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Contents DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011 VOLUME 18 / ISSUE 8
Front Cover Photo: A US Army soldier from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team on patrol in Afghanistan’s Logar province. Counter Insurgency Operations in the country and in Iraq have arguably drained US strategic combat reserves, making it vulnerable to crises elsewhere in the world. The US is primarily fighting for credibility in Afghanistan, with President Obama announcing that a troop drawdown will begin in July 2011 © DoD
Airborne Radar: Interception, Early Warning and Ground Surveillance systems John Mulberry The ability for armed forces to carry out effective self-defence and combat operations relies heavily on aerial defence systems. Central to this is the use of Airborne Early Warning systems. The race to field the most advanced technology has led to the region becoming one of the fastest growing markets for such solutions in the world
Body Armour: Personal Force Protection
Adam Baddeley The challenge in providing protection to the dismounted soldier balances the need for protection against a comprehensive range of threats while reducing or managing the burden imposed on the soldier
36 UUV to USVs: Regional Choice Tom Withington Unmanned Underwater Vehicles and Unmanned Surface Vehicles are hard at work throughout the world’s oceans disposing of naval mines and enhancing port security, performing dull, dangerous and dirty missions
National Command and Control: Managing the Strategic Situation Adam Baddeley Ensuring operational and strategic effectiveness in times of peace, crisis and war pose considerable challenges. High level command and Control systems offer some of the answers
Counterinsurgency Operations – AfghanistanPakistan Border
Replicating Reality: Ground Combat Training in Asia
More Countries Deploy Armoured Engineer Vehicles
Gordon Arthur Afghanistan’s rugged topography has made it impossible for foreign powers, even for Kabul governments, to enforce their writ in the past. Today 46-nation International Security Assistance Force is trying to avoid that fate, with mixed results
Tim Mahon Military training embraces a multitude of disciplines and technologies. Changes have rapidly transformed national and coalition attitudes to training as the move towards expeditionary warfare and out of area operations has gathered pace over the last ten years. Is the same true in Asia?
Christopher F Foss To support their mechanised forces, militaries are now deploying more armoured engineer vehicles, taking the form of specialised platforms or based on a Main Battle Tank chassis, with a similar level of cross-country mobility to the units that they are supporting
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DEFENCE AND SECURITY
udget cuts in defence are nothing new in the grand scheme of things but for the US, after nearly a decade of sharply rising budgets, large scale operations and commitments around the world, the readjustment will be acutely felt.
The $708bn US defence budget represents approximately 19 percent of the federal budget and a significant chunk of all discretionary spending. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has publicly stated his opposition to any cuts, stating that cuts of ten percent would significantly undermine US force structure, an effect disproportionate to the marginal contribution it would make to a $1.4 trillion deficit. Gates has also talked of a need to increase spending above the rate of inflation, although he also notes that considerable internal efficiencies could still be made. However, no matter how noble the sentiment or how cogent the argument, it seems to be going against the flow of President Obama’s administration, which has indicated that $100bn could be shaved off defence by 2015. Cuts will happen.
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One might legitimately ask, what this has to do with Asia?
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The US remains the primary defence and security guarantor to several countries in the region and key ally to more, the US for example in October, announced a five-year, $2bn military aid package for Pakistan. US budget cuts will inevitably affect the military aid they receive and the military forces and advisers in place in those countries too. Could that mean a shock for those expecting the US to police the region? Potentially yes. So what might be done to mitigate this upset?
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Many countries across the Asia-Pacific are increasing their spending on defence; China and Russia amongst them. The ‘North Atlantic Financial Crisis’ has simply not affected the Asia-Pacific region as much as the West. The region has money in its pocket.
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There are many other equally deserving areas of the government spending that this economic success might fund, but defence should be one of them. If the 21st century is going to be Asia’s, as so many are predicting, then reducing dependence on others for security, should be at the forefront of strategic thinking.
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Taking up the slack in the imminent predicted security deficit that will result from US budget cuts would be a strong and impressive step for the region.
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P R O T E C T I O N
Germany’s IdZ-ES/IDZ-2 programme has integrated soldier protection into the ensemble from the start of the programme © Rheinmetall
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P R O T E C T I O N
Force There are three main challenges in providing protection to the dismounted soldier; providing protection again the threat, preventing an injury being sustained behind the armour by the transmission of residual force into the body — also known behind armour blunt trauma (BABT) and thirdly, ensuring that the systems is designed to reduce the burden imposed on the soldier. by Adam Baddeley
still derived from police requirements reflecting in the need to measure performance against low velocity rounds and stabbing, neither of which are particularly relevant on the battlefield. Military users’ priorities are elsewhere, namely shell fragments, high velocity bullets, non-ballistic impacts, behind armour effects, heat and flame are the dominant threats to the dismounted soldier. The burden equation is increasingly relevant and not just in weight terms and its impact on agility, bulk, weight and thermal burden too as well as the additional problems that can occur in terms of burden due to lack of integration. To illustrate this, it has been
DEALLY, THE goal of body armour is to prevent injury to the soldier. This is not always possible and thus an equal role of body armour is to mitigate its effects, reducing the severity of the injury and improving the recovery time. Work on body armour is typically divided into five areas: reducing the burden on the soldier, increasing the coverage of the armour, improved materials, injury modeling in order to better understand the threats and modeling how changes in armour will affect the soldier. Somewhat peculiarly, many of the standards upon which body armour is judged are
DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011
Body armour is today tasked with providing protection against a range of threats © Teijin
noted that in medieval Europe, the weight of an armoured knight’s equipment including weapons was between 30-40Kg, distributed fairly evenly across the body. In contrast, today’s combat infantryman in Afghanistan can expect to carry as much as 50Kg, the weight concentrated on the shoulders. Instead of pursuing revolutionary levels of protection via new materials technology, the consensus is that this area of personal protection will evolve incrementally over time which will rarely provide any significant
P R O T E C T I O N
The integration of personal protection within the load carrying concept is vital to improve the weight and ergonomics of the system, shown here with the soldier on the left wearing legacy US Army equipment, the one of the right elements from BAE Systems Ultra Lightweight Warrior ÂŠ BAE Systems
change. Instead, the greatest gains in protect are seen as being achieved by increasing worn protectionâ€™s coverage on the body. Another key area is an improvement in blast protection, which can be built into any protection system. The threats from blast are four fold: blast over-pressure, severe thermal burns, retinal burns and dazzle as well as ballistic impact on all areas of the body. In an armoured vehicle that has been defeated by a large warhead it is estimated that up to 20 percent of the survivors will have some degree of primary blast injury in addition to their other wounds. Users can also reduce the weight and thus burden by exchanging protection for extra mobility will reduce susceptibility to attack. In addition to burden is the need for comfort, if a solution is uncomfortable, soldiers on operation will not wear it, eliminating the protective potential of that product. An overarching goal for protection will also be integration, as reduced comfort and increased burden is often
as a result of a poorly integrated solution. A major area for research on protection technologies is on BABT, a spectrum of injuries sustained behind an armour system even when though it has defeated the incoming projectile. Enough energy is transferred onto the body causing injuries ranging from simple bruising to the skin, up to life threatening injuries depending on the projectile and the armour. There has been a recent increase in injuries from BABT. This has been driven by two factors. First users are seeking thinner Catching a bullet is simply not enough, body armour designs must also ensure that serious and potentially lethal effects from behind armour blunt trauma are prevented ÂŠ Teijin
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
lighter plates with the same level of protection. In doing so while the platform remains intact, there can be considerable movement enhancing the potential for BABT. At the same time the threat has risen as forces, particularly in Iraq and now Afghanistan have come under attack from snipers using armour piecing round these range from Ball and Armour-Piercing (AP) from 5.45x39mm to 12.7mm ball rounds and AP including Tungsten-Carbon core and API.
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) are arguably looked to for a number of combat lessons learned because their solutions reflect their relatively modest budgets, the desire to be rapidly deployed overseas and operating outside of a massive support infrastructure. The financial cost of protection is rising for the Marines. In 2001, it cost roughly $1200 to equip each Marine with clothing and personal protective equipment. In protection terms, this consists of a helmet and body armour sufficient to stop 9mm rounds and shell fragmentation. The cost figure is now moving toward $7000 for each Marine, a significant proportion of that down to improved body armour. Currently the Marines are deploying flame resistant materials across
P R O T E C T I O N
It is estimated that up to 20 percent of the survivors [from IED attack against a vehicle] will have some degree of primary blast injury in addition to their other wounds
you entire torso and all exposed extremities, including the face via a balaclava. Marines also now have ballistic and direct fire protection against small arms rifle rounds on the torso and enhanced ballistic protection and fragmentation protection on the helmet, due to be improved further via the Enhanced Combat Helmet which offers 35 percent greater protection against fragmentation and improvement against small arms at very little weight increase above the current helmet. In 2009, the Marine Corps introduced the Armor Protection Level (APL) concept in which commanders have the authority to determine protection levels carried by
The latest UK body armour in new Multi-Terrain Pattern camouflage deployed in Afghanistan since April 2010 © AJB
Marines on each mission, based on factors such as the mission, threat, troop types and environmental factors, decisively moving away from a one size fits all concept of protection. This is divided between four threat levels with ‘0’ being unarmoured and ‘3’
being a vest or plate carrier with front, back and side armour plates. While the Marines and the US Army use identical soft and hard armour components, these are configured differently, the Marine for example having a quick release system
P R O T E C T I O N Insert (E-SAPI) plate. However, while the US Army has adopted the X-SAPI plate, the Marines have not fielded the system due to the weight. Instead the Marines goal is to retain ESAPI levels of protection at reduced weight.
