Pindad delivers 33 armored personnel carriers

Anoa APS-2 6x6. (Photo: KOMPAS)

January 13, 2010, Bandung -- State-owned arms manufacturer PT Pindad here Wednesday delivered 33 armored personnel carriers of the APS-2 type (6x6) to the Defense Ministry.

According to a Defense Ministry press release, 24 of the delivered armored vehicles would be used by the army, and the other 13 would put at the disposal of the Indonesian contingent in the UN peace-keeping force in Lebanon.

The 38 APS-2s constituted the third batch of armored personnel carrier deliveries to the Defense Ministry which had placed an order for 150 units. In the first and second batches PT Pindad delivered a total of 60 units to the ministry in 2008.

The ministry had also asked PT Pindad in 2008 to make four armored reconnaissance vehicles.

The APS-2s made by PT Pindad each weigh 12 tons and their bodies were constructed with monocoque and covered in 8 to 10 mm bullet-proof plating.

Although the vehicles are relatively heavy, they can develop a cruising speed of 90 kilometers per hour, turn within a radius of 10 meters and take inclines of up to 31 degrees.

The vehicles are equipped with night vision instruments, a 6- ton winch and for communication purposes they have an intercom set plus VHF/FM (anti-jamming and hopping) and a GPS navigation system.

One APS-2 can carry 15 soldiers, has eight glass reconnaissance and eight firing holes besides two sets of smoke launching tubes.

In terms of firing power, every APS-2 is topped by a copula that can spin 360 degrees to aim AGL or SMB machine guns at targets. They are also equipped with 7.62 mm weapons (infantry) and AGL 40 mm guns (cavalry ).


Heron UAV To Support Australian Troops In Afghanista

January 13, 2009 -- The first Australian-leased Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has started initial operations supporting Australian, Afghan and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Under Project Nankeen, the Defence Materiel Organisation has signed a contract with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (MDA) to provide Heron Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) services which will deliver high resolution intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability supporting ADF and ISAF operations in southern Afghanistan.

Heron uses leading edge technology to boost force protection by providing ground commanders with live situational awareness.

Heron’s long endurance characteristic enhances the ADF’s operational ISR capabilities in Afghanistan, currently provided by Air Force AP-3C Orions and Army’s Scan Eagle tactical UAV.

For the past five months, an Air Force-led ADF detachment has been preparing for the delivery of the Australian Heron UAV, by working with the Canadian Heron detachment in southern Afghanistan, drawing on the Canadians’ operational knowledge, experience and facilities.

The Australian Heron detachment has been drawn from many parts of Air Force and Army. It includes UAS pilots, payload operators, intelligence officers, imagery analysts, engineers, administrative and logistics personnel.

Personnel from the Heron detachment are continuing to hone their skills with ISAF personnel. The initial training program provided Australian personnel with the theatre qualifications to conduct operations and provide support for our troops on the ground.

The Initial Operating Capability has been achieved and development of the full capability is ongoing. The Heron is expected to be fully mission capable in the coming months.

Heron is a one tonne aircraft capable of medium altitude, long endurance flights. It was selected after a detailed examination of off-the-shelf, low risk ISR systems available to be quickly deployed to Afghanistan. The Heron contract is for an initial one year period of operations, with an option to extend.

Australian DoD

Russia to Float Out Last 2 Frigates for Indian Navy by Yearend

January 11, 2009, Kalinigrad -- A Russian shipyard will float out the last two of three frigates for India's Navy by the end of the year, a Yantar spokesman said on Monday.

The first of three Project 11356 frigates was taken out of dry dock at the end of November.

The warships will become modified Krivak III class (also known as Talwar class) guided missile frigates for the Indian Navy under a $1.6 billion contract signed in July 2006.

Indian President Pratibha Patil has named the new ships the Teg (Hindi for Saber), the Tarkash (Quiver), and the Trikand (Bow).

The new frigates will be armed with eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
They will be also equipped with a 100-mm gun, a Shtil surface-to-air missile system, two Kashtan air-defense gun/missile systems, two twin 533-mm torpedo launchers, and an anti-submarine warfare helicopter.

