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4 janvier 2016 1 04 /01 /janvier /2016 08:35
FA-50PH fighter trainer aircraft

FA-50PH fighter trainer aircraft

4.01.2016 Defense Studies

MANILA (PNA) -- In line with ongoing efforts to make the country's FA-50PH "Fighting Eagle" light-interim fighter aircraft combat ready, the Department of National Defense (DND) is allocating the sum of PhP106,138,800 for the acquisition of 93,600 rounds of 20mm ammunition.

The money will be sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act Trust Fund, the bid bulletin from the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System said.

These will be used to arm the FA-50PH's modified A50 gun system.

The weapon will be utilized in close-quarter fighting and strafing missions.

Pre-bid conference is set on Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. at the DND Bidding and Awards Committee Conference Room, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Winning bidders are required to deliver the items within 360 calendar days.

Two of the country's first FA-50PH jet aircraft arrived at Clark Air Base, Angeles City, Pampanga last Nov. 28.

The two aircraft are part of the 12-plane order from the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) which amounted to PhP18.9 billion.

The F/A-50 (the other designation for the FA-50PH) is capable of being fitted with air-to-air missiles, including the AIM-9 "Sidewinder" air-to-air and heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles.

It will act as the country's interim fighter until the Philippines gets enough experience of operating fast jet assets and money to fund the acquisition of more capable fighter aircraft.

Incidentally, the F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 and they have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and the range of weapons.

KAI's previous engineering experience in license-producing the KF-16 was a starting point for the development of the F/A-50.

The aircraft can carry two pilots in tandem seating. The high-mounted canopy developed by Hankuk Fiber is applied with stretched acrylic, providing the pilots with good visibility, and has been tested to offer the canopy with ballistic protection against four-pound objects impacting at 400 knots.

The altitude limit is 14,600 meters (48,000 feet), and airframe is designed to last 8,000 hours of service.

There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters (701 US gallons), five in the fuselage and two in the wings.

An additional 1,710 liters (452 US gallons) of fuel can be carried in the three external fuel tanks.

Trainer variants have a paint scheme of white and red, and aerobatic variants white, black, and yellow.

The F/A-50 uses a single General Electric F404-102 turbofan engine license-produced by Samsung Techwin, upgraded with a full authority digital engine control system jointly developed by General Electric and Korean Aerospace Industries.

The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and an afterburner.

Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with afterburner. 


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1 novembre 2015 7 01 /11 /novembre /2015 12:35
Philippines: China Waits For The Americans To Come And Go


October 26, 2015: Strategy Page


The Philippines and its closest neighbors are slowly losing control of their offshore waters to increasingly aggressive Chinese claims. The Philippines faces losing control of 80 percent of its waters in the West Philippine Sea while Malaysia loses 80 percent of its coastal waters off Sabah and Sarawak. Vietnam loses half its coastal waters while Brunei loses 90 percent. Even Indonesia loses 30 percent of its coastal waters facing the South China Sea. These losses include several known offshore oil and natural gas fields and a number of areas that have not been explored yet plus lucrative fishing grounds and control over vital shipping routes. China is going all this by ignoring the 1994 Law of the Sea treaty (as well as at least two other similar treaties. The widely adopted (including by China) 1994 agreement recognizes the waters 22 kilometers from land “national territory” and under the jurisdiction of the nation controlling the nearest land. That means ships cannot enter these "territorial waters" without permission. More importantly the waters 360 kilometers from land are considered the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the nation controlling the nearest land. The EEZ owner can control who fishes there and extracts natural resources (mostly oil and gas) from the ocean floor. But the EEZ owner cannot prohibit free passage or the laying of pipelines and communications cables. While this agreement eliminated or reduced many of the existing or potential disputes it did not completely deal with all of them. Thus some nations keep violating the agreements, usually because they feel their claims supersede the international agreements. China is the most frequent offender. For example China claims that American electronic monitoring ships are conducting illegal espionage while in the Chinese EEZ. But the 1994 treaty says nothing about such matters. China is simply doing what China has been doing for centuries, trying to impose its will on neighbors, or anyone venturing into what China considers areas that should be under its control. China is not alone, but because China is pushing the limits of how the 1994 law can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) other nations with similar opportunities to lay claim to crucial chunks of the seascape are ready to emulate China if some of the more aggressive Chinese ploys actually work. This is one reason why China faces strong opposition from nations worldwide.


Thus while the United States recently announced that it will send warships and military aircraft through areas of the South China Sea that China openly claims as “sovereign Chinese territory” that does not seem to be stopping the Chinese from harassing Filipino ships and fishing boats in disputed (but legally Filipino according to the treaty) waters. This time the United States has said it will move within 22 kilometers of newly established Chinese bases in the South China Sea. China insists that these islands (some of them artificial and recently built) are “sovereign Chinese territory” but the rest of the world disagrees and China will, at the very least, be embarrassed by this American show of force. China will back off when the United States (or even Japan or Taiwan) move through disputed waters with warships but will continue to go after unarmed “intruders”. The Philippines and its neighbors need an ally who is willing and able to stick around and get China to back off. So far, such an ally has not appeared.


The Moslem separatist group MILF is working on implementing its recently signed peace deal for the largely Moslem areas in the south. There is a problem down there in that a sizable minority of southern Moslems (ten percent or more) want to hold out, and keep fighting, to establish a separate Moslem state in the south. MILF leaders know this is impossible because a majority of the people in the south are opposed. That includes a majority of the Moslems and the nearly all the non-Moslems in the south. Moslems are only eight percent of all Filipinos, and an even smaller proportion of the economic activity. MILF wanted control of more of the economy, which meant control of "ancestral Moslem areas" in the south that are now populated by Christians. The Christian majority refused to allow domination by Moslems in a larger and more autonomous Moslem south. MILF settled for a smaller autonomous area that had a Moslem majority. This issue is still a big deal for many Moslems and could still turn into an armed rebellion against MILF and the collapse of the plan for an autonomous Moslem area in the south.  So far MILF has kept things under control. In part this is because of the thousands of soldiers and marines in Basilan taking care of the only large group of Islamic terrorists (Abu Sayyaf) in the country. These guys have not expanded much mainly because they are basically bandits with a veneer of Islamic radicalism. Abu Sayyaf is mostly about the money but they will cooperate with real Islamic terrorists as it suits them.


October 25, 2015: In the south (Basilan) a clash between an army patrol and about 40 Abu Sayyaf gunmen left three Islamic terrorists dead and four soldiers wounded.


October 21, 2015: In the south (Basilan and Sulu) two clashes with Abu Sayyaf gunmen left a soldier dead and a civilian wounded. Both clashes involved the Islamic terrorists attacking soldiers working on development projects.


October 20, 2015: In the south (Tawi-Tawi province) Abu Sayyaf released a mining company manager they kidnapped in 2014. It is a believed that a ransom of over $20,000 was paid.


October 19, 2015: In the south (Agusan del Sur) NPA gunmen murdered another mayor, along with his adult son. This killing is part of an NPA campaign to go after former NPA members who go on to become local leaders and organize defense (against the NPA) militias. The NPA is losing a lot of popular support and seeking to regain it any way it can.


October 16, 2015: In the south (Batangas province) NPA gunmen ambushed two off-duty soldiers and killed them. This was believed to be in retaliation for NPA losses on the 14th.


October 14, 2015: In the south (Batangas province) NPA gunmen clashed with troops and five rebels were killed. Two nearby civilians were wounded. Troops recovered four rifles.


October 10, 2015: China declared operational newly built lighthouses on two reefs in the South China Sea. According to China these lighthouses (not really needed in the GPS age) strengthen their claims on the surrounding waters.


October 5, 2015: In the south (Sulu) marines found and disabled an Aby Sayyaf bomb near one of their checkpoints.