Rabintex is due to finalise its new Future Soldier Helmet later this year. Rabintex currently offer the RBH Attack described as the World's Lightest IIIA Ballistic Helmet weighing in at 950g and has bullet resistance to 9mm and .44 Magnum. Rabintex develops and manufactures two lines of rigid ballistic plates, Rabintex Ceramic Plates (RCP) and Rabintex Lightweight Plates (RLP) from polyethylene, aramid and other materials. The company’s Knightex Ultra-Light Ballistic Panels weigh 4.3Kg per square metre and are NIJ Certified to Level IIIA according to 2005 NIJ Interim requirements. Teijin Aramid has been providing body armour solutions in the Asia-Pacific for over 15 years, using its high-performance Twaron para-aramid fibre. Today the major offerings from the company include the 200 g/m CT709 ballistic fabric for body armour vests which is also designed for high levels of freedom of movement. In terms of meeting the requirements of helmets, the company offers the 410 g/m2 ballistic fabric CT736 which is based on 1680 dtex Twaron yarn, also complemented by the 460 g/m2 T 750 fabric, also for helmets. The company’s Twaron LFT-AT Flex has recently been introduced into the Asian market. It significantly reduces the impact depth of bullets on protective vests by as much as 30 percent while adding only a
Protection is a balance between physical protection and speed and agility according to mission and battlefield role © DoD
for their armour reflecting the former’s amphibious mission. The Marines are currently beginning to field the Improved Modular Tactical Vest (IMTV) in 2010 which is easier to put on and remove, easier to move and better integration of the cummerbund than the legacy MTV. A second vest is the Scalable Plate Carrier (SPC), developed for the 24 Marine Expeditionary
Unit, based in Okinawa, which better addresses the thermal load. The solution was developed in just 90 days from the original request, ready for the unit to be deployed to Afghanistan in March 2008. The SPC has since been more widely deployed and is part of the APL and provides commanders a mission fit to allow the establishment of hunter/ killer teams to chase down the enemy. The SPC weighs roughly 4Kg less than the IMTV but uses the same plates as the MTV/IMTV. Burden is important. The Marines use the standard Enhanced Small Arms Protective ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
Reducing weight by integration is one of the goals of BAE Systems Ultra Lightweight Warrior
few hundred grams per square metre to the ballistic package. In 2009, the UK began fielding the latest iteration of its Osprey body armour with 10,000 sets acquired. The new Osprey Assault replaces the existing Osprey system. It offers a number of improvements, notably a reduction by a third to the thickness of the plates while maintaining current levels of protection. Another change from the previous design is moving the plates from the outer surface of the vest to the inner surface of the Osprey assault vest. The plate is supplied by Morgan Armour
P R O T E C T I O N with the soft armour and carriers produced by Aegis Engineering, Seyntex and Solo International. As part of the ensemble, the UK is also fielding the Mk 7 combat helmet from NP Aerospace. The programme illustrates the need in body armour to maximise integration with the helmet, allowing greater ease of use with night vision equipment and other rifle mounted sighting equipment. Reducing weight by integration is one of the goals of BAE Systems Ultra Lightweight Warrior (ULW) which integrates a range in individual and protective equipment to better distribute the load with integrated load carriage and protection in single garment. In addition to weight savings by integration, other saving have been found in terms of materials and other design changes. The ULW helmet at 1.3Kg for example weights 200g less than the current ACH but has improved blunt trauma protection. The soft armour design improves on the protection in the IOTV vest but with an overall saving of 450g. In terms of hard armour, the ULW uses a light weight ESAPI solution, which also has superior ballistic performance has been developed and new Enhanced Side Body Armour. At the AUSA show in October, BAE Systems displayed their Scalable Soldier Protection System, part of the ULW concept. Ten kits were supplied to the US Army in September for test in support of the new SPD8 requirement. Other body armour designs were submitted by Point Blank, ArmourWorks and PPI. The design use standard plates but enhance their ergonomics, BAE Systems claiming that their design are 12 percent lighter than legacy systems such as the Army’s IOTV. For the Infanterist der Zukunft (IDZ) – Enhanced System or IDZ-2 soldier modernisation programme, Germany has tasked Blucher with developing a concept of lightweight integrated armour solution which includes typical levels of protection provided by conventional armour solutions but also provides integrated stab protection in the load bearing system, advanced neck and shoulder protection and the provision of shrapnel protection to the elbow and knee protectors as well as protection from shrapnel throughout the sleeves on the wearer’s arms. In October, Dyneema was awarded work by the US DoD to undertaken further work on the application of its Dyneema HBD80 material on the US Enhanced Combat Helmet programme, designed to provide enhanced ballistic performance at a significantly lighter weight. Dyneema currently
The US Marine Corps has differing requirements for body armour even from the US Army, related to their amphibious mission © DoD
ucts with the Spectra Shield II SR 3136 and SR 3137, which absorb two to six times more energy than earlier-generation Spectra Shield hard armour products, reduce impact trauma and have improved ballistic performance at high temperatures. These new materials also enable lighter, more protective armour. In June, Honeywell announced that its Spectra Shield and Gold Shield materials had been selected by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs in an order for 59,000 jackets with each containing two breast plates being provided by MKU. MKU is Asia’s largest supplier of armoured solutions and has supplied solutions for the military and paramilitary market in 50 countries including customers in every NATO country. The company’s Cerazone+ plate family uses a number ceramics such as silicon carbine and boron carbine ceramics with the C7201 plate providing protection from AK-47AP, NATO 7.62mm AP and Dragunov AP rounds. ESS provides maxillofacial protection via the Coretex mask, which has recently been redeveloped for better ergonomics. Coretex is designed to clip onto the company’s Profile series goggles and is designed to remain tight against the face in the event of an IED explosion. At the end of this year, Australia began trials of their new Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS), designed as a light weight replacement for its current Modular Combat Body Armour System and is expected to be deployed in 2011 as part of the planned rotation of troopks. TBAS features include a choice of three load carriers according to combat role, new ammunition pouch system and new ballistic plate system.
provide its HB26 material for helmets for the Republic of Korea Army, manufactured by Samyang Comtech which provide a weight reduction of 20 percent over aramid designs. Ceradyne is a major supplier of body armour for the US military recently being awarded a five-year procurement for XSAPI/ESAPI plates, representing the highest level of ballistic protection. In January, it was awarded a $12.4 million order for SAPI (Small Arms Protective Inserts) lightweight ceramic body armour for an undisclosed US ally. In November, the ATK owned Eagle Industries won an $18.5 Million Contract to supply the USMC with Scalable Plate Carriers part of an ongoing process which began with a 2007 Urgent Universal Needs Statement for the plate carriers. Honeywell also launched two new prodESS’ Coretex mask provides maxillofacial protection, an area of growing investment amongst militaries round the world © AJB
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MILITARY O P E R A T I O N S
ISAF is working hard to train ANA and ANP personnel to take over responsibility for Afghanistan’s national security © Gordon Arthur/Carl Schulze
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O P E R A T I O N S
Afghanistan’s rugged topography has made it impossible for foreign powers, even for Kabul governments, to enforce their writ. Indeed, the nation has a long record of defying foreign invaders, with vanquished foes including the British and Soviets. The names of the US and its allies may also be inscribed on that list, with the US having been involved militarily there for 30 years. by Gordon Arthur lion, with an estimated 2.7 million refugees still in Pakistan and Iran. Life expectancy is 44, and Transparency International names Afghanistan the world’s second most corrupt nation. There is no real Afghan identity in this Pashtun-dominated patchwork of tribal and ethnic groups. Afghanistan is custommade for guerrilla warfare and insurgency thanks to mountainous terrain, undeveloped infrastructure, tribal loyalties and weak central government. Counterinsurgency requires the following conditions: (1) superior numbers to limit insurgent access; (2) support from local people to restrict hiding places; and (3) superior intelligence to take the fight to insurgents. Unfortunately, the 46-nation International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) lacks all three, making their task of fighting the Taliban extremely difficult. One US Marine Corps officer revealed to the author that some Afghan fighters still thought they were
N 2001, incensed by al-Qaeda’s bold 9/11 attack, the USA launched an invasion that toppled the Taliban government. Under President George Bush, the Taliban and al-Qaeda were bottled up in what was essentially a holding pattern while the real focus was on Iraq. The Afghan conflict entered a more aggressive phase under President Barack Obama, his aim being to create an exit strategy. Obama described Afghanistan as a “necessary war”, while Iraq was “the wrong war at the wrong time.” This article examines a portion of this conflict, particularly counterinsurgency (COIN) operations in the AfghanistanPakistan border area.
Setting the scene
Before homing in on the border area, however, it is useful to familiarise ourselves with some key factors regarding the nature of the conflict. Afghanistan’s population is 28 mil-
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MILITARY O P E R A T I O N S
efforts on training the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP), and attempting to drive wedges between the Taliban and the populace. Ultimately, Afghanistan is not strategically essential to the US. Operations there and in Iraq have drained US strategic combat reserves, making it vulnerable to crises elsewhere in the world. The US is primarily fighting for credibility in Afghanistan, with Obama announcing that a troop drawdown will begin in July 2011. UK forces will also pull out by 2015. The Taliban feels no pressure to negotiate a political settlement, the one thing the US desires before it leaves. There will be no military victory in the conventional sense, so it is all about the endgame, and how the US can extricate itself while preserving a modicum of stability. However, militant groups have a readymade sanctuary in the semiautonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of northwest Pakistan.
NATO is fighting at the end of a tortuous supply chain to landlocked Afghanistan. Logistic routes rely on the politically sensitive Manas Airbase in Kyrgyzstan, as well as vulnerable convoys passing through Pakistan. About 70 percent of ISAF supplies travel via Pakistan, This Canadian Leopard 2A6M tank with mine roller is used to counter IEDs. Canada will withdraw from Afghanistan next year © Gordon Arthur/Carl Schulze
The US deploys specialised Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to offer troops protection on the ground © Gordon Arthur/Carl Schulze
fighting the Soviets. Their attitude was that any foreign soldier encroaching on their land had to be resisted, no matter who they were.
Wanting to cut the legs from under al-Qaeda, and to prevent follow-on jihadist groups from multiplying, relentless US pressure has forced extremist leaders underground. If still
alive, Osama bin Laden is is thought to be hiding in northwest Pakistan. Similarly, the Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has never been apprehended. Al-Qaeda has been successfully marginalised and its ability to plot international attacks gutted. The US is “draining the swamps”, winnowing out possible places of refuge, though some have relocated to territories like Yemen, Somalia or Indonesia. The American aim is not to pacify Afghanistan but to leave it in a condition where it will not cause future trouble. The US has thus sent 30,000 extra troops, is focusing
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O P E R A T I O N S
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is one ISR asset used against insurgents. Missile-armed Predators and Reapers are also used to attack targets © Gordon Arthur
with local forces assigned to protect them. The Taliban deliberately targets NATO supply lines, and in December 2008, 160+ vehicles were torched at a Peshawar logistic terminal. In October 2010, extremists attacked fuel tankers in Sindh Province, destroying 27 vehicles. Such attacks heighten fears over insecure supply lines. Improvised explosive devices (IED) are the leading cause of ISAF casualties, with intelligence indicating blasting caps, detonating cord and chemicals are being sourced from Pakistan. The Joint IED Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO) commander said more “unsophisticated but very dangerous” fertiliser-based IEDs were being encountered. On 22 July, Afghan security forces
seized 1,900kg of ammonium nitrate, this following the earlier capture of 1,600kg of fertiliser smuggled from Pakistan. A strategic shift towards COIN operations has provided huge opportunities for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), helicopters, and intelligence, surveillance and recon-
Wanting to cut the legs from under al-Qaeda, and to prevent follow-on jihadist groups from multiplying, relentless US pressure has forced extremist leaders underground
DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011
naissance (ISR) assets. The USA has ramped up clandestine UAV strikes against targets in northwest Pakistan. CIA Special Activities Division MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers armed with Hellfire missiles have been tracking and exterminating high-value targets (HVT) since 2004. These UAVs are operated from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, and reports suggested the CIA also flew them from Shamsi Airfield in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province last year. In February, Hakimullah Mehsud, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader, was killed in a drone strike in South Waziristan. Similarly, on 15 February the Uighur leader of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Abdul Haq al-Turistani, was killed in North Waziristan. There were a record 21 drone attacks in September. To put this in context, in the whole of 2009 there were 53 UAV attacks with 709 targets killed. Interestingly, there have been few Pakistani protests about US cross-border drone attacks; they are made more tolerable because Pakistani HVTs get hit too. Combat in this rugged region has led to the introduction of new weapons. For exam-
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ple, the US Army is fielding a new guided 120mm Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative (APMI) round, better adapted to destroying targets in mountainous areas. It is also deploying 31 Persistent Ground Surveillance System (PGSS) aerostats to watch over forward operating bases. A sensitive intelligence issue is the use of portable surface-to-air missiles by Afghan insurgents, with some being used against ISAF aircraft. US troop levels are increasing along the Afghan border — for example, in Khost Province. It was in this area that a suicide bomber killed seven CIA officers on 30 December 2009. A US Army SOCOM task force is stationed on Pakistani territory in a training role. This was illustrated when three American soldiers who had been training paramilitary Frontier Scouts in counterinsurgency techniques were killed by a suicide bomber. They were on their way to a girls’ school inauguration ceremony in the FATA. Fighting may be raging in Afghanistan, but much of it is orchestrated in Pakistan. On 30 September, a serious event occurred when a NATO helicopter strafed a Pakistani border post, killing three paramilitaries. At the time the helicopter had been operating in Paktia Province but it crossed the poorly marked border. Pakistan responded by blocking NATO trucks from crossing the Torkham border post, where approximately 250 supply vehicles pass daily. “These incidents are a An M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) of the Pakistan Army. The military has conducted major operations against militants © Gordon Arthur/Andrei Chang
The US is primarily fighting for credibility in Afghanistan, with Obama announcing that a troop drawdown will begin in July 2011 clear violation and breach of the UN mandate under which ISAF operates,” said the Pakistan Foreign Ministry. Hot pursuits into Pakistan airspace are rare. ISAF helicopters had fired across the Khost border on three separate occasions the previous weekend, killing more than 70 Haqqani insurgents.
