAD). On 15 January 2014 Indonesia signed the $163 million contract with Thales’ British subsidiary (Thales UK) for the acquisition of ForceShield, it’s integrated Advanced Air Defence system, which will provide a tailored level of air defence for troops on manoeuvre. However, for security reasons, Thales refused to disclose the number of system Indonesia will be acquiring. The system sold to Indonesia includes the supply of Starstreak short-range surface-

to-air missiles and Rapid Ranger mobile missile launchers, the Control Master 200 air surveillance and fire control radar, as well as associated communications, training and support equipment. In a 15 January 2014 press release announcing the deal, David Beatty, vice president for advanced weapon systems at Thales UK said that although there were no provisions for additional deliveries in the contract, “once we show we can deliver our solution and the customer likes it, we hope to develop good relations for follow-on orders from the Indonesian authorities.” The procurement deal also includes an agreement with Indonesian state-owned company PT LEN Industri defence electronics con-

tractor to partner on the integration of some of the systems in the contract. Thales will also be providing Indonesia with its air defence weapon engagement control system named CONTROLView a product which, according to Thales, “has been renewed recently to benefit from the latest software technologies and from 30 years of expertise in air defence, in particular

Human Machine Interfaces have been totally redesigned in cooperation with armed forces (users).” Thales hopes to begin delivering deliver “the man-portable elements of the weapon (in 2014) but that equipment with longer lead times like the Control Master 200 radar (may) take longer and it (could) take several years to deliver the complete integrated system.

Scarborough Shoal, referred to as Huangyan Island by the People's Republic of China, a small outcrop located between the Macclesfield Bank and the Philippines’ Luzon Island, in the South China Sea. China eventually gained control of the area after Manila conceded, but the government of the Philippines sought United Nations arbitration in October 2013 to settle the dispute, a move that was rejected by China. Lately, Manila has increasingly looked to the US for help and, as part of Washington’s strategic “pivot” towards Asia, negotiations are ongoing to agree on an increased rotational presence of US Army troops in the Philippines. The BRP

Gregorio del Pilar and the ‘Gregorio del Pilar’ class frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz, acquired in 2012 by the Philippine Navy have both been deployed to protect the country’s waters, as China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, including waters near the coast of its neighbouring countries. In November 2013 China extended is East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone (ECSADIZ) further across the East China Sea where it is engaged in a dispute with Japan, with claims of sovereignty over the Japanese Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands by China. During his visit to Manila, Mr. Kerry warned China against imposing a similar restriction over the South China Sea, and declared the US government’s refusal to recognise the extension of the ECSADIZ. In early January 2014, China announced it had passed a new fisheries law that required foreign vessels to ask for permits to fish in much of the South China Sea, another move that has triggered angry protests from the government in Manila.

PHILIPPINES SEEK US NAVY SHIPS TO COUNTER CHINESE THREAT

 The Philippines announced on 15 January 2014 that it was seeking to acquire two additional ships from the United States to boost its maritime protection amid threats from China. Speaking on the Filipino ANC television channel on that same day, armed forces chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista said that the new acquisitions would be facilitated by fresh military assistance announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry when he visited the Philippines in December 2013. In order to reinforce the security and defence of the territory, the Philippines wishes to acquire six frigates to guard its long coastline effectively. The Filipino Ministry of Defence is currently soliciting bids for two new US Navy frigates and hopes to acquire them in a couple of years, said Gen. Bautista, adding that “maritime domain awareness” and protection are a key concerns for his leadership. The funds to boost maritime

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defence are to come from the $40 million of military assistance pledged by Mr. Kerry during his visit. In the past two years, the Philippines has acquired two refurbished American frigates the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which are leading patrols in the South China Sea. A long-time US military ally, the Philippines have been locked in an increasingly tense confrontation with China concerning disputed reefs and islands in an area Manila calls the West Philippine Sea and China considers as the South China Sea. Back in 2012, the Philippine Navy’s BRP Gregorio del Pilar eponymous class frigate confronted Chinese ships on