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16 juin 2015 2 16 /06 /juin /2015 07:35
Le Japon et les Philippines mèneront un exercice militaire conjoint en Mer de Chine méridionale


2015-06-12 CRI online


Le Japon et les Philippines ont décidé de mener conjointement un exercice militaire du 23 au 24 juin sur la Mer de Chine méridionale, selon les médias japonais. Malgré le fait que ce soit un exercice de sauvetage, le Japon enverra un avion d'observation anti-sous-marin P-3C qui sert normalement à collecter des informations, un vaisseau et un avion de la part des Philippines y participeront également. Les spécialistes ont indiqué que cet exercice vise à renforcer la coordination entre l'armée d'autodéfense japonaise et l'armée des Philippines.


Le Japon a affirmé que le but de l'exercice serait d'imiter un sauvetage lors d'une catastrophe, mais la participation d'un avion d'observation anti-sous-marin provoque l'interrogation du public. Le spécialiste des affaires militaires Du Wenlong a indiqué que l'exercice militaire conjoint du Japon et des Philippines apporterait des influences négatives sur la situation en Mer de Chine méridionale. Selon lui, le Japon a besoin d'excuses pour entrer dans la Mer de Chine méridionale, et que les Philippines satisfont leur demande. « Si ces deux pays venaient à fréquemment mener des actions militaires dans la région, ça aura pour résultat d'installer les forces militaires japonaises en Mer de Chine méridionale. Ils ont déjà des contacts entre armées, comme des alliés, et ils signeront probablement des accords. Ainsi la présence des militaires japonais en Mer de Chine méridionale sera normalisée. Ce qui augmentera les tensions en Mer de Chine méridionale et orientale, et gênera la Chine. »


Le Japon et les Philippines ont mené un exercice militaire conjoint sur la zone maritime entre la baie Manila et la baie Subic le 12 mai dernier. Le président philippin Benigno Aquino a visité la semaine dernière le Japon et lors de son entretien avec le premier ministre japonais Shinzo Abe, les deux parties sont parvenues à un consensus sur le renforcement des relations militaires entre les deux pays. Dans le communiqué conjoint publié après leur entretien, ils ont déclaré qu'ils renforceraient leur coopération sur la sécurité et mèneraient plus d'exercices militaires conjoints entre l'armée d'auto-défense japonaise et l'armée maritime des Philippines.


Selon Lv Yaodong, directeur du bureau des recherches des affaires étrangères de l'Institut des études japonaises relevant de l'Académie des sciences sociales de Chine, le Japon commence à déployer ses forces sur la Mer de Chine méridionale. « La coopération militaire entre les Philippines et le Japon est passé d'une simple sécurité maritime à de vraies relations militaires aujourd'hui. Au lieu de se concentrer sur la défense, le Japon cherche à servir de coordinateur et de montrer sa puissance militaire dans toute la région Asie-Pacifique. »


Selon les analystes, l'intention japonaise est évidente : adoucir la pression en Mer de Chine orientale en augmentant les tensions sur la Mer de Chine méridionale. Lv Yaodong a indiqué que la situation compliquée en Mer de Chine méridionale se détériorait à cause de l'intervention du Japon. « Cette intervention cause effectivement une escalade dans l'affaire de la Mer de Chine méridionale. Ce qui prouve que le gouvernement d'Abe essaie d'améliorer la puissance de l'armée d'auto-défense japonaise ou d'abandonner la politique de défense en profitant du changement de la situation sécuritaire dans la région. Cela n'aidera pas à la résolution de l'affaire de la Mer de Chine méridionale et nuira à la paix et la stabilité de la région. »

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23 mars 2015 1 23 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 fighter (KAI photo)

Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 fighter (KAI photo)


21 March 2015 By Jose Katigbak, STAR Washington bureau – Pacific Sentinel


WASHINGTON – The Philippines is planning to purchase 24 more combat aircraft, adding to the 12 FA-50 fighter jets it had ordered from South Korea in 2014, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.


It did not specify when or from whom the aircraft would be ordered.


The FA-50s were the first order by the Philippines for advanced combat aircraft in decades amid the increasing tensions with China over disputed territories in the South China Sea.


The SIPRI report from Stockholm on Monday said the five biggest weapons exporters in 2010-14 were the United States, Russia, China, Germany and France, and the five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.


The top five exporters were responsible for almost 74 percent of all arms exports.


Read the full story at The Philippine Star

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Philippines Air Force Takes Delivery of Its First C295


Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com


The Philippines Air Force has taken delivery of the first of three Airbus C295 medium transport aircraft ordered from Airbus Defence and Space.


The aircraft was formally handed over in Seville, Spain where the final assembly line is located and is now being ferried to the Philippines.


In Philippines Air Force service the C295 will play a key role in the modernization of the force´s transport fleet and will undertake a wide variety of military and humanitarian missions.

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17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
FANC : Visite du Président de la République aux Philippines


16/03/2015 Sources : État-major des armées


Le 27 février 2015, dans le cadre de la visite officielle du Président de la République Française aux Philippines, les Forces Armées en Nouvelle-Calédonie (FANC) ont assuré le transport du Président et de sa délégation, entre Manille et Guiuan.


Pendant dix jours, un avion tactique de transports légers et logistique CASA CN 235, appartenant à l’escadron de transport 52 « Tontouta » de la base aérienne 186 « Lieutenant Paul Klein », a été mobilisé aux Philippines afin d’effectuer cette mission de transport de la délégation présidentielle. Malgré une piste d’atterrissage courte, jonchée d’une végétation dense le CASA, parfaitement adapté à ce type d’environnement contraint, a déposé la délégation présidentielle en toute sécurité sur le tarmac de Guiuan.


Après deux jours de transit rythmés par des escales australiennes (Cairns et Darwin) et indonésienne (Manado), le CASA est arrivé à Manille le 22 février. Les jours suivants ont permis de préparer l’avion pour sa mission. Le 27 février, le CASA des FANC a réalisé un aller-retour entre Manille et Guiuan, avec à son bord 33 personnes, dont le Président de la République, accompagné de nombreuses autorités et de trois ministres philippins. Dès le lendemain, le CASA débutait son transit retour vers Nouméa, où il est arrivé le 2 mars après deux escales à Darwins et Cairns.


Les FANC constituent le point d’appui central du « théâtre Pacifique » avec un dispositif interarmées centré sur un groupement tactique interarmes (GTIA) et les moyens de projections associés. Avec les forces armées en Polynésie Françaises (FAPF), dispositif interarmées à dominance maritime, les FANC ont pour principale mission d’assurer la souveraineté de la France dans leur zone de responsabilité, d’animer la coopération régionale et d’entretenir des relations privilégiées avec l’ensemble des pays riverains de la zone pacifique. Enfin, les FANC engagent régulièrement leurs moyens pour des opérations d’aide aux populations, en appui des autres services de l’Etat.

FANC : Visite du Président de la République aux Philippines
FANC : Visite du Président de la République aux Philippines
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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
TATRAPAN ZASA 6x6 armored personnel carrier.

TATRAPAN ZASA 6x6 armored personnel carrier.


February 23, 2015 By MICHAELA DEL CALLAR - gmanetwork.com


MANILA, -- The Slovak Republic on Monday said it is eyeing defense cooperation with Manila that will enable them to provide training, firearms and other defense equipment to the Philippines.


Visiting Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak said his government can offer defense “expertise, technologies and devices” that can be of use to the Philippine military, which is in the process of modernizing its aging equipment and armaments.


“Defense is one of the areas where we could cooperate,” Lajcak said after a bilateral meeting with Philippine counterpart Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. “Slovakia has its expertise and we have some technologies.”