For the US, the only viable power that can support Afghanistan once it withdraws is Pakistan. It is thus a strong supporter, and on 15 October 2009 the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act was signed into law. This triples annual non-military aid to Pakistan over a five-year period to $7.5 billion. The US has already contributed $18 billion to Pakistani counterterrorism efforts, and Obama plans to give another $2.8 billion for border security. The US also supplies military equipment. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is receiving 18 F-16D Block 52 fighters. After a Pakistani request, the US also delivered 1,000 laser-guided bomb kits, suggesting air warfare against Islamic extremists in the tribal belt will grow in importance. Pakistan also wants UAVs, with a request for twelve RQ-7 Shadows for COIN operations. Pakistan seems perpetually destined to
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struggle against poverty, instability and authoritarianism. The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is fighting for its own survival, as well as combating devastating terrorist attacks. The FATA is a lawless “wild west” infested with extremists and the Taliban. Furthermore, the TTP carefully aims its propaganda at public misgivings about US influence over the Pakistani government. The army has a chequered history when it comes to challenging militants. Indeed, its 550,000 soldiers are trained more for conventional war against India than for COIN. From 2004-06, the army suffered heavy casualties until a ceasefire was agreed with FATA tribal commanders. However, the tribesmen used the truce to regroup instead. Speculation over the military’s mettle was raised in September 2007 when just a few dozen militants captured a 247-soldier convoy without a shot being fired. Criticised as being weak, the government finally recognised the need to take action after the 2007 Lal Masjid siege in Islamabad, and the government’s resolve stiffened after an emboldened spate of Taliban violence across the country. Islamabad targeted the Taliban three times (2004, 2005 and 2008), but on each occasion it relented by signing peace deals. The Taliban imposed ruthless control over the Swat Valley from 2007-09, until the army mounted an offensive in April-May 2009. Operation Black Thunderstorm retook Swat, with 1,475 militants killed at the cost of 128 soldiers. This operation created a temporary crisis of 2.3 million refugees. In March 2009 a six-month offensive in Bajaur concluded, with more than 1,500 militants killed. On 17 October 2009 a large-scale offensive with 30,000 troops in South Waziristan began. The battle was over by December, with 570 militants killed. In terms of lives, Pakistan is paying a high price in these campaigns against militants. According to official sources, 2,351 soldiers had died and 17,742 militants were killed/captured from 2003-10. Another 6,512 soldiers were wounded. These military operations in Bajaur, Swat and South Waziristan have made things uncomfortable for jihadists, and some have fled Pakistan for quieter sanctuaries. The arrest of targets like Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on 22 February was welcomed by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who called it, “another positive indication” that Pakistan was trying to stabilise the border area.
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Al-Zarrar tanks are locally rebuilt versions of the Chinese Type 59, and are clearly aimed at conventional war rather than COIN © Gordon Arthur/Andrei Chang
Pakistan will need to deal with neighbouring Afghanistan long after the US has departed, and a benign Afghanistan is of vital importance, especially considering the Pashtun population straddling the border. Pakistan does not expect the Taliban to be defeated, and it rightly wants to stabilise its periphery. The country obviously cannot make this awkward position public, which leads to a twotiered policy of public opposition to, yet covert support of, the Taliban. Once the US withdraws, Afghanistan will quite likely fall again into civil war as the Taliban seeks to overthrow the US-backed Karzai government, and as Pakistan, India, Iran and Russia jostle for influence through proxies. The American solution to the war in Afghanistan is “Pakistanisation” i.e. extending Pakistan’s influence into Afghanistan. Recognising the very real possibility that Pakistan could implode under internal threats, the US has relieved some of the pressure and provided more aid. However, it is not a trusting partnership, with only 17 percent of polled Pakistanis seeing the US in a positive light. Pakistan’s relationship with the Taliban was a liability to the US before, but now it represents an advantage as the endgame approaches. Unfortunately Pakistan’s opportunity to exert a positive influence in the Afghan conflict comes at a time when it is least prepared owing to a freefalling economy, devastating floods and security problems.
pall of suspicion hangs over motives of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and its purported support of the Taliban, a group it helped create. Pakistan has hedged its bets by maintaining relations with the Taliban, but this should not be surprising to observers.
Supported by US incentives, some local tribesmen have also banded together to oust resident Taliban and foreign fighters. Oddly, though, Pakistan has yet to conduct a major offensive in North Waziristan. Recent devastating floods that inundated 20 percent of Pakistan and left 21 million people homeless have impinged upon military operations, and the government’s inability to cope gives jihadist groups further opportunity to gain recruits. Pakistan’s prime minister extended the term of General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, the army chief, by three years - till 2013 - in order to give continuity in the fight against militants. Pakistan’s status as a nuclear-weapon power also adds another level of complication, with latent fears that terrorists could obtain a nuclear device. Such a weapon would provide extremist groups with the ability to mount a strategic blow.
Balance of power
Rather than counterinsurgency or democracy building, the US’s real concern in Afghanistan is to stop it from reverting into a jihadist safe haven. WikiLeaks documents reflect persistent US criticisms of Pakistan. For instance, a Special forces personnel like this Green Beret from the 1st SFG(A) are heavily involved in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban © Gordon Arthur
DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011
Airborne Radar: Interception, early
Warning systems & Ground Surveillance
The ability for armed forces to carry out effective self-defence and combat operations relies heavily on aerial defence systems. Central to this is the use of Airborne Early Warning (AEW) systems and Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS). by John Mulberry 18
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
Saab will provide Pakistan with a Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft equipped with the Erieye radar for border security and natural disaster monitoring and search and rescue© Saab
and developed within the region is now amongst some of the most capable in the world. The region has seen an influx of Israeli and European technology as the IAI Phalcon and Saab Erieye gain a strong footing in the market, with US interests being maintained by Boeing.
HE USE of these aircraft as centralised battle command and communication centres is vital for a country to able to carry out surveillance over land and water, and to direct airborne, ground and naval platforms during operations. Having the most technologically advanced system in the air can means the difference between an armed force that is able to defend its own assets, and one that cannot. Within the Asia-Pacific region, many countries are carrying out major upgrades of their aerial defences, both acquiring technology from foreign manufacturers, and developing indigenous platforms and systems. The race to field the most advanced technology has led to the region becoming one of the fastest growing markets for AWACS solutions in the world, as each country tries to compete with and outdo its neighbours. In particular, as North Korea and China both move towards a future of significant military dominance, the growing imbalance within the region is forcing other nations to update and modernise their early warning, interception and surveillance systems. The technology currently being fielded
will see Thailand’s air defences upgraded to amongst the most advanced in the AsiaPacific region, and bring them in line with recent additions to the air defences of many of their closest neighbours. The first ERIEYE airborne early warning (AEW) system will be delivered in late 2010 aboard a Saab 340 aircraft, along with an additional 340 aircraft. One of the most important aspects of the contract between Sweden and Thailand is the inclusion of the ERIEYE AEW&C system. Saab calls the system a ‘true force multiplier’ that offers significantly greater area coverage than conventional ground-based sensors. The system is capable of air and sea surveillance with an effective coverage of 500,000 sq kilometres horizontally and 20 km vertically. The radar is an active phased array radar and its S-band technology gives operational capability in all weather and light conditions, even under heavy jamming conditions. The radar is capable of detecting small air targets, hovering helicopters, cruise missiles and small surface targets such as inflatable rubber boats, giving a highly enhanced surveillance picture. The Erieye also features remote control operation allowing mission personnel to remain on the ground during operations.
In September, Saab unveiled its new integrated air defence system for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) at a ceremony at the company’s factory in Linköping, Sweden. The system consists of the Gripen C/D, the ERIEYE airborne early warning system and a Command and Control system that includes data link communication. The contract forms the foundation for an advanced network based defence system that
The race to field the most advanced technology has led to the region becoming one of the fastest growing markets for AWACS solutions in the world l
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The Thai integrated air defence system will include the Saab 340 Erieye AEW system © Saab
The addition of the ERIEYE system will give the RTAF the ability to carry out air and sea surveillance, as well as to control national borders, waters and economic zones, disaster management, search and rescue as well as air traffic control and air policing. Crucially it also provides airborne early warning, alert warning and will enable the RTAF to control its own assets, including airborne and ground-based platforms and control centres. The Thai sale of the Saab Erieye is a boon for Saab, who is marketing the system heavily in the region against fierce competition from companies including IAI and Boeing. The Saab ERIEYE was also sold to Pakistan as part of a contract that came into effect in 2006. Under the Pakistan agreement, Saab will provide a Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft
equipped with the Erieye radar for border security and natural disaster monitoring and search and rescue. Two of these aircraft are believed to have been delivered to date.
India has been looking at enhancing its airborne radar capabilities as part of a comprehensive upgrade of the Indian Air Force
The current AEW&C technology in use with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force has grown out of the failed attempt to acquire the foreign Phalcon l
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(IAF), and in 2004 a contract was signed with IAI for the Phalcon AWACS. India will receive a total of six systems, which will be fitted into the Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft. The addition of the Phalcon AWACS system to the IAF will significantly enhance the nation’s air defences, and address growing imbalances presented by two of its nearest neighbours — China and Pakistan. The Phalcon AEW provides long range, high performance tactical surveillance for airborne, ground and naval targets, acting as a force multiplier. The system is multi-sensor, integrating radar, IFF, ESM/ELINE and CSM/COMINT technology that gives crosscorrelation of all data generated. The radar system is a phased array radar able to track
EARLY WARNING multiple targets within full 360°degree range, and gives the ability to carry out ‘selectable surveillance’ within certain areas such as a particular battle zone. Optimized detection and tracking also allows the tracking of manoeuvring and high value targets, as well as fast track initiation, extended detection range and a high fault tolerance and redundancy. The system receives UHF, VHF and HF transmissions, and command and control is enhanced by large hi-res display systems and a communications suite that provides long distance secure voice and data links to air, ground and maritime assets, and voice and data relay facilities. India gained the upper hand from China when it successfully acquired the IAI technology. China had previously been involved in discussions with IAI to obtain the Phalcon, but technology transfer laws prevented the deal from going ahead. China is very interested in obtaining world-class AWACS capabilities. For the past decade, aside from the failed Phalcon negotiations, Beijing has been actively pursuing airborne radar technology, both from external and indigenous sources. In 2006 an in indigenously built AWACS prototype crashed during testing, killing some thirty of the country’s best technicians. Since then, the Chinese have developed a modern system that is also being sold to Pakistan. Known as the Shaanxi ZDK-03 AEW&C system, it is believed to be a new variant of the Shaanxi Y8 AEW&C system produced by the Shaanxi Aircraft Company in China, and
Commander in Chief, ACM Itthaporn Subhawong from the RTAF at the Saab unveiling ceremony. The first ERIEYE airborne early warning (AEW) system will be delivered in late 2010 aboard a Saab 340 aircraft, along with an additional Saab 340 aircraft © Saab
ilar to the Phalcon but inferior in ability in terms of ability to track multiple targets simultaneously in low light and bad weather conditions. The radar also does not rotate; it is a three-sided electronically steered array (ESA) radar, three of which are housed inside a round radome in a triangular configuration to give 360° coverage. The Israeli Phalcon has also seen success with the sale of the radar system to Singapore in 2007. Singapore currently uses four US E2C Hawkeye AEW aircraft for surveillance, and will be replacing these with the Phalcon radar fitted into Gulfstream 550 aircraft. Being a phased array radar, the Phalcon is able to detect electronic equipment within a
one of a total of four on order are expected to be in-country before the end of 2011. Few concrete details of the ZDK-03 are known, but the radar is believed to be highly advanced with a greater range than the Saab 2000 Erieye procured by Thailand; and is housed in a four-turboprop aircraft. The current AEW&C technology in use with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force has grown out of the failed attempt to acquire the foreign Phalcon. Working with the original A-501 airframe from the abandoned programme, China modified and fitted it with an indigenously designed and built radar, along with another three converted IL-76MD transport aircraft. The radar is believed to be sim-
Singapore Air Show 2010: An operational G550 AEW of 111 Squadron Republic of Singapore Air Force on display’ © Wikimedia Commons
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Wedgetail represents the first time a Boeing 737 aircraft has been converted into an AEW&C platform © Boeing
radius of 400km, and updates aircraft position on operating screens ever 2-4 seconds, which is far superior to the Northrop Grumman E2C that has formed the backbone of the US AWACS for more than two decades. The Singapore system uses modified Gulfstream G550 business jets, and features a sophisticated mission suite. Few specific details have been revealed about the aircraft, but it is believed they will take a similar form to the G550 Conformal AEW (CAEW) that entered service with the Israeli Air Force in 2008, and has a mission endurance of more than nine hours and dual S-band radar arrays and L-band sensors giving 360° coverage. According to the Ministry of Defence, the new aircraft will enhance the creation of the RSAF’s air situation picture and its identification capability as part of the networked air defence system.
The E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft is being gradually phased out in favour of more modern systems © DoD
In May this year Australia accepted the first two Wedgetail 737 AEW&C aircraft into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The Boeing contract is part of Project Wedgetail, the RAAF’s programme to acquire an AEW&C capability to give enhanced surveillance capability to the nation’s air defences.
