Asia Pacific Defense Update Sept. 20, 2011

Photo: MDA
Photo: Aeronautics

Azerbaijan Takes delivery of 60 Israeli UAVs

Sept 20, 2011: Azerbaijan’s armed forces will take delivery of 60 Orbiter and Aerostar unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) by the end of this year, the Azerbaijan Press Agency (APA) said on Monday quoting military sources.

Photo: MDA

U.S. Delays SM-3 Block 2A Development

Sept 20, 2011: The development of the Standard Missile SM-3 Block 2A ballistic missile defense interceptor could be delayed by two years, due to setbacks in warhead testing, the U.S. has notified japan on the delays last week. Japan and the U.S. are jointly developing the missile, originally planned for deployment around the year 2018. The U.S. is developing the kinetic interceptor and guidance system for the new missile while Japan focuses on the nose cone and rocket motor.

Su-30MK for belarus

Ex-Indian Su-30Ks Delivered to Belarus

Sept 20, 2011: Eighteen Su-30K fighter jets delivered to India as part of the first production batch were recently returned to Russia. Representing a downgraded avionic standard, compared to the full fledges Su-30MKI, Russia agreed to replace the aircraft for production versions of the Su-30MKI, in a ‘buy back’ transaction. Interested in refurbishing these pre-owned fighter planes, to the Su-30KN standard, Belarus has offered about $15 million per aircraft to get these fighter planes. Sofar ten aircraft have arrived in Belarus for refurbishment with the remaining eight to arrive by November this year.

Malaysia Interested in Joining the U.K. Type 26 Frigate Program

Sept 20, 2011: Malaysia is considering joining Britain in developing the Type 26 ‘Global Combat Ship‘ new generation frigates. The U.K. is seeking international partners for the Type 26 program, offloading some of the financial pressure associated with the development costs. Brazil, India, Turkey and Australia have also expressed interest in participating in the program. A ship with a displacement of 6,000 tons Type 26 is supposed to replace Type 22 and Type 23 frigates and is expected to form the backbone of the UK Navy’s fleet from about 2020.

Photo: Lockheed Martin

Singapore’s HIMARS Unit Operational

Sept 20, 2011: The first High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) unit of the Singapore Army artillery was announced operational earlier this month, at the base of the battery at Khatib Camp, Singapore. The HIMARS, which will be operated by Bravo battery, 23 SA, provides artillery forces with precision fire power, enhanced mobility and advanced networking capabilities.

Washington to upgrade Taiwan's F-16A/Bs

U.S. Proposes Upgrades for Taiwans’ F-16s

Sept 20, 2011: After dragging Taiwan’s request for 66 new F-16C/Ds for five years, the U.S. administration seems to agree to upgrade the island state’s 140 F-16A/B fighters. The U.S. government is obligated under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 to provide for Taiwan’s defense. Backing Taipei has been the thorniest bilateral issue between Washington and Beijing. With China becoming a superpower, no other country is supplying the island for fear of angering Beijing. France and the Netherlands are among countries that have suffered economic and diplomatic retaliation for having armed Taiwan in the past.

Photo: USFK

Lack of Spares Render South Korean Patriot Systems Inoperable

Sept 20, 2011: Part of the South Korean air-defense defense’ Patriot batteries have been suspended for months due to malfunction in their radars. Seoul inducted the Patriot systems in 2009 as part of the establishment of a new air and missile defense system capable of intercepting ballistic and cruise missiles. For the fire units Seoul acquired the PAC-3 missiles from the U.S., matched with radars of PAC-2 GEM+ systems acquired from German military surplus. Part of the problem is the low levels of spare parts maintained for these radars; in July 2011 only 10 percent of the spares were available, extending repairs of Patriot radar failures over several months. (Chosun)

BrahMos for Vietnam?

India Offers the BrahMos to Vietnam

Sept 20, 2011: India and Vietnam are discussing a possible sale of the BrahMos supersonic anti-ship missile developed jointly under a Indo-Russian cooperation. Indian sources confirmed Vietnam is one of 15 countries approved by the Indian government for the missile’s export.

Thailand Undecided about German Type 206 Submarines

Sept 20, 2011: Thailand’s defense minister denied the approval of 7.5 billion Bhat for the acquisition of six Type 206A submarines from German Navy surplus. The Thai defense security committee recommended evaluating other options for buying submarines from Russia, China and South Korea. The German Navy’s  offer was attractive in terms of cost, availability and operability as training platforms but the deadline set by the Germans for September 30 was too short for the Thai response. (Bangkok Post)