“With regard to defense cooperation, we see a potential,” Lajcak said. “We are suggesting that our experts get together, experts from the Department of Defense to come to Slovakia to identify the possibilities.”


Apart from arms and ammunitions, Lajcak said Slovakia can provide the Philippines with what it needs from training, development of facilities to technology on de-mining.


Del Rosario welcomed the Slovak government’s offer, but said there are no specific talks yet on the acquisition of defense artillery from the European state, which has a flourishing defense industry.


“We do have our modernization program so that’s a possibility. We are also looking at the possibility of training,” Del Rosario said.


In their meeting, the two officials signed a joint plan of action – a partnership framework, which, Del Rosario said, would serve as a “roadmap on trade and investments, renewable energy, mutual consular concerns, cultural and educational exchanges, people to people ties and multilateral cooperation.”


“We had a very productive meeting where we welcomed new avenues of cooperation,” he said. “The revitalization of bilateral trade is a mutual priority between our two countries.”


Lajcak admitted that bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Slovakia is underdeveloped, but stressed that “there is always a good potential in our relations.”

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12 janvier 2015 1 12 /01 /janvier /2015 17:35
Philippines buying C-130s from U.S. for security, disaster relief

Philippine troops offload supplies from a U.S. C-130 for a disaster -relief operation. Photo by Senior Mass Communication Spc. Spike Call/US Navy


MANILA, Jan. 12 (UPI)


The Philippine military is acquiring C-130 aircraft from the United States and attack helicopters from AgustaWestland as part of a modernization drive.

The two separate deals have a combined value of nearly $58 million.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines will purchase two C-130T aircraft for $55 million from the United States to improve the country's maritime security and interoperability, especially during a disaster," the U.S. Embassy said in a news release.

"As part of a joint investment program to build the capabilities of the Philippine military, the United States is providing $20 million in U.S. foreign military financing toward the purchase."

An agreement for the aircraft was signed recently at the Joint Reserve Naval Air Station in Fort Worth, Texas, by a Philippine military representative during a visit to inspect the transport aircraft.

Delivery of the planes, expected in early 2016, will bring to five the number of C-130 aircraft in operation in the country in military and humanitarian missions, such as airlifting supplies to islands following typhoons.



Read more

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18 décembre 2014 4 18 /12 /décembre /2014 17:35
Combat boat with missile (image : Militaryphotos)

Combat boat with missile (image : Militaryphotos)


18.12.2014 Defense Studies

MANILA (PNA) -- In a bid to improve its territorial sea interdiction capabilities, the Philippine Navy (PN) announced that it will be acquiring missile-armed MPACs (multi-purpose assault craft) to beef up its patrol force.

This was announced by PN vice commander Rear Admiral Caesar C. Taccad during Tuesday's briefing on modernization.

"It will be armed with stabilized weapon system with fire control complemented with a short to medium range missile system," he added.

The MPACs will be designed for territorial sea interdiction operations with maritime situational awareness and limited credible deterrence in the protection of the country's interest at the West Philippine Sea, Taccad stated

"And it may also be used for internal security operations and humanitarian assistance disaster response operations," he stressed.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that it is allocating Php270 million to acquire three missile-armed MPACs.

The money will be sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund of 2000.

The contract includes mission essential equipment.

Mission essential equipment includes day/night electronic navigation systems, communication suites, safety-of-life-at-sea, propulsion system and seamanship and ship-handling gears.

The PN currently operates a force of six MPACs.

Three of the PN's MPACs are sourced from Taiwan while the remaining three were ordered from Filipino shipbuilder Propmech Corporation, which is based in Subic Bay, Zambales.

These ships are 16.5 meters long, 4.76 meters wide and has a draft of one meter and a top speed of 45 knots.

Each one costs around Php90 million. It has a range 300 nautical miles. The hull is made of high-quality aluminum and is crewed by one officer and four enlisted personnel. It is capable of carrying 16 fully-equipped troopers or two tons of cargo.

The MPAC is capable of operating in territorial waters up to "Sea State 3" (slight waves) without any system degradation. It is armed with one .50 caliber and two 7.62mm machine guns. 


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18 décembre 2014 4 18 /12 /décembre /2014 12:35
Manille va renforcer son équipement militaire


17/12/2014 Par LeFigaro.fr (Reuters)


Les Philippines ont l'intention d'acheter deux frégates, deux hélicoptères et trois vedettes pour renforcer leur présence militaire en mer de Chine méridionale, théâtre de tensions territoriales avec Pékin, a annoncé aujourd'hui un responsable de la marine philippine. La Chine revendique la quasi-totalité de cette zone maritime qui recèlerait d'importantes réserves d'hydrocarbures, y compris les îles et ilots qui s'y trouvent, également convoités par les Philippines, Bruneï, la Malaisie, le Viêtnam et Taiwan.


Suite de l'article

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10 octobre 2014 5 10 /10 /octobre /2014 11:35
8e SIASE (session internationale Armement et économie de défense)


30.09.2014 IHEDN


Du 21 au 26 septembre 2014, l’Institut des hautes études de défense nationale a organisé en partenariat avec la Direction générale de l’armement du ministère de la Défense (DGA) la 8e session internationale Armement et économie de défense à Paris et à Toulon.

Au cours de cette semaine, 11 auditeurs étrangers, professionnels de l’armement, civils et militaires, originaires de 6 pays d’Asie du Sud-est (Brunei, Indonésie, Malaisie, Philippines, Singapour et Vietnam), ont pu échanger avec leurs homologues français et approfondir leurs connaissances dans le domaine de la « programmation pluriannuelle et des processus d’acquisition des équipements pour la Défense ».

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:35
 (Philippines) P5.9-B long-range patrol aircraft fails

13.08.2014 Pacific Sentinel

Seven companies can file motions for reconsideration to supply the Philippine Air Force with 2 aircraft units that will help boost maritime surveillance


MANILA, Philippines – The first stage of bidding for a P5.9-billion ($133.6 million)* contract for 2 long-range patrol aircraft for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) failed on Monday, August 11.


Seven of the 10 companies that bought bid documents joined the bidding Monday, but – after 12 hours of the bidding session and a series of executive meetings – they were declared "ineligible." They were, however, given 3 days to file motions for reconsideration, according to defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong.


Long-range patrol aircraft were no longer in the inventory of the air force, but the acquisition project was conceived to boost the country's maritime domain awareness as tensions grow in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) among claimant countries.


Read the full story at Rappler

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12 août 2014 2 12 /08 /août /2014 07:35
DND to Spend P15 B for Two Ships, P2.5 B for Ammunition

Navantia ship model during ADAS 2014 exhibition (photo : Roy Kabanlit)


11 Aug 2014 Defense Studies

MANILA, Philippines - The defense department will spend P2.5 billion for the ammunition of the two frigates it will acquire for the Philippine Navy.

Defense Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez said security officials have decided to separate the purchase of ammunition from the frigate acquisition project, citing international arms restrictions.

“There will be two (projects). The acquisition of armaments will be treated as a separate project,” Velez told The STAR in a recent interview.

“You cannot combine the offensive portion and the actual building of the ship. The ammunition will require about P2.5 billion,” he added.

Velez said they could not award the project to shipyards that do not manufacture missiles.

Before it was divided into two, the frigate acquisition project had an approved budget of P18 billion. About P2.5 billion of the outlay was allotted for the ships’ armaments.

Now that the project has been divided into two lots, the budget for the two ships stands at P15.5 billion.

Sources told The STAR defense department might consider negotiated procurement for the ammunition to ensure that the armaments are compatible with the ships to be acquired.

Defense officials are about to finish the technical discussions for the project and will hold the bidding for the project within the year.

A total of six companies are qualified to submit bids for the project. They are Navantia Sepi (RTR Ventures) of Spain, South Korean firms STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Heavy Industries, Inc.; Indian firm Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. and French company STX France SA.