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
Boeing has seen success with their 767 AWACS aircraft that were sold to the Japan Air Self Defence Force
The contract with Boeing will see a total of six aircraft delivered to the RAAF, as well as ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and ongoing system maintenance. The 737 AEW&C aircraft features the advanced Northrop Grumman multi-role electronically scanned array (MESA) radar with integrated identification friend-or-foe capabilities. It also features ten state-of-the-art mission crew consoles capable of tracking airborne and naval targets simultaneously, giving the RAAF an airborne battle management capability it needs to meet the defence challenges presented by a nation with land and coastal areas of such vast size. The project is the first time a Boeing 737 aircraft has been converted into an AEW&C platform, and the success of the programme has opened the door to other customers within the region. South Korea signed a contract with Boeing in 2006 for four AEW&C systems along with ground support, training and system modification support. The first aircraft will be delivered in 2011, with the
on board the four 767 aircraft. The contract for the work was signed in November 2006, and the aircraft were to receive new radar, computer, radar control maintenance panel and software upgrades to the radar mission system programmes in order to increase the radarâ€™s sensitivity, allowing it to detect and track smaller targets with higher reliability overall. In July 2010 a further contract was signed between the JASDF and Boeing Integrated Defence Systems for mission navigation system upgrades to the four AWACS aircraft. The navigation system is based on two LN-100G inertial navigation systems supplied by Northrop Grumman. These and other systems are vying for the attention of Asian armed forces intent on upgrading their antiquated air defence systems. For countries experiencing downward pressure on defence budgets, investing in a single platform that is able to carry out a wide spectrum of operations including early airborne warning and control, national security, border control, airborne command and control as well as disaster management, makes sense. The force multiplier effect of airborne radar platforms in this way also enables the existing assets and infrastructure to operate to their full capability, and will continue to drive interest in the market over the coming years as armed forces look to streamline and augment their aerial defences with the leading market technology.
remaining three being modified and fitted by Korea Aerospace Industries in country. The South Korea programme is known as the E-X 737 AEW&C programme. Elsewhere in the region, Boeing has seen success with their 767 AWACS aircraft that were sold to the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) in the late 1990s. They were acquired by Japan to carry out C2 operations and airborne surveillance for tactical and air defence forces. In 2006 US Congress was notified that of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of four sets of Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and Command, Control and Communications (C3) mission equipment/Radar System Improvement Program (RSIP) Group A and B kits, plus spares and services in order to update the AWACS equipment The RAAF Boeing 737 AEW&C provides Australia with an airborne battle management capability it needs to meet the defence challenges presented by a nation with land and coastal areas of such vast size ÂŠ Wikipedia
DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011
Combat Training in Asia Military training embraces a multitude of disciplines and technologies. More importantly, it addresses a changing series of requirements that develop over time within the armed forces of a particular nation. In Europe and North America, those changes have rapidly transformed national and coalition attitudes to training as the move towards expeditionary warfare and out of area operations has gathered pace over the last ten years. by Tim Mahon
S THE SAME true in Asia, however? If it is – what is driving these changes? If not – why not? And in either case, what difference are these changes, or lack of them, having on the way in which training is conceptualised, designed, developed, delivered and implemented, especially in the ground combat environment? Despite the issues of standardisation and interoperability, one size does not necessarily fit all. This is as true in military training as it is in footwear. The issues faced by, for example, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, where recruitment and commitment to the
With multinational collaboration a strong feature of future development of Asian military training, systems such as the Saab exercise control and after action review solutions, shown here in service with the Finnish Porri training brigade, will undoubtedly find themselves in serrvice around the region © Saab AB
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
GROUND COMBAT TRAINING
As synthetic environment trainers start to take greater hold in Asia, there will be a higher incidence of the use of sophisticated interactive visualization systems, such as this Rockwell Collins solution for US Stryker brigade team training © Rockwell Collins
level units in ‘subsidiary exercises.’ There is increasing attention being paid to ‘coalition’ type training – not, as is the case in Europe, with the forces of other nations, but rather in the sense that Chinese units are developing new tactics and standard operating procedures of the nature that would be necessary to enable such operations to be carried out, then rehearsing and practising them. The Chinese news agency Xinhua recently published an extended interview with Senior Colonel Guo Wujun, a professor at the People’s Liberation Army’s National Defense University, in which he referred to a series of exercises conducted in mid-2010 aimed at demonstrating “the PLA's transformation to improve its real combat capabilities in the type of joint operations required by modern warfare.” These exercises were conducted at a time when considerable forces from the Chinese
such is the scale of some of these exercises that ‘massive’ might be a more appropriate word than ‘large.’ By contrast with Western exercises, even on a NATO or coalition scale, Chinese military exercises are often held at divisional level or even higher, with multiple training objectives in mind. This being said, observers have noted a subtle change in Chinese training regimes in recent years. The emphasis seems to be moving away from massive exercises in which joint and combined operations are rehearsed as well as tactical training provided for lower
military is down and hugely difficult manpower and equipment procurement decisions have to be made due to swingeing cuts in military budgets are not the same issues faced by India and China, for instance. Both these nations ‘enjoy’ armed forces in which the availability of manpower is not a significant issue. Both nations have hugely ambitious equipment procurement programmes already in place or planned for reasonably immediate implementation. As a result, both nations face challenges in providing adequate modern training facilities for their armed forces, if they are to achieve rough levels of parity with the capability of other national armed forces with whom they may wish to collaborate and interact in potential future military operations. China in particular has a long history of large scale military exercises as being a primary means of providing training. Indeed,
China in particular has a long history of large scale military exercises as being a primary means of providing training l
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military had been temporarily redesignated to act as relief and humanitarian assistance forces in responding to the series of natural disasters the Middle Kingdom has suffered in recent months. The fact that the exercises remained intact when resources were necessarily spread more thinly than had been planned “revealed that the PLA had given military training a strategic importance,” according to Guo. The most visible training issue in Asia right now, however, is what is going on in Afghanistan. The principal challenge is to provide basic infantry skills for a total of 134,000 soldiers, of whom over 100,000 have already been trained. However, with ‘desertion’ after training a recurring problem for the Afghan National Army (ANA), the number of troops yet to cycle through Camp Alamo and the other facilities dotted round the mountainous nation has a tendency to fall far more slowly than might be expected. The NATO Training Mission Afghanistan provides advisors and training resources to the ANA in an ongoing programme that continues to be enthusiastically received by local forces. “We provide an advisory service here, as the ANA develops its own training regime: training is implemented by Afghan instructors, with Coalition military personnel operating in a mentoring and advisory role,” said US Army Ranger Captain William E. Spurlock, public affairs officer at Camp Alamo. In a visit to the Kabul area in late 2009, this writer witnessed the comprehensive nature of the small unit infantry training being provided for the ANA. Platoon and company live fire
Afghan soldiers train for 8-10 weeks in primarily platoon-sized groups, learning basic combat skills and small unit infantry tactics before posting direct to their combat units © Tim Mahon
exercises, coupled with tactical drills, night exercises and a certain amount of theory and weapons maintenance training, are crammed into a ten week period, after which graduates are posted straight to operational units. In common with armed forces elsewhere, one urgent requirement the ANA has is for training troops in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) tactics. Colonel Abdul Wahab, the Field Exercise Training Commander at the Kabul Military Training Centre, said that “our MOUT training facility is based on a camp the Russians built here, which we have modified to reflect current operational requirements. The training is
Computer-based command and staff trainers have yet to make their mark in Asia, but indications are that several countries, including China, Taiwan and Singapore, among others, are developing requirements for the next generation of large scale synthetic training aids for ground and joint operations © Lockheed Martin
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
exclusively ‘operational’ – I mean, there is no simulation at the moment, though we are studying how we can integrate that for the future,” he said through his interpreter. Nor is it exclusively NATO nations providing training for the ANA. In late 2009 a small Mongolian Army Training Team arrived in Kabul, with a brief to provide heavy weapon training (mortars, recoilless rifles and D-30 artillery systems) as a follow on to the basic military courses then being run. In addition, Jordan has been providing instructors and training regimes for ANA counter-insurgency training and other Afghan security forces. In October 2010, the ANA opened its Artillery Training School – the ninth of twelve ‘branch’ schools for the force – which will provide a total of nine courses in disciplines such as fire direction, fire support, artillery tactics, command leadership and management, gun-mounted vehicle movement in battery formation, radio procedures, map reading and navigation to students ranging from private soldier to major. The school will be linked with the US Army’s Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. There is also currently a rather audacious offer on the table for the Pakistani army to provide some measure of training – both on an instructional and a facilities basis – for the ANA, despite the rather strained relationship between the two governments in recent years. One characteristic that is common across much of the Asian military training scene – a characteristic the relevant nations share to a considerable extent with their Western coun-
GROUND COMBAT TRAINING
Both American and British authorities have suspended military training assistance at various times for a wide swath of Central Asian republics, including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzhstan, as a result of the relatively high incidence of soldiers deserting, complete with weapons and high technology, high value equipment soon after completing their training. One Western officer involved in training armed forces in the area highlights the seriousness of the issue. “Both the US and the UK have poured quite a lot of quality effort and resources into helping train military and paramilitary forces in both counter-insurgency and counter-terror operations. When trainees desert it not only discourages the officers and soldiers providing the training but, far more seriously, it calls into question the whole relationship that gave rise to the training support in the first place. Are these training programmes effectively providing trained insurgents to potential hostile forces? It’s causing quite a deal of re-evaluation of strategic objectives at the moment,” he said in an interview earlier this year. On the other hand, it seems that such decisions can occasionally be overturned. A contract is expected to be awarded in the United States before the end of this year for the development of the Karatag National Training Centre close to Dushanbe in Tajikistan. Valued at some $10 million, the training centre is intended to provide basic training regimes for all Tajik forces, with the possible support of US military instructors, and is
Jordan has been providing instructors and training regimes for ANA counterinsurgency training and other Afghan security forces
terparts – is the increasing blurring of the lines of demarcation between military and security roles – and the consequent need for more flexible training programmes. In northern Burma, local militia forces have been inducted into somewhat modified military training programmes in order to provide security coverage for upcoming elections. With an extremely uncertain political scene and a country riddled with militia groups with agendas ranging from political to criminal, the challenge of providing adequately trained security forces for civil protection is forcing Burmese military authorities to radically reassess the training regimes currently in place and to consider more modern and ‘effects-oriented’ training. In Indonesia, the military training community – at least for ground forces – is at the moment focused on the restitution of training ties with the United States. In the face of continued criticism surrounding alleged
human rights abuses by Indonesian forces, the Obama administration seems intent on recommencing US support for training of the elite Kopassus special forces unit. This training consists primarily of the development of mission specific tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP), supported by US instructors with appropriate subject matter expertise. The controversy surrounding the Kopassus unit, which human rights activists claim has “a culture of impunity for abuses,” amply demonstrates the difficulty that some nations have in obtaining the right sort of support and assistance to improve their training regimes.
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The Afghan National Army has recently added urban warfare training to its syllabus, using facilities originally built by the Russians in what is now the Camp Alamo training area outside Kabul © Tim Mahon
Marksmanship training for ground troops is an area in which mobile training solutions such as the Thales Saggitarius system seen here can bring immediate benefits to even the most resourcechallenged training regime © Thales
expected to open before the end of 2011. This highlights one of the dominant issues in examining ground combat training facilities and practices in Asia. There has been some recognition of the benefits of using technology for training ground troops – but this has been slow in having any perceivable effect in many countries. Certainly, nations such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are improving and modernising their training regimes with increased use of laser-based ‘live fire’ facilities and relatively significant amounts being invested in enhancing the instrumentation for firing ranges, for example. However, the concept of the after action review (AAR) as an effective reinforcement for training objectives has yet to take significant route throughout Asia. Australian forces certainly use the AAR as a tool, and have found great value in it for their troops destined for peace support and humanitarian assistance operations throughout the region. Other nations have been slow to seize on this as a potential force multiplier and continue to rely largely on large scale live exercises as the major tool for training land forces. It is instructive to note that the same is not necessarily true of air forces in the region, for instance. India and Malaysia have considerably strengthened their military training ties since 2008, with several courses of Malaysian
military officers and engineers having attended courses in India in which the receive instruction on the operation and maintenance of Russian military aircraft. But in the ground environment, the cooperation so far appears to be limited to exchanges between the Malaysian Army Combat Training Centre and its Indian counterpart, and support of the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counterterrorism in Kuala Lumpur. There is, perhaps, a version of ‘conventional wisdom’ that dictates the few funds available for training – which is not seen in quite the same way in Asia as it is in Europe, for example, due to the different attitudes towards the use of ground troops in territorial defence or, indeed, overseas operations – be dedicated to high value assets or platforms such as aircraft. The Asian military training scene is dominated by an increasing trend towards multilateral relationships and international collabora-
One characteristic that is common across much of the Asian military training scene… is the increasing blurring of the lines of demarcation between military and security roles ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
tion – particularly at the ‘irregular warfare’ and counter-terrorism end of the operational spectrum. The United States will shortly celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Cobra Gold series of exercises, in which as many as 7,000 US troops exercise with their Thai counterparts on an annual basis. The commander of Canadian forces in Asia recently suggested that there needs to be greater emphasis placed on joint and multilateral exercises with nations such as the Philippines in order to capitalise on the lessons learned and the indigenous capability for support of irregular warfare operations. At the time of writing, Russian and Indian troops are engaged in a counter-terrorism exercise in central India. The ground combat military training scene in Asia is radically different from that in the West – and so it should be. The current (and projected future) requirements are different, military ethos is vastly different and there is little current common ground in terms of approaches to combined or joint operations training. Live exercises tend to be the primary basis for post-basic skills training and given current circumstances, that is likely to remain the same for some time. However, Asia is also almost inevitably going to see radical change in the military training environment in the short and military term. “From a user perspective, the challenge for the next five years is going to be how to increase the efficiency and effects-oriented aspects of small infantry unit training,” said an Asian military affairs analyst based in Paris. He added that, from the industrial perspective, it is likely that the Asian military training industry is poised for considerable growth, pointing to Singapore Technologies’ recent investment in European and American training companies like Antycip Simulation and VT MAK as examples of a desire to enhance ‘homegrown’ solutions as well as capitalise on predicted growth in the international market. There is likely to be a wind of change running through the training community in Asia over the next decade as the lessons of the ‘new’ scale and nature of operations faced by multinational forces in Afghanistan become better understood and more widespread. Until that time comes – and until some of the transformation exercises through which some of the region’s armed forces are currently passing – it seems that ground combat training in Asia may continue to revolve around tactical exercises, rather than urban, irregular warfare, peace support or specialforces operational training.
