January 21, 2017

B-2 Bomber Returns From Strike Mission Over Libya






Anti-missile shield destroyed in the province of Marib, Serwah




January 20, 2017

Syrian army captures Afra town in Wadi Barada region - west Damascus






Thailand Aims to Operate Fleet of Three Submarines by 2026




The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has outlined a requirement to operationalise its planned fleet of three submarines by 2026, and is currently in the process of submitting this proposal to the country's military government.

The matter was disclosed by Captain Prawoot Rodmanee, chief of the RTN's submarine squadron, during his presentation at UDT Asia 2017 in Singapore on 17 January. The captain was giving a brief on the RTN's plans for the future, including updates to the service's plans to establish a submarine fleet.

Thailand is largely believed to be acquiring the S26T (Thailand) diesel-electric submarine (SSK), a modified export version of the Yuan-class (Type 041) platform from China.

Japan to Provide Vietnam With 6 Patrol Boats to Boost Security in S China Sea




Tokyo is expected to give Hanoi six patrol boats to help its maritime security efforts in the South China Sea, Kyodo news agency reported Monday, citing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

 According to Kyodo, Abe said that the boats would be provided under the framework of a new $1-billion loan and aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation.

The South China Sea dispute revolves around the Spratly Islands, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves. Beijing’s territorial claims to the Spratly Islands run counter to those of Vietnam, as well as Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Thai Navy to Retire Ratcharit-, Prabparapak-Class Missile Boats Over Next 10 Years




The Royal Thai Navy will retire its entire fleet of missile-capable patrol boats by 2026. Service is eyeing larger platforms such as LPDs and frigates in the coming years.

As part of its efforts to prepare the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) for future maritime security challenges, the service will progressively decommission its Ratcharit and Prabparapak classes of missile-armed patrol boats by 2026.

The vessels, which have been in service since the 1970s, are now less relevant given the rise of asymmetric security challenges, such as maritime terrorism and piracy, said Captain Prawoot Rodmanee, chief of the RTN's submarine squadron, during his presentation at UDT Asia 2017 in Singapore on 17 January.

Malaysia Bolsters Submarine Rescue Capabilities with USN Certification




The privately owned Malaysian submarine rescue ship, MV Mega Bakti, has received certification from the US Navy (USN) as an approved commercial vessel of opportunity (VOO), and can now be deployed to rescue distressed submariners, a senior Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) confirmed on 17 January.

The certification, which was received in mid-2016 following a number of pre-screening processes by the USN, will further boost the submarine rescue capabilities in the region, said Rear Admiral Abdul Rahman Ayub, Submarine Force Commander of the RMN, on 17 January. He was speaking at the UDT Asia 2017 conference in Singapore.

Mega Bakti, which is owned by Malaysian company Target Resources, is currently contracted to provide submarine rescue services for the RMN.

Indonesia Approves Acquisition of Five Airbus A400Ms for USD2 Billion



The Indonesian government has approved the acquisition of five new Airbus A400M multirole aircraft. The acquisition is a significant step in the Indonesian Air Force's modernisation efforts

Indonesia has approved a sum of USD2 billion for the acquisition of five Airbus A400M Atlas multirole aircraft to boost the country's military airlift capabilities, multiple sources from within Indonesia's government and defence industry confirmed to IHS Jane's on 18 January.

The airframes will be acquired in the transport and utility configuration, and will be operated across the Indonesian Air Force's (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU's) Aviation Squadrons 31 and 32.

The acquisition, which received an official greenlight from the Indonesian House of Representatives' commission on defence, intelligence, and foreign affairs (Komisi I) in mid-January 2017, was approved with the condition that the final three airframes undergo final fit-out at state-owned PT Dirgantara's facilities in Bandung.

IHS Jane's also understands that provisions will be made in the contract to allow Indonesian engineers to study and observe the assembly of various major aircraft components, including wings and fuselage shells, for the first two airframes in Seville, Spain.

Indonesian defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu first indicated in mid-2016 that the government is considering the acquisition of A400M aircraft to bolster the TNI-AU's military airlift and transport capabilities, although no details on numbers were given then.

According to specifications provided by Airbus, the A400M can carry a maximum payload of 37 tonnes with a volume of 340 m3 in the logistics configuration. The aircraft can also accommodate up to 116 fully equipped soldiers or paratroopers, seated in four longitudinal rows, in the military transport configuration.


At its maximum payload, the A400M has an operating range of 1,780 n miles (3,300 km), while with a payload of up to 25 tonnes, the aircraft can take off and land on austere airstrips as short as 750 m.
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