The frigate acquisition project is among the big-ticket items in the Armed Forces Modernization Program.

The ships can be used to boost the Philippines’ security presence in the West Philippine Sea, repatriate migrant workers and respond to calamities.

The two ships to be acquired for the Navy are expected to complement the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, the two vessels purchased from the United States.


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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 16:35
CAS Aircraft to be Armed with Precision Guided Munitions

The DND is planning to acquire six CAS aircraft and will be armed with precision guided munitions (photo : missionreadyat-6)


9 Aug. 2014 Defense Studies

MANILA (PNA) -- In line with its efforts to make its close air support (CAS) aircraft more capable, the Department of National Defense (DND) has said the plane will be armed with precision guided munitions, a kind of weaponry that can be guided by lasers to its targets.

In a supplemental bid bulletin posted on the DND website, it said this capability must be present in the designs which will be submitted by prospective bidders to the P4.9-billion CAS aircraft project.

Bid opening and submission for the CAS project has been reset to Oct. 3 from the original date of Aug. 11.

In connection with this, DND Special Bids and Awards Committee-1 chair Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said that a second pre-bid conference will be held this coming Sept. 15.

This will be held at the DND Bidding and Awards Committee Conference Room, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Bid opening and submission will also take place at the same place.

The DND is planning to acquire six CAS aircraft to replace or beef up the Philippine Air Force's existing Rockwell OV-10 "Bronco" turboprop attack planes.

CAS refers to the capability to provide air support to infantry and naval units in contact with the enemy.

Funding for this weapon system will be sourced from the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.

Manalo earlier said that the contract includes integrated logistic support system.

Winning bidders must be able to deliver the aircraft within 540 calendar days from contract effectivity.

Participants in the DND's CAS project must have completed a similar program within the last 10 years.

Manalo added that the CAS aircraft must be used by the countries offering and manufacturing them. 


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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 07:35
China Asked SoKor to Cancel Pohang-Class Corvette Donation to Philippines

Pohang class corvette (photo : Chosun)


09 Aug. 2014 Defense Studies

“China has strongly protested against the [South Korean] government’s decision to donate a 1,200-ton patrol boat and a landing vessel to the Philippines, it emerged Monday,” reported August 5 by The Chosun Ilbo, one of major news providers in South Korea.

“According to the Foreign Ministry, an official at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul visited the ministry on June 10 after the decision was reported by media and asked for it to be canceled,” it added.

On Philippine side, there is no report of cancellation.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwang-jin told Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin at a meeting in Seoul last May 30 that Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) will decommission a Pohang-class corvette (PCC) by year-end and will be donated to the Philippine Navy.

Minister Kim said South Korea’s gesture is a small token compared with the great contribution of Filipino troops during the Korean War.

Pohang-class corvettes, a class of general purpose vessels operated by the Republic of Korea Navy, are equipped with 4 Harpoon missiles, 2 OTO Melara(76mm)/62 compact cannon, 2 Breda 40mm/70 cannon, 6 Mark 46 torpedoes, 12 Mark 9 depth charges. Sensors and processing systems depend on whether it is an ASW or ASUW version.

The said ship is expected to be donated with intact armament and sensors.


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11 juillet 2014 5 11 /07 /juillet /2014 12:35
Philippines : DND Bares Technical Specifications of P5.4-B ASW Helicopter Project

Philippine ASW helicopters to be armed with torpedoes and air-to-surface missiles (image : AgustaWestland)


10.07.2014 Defense Studies

The Department of National Defense (DND), in a supplemental bid bulletin, has revealed the technical specifications of its P5.4-billion anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter project.

These include:

* Endurance of at least two hours in ASW configuration.

* Range of 240 nautical miles in full ASW configuration.

* Must provide individual crew stations for pilots and operational crew to safely operate necessary sensor/equipment during ASW and ASUW (anti-surface warfare) operations. Nevertheless, suppliers may present other options which are responsive to the requirements based on modern technologies being applied in other foreign navies.

* Shall be fitted with an automatic/main rotor blade fold system (if four bladed) and/or tail pylon fold system if longer than the ship's helicopter hangar.

* Identification Friend or Foe (IFF)/Selective Identification Feature (SIF).

* Portable downlink receiver, at least one brand-new unit per helicopter, must be ready to be installed in any surface ship or ground station specified by the Philippine Navy (PN), and must be interoperable with the installed data link system of the ASW helicopter.

Bid opening and submission for the ASW helicopter is set on July 15.p>Money for the two ASW helicopters will be sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Trust Fund.

Acquisition of the two ASW helicopters is under the Medium Term Development Capability Plan for 2013 to 2017.

The contract includes munition, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistic support.

Winning bidders must be able to deliver the aircraft within 730 calendar days.

The PN earlier announced that it is looking at the possibility of acquiring the AW-159 "Wildcat" as its ASW helicopters.

The Navy is in the market for two ASW helicopters.

This is part of the country's Medium Term Defense Acquisition List for the next four years.

The ASW choppers will be assigned to the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16).

The AW-159 (previously called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat) is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter.

The AW-159 will serve in the battlefield utility, search-and-rescue and anti-surface warfare roles.

The helicopter has been ordered for the Royal Navy and British Army.

It is to enter service with the British Army in 2014 and with the Royal Navy in 2015.

It has a crew of two, a maximum speed of 291 km/h (181 mph), range of 777 km (483 miles), ferry range of 963 km (598 miles) and an endurance of one-and-a-half hours (fours hours and 30 minutes if fitted with auxiliary fuel tank).

The AW-159 is fitted with forward firing CRV7 rockets and machine guns, pintle mounted machine gun, Sea Skua missiles and Sting-Ray torpedoes and depth charges.

The acquisition process for these ASW helicopters is expected to go on full gear once the PN completes its five AW-109 order deal from AgustaWestland by the third quarter of 2014.


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6 mai 2014 2 06 /05 /mai /2014 11:35
Obama en Asie - Pivot, retrait ou absence de stratégie? TRIBUNE de Dominique Moïsi - Ifri


02 mai 2014 Tout un monde


3695015936_2.jpgQuatre pays : le Japon, la Corée du Sud, la Malaisie, les Philippines. Deux thématiques : le commerce et la sécurité. Trois objectifs : intégrer davantage l’Asie dans l’économie mondiale, réaffirmer la présence américaine et donc rassurer les pays visités face aux ambitions grandissantes de la Chine, et faire tout cela en maintenant un dialogue privilégié avec Pékin, même si le président américain n’a pas eu d’étape chinoise dans son voyage. Il y avait enfin un objectif non déclaré, mais néanmoins important : parfaire l’isolement international de Moscou.


*Dominique Moïsi est conseiller spécial à l'IFRI


   Le voyage de Barack Obama en Asie – qui n’a pas eu toute la couverture médiatique qu’il méritait, pris entre la crise Ukrainienne et la double béatification de Jean XXIII et Jean Paul II – s’est achevé lundi avec un bilan en demi-teinte. Le président américain a, certes, décliné les objectifs de sa  «grande stratégie » en Asie, continent qu’il a désigné comme le « pivot » de son action extérieure. Mais a-t-il les moyens humains et politiques de ses ambitions ?


   Il n’y a pas autour de lui de grands spécialistes de l’Asie. Un stratège à la Kissinger fait défaut, les experts sont ternes. Sur le plan politique, Démocrates comme Républicains ne partagent pas  l’enthousiasme libre-échangiste de l’exécutif. De même, ils ne souhaitent pas augmenter leur aide militaire au continent asiatique.