N A V A L
UUV to USVs:
Choice While the idea of taking the crew out of a boat or submarine, and piloting the craft remotely, may seem like a new idea it can in fact be traced back to the 1920s. It was in 1921 that a Serbian physicist named Nikola Tesla first demonstrated his radio-controlled boats to the general public in New Yorkâ€™s Madison Square Gardens. Over ninety years later Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) are hard at work throughout the worldâ€™s oceans helping to dispose of naval mines and the ageing ordnance of conflicts past. Meanwhile Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) are available from a number of manufacturers, offering a comparatively inexpensive method by which vessel and port security can be enhanced. UUVs and USVs may not have achieved the fame of their airborne brethren, but they are just as important as performing the dull, dangerous and dirty missions that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are routinely called upon to undertake.
by Tom Withington
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
N A V A L UNMANNED PLATFORMS
UST OVER twenty years after Tesla’s demonstration, it was the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) that would experiment with unmanned boats during the Second World War. Their FL-Boote remote-controlled vehicles were designed to be filled with explosives and then driven into Allied shipping, although there are scant details regarding the success of these craft in combat from 1944. The Second World War saw a similar acceleration in terms of the research and development of UUVs. For example, the Connox smoke-laying torpedo was designed in Canada as a means of providing a smokescreen prior to the Allied D-Day landings on France’s Normandy coast in June 1944. The US Navy, for its part, experimented with several remote-controlled rocket-armed landing craft including the ‘Porcupine’, ‘BobSled’ and ‘Woofus-120’ designs to perform obstacle clearance on the French beaches during D-Day. However, the development of UUVs and USVs stagnated following the end of the war, until the US Navy Mine Detection Laboratory began work on its ‘Drone’ remote-controlled mine-sweeping system, while Ryan Aeronautical pioneered the Firefish floating target for gun and missile training. Today, a number of floating targets remain in US Navy service including the OST-33/-35/-35A Septar targets, plus the Mobile Ship Target and High Speed Manoeuvrable Seaborne target. Meanwhile, USVs have become a standard tool in counter mine warfare at sea. For the customer,
Rafael’s Protector is, according to the company, the only USV which is in routine military service. It has been purchased by Singapore and Israel to perform anti-terrorist missions, which it can prosecute using its integral 7.62-mm machine gun © Rafael
there is now an unprecedented range of unmanned underwater and surface craft to choose from. General Dynamics Robotic Systems has forged ahead with its Draco USV design which has an eleven-metre long hull. The Draco is designed to house a number of sensors including dipping sonar and a towed array, a torpedo launcher and a communications links which can reach back to the mother ship or to a UAV which can act as a communications relay when the Draco is work-
The Spartan Scout can carry a range of weapons including AGM-114 Hellfire or FGM-148 Javelin missiles for anti-surface warfare and shore bombardment
ing over the horizon. The rationale behind Draco is to develop a USV for AntiSubmarine Warfare (ASW) missions which can work ahead of a task group screening the oceans for enemy submarine activity. That said, it has a modular construction and can be equipped with a number of other customer-specified payloads. Draco is joined by the Interceptor designed by Marine Robotic Vessels International, AAI Corporation and the Sea Robotics Company to perform high-speed reconnaissance operations using a craft Perfect for long-range over-thehorizon reconnaissance and force protection work, Elbit Systems’ Silver Marlin USV complements the company’s Stingray product. The craft also has a top speed of up to 44 knots © Elbit Systems
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Resembling a commercial jet ski in terms of design, Elbit Systems has designed its Stingray product to accommodate a number of different payloads. This can include electro-optical sensors and weaponry, in addition to electronic warfare equipment © Elbit Systems
designed around a 6.4-metre long hull which can hit speeds of 47 knots. As well as performing reconnaissance missions, the Interceptor could be outfitted with a water cannon to perform non-lethal deterrence; a capability which could be particularly useful during anti-piracy missions or for the security or ships in port. Such measures may help to prevent a reoccurrence of the tragic events of October 2000 when the USS Cole, a US Navy destroyer, was attacked in the port of Aden, Yemen, with the loss of 17 sailors However, arguably the opposite approach has been taken by Radix Marine in the development of its Spartan Scout USV design. Along with an electro-optical payload, the Spartan Scout can carry a range of weapons including AGM-114 Hellfire or FGM-148 Javelin missiles for anti-surface warfare and shore bombardment, plus an electro-optical system. Alternatively, the operator can choose their own payload, given that the USV can carry up to 2,267 kg of kit. In 2003, the Spartan Scout performed a trial on board the US Navy’s USS Gettysburg guided missile cruiser during which the USV was dispatched from the ship and controlled using laptop computers from the cruiser’s combat management centre. Many USVs are still at the concept stage, although Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Protector has the distinction of being the only USV in the world in regular military service,
according to the company. To this end, it is in service with the Israeli Sea Corps and also the Republic of Singapore Navy. Designed from the outset as a maritime anti-terror platform, and developed with assistance from BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin, the Protector carries a Rafael Toplite electro-optical payload and also a 7.62-mm Typhoon machine gun to provide added punch. This weapon can either be slaved to the electro-optical payload, or controlled independently. Rafael says that it used a; “systems approach from the start, for the vessel’s design, that focuses mainly on the mission and the subsystems required to perform, it rather than a remotely-controlled boat with a payload,” according to a company source: “This approach, together with the use of existing Rafael building blocks, has enabled us to provide, in a rather short time, a mature system that is userfriendly, complies with strict safety specifications and gets the mission done.” Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is joined by another Israeli USV manufacturer,
BAE Systems has designed a high level of flexibility into the Archerfish as it is designed to be deployed from either a surface vessel or from a helicopter ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
Aeronautics Defense Systems which has developed the Seastar USV. This craft is adorned with a stabilized platform enabling it to carry either a lethal or a non-lethal payload, together with an electro-optical system. A variety of payloads can also be accommodated on Elbit Systems’ Stingray USV which can carry either kinetic weapons such as a machine gun, for instance, or electronic warfare equipment. Stingray can hit speeds of 40 knots and has in excess of eight hours’ endurance. Elbit has enhanced its USV range with the development of the Silver Marlin USV which boasts up to 36 hours’ endurance thanks to its fuel payload. This can translate into a range of around 500 kilometres. Capable of reaching speeds of 44 knots, the Silver Marlin can be commanded from equipment which can also be used to control UAVs. Of course one way to reduce the cost of producing a USV is to use technology which has been developed for other applications. This has been the approach of Robotek Engineering and Third Hemisphere in the United States which has utilised the US Navy’s Ship Deployable Surface Target as the basis for its Roboski USV. Costs have also been reduced to a minimum for Northwind Marine’s Seafox which has a price tag of around $80,000 and a comparatively light weight of 726 kilograms enabling it to be operated from the smallest of vessels, and
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to the UUV’s tilting warhead, to ensure that the mine is destroyed with a single explosion; a mission that it can perform at depths of up to 600 metres. Similarly, ECA’s Poisson Auto-Propulsed (Self-Propelled Fish) is outfitted with an explosive charge weighing 100 kgs for underwater demolition. ECA is joined by Atlas Elektronik of Germany which produces the Sea Otter Mk.II UUV. This craft was demonstrated in September equipped with a synthetic aperture sonar to provide a crystal-clear image of the seabed; an important feature for the detection of mines which are resting on the bottom. This product is joined by the firm’s Sea Fox which is produced in three variants including the Sea Fox-A, which can be operated autonomously without a tether and is outfitted with lights, television cameras and sonar. The Sea Fox-C, meanwhile, has the same equipment, along with a shaped charge which can be used to destroy underwater ordnance, while a Sea Fox training variant, the Sea Fox-I is also available which lacks the explosives. Customers for the Sea Fox include the Deutsche Marine (German Navy) and the Royal Navy. Atlas Elektronik and Kongsberg are not the only companies offering UUVs equipped with explosive warheads. Norway’s Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace has developed the Minesniper Mk.II product, which has been ordered by the Armada Española (Spanish Navy). This UUV uses a large warhead for robust insensitive munitions, design to withstand detonation by shock or fire, and also a smaller 72-mm warhead which can be used to destroy traditional ordnance. One particularly useful addition to the Minesniper’s specification is its wherewithal to fire an armour-piercing projectile which has been developed by QinetiQ of the United Kingdom. The projectile can be used to fire with precision through mines which have been either partially, or wholly, buried in the sea bed. In such circumstances, the silt surrounding the mine could absorb some of the blast from a charge-equipped UUV, requiring mine-clearance experts to either swim out to the device to disable it manually; or to employ another UUV to repeat the mis-
below the waves, particularly specialist UUVs for mine warfare. The firm’s Alister UUV carries sonar, television cameras and lights which enables it to be used for general reconnaissance, as well as searching for mines. In terms of performance, Alister can work for circa 20 hours, travel to depths of 300 metres and reach speeds of up to eight knots. Needless to say, one means of safeguarding human life as far as naval mine disposal is concerned is to take the human out of danger altogether. ECA’s K-Ster offers one method by which this can be achieved. K-Ster is essentially a UUV which carries explosives that can be positioned in such a way, thanks
easily transported on land. Looking towards Europe, ECA of France has developed the Inspector USV. “We decided last year to develop a USV called the Inspector which is currently undergoing trials at sea. We are completing the integration of the sensors and the integration and test of the remote control system” explains Daniel Scourzic of ECA: “The vehicle is over eight metres long and is propelled using two inboard 235 horsepower diesel engines. It also has two hydro jets for station-keeping.” ECA hopes to have the trials of the Inspector completed by the end of the year, and the company is currently integrating payloads onto the design. Mr. Scourzic also notes that ECA will be testing the deployment of USVs directly from the boat. Moreover, ECA produces a number of products for use
ECA’s K-Ster UUV can be used for general reconnaissance missions, but is also ideally suited for naval mine disposal as its warhead can be positioned in such a fashion as to ensure that the highest proportion of the blast is directed at the mine, ensuring its destruction © Thomas Withington
BAE Systems’ Archerfish UUV is designed to be deployed form a helicopter or from a surface vessel to provide a one-shot mine disposal capability. Items of interet are detected underwater using the craft’s short range sonar © BAE Systems
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BAE Systems’ Talisman UUV is designed to be deployed from a surface vessel, or from a larger USV. The Talisman-L can operate at depths of up to 100 metres and has an endurance of around twelve hours © BAE Systems
sion, which is an expensive option. The use of the armour-piercing projectile adds a much more ‘surgical’ dimension to the Minesniper Mk.II’s capabilities. Although it has worked with Rafael on the Protector USV, BAE Systems has developed its Archerfish UUV as a similar ‘oneshot’ mine clearance system to the products discussed above. BAE Systems has designed a high level of flexibility into the Archerfish ECA also produces the Daurade UUV which is seen here on board a French Navy mine countermeasures vessel. The Daurade can perform hydrographical survey and environmental assessment © Thomas Withington
as it is designed to be deployed from either a surface vessel or from a helicopter. Archerfish uses short-range sonar to detect items of interest underwater and has a warhead which can be manoeuvred towards the ordnance to cause the most efficient explosion. Furthermore, the Archerfish can be carried as a payload on board BAE Systems’ Talisman next-generation USV. With up to 24 hours’ endurance, Talisman is designed to perform hydrographic survey as well as assisting mine warfare. The US Navy, meanwhile, is acquiring a new mine warfare system in the guise of Boeing’s AN/BLQ-11 Long Term Mine Reconnaissance System. What makes this
product particularly innovative is that it is designed to be deployed from the torpedo tube of a submarine. Offering up to twelve hours’ endurance, the AN/BLQ-11 could well become the world’s first submarinelaunched UUV once it enters service. Although both USVs and UUVs are at an impressive stage of evolution, there is still more work to be done in the future. Apart from their routine use in the mine warfare mission, the uptake of USVs into everyday
The US Navy, meanwhile, is acquiring a new mine warfare system in the guise of Boeing’s AN / BLQ-11 Long Term Mine Reconnaissance System
naval service, apart from a few exceptions, has not mirrored that seen vis-à-vis the use of UAVs by armies and air forces around the world. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems believes that; “the unmanned marine market has a tremendous potential for growth,” and that future innovations include, “enhancing the autonomous capabilities of the USV and enabling coordinated multi-system operation,” with several USVs working together. However, the USS Cole bombing, and also the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008 during which the attackers approached their targets from the sea using inflatable boats, have underscored the need for persistent and mobile security platforms to be deployed both at sea and in port.
