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Contents MARCH 2010 VOLUME 18 / ISSUE 2
Front Cover Photo: The Royal Australian Navy’s 14 new Armidale class patrol boats were built with a 15 year life and will be replaced with a larger reconfigurable design that will also replace six hydrographic survey ships. The 20 strong, 2000 tonne Offshore Combatant Vessels are being planned under project SEA 1180, with a contract decision to be made in 2018-21 © Australian DoD
Australia’s Warfighting Evolution Abraham Gubler East Timor and the 9/11 attacks shook the Government out of its disintetrest in the Australian Defence Forces. Action is now being taken to transform into a deployable force in an unstable world.
Aircraft Self-Protecting expands in Asia Martin Streetly The current and future state of fast-jet Electronic Warfare in the Asia-Pacific shows that while lagging in some areas, regional air forces are well established users of the technology and understand its force multiplication capabilities.
Maritime Patrol Aircraft in Asia Tom Withington The past year witnessed significant activity regarding the procurement and upgrade of Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, several nations are augmenting their MPA fleets or, in some cases, procuring this essential capability for the first time
Infantry Weapons: The Future Beckons for Asia
Fast Attack Craft: Threats and Capabilities
Remigiusz Wilk In the world of small arms design, the winds of change blow all the time. Programmes across the region are due to deliver advanced new technologies during 2010
Ted Hooton While many small navies may regret it, the demise of the fast attack craft is in sight. Too slow to run, too big to hide, they are vulnerable to air power but, like the scorpion, they still have a sharp sting
36 Airborne Command and Control Adam Baddeley Before the advent of flight, commanders always sought the high ground, to enable more effective control over their forces. Today, by climbing aboard an aircraft to fulfil that function, commanders are pursuing the natural technological extension of that process
Emerging And Future Security Threats In The Asia-Pacific Gordon Arthur The world may have entered the second decade of 21st century, but a state of peace is more elusive than ever. Interstate rivalries, insurgencies, ethnic conflict, weapons proliferation & terrorism are some of the threats being faced.
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he US is in a quandary with its International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), continuing to impose rules which preserve US security while ensuring that the mechanisms to effectively identify and restrict the export of dual use technology is appropriate to the 21st century market place. Bundled up in the debate is the speed at which industry export licensing requests under current rules are processed and doubts at the likelihood of approval and the cumulative negative effects this is having on US defence sales.
Ensuring the security of technology is an inalienable national right. However how that is done must also change over time. Non-US competitors are ofering ITAR free solutions and see this as a marketing plus, Thales Alenia Spaceâ€™s satellite offerings being a notable example, which with the absence of US technology can be launched cheaply from Chinese rockets.
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US companies too are beginning to vote with their feet and offering non ITAR solutions themselves. General Dynamics, through its UK subsidiary has successfully sold a brigade level C4I system to Libya, its role being to integrate entirely non-ITAR systems source from Europe. In Canada, Lockheed Martin Canada has teamed with Saab to offer non-ITAR solutions stipulated by Americaâ€™s northern neighbour, who while willing to integrate its air defence network with the US, is not in this case willing to use its technology. US technology is valued and sought after by legitimate users who are nonetheless exasperated at delays and impediments which can appear at best unduly bureaucratic and at worst insulting. Odd though it may seem, overseas firms also have to obtain ITAR approval before they can compete on Department of Defense programmes based on the fact that they need US defence data to frame their bids.
ITAR as it stands today is an obstacle to mutual trade. The US is not always getting the best systems for its own use and other defence forces may not always get their first choice of US systems.
There have been many false starts for ITAR reform. Today there is a growing momentum behind it, given greater impetus by the pressing economic squeeze that will push reform past its tipping point. This may be one thing the defence sector will be thankful to the current recession for. Adam Baddeley, Editor
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AMR believes that China has exported nationally produced EW equipment aboard aircraft such as the PAF F-7 shown here ÂŠ USAF
The current and future state of fast-jet Electronic Warfare (EW) in the Asia-Pacific shows that while lagging in some areas, regional air forces are well established users of the technology, understand its force multiplication capabilities and are well placed to specify and collaborate industrially on the next generation of such equipments that will protect their future fast-jet procurements.
by Martin Streetly
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
ver since the late 1960s, Electronic Warfare (EW) has played an increasingly important part in the combat survival of fast-jets. Today, such provision ranges in complexity from a combination of a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and a Counter Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) through to a Defensive Aids Suite (DAS) that incorporates an RWR, a Missile Approach Warning (MAW) system, an active radar jammer, a CMDS and a control processor. In more detail, a DAS may take the form of a federated or an integrated architecture, while the CMDS is used to launch off-board expendables such as chaff (anti-radar), Infra-Red (IR) decoy flares (to counter IR-guided missiles) or active (transmitting) expendable radar jammers. Again, the available counter-radar arsenal is increasingly being supplemented by Towed Active Decoy (TAD) devices. Looking specifically at the Asia-Pacific region, fast-jet EW provision of one sort or
The Raytheon/Lockheed Martin/Cobham AN/ALR-67(V)3 RWR is installed aboard (or has been selected for installation aboard) Australiaâ€™s F/A-18A/B and F/A-18E/F aircraft ÂŠ Raytheon
another is widespread being led by the air forces of Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Australia’s fast-jet capability is currently built around a mixed fleet of F-111 strike and F/A-18 multi-role aircraft. Of the two, the soon to be retired F-111s are equipped with the Dalmo Victor AN/ALR-62I RWR, Elta’s EL/L-8222 pod-mounted radar jammer and the BAE Systems AN/ALE-40 CMDS. Australia’s F/A-18A/B aircraft are equipped
EW provision within China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force remains as enigmatic as many other aspects of the People’s Republic’s military
with the Northrop Grumman AN/ALR67(V)2 RWR (being replaced by the digital Raytheon/Lockheed Martin/Cobham AN/ALR-67(V)3 equipment), an internallymounted BAE Systems AN/ALQ-126B radar jammer and a CMDS, while its F/A-18E/F’s carry the AN/ALR-67(V)3 RWR and the counter-radar ITT/BAE Systems AN/ALQ214(V) Integrated Defensive Electronic CounterMeasures (IDECM) system (with pro-
The RoCAF’s F-16A/Bs are wired to carry the Raytheon AN/ALQ-184(V) radar jamming pod. Shown here is the AN/ALQ-184(V)9 configuration that is equipped with a dispenser for the AN/ALE-50 TAD © Raytheon
vision for the BAE Systems AN/ALE-55(V) TAD). The Royal Australian Air Force’s second generation Hornets are also likely to be wired to accommodate the EA-18G’s Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-218(V) electronic attack receiver system at some future date. Such a retrofit would provide the service with a dedicated EW platform with which to support whatever fast-jet will replace its current inventory. While undoubtedly a major player in the region, EW provision within China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) remains as enigmatic as many other aspects of the People’s Republic’s military. While it is clear that PLAAF FC-1, J-7, J-8, J-10 and J-11 aircraft are all equipped with at least an RWR and a CMDS, trying to pin down the precise nature of such equipment is much harder. This said, AMR believes that most PLAAF EW equipment is produced nationally, with confirmed over time examples including the China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation’s (CEIEC) GT-1 CMDS; the Northeast Research Institute of Technology’s (NEIET) SE-2 ultra-violet passive MAW and
A schematic that shows the elements that make up the ICMS DAS that is installed aboard Taiwanese and (possibly) Indian Mirage 2000 multi-role fighters © Thales
HIGH BAND JAMMER ANTENNAS
DIGITAL SYSTEM UNIT
LEFT OF UNIT AND ADDITIONAL OF UNIT
REAR OF UNIT
HIGH BAND JAMMER MAIN TRANSMISSION UNIT AND REAR ANTENNAS AUXILIARY UNITS 1 AND 2
MANAGEMENT AND COMPATIBILITY UNIT
COUNTER MEASURE CONTROL PANEL
LOW BAND JAMMER ANTENNA DISPLAY UNIT ANALOG SYSTEM UNIT
RIGHT OF UNIT AND ADDITIONAL OF UNIT ANALOG AND DIGITAL LOW BAND SELECTIVE AND PROCESSING UNIT LOW BAND AMPLIFICATION AND JAMMER TRANSMITTER HIGHLY SENSITIVE JAMMER ANTENNA RF CIRCUITS RECEIVER
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
TM series laser warners and the Southwest China Research Institute of Electronic Equipment’s (SCRIEE) 2 to 18 GHz band KJ8602/KJ8602A RWRs, 2 to 40 GHz KJ8602B/KJ8602BC RWRs and 6.5 to 40 GHz band KG300G pod-mounted radar jammer. Of these, the SE-2 has been associated with the FC-1 (designated as the JF-17 in Pakistani service), while usually reliable sources have made mention of a fast-jet radar jammer designated as the RKL-800 and an additional pair of CMDSs designated as the GT-4 and the RKZ-404E. Elsewhere, it is almost certain that China has exported elements of its indigenous fast-jet EW technology, with nationally produced RWRs and CMDSs being likely to have been sold to Bangladesh (24 F-7BG fighters), Myanmar (60 F-7Ms), Pakistan (120 F-7P/7MP) and Sri Lanka (four F-7BS). In addition and as already noted, Pakistan is co-producing the FC-1 as the JF-17 and it is probable that the initial JF-17 production run is being equipped with a percentage of Chinese avionic equipment that may include EW provision.
Indian fast-jet EW provision presents an altogether more eclectic picture mixing nationally produced equipment with electronics sourced from Western Europe, Israel and Russia. A good example of the country’s approach to fast-jet EW is its Jaguar strike fighters that most recently have been outfitted with a self-protection capability that includes the nationally produced Defence Avionics Research Establishment’s (DARE) Tarang RWR together with the Elta Systems EL/L8222 pod-mounted radar jammer. An EL/L8222 application is also flagged for the country’s Su-30MKI platforms. While not confirmed, AMR also believes that India’s Mirage 2000Hs are equipped with either the 6 to 18/20 GHz Thales ABD detector-radar jammer system or a version of the Thales/MBDA Integrated CounterMeasures Suite (ICMS). Designed specifically for the Mirage 2000, the baseline ICMS configuration includes two ABD detector-jammers, the Serval RWR, the DDM MAW, an interface/system management unit and a SPIRALE CMDS.