   Ainsi, les dirigeants asiatiques – à l’exception des Chinois qui les voudraient moins présents– soupçonnent-ils l’Amérique d’être dans une posture de retrait et non d’engagement. « Pourquoi ferions-nous des concessions en matière de commerce si vous n’allez pas nous soutenir de manière plus sérieuse en terme de sécurité ? » Certes, Washington a pris, de manière très nuancée, une position plus favorable à Tokyo qu’à Pékin sur la question des îles contestées par les deux pays. Mais cela suffira-t-il à rassurer les Japonais ?


Suite de la tribune

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5 mai 2014 1 05 /05 /mai /2014 12:35
DND to Recommend Only 2 Philippine Military Bases Under EDCA

Subic Bay naval base (photo : US Navy)


05.05.2014 Defense Studies

MANILA (PNA) -- Department of National Defense (DND) undersecretary and Philippine panel negotiation chair Pio Lorenzo Batino on Friday announced that they are looking at the possibility of offering only two Philippine military bases for American use under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

"The direction of the DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is to recommend only the usage of only two military bases, (those) agreed locations as defined under the EDCA and we believe these number of locations will already be sufficient to implement the objectives of the EDCA," he said.

"And number two, the direction of the DND and the AFP when identifying the agreed locations would be to limit and delineate only a limited portion or a limited area of the agreed AFP base which would be shared to the US, it will not be the whole AFP base identified as we need that AFP base," Batino pointed out.

The DND official also clarified that they will also study the areas that will be allocated for the EDCA before declaring it for that purpose.

He declined to comment on how many US soldiers will be deployed to camps as these are operational matters.

"These are operational details, (I) can't just talk about troops (as) these are operational details that differ every year depending on activities approved by the AFP and the Pacific Command through the Mutual Defense Board and the Security Board so we cannot (just give) definite numbers of US troops coming in and out our country," Batino added. 


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1 mai 2014 4 01 /05 /mai /2014 07:35
Un nouvel accord de défense américano-philippin signé lundi 28 avril 2014


27/04/2014 zonebourse (Reuters)


Les Etats-Unis et les Philippines signeront lundi un nouvel accord de défense qui permettra à l'armée américaine d'accroître ses effectifs dans l'archipel, a-t-on appris dimanche de source gouvernementale à Manille.


En vigueur pour dix ans, il sera renouvelable en fonction des besoins des deux pays, alliés les plus anciens de la région Asie-Pacifique, a-t-on ajouté.


Le ministre philippin de la Défense, Voltaire Gazmin, et l'ambassadeur américain Philip Goldberg, signeront l'accord au quartier général de l'armée philippine quelques heures avant la rencontre entre le président Benigno Aquino et son homologue américain Barack Obama, qui effectue une tournée en Asie. (Rosemarie Francisco et Manny Mogato, Jean-Philippe Lefief pour le service français)

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29 avril 2014 2 29 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Obama boucle sa tournée par une mise en garde envers Pékin


29.04.2014 Romandie.com (ats)


Barack Obama a conclu mardi aux Philippines une tournée asiatique destinée à rassurer ses alliés sur l'engagement régional des Etats-Unis face aux velléités territoriales de la Chine. Il a mis en garde Pékin contre une épreuve de force.


Au dernier jour de sa tournée qui l'aura également mené au Japon, en Corée du Sud et en Malaisie, Barack Obama a profité d'un discours devant des militaires américains et philippins à Manille pour inviter une nouvelle fois la Chine, sans la nommer, à l'apaisement.


"Nous pensons que le droit international doit être respecté, que la liberté de navigation doit être préservée et que le commerce ne doit pas être entravé. Nous pensons que les différends doivent être résolus pacifiquement, non par l'intimidation ou la force", a-t-il dit.


Influence en mer de Chine


La tournée asiatique de Barack Obama passait par quatre pays aux prises avec Pékin, qui entend faire valoir ses droits sur la quasi-totalité de la mer de Chine, orientale et méridionale.


Les tensions avec le Japon sont les plus exacerbées, à propos des Senkaku, un archipel inhabité de mer de Chine orientale contrôlé par les Japonais mais revendiqué avec force par les Chinois sous le nom de Diaoyu.


Les Etats-Unis ont répété une position affirmée depuis longtemps: Washington soutiendra Tokyo s'il est agressé autour des Senkaku mais ne se prononce pas sur l'appartenance de ces Îles. Un éditorial publié mardi par le "China Daily" accusait Obama de "considérer Pékin comme un adversaire".

Lien avec Pyongyang


Les Etats-Unis jouent une partition d'autant plus sensible qu'ils ont besoin des Chinois pour contenir la turbulente Corée du Nord, qui prépare un quatrième essai nucléaire d'après des analystes.


Ils ont pourtant mis une nouvelle pierre dans le jardin chinois en signant un accord de défense renforcé avec Manille qui permet une présence accrue de militaires et de matériel américains aux Philippines. Sur les rives de la mer de Chine, donc.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
China: The Pundits Of War Are Unleashed



April 8, 2014: Strategy Page


China watched, and supported the recent Russian operation to take the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine with great interest. The land grab had a bracing effect on the other countries that, until 1991, were part of the ancient Russian Empire. The Crimean operation was the second such land grab Russia has undertaken in the last five years. The first was against tiny Georgia in 2008. Many of these former Russian subjects feel that the Russians are trying to get their empire back. Ask many Russians that question and most agree that it would be a nice thing. Some Russians are more outspoken and bluntly call for the empire to be reassembled no matter what.  Poland and the Baltic States managed to join NATO after the Cold War ended and are hoping that the mutual defense terms of the NATO alliance will dissuade Russia. Nevertheless all four, plus Finland, have increased their military readiness this year and are seeking assurances from the West that they will have help against Russia. Many Finns have called for Finland to join NATO, but a large minority has opposed this because of the fear it would anger the Russians. There was a similar division in Ukraine but now more Finns are thinking that NATO membership is preferable to trusting Russia to always behave. Even Sweden, never part of the Russian empire and successfully neutral since the early 19th century is thinking about joining NATO for protection from an increasingly aggressive Russia.


China sees an opportunity here. That’s because the former Soviet stans of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have another option; China. The stans have been very receptive to Chinese diplomatic and economic cooperation. This bothers Russia, but not to the extent that threats are being made, as was the case with the former imperial provinces to the west. The stans also have a problem with never having been democracies. When the Russians conquered them in the 19th century the local governments were monarchies or tribes. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, locals who were former Soviet officials held elections and manipulated the vote to get themselves elected "president for life." But many people in the Stans want clean government and democracy, as well as continued independence from Russia. China is no help with that because the Chinese prefer dictators. But China does offer more economic opportunities and protection from what happened ti Ukraine and Georgia.


Another reason for China to back Russia is the fact that China is also an empire trying to reclaim lost territories. That some of those territories are currently Russia’s Far East (areas bordering the Pacific) is not officially discussed in Russia or China but is no secret to many Russians and Chinese. That is a problem for another day as currently Russia and China support each other’s imperial ambitions (as in Ukraine and the South China Sea) and help each other out to deal with any associated problems, especially the UN or economic sanctions. China is also helping by putting economic pressure on Ukraine by suing Ukraine to cancel a $3 billion loan.  


Yet another reason China is watching this carefully is because China is violating an international maritime borders treaty it signed by claiming all of the South China Sea. What happens to Russia for violating the 1994 agreement to protect Ukrainian borders in return for Ukraine getting rid of its Cold War era nukes. Russia simply says the 1994 agreement does not apply and that attitude will influence what China does with its numerous offshore territorial disputes. Another problem with violating the 1994 agreement is the message it sends to states like Iran and North Korea. The message is that if you really want to keep invaders out you need nukes. Iranians believe the negotiations to limit Iranian nuclear research and development are an effort to block Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Most Iranians see nukes as a necessity for maintaining Iranian dominance in the region. Iran has been the regional superpower for thousands of years. Once you get a taste of superpower status, it’s a hard thing to put behind you.