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National Command & Control:
Ensuring operational and strategic effectiveness in times of peace, crisis and war poses many of the same challenges necessary to ensure the same capabilities in tactical battle management systems, as in high level headquarters. Both emphasise low latency in the update of information, whether that be the number of aircraft in a location, availability of naval support, details of the enemy, the nature of terrain or the flow of logistics support. by Adam Baddeley Presenting multiple sources of information in a single screen is perhaps one of the biggest challenge for system developers today ÂŠ Barco
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HE MAJOR difference for Command and Control (C2) systems at a higher level is the scale and volume of information available to them. Commanders in a fixed headquarters or in the field, want to see the Joint Operational Picture (JOP), built up from thousands of resources in an instant and make rapid informed decisions. In order to stop overwhelming commanders with the vast quantities of information now available in headquarters data bases, users are increasingly switching to graphically based presentation systems in order to visualise rather than ‘read’ the JOP. Higher level systems are also distinguished from tactical C2 implementations by the availability of bandwidth and a reduced number of users. The increased availability drives more advanced applications and effectively enables the implementation of the service oriented architectures. These C2 systems must be able to operate across a more diverse range of forces, assets and organisations. Co-
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Systems fuse and monitor geo-locational track information on joint forces, potential threat, and neutral land, sea and air forces © Lockheed Martin
ordination must occur between civil and military bodies as well as NGOs in roles ranging from disaster relief to strategic missions conducted by small teams of Special Forces.
Command and Control System (I-JOCCS), a blend of the C2PC (Command and Control for the PC) software applications and Interoperable C4I Services (ICS) into which data and messaging sent via Brunei’s Harris Combat Net radios can be integrated using Internet Protocol. NATO’s Maritime Command & Control System, the UK MoD's Joint Operations Command System and Royal Navy Command Support System all of which use C2PC. In September, Northrop Grumman announced that they had launched a new version of C2PC, designed to support the UK’s Joint Command and Control Support Programme, which will provide a single solution, replacing legacy systems. Malaysia’s current system in place is System Consultancy Services’ PX2000. This consists of five subsystems: Joint Service, Army or Land Forces, Navy, Air Forces and Joint Intelligence. Local firm Sapura profiled
Last year, Northrop Grumman was selected for Brunei’s Joint Operations Centre , linking the government with military commands and civil organizations across the country as well as providing the first link into the country for forces deployed overseas. The software used is International-Joint Operational
China is improving its capabilities in this area with a major plank of capability being the pursuit of a networked C4ISR system l
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an alternative to the system in 2009, dubbed the 1Network Integrated Command and Control (ICC). This offered a similar overall network approach for all military and government agencies. One of the systems that could be integrated by the 1Network is the existing Government Integrated Radio Network, also provided by Sapura. Focusing in on C2, operations management and shared situational awareness, the system uses a number of international standards including S57 Hydrographic and NATO 2525B Symbology. There is however currently no competition to replace the PX2000 and indeed Malaysia issued a three year maintenance contract for it at DSA 2010. However, 2013 is the date at which general elections have to be held in Malaysia and seen as the earliest that a competition to replace PX2000 would begin. In India, HCL Infosystems has recently supplied a C4I centre in Delhi in support of security at the Commonwealth Games, linking city wide surveillance systems. The C4I centre was equipped, consisting of sixteen 50” display cubes along with two 46” LCD monitors using display firm Barco’s LEDbased technology and coupled with an
advanced management system. This links approximately 1000 police control room vehicles, twelve video monitoring vehicles manned by the police and several hundred further monitoring vehicles also linked to the C4I centre. Live feeds from the various sensors are displayed at the centre. When threat information is received it is ranked in terms of severity and this is then colour-coded accordingly and presented to operators visually. The threat can be investigated at the centre with any further investigation or response then communicated to local police and security response teams Other display oriented systems include Raytheon Solipsys’ Tactical Display Framework, which allows workstation displays to be configured to individual preferences or set profiles according to tasks allowing the same workstation to function in several roles. Recent deployments of Solipsys have shown that the software supports in excess of 20,000 simultaneous tracks, used by the military and civilian operators the latter including Air Traffic Management. China is improving its capabilities in this area with a major plank of capability being the pursuit of a networked C4ISR system which largely began in earnest from 2000 although it is recognized as beginning as early as 1978. Today these are typically fixed high level systems reaching down via fibre optics to headquarters. Systems include the All-Army Cultural Propaganda Information System, All Army Long Distance Telephone Network, All-Army Teleconferencing Network and All Army Command Automation network. This has provided a range of capabilities roughly equivalent to the US NIPRNET with similar applications sitting on this transport layer. Today these link all brigades and a very high proportion of their sub units. More mobile enablers are being put in place such as the Tri-Service Tactical Information Distributed Network providing a protected link operating at 9601215MHz providing a common joint network. Further work on high level CIS is ongoing with the Nanjing Military Region seen as one of the most advanced in terms of joint C4IST integration. Over the Straits in Taiwan is the Po Sheng C4I modernization program. This currently provides a range of C4ISR capabilities which fuse and monitor geo-locational track information on joint forces, potential threats, and
Thales’ SIC21 suite is currently renewing the French Navy’s C2 systems © Thales
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microwave links for wide area networks as well as local networks to link low level units. Earlier this year, SAIC was awarded a contract from Jordan to provide C4I upgrade and other support to the Jordan Armed Forces Joint Special Operations Command. This was described as being capable of monitoring and controlling real-time events and was designed to unify several police, security, and law enforcement capabilities.
To bring together NATO’s Air, Land and Maritime Intelligence and Environment data into a Joint Common Operational picture, the Alliance uses Luciad’s LuciaMAP. This provides a range of viewers for this information which are used by headquarters and component command staff with functionality that allow planning and monitoring of operations to take place simultaneously. This is an integral part of NATO’s systems of systems approach for network centric warfare and uses open web-technology, combined with a service oriented architecture. Other applications for LuciadMAp include the Havelsan Turkish Air Force Information System (TIS) and integrated high level systems used for strategic down to tactical planning and decision making. Thales have provided a number of noteworthy implementations for high level C2 systems. These include the Allied Rapid Reaction Corp C2IS, which provides the British Army with its highest level of command and which was awarded in August 2006 and began fielding in 2007. Another is the NATO Land Command and Control Information Services (LC2IS) which runs on NATO supplied hardware which will be installed in 16 headquarters across NATO to support Land Component Commanders to NATO member. A third is France’s SIC Pole, won in a joint effort with EADS a national joint operations capability which merges military intelligence, panning and operational command and which also serves as a European Union operation HQ, entering service in September 2008. At sea, Thales has harnessed the same underlying technology for the French Navy’s new SIC21 system which links land, sea air and intelligence systems. One of the characteristics of SIC21 is that it provides a Common Technical Core into which applications can be plugged. The architecture is agnostic and the French Navy have already integrated applications – such as the C2
New developments are seeing further reductions in the number of personnel needed at headquarters © General Dynamics UK
Exhibition. In the Asia-Pacific Region, a number of countries have begun major improvements to their special forces capabilities including new or improved C4I equipment typically in a single joint organisation tasked with a range of strategic missions that also includes relevant paramilitary forces. In the case of India, it has been reported that Israel has been a major provider of this capability. Jordan has pursued a national level C4ISR solution begun in 2006 via the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency in a $450m deal working through Northrop Grumman with three main roles and C4ISR subsystems linking multiple internal services and agencies. This linked the country’s air defence networks within Jordan via a communication network which combined fibre optic and
neutral land, sea and air forces. Po Sheng is a Joint Service programme, designed to provide a Link-16 like data capability for Taiwan and links Air, Sea, Land and Joint Command/Operations Centers and their related platforms. In May 2009, Taiwan submitted a Letter of Request for follow-on technical support for the Po Sheng programme for 2010 to 2014. This will integrate further platforms, systems, and sensors in an environment within an expanded Po Sheng command and control network. US and ROK forces in Korea share high level information through GCCS-K, a classified Secret system to support combined command also has terminal back in the US to share information with deploying forces. In terms of high level C2 capabilities for the future, a major thrust from the US Army’s PM Battle Command is ‘Collapse’ designed to convert the federated but separate applications that comprise the Army Battle Command System in a single application. Companies, including General Dynamics C4 Systems had solutions on display to meet this evolving requirement at the recent AUSA Annual Symposium and
In the Asia-Pacific Region, a number of countries have begun major improvements to their special forces capabilities including new or improved C4I equipment l
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Norwegian firm Teleplan is the main contractor in Norway’s NORCCIS system for strategic and operational level operations
application for amphibious options from a third party. The system is also designed to accept input from external legacy systems, notably NATO C2 system. Initially SIC21 was deployed on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and then proliferated to at 125 vessels and onshore sites. On the ground, Thales offer two products from their Comm@nder range: designated Army and Joint respectively, the former already being deployed with the Eurocorps where it was deployed to the Cape Verde Island in an exercise and a NATO High Readiness Force. Comm@nder Joint is designed to support higher level common based around the presentation of a COP. Home Land Security applications will be needed to maintain domestic security and protected critical infrastructure for a variety of roles and to manage events at local, state and national level. Raytheon’s Integrated System Management Systems is designed for this role, fusing integrated views of field observations, maps and satellite imagery and has features such as resource tracking, organisation management and emergency evacuation routing. A variant developed to manage
a country or region’s power systems has also been developed, which deals with a variety of events including sabotage. Norwegian firm Teleplan is the main contractor in Norway’s NORCCIS system for strategic and operational level operations, the first release of which was in March 2002 for operational use in NATO but which extends down to tactical levels based around a COP and has been deployed operationally as part of exercises across NATO and further afield. Elbit Systems has a number of C4I
The importance of interoperability on a joint, inter-agency, international and inter-organisational level is critical to high level command systems © DoD
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High level C2 systems are seeing greater integration and automation than was conceived even just a few years ago © Lockheed Martin
Solutions. At the higher level these include applications such as WiT (Wise Intelligence Technology) which provides advanced tools for supporting every stage of the intelligence process and ICE (Integrative Componentbased Exploitation). These are fully integrative, multi-sensor exploitation system that offers an end-to-end solution for the entire operational cycle of satellite and airborne digital imagery. Other offering from Israel include IAI’s Twister a Multi-Mission Joint Operations Collaboration System that reaches up to the highest levels, designed to manage multiplatform and multi sensor engagements more effectively, potentially including theatre level assets. Systematic, based in Denmark based their C4I solution around their SitaWare software. At the highest level, this is implemented in the SitaWare Headquarters system, which also uses the company’s Iris Suite. EADS Krauss Maffei Wegman and Rheinmetall delivered the first element of the German Army’s FührungsInformationsSystem Heer (FüInfoSys Heer) (FIS-H) in 2008, the former developing the software with the latter two firms tasked with integration and procurement of the equipment including the FAUST battle management system produced by EADS. FIS-H and will absorb the current formation-level HEROS 2/1 C2 system.