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CHINA BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF SECOND AIRCRAFT CARRIER

 Hong Kong and Chinese media reports from 18 January 2014 revealed that China has begun constructing its second aircraft carrier to be commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) within six years and plans to build two more by 2020 in a significant effort to strengthen itsmaritime power. Wang Min, Communist Party chief for Dalian’s Liaoning Province, in Northeastern China, told the Ta Kung Pao newspaper, a Hong Kong-based publication sympathetic to Beijing that China’s new ship is under construction in the northeastern port of Dalian. Mr. Wang added that the ship will take six years to construct and, unlike its first carrier, the

ROK SET ON FINALIZING F-35 JET FIGHTER DEAL THIS YEAR

 The Republic of Korea’s (RoK) military procurement agency has announced it is determined to finalise the purchase of 40 fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning-II Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCAs) from the American aerospace giant by the end of 2014. On 27 January 2014, Seoul’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration’s aircraft department director Jung Kwang-Sun, told local reporters during a weekly media briefing

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Liaoning, it will be entirely home-built. According to the Ta Kung Pao newspaper, PLAN Senior Captain Li Jie reported that China’s second carrier would be a medium-sized vessel displacing 53,000 tons. Its construction costs, along with details on its specifications were not made public. The Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, was completed in September 2012, and was presented as the first of four such ships. Originally named Riga, this ‘Kuznetsov’ class aircraft carrier was launched on 4 December 1988 by the Soviet Navy before being renamed the Varyag in 1990 and abandoned after the Soviet Union collapsed. The Varyag’s stripped hulk was purchased in 1998 for $20 million by a Hong Kong developer and headed forMacau, on the western side of the Pearl River

Delta across from Hong Kong, where it was to be re-rolled as a casino. But the ship was towed to Dalian Shipyard and later refurbished as an aircraft carrier. After being completely rebuilt and undergoing sea and flight trials with its first Shenyang J-15 Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCAs), the ship was commissioned into the PLAN as the Liaoning on 25 September 2012. It conducted its maiden mission in the South China Sea in January 2014. China’s growing aircraft-carrier fleet and its increasing blue water maritime posture has sparked criticism and concern from neighbouring countries includingJapan. Giving the keynote speech at the annual Davos policy forum in early January 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe accused China of overhauling its mili-

that the RoK would “push to sign the contract in the third quarter (of 2014) after testing and further negotiations.” The RoK Air Force (RoKAF) has been looking to modernise its ageing fleet of Boeing/ McDonnell Douglas F4E and Northrop Grumman F5E MRCAs in light of the continuing territorial and nuclear threat emanating from neighbouring North Korea (see David Oliver’s ‘Jack-of-All Trades’ article in this issue). Although Mr. Jung did not refer to the F-35s by name and declined to give details on the cost of the 40 aircraft, Lockheed

Martin’s aircraft are the only MRCAs on offer that meet the requirement for a stealth aircraft laid down in December 2013 by the RoK joint chiefs of staff. Seoul had initially considered acquiring 60 Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle MRCAs, but the military blocked the prospective $7.7 billion acquisition, a decision that was announced by the country's arms procurement agency in September 2013. The Boeing aircraft was, however, the only one to be priced at below South Korea’s allotted budget and the only bid eligible to win the country's largest-ever defence import deal. The procurement budget was adjusted in November 2013 to allow the new deal with Lockheed Martin and the F-35s should be delivered from 2018 onwards. When the deal was confirmed, South Korea's military chiefs told the country’s Yonhap News Agency that an additional 20 fighters would be acquired in the future to meet the country’s needs.