Russia and China are using nationalism, in this case the promise of the restoration of lost imperial territories, to distract the population from the corruption and mismanagement of their government officials. This is an ancient political technique that depends on near-total control of information available to their populations. The Internet threatens that and this is a new risk for those planning to build and maintain an empire. That’s because empires are costly and inefficient. Britain realized that by the 1940s and that’s the main reason they got rid of theirs so quickly after 1945 and why the United States never took advantage of its power to create one. But the allure of empire remains, sort of as the ultimate luxury a state can indulge. Again, the Internet spreads the bad news about the real cause, and effect of empire. China tries to cope with this by concentrating on imperial ambitions (natural resource rights from the ownership of uninhabited rocks and reefs in the South China Sea and elsewhere off the coast) that have some practical appeal. When empires involve conquered people the cost goes way up, as the Chinese are rediscovering in their northwest (Turks) and southwest (Tibetans). A growing number of Russians and Chinese are aware of these angles and are not happy about it. But both Russia and China are still police states with state-controlled media. Holding anti-government opinions is dangerous, especially if you express these traitorous thoughts in public.


To expand their empire as cheaply as possible China is relying a bullying, not battles. So in the last year the Chinese Coast Guard has received over a dozen new patrol ships. These are vessels of from 1,000-3,000 tons displacement with relatively small crews but lots of storage space and not many weapons. Coast guard ships are not usually heavily armed but the Chinese ships are increasingly being seen equipped with water cannon, extra searchlights and equipment for grappling with other ships. These tools are used to interfere with foreign fishing ships and transports that go to parts of the South China Sea that China has declared Chinese territory (even though other nations have a stronger legal claim). Using water cannon, bright searchlights (to blind the crews of other ships) and aggressive maneuvering (to include grappling with smaller foreign ships and forcibly moving them) the foreign ships can be “persuaded” to back off. The Chinese coast guard vessels will also use these tactics against foreign warships and if the foreigners shoot back the Chinese can declare themselves the victims of an unprovoked attack and call in more fire power.


The Chinese are also preparing for the possibility that the victims of this bullying might shoot back. Thus it was not surprising that Chinese Army WZ-10 helicopter gunships have been seen practicing operating from LST type amphibious ships, which have a landing pad similar in size to that found on larger Coast Guard patrol ships. The seven ton Z-10 is smaller than the 10 ton American AH-64 and also has a crew of two. The Z-10 is armed with 30mm autocannon and can carry up to a ton of rockets or missiles. This gives China immediate backup if the Coast Guard harassment tactics fail and additional firepower is needed in a hurry. Then again, a helicopter gunship coming off the back of a Coast Guard cutter can be pretty scary if you aren’t expecting it.


China is carrying out its military buildup with Chinese made weapons. One benefit of that is that is provides yet another export. Over the last five years China has displaced France as the fourth largest arms exporter in the world. While Russia had a record year for arms exports in 2013, moving $13.2 billion worth of weapons, military equipment and defense services, those sales are increasingly threatened by more rapidly growing exports from China. Russian officials admitted that they did not expect to increase weapons sales over the next few years, largely because arms sales worldwide, both for export and domestic consumption is shrinking. Currently about half of Russian sales are aircraft (jets and helicopters) and 25 percent are anti-aircraft systems. Russia still gets orders because they are cheaper than Western stuff, and nearly as good. What the Russians were less willing to discuss was the growing competition from China.


Some areas of the Chinese military buildup are for protecting China from internal threats. Thus China is now training police to be hackers. Not just imparting defensive skills, but training selected cops to launch attacks. It’s unclear what this is for although it’s most likely related to the growing incidence of Internet based criminal activity inside China. Apparently several units of police Cyber War experts are being organized. Some will probably be dedicated to helping Chinese firms and local governments improve their network security, but at least one of these new organizations will have an offensive capability, probably for harassing groups perceived as internal (foreign or Chinese) enemies of China.


There are more serious internal threats that police hackers won’t help solve. China is suffering from some catastrophic long-term problems that gets little attention in the news but are nevertheless very real and unavoidable. For example, there are several disastrous demographic problems approaching. This began in the late 1970s when, to control population growth most couples were restricted to only one child. This has been widely enforced, to the point where the average number of children per couple has been 1.7. But many of those couples aborted a child if it was a female, because much more importance is attached to having a male heir. Thus there are 35 million more males than females, and the number is growing. These surplus males are coming of age, and the competition for wives is causing problems. Women are taking advantage of their scarcity, but men are also going to neighboring countries to buy, or even kidnap, young women to be wives. This is causing ill will with neighbors.


The biggest problem, though, is the growing shortage of workers. As the population ages, all those one child families means there will be more elderly than the economy can effectively support. Currently there are 11 working age Chinese for every retiree. By 2050, there will only be two for each retiree. At that point, retirees will comprise 30 percent of the population (versus 13 percent now.) Traditionally, children cared for their parents in multi-generation households. That model is dying out, and China is faced with huge pension cost increases at the same time they expect their economy to be the mightiest on the planet. But at that point, the largest single government expense will be the care of the elderly, and this will impose crushing taxes on those of working age. Many working age Chinese are worried about this, for there is no easy solution in sight. China can relax the one-child policy, which it is apparently doing, but the newly affluent Chinese are less eager than earlier generations to have a lot of kids. To make matters worse there is not much in the way of pensions or health care for most of the elderly to begin with. The government recognizes this is a real problem but does not, and will not have the cash to deal with it.


Then there is corruption, which has been a problem for thousands of years. The Chinese government continues to proclaim its aggressive efforts against corruption. In 2013 the government said that it investigated 150,000 corruption cases and recovered over $8 billion. Most Chinese still encounter corruption daily and don’t really get the impression that the government is making a serious dent in the problem. The bigger crooks still seem to get away with it while the little guys get punished. The anti-corruption effort is not the only government program that is underperforming. The Internet censors have failed to keep out all the bad news about the Chinese economy that the government would rather not be publicized. This is mainly about the faltering growth rate (down from ten percent or more to seven percent a year or less since 2008).


China also has problems with popular sentiments that contradict official policy. Case in point is the growing anger over pollution. This is the result of three decades of rapid economic growth and a culture of corruption that allowed the pollution to grow and the government to keep it out of the news. But eventually people noticed and have been increasingly open and direct in demanding some action to deal with it. So in late 2013 the government responded in a way no one expected; pollution data was declared public data and all government organizations and businesses were ordered to make their pollution data public. Not everyone is complying but given the growing boldness of angry citizens and availability of pollution monitoring equipment, any cheaters are vulnerable to getting caught and then exposed to a public shaming on the Internet. For commercial firms this can mean lost business. For government officials this can mean more scrutiny than corrupt bureaucrats are comfortable with. With this new openness policy the government is making itself less unpopular and harnessing the power of the anti-pollution groups (who represent most of the population) for a joint effort in dealing with the dirty air and water.


Senior Chinese leaders are becoming increasingly bold in dealing with popular discontent, aware that throughout Chinese history such discontent often led to popular uprisings that brought down dynasties and made life very unpleasant for those in charge. Many of the lower ranking bureaucrats are less concerned with this as they are more interested in stealing as much as they can while they have the opportunities. But if decisions at the top can make this more difficult to do, then there will be less corruption and bad behavior by officials. The most senior people are making moves like this because they understand that they do not “rule” China as much as they preside over a huge bureaucracy which resists unpopular orders and is more responsive when the senior leadership makes decisions that simply put more pressure on bureaucrats to behave.