Deploy Armoured Engineer Vehicles To support their mechanised forces, an increasing number of countries are now deploying more armoured engineer vehicles (AEVs). These AEVs can take the form of specialised AEVs or based on a Main Battle Tank (MBT) chassis, with a similar level of cross-country mobility to the units that they are supporting. by Christopher F Foss Kodiak AEV showing front mounted dozer blade and with hydraulically operated arm at the front of the vehicle which is fitted with a bucket ÂŠ Rheinmetall
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The Terrier CEV can carry out a wide variety of battlefield missions as well as having the cross-country mobility to operate with manoeuvre forces
GOOD example is Malaysia, who has recently taken delivery of a batch of 48 Polish PT-91M MBTs as well as six WZT-4M armoured recovery vehicles (ARV), five PMC-91M armoured vehicle launched bridges (AVLB) and three MID-91M AEV. One of the more specialised AEV currently deployed is the Royal Ordnance Combat Engineer Tractor (CET) which was the mainstay of the British Army Royal Engineer's with a total of 143 being delivered. This is also in service with two countries in Asia with India taking delivery of 15 units and Singapore taking delivery of 54 units. The replacement for the CET in British Army service is the BAE Systems Global Combat Systems Terrier Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) which has in the past also been referred as the Terrier
upgrade an existing chassis for the more specialised AEV role. A good example of this approach is the Kodiak AEV that is based on a surplus Leopard 2 MBT chassis which has been developed as a private venture by the German company of Rheinmetall Landsysteme and the Swiss company of RUAG Land Systems (which becomes RUAG Defence in January 2011). For this new role the turret of the Leopard 2 has been removed and two new armour protected compartments have been fitted at the front of the chassis, one on either side. Mounted at the front of the chassis between these two compartments is the hydraulically operated scissors arm which when not required is traversed to the rear and lays between the two crew compartments. The hydraulically operated arm can be fitted with various types of attachments depending on mission requirements such as a bucket, tree gripper or hydraulic hammer. Under the front of the chassis is the hydraulically operated dozer blade which can be used as a stabiliser
manoeuvre forces. Mounted at the front of the chassis is a hydraulically operated, wide bucket which can be used to prepare fire positions, clear battlefield obstacles as well as carrying a fascine to drop into ditches. Mounted at the front right side of the chassis is a hydraulic arm that can be fitted with various attachments including a bucket, auger or lifting hook. The Terrier
CEV can also tow an engineer trailer carrying additional stores or a trailer fitted with the Python rocket propelled mine clearing system and also fitted with a full range of night vision devices. It can be remote controlled for operations in hazardous areas and is fitted with an environmental system to enable world wide deployment. Rather than developing a brand new vehicle from scratch, which can be a very time consuming and expensive process, another and perhaps more cost effective way is to
Manoeuvre Support Vehicle (MSV). After a protracted development period the, Terrier MSV is now entering production and it is expected that first of 65 production Terrier vehicles will be completed in 2011. The Terrier CEV can carry out a wide variety of battlefield missions as well as having the cross-country mobility to operate with
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Terrier CEV carrying gap crossing fascine on the front mounted hydraulic bucket with another fascine being carried on the rear decking ÂŠ BAE Systems
when the two powerful winches or crane is being used. The dozer is also used to clear battlefield obstacles and prepare firing positions. The dozer blade can also be fitted with scarifiers to make roads impassable to following vehicles and can be rapidly replaced by various types of mine clearing system such the Pearson Engineering plough type system. Electronic devices can also be fitted to neutralise anti-tank mines fitted with an electronic fuze and clear lane marking equipment can be fitted either side to dispense pennants in the ground as the vehicle moves forward through the cleared mine field. The Kodiak is now in quantity production at the RUAG Land Systems facility in Switzerland and the vehicle has been already ordered by the Netherlands (10), Sweden (six) and Switzerland (12) with final deliveries due in 2012. In mid-2010, the German company of FFG, who have considerable experience in the overhaul and upgrade of a wide range of tracked armoured fighting vehicle (AFV), rolled out their new Wisant 2 Leopard 2 Support Vehicle. This has been developed by FFG as a private venture and is aimed mainly at the export market and can be used as an ARV or an AEV. Wisant 2 is also based on a surplus Leopard 2 MBT chassis with a new all welded steel armour protected crew compartment at the front left side of the chassis. Mounted at the front right side is the hydraulic arm which can be used to lift power packs while mounted at the front of
the chassis is a hydraulically operated dozer blade which is also used as a stabiliser blade when the recovery winches are being used. According to FFG, the Wisant 2 ARV can be converted into the Wisant 2 AEV in less than 24 hours. This would including replacing the hydraulic arm on the right side by an hinged armed excavator and the dozer blade could be replaced by various types of mine clearing
The German FFG Wisant 2 Leopard 2 Support Vehicle can be reroled from the armoured recovery vehicle configuration to the armoured engineer vehicle role in less than 24 hours ÂŠ FFG
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equipment such as the Pearson Engineering full width plough system. As the Wisant 2 Leopard 2 Support Vehicle would operated in the forward battle area it is provided with a high level of protection against direct fire weapons as well as mines. As specialised AEV are not always available, many MBTs can be fitted with a front mounted dozer blade which is operated by the driver from under remote control. This allows the vehicle to rapidly prepare firing positions or remove battlefield obstacles. Some can also be fitted
Latest German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Leopard 2A7+ MBT armed with a 120 mm gun, enhanced armour and fitted with a front mounted dozer blade ÂŠ Krauss-Maffei Wegmann
with various types of mine clearing system. Recent experience has shown that anti-tank mines are still a major problem in many conflicts and these can be cleared by a number of systems including rocket propelled devices. These are normally trailer mounted and towed by an AEV which halts outside of the minefield. The rockets are then launched over the minefield and the explosive line then falls to the ground where it is detonated by remote control. The resulting overpressure clears the anti-tank mines. The AEV fitted with mine clearing ploughs or rollers, fitted at the front of the chassis, then enters the mine field and
As specialised AEV are not always available, many MBTs can be fitted with a front mounted dozer blade l
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The Trailblazer flail type mine clearing system is now in service with the Singapore Armed Forces and is based on a much modified Bionix chassis ÂŠ Singapore Technologies Kinetics
clears any remaining mines. One of the latest mine clearing systems to enter service is the Singapore Technologies Kinetics Trailblazer flail type system that uses some automotive components of the Bionix IFV that has been in service with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) for ten years. Bionix is fitted with a well protected crew compartment at the front with the flail type mine clearing system mounted at the rear. When travelling the flail system is traversed through 90 degrees to reduce the overall width of the vehicle. To clear a mine field, the flail system is traversed to the rear and lowered in position
and the Trailblazer is driven in reverse and as a path is cleared pennants are dispensed into the ground using compressed air to show the follow up units a clear path. Each dispenser holds a total of 35 pennants that are typically dispensed at an interval of 10 to 15m. According to STK, the Trailblazer can clear a path than is 100m long and 3.2m wide in under 7.5 minutes, but this does depend on the soil conditions. Trailblazer is a Military Load Class 30
The latest customer for Leopard 1/Leguan is the Turkish Land Forces Command who have taken delivery of 36 systems based on a Leopard 2 MBT chassis ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
(MLC) system and is operated by a crew of two and has a maximum road speed of 50km/h and a cruising range of up to 250km. While specialised AVLB's are deployed by a number of countries, there is also a trend to field vehicles based on surplus MBT chassis. A good example of this is the German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (previously Military Mobile Bridges) Leguan which is based on a modified Leopard 1 MBT chassis no longer required for its original mission. For its new role, the turret has been removed and fitted with the Leguan bridge launcher system. Mounted at the front is a hydraulically operated blade which is lowered to the ground before the bridge is launched over the front of the vehicle to provide a more stable launch platform. It also has a limited dozer capability to prepare bridge launching positions.
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When fully opened out, the Leguan bridge is 26 m long and can typically span a wet or dry gap of up to 24 m wide and take vehicles up to MLC 70. The latest customer for Leopard 1/Leguan is the Turkish Land Forces Command who have taken delivery of 36 systems based on a Leopard 2 MBT chassis. The Leguan bridge system can also be incorporated on a wide range of other chassis, tracked and wheeled. The Finnish Defence Force, for example, uses a Sisu (10 x 10) truck chassis. The Malaysian Army PMC-91M AVLB is fitted with a Leguan bridge system rather than the original PMC-90 which is normally fitted with a locally developed scissors MBT chassis fitted with a two part Leguan bridge that is launched over the front of the vehicle © Krauss-Maffei Wegmann
bridge that is launched over the front of the vehicle. As the Leguan bridge is launched horizontally over the front of the vehicle it has a lower visual signature than the scissors type bridge that has to be elevated into the vertical position prior to being launched over the front of the chassis. The US Army Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge, a modified M1 MBT chassis fitted with a two part Leguan bridge that is launched over the front of the chassis. The Leguan is a complete family of bridges and in addition to the AVLB models also includes a floating bridge and ferry system which is already in service with Norway. There is also a requirement for a lighter wheeled AVLB in those situations where MBTs and their heavier ARV, AEV and AVLB are not deployed. The now General Dynamics European Land Systems —
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
MOWAG Piranha (8 x 8) light armoured vehicle fitted with the Rapidly Emplaced Bridge Adaptable Bridge Launching Kit with bridge deployed in traveling position © General Dynamics European Land Systems - Germany
MOWAG Piranha family of 8 x 8 wheeled armoured personnel carriers and variants have been built in large quantities and deployed all over the world. General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada have built over 3,000 of a modified version of the Piranha III (8 x 8) for the US Army called the Stryker infantry carrier vehicle. To support the Piranha, General Dynamics European Land Systems — Germany have developed the Rapidly Emplaced Bridge — Adaptable Bridge Launching Kit (REB - ABLK). This system is a further development of the Rapidly Emplaced Bridge System (REBS) which has now been deployed by the US Army based on the Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trick (HEMTT) (8 x 8) chassis. Mounted on top of the Piranha is the hydraulically operated launching system and the bridge that is launched over the front of the vehicle. This bridge is 13.8 m long and can span a gap up of the 13 m and take tracked and wheeled vehicles up to MLC 50. Although the first example of the REB-ABLK is based on the MOWAG Piranha III chassis, it can also be fitted to other chassis, tracked and wheeled. As a number of countries in Asia are now enhancing their armour capability, increasing numbers of more specialised vehicles, including AEVs, are expected to be deployed.
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Asia Pacific Procurement Update AUSTRALIA BAE Systems tracks for Australian M113s
BAE Systems has been awarded a contract for the provision of T150F track link assemblies and sprockets for the Australian Army’s upgraded M113 vehicles. The contract, awarded in early October by the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation, is worth A$14 million, and will see the T150F double pin track system improve vehicle performance and durability for the M113 vehicles. Australia’s M113 vehicles will be fitted with the track, part of BAE Systems robust Readiness and Sustainment spares capabilities by July 2011, with work on the track shoes to take place at the BAE Systems’ Anniston, Alabama facility. BAE Systems is the prime contractor for the Australian Project Land 106, which will see the Army’s M113 vehicles upgraded to extend their service life until at least 2020. The project will see the vehicles upgraded to world-class standards, with greater firepower, enhanced protection and superior mobility capabilities. Other work to be carried out on the vehicle by BAE Systems as part of the programme include the BAE Systems Turret which will be fitted to a selection of the vehicles, providing highly effective weapon system, featuring electric drives and weapon mounts for either M2HBQCB .50 cal or MAG58 7.62mm machine guns. The hull-stretching component of the upgrade will also give the flexibility for taking all types of combat supplies or even mounting a different, weapon system, the same sponson shape and height, allows common internal fit-outs, and increased usable space in crew compartment.
The upgraded BAE Systems Australia M113AS4 armoured personnel carrier will be at the heart of the Australian Army’s mechanised capability at least until 2020 © Australian DoD
One-off RAN tanker contract awarded
MT Marine has been awarded a contract by the Australian government to carry out conversion work on the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) HMAS Success in order to meet International Maritime Organisation environmental protection standards. Under the contract, HMAS Success will be double hulled by ST Marine in Singapore where the ship is scheduled to make a stop during its Asian deployment. The work will ensure extra protection against oil spills. Although RAN repair and maintenance is usually carried out in Australia, international companies were invited to bid for the contract as the work is a one-off contract and will enable the freeing up of Defence budget money for other vital and ongoing work required for HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Manoor. The ST Marine bid offered the best value and shortest time scale option for the contract, ensuring the shortest time out of service for the vessel. HMAS Success is an Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel of 18,000 tonnes at full load and 157.2 metres in length. The vessel, the largest ever to be built for the RAN in Australia, carries out vital fuel, ammunition, food and store resupply to naval combat units while at sea. The Australian government has earmarked A$81 million on ship repair and maintenance in the Sydney region next year. A number of five-year contracts worth half a billion Australian dollars will also be tendered next year. ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
Australia’s Defence Material Organisation has also announced the signing of a contract with Thales Australia for repair and maintenance work to be carries out on the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) HMAS Newcastle. The scheduled repair and maintenance will be carried out in Australia, at a total contract worth of A$8.7 million.