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tary structure in order to strengthen its offensive capabilities so as to secure air and naval superiority in the South China and East China seas. Beijing and Tokyo, are still locked in a territorial row over the Japanesecontrolled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea which China also claims, referring to them as the Diaoyu Islands, along with other sovereignty disputes that China has outstanding with the Philippines (see ‘Philippines seek US Navy ships to counter Chinese threat’ news story) and Vietnam. While four PLAN aircraft carriers similar in design to the Liaoning they would not represent a substantial threat to the United States’ naval supremacy in the region, although they would allow China to project power against countries beyond of the range of its land-based aircraft.

TAIWAN UNVEILS ITS FIRST INDIGENOUS JSOW

 During a 16 January 2013 ceremony held at the Tainan airbase in southwest Taiwan to inaugurate the island’s recently upgraded Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) F-CK-1 Ching-kuo, the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) Multirole Combat Aircraft the country’s its first Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) was unveiled. Called the Wan Chien (Ten Thousand Swords) the weapon was developed by the military run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) and has been compared to the United States’ Raytheon AGM154 JSOW and the pan-European MBDA Storm Shadow air-toground cruise missiles.


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NEW ZEALAND INVESTS IN T-6C FOR PILOT TRAINING

 The American manufacturer Beechcraft Corporation, in a press releases dated 27 January 2014, announced that it will be providing the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) with eleven Hawker Beechcraft T-6C Texan II turboprop trainers within the next two years. New Zealand’s $127 million purchase “includes ground simulators, classroom and computer-based training packages to complement practical flying experience,” said New Zealand’s Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman in the country’s Ministry of Defence press release. With deliveries expected as early as 2015, the aircraft, assembled in Kansas, United States, are to enter service with the Pilot Training School and the Central Flying School at the RNZAF Ohakea airbase, North of Wellington in early

BAE SYSTEMS CONCLUDE UPGRADE ON AUSTRALIA’S F/A-18 CLASSIC HORNET FLEET

 BAE Systems has concluded its decade-long maintenance and modification support of Australia’s F/A-18 Classic Hornet fleet ahead of plan. Together with its engineering partner L-3 MAS Canada,

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2016. CAE Simulation of Canada will install simulators and other ground-based training devices included in the deal at Ohakea. The press release added that RNZAF’s T-6Cs would be used to train up to 15 graduate pilots and twelve qualifying flying instructors per year over the next 30 years. The T-6Cs will be equipped with Martin Baker ejection seats, digital avionics, a head-up display as well as six

underwing hard points; two of which can carry fuel tanks. The RNZAF currently uses 13 Pacific Aerospace Corporation CT-4E Airtrainer piston-engine airframes which have been in service since 1998 for pilot training, along with four leased turboprop Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air turboprop transports. The RNZAF B200s have digital avionics but lack a head-up display, and neither the B200s nor the CT-4E

Airtrainers have ejection seats or hard points. New Zealand will also pursue an upgrade for its Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules turboprop freighters and Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, said Coleman, adding that all five AgustaWestland A109 light utility helicopters and seven of the eight NH90 medium-lift utility helicopters ordered have arrived in country.

the company has completed the Hornet Maintenance and Modifications Support Contract. The contract delivered deeper maintenance and significant structural refurbishments, ensuring the Classic Hornets remain an important element of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) air combat capability until the Joint Strike Fighter

(JSF) comes into service. BAE Systems Australia Director Aerospace Steve Drury said the company was proud of the enhanced capability it had produced while delivering the Commonwealth real savings. “This has been a major program of work for our company that started in June 2003. In that time, our skilled workforce

maintained 65 of the RAAF’s 71 Classic Hornets and completed over one million hours of maintenance,” Mr Drury said. “We also contributed significant savings to the Defence Strategic Reform Program. Working closely with the RAAF. ” “By establishing a culture of continuous improvement within our business, we achieved faster throughput, safer production and reduced waste – without compromising on quality.” Mr Drury said delivery of this highly successful contract ensured BAE Systems was well positioned to pursue long term sustainment work on the Joint Strike Fighter at Williamtown, when the aircraft comes into service in 2018. “ With our established capabilities, we are ready to provide in-country support of the RAAF’s next-generation JSF,” he said.

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