A schematic that shows the component parts of the AN/ALR-56M RWR that is installed aboard F16C/D aircraft operated by the air forces of South Korea, Pakistan and Malaysia © BAE Systems
1. Azimuth Indicator LRU-3
2. Control Panels LRU-1,2
3. Analysis Processor LRU-5
5. High Band Antenna (4 used)
4. C/D Receiver Power Supply LRU-10
7. DFReceiver LRU-4 (4 used)
8. Superhec Receiver LRU-7
6. Dual Blade 9. SuperhecController Low Band Antenna LRU-6
A composite view that shows the sub-systems that make-up Saab Electronic Defence Systems’ generic IDAS suite © Saab Electronic Defence Systems
Elsewhere within India’s national capability, AMR is aware of DARE’s 1 to 18 GHz band Siva emitter location system (for use with the Russian Kh-31P anti-radiation missile) and an RWR for MiG-21 class aircraft from national contractor Bharat Electronics. Looking to the future, the country’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition looks set to provide the world’s EW manufacturers with what will probably be the region’s biggest fast-jet countermeasures opportunity of the first half of the 21st Century. Here, research suggests that Lockheed Martin is offering Raytheon’s Advanced Countermeasure Electronic System (ACES – AN/ALR-69A digital RWR, AN/ALQ187(V)2 radar jammer and AN/ALE-47 CMDS) as part of its F-16IN MMRCA submission, while Boeing is proposing a suite that includes the AN/ALR-67(V)3 RWR, AN/ALQ-214(V) IDECM system and the AN/ALE-47 CMDS as part of its F/A-18IN proposal. For its part, Italian contractor Elettronica is offering its ELT-568(V)2 radar jammer for use on the MiG-35, while Dassault’s Rafale would come equipped with the type Thales/MBDA Spectre DAS. Similarly, Eurofighter is understood to be proposing the incumbent Praetorian DAS on an Indian Typhoon with the possibility of integrating Selex Galileo’s Seer digital RWR into the architecture. Moving south, Japan has followed the China/India route and produces most of its fast-jet EW equipment nationally. Here, examples include Tokimec’s J/APR-2 (F-4EJ), J/APR-3 (F-1), J/APR-4/4A (F-15J/-15DJ),
J/APR-4B (J/APR-4A with an interface for the J/APQ-1 MAW), J/APR-5 (RF-4EJ) and J/APR-6/6A (F-4EJ Kai) RWRs; the internallymounted J/ALQ-6 radar jammer (F-1, F-4EJ and RF-4EJ) and the internally-mounted 1 to 18 GHz band J/ALQ-8 radar jammer (F-15J/DJ and interfaced with the J/APR-4A RWR). Elsewhere, Japanese contractor Mitsubishi has licence built the Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-131(V) pod-mounted radar jammer for use aboard the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force’s (JASDF) F-4EJs and F-15Js, with the latter combination operating in the electronic ‘aggressor’ training role. Again, JASDF F-15J aircraft are fitted with the BAE Systems AN/ALE-45 CMDS. As a final point concerning JASDF fast-jet EW provision, it is perhaps worth noting that the service’s RF-4EJKai (a conversion of the F-4EJKai fighter) reconnaissance aircraft are capable of carrying the podmounted, 0.4 to 40 GHz band, Thales Analyseur de Signaux TACtiques (ASTAC) tactical electronic intelligence gathering system. Designed to detect, identify and locate ground-based radar emitters in dense signals environments, ASTAC is designated as the
[India’s] Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition looks set to… be the region’s biggest fast-jet countermeasures opportunity of the first half of the 21st Century. ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
TACtical Electronic Reconnaissance (TRACER) system in JASDF service, with the programme having Mitsubishi as its prime contractor. North of Japan, South Korea’s LIG NEX1 (formerly LG Innotek’s Systems Division) has produced the 2 to 18/20 GHz band ALQ-88K and AK (‘suitable’ for use aboard F-4D/E and F-16C/D aircraft respectively) and ALQ-202 pod-mounted radar jammers which are believed to have been procured by the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF). Elsewhere, RoKAF F-15K aircraft are equipped with a DAS that includes the BAE Systems AN/ALR-56C(V)1 RWR and the Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-135M internally-mounted radar jammer, while its Block 40/50 F-16C/D fighters are fitted with BAE Systems’ AN/ALR-56M RWR. Interestingly, the combination of the AN/ALR-56C(V)1 and the AN/ALQ-135M probably give the F-15K a better EW self-protection capability than that installed on the United States Air Force’s F-15 aircraft. Here, the AN/ALR-56C(V)1 is described as being a ‘complete’ system redesign (and one that represents the ‘best that can be done with analogue technology’), while the AN/ALQ-135M (which is co produced by Samsung Thales and Northrop Grumman) features PowerPC-based programming, microwave power module technology and an in-country reprogramming capability. Elsewhere within the RoKAF orbit, Israel’s Elisra has been contracted to prototype and (eventually) produce up to 60 examples of an EW package for the FA-50 light strike aircraft. Turning to Southeast Asia, the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) Su-30MKM multi-role fighters sport an interesting DAS sourced from the Swedish-South African Saab Electronic Mission Systems concern. Designated as the Integrated DAS (IDAS), the baseline suite incorporates the company’s 0.7 to 40 GHz RWS-300 RWR, MAW-300 MAW, LWS-310 laser warner and a BOP series CMDS. Elsewhere within the RMAF’s inventory, the service’s F/A-18Ds are understood to be equipped with an internally-mounted AN/ALQ-126B radar jammer and Northrop Grumman’s 0.5 to 18/20 GHz band AN/ALR-67(V)2 RWR. Moving back to the sub-continent, the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) F-16A/B fighters are believed to have been fitted with the Northrop Grumman AN/ALR-69(V) RWR, a CMDS and Northrop Grumman’s AN/ALQ131(V) Block I/II pod-mounted radar jammer. Moving forward to the service’s second gen-
eration F-16C/Ds, such aircraft are equipped with AN/ALR-56M RWR, a CMDS and ITT Electronic Systems’ AN/ALQ-211(V)4 Advanced Integrated Defensive EW Suite (AIDEWS). As such, AIDEWS incorporates digital radar warning, ‘advanced’ situational awareness, low- and high-band radar jamming and a CMDS. The PAF is also known to want to procure 18 podmounted AN/ALQ-211(V)9 radar warning/jamming units to replace its existing inventory of 21 AN/ALQ-131(V) pods. In terms of national capability, Pakistan’s Advanced Engineering Research Organisation (AERO) is known to have developed the MOHAFIZ CMDS which is reported as being in service aboard ‘aircraft of the Pakistan Armed Forces’. As such, MOHAFIZ is noted as being capable of accommodating 2 to 18 GHz band chaff and IR decoy flare cartridges. Returning to the Malaya Peninsula, the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) F16C/D aircraft are equipped with the BAE Systems/Symetrics AN/ALE-47 CMDS and the AN/ALR-56M RWR. Moving to the service’s F-15SG multi-role fighters, usually reliable sources suggest that such aircraft are being equipped with an EW capability that includes Elisra’s SPS-2110 equipment. Here, the ‘SPS’ prefix suggests an RWR and it is possible that Elisra is supplying a complete DAS package that includes an RWR, a MAW and an internally-mounted radar jammer. Elsewhere within the RSAF orbit, the service is known to have acquired at least six AN/ALQ-131(V) radar jammers and is (according to United States sources) looking to upgrade the EW provision aboard its F-16 fleet. Here, Elisra, Raytheon and ITT have all been mentioned as possible bidders if such an effort goes ahead. Moving on to Taiwan, the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) operates a multirole fighter force that includes the indige-
nous F-CK-1A/B, the F-16A/B and the Mirage 2000-5Ei/Di. Of these, the F-CK-1 is known to be equipped with the Northrop Grumman 0.5 to 18/20 GHz band AN/ALR-93(V) RWR and as part of the ‘Imposing Eagle’ upgrade (which brings the F-CK-1A/B up to 1C/D standard), the locally produced Tien Chien 2A (Sky Sword 2A) anti-radiation missile. For their part, the service’s F-16s are wired to carry Raytheon’s pod-mounted AN/ALQ-184(V)7 radar jammer and are like to be equipped with the AN/ALR-69(V) RWR and a CMDS. Last but not least, the RoCAF’s Mirage 2000s are fitted with a Thales/MBDA ICMS configuration. Moving back to Southeast Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force’s (RTAF) fast jet EW provision
has made a quantum leap forward with the service’s procurement of the JAS 39 Gripen multi-role fighter. Previously, the RTAF’s most sophisticated interceptor was its F16A/Bs which while not confirmed, are likely to be equipped with the AN/ALR-69(V) RWR and a CMDS. For their part, the RTAF’s JAS 39C/D aircraft are equipped with the Saab Electronic Mission Systems EWS39 DAS that includes (in baseline form) a system control computer; BOP-B, BOP-C and BOL CMDSs, the 2 to 18/20 GHz band BOW RWR, an internally-mounted radar jammer, missile and laser warning sensors and provision for a TAD and an externally-mounted supplemental radar jamming pod. C
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The combination of the AN/ALR-56C(V)1 and the AN/ALQ-135M probably give the F-15K a better EW self-protection capability than that installed on the United States Air Force’s F-15 aircraft
BECAUSE NOTHING ESCAPES OUR ATTENTION A member of Elbit Systems
Future Beckons for
Asia In the world of small arms design, the winds of change blow all the time. Hundreds of research and development programmes are currently running in China, India, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and other Asian countries with the results of many of them due to be apparent in 2010.
by Remigiusz Wilk
The K1A carbine, together with the K2 assault rifle are the first modern firearms developed in South Korea. Surprisingly they are not the shorter and longer barrel version of the same weapon but two different designs; the K1 uses direct impingement gas system while the K2 uses a long stroke gas piston system. Both were intensively used in Iraq and Afghanistan ÂŠ South Korea MNDZ
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
It is projected that by the middle of this century around two-thirds of the world’s population will live in towns and cities The K11 basically is a combination of standard 5.56x45 mm assault rifle and overbarrel 20 mm bolt-action grenade launcher, utilising programmable high explosive grenades and fire control system. The idea of such weapon comes directly from the abandoned American XM29 OICW programme © Agency of Defense Development
The prototype of the MSMC (Modern Sub-Machine Carbine) submachine gun fed by 5.56x30 mm cartridge developed by the Indian R&D facility ARDE. The first trials of the MSMC were held in 2006, then in the end of 2007, in January 2009 and final ones in December 2009. Barrel length is 300 mm, overall length 500/700 mm with buttstock extended/folded and weight 2.98Kg when empty © OFB
The K11 basically is a combination of standard 5.56x45 mm assault rifle and overbarrel 20 mm bolt-action grenade launcher, utilising programmable high explosive grenades and fire control system. The idea of such weapon comes directly from the abandoned American XM29 OICW programme © Agency of Defense Development
he People’s Republic of China is the largest – and most self-sufficient – manufacturer of firearms in Asia. China is also the only nation in the world to have decided to introduce a new intermediate cartridge across their armed forces. From the 1990s, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) started to field new weapons using 5.8x42 mm ammunition, beginning with the experimental
next element of the 5.8mm weapon system is the Type 88/QJY-88 machine gun introduced around 1999. The latest one is the Type 03/QBZ-03 assault rifle, a classic design introduced in early 2000s. It is China’s just in case weapon, because some of high ranking officers and officials are still mistrustful of bullpup designs. The Type 03 is used by second line units as well as paratroopers because of its folding buttstock. The problem with China’s system is that it in fact comprises two different 5.8mm rounds. These are the lighter DBP-87 bullet, replaced by DBP-95 loaded with a cleanerburning propellant and with a non-corrosive primer for assault rifles and carbines and the heavier DBP-88 round, for snipers and machine guns. According to the designer of the rifle family, Duo Yingxian, in 2010 China plans to show a new model, the Type 95G with improved ergonomics, heavier barrel, modified bolt and integrated underbarrel grenade launcher. The major change is ammunition – the assault rifle will be fed by the 5.8x42 mm heavy round, used in the Type 88 sniper rifle and Type 88 machine gun. The Chinese have also discovered the Picatinny mounting rail and the Type 95G will most probably use this universal rail system, which is already commercially available in China.
bullpup Type 87 assault rifle, followed by the Type 88/QBU-88 semi-automatic sniper rifle. In the mid-1990s, the bullpup Type 95 rifle family was introduced, consisting of the Type 95/QBZ-95 assault rifle, Type 95B/QBZ-95B carbine and Type 95/QBB-95 automatic rifle. The export counterparts of these weapons use the 5.56x45 mm cartridge. The Type 95 family is now standard issue weapon for the first line units in China. The MARCH 2010
The Indian Army introduced their first 5.56mm rifle family with the INSAS (INdian Small Arms System) built in the state-owned Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) in the late 1990s. The Indian Army initially wanted to buy 528,000 rifles and 37,600 squad support weapons. The 1B1 assault rifle with 464 mm barrel and three-round burst fire option with fixed and folding stocks and the 1B2 automatic rifle with 535 mm barrel were introduced in 1998. The INSAS first saw combat in 1999 during the armed conflict in Kargil. The Army reported that the INSAS rifles had some reliability problems in that cold climate, although the OFB stated that it had fixed these malfunctions.
Sterling L2A1) and 2A1 (silenced Sterling Mark V). It is expected that every major small arms company in the world will try to get a piece of the Indian firearms cake. Some of them like Israeli IWI (Israeli Weapon Industries) with the X95/Tavor 2/Zittara carbine and Singapore ST Kinetics with the SAR21 LWC already have close ties with local state-owned companies. Some manufacturers have sped up development of new models of weapons to meet India’s deadlines like the Ceska Zbrojovka’s Skorpion EVO 3A1 submachine gun and S 805 BREN A2 carbine.
The coming year in Asia will be dominated by India’s enormous new weapon tenders
India is also working intensively on their own submachine guns for the 5.56x30mm cartridge. The first is the MINSAS, a scaled down INSAS rifle adapted for the shorter cartridge with an AKS-like folding buttstock. The barrel of the MINSAS is 330mm in length, the overall length is 565/775 mm (buttstock folded/extended) and weighs 2.8 kg. The second is the Zittara, the Israeli IWI Tavor 2 multi-calibre weapon in bullpup design, adapted to 9x19, 5.56x30 and 5.56x45 mm ammunition. The barrel is also 330 mm Singapore’s ACMS (Advanced Combat Man System) is currently being fielded by the Singapore Armed Forces. The soldier uses the SAR21 MMS (Modular Mounting System) carbine with weapon mounted camera for capturing and sharing of target information © MinDef Singapore
The INSAS design is strongly influenced by the AK assault rifle, combined with some features of the 1A1 (Indian FN FAL) battle rifle. There are at least three other INSAS variants under development: the Excalibur rifle with 400 mm barrel, and full auto mode, the Kalantak carbine with 330 mm barrel and MINSAS submachine gun fed by a 5.56x30 mm cartridge. The Ishapore designers – similar to the Chinese Type 86 and South Korean XK8/DAR-21 attempts – also were trying to convert their standard assault rifle INSAS to a bullpup variant, and manufactured several prototypes, but the status of this development is still unknown. New weapons may also be introduced with India’s future Future Infantry Soldier As A System (F-INSAS) programme.
The coming year in Asia will be dominated by India’s enormous new weapon tenders. The small arms side of the F-INSAS (Future Infantry Soldier As A System) project is to buy over 43,318 Close Quarter Battle (CQB) carbines from abroad plus the manufacture of another 116,764 of them in India under a transfer-of-technology agreement. The Request for Information was announced in January. Moreover, India wants to purchase over 10,730 lightweight assault rifles for their special forces and the OFB wants to manufacture 218,320 modular carbines, easier to operate than full length assault rifles. Concluding in February was a tender for 34,377 9x19 mm submachine guns (called 9mm Machine Carbine) for the Border Security Force to replace the 1A (Indian ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
length with an overall length of 590 mm with the Zittara being 0.2 kg heavier than the MINSAS. The Zittara was intensively developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and called the MSMC (Modern Sub-Machine Carbine). The MSMC is gas operated submachine gun with a 300mm barrel and characteristic T-shape, like many models which are magazine fed from the pistol grip. The pistol grip and handguard are a one piece, polymer design. The MSMC has a retractable buttstock and is fitted with a top mounted Picatinny rail. The weapon has an ambidextrous cocking handle, buttstock latch and fire selector which means that is suitable for left- and righthanded users.
From the firearms design point of view, one of the most innovative nations is Singapore. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has introduced the SAR21 (Singapore Assault Rifle 21st Century), designed and made specifically for ease of use by the SAF conscript soldiers. The external design is similar to the father of all polymer receiver bullpup rifles, the Steyr AUG. The SAR21 uses a long stroke gas piston, translucent magazine and 1.5x scope as part of the carrying handle. It can be fed, depending on magazine well, from SAR-21 and standard M16 magazines. The rifle has an ambidexterious cocking handle, but unfortunately it cannot, unlike the The new modular, multicalibre Taiwan XT97 weapon system was shown for the first time during the TADTE Expo in 2009. The XT97 will be fed by 9x19 and 5.56x45 mm cartridges, but in the future, designers also want to adopt the 7.62x51 mm ammunition. The change of calibre is realised by the replacement of upper receiver, bolt carrier and magazine ÂŠ James Tung
AUG, be configured for left handed shooters. The location of the fire selector is also unergonomic, because is situated to the rear of the rifle, near the butt plate. On the other hand, the SAR21 was one of the first weapons with an integrated laser aiming device. In the pre-Picatinny rail era, this was an important feature, but nowadays, the universal rail system is a far better solution. It enables the easy attachment every piece of The short-barrel Type 95/QBZ-95B carbine seems to be used only by the PLA Navy. The overall length is 609mm and weight 2.9Kg. The carbine operates using a short-stroke gas and has a four setting selector switch for safe, semi automatic, fully automatic and three round burst ÂŠ China-Defence
opto-electronic and optic equipment as well as hand grips, bipods and similar attachments. There are eight versions of the rifle: including the recent SAR21 MMS (Modular Mounting System) with system of Picatinny rails in place of a handguard, SAR21 LWC (Light-Weight Carbine) and the newest, the SAR21A. The last was shown in prototype form at the Singapore Air Show in February 2010. The new model has ambidextrious selectors located under the thumb, but it is still unclear if the rifle is adapted for left handed shooters or not. The barrel length remains unchanged although the overall length has been reduced to 790mm and the weight down to 3.2Kg. The SAR21A has a bit
The Taiwan T91 assault rifle was introduced in 2002. It is the newest member of the T65K2/T86-line of weapons, strongly influenced by the AR-18 and M16. Like its predecessors, the T91 is a gas operated short-stroke firearm. Over 140,000 T91s were purchased by the ROC Army and Military Police by 2010 © James Tung
higher rate of fire 600 to 900rpm instead of 450 to 650rpm. The new rifle will be introduced in 2011. During the Singapore Air Show it also presented a new model of the SAR21 LWC, developed for the Indian tender with a new hand guard with fixed hand grip as well as cocking handle relocated from the top to the side of the weapon. ST Kinetics has also developed the CPW (Compact Personal Weapon) submachine gun, a multi-caliber family of weapons starting with the 9x19 mm cartridge. Most probably this is another Singaporean design prepared for Indian requirements. The CPW is truly lightweight, weighing only 1.5 kg and is a compact weapon with low recoil, using a delayed blow back operation. The submachine gun’s has magazine is partially translucent and located in the pistol grip for easy round check. The weapon is fully adapted to the left- and right handed users with every selector as well as cocking handle is doubled. The CPW also has a sturdy built-in retractable buttstock, providing a good support during aimed fire. When retracted it is compact enough to be holstered without obstructing.