The other item the government wants kept out of the news is the problem in the banking system and how decades of corruption there are catching up with the government ability to keep the plundering and manipulation from crippling the economy. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of zombie banks operating, that were essentially bankrupted by uncollectable debts (the corruption angle) that the government cannot cover for. There is also the property bubble, caused by all the building loans banks issued for stuff that is still unsold. This has caused growing downward pressure on property prices, which is lowering the net worth of a lot of Chinese. More and more Chinese (especially business owners and executives) are asking important questions about all this but the government would rather not discuss the issues.


The international financial community is getting nervous about the Chinese government’s ability to deal with this uniquely Chinese financial bubble. While in the West the usual bubble is one based on real estate or stock market speculation, in China there is a less well known bubble involving an unofficial banking system that provided loans to highly speculative (and often, by Chinese standards, illegal) undertakings. These “shadow banks” were also very corrupt, doling out bribes and fees to corrupt businesspeople and government officials. The problem is that all this off-the-books financial mischief has got its hooks into legitimate assets (as collateral or a source of cash to keep operating or expand). The number of bad loans (that are not, and probably never will be repaid) has been growing and that is threatening to reduce the cash the official banks have free to keep the economy going. If the government mishandles this mess the Chinese economy could suffer widespread bankruptcies and high unemployment. It could take several years to recover and during that time there could be a popular uprising. A dip in the Chinese economy (at $8 trillion second only to the American $14 trillion) would ripple throughout the global economy. It would be 2008 all over again, but possibly worse. So it’s not just China’s problem.


That economic growth has been good to the military. The Chinese defense budget increased again this year by over ten percent to $132 billion. Some U.S. intelligence analysts believe the real defense spending is now closer to $200 billion. Like other communist nations the Chinese keep a lot of military stuff outside the defense budget, so their actual defense spending is much higher. Official Chinese defense spending has more than doubled in the last decade. This has triggered an arms race with its neighbors. Russia is in the midst of a new military upgrade program that would increase defense spending by a third and devote over 700 billion dollars into the next decade to buying new equipment. Japan, already possessing the most modern armed forces in the region, is increasing spending to maintain their qualitative edge. A decade ago China and Japan spent about the same on defense, but now China spends more than three times as much. Even India is alarmed. Spending only a third of what China does, the Indian generals and admirals are demanding more money to cope. India and China are actually devoting a lot of their additional spending to just bringing their troops up to date. Both nations have lots of gear that was new in the 1960s and 1970s. They don't expect to be as up-to-date as the U.S., which spends over $500 billion a year, but there's plenty of newer, much better, and often quite inexpensive equipment to be had.


China insists that its growing military power is for defense only. That makes sense, as a lot of money is going into the navy, which protects the imports (mainly of food and raw materials) and exports (of manufactured goods) that are driving the unprecedented economic growth. The Chinese try to explain away the military buildup opposite Taiwan as political theater. This may be true, for a failed attempt to take Taiwan by force would not only disrupt the economy (and create a lot of unhappy Chinese) but would be a major failure by the government. Dictatorships cannot survive too many such failures, or too many angry citizens. So it makes sense that the Chinese military growth is largely for defense. But those large defensive forces can also be used to bully or intimidate neighbors, which is what the neighbors are worried about.


Despite the official Chinese line that the growing military is only for defense, the government also maintains a list of approved (as pundits for electronic media and books) retired generals and admirals who will say things that the government approves of but does not want to openly and officially discuss. This often involves the possibility 0f war with various potential enemies. For over a decade these guys have talked about the coming war with the United States. Now they are talking about the “inevitable” war with Japan over territorial disputes and lingering Chinese anger for all the damage Japan did to China during World War II.


April 7, 2014: Responding to Japanese concerns about the growing ballistic missile threat from North Korea and China, the U.S. agreed to send two more Aegis ballistic missile defense ships to Japan. These Burke class destroyers will arrive by 2017 and be based in Japan.


April 5, 2014: China has made it clear (and rather public) to Pakistan that massive (and much needed) Chinese investment is contingent on keeping the Islamic terrorist violence away from these Chinese financed (and often Chinese run) projects. The government is taking extraordinary measures to provide the security the Chinese demand but time will tell if it is adequate.


April 4, 2014: After two years of negotiations India and Israel have agreed to a deal where Israeli defense firms will work with DRDO (the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization) and several state-owned defense firms to design and build an integrated anti-missile defense system. India already has a tested and proven anti-missile ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) but wants something like the anti-missile system Israel has developed and deployed over the last two decades. This new arrangement implies that Israel is willing to share some of its ABM technology (among the best in the world) with India to provide some defense against Chinese and Pakistani nuclear missiles.


April 1, 2014:  Japan has overturned its long-time (since World War II) ban on exporting weapons. This makes it possible for Japan to equip other members of the growing anti-Chinese coalition with the most modern weapons. Japan is immune to Chinese threats of economic retaliation, which is what China usually employs to keep its neighbors from getting modern weapons from Europe or the United States.  


March 31, 2014: This month China commissioned the first of twelve Type 052D destroyers. This was no surprise because in late 2013 this ship was seen on sea trials in the East China Sea. This new destroyer design appears very similar to the American Aegis equipped destroyers (especially the Burke Class). Five more 52Ds are under construction and one of them is ready for sea trials. China plans to build at least twelve. The development of the 52Ds was a deliberate, and apparently successful, effort to considerably close the quality gap between American and Chinese destroyers and do it quickly.


Talks between North Korea and Japan and hosted by China ended on a positive note with North Korea agreeing to actually talk about kidnapped Japanese in future sessions. These were the first such talks since 2009. Actually there was some contact in 2012 in Mongolia between Red Cross officials from both countries. Then, as now, the main topic was Japanese citizens that North Korean agents kidnapped 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 80s. The talks in Mongolia produced nothing except an agreement to continue the process later with more senior officials. That was aborted when North Korea announced the resumption of long range missile tests at the end of 2013. Obtaining more information on these kidnapping victims is a big issue in Japan, but North Korea has never been eager to release anything, other than the fact that the kidnapping program did exist. Japan refuses to resume foreign aid, which North Korea needs, until the questions about the kidnapping program are answered. This has become a big issue in Japanese politics but the North Koreans refuse to cooperate. Now North Korea says it is willing to talk about cooperating.


March 30, 2014: The government revealed that it had formally charged Gu Junshan, the former deputy head of logistics for the army of corruption and had already seized more than $20 million from him, friends and family members. All this began in 2012 when Gu Junshan was removed from his job and the government introduced new rules which forced senior military officers to disclose their personal financial details. It was later revealed that Gu Junshan had used numerous methods to enrich himself. This included taking bribes from suppliers and officers seeking jobs in logistics (where there were more opportunities to steal). Corruption in the military has been a problem in China for thousands of years. The communists thought they had cured it, but after they took control of China in the late 1940s the rot began to reappear. There have been several major efforts since then to keep the corruption from getting out of hand (and doing serious damage to combat capabilities). This latest public anti-corruption effort is an indicator that the government believes the generals and admirals are a little too corrupt. The investigation and prosecution of Gu Junshan indicates that the most senior military officers are not immune to justice. The government has also announced more anti-corruption inspections of military bases and those who work there. These are audits seeking to detect corrupt practices and find out who was responsible.


In Taiwan there have been growing public demonstrations against a proposed new law that would allow massive Chinese investment in Taiwan. For decades it has been the other way around. But allowing Chinese investors in is seen as a way for China to take over Taiwan by, literally, buying most of it. 


