Asia Pacific Defense Update – November 21, 2011

Australian C-17A Globemaster III

Washington to Transfer an F-16 Squadron to Indonesia

Indonesia The U.S. is offering to transfer a squadron of ex-U.S. Air Force F-16 fighters to bolster the air defense capability of the Indonesian Air Force. Jakarta has requested Washington to receive the first of the 24 aircraft in the year 2014. The new agreement expected to be worth around $750 million represents the largest transfer of defense articles in the history of the U.S.-Indonesia bilateral relationship. Indonesia currently operates 10 Su-27/30 and 10 F-16 A/B fighter planes which could also be upgraded to meet a similar level as the new planes. The new Indonesian Falcons will be F-16C/D Block 25 aircraft. In addition to renovation and modernization of the aircraft the package will also include training of at least 30 Indonesian pilots in the U.S., and local training for maintenance and support teams. Indonesia will receive the 24 F-16C/D Block 25 aircraft with their original engines (F100-PW-200 or F100-PW-220E) granted as excess defense articles. In addition Jakarta will pay for a comprehensive upgrade packages, to include a new mission computer, advanced targeting pods, ARC-164/186 Radios, Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL) and Enhance Position Location Reporting Systems (EPLRS), advanced self protection system including ALR-69 Radar Warning Receivers, ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management Systems and ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser Systems. and more. A weapons suite for the aircraft will be decided at a later stage.

India is Set to Test Fly the Nirbhany Cruise Missile in early 2012

Taiwan’s SRP Complex

Taiwan plans to complete the construction of the long-range early warning Surveillance Radar Program (SRP) site enabling the deployment of the $752 million radar next year. The completion of the site, currently under construction in Hsinchu County of northern Taiwan has delayed the program for over a year. According to Deputy Defense Minister Chao Shih-chang, the site will be completed in November 2012. Raytheon will deliver the UHF electronically scanning FPS-115 PAVE PAWS radar and two missile warning centers to provide better protection from possible ballistic missile attack from China. In 2004 Taiwan requested to deploy two such sites, at a total cost of more than $1.7 billion however, only one radar was ordered to date. Chao reassured the new radar will be able to support Taiwan’s Patriot air defense systems and link to the Heng Shan Military Command Center, a military emergency facility also located in the north. “The preliminary tests have showed that there are no problems with the integration between the systems,” Chao said at the Legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

Australian C-17A Globemaster III

Canberra Wants a Sixth Globemaster III for the RAAF

Australia is considering buying a sixth Boeing C-17 Globemaster III t an investment of about US$300 million. The Royal Australian Air Force already acquired five such aircraft to be based at RAAF Base Amberley, the primary base for C-17 airlift planes and Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Transport Tanker (MRTT) aircraft. The base is currently undergoing the infrastructure upgrades required to support the C-17 and other large aircraft Australia has already received or is under contract to receive in future years.

… and More Ammo for the Carl Gustafs

The Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has awarded the Saab company of Sweden an order worth $23.92 million for the delivery of for 84mm ammunition for the Carl-Gustaf M3 weapon system. In late 2009 the Australian Defence Force selected the Carl-Gustaf M3 weapon system after thorough evaluation as their future multi-purpose weapon system. Manufacturing will be done by Saab in Karlskoga, Sweden, and deliveries take place within the next half year.

Poland delivers Four Swidniks to the Philippines

Sokol Swindik assault/utility helicopter

The first four of the eight PZL Swidnik utility helicopters procured by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in Poland are being delivered in November 2011. The remaining four will be delivered in 2012. The Polish company won the US$73 million public tender in 2008. The Philippines plan to use the helicopters in utility transport and armed-assault configuration, in support for internal security operations, counter-terrorism, and territorial defense. Some of the helicopters are equipped with with radar and night vision devices for night operations. The Swidnik can carry 14 persons, including the two-man crew. Maximum speed is 260 km/h and the range is 745 kilometers. The helicopter can be armed with air-to-air missiles, rail-launched air-to-ground rockets, .50 caliber machine guns. Counter-insurgency operations in the Philippines have intensified in recent months, fighting against islamic terror organizations in the archipelago, such as the Abu Sayyaf Group and some elements of the Jemaah Islamiyah both having links to the al-Qaeda international terror group. In its fighting against those groups the Philippine Army is using aging UH1-H “Huey” and MG-520 helicopter gunships. Both are worn out after decades of activity.

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