The newest weapon from South Korea is the K11, basically a combined 5.56 mm assault rifle with overbarrel 20 mm grenade launcher, utilising programmable high explosive airburst grenades and fire control system (ballistic computer with laser rangefinder). The bolt-action grenade launcher is created in bullpup design and fed from a six round, translucent magazine. The assault rifle is just a variant of the wellknown Daewoo K2 service rifle of ROKA (Republic of Korea Army). The K11 was developed from 2000 and in 2008 was officially adopted by the South Korean armed forces and will be introduced to the Army
China’s first line units use the Type 95/QBZ-95 rifle, shown here with blank fire attachment on the barrel. The bullpup design was introduced to the PLA in the mid-1990s and first publically shown during the Hong Kong take over in 1997. Barrel length is 463mm, overall length 745mm and weight 3.25Kg © China-Defence
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
in 2009. Two K11s will be assigned to each infantry squad as a supplement not as replacement to the K2 assault rifle with 40mm underbarrel K201 grenade launcher. When this happens, South Korea will be the first nation to use an airburst weapon as standard issue. The overall length of the K11 is 860 mm, weighs 6.1 kg empty and will be produced by Daewoo. The idea of such weapon comes directly from abandoned American XM29 OICW programme, but where the Americans failed, South Korea took a risk. The K11 is simpler than the XM29, because the grenade launcher is not semiautomatic but bolt-action. It means the whole system is far lighter and also cheaper, but the likelihood of firing a second round in exactly in the same place under the same conditions is reduced because hand reload is inherently slower and far less precise. Korea took a risk based on the belief that their fire control system can very accurately place the 20mm round in a lethal radius. If they succeed there will be a lot of followers. If not, their solution minimises the risk to the K11 grenadier, because the second part of the weapon is a standard assault rifle, with which the soldier can save the day and correct the situation if the 20mm grenade fails.
Indonesia bought 10,000 Belgian FN FNC rifles in 1982 and two years later signed an agreement to licence produce this weapon with PT Pindad. The locally manufactured weapon is called the SS1 and has several variants: the V1 with folded buttstock, V2 carbine, V3 with fixed buttstock, V4 sniper
rifle and V5 compact carbine as well marinized versions the M1, M2 and M5 Commando. In 2006 the PT Pindad showed an upgraded version of the assault rifle called the SS2. It is lighter, more reliable, has a new folded buttstock with optional cheek rest, redesigned lower and upper receiver with a top Picatinny rail and M16A4 lookalike detachable carrying handle with mechanical sights. There are four variants of the SS2:
In late 2007 the Royal Thai Army made a decision to switch from the M16A1 and HK33 assault rifles to the Israeli Tavor TAR-21
standard V1, carbine V2, sniper V3 and compact carbine V5. Over 25,000 SS2 have been purchased so far by the Indonesian Army. Japan’s Self-Defence Forces introduced only minor modifications to the Type 89 assault rifle used by soldiers sent on foreign missions. The new models were shown as a part of the Advanced Combat Information Equipment System (ACIES) future soldier programme which also includes a telescopic butt-
Standard model of the SAR21 assault rifle in bullpup design. The unique feature of the weapon is a built-in Laser Aiming Device as well as a composite plate on the check rest which shields the shooter from any explosion in the chamber © MinDef Singapore
stock M4-like instead of standard fixed buttstock (or folded in type 89-F/Para variant). Malaysia switched from the Colt M16A1 to the licence-manufactured Steyr AUG A1 in 1987 with local production beginning in 1988 and then in 2006, switched back to the Colt M4A1 carbine which production by SME Ordnance and due to start in 2010. The first 14,000 US-made firearms were delivered to the Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM) in late 2009. In Myanmar the local state-owned Defence Industries converted to 5.56mm small arms in 1990, cooperating first with the Germans trying to create their own copy of the HK33 assault rifle then with the Israelis. The second collaboration lead to the introduction of a slightly modified 9mm UZI submachine gun known as the BA94 in 1994 as well as introducing the whole family of IMI Galil-based rifles – the MA1 assault rifle, MA2 automatic rifle, MA3 carbine and MA4 rifle with underbarrel grenade launcher. The Myanmar’s Army EMER (Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Corps) also created MARCH 2010
their own assault rifle family based on the export model of the Chinese QBZ-95 bullpup assault rifle known as the EMER K1 family. In the early 1970s, Bangladesh switched from the G3 to BOF (Bangladesh Ordnance Factories) designed weapons fed by an intermediate, 7.62x39 mm cartridge based on China’s Type 63 semi-automatic rifle and Type 56 assault rifle. A few years ago the government signed an agreement with China to introduce the Type 81 rifle, firing the same ammunition to the Bangladesh Army. Production started in April 2008 in BOF factory at Gazipur under the name of BD-08 and it is expected that about 10,000 rifles will be manufactured every year. In late 2007 the Royal Thai Army made a decision to switch from the M16A1 and HK33 assault rifles to the Israeli Tavor TAR-21. In 2007 Thailand purchased 15,000 Tavor assault rifles and 1000 Negev light machine guns, the next batch of 15,000 TAR-21s and 550 Negevs was bought in mid-2008 and in 2009, a third batch of 13,900 Tavors was contracted.
OHA 2nd International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference - DIMDEX 20101, will be held in Qatar Exhibition Centre from 29 to 31 March 2010 for visitors from the Middle East and North Africa. Analysts forecast that during this decade 18 countries in these two regions will procure more than 350 combat ships and boats. This market is valued at about 17 billion US dollars. It explains why Doha will be hosting nearly 130 exhibitors from 35 countries, with 20 of them occupying national pavilions. Russian defence products will take an important place at the exhibition. Rus-sia has always been and remains one of the leading world’s shipbuilding powers. Some 160 enterprises are working in the country, comprising not only shipyards, maritime and naval research institutes and design bureaus, but also maritime ma-chine-building, instrumentmaking and electronic production plants. About 200,000 persons are working at them. Russia’s shipbuilding industry can design and construct combat and auxiliary ship of all types, as well as produce all types of naval weapons and technical facilities. Russian designers are traditionally strong in practicing the systemic approach to technical
design. Russia retains leading posi-tions among world’s naval systems/weapons exporters thanks to high level of its science, design and shipbuilding technologies, important industrial infrastructure, qualified staff, and vast experience in foreign economic relations. Foreign customers have been able to appreciate these qualities of Russian shipbuilders long ago. For half a century already, since the beginning of Russian naval exports, more than 2,000 surface ships of main types, submarines, missile and patrol boats, auxiliary ships, as well as naval weapons, have been exported alto-gether. Last year naval systems made up 14% of the total Rosoboronexport’s foreign military sales. Currently naval systems export orders have exceeded a six billion USD value. At DIMDEX 2010 Rosoboronexport offers for export dozens of projects of warships, submarines and boats, such as missile destroyers displacing 8,000 tonnes, patrol boats, midget submarines, etc. The enterprise showcases Project Amur-1650 advanced submarine as a new product. The submarine represents a new generation of vessels of this type with a large expected export capacity. The submarine can carry out missions in all regions
of the World Ocean and deliver salvo missile strikes against underwater, surface and land-based targets. Many weapon systems and technical facilities installed on this submersible have been already tested and have proved their effectiveness on the latest versions of Kilo-class submarines, for instance on Project 636, that are in firm demand on the world market. The exposition demonstrates materials on the Gepard 3.9 frigate.The design of this multi-purpose frigate of relatively small displacement adheres to stealth principles in ship architecture. The frigate can be employed to fight against subma-rines, surface ships and air strike assets as well as perform all types of open sea op-erations to control and protect maritime borders both at war and in the peacetime. It has powerful weapons onboard to accomplish the assigned combat missions. Two Gepard 3.9 frigates are to be handed over to a foreign customer in South East Asia this year. Great interest in the region is attracted to Project 21632 Tornado small mis-sile/gun ship specially designed and constructed for operations in geographical areas resembling the Gulf. The ship can operate both autonomously and
Project 12200 Sobol
EXPORT working in customer’s interest within naval groups against potential enemy forces. It is capable of delivering powerful strikes against maritime targets, and rendering fire support for land forces. Corvette type combatants of about 1,000-tonne displacement are represented by a family of various-purpose vessels based on Project 1124M Albatross small an-tisubmarine warfare ship. Antisubmarine, missile and patrol ships designed on the basis of a single platform provide the most optimal solutions for different tasks, taking into account also customer requests for their weapons configuration. Russia is a recognised leader in missile craft design.The Molniya big missile boats have acquired an excellent reputation with the Russian Navy. Their export modification Project 12418 arouses great interest. The boat corresponds by characteristics to a corvette type ship.These
vessels are in great demand among foreign customers thanks to high speed, manoeuvrability, and powerful weapons. More than 10 such boats have been already delivered and handed over to customers in South East Asia, the Mediterranean, and other regions. Great interest in this region, as well as in other parts of the world, is aroused by Project 12061 Murena-E air cushion landing craft. Three MurenaEs have already been delivered to South Korea. Such craft currently are also under construction for one of the Gulf countries. A product line of well-armed fast patrol / interceptor craft is continued by Project 12200 Sobol, Project 14310 Mirage, Project 12150 Mangust boats. Export nomenclature of Russian naval systems includes a wide range of fa-cilities for setting up shore-based integrated sea-surface, underwater and airspace surveillance systems. They can adopt already existing customer’s sensors, inte-grating them into a single system with multilevel control
AMR Marketing Promotion
posts. The Bal-E, Bastion and Club-M coastal missile systems are offered as exclusive elements for setting up a coastal defence system. “Presently we are focusing our attention not only on promotion of Russian-made weapons and systems, but also on concrete potential customer’s requirements, - says Rosoboronexport deputy director general Victor Komardin. - This is one of the main rules in our marketing policy. We receive different requests. Some states have ambitious naval doctrines envisioning even creation of an ocean fleet. Others limit their tasks to protecting the coast, struggling with drug trafficking and sea piracy, and rendering support for customs services. We therefore try to work, keeping in mind requirements of each customer. Such policy has allowed Rosoboronexport to expand substantially the geographic reach of our foreign deals including naval exports”.
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Fast Attack Craft:
Threats and Capabilities
While many small navies may regret it, the demise of the fast attack craft is in sight. Too slow to run, too big to hide, they are vulnerable to air power but, like the scorpion, they still have a sharp sting.