March 29, 2014: The Philippines defied a Chinese blockade of Second Thomas Reef and evaded a large Chinese coast guard ship that was literally blocking the approach of Filipino ships. China was angry at the Philippines because of the continued presence of eight Filipino marines on Second Thomas Reef. Today’s successful resupply mission leaves the marines well stocked. China says this is an intolerable affront to Chinese sovereignty. This sort of statement is how China warns victims that an attack is coming and the Philippines has asked the United States for some backup here. The U.S. responded by saying it supported peaceful resolution of this dispute. By that the Americans mean they want the Chinese to wait for the recent submission of the dispute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration. This could result in a legal decision by 2015 but China has indicated that it will not abide by any such ruling. Challenging such a decision exposes China to trade sanctions, which would stall economic growth and create a recession that could cause unrest. The Chinese leaders are eager to avoid that. A military assault on the Filipino LST would also create the risk of legal and economic backlash as well as the lesser risk of military escalation. The next step appears to be a tighter blockade of the Filipino garrison to starve them out. Chinese civilian and military ships blocked two earlier efforts by Filipino supply ships to deliver food and water to Second Thomas Reef and stationing more ships there to enforce the blockade might work. The supplies can and have been air dropped. Resupply by air is expensive and uncertain during bad weather. For the last year China has been increasing pressure on the Philippines to remove small detachments of sailors and marines stationed on nine islets and reefs in the Spratly Islands. In particular the Chinese want this detachment, stationed on a World War II era landing ship (the BRP Sierra Madre) removed. The Filipino navy deliberately grounded the LST on Second Thomas Reef in 1999 to provide a place for an observation team. In 2013 Chinese patrol ships came within nine kilometers of the LST, which China insists is there illegally. The Philippines warns China that it will resist any attempts to use force against the grounded ship. The initial response from China was constructing more buildings (on stilts) on nearby Mischief Reef (which is only 126 kilometers from the Philippines’ Palawan Island). Second Thomas Reef and nearby Reed Bank are 148 kilometers west of the Philippines (Palawan Island) and well within the Philippines’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). Although the EEZ is recognized by international law (and a treaty that China signed and uses to defend waters off its own coast) China says that does not apply here because all the islets in the South China Sea belong to China and there is no room for negotiation on that point.  Most countries in the region (except Japan, which would rather not dwell on this) note that this was how Japan behaved before World War II. Official U.S. policy is to try and get everyone to calm down and be less provocative. American P-3C maritime patrol aircraft regularly fly over the Spratly Islands and photograph Chinese installations and naval activities. This data is shared with the Philippines and perhaps others. China is the biggest offender in the Spratly Island disputes and shows no sign of slowing, or backing, down. Now China is warning the world that it is ready to escalate but is afraid that the world will call their bluff.


March 22, 2014: In the United States it was revealed that the United States had been hacking into one of China’s major computer hardware companies (Huawei Technologies) in order to secretly plant Cyber War software to be activated in wartime or to deal with any Chinese aggression. This was no surprise to the Chinese and revealing details enabled China to improve its Cyber War defenses.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Philippines DND will be Acquiring a Multi-Role Fighter by 2018

After F/A-50 contract has signed, DND announced that it will be acquiring a multi-role fighter by 2018.


07 April 2014 Defense Studies

PHL to get MRF by 2018

MANILA, (PNA) — With the country now on its way to acquire its first-ever supersonic jet aircraft in 34 years, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced that it will be acquiring a "multi-role fighter" (MRF) by 2018.

This was revealed by DND undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo

2018 is the second phase of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

During this period, the defense and military establishment will determine whether to acquire additional units of the South Korean F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" or go full stream with the acquisition of the MRFs to enhance the country's external defense capabilities.

Studies are now underway to determine the best MRF designs for the Philippines.

The Philippines and Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd (KAI) signed the P18.9 billion deal for 12 units of the F/A-50 last Friday. Manalo said that the first two F/A-50 jet aircraft will be delivered 18 months after the opening of the letter of credit, the next two will be delivered 12 months later and the remaining eight jet planes to be delivered in staggered basis within eight months.


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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Bell 412EP Griffin HT1 helicopter of the Royal Air Force Defence Helicopter Flying School hover taxis to the runway at the 2010 Air Tattoo at Fairford, Gloucestershire, England. photo drian Pingstone

Bell 412EP Griffin HT1 helicopter of the Royal Air Force Defence Helicopter Flying School hover taxis to the runway at the 2010 Air Tattoo at Fairford, Gloucestershire, England. photo drian Pingstone


Apr.3, 2014 by Greg Waldron – FG


Singapore - Bell helicopter has entered a purchase agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation for eight Bell 412EP helicopters, which will be delivered to the Philippine Department of National Defence.


Five of the helicopters will be equipped for combat utility operations and three for VIP transportation, says Bell in a statement.


An original memorandum of understanding for the helicopters was signed in November 2012 between Manila and the CCC.


The helicopters will be produced at Bell’s factory in Montreal.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
KAI Comments FA-50 Sale to Philippines

Korea Aerospace Industries has detailed the $420 million sale of 12 FA-50 light attack fighters to the Philippines, which brings to 52 the number of T-50 variants ordered to date by foreign customers. (KAI photo)


April 2, 2014 defense-aerospace.com/

(Source: Korea Aerospace Industries; dated March 28, 2014)


KAI Won A Contract to Export 12 FA-50s to the Philippines, Worth $420 Million


Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI) won a contract to export 12 FA-50s to the Philippines for Philippine Air Force's multi-purpose fighter purchase project in a government-to-government way on March 28th.


This contract including training is valued at $420 million and the company will completely deliver 12 aircraft within 38 months after the deal goes into effect.


The variant of T-50 family has received 52 orders from the Air Forces of Iraq (24) in 2013, Indonesia (16) in 2011 and the Philippines (12) in 2014.


T-50 variant aircraft developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin and in operation in the Republic of Korea Air Force.


The FA-50 measures 13.13m in length, 9.45m in width and 4.85m in height and is able to fly with a max speed of Mach 1.5 with up to 4,500kg armed weapons loaded in it.


FA-50 light attack aircraft, in particular earned KAI recognition for its high-performance and low-cost fighter.


KAI is eyeing to further exporting the T-50 variant aircraft to the U.S.A., Botswana, the U.A.E., Thailand and Peru.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Government of Canada Confirms Sale of 8 Helicopters to Philippine

Canada’s aerospace sector workers to benefit from two-year contract to the Philippines (photo : Mark Kyst)


30.03.2014 Defense Studies

Export Win for Canadian Aerospace Company

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced that Canada has signed a US$105-million contract with the Philippines to supply eight specialized helicopters manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd.

The contract was negotiated under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Philippines’ Department of National Defense. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the MOU during his visit to the Philippines in November 2012.

Facilitated by the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the Government of Canada’s international government-to-government contracting organization, the eight helicopters will be manufactured at Bell Helicopter’s Mirabel, Quebec, plant over the next two years, solidifying Quebec’s reputation for excellence in aircraft manufacturing and services.

Aerospace is a priority sector under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.

Quick Facts

As one of Canada’s largest exporters, the Canadian aerospace industry exports nearly 80 percent of its products.

Canadian exports of aircraft, aircraft engines and aircraft parts reached a near-record high of $10.8 billion in 2013, a 5.4 percent increase from the year before.

Canada’s aerospace industry comprises more than 700 companies of all sizes from coast to coast and employs more than 170,000 Canadians.

In 2012-13, the Canadian Commercial Corporation was active in 72 countries with more than 210 Canadian companies, signing contracts worth approximately $1 billion.

Barry Kohler, President of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd :

“For 28 years, Bell Helicopter has been the only domestic helicopter original-equipment manufacturer in Canada. Our 2,000 employees have produced over 4,300 helicopters at our Mirabel facility and have been a crucial part of both Bell’s commercial manufacturing strategy and the Canadian aerospace industry. We appreciate the Government of Canada’s assistance in supporting our export opportunities and winning this contract.”
(Government of Canada)

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