20 April 2018

Malaysia Expected to Have Own Fighter Aircraft by 2030: Academician

20 April 2018

The size of the aircraft was similar to the Russian's MiG-29 and also categorised as fifth generation (photo : Wish Eiddkaew)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is expected to have its very own combat aircraft by 2030, said Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Faculty senior lecturer Dr Mohd Roshdi Hassan.

He said he was now embarking on a study which involved various technical aspects, including the design and capability of the engine, for the aircraft.

"We already have the design of the aircraft body according to its functions. Basically, it is the design of a two-engine multi-role combat aircraft or MRCA.

"(In fact,) the design can be modified into a single-engine light combat aircraft (LCA). It is up to the government to determine which type of design to be developed into the real aircraft," he told Bernama when met at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security (NatSec) Asia 2018 exhibitions here.

Mohd Roshdi said the aircraft would take at least 10 years to be built if it was given the go-ahead by the Defence Ministry and there were interested parties from defence companies to work together in developing the design.

This was because the process would involve various developments of the aircraft and weapons prototypes before it could be fully operational or marketed to the regional and international markets, he said.

The academician explained that the size of the aircraft was similar to the Russian's MiG-29 and also categorised as fifth generation, at par with other fighter aircraft produced by developed nations that were now entering the sixth generation.

Asked on the aircraft specifications, Mohd Roshdi said among them were high-performance radars, electronic warfare system and stealth technology to make the jet invisible to enemy radar.

"The thing about this aircraft is that it will be covered by a special type of paint, namely the Hydrophobic Radar Absorption Material Coating which serves to strengthen the stealth technology. It can also be used in any kind of situation and climate.

"Compared to United States' technology, they use the Hydophilic Radar Absorption Material Coating. Although this material has the same effect in terms of stealth technology, the downside is when the aircraft is flying in rain or wet weather as this kind of paint absorbs water and is feared will disrupt the aircraft's systems," he said.

Mohd Roshdi, who is also the founder of the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC), said the idea of building a Malaysian-made fighter aircraft started back in 2007 when he worked at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre, University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

"Upon returning to Malaysia in 2008, I began gathering a group of experts to conduct research in every area such as weaponry, aerospace, radar and navigation system.

"We are only ready to discuss this with the Defence Ministry more seriously after 10 years," he said.

The four-day exhibition at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) which started Monday brought together about 1,500 defence-related companies and 350 foreign delegates from 45 countries. 


ADF Demonstrates Cooperative Engagement Capability on AWD

20 April 2018

The Royal Australian Navy has demonstrated the Cooperative Engagement Capability of its Hobart-class vessels. System provides the service with a layered and collaborative defence system against hostile aircraft and precision-guided weapons (all photos : RAN)

The Australian Defence Force’s ability to defeat enemy air threats has been boosted with the successful testing of the new Cooperative Engagement Capability, the first use of this cutting edge technology by a nation outside the United States.

Over the past few weeks off the coast of South Australia, Air Warfare Destroyers HMAS Hobart, and NUSHIP Brisbane, successfully tested the Cooperative Engagement Capability, which combines radar and fire control data into a common picture, allowing one ship to engage an adversary based on the other ship’s data. Cooperative Engagement Capability is one technology that will form a part of the Australian Joint Integrated Fires Capability being implemented in the Australian Defence Force. 

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, congratulated the Royal Australian Navy and the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance on reaching this important milestone.

“The new Cooperative Engagement Capability is a significant step-change for Australia as we face increasing threats from cruise missiles and advanced aircraft,” Minister Payne said.

“Together Hobart and Brisbane bring revolutionary air defence capabilities – not by adding new radars or weapon systems, but by utilising existing sensors and weapons in a more effective manner.

“In the coming years, the Australian Joint Integrated Fires capability will link our ships, aircraft and land-based assets to create an increasingly sophisticated air defence network that can see over the horizon.”

“Not only does this capability enable us, for the first time, to share targeting data in real time between ADF assets, it will also enable us to share it with United States assets, providing new levels of interoperability within a coalition force.

“Australia is the first international partner outside the United States to gain access to this cutting-edge technology, further demonstrating the strong alliance between our two countries.

“This new capability will provide Australian and United States warships the ability to share targeting data in real time. This means a combat system can engage a target that it otherwise could not see, by using data from another warship’s sensors,” Minister Payne said.

The Australian Government is planning to integrate the CEC into other ADF capabilities, including the E-7A Wedgetail aircraft and our Integrated Air and Missile Defence program.

The CEC will also be integrated into the Future Frigate’s Aegis combat management system together with the Saab Australia developed interface and the CEAFAR phased array radar, as part of our strategic enterprise approach to combat management systems. This technology will provide the ADF with longer range, cooperative and layered air defence.