by Ted Hooton
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
n the afternoon of October 21 1967, the Egyptian Komar class No 504 in Alexandria harbour launched a P-15 Termit (SS-N-2 ‘Styx’) missile at the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat 13.5 nautical miles (kilometres) away. The missile knocked out the destroyer’s engine and radio rooms leaving her ablaze. After observing by radar that the target was stationary No 501, also in Alexandria, fired two more missiles which caused the destroyer to capsize and sink. This is one of the key events of modern naval warfare on a par with the destruction of the Turkish fleet by Russian rifled cannon in 1853 and the sinking of the cruisers HMS Hope, Aboukir and Cressy by a submarine in 1914. Two small (66.5 tonne displacement) vessels had used anti-ship missiles to sink a larger vessel and the excitement generated led to a rash of orders from smaller navies for what were originally called missile-
C O M B A T A N T S armed fast patrol boats armed and later fast attack craft. The concept had been developed by the Soviet Union, indeed the Komars (Project 183R) were P-6 motor torpedo boat hulls adapted to carry Styx, to force US Navy major combat units such as carriers and cruisers to stand off from the coast. The Russians later built the 209-tonne sea-going Osa (Project 205) class to push American carrier task groups even further out to sea, and to engage them in co-ordinated missile strikes. The Osas became the most numerous class of fast attack craft with more than 400 produced and widely exported, the Chinese version being the Huangfeng class developed just before the break between Moscow and Beijing in the 1950s. Many of these vessels, including the Chinese version of the Komar as the Hoku, were exported with Asian customers
The most significant development after the sinking of the Eilat was the development… of the Exocet surface-to-surface missile whose first sales were in 1969
including India, Indonesia, North Korea and Vietnam and with news of the Eilat their confidence in dealing with naval threats grew at a time when many former colonies were entering the first decade of independence. Yet the Russian-designed systems suffered from major drawbacks; the Osas’ M-503 diesel engines were noisy and hot, a major drawback in tropical climes and they needed to be run in for an hour before the ships departed upon patrol. As they entered the upper part of their performance range they proved unreliable with frequent break-
downs, often due to the rubber fuel pipes shaking loose. The Styx missile was no wonder weapon it was large, slow, with a large visual signature making it vulnerable to gunfire while the fuming nitric acid oxidiser for the kerosene fuel is very corrosive making the weapon difficult to maintain. Despite these problems Indian Osas using Styx sank the Pakistani destroyer PNS Khaibar off Karachi on December 5 1971. The most significant development after the sinking of the Eilat was the development by Aerospatiale (now MBDA France) of the Exocet surface-to-surface missile whose first sales were in 1969. Exocet was a new generation missile which was lighter than Styx (735 kg compared with 2,100 to 2,500 kilogrammes) and with a solid fuel rocket motor which required no major maintenance. While the warhead was smaller (165 kilogrammes compared with 454 kilogrammes) the French missile had more advanced electronics and its active radar seeker was more discriminatBuilt by the Huangpu Shipyard, the PLAN’s four Type 037-II Houjian Class FAC are based in Hong Kong © Gordon Arthur
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ing than that of the Russian weapon making it a true fire-and-forget weapon. At the same time the CMN yard in Cherbourg began offering the La Combattante class fast attack craft with the new missile in two versions; the 265-tonne Combattante II and the 425 tonne Combattante III which were far more sophisticated than the Osas. They possessed Thomson-CSF (now Thales) Vega weapon control systems for both guns and missiles usually supported by a Triton search and a Castor weapon control radar to produce a combat system which gave these vessels a significant capability against surface targets. In addition to the potent anti-shipping weapon the French ships usually had an Oto Melara 76/62mm gun which offers a significant anti-ship and fire support capability. This proved a winning combination with sales into the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East but surprisingly in the AsiaPacific region the only sale has been of four La Combattante II to Malaysia as the Perdana
Malaysia’s Tun Abdul Jamil is one of the four Laksamana Class small missile corvettes originally built for the Iraqi Navy © Gordon Arthur
class, armed with Bofors 57mm guns. Other nations followed the French example, notably German shipyard Friedrich Lürssen, already famous for their patrol and motor torpedo boats, yet they too had no direct success in the Asia-Pacific region. However, their TNC 45 class and FPB 57 designs were selected by the Singapore Navy and built by Singapore Shipbuilding in the 1970s and 1980s respectively as the Sea Wolf and Fearless classes. The Sea Wolfs had Signaal (now Thales Nederland) WM 28 weapon control systems and were originally armed with the short-range (19 nautical miles or 36 kilometres) Israeli Gavriel (also known as Gabriel) missiles and Bofors 57mm guns but in the 1980s they received new electronics and McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) Harpoon missiles, the latter with a similar
Helicopters are an extremely versatile asset for maritime security. This is an SH-2G Super Seasprite of the Royal New Zealand Navy © Gordon Arthur
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
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range to Exocet but powered by a turbo-jet engine. The Fearless class were scheduled to carry Gavriel but it was ultimately decided not to embark these weapons and they became either anti-submarine patrol or offshore patrol vessels. Singapore also exported three Sea Wolfs to Thailand as the Prabparapak class where they have augmented three Breda-built BMB230 (Ratcharit class) with similar electronics but the Harpoon missile and Oto Melara 76mm gun. The only other European sale of fast attack craft in the Asia-Pacific region was by the Karlskrona yard of Spica class vessels to Malaysia as the Handalans. These had the same armament as the Perdanas but with Philips Elektronindustrier AB or PEAB (now Saab) 9LV 200 Mk 2 combat system with 9GR 200 search and 9LV212 weapon control radar. Singapore also supplied Brunei with three Vosperdesigned fast attack craft with British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) Sea Archer weapon control system and Racal Decca Tm 1229 search
The navies of Eastern Asia have tended to be self-reliant when it comes to fast attack craft
radar, Excoet missiles and a two 30mm Oerlikon gun mounting. These vessels, the Waspada class, were upgraded with Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 radar and Radamec (now Ultra) 2500 electro-optical director in the late 1990s and remain in service. The navies of Eastern Asia have tended to be self-reliant when it comes to fast attack craft. Taiwan produced the Lung Chiang class, based upon the US Asheville class patrol boat design, with electronics of US and Italian origin, armed with short-range Hsiung Feng I missiles which are based upon the Israeli Gavriel. The Israeli Dvora class patrol boats became the basis for Taiwan's later Hai Ou class fast attack craft, also armed with Hsiung Feng, which remain the backbone of the fast attack force although they would be unable to operate beyond the
sight of land. South Korea modified the Asheville design to produce the Paek Ku (PSSM 5) class armed with a surface-to-surface version of the Standard 1 surface-to-air missile but these have all been phased out in favour of corvettes and frigates. Japan produced a class of 50-tonne hydrofoils armed with a domestically-designed SSM-1 but these vessels have also been paid off in favour of frigates. The picture for fast attack craft in the 1980s seemed extremely bright. In terms of capability they were extremely sophisticated platforms, in many respects equivalent to a frigate, for a fraction of the cost and gave many young nations a greater degree of maritime security being capable of extending sea control beyond sight of the coast against similar countries. They also provided, as India demonstrated in 1971, a degree of power projection being capable of taking the fight to the enemy and dominating the battlespace off their coasts. If faced with a numerically superior enemy task group, fast attack craft offered the opportunity of either a mobile or static defence; they could conceal themselves in islands, archipelagos or rivers and conduct Spica class vessels were acquired by Malaysia as the Handalan class ÂŠ Karlskrona
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The JDS Kumataka (PG 826) is the fourth of six Hayabusa clas vessels commissioned between 20024 and armed with a four SSM-1B ant-shipping missiles ÂŠ Gordon Arthur
hit-and-run missions or they could, as had the Egyptians, operate from heavily defended harbours to act as coast defence batteries. Yet during the 1980s many Middle Eastern operators of fast attack craft began to augment and to replace them with larger vessels such as corvettes. There were several reasons for this but they all revolved around the size of fast attack craft which are all under 500 tonnes. Ships which start at this displacement have a greater degree of survivability which grows with size for there can be more compartments where damage can be contained allowing greater fire-fighting and damage control features to operate with greater effectiveness. Smaller ships are clear-
ly more vulnerable to damage, especially from missiles, and such a strike will probably inflict catastrophic damage. A larger ship also means a higher mast which in turn provides greater surveillance radar range and also provides space for an improved anti-air warfare capability in terms of longer-ranged missiles. This became significant as the air threat grew during the 1980s, not only from highperformance land- and carrier-based fixed wing aircraft but also from rotary wing ones. From the 1960s frigate-sized ships had been embarking helicopters for anti-submarine operations but during the 1970s some navies began adapting these for the anti-surface ves-
sel role and specifically to engage fast attack craft. Against surface vessels, the fast attack craft might rely upon speed (more than 35 knots) or concealment but against helicopters neither option was practical. Worse, the fast attack craft could not detect the threat in time to take avoiding action and lacked the means of engaging helicopters which could fire missiles at them with impunity. The first sign of this occurred during the South Atlantic Conflict of 1981 when a missile-equipped Lynx disabled an Argentinean patrol vessel but the point was brutally underlined during Operation 'Desert Storm' when an Iraqi force of fast attack craft trying to support the Khafji counter-offensive in February 1991 was savaged by fixed-and rotary-wing aircraft only one or two of the six-ship force escaping damage or destruction. The lessons have largely been learned and many fast attack craft operators, such as Singapore and Malaysia, are either replacing or planning to replace their vessels with corvettes which have all the advantages of larger vessels. Brunei also followed this route only to find that they could neither man nor maintain the resulting Brunei class corvettes leading to an unseemly dispute with BAE Systems. The most significant navies sailing an opposite course are Taiwan and Indonesia, although even the latter is seeking a substantially larger corvette force of up to 20 hulls. In Singapore Technologies Marine have built twelve Fearless class 55m patrol vessels for the Singapore Navy ÂŠ Gordon Arthur
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
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Singapore and Malaysia, are either replacing or planning to replace their vessels with corvettes which have all the advantages of larger vessels the 1980s Indonesia began to build under licence the LĂźrssen PB 57 patrol boats with gun armament as the Todak, Kakap and Singa classes and the recently appointed Navy chief-of-staff, Vice Admiral Agus Suhartono, has indicated the Kakap and Singa class patrol boats will receive new combat systems and anti-ship missiles which are believed to be Chinese C-802 (CSS-N-8 'Saccade'), a weapon similar to Harpoon. Taiwan began to produce the 180-tonne Kwang Hua 6 class fast attack craft to replace the Hai Ou but the programme has been plagued with delays. These vessels have a light gun armament but the Hsiung Feng I is replaced by the 70-nautical mile Hsiung Feng II. There are signs the Kwang Hua has not proved a success because under the Hsun Hai Plan the Navy wants to fund the design of a 900-ton, twin-hull, vessel (officially coastal missile frigate) which would be 40metres long and be armed with eight Hsiung Feng 3 supersonic anti-ship missiles. The United Arab Emirates Navyâ€™s Baniyas, a TNC-45 Class design also operated by Sinagpore as the Sea Wolf class ÂŠ Gordon Arthur
Over Water Guardians:
Maritime Patrol Aircraft in Asia The previous year witnessed significant activity regarding the procurement and upgrade of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). Across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America, several nations are augmenting their MPA fleets or, in some cases, procuring this essential capability for the first time.
by Tom Withington
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
n Africa; Ghana, Nigeria and Libya have all purchased new MPAs. Looking towards Asia, Australia and New Zealand are planning to upgrade their MPAs, with India and Malaysia expected to procure new aircraft; while Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have all announced new MPA purchases. Like India and Malaysia, France and Italy could soon also procure new MPAs, with Portugal, Poland and Spain taking delivery of new aircraft, with Poland and Portugal embarking on upgrades of their existing MPA fleets. In the Middle East, both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are strongly expected to soon procure new maritime patrol aircraft. Furthermore, in North America, Canada may either complete the upgrade of its existing MPAs, or procure new aircraft, while the United States is engaged in
Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft is based on the civilian 737 airliner and is being promoted as a replacement for the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Firm orders have arrived from the US Navy, with India and Australia also expected to purchase the plane © Boeing.
modernising its legacy MPA fleet and investing in new aircraft. Finally, in terms of new maritime patrol aircraft designs, several products are now available from European and Canadian manufacturers. Despite having a coastline of some 63,124 kilometres (34,048 nautical miles) Africa suffers a dearth of MPAs which are only operated by a handful of states, namely Angola, Mauritius, Senegal and South Africa. However, the West African country of Ghana is bucking this trend with the planned acquisition of four Lockheed Martin C-27J Spartan aircraft for approximately $680 million under a deal which the United States Congress was notified of last MARCH 2010
year. As well as using these aircraft for transport and medical evacuation missions, the country intends to employ them for maritime patrol operations. This will be particularly important for Ghana given its concerns regarding drug trafficking. Nigeria also has maritime security concerns regarding drug trafficking and piracy, and has sought to address these in part with the purchase of a pair of EADS ATR-42MP aircraft which entered service with the Nigerian Air Force last year. These aircraft come outfitted with the Selex Galileo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system to control the aircraft’s radar, ElectroOptical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) systems and
Electronic Support Measures (ESMs). Nigeria is joined on the continent by Libya which ordered a single ATR-42MP aircraft in 2008. However, while Ghana, Nigeria and Libya have all procured new MPAs, Australia and New Zealand are planning to upgrade their existing maritime patrol fleets. Under the Air 5276 Capability Assurance Programme, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is rolling new EO/IR systems, datalinks and video recorders across all 18 aircraft in its Lockheed Martin AP-3C Orion fleet, with the modernisation to be completed by 2011. These aircraft, which will leave RAAF service by 2018, are strongly expected to be replaced by Boeing's new P-8A Poseidon aircraft (see below). Furthermore, following their Australian counterparts, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is introducing new EO/IR payloads onto its six-strong P-3K fleet. While Australia and New Zealand have decided to update their MPA inventories, India and Malaysia are both in the market for new MPAs. India looks set to receive eight P8A Poseidons (locally designated P-8I) to replace the Indian Navy's legacy Tupolev Tu-142 (NATO reporting name 'Bear-F') and Ilyushin Il-38 (NATO reporting name 'May') MPAs. India’s P-8Is are expected to include a significant quantity of domestic equipment,
While Australia and New Zealand have decided to update their MPA inventories, India and Malaysia are both in the market for new MPAs
although Boeing is remaining tight-lipped on what this might be. The first P-8Is are expected to enter service with India around 2013, and the order could be worth up to $2 billion to Boeing. Meanwhile, reports circulated towards the end of 2009 that Malaysia may release a Request for Proposals for a new MPA. Kuala Lumpur had been expected to purchase Fokker 50 MPAs to equip the country's Maritime Enforcement Agency but the deal collapsed because of a lack of funding, although the Agency later procured a pair of Bombardier 415MP amphibious aircraft to perform the mission. The Royal Malaysian Air Force is now expected to acquire up to four new MPAs to replace the Beechcraft Super King Airs that the service currently uses for maritime patrol operations. Candidate aircraft for this new requirement could include the ATR-42MP, EADSCASA/Indonesian Aerospace CN-235MPA, the Fokker 50 and a maritime patrol config-
Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (Finance Police) operates the EADS ATR-42MP maritime patrol aircraft to protect the country’s coastline against illegal smuggling operations © Selex Galileo
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ured version of the Saab 340. However, given the current status of Malaysia's public finances, it could be around 2012 before a decision is made on which aircraft meets the Air Force's requirements. Along with the expected procurements discussed above, Asia has witnessed several purchases of new MPAs over the recent past with Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan and the RoK all taking delivery of new aircraft. Indonesia’s navy recently took delivery of its first EADS-CASA NC-212 MPA which comes outiffted with the Thales Ocean Master surveillance radar, along with a CAE AN/ASQ-508 Magnetic Anomaly Detector, MBDA AM-39 Exocet anti-shipping missiles and Raytheon Mk.46 torpedoes. Indonesia has a pressing need for maritime surveil-
Another enthusiastic user of the EADS-CASA CN-235 is the United States Coast Guard which will operate around 32 of the aircraft which will be locally designated as the HC-144 Ocean Sentry © EADS
lance given that the International Maritime Organisation reported that in 2007 17 percent of the world's piracy attacks occurred around the Indonesian Archipelago. Moreover, Jakarta also has maritime security concerns regarding the government’s sovereignty over several islands. Japan is another country comprised of scores of islands and is taking delivery of the Kawasaki Heavy Industries XP-1 MPA as a replacement for the country's 96 Kawasaki EP-3C Orions which it will begin to replace this year. Meanwhile, Pakistan's force of six P-3Cs and Dassault Breguet Atlantique Br.1150 MPAs will be enhanced with the arrival in service of the first Saab2000 aircraft equipped with the Erieye radar system. Ostensibly designed to perform
Airborne Early Warning, the radar can also be used for maritime patrol. Finally, the Republic of Korea may take advantage of the Indonesian Navy's procurement of new MPAs by purchasing eight of the country's legacy EADS-CASA/Indonesian Aerospace CN235-200 aircraft. These planes will supplement the eight P-3C Orions already in use with the RoK Navy. Much as it is in Asia, a similar level of procurement and upgrade activity is ongoing in Europe. France and Italy have expressed a requirement for new MPAs, with Poland, Portugal and Spain procuring new aircraft
and upgrading legacy designs. The Aeronavale (French Naval Aviation) which operates 23 Dassault Breguet Atlantique-2 MPAs is in the market for a new platform, following the type's expected upgrade over the next few years; France needs a new MPA to replace the country’s 15 Nord 262E Frégate aircraft which are used for the maritime patrol mission. To this end, the Service may decide to fulfil this requirement via the purchase of up to 20 MPAs designed around Dassault's Falcon 2000 business jet. Italy also operates the Atlantique Br.1150 and is looking to eventually replace these 18 aircraft. As a stop-gap measure Rome acquired four ATR-72MPAs to equip the Aeronautica Militaire (Italian Air Force), although a larger purchase of new MPAs will ultimately be required. Like Italy, Poland has taken delivery of new MPAs, although it has stuck to a local design in the form of the PZL Mielec M28 Bryza-1R-BIS, the first of which was delivered to the Marynarka Wojenna Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Polish Navy) in
The Força Aérea Portugues (Portuguese Air Force) has taken delivery of five new EADS-CASA C-295 aircraft to perform the maritime patrol mission, and to supplement the six P-3C/P aircraft that the force already operates © EADS
March 2008. These aircraft are outfitted with a Telecommunications Research Institute SRM800 maritime surveillance system which, in turn, is linked to an ARS-800 186-km (100-nm) surveillance radar. In addition, Poland is modernising its LET 410 SP-MBA maritime patrol aircraft's Swedish Space Corporation’s Maritime Surveillance System which will add a side-looking airborne radar, new mission management software and new EO/IR payloads. Vietnam also operates this aircraft. Like Poland, Portugal is receiving new MPAs, although in the form of five EADSCASA C-295 platforms which were delivered to the Força Aérea Portugues (Portuguese Air Force) from 2006. The C-295s will supplement the six P-3C/P Orions that the Air Force already operates and which are currently undergoing a Lockheed Martin-led $141 million upgrade programme, following their acquisition from the Netherlands in 2006. The modernisation has seen new AntiSubmarine Warfare, EO/IR sensors and communications systems being rolled out across the fleet. Spain, meanwhile, has followed Portugal's example in acquiring new MPAs, although it has elected to procure the smaller cousin of the C-295, namely the CN235, a pair of which were purchased at the
end of 2007 for service with the country's Guardia Civile (Civil Guard). These aircraft are outfitted with the EADS-CASA FITS (Fully Integrated Tactical System) mission system which controls the aircraft’s sensors. During the same year that the aircraft arrived in Spanish service, EADS-CASA also won a contract from the Türk Deniz Kuvvetleri (Turkish Navy) to equip the service with 19 CN-235 MPA airframes. Although several European countries are
Asia has witnessed several purchases of new MPAs over the recent past with Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan and the RoK all taking delivery of new aircraft
in the market for replacement MPAs, or are taking delivery of new platforms and performing upgrades of older aircraft, two nations in the Middle East, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, are planning to acquire a new airborne maritime patrol capability. Bahrain has reportedly been identified by Boeing as a likely candidate for Boeing's P-8A aircraft, along
Spain’s Guardia Civilie (Civil Guard) gendarmerie operates two EADS-CASA CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft which were acquired in 2007. These aircraft are tasked with fighting narcotics trafficking and illegal immigration © EADS
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with Saudi Arabia. Both countries share significant maritime security concerns vis-a-vis the Persian Gulf and also the Iranian Navy's operation of Project 887 Paltus 'Kilo' class diesel-electric submarines. Both countries may decide to purchase the aircraft over the next two years and these could be sourced from the company's existing P-8A production line in Washington State, USA. With Bahrain and Saudi Arabia being named as possible customers for the P-8A Poseidon, the business development execu-
tives at Boeing may also be wondering if Canada could represent a future export prospect. Canada has some major maritime security considerations, not least the possibility of a new year-round ice-free shipping route being opened over the Northwest Passage should the Artic ice cap continue to recede. To this end the country may decide to acquire a new MPA to replace the 18 P-3C Orions (locally designated CP-140 Aurora) aircraft that the Canadian Forces Air Command currently operates.