Third RAAF MRTT takes flight
The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) third Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) has undertaken its maiden flight following its conversion to tanker/transport configuration by Qantas Engineering in Brisbane, Australia. The flight is further good news for EADS North America, whose A330 MRTT-based tanker is being offered to the US Air Force (USAF) as the KC-45. Last month the MRTT obtained from Spanish military certification authority Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Aerospacial (INTA), making it the only aircraft being offered for the US KC-45 programme that is already fully flying, refuelling and certified. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has ordered the aircraft as part of the KC-30A programme, which will be operated by the RAAF by 33 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland. Delivery of the first two aircraft is scheduled to take place before the end of 2010; between them the first two aircraft have performed more than 1,300 aerial refuelling contacts and transferred more than one million pounds of fuel. The RAAF A330 MRTTs feature an advanced Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) and digital under-wing refuelling pods that will be shared by the KC-45 if the bid is successful. The RAAF aircraft are also configured with a Link 16 real-time data link
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for airborne connectivity, a directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system, as well as other advanced defensive systems. The maiden voyage was one hour long, and the aircraft performed a number of preplanned trials including handling qualities, performance and systems in a full range of mission situations, and reached an altitude of 41,000 feet. Australia will be the first country to operate the A330 MRTT, which has also been ordered by the UK, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. A total of 28 units have been ordered to date.
Hughes HX System undergoes trials
The Hughes Network Systems’ HX Systems
INDIA India’s maritime capabilities to be expanded
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to invite bids for the construction of four long-range surveillance aircraft and four big amphibious assault warships in a move that will significantly enhance the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) maritime capabilities. The two projects, worth an estimated Rs 20,600 crore, will augment the IN’s maritime reconnaissance and strategic sea-lift capabilities in line with the IN’s long-term plans to fill existing gaps within its Indian Ocean region surveillance abilities. The surveillance aircraft will be the P-81 Poseidon long-range maritime patrol aircraft, eight of which are already being built under a 2009 contract with Boeing. The P-81 Poseidon aircraft are armed with torpedoes, depth bombs and Harpoon missiles, as well as being fitted with long-range radars and sensors, bringing anti-warship and antisubmarine warfare capabilities to the IN. The amphibious warships, called Landing Platform Docks (LPDs), are expected to be acquired under a ‘buy and make’ category of the Defence Procurement Procedure - licensed indigenous manufacture in collaboration with a foreign manufacturer. At least two of the vessels are to be constructed at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), the government-owned shipbuilding group. The vessels will perform vital infantry battalion transport, as well as carrying out disaster relief operations and cargo transport; bringing the IN closer to the Blue Water Navy capabilities it began to
is undergoing Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) certification by the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) SATCOMN Systems Expert (SSE) ahead of its use by US and Australian militaries. The HX System for land mobile, maritime and airborne communications on the move (COTM) is a satellite communications system that provides flexible, high-capacity bandwidth on both X-band and Ka-band, providing command and control communications for tactical operations. The system, noted for its extreme bandwidth efficiency, gives warfighters access to video streaming, teleconferencing, and high-resolution imagery in real time, greatly
enhancing warfighters’ situational awareness and access to command and control communications. According to Hughes, the HX System employs a compact, high-performance router that can be configured in star or mesh modes and has Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 cryptographic security. The HX System also has Enhanced Signaling Security, which protects data, management and signaling traffic over the satellite network. Designed and optimised for carrier-grade IP broadband networking the system also consists of economical gateway earth station and high-performance remote terminals.
move toward when it inducted INS Jalashwa (ex USS Trenton) in 2007.
F414-GE-INS6 fighter jet engine selected in recent months.
Successful maiden flight for Indian engine
Second IN tanker launched
India’s indigenously designed and developed Kaveri Engine has undergone its first test flight on a modified Il-76 aircraft at Gromov Flight Research Institute (GFRI) in Moscow, Russia, with a successful result. The one hour Flying Test Bed (FTB) trial saw the engine tested from take off to landing and achieve an altitude of 6,000 metres and a speed of Mach 0.6. Reports show that the engine control, performance and health during flight were ‘excellent’. The trial was carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). For the trial the Kaveri engine replaced one of four engines aboard the modified Il76 aircraft. Modifications to the aircraft also included instrumentation required for trials as well as integration of mechanical, electrical and fuel system. A number of successful taxi trials had been carried out previously. The successful test flight is a major milestone for the Kaveri engine development programme. The engine will now progress to further flight testing, including the conducting of 50-60 flights in order to establish reliability, safety and airworthiness; ahead of flight trials on fighter aircraft. The Kaveri engine is being developed by the DRDO for Light combat Aircraft (LCA) being developed for the Indian Air Force (IAF), however delays in the production of the engine resulted in foreign bids being sought in 2009, with the GE Aviation
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
The second of two fleet tankers ordered by the Indian Navy (IN) has been launched in Sestro Ponente, Genova, by Fincanteiri, at a ceremony attended by Debabrata Saha, ambassador for the Republic of India in Italy and Alberto Maestrini, head of Fincantieri Naval Vessels Business Unit. The vessel, christened Shakti (‘Strength’ in Hindi), was ordered under a contract signed in 2008, which marked the first time IN warships have been constructed by a European shipbuilder. The fleet tanker will fulfil a supply and logistics support role, and is capable of refuelling four vessels at one time thanks to its double hatches. According with International Maritime Organisation environment requirements the vessel has been constructed with a double hull to avoid the risk of oil leaks, spillage and pollution. The vessel is 175 metres long, 25 metres wide and 19 metres high. Capable of reaching a maximum speed of 20 knots, and with full displacement of 27,500 tonnes, the vessel also features a propulsion system that incorporates a shaft with adjustable pitch propellers and a flight deck capable of carrying medium weight helicopters. The vessel will begin trails in December 2010, with delivery of the ship and commission into the IN scheduled for mid-2011. The first fleet tanker vessel, ‘Deepak’ is currently undergoing advanced trials in Italy and is expected to be delivered to the IN by the end of the year.
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REPUBLIC OF KOREA Boeing and KAI to build F-15 weapons bay
Boeing and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) have forged an agreement that will see KAI design, develop and manufacture the Conformal Weapons Bay (CWB) for the F-15 Silent Eagle (F-15SE), according to a statement by Roger Roger Besancenez, the Boeing F-15 program vice president. KAI was selected on the basis of their world-class technical capabilities according to Boeing. KAI already works with Boeing on the AH-64D Apache, Peace Eye Airborne Early Warning and Control program, A-10 Wing Replacement Programme, as well as all Boeing commercial airplane programmes. They also build the wings and forward fuselage for the F-15K programme. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the two companies that will see KAI work on the CWB, an innovative internal carriage that will minimise the F-15SE’s radar signature and significantly increase its tactical options. It will be an option for any potential F-15 series aircraft, able to be installed on either new-build or existing aircraft; and its modular design will mean it can be removed from the F-15 when not required, giving users the ability to transform the external configuration of the aircraft within a matter of hours. The F-15SE is equipped with one internal bay on each side, and can be arranged in multiple carriage configurations, includ-
JAPAN Japan orders further SM-2 missiles
US Congress has been notified by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency of the possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 13 SM-2 Block IIIB Tactical Standard missiles to the Government of Japan. The deal would also include associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support, and would be worth a total estimated cost of $33 million.
Boeing’s F-15SE is its most advanced fighter aircraft to date © Boeing
ing advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions. The unique aerodynamic, avionic and Radar Cross Section reduction features on the F-15SE provide the operator with maximum flexibility to dominate the ever-changing advanced threat environment. The F-15SE was unveiled by Boeing in 2009, and was designed to meet the future
needs of international customers, specifically the anticipated need for cost-effective stealth technologies, and large and diverse weapons payloads. The aircraft features various improvements to the original F-15 model, including stealth coatings and treatments, and redesigned conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) that allow for the internal weapons carriage.
Japan has requested the FMS of the SM2 missiles for the Japanese Maritime SelfDefence Force (JMSDF) fleet, to augments its abilities to defend its maritime zones. SM-2 Block IIIB missiles have already been integrated into the JMSDF’s ship combat systems, and the government maintains two intermediate-level maintenance depots for supporting the SM-2. Raytheon’s SM-2 is one of the world’s most advanced fleet-area air defence weapons, providing increased intercept range, high and low intercept capability,
and performance against advanced and anti-ship missile threats. It is used by the US Navy, and several other Asia-Pacific nations use the missile, including Australia, Korea, and Taiwan. The Government of Australia has also requested the FMS from the US government of 17 SM-2 Block IIIB STANDARD Warhead Compatible Telemetry missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $46 million. Both requests are being reviewed by Congress.
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Taiwan will build its future minesweeping fleet on two Osprey class minesweepers from the USN ÂŠ DoD
TAIWAN Taiwan developing UAV
Taiwan is believed to be developing an indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), following a comment made by Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu at a Legislative Yuan session that discounted the need to acquire UAV technology from the US. According to the official, the military-run Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology is researching UAV technology, which means the country will not be procuring the RQ-4 Global Hawk from the US, despite an identified need to acquire unmanned aircraft for the Taiwan Air Force. The comment was made following the expression of interest from Japan in purchasing the RQ-4 Global Hawk in the wake of the US militaryâ€™s formal station of the aircraft in Guam in September as partlance of a move to increase US maritime surveil
SINGAPORE Second Archer-class submarine launched
The second of two Archer-class submarines acquired for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) from the Royal Swedish Navy (RSwN) has been launched at an official ceremony at the Kockums Shipyard in Karlskrona, Sweden, attended by the Singapore Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, and Sweden's Defence Minister, Sten Tolgfors. The RSN is in the process of enhancing
capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region. Whether Taiwan will prove capable of the ability to develop and manufacture a UAV able to compete with US, Israeli and European exports remains to be seen. A number of prototypes are believed to have been developed, but whether the Taiwan armed forces have purchased any of them is unknown. It is understood that the UAVs being developed by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology will be used for surveillance purposes and will be unarmed. Taiwan has announced plans to augment its minesweeping capabilities with the construction of six minesweeper ships. The vessels will be constructed at a cost of more than TWD 30 billion (US $938 million), as part of a programme that will
begin in 2012. The Taiwanese Navy has identified a need to replace its ageing minesweeping fleet in the face of the growing military threat posed by China. In the event of conflict between the two nations, the Formosa Strait could be mined by the Chinese military in an effort to induce threaten commercial traffic in the waters and force an economic embargo against Taiwan. Taiwan plans to enhance its capabilities against the Chinese threat with six minesweepers and two US-built Osprey class minesweepers. The US has agreed to sell Taiwan two Osprey class coastal mine hunters that were decommissioned from the US Navy in 2006, the Oriole MHC-55 and the Falcon MHC-59. The Osprey vessels use sonar and video systems to find, classify and destroy naval mines from waterways. It is understood that the design of the six new vessels has been completed with production scheduled to begin in 2012.
its maritime defence capabilities, and the Archer-class submarine, RSS Swordsman, along with the first of class RSS Archer, has been rebuilt, modernised and given a lifeextension upgrade for the RSN. The two vessels will be part of an integrated warfighting system that also includes stealth frigates, naval helicopters, missile corvettes and mine-countermeasure vessels, as well as the Challenger-class submarines. The Archer-class submarines have served with the RSwN as Vaastergotlandclass submarines and were acquired under a contract signed in 2005. The first of class
RSS Archer was launched in 2009, and both vessels have undergone extensive work to ensure their suitability for operations in the tropical waters surrounding Singapore. The RSN has been training crews in Sweden in preparation for the operation and maintenance of the vessels for more than two years. The launch of RSS Swordsman has been praised as continuing evidence of the longstanding military relationship between Singapore and Sweden. On 18 October an agreement was signed between the two nations to encourage further collaboration.
Taiwan to build minesweeper fleet
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