“When NUSHIP Brisbane joins her sister ship, HMAS Hobart, in the fleet later this year, it will mark the beginning of a new era for air defence in Australia and our partners,” Minister Payne said.

(Aus DoD)

19 April 2018

Malaysia’s Boustead Lines up Second Batch of Kedah-Class Vessels

19 April 2018

Boustead NGPV Batch II concept (photo : Navy Recognition)

Malaysia’s Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) is preparing a proposal to supply the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) with a second batch of MEKO 100 Kedah-class corvettes, the company has confirmed to Jane’s .

Speaking at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur on 19 April, Zulkefli bin Mohd Ghazali, BHIC’s head of project planning and co-ordination, said that the company has offered a batch-two design based on the original hull, the licence for which BHIC has acquired.

BHIC has also recently formed a partnership with the RMN to review the design and make improvements based on RMN requirements, he said.

The first batch of six Kedah-class corvettes, referred to in Malaysia as New Generation Patrol Vessels (NGPVs), were built through a partnership between BHIC and Blohm+Voss. The first two vessels were built in Germany between 2001 and 2003 and entered service in 2006. BHIC built the remaining four vessels in Malaysia, the last of which was delivered to the RMN in 2010.

The RMN has a stated requirement for an additional 12 Kedah-class corvettes, which are expected to be built through two additional batches. The acquisition forms part of the RMN’s ’15 to 5’ modernisation programme, through which the RMN plans to consolidate its fleet of 15 ship classes into five to improve cost efficiencies.

Ghazali said that in line with this programme, the batch-two proposal is “budget driven with a cost ceiling we cannot exceed”. Jane’s understands that the targeted unit price of the second-batch ships is less than MYR500 million (USD129 million).

Although most of the proposed dimensions and specifications of the batch-two class are the same as the batch-one vessels, Ghazali added that cost efficiencies will be achieved by “scaling down” some of the configurations and capabilities, including weapons systems.


M113 Armored Vehicles and AH-1F Helicopter Offered by Jordan for Donation to the Philippine Army

19 April 2018

Jordanian AH-1F Cobra (photo : Exotic Air Force)

Recently, Pres. Duterte himself, in his speech in a bridge ceremonial opening in Mindoro Island last 03 April 2018, mentioned that the Kingdom of Jordan was providing the Philippine government "2 gifts" that are expensive. 

AH-1F Cobra helicopter

Instead, it appears that the 2 Cobra helicopters are just part of Jordan's Gift #1.

MaxDefense was initially informed by one of our community members about the possible arrival of Cobra helicopters last July 2017. The initial info is that the Kingdom of Jordan offered to donate 2 used Bell AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters to the Philippines, and Philippine Air Force officers/technical team and defense officials were able to check out the Cobras in Jordan last June 2017. MaxDefense has a photo to support the PAF inspection but has not yet receive approval to post the photo through any of our public pages.

Succeeding information that MaxDefense received from its sources confirmed that the Jordanian offer was originally for four units, but was reduced to two. The Philippine Air Force is still finalizing the acceptance of the helicopters, while defense officials are said to be negotiating with Jordanian defense officials toincrease it back to four helicopters. It still remains to be seen if this request could be approved.

It is still for clarification if the Jordanian AH-1F Cobras being offered are among those new builds they obtained in the late 1980s from the US, or ex-US Army units transferred in 2001. While Jordan received former Israeli AH-1F Tzefas a few years ago, it is highly unlikely that the units offered to the Philippines are from this batch of helicopters from Israel.

The Philippines is also not the first country to receive AH-1F Cobras as donation from Jordan. Earlier this year Kenya was reported to have received at least one and probably more AH-1F Cobras from Jordan.

Jordanian M113 (photo : Arabi21)

M-113 tracked APC

Gift #2 is actually something else. And based on several information from sources, it appears that Jordan is also providing the Philippine government dozens of M113 tracked armored personnel carriers. 

They would also be donated, although the agreement involves the Philippine government paying for the repair and refurbishing done through the Jordanian Armed Forces, plus paying for the shipping of the armored vehicles to the Philippines.

No exact variant or quantities were provided to MaxDefense as of yet, but it is said to be, at least, more than 60 units, and MAY even include specialized models of the M113 family. These vehicles are said to have been part of those already stored by the RJA as they receives newer armored vehicles from other countries. The RJA is also a strong buyer of used armored vehicles, as they wisely use their limited resources to build up a strong Army in a very volatile region.