RUAG Aerospace performs a service converting Dornier Do-228 aircraft for special missions. This picture shows a pair of Do-228s being converted for use as maritime patrol platforms by the Netherlands © RUAG
Looking south across the 49th parallel, the US Navy is replacing its 170-strong P-3C fleet with Boeing's new P-8A design. The Poseidon is based around the Boeing 737 commercial airliner, but uses the fuselage of the 737-800 series and the wings of the -900 model. The hybrid design provides a large fuselage able to accommodate the aircraft's equipment and wings strong enough to carry ordnance and fuel, while also allowing the aircraft to manoeuvre comfortably at low altitude. The aircraft will provide the US Navy with a platform that can be steadily upgraded during its service life via a series of spiral increments. for example, in August last year it was announced that Raytheon had been awarded a three-year contract to install the Advanced Airborne Sensor onto the aircraft once it enters service, replacing the existing RaytheonBoeing Littoral Radar System used by the Orions. The US Navy expects to acquire a total of 117 P-8As, with the maiden flight of the first airframe occurring on 25th April 2009. In addition to obtaining the Poseidon airThe Armada de México (Mexican Navy) has taken delivery of the EADS-CASA C-212 Aviocar aircraft to perform maritime patrol. These planes are tasked with protecting the country’s oil installations and fighting narcotics trafficking © EADS
craft, the US Navy is upgrading its Orions to keep their capabilities sharp until their retirement. The aircraft will receive an enhancement via the Lockheed Martin Integrated Tactical Picture software upgrade which will fuse together the data from the aircraft’s various sensors, while a Link-16 datalink will allow this information to be shared with other P-3s. Looking towards the future, a number of new MPAs are entering the market place. In November last year, RUAG Aerospace rolled out its first Dornier 228NG (New Generation) variant of the Dornier 228. This aircraft has been designed for several missions, including maritime patrol, with the possibility of a float-equipped aircraft being constructed from 2012 to give the 228NG an amphibious design. Other new MPA products entering the market place include Viking Air’s maritime patrol, and search and rescue variant of the Twin Otter, known as the Series 400 which is outfitted with an EO/IR payload, track-while-scan radar; laser rangefinder and illuminator; a camera, underwing hardpoints and up to ten hours’ endurance; all for under $10 million. At the larger end of the scale, Bombardier of Canada has developed an MPA version of the Q400, which is a development of the company’s Q200 and Q300, both aircraft already used for the maritime patrol mission.
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Evolution East Timor in 1999 and the Al Qaeda attacks on America in 2001 shook the Australian Government out of its comfortable disinterest in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) that had permeated policy since the end of the Vietnam War.
by Abraham Gubler
ith military action needed for a range of missions in an increasing unstable world, the ADF has had to transform itself into a deployable and survivable force. While held back by a range of equipment acquisition failures and overly bureaucratic administration, the ADF has achieved an impressive record of mission success. The force continues to evolve to meet the demands of regional and global security.
Next Generation Navy
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has struggled to retain its trained personnel in the face
of the difficult workload demands of the sea service and a buoyant domestic economy. Initiatives like the Sea Change programme and the New Generation Navy (NGN) have sought to alleviate these shortfalls by innovative ways to staff ships and replace existing capability. With additional requirements by the Government for the RAN to provide capability the success of these changes will be crucial. While the RAN is currently modernising its surface combat fleet it is in the submarine, amphibious and littoral warfare fleets where most change is underway. The SEA 1000 Future Submarine project will replace the Australian built Collins class with 12 larger and more capable submarines
The acquisition of M1A1 Abrams tanks provide the Army with the highly survivable firepower needed to ensure an offensive capability against contemporary insurgent forces armed with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and anti tank weapons ÂŠ Australian DoD
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from 2025. These boats will be designed to meet the requirement for a conventional submarine able to perform over similar ranges and mission durations to one with nuclear power. They are likely to displace around 4,000 tonnes and will have a unique overall design while using sub-systems common with other boats. RAND Corporation is currently carrying out a domestic design study into the capability of Australian and international industry to design the new vessel. Currently under construction via a mixed method in both Spain and Australia is the first of two 27,851 tonne Canberra class Landing ships, Helicopter and Dock (LHD). Based on the Navantia Juan Carlos I class, these vessels will enable a significant increase in amphibious lift and sustainment for the ADF. Operating together the two LHDs will be able to deploy a 1,200 strong combined arms battalion group with tanks and medium artillery. Six Eurocopter MRH-90 helicopters carrying an entire infantry company can be simultaneously launched from each LHD. The ADF will adopt a seabasing concept with the LHDs with only the combat teams deploying ashore and the various combat service support (logistics, medical, etc) and command elements staying afloat. To sustain the two LHDs as they remain in support of the landing group a new sealift ship of 10,00015,000 tonnes will be acquired to ferry supplies to and form the seabase. This vessel will not be dependent on port infrastructure and able to launch and operate helicopters and amphibious landing craft. An additional six smaller amphibious
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fighting Anzac class frigates like HMAS Toowoomba bear the burden of the RANâ€™s international security mission. It will be upgraded from 2010 with a new CEAFAR radar system before being replaced in the 2020s with the much larger SEA 5000 Future Frigate ÂŠ Australian DoD
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landing ships will be acquired to replace the Balikpapan class heavy landing craft. These ships will be ocean going and capable of independent amphibious landings and resupply. Contract decision will be in 2015-18 and likely options include vessels like the US Navy’s TCraft transformable hovercraft, the French CNIM Multipurpose Projection Vessel (MPV) and Australian designed options. To alleviate crewing demands and provide enhanced capability, the Navy will replace the current 14 Armidale class patrol boats, six Huon class mine hunters and six hydrographic survey ships with a fleet of 20 common ships under project SEA 1180. These 2,000 tonne Offshore Combatant Vessels will have a helicopter landing deck, hangar and reconfigurable mission deck. This deck will be used to accommodate containerised systems for the mine hunter and hydrographic roles and appropriate smaller vessels, both manned and unmanned, for the various missions as per
Australian soldiers mentoring Afghan soldiers defeat a Taliban force during Operation “Zamarai Lor” (Phastu for Tiger Scythe) at Sork Lez in Afghainstan. Ten years ago such an engagement was unthinkable but international and regional security missions are the foreseeable future for the ADF © Australian DoD
need. Contract decision will be made in 201821 with a high likelihood that the vessel will be designed and built in Australia. The first containerised deployable minehunter systems will be acquired under SEA 1778 for operation from the Canberra class LHD in 2015-17. This will include both surface and underwater unmanned vessels for deploying mine hunting sensors, countermeasures and to tow various mine sweeps.
Adaptive Campaigning Army
Since East Timor the Army has constantly sustained one to three battalion groups on deployed operations, providing both high levASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
els of field experience and significant logistical challenges. To evolve to meet the new operational environment the Army has raised a special operations command, transformed from a light infantry to medium armoured force and expanded from eight to twelve battalion groups with supporting units. The latest initiative, the Adaptive Army, has seen the traditional multi division, field corps structure change to a rotating structure. Units are allocated to Forces Command to carry out reconstitution and training between deployments. They are then transferred to the 1st Division under command of the ADF’s Joint Operations Command for mission rehearsal exercises (MRE) at the expanded combat training centre and the operational deployment. While modernising its artillery and infantry systems with new more lethal and networked battle management systems (BMS) it is in armoured vehicles where the most significant change is happening.
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roles. While a common vehicle is planned for both roles there are differing views on what it should be with the cavalry preferring a fast wheeled vehicle and the infantry a tracked vehicle able to survive multiple attacks without loss of mobility. The common requirement is for an IFV with an integrated BMS and part of a large international supply base to lower support costs. LAND 400 will also acquired unmanned vehicles – both ground and air mobile – if they can replace currently
Six Eurocopter MRH-90 helicopters carrying an entire infantry company can be simultaneously launched from each LHD
manned vehicle systems. Later phases of project will replace the various armoured and protected combat support and infantry mobility vehicles like the Thales Australia Bushmaster. “The Army’s extensive fleet of 7,000 Landrovers and trucks will be replaced by a mixed fleet of armoured vehicles, traditional field vehicles and commercial trucks. Project LAND 121 Phase 3 has already selected Mercedes Benz to supply 600 4x4 and 660 6x6 G-Wagen unarmoured light trucks with the
first deliveries in February 2010. The initial selection of BAE Systems to supply around 2,500 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 FMTV medium and heavy field trucks was rejected after recognition that medium weight class trucks could not carry both their cargo and the high levels of crew protection needed and the immaturity of the 8x8 FMTV. Subsequently Thales Australia has been selected for further offer development to supply 980 Copperhead utility versions of the Bushmaster armoured 4x4. The second round of offers for trucks from BAE Systems (replacing the 8x8 FMTV with a 8x8 Scania), MAN, Thales Australia (partnered with Oshkosh), MAN and Mercedes Benz was short listed in early 2010. The MAN HX family will compete with the Mercedes Benz Zetros and Actros to provide 1,020 unarmoured trucks and 515 with heavily armoured crew cabins. An additional 1,060 G-Wagens or similar commercial light trucks will be purchased under Phase 5 along with 1,070 commercial medium and heavy trucks to replace the last legacy vehicles for domestic training duties only. LAND 121 Phase 4 will acquire 1,300 Protected Mobility Vehicles – Light (PMV-L) in the 6-8 tonne class. This project is following three possible procurement approaches including partnership with the massive US Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) project,
Strongly criticised by some as “unplanned” the rapid purchase of Boeing C-17As has more than proved their worth as they can deliver loads over long distances to remote airfields. Here a RAAF C17A operates from Tarin Kwot, Afghanistan © Australian DoD
The GDLS ASLAV armoured vehicle has borne the brunt of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. LAND 112 Phase 4 will provide an extensive ASLAV mid life upgrade (MLU) to include a new armoured hull structure with enhanced protection, a defensive aid suite (DAS) and an improved powerpack to restore mobility despite weight increases. The new hull is in system design and development (SDD) stage before production approval between 2011-13 for entry into service in 201416. The DAS will include a hard kill active protection system (APS) which will be demonstrated from March 2010. To replace the ASLAV and M113AS4 armoured personnel carrier a new Combat Vehicle System will be acquired under LAND 400 with approval for go ahead of a tender process expected in 2016. A total of 1,100 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) will be acquired to equip six battalion groups in both armoured cavalry and mechanised infantry MARCH 2010
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domestic design and/or production and off the shelf acquisition. If the Australian option can provide a cost effective and capable vehicle compared to the JLTV it will be acquired. Responses to this requirement include a new vehicle designed by Thales Australia with Plasan Sasa called the Hawkei and Australian builds of the Oshkosh MATP or SandCat and Force Protection’s Ocelot.”
World’s Best Little Air Force
Unlike the other Services, the Royal Australian Air Force entered the new era of regional and global instability with a secure workforce and an already in place expeditionary structure. For the previous role of defence of northern Australia the RAAF would deploy to a series of ‘bare bases’ across the north from the peacetime training locations near Australia’s major cities. This expeditionary force structure has been able to transfer its deployment destination from the outback to the Middle East. The RAAF’s air combat force is evolving from a mix of tactical fighters and dedicated strike aircraft to an all strike fighter force with the impending retirement of General Dynamics F-111C, modernisation of the Boeing F/A-18A/B and acquisition of both the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II. This will enable better flexibility in mission sourcing and enable all fighter aircraft to provide the
kind of high assurance precision strike needed for close air support (CAS) in contemporary counter insurgency operations. The fleet of legacy Hornets have received the most extensive upgrade in the world under AIR 5376 with new mission systems, weapons and airframe life extension. While on average over 20 years in age these aircraft now have new radars (Raytheon APG-73), advanced targeting pods (Northrop Grumman/RAFAEL Litening AT), advanced
The first containerised deployable minehunter systems will be acquired under SEA 1778 for operation from the Canberra class LHD in 2015-17
radio frequency jamming pods (Elta EL/L8212/22), cockpit displays, helmet mounted displays, mission computers, countermeasure dispensers, LINK 16 secure data links and Raytheon ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receivers (the later currently being integrated). Their weapons include the proven lock on after launch (LOAL) for high off bore sight (HOBS) capability MBDA AIM-132 ASRAAM and the long range Raytheon AIM-120C AMRAAM air to air missiles. For air to ground use both the GPS guided Boeing
Despite delayed by several years the deliver of the first two Boeing Wedgetail airborne early warning aircraft at the end of 2009 will be part of the significant transformation in ADF ISR and air combat capability © Australian DoD
JDAM and laser guided Raytheon Paveway precision guided bombs are available with the new Lockheed Martin AGM-158 JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) stealthy cruise missile coming into service. To provide an assured capability and technology bridge the RAAF is currently converting its No. 82 Wing to 24 Super Hornets. These aircraft have the Block II mission systems with technology sourced from the same project as the F-35A including the Raytheon APG-79 Advanced Electronically Scanned Radar (AESA), tactically significant radar cross section (RCS) low observability (LO) and a rear seat for a mission systems operator. The last 12 Super Hornets will be fitted with the basic wiring to enable their conversion to the EA18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to support the F-35As through their life of service. The Super Hornets will operate with similar
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weapons to the upgraded Hornets but with Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinders and AGM-154 JSOW glide bombs. In late November 2009, the Australian Government committed to contracting for the first 14 F-35As with a decision on a second batch of 58 to be made in 2012. The first F35As will be delivered from 2014 with the first operational squadron ready in 2018. AIR 6000 Phase 3 will consider a suite of air to ground weapons for the F-35A including new gun ammunition and decoys with Phase 5 to acquire a future air to air weapon for the F35A and F/A-18F. Both weapons projects will be contracted between 2014-17, with a new maritime strike missile for the F-35A to be considered around 2020. The RAAF is also transforming its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) fleet from the legacy Lockheed AP-3C Orion to
The C-17A is able to carry heavy loads like this mission to deliver new Bushmaster and ASLAV armoured vehicles to the ADF in Afghanistan © Australian DoD
a mix of manned and unmanned aircraft. This complexity of balancing the introduction of new systems while retaining all ISR capability types has resulted in further delay to the RAAF’s long held ambition of acquiring a high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial system (UAS) for maritime surveillance. While seven of the Northrop Grumman RQ4N Global Hawk for the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) project was initially selected its introduction will have to wait until the RAAF has acquired another three types of new ISR capability. The first new capability is a theatre level overland UAS in the form of leased flight MARCH 2010
hours of IAI-Malat Herons commercially operated in Afghanistan. The RAAF’s Heron capability will be operational in 2010 as Australian personnel have been serving with a similar service provision for the Canadian Forces. The centrepiece of the RAAF’s future ISR capability will be the eight Boeing P-8A Poseidons acquired in partnership with the US Navy. While acquired as a replacement maritime patrol aircraft with anti-submarine capability they will be extensively used as airborne command posts in both overland and maritime roles. Because the P-8A baseline capability does not include a force level electronic intelligence (ELINT) capability the RAAF will keep several of the specially modified AP-3Cs in service to sustain this capability. They will eventually be retired when the P-8A can be modified for this role freeing the workforce needed to operate the HALE UAS.
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Airborne Command and Control:
The Commanding Before the advent of flight, commanders always sought the high ground, to enable more effective control over their forces. Today, by climbing aboard an aircraft to fulfil that function, commanders are seeking the natural technological extension of that process.
by Adam Baddeley
ltitude has always ensured a better perspective on problems; sensors for example are no longer as affected by human or physical geography. Inevitably, many of the issues that apply for the smooth running of a command and control (C2) apply equally to airborne as well as surface based systems but there are key differences. Airborne C2 requires a range of different technological functionalities; hardware must be compact and rugged to fit in the form factor of the aircraftâ€™s cabin and offer reliable performance in extreme environments. Requirements become more difficult to match if the system consists of a removable module to be operated from a transport aircraft for example, rather than a dedicated suite. Power is a further require-
ment, C2 systems have their own electrical power overhead, that has to be drawn from often meagre aircraft systems. Airborne C2 is inevitably focused on managing the airborne battle, providing air forces with Airborne Early Warning and Control capability (AEW&C). Traditionally, US manufacturers have dominated the air-
borne C2 segment in the region, although that grip has eased in recent years. US sourced sales in the region relate to three key platforms: the Boeing 737 AEW&C, the Boeing E-767 and the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye aircraft. The Hawkeye is in widespread use across the Asia-Pacific region and continues to be upgraded. Taiwan operates six platforms, two of which are to the Hawkeye 2000 standard with Taiwan recently signing a contract to update four earlier E-2Ts to that standard. Japan is also upgrading aircraft from its 13 strong Hawkeye fleet in the same way. The Hawkeye 2000 features the new APS-145 radar and new hardware, software and data Heliborne systems such as the A2C2S provide a more tactical ground focussed C2 capability ÂŠ Raytheon
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links within the aircraft, but can also integrate the US Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability, an ultra-high speed datalink network previously hosted only on surface vessels. Singapore has operated four Hawkeyes but recently decided to switch to Israel Aircraft Industries’ EL/M-2075 Phalcon system, operating from a G550 business jet with conformal arrays with information being managed by six onboard air warfare officers. India too has opted to acquire the Phalcon but instead matched with it three Il76 A-50 platforms. The Il-76 is a much larger platform, allowing the aircraft larger
radar and more operator stations. Other air forces in the region have adopted a similar, larger platform approach. Japan was the first with its E767. The Boeing aircraft offers roughly 50 percent more operators space and double the volume over the 707 based E-3 Sentry AWACS family and integrates the Sentry's APY-1 radar and mission system. Upgrades to the radar and mission system for the Sentry are being looked at the future under the designation Block 40/45 upgrade, also known as the E-3G which shifts the system to an open architecture for computing and new operator stations as well as new and improved C2 tools and communications suite. This package has been linked with a UK requirement known as the E-3D Advanced Generation Life Extension (EAGLE) which will link the Royal Air Force’s Sentrys with other ground and air platforms to enable collaborative targeting. France has very recently opted for the Block 40/45 upgrade for its E-3F fleet which in addition to other improve-
Australia’s first AEW&C capability is the oft delayed Wedgetail programme MARCH 2010
Thailand’s first steps toward airborne C2 are with the Erieye system © Saab
ments add four new consoles taking the total to 14 with the upgrade de to be competed by the end of 2015. Australia’s first AEW&C capability is the oft delayed Wedgetail programme with the first two of six aircraft being delivered in November with the next four due to be completed in 2011. The system is based around Northrop Grumman's 1.2-1.4 GHz-band Multirole Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar which can track air and maritime targets simultaneously. South Korea is also buying the same aircraft under the Peace Eye programme. On aboard the systems hosts ten battle management consoles China has developed an indigenous solution, the KJ-2000 AEW&C system, following the cancellation of its planned buy of the IAI Phalcon system, although it intends to mount this on the same Il-76 based A-50I airframe. China has also developed installations of the mission system on other, smaller classes of aircraft including the Shaanxi Y-8. Pakistan has been linked to the combination of that aircraft with the KJ-2000. Pakistan is more closely associated with
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The first two of Australia's project Wedgetail aircraft have been delivered and acquitted themselves well in the recent Arnhem Thunder exercise ÂŠ Australian DoD
the Erieye, matched with the Saab 2000 AEW&C aircraft platform with one aircraft delivered and three further examples due for delivery shortly. In 2009, Thailand signed a contract for Erieye based on the Swedish S100B/D Argus AEW aircraft. India has recently opted for the Embraer ERJ-145 to host an AEW&C architecture developed indigenously by India. The project is led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation with industrial participation by companies that include the Centre for Airborne Systems and Astra Microwave Products. The system is planned to be fielded from 2011. In addition to managing the air battle, commanders seeking advanced C2 and mobility will also seek to manage the surface engagement while aloft. In contrast to its large body based AEW&C solution in the region, Boeing has also demonstrated a more tactical airborne C2 suite to Australia, focussed on supporting special forces missions. The simulated demonstration took place in 2009, linking the Scan Eagle UAVs to a CH-47 based command suite, which was then linked down to small tactical teams on the ground via the RF7800M-MP, sending imagery down to the
users and also enables functionality such as whiteboarding. Perhaps the best known solution is the UH-60L Blackhawk mounted Army Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S), developed by Raytheon for the US Army. The A2C2S can serve as an airborne tactical command post at the corps, division, brigade, or attack helicopter unit level. The A2C2S consist of five user consoles with two large common displays. DRS' 18-inch Rugged Airborne Display are amongst those
used in the A2C2S. The systems can also operate while on the ground using ground antennas to maintain links. The US deployed the system with the 4th Infantry Division in Iraq, operating for over 3000 hours and was then taken over by the 3rd Infantry Division for a total of 17 months in combat. Any airborne C2 systems must integrate the same C2 applications as the commander would access on the ground. In the example of A2C2S this principally means the Army
The Hawkeye is a staple of airborne battle management throughout the region although its hold on the market is weakening ÂŠ Northrop Grumman
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Elbit’s HeliC3OM is a dedicated C2 systems designed specifically for helicopters, providing them with shared situational awareness with open standard links for feeds from the found and other airborne platforms to help them with their mission. The systems has been installed on a wide range of platforms in the IDF beginning with the AH-64 but also reportedly AH-1 Cobras, UH-60 Black Hawks, AH-64A/Ds and CH-53s. While in tactical applications the helicopter is king, they lack endurance, speed and altitude for more wide ranging tasks. In the
The Republic of Korea Airforce has requested a brief on the complete RAF Sentinel capability
Battlefield Command System's Battlefield and the Army Tactical Command and Control System. The Blackhawk is not the only rotary wing airborne platform with Russian’s giant Mi-6 Hook-D variant being used as an airborne command post. A more modest but highly capable platform is the Mi-19 Airborne Command Post Helicopter based on the Mi17V platform with three pilots, two communications operators and four to five tactical officers with an endurance of three hours.
US that task is put firmly at the feet of the JSTARS has a flight endurance of 11 hours, or 20 hours with in-flight refueling. The UK’s primary airborne C2 aircraft today is the Raytheon developed Sentinel R.1 which had its operational debut in Afghanistan with 5 Squadron RAF. In Afghanistan, the Sentinel’s C2 information is shared between operators on the ground and in the air, switching between wide area surveillance looking generally at ground traffic then switching to a narrower field of view.
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This acts as a ‘trip wire’ detecting abnormal activity and using that to direct narrower, higher resolution often electro-optic assets for closer investigation. One role is in convoy protection. By surveilling the area around the convoy ASTOR can direct the convoy commander along routes as a real time response to Taliban movements. The Republic of Korea Air Force has requested a brief on the complete RAF Sentinel capability including its ground infrastructure.
Underlying airborne C2’s effectiveness is access to communications, providing data networks, transmitting video and imagery and making calls over secure networks. For the air battle that means the same data links as the aircraft, notably Link 16 and a number of propriety links that have been developed outside of NATO. Aircraft can’t have ‘antenna farms’, a term to describe large groupings installed on headquarters and vehicles to ensure communications. Clearly aircraft have more stringent requirements for antenna placement. Large high altitude platforms are going to be different from rotary wing aviation as the modulation created by rotor case blockage which may require waveform changes. Airborne platforms are focusing on the ground picture will be equipped with the VHF and HF radios, common to the ground
While investing in the E-767 aircraft, Japan is also upgrading aircraft from its Hawkeye fleet to the Hawkeye 2000 standard © US DoD
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Solutions such as the EL/K 1891 provide airborne commanders with the high capacity links necessary for airborne C2 © AJB
forces they are seeking to detect. Unlike ground headquarters with access to ground based high capacity communications, the only prospect for broadband links is via satcom. Airborne applications of satcom require small-aperture antennas to function effectively. These have lower gains, with larger beam widths, which impact on uplink performance and on the downlink, use more satellite resources. A larger beamwidth also requires more precise control of the pointing mechanism to avoid adjacent satellite interference. US helicopters don’t rely on SINCGARS or EPLRS links for FBCB2 (Force XXI Battle
Ground infrastructure allows the air C2 picture to be managed by a combination of ground and airborne analysts and commanders © Raytheon
Command Brigade and Below). Instead, since 2002 it has opted to install its Blue Force Tracking - Aviation (BFT-A) system on its rotary aviation fleet which uses commercial L-band or Ku-band transponders to share situational awareness information using Comtech MT2011-04 and MT2010-04 L-band satellite antenna and transceivers of CH-47, UH-60, OH-58 and AH-64 platforms. A number of manufacturers provide broadband satcom for airborne applications. EMS’ eNfusion Broadband voice and data system uses the Inmarsat network. Installed on a C-130 Hercules, it consists of hatch mounted antenna and high-speed transceiver. Using Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband network
Solutions such as the EL/K 1891 provide airborne commanders with the high capacity links necessary for airborne C2 © AJB
Data rates of up to 432 Kbps are possible. For rotary wing aviation, EMS have its Helicom antenna systems mounted on the fuselage, it weighs 18.3Kg with over 1200 systems in service. In December, Boeing supplied the 500th Combat Track II kit to the US Air Force providing secure UHF based situational awareness to large aircraft including transports such as the C-17 and C-130. The Iridium based Flightcell DZM2 enables basic voice and data to be sent over the horizon via an existing world wide space based network which allows situational
Airborne applications of satcom require small aperture antennas to function effectively
awareness information to be added to virtually any platform. Information and received is sent via SMS messaging in clear or encryption using AES256. The system is now deployed operationally with the US armed forces on fixed and rotary wing aviation. The systems is also been fitted to around 40 Colombian military platforms. Israel Aircraft Industries Elta Systems EL/K-1891 Satcom network can be fitted on airborne as well as ground and shipborne mobile applications. The systems is already operationally on fixed and rotary wing platforms. The system supports Ku band with options for Ka, Ca and X and only weighs 24Kg and requires 800Watt of power allowing it for example to be easily fitted on a helicopter.