The Royal Jordanian Army operates more than a thousand M113A2 and the Jordan-upgraded M113A2MK-2J, including specialized variants like M577 Command Vehicles, M163 Vulcan Air Defense System vehicles, M901 TOW-mounted anti-tank vehicles, M106 Mortar Carriers, and M806 Armored Recovery Vehicles, and has in storage hundreds of M113s including M113A1 and M113A2 armored personnel carriers.

See full article MaxDefense Philippnes

Chinese LHD Design Contends for RMN’s MRSS Programme

19 April 2018

China’s CSOC displayed a model of an LHD with amphibious capabilities at DSA 2018. The company is offering the design to Malaysia to meet the RMN’s MRSS requirement. (photo : Jane's)

A Chinese landing helicopter dock (LHD) with amphibious capabilities is one of the designs being considered for the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN’s) multirole support ship (MRSS) programme, officials told Jane’s at the 16-19 Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.

The design being considered appears to be a smaller version of the 23,000-tonne LHD design unveiled by the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) at the 2012 Defense and Security exhibition in Bangkok. RMN officials said that the Chinese design could carry up to eight helicopters and would be equipped with a well-deck for deploying amphibious vehicles.

While officials at DSA 2018 stressed that the RMN has yet to select a final design, the experiences made with China’s different production and ship standards as part of the ongoing Sino-Malaysian co-operation to build littoral mission ships (LMSs) for the RMN has led to concerns about the desirability of China’s MRSS proposal. However, the officials also stressed that Beijing’s proposal could remain competitive if it becomes the low-cost option.

Malaysian officials indicated they expect the 15,000-tonne three-ship MRSS programme to be funded in 2018, with a final design expected to be selected in 2019.

The MRSS is part of the RMN’s ’15-to-5’ fleet transformation programme, which seeks to reduce operational costs and increase efficiency in logistics management, while bolstering vessel numbers.


Delivery of the Tenth and Final of C-27J Spartan Battlefield Aircraft Completed

19 April 2018

RAAF C-27J Spartan (all photos : Aus DoD)

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) wednesday welcomed the 10th and final C-27J Spartan into service during a ceremony at RAAF Base Richmond.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, congratulated RAAF on completing the upgrade to the Australian Defence Force’s comprehensive fleet of air mobility platforms.

Minister Payne said the Spartan was a highly versatile aircraft that would enhance battlefield airlift capability of the Australian Defence Force.

“The Spartan provides flexibility to Defence operations, allowing us to land at airfields that are smaller or unsuitable for our much larger transport aircraft like the C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster,” Minister Payne said.

“The Spartan can carry up to five tonnes of cargo and is capable of moving troops, equipment and supplies; conducting aero-medical evacuation missions and conducting air drops.”

Minister Payne said the Spartans are currently operated by No. 35 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond, and would relocate to RAAF Base Amberley in early 2019.

“The relocation to Amberley will allow No. 35 Squadron to work from facilities purpose-built for the Spartan, and to be more responsive when deploying across Australia and into the Asia Pacific,” Minister Payne said.

Minister Pyne said Australia’s defence industry would provide important sustainment support for the capability.

“Northrop Grumman Australia has been selected to provide through-life support to the fleet,” Minister Pyne said.

“In addition, Fibre Tech Solutions has delivered a cargo restraint system for use on board the Spartan and other air mobility aircraft, increasing the speed and ease of loading and unloading these aircraft.

“This project supports jobs at both RAAF Base Richmond and Amberley, and will contribute toward developing Australian defence industry into the future.”

Over the last 12 months, the Spartan has supported Whole-of-Government efforts in the 2017 Papua New Guinea parliamentary elections and during international exercises in New Zealand, Guam and New Caledonia.

Initial Operating Capability for the Spartan was declared in late 2016, and Final Operating Capability is scheduled to be declared in late 2019.

(Aus DoD)

Malaysia's Deftech Showcases Aludra Camar Surveillance UAV

19 April 2018

Malaysia’s Deftech unveiled at DSA 2018 a 1:2 scale model of the Aludra Camar surveillance UAV it is developing jointly with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. (photo : Jane's)

Malaysia’s DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies (Deftech) unveiled at the 16-19 April Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur a 1:2 scale model of the Aludra Camar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) it is developing with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Development of the 40 kg platform, which made its maiden flight in July 2017, is expected to be completed by 2019, a company official told Jane’s .

The UAV, which has a 4 m wingspan, is designed to carry out surveillance and mapping missions.

Made of composite reinforced materials, the platform has a stated range of up to 80 km and a maximum cruise speed of 80 km/h, can fly for 6 h, and reach an altitude of up to 5,000 ft, according to the company.

While the prototype is powered by an electrical motor, the finalised version is set to feature a petrol engine, said the official.