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Emerging and Future Security Threats in the Asia-Pacific The world may have entered the second decade of the 21st century, but a state of peaceful enlightenment remains more elusive than ever. Inter-state rivalries, insurgencies, ethnic conflict, weapons proliferation and terrorism are just some of the security threats present in the Asia-Pacific region.
by Gordon Arthur
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or fifty years, the Pacific Ocean has been the preserve of the US, especially through the might of the US Navy. US dominance began with the “liberation” of Guam and the Philippines in the 19th century. Particularly since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1989, US hegemony has been even more pronounced. Forward-deployed units are stationed at Japanese, South Korean and Guam bases. The alliance with Japan, “remains the linchpin of our security strategy in Asia,” but future proceedings will be complicated by the 2009 election of Yukio Hatoyama’s more independent-minded government. It was no accident that President Obama visited Japan first on his inaugural tour of Asia. During the Cold War, Beijing furnished a counterbalance to Washington and Moscow superpower. However, with a weakened Russia, China has risen to the fore. Impelled by astonishing economic growth, China has pursued a robust military modernisation programme to remedy its, “short arms and slow legs”. China possesses the largest armed force in the world, and in terms of future Asian tensions, China’s ability to challenge the US is perhaps the most prominent. Despite Obama’s promise of “pragmatic
cooperation”, China’s growth keeps the USA watchful and American military officials regularly lamenting the lack of transparency in Chinese military spending. US disquiet is mirrored in the build-up of the US Navy’s Pacific fleet - more submarines are now based in the Pacific than the Atlantic. Although China’s military spending snowballs annually, it is currently just 17 percent of that of the US.
Impelled by astonishing economic growth, China has pursued a robust military modernisation programme to remedy its, “short arms and slow legs”
China is disinterested in global domination, but feels the need to secure its borders and protect economic interests. This includes vital sea lines of communication (SLOC) and energy sources, with 95 percent of its oil crossing the Indian Ocean. Chinese concern is evidenced in a naval task force first despatched to the Gulf of Aden in December 2008. There are suspicions China is producing, “a string of
pearls” by establishing a series of Indian Ocean port facilities in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar. However, this theory has not been backed by any credible intelligence, and initiatives appear merely commercial in nature. This is not to say China would not bolster its Indian Ocean presence if it feared its interests were threatened. The “Taiwan issue” is an added complication. China has threatened the use of force should this “renegade province” ever contemplate declaring independence, and it backs up its threat with more than 1,000 ballistic missiles pointing at Taiwan. Tensions soared palpably in 1996 when China fired missiles into the Taiwan Strait as a form of intimidation. US aircraft carriers despatched to the area uncorked the spectre of open confrontation between China and the USA. The two have already had spats such as the 2001 mid-air collision of an EP-3 surveillance plane and Chinese fighter. For China to take a soft stance on the Taiwan issue would create internal dissatisfaction, while taking a hard-line risks open conflict. Chinese leaders must thus walk a delicate tightrope, giving rise to a potential miscalculation that might trigger hostilities. Ties between Taiwan and Mainland China improved after Ma Ying-jeou was elected in
China showed the DF-21C medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) at its impressive 60th anniversary parade in Beijing on 1 October 2009 © Gordon Arthur
The USA maintains a strong military presence in East Asia. This M1A1 Abrams tank of the US Army’s 2nd Infantry Division is stationed in South Korea © Gordon Arthur
May 2008, though many Taiwanese do not approve of this rapprochement. Many Asian nations see arms build ups as a source of national pride rather than a symptom of a destabilising arms race. On the back of economic growth, India is another regional power growing militarily. The US is keen on developing a strategic relationship, with India serving as a useful southern bulwark against China. Other Asian border tensions are present, such as those between Thailand and Cambodia that sporadically explode into violence. Another intractable area of concern is weapons proliferation. Asia is home to nuclear-weapon powers China, India, Pakistan and, most troubling of all, North Korea. The Korean Peninsular is a latent problem that could conceivably degenerate into armed conflict. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a pariah, and a second nuclear test on 25 May 2009 confirmed it as a fully-fledged nuclear power. This is in combination with a ballistic missile programme, with one missile leapfrogging Japan on 5 April 2009. The DPRK has petulantly resisted all international efforts to curb its nuclear inclinations, and also refuses to deactivate its Yongbyon reactor. Furthermore, North Korea is a repeat offender in proliferating missile technology to kindred states such as Pakistan, Yemen and Iran. The greatest fear is terrorists getting hold of a nuclear device via such a regime, or alternatively creating a radiologi-
cal, chemical or biological Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD). For half a century the DPRK has posed a dilemma to its neighbours, but Japan is reacting by developing a Theatre Missile Defence (TMD) network in conjunction with the USA. This has the sideeffect of irritating China, which relies on missiles for its deterrence effect. China thus sees the need to proliferate its own missile numbers in order to saturate US-Japanese missile
defences. Should North Korea develop a full nuclear-weapon capability, its neighbours would either have to disarm it or learn to live with it, perhaps by responding in kind.
Terrorism and insurgency
Asia’s hottest spot at present is Afghanistan and Pakistan. American and NATO allies are mired in an Afghan counterinsurgency that has claimed the lives of nearly 1,600 Coalition soldiers thus far. Western powers are somewhat at a loss on how to proceed, as demonstrated by President Obama’s recent hesitation in deciding what policy to pursue. The Taliban-led insurgency has also spread to Pakistan, particularly as Pakistan cracks down on resident insurgents. With no solution in sight, a line from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign proves a fitting epithet here - “It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick.” Pakistani insecurity is particularly worrisome, as it would be potentially catastrophic South Korea has a massive technological superiority over its nemesis North Korea. This is an F-15K Slam Eagle of the Republic of Korea Air Force © Gordon Arthur
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
The Korean Peninsular is a latent problem that could conceivably degenerate into armed conflict
if terrorists accessed the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Pakistan for many years sponsored a de facto insurgency in the disputed territories on the Indian border. Violence in Jammu and Kashmir has lessened somewhat in recent years, but 1,093 Indians died in insurgent attacks in 2007. Islamic terrorism from Pakistan-based groups is a constant concern, as illustrated by the deadly 2008 Mumbai terrorist operation. The prognosis for both Afghanistan and Pakistan is not good, with global implications such as the spread of Islamic extremism. Nowadays the greatest danger may not be from a missile, but a shipping container containing a WMD. Nations have been balancing new security agendas since the Cold War ended, and the latest ingredient added to the mix is counterterrorism. Southeast Asia has specific home-grown terrorist threats in the
Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Indonesia has witnessed a number of attacks, including the 2003 Bali bombings. Should a terrorist group restrict the flow of cargo vessels through a chokepoint like the Malacca Strait, there would be catastrophic economic results for countries reliant on this SLOC. The death of Noordin Top in Java on 17 September 2009, Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist, dealt a blow to regional terrorism. However, Indonesia in particular remains a fertile ideological breeding ground for future jihadist generations. Often a legacy of Western colonialism, separatism and ethnic violence will doubtlessly be a future security threat. There is ongoing sectarian violence in the southern Philippines and southern Thailand, and Malaysia has also seen outbreaks. While Taiwan is China’s core national-security concern, perhaps more volatile is internal instability in Tibet and amongst Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province, exacerbated by a widening poverty gap, corruption and unemployment. Indonesia has already been embroiled in violence in Timor-Leste, and for many years a
Japan takes regional threats such as a nuclear-armed North Korea very seriously. These Japanese destroyers belong to arguably the strongest navy in Asia © Gordon Arthur
India proclaims its nuclear weapons form a credible deterrence. This Agni-III intermediate-range ballistic missile was paraded in Delhi © Gordon Arthur
secessionist campaign in Aceh. Nepal has been dealing with a Maoist insurgency, although it is currently in limbo. Listing these few examples shows the widespread nature of such conflicts. One positive point has been the surprising victory of the Sri Lankan government in the decades-old conflict against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In an increasingly digitized world, cyberattacks by foreign powers or terrorists have become a very real menace. In May 2009, President Obama announced a new cybersecurity strategy that included a new White House office. He stated, “It is now clear this cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national-security challenges we face as a
nation.” In June 2009 the US military set up a four-star cyber-command to specifically deal with this theat. Asia is a cyberwarfare centre of gravity, with many attacks traced back to China in what some believe is a state-sponsored campaign. A cyber spy network centred in China was unearthed on 28 March 2009, with the system tapping into government and private organisations in 103 countries. In December 2009, South Korea reported a coordinated DPRK cyber-attack that stole secret data from OPLAN 5027. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems represent a soft target in many commercial utility companies. For example, a terrorist group or hostile nation could hack into an electricity
grid network and cause considerable economic and strategic damage. Perhaps the greatest criminal threat is piracy, particularly in Southeast Asia. Should a phenomenon similar to the rampant piracy off the coast of Somalia occur in constricted shipping lanes like the Malacca Strait, it would be very serious. Piracy is usually a by-product of economic hardship, with regional pirate attacks soaring after the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Future economic recessions could again cause spikes in piracy. Other destabilising factors include transnational crime like drug and people trafficking, gunrunning and smuggling. Competition over depleted resources could easily cause future conflict. One simmering territorial dispute centres on the remote Spratly Islands, with competing jurisdictions rivalled by China’s “historical” claim to the whole South China Sea. If substantial oil and gas resources are discovered on the Spratly seabed, a number of countries will stake serious claims. Similarly, many economies rely on fishing, and as fishing stocks become exhausted this will prompt increasing national competition. Global warming will not be without effect - whole The Philippines has been fighting communist and Islamic insurgents for decades. Here, Special Forces of the Philippine Army conduct a patrol in Mindanao © Gordon Arthur
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IDAM-AMR ads.ai 3/1/2010 12:02:20 PM
territories like the Maldives will face extinction from rising sea levels. China, South Korea and India are currently acquiring African agricultural land to ensure domestic food security. There is already competition for land and mineral resources in Asia and this can only increase. Global electricity demand will grow 77 percent by 2030, with many countries seeing nuclear-power generation as attractive. However, the proliferation of nuclear power plants increases risks as more countries access weapons-related technologies. Thailand was perturbed when Myanmar cut gas pipeline flows in August/September 2009. Although Myanmar blamed disruptions on technical difficulties, it was probably inspired by Bangkok’s criticism of Burmese human rights. The issue of using energy supplies as a political tool will have countries looking carefully at their long-term energy strategies. Even the issue of water is important - Singapore is reliant on Malaysia for 65 percent of its water needs. Singapore also imports all its gas through Indonesian and Malaysian pipelines in order to generate 80 percent of its electricity. Should Singapore’s supplies be interrupted, this would constitute a tangible security threat. Interestingly, natural disasters stemming from earthquakes, tsunamis or typhoons have
Pakistani insecurity is particularly worrisome, as it would be potentially catastrophic if terrorists accessed the nation’s nuclear arsenal
often given regional cooperation its biggest boost. In the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, many nations collaborated well in relief efforts. Humanitarian assistance in the hard-hit province of Aceh even brought about a suspension in hostilities between the government and the Movement for a Free Aceh (GAM). Pandemics like SARS, swine flu or worse could also be listed as nationalsecurity threats.
Unfortunately Asia is bedevilled by mutual national-sovereignty suspicions that attenuate international cooperation. The only organisations with any kind of cooperative security track record are the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). However, the “Asian way” of non-binding decrees and non-interference generally leaves tensions in the status quo. Nevertheless, such “talking
Surrounded by Muslim countries, Singapore practises a forward defence posture. It recently fielded the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank © Gordon Arthur
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
shops” are a valuable way for Asian nations to develop confidence-building measures. Globalisation also offers promise. With countries increasingly interdependent, the economic devastation of going to war is a deterrent. For example, China-Taiwan trade ties are now worth $130 billion annually, with China a more important trading partner than the USA for Taiwan. Indeed, the current USrooted financial crisis has galvanised Asian resolve to focus more on their own region. The US continues to play a vital role, however, and sensing China’s powerful emergence, it has dedicated greater energy to regional bilateral ties. It is relying more on regional groupings like ASEAN too. The USA offers a stabilising influence, even though few countries adhere to American foreign policy. The “War on Terror” has furthermore reinforced American engagement with the region. China too is promoting multi-polarity to dilute American dominance, one route being the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. There is an apt aphorism: “The Mediterranean is the ocean of the past, the Atlantic is the ocean of the present and the Pacific is the ocean of the future.” One hopes it will be a peaceful future rather than a violent one for the Asia-Pacific region. However, with unresolved tensions abounding on the Korean Peninsular and Taiwan Strait, with sectarian flames smouldering below the surface in many countries, and with open bloodshed in Afghanistan, Asia has the potential to be the world’s greatest source of instability.
REGIONAL NEWS A N D
D E V E L O P M E N T S
Asia Pacific Procurement Update AUSTRALIA RAAF begins in-country C-17 Globemaster III training
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has embarked on pilot training for the C-17 Globemaster III, with the first class of student pilots arriving at RAAF Base Amberly on 1 February. The training will be carried out by Boeing Defence Australia, and will consist of 350 hours of programmed training over 100 days, including 85 hours of computer-based training and 120 simulated flight hours with the C-17 Globemaster III Aircrew Training System (ATS). Training will culminate with five flights at the controls of a real C-17, with the student pilots graduating as qualified RAAF pilots. Provided via the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, the ATS consists of a Loadmaster Station, Learning Centre, various support systems and a Weapons Systems Trainer (WST), and gives realistic, full-motion training for student pilots. The ATS was developed by Boeing to save C-17 operators time and money on training programmes, and allowing the use of the operator’s own facilities, rather than being carried out in the country of origin. Australia is the first country to receive the ATS outside of the US, and will be the first to qualify C-17 pilots in-country.
Heron UAV to support Australian troops in Afghanistan
Australian troops are to be supported by the country’s first Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in Afghanistan. The one-tonne medium altitude, longendurance Heron will be used in an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
The first in country training of RAAF C-17 aircrew began in February © Boeing
(ISR) capacity to enhance protection for Australian, Afghan and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The Heron is being leased by the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) as part of a contract with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates ltd (MDA), and will enhance the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF’s) operational ISR capabilities. The increased use of UAVs for ISR intelligence is increasing in both Afghanistan and Iraq. These are currently provided for the ADF by Air Force AP-3C Orions and Army’s Scan Eagle tactical UAV. By giving ground troops greater situational awareness, and expediting decision making cycles for commanders, UAVs are increasing survival ability for ground troops in the battlespace. Personnel from the Air Force, and Army, including UAS pilots, payload operators, intelligence operators, imagery analysts, engineers, administrative and logistics personnel, have been trained by the Canadian Heron detachment in southern Afghanistan. Initial Operating Capability has been achieved, with the Heron detachment expected to be fully mission capable within months. The DMO contract is for an initial one year period, with the option to extend.
Work begins on second RAN LHD
Construction of the Royal Australian Navy’s second Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ‘Adelaide’ has begun, with Navantia cutting the first steel in the Fene-Ferrol shipyard on 2 February, seven weeks ahead of the original
ASIAN MILITARY REVIEW
start date of 23 March. Two LHD ships are being constructed as part of the Australian Defence Amphibious Ships project, under contract with BAE Systems and Italian shipbuilder Navantia, based on the LHD ‘Juan Carlos I’ currently under construction for the Spanish Navy. The two Canberra class LHDs, to be named ‘Canberra’ and ‘Adelaide’ are due for delivery in 2013 and 2015 respectively. They will be the RAN’s largest ever warships, each with the capacity to transport up to 1000 personnel, 150 armoured vehicles, and will have six helicopter landing spots with provisions for a mix of troop lift and armed reconnaissance helicopters. Work has begun on the first of the Royal Australian Navy’s ANZAC class frigates to be upgraded by BAE Systems as part of the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) Upgrade Project. Under the programme being managed by the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), the ANZAC class frigates will be given complete anti-ship defence system overhauls, to significantly enhance the fleet’s self-defence capabilities. Systems to be incorporated include the leading edge CEA Phased Array Radar (PAR), the Vampir NG Infrared Search & Track (IRST) system, the Sharpeye Navigation Radar Systems (NRS), and an upgraded Combat Management System (CMS) including an improved Operations Room layout. Platform integration of the systems will require significant structural modifications including replacement of forward and aft masts. Both BAE Systems and Saab are involved in the programme under alliance contracting arrangements.
REGIONAL NEWS A N D
D E V E L O P M E N T S
INDIA India to buy US M777 Howitzers?
India has moved closer to purchasing BAE Systems’ M777 Howitzers from the US as part of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS). The American Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the US Congress of the possible sale earlier this month. The deal has an approximate value of $647 million. India is currently carrying out a comprehensive upgrade of its Defence assets. The proposed Howitzer purchase will be part of the Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan programme, which is will see the acquisition of a mix of products including 155mm/39-cal lightweight and 155 mm/52-cal towed wheeled and tracked guns for 80 of the Army’s 220 artillery regiments. The addition of the Howitzer to the army’s Artillery will significantly enhance the firepower of the Army considerably, providing precision fire support to highly mobile mechanised forces. India’s request to the US includes Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing Systems (LINAPS), warranties, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, maintenance, personnel training and training equipment; as well as US government and contractor technical assistance and support. The Army’s modernisation plan is due for completion by 2025.
India to purchase basic trainer fleet
India is in the market for a basic trainer fleet, having dispatched a request for proposal to a total of seventy-five foreign manufacturers. India’s fleet of Piston Trainer 32 (HPT-32) Deepak basic trainer aircraft, produced domestically by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), were grounded in August 2009 after a number of fatal accidents. The proposed acquisition will seek to replace this fleet with an initial order of 75 aircraft, which will form part of an overall requirement for 180 aircraft. Contenders for the contract include the Embraer Tucano, Pilatus PC-7 or PC-/9, Raytheon T-6 Texan, Finmeccanica M-311, Grob Aircraft Company G-120TP, EADS PZL PZL-130-TC-11 Orik and Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1. All bids are due for submis-
The M777 has seen widespread service in Afghanistan. India has now expressed interest in the platform © BAE Systems
sion by March 17, 2010. Under the proposal, 12 of the 75 aircraft will be due for delivery within 25 months of the contact being signed, with the remaining aircraft to be completed within 48 months. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is keen to see the contract completed quickly, to bring their training capabilities back to 100 per cent following the grounding of the HPT-32 fleet. A number of IAF personnel were killed in series of crashes, believed to have been caused by ‘flight safety hazards’ in the ‘technically outdated’ fleet.
India prepares to induct AGNI-3 missile
India has tested its long range missile AGNI3 with the fourth successful flight completed on 7 February from the Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Orrisa. The test flight, carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is part of a pre-induction trial, and completes the total launch operations required before induction in the Indian armed forces can begin. The missile, with range capability of 3,500 km, hit its target with pinpoint accuracy and met all mission objectives, as tracked and witnessed by two down-range ships located near the target. During the course of the flight the missile reached the height of 350 km and re-entered into the atmosphere, successfully tolerating skin temperatures of nearly 3000 degree Celsius. The two stage solid propellant system AGNI-3 missile is 17 metres long, 2 metres
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in diameter, with total payload capability of 1.5 tons.
India to induct Russian MiG-29K naval fighter jets
Four Russian-made MiG-29K naval fighter jets are to be formally inducted into the India Navy on 19 February ahead of their deployment on the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, due in 2012. India has purchased a total of 16 MiG29Ks from Russia in 2004 as part of the $1.5 billion Admiral Gorshkov acquisition deal. The first four jets will officially form the initial Black Panther squadron at the induction ceremony, which will take place at the INS Hansa facility. The jets arrived in Goa on 4 December and were reassembled at the INS Hansa facility. They will be initially operated from INS Hansa until the delivery of the Admiral Gorshkov – to be renamed INS Vikramaditya – which is currently scheduled for 2012. Another deal with Russia is expected shortly, which will see the acquisition of a further 29 MiG-29Ks, as part of India’s armed forces modernisation and enhancement programme. The MiG-29Ks flight operations on Gorshkov will be in the Short Take Off But Arrested Landing (STOBAR) configuration; the aircraft has arrester gear on its tail to assist hooking into the arrestor wires on deck, as well as stronger landing gear to withstand the trauma of arrested landing. Pilot training for STOBAR operations will take place at the INS Hansa facility.
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SOUTH KOREA First Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft arrive in South Korea
The ROKAF’s four ‘Peace Eye’ aircraft will provide cutting edge airborne C4I © Boeing
CHINA US-Taiwan relationship angers China
The already tenuous relationship between China and the US has come under increased strain after the US entered discussions with Taiwan to sell arms as part of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS). The arms package is worth an estimated $6.4 billion, and includes Black Hawk helicopters, advanced Patriot surface-to-air missiles and two refurbished Osprey-class mine-hunting ships. China has stated it will suspend military exchanges and security talks with the US if it continues with the sale. China has long opposed military sales between the US and Taiwan, believing US interference
to jeopardise what China considers its domestic affairs. Beijing’s response to the proposed sale has been to threaten the US with severe repercussions, as well as to impose sanctions on any US companies that enter contract with Taiwan for the sale of military equipment. Taiwan is carrying out military enhancements in order to reinforce its own national security against its nearest and most powerful neighbour. The US remains committed to its treaty to assist Taiwan in its national defence; a decision on the proposed sale must be made within 30 days of Congress being given notice of the deal, which occurred 29 January.
The first Boeing 737 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft has arrived in South Korea ahead of a modification programme that will see a total of four 737s delivered to the Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force under a $1.6 billion contract with Boeing Integrated Defence System (IDS). The ‘Peace Eye’ aircraft arrived at a Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) facility in Sacheon, east of Seoul, following a flight from a Boeing facility in Seattle, US, in 4 February. The four aircraft are due for delivery by 2012; the first delivery is due to take place next year, following modification work which will include the fitting of Northrop Grumman’s L-band Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar under offset deals as part of the contract. When complete, the AEWS&C fleet will significantly enhance South Korea’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, ahead of the planned transfer of wartime operational control from the United States to South Korea in 2012. When required, the Peace Eye fleet will act as airborne command-and-control centre for the Air Force, transmitting information on airborne targets to commanders; as well as guiding assets within combat areas.
JAPAN Japan brings refuelling vessels home
Japan’s naval ships returned home earlier this month bringing an end to an eight-year mission in support of US-led military operations in Afghanistan. Mashu, the 13,500-tonne supply ship, and Ikazuchi, the 4,550-tonne destroyer, returned to Harumi Wharf in Tokyo Bay with 340 personnel onboard, following the announcement by Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa in January that the mission was to come to a close. The two ships have been deployed in a refuelling capacity for the past eight years, supplying water and oil to vessels used by international forces currently engaged in Afghanistan. Japan has been involved only in non-combat operations in Iraq as a result of the nation’s pacifist post-war constitution. The decision to bring the ships home was part of a pledge by new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, to embark on a ‘less subservient’ relationship with the US.
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Taiwan considers US UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and Patriot Advanced Capability missiles
Pakistan to receive US RQ-7 Shadow UAVs
On 29 January US Congress was notified by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 60 UH60M Black Hawk Helicopters to the Taiwan. Requested by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, the proposed purchase deal is worth an estimated $3.1 billion, and will include the sale of 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters with 120 T700-GE-701D engines, 18 spare T-700-GE-701D engines, 69 AN/APR-39A(V)2 Radar Warning Receivers, 69 AN/ALQ-144A(V)1 Infrared Countermeasure Sets, 69 AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems, 69 AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets, 120 GAU-19/A .50 cal Machine Gun Systems, and 310 AN/AVS-9 Aviator Night Vision Goggles; as well as technical and other related logistics support. The principal contractors will be Sikorsky Aircraft and General Electric; and the deal may include offsets and the assignment of two contractor representatives for a two year period following the sale. Taiwan has also requested the possible purchase of 114 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC3) missiles, and 3 AN/MPQ-65 Radar Sets, at a cost of USD $2.81 billion. Also to take place under the FMS route, the deal has been detailed as including 114 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles, 3 AN/MPQ-65 Radar Sets, 1 AN/MSQ-133 Information and Coordination Centrals, 1 Tactical Command Station, 3 Communication Relay Groups, 3 AN/MSQ-132 Engagement Control Stations, 26 M902 Launching Stations, 5 Antenna Mast Groups, 1 Electronic Power Plant III (EPP), battery and battalion maintenance equipment, prime movers, generators, electrical power units, personnel training and equipment, trailers, communication equipment, tool and test sets, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, Quality Assurance Team support services; as well as US Government and contractor engineering and logistics support from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, as the prime contractors. Both deals are part of Taiwan’s efforts to modernise and enhance its military and defence capabilities, and address the growing military instability in the Asian region.
The US is to provide Pakistan with 12 RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)in an attempt to help the country build their own Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in the fight against Afghanistan-based extremists. Funding is expected to come from congressionally appropriated counter-
THAILAND Thailand edging closer to Gripen purchase and F-16 upgrade
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has received funding approval in principle for the procurement of six Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft, and the mid-life upgrade of its existing Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs. The proposed purchase of the Gripens will form phase 2 of an agreement between the Thai and Swedish governments, with delivery of the aircraft planned for 2011. Phase one of the deal covers six JAS-39 Gripen fighters, including spare parts and training; and two Saab 340 turboprop aircraft, one of which will be outfitted as an S-1000 airborne early warning and control system (AEW&C), and the other used as training and transport platform. Phase 2 will see a further six Gripen fighters, and a second Saab AEW&C system aircraft. Both AEW&C aircraft will be fitted with Saab’s Erieye radar. The total deal has been allocated a THB16.27 billion budget, with a final decision on funding will take place in May 2010 following a detailed review of the proposal, for inclusion in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget. The upgrade of the F-16 fleet has been allocated a budget of THB6.9 billion, and will see the upgrade and extensive modernisation of 18 aircraft in total, to extend the service life of the fleet by another 20 years until 2028; it is believed this will
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insurgency funds, to enable the US Defence Department to provide the 12 UAVs along with training and other capabilities to allow Pakistan to coordinate and operate the platforms to utilise their full potential value Use of the RQ-7 Shadow by the US armed forces has increased significantly in the global fight against international terrorism, and the US expects to benefit from any intelligence gathered by Pakistan operations.
enable the RTAF to retire their ageing F-5Es, 16 of which have been in service since the 1970s, and are in need of replacement.
Thailand begins Gripen delivery preparation
Thailand has sent the first group of Air Force technicians to Sweden to undertake initial maintenance type conversion course on the Gripen fighter. Training will involve On the Job Training (OJT) at the Swedish Air Force Wings F 7 in Såtenäs and F 17 in Ronneby; as well as time spent at Saab’s Gripen manufacturing hub in Linköping. Thailand entered contract with the Swedish government in 2008 for the delivery of six Gripen fighter jets, due for delivery in 2011. A further contract was signed for the acquisition of one Saab 340 AEW Erieye airborne surveillance system and another Saab 340 aircraft for training and transport, which are expected to be delivered towards the end of this year. It was recently announced that Thai company Avia Satcom has joined with Saab in partnership to develop and produce high technology aviation and defence products. The venture will initially focus on the development of a National Tactical Datalink for the Gripen, as well as Command and Control systems, simulators, training and electronic warfare systems.
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Asian Military Review March 2010
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