In an interview with RIA Novosti last year, Yantar director Igor Orlov said the shipyard was in talks with Russia's Vnesheconombank on "a $60 million loan to complete the construction of the three frigates for the Indian Navy."
Russia has previously built three Talwar-class frigates for India - INS Talwar (Sword), INS Trishul (Trident), and INS Tabar (Axe).

RIA Novosti

Nigeria seeks modern army to maintain influence

January 11, 2009 -- Nigerian Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, who has taken over ceremonial duties for an ailing president, called for the modernization of the country's military to maintain its influence in Africa.

Jonathan's comments come as pressure mounts from senior lawyers and opposition party officials for President Umaru Yar'Adua to transfer presidential powers to him.

"As a nation, if we must continue to maintain our position in the continent and globally, then we must look inwards. The government takes the armed forces very seriously," Jonathan said yesterday at a church service in Nigeria's capital Abuja to commemorate Armed Forces Day.

"We must ... wake up to the global challenge of fighting wars with modern weapons," he added.

Jonathan said the Nigerian Defence Academy, the country's main military school, must reposition itself to be one of the world's best "if we must produce and prepare armed forces that will continue to carry the banner of this country high."

The 52-year-old has been representing Yar'Adua at cabinet meetings and official functions but executive powers have not been transferred to him, leading to questions over the legality of decisions made by the government in Yar'Adua's absence.

The president left Nigeria seven weeks ago to receive treatment for a heart condition in hospital in Saudi Arabia. No pictures or videos of Yar'Adua have been made public nor has he spoken in an official capacity since his departure on Nov. 23.

Nigeria's ambassador to Saudi Arabia told Reuters last week the 58-year-old leader was "sound and fit", but it was unclear when he would be able to return home.

Critics say government assurances about Yar'Adua's health are no longer enough for Nigeria's 140 millions residents and more evidence is needed to show he is fit enough to govern.

The Nigerian Bar Association, a prominent human rights lawyer and two former lawmakers have filed separate lawsuits against the government which accuse the president of breaching the constitution by staying in power.

A federal court hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Abuja.

The House of Representatives is also expected to address Yar'Adua's prolonged absence when it returns from recess tomorrow.

The president spoke to Jonathan and head of parliament last week, a government minister and state governor said, but the content of conversations between them have not been disclosed.


PTDI to hand over aircraft to S Korea by end of 2010

CN-235 MPA. (Photo: ANTARA)

January 9, 2010, Bandung -- State aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) is scheduled to hand over one of four CN-235 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) ordered by South Korea, by the end of 2010.

"Four CN-235 MPA aircraft are currently under construction by PTDI to meet the South Korean order. One of the planes would be handed over to South Korea by the end of 2010," PT Dirgantara Indonesia`s chief spokesman Rokhendi said in Bandung Friday.

He said the four CN-235 MPA planes are ordered by South Korea under a contract signed in 2008 at a total cost of 94.5 million US dollars. The production of the four aircraft would be completed in 2012.

"The planes will however be handed over to the South Korean side in stages," Rokhendi said.

Rokhendi added that the MPA planes will join the South Korean maritime police.
South Korea has been using the PTDI-built CN-235 planes, including two are of the VVIP version.

The CN-235 MPA planes are the latest version for maritime patrol operations, and are equipped with radar to detect ships sailing below.

The military version of the CN-235 planes is also equipped with anti-submarine torpedoes and other special arms.

"The MVA version has become particularly popular to countries with vast territorial seas," Rokhendi said.

In addition, PTDI has also received an order for three CN-235 MPA planes from the Indonesian navy under a contract signed in December 2009.

"The first plane, the construction of which was started this year,will be handed over in 2011," Rokhendi said.

In the meantime, the first CN-235 MPA produced by PTDI had already been handed over to the Navy in 2008. The plane modified from the CN-235, is very suitable for marine patrol and for personnel transportation.

PTDI is also still building three Supar Puma helicopters ordered by the Indonesian Air Force. Super Pumas are only one tipe of the choppers built by PTDI.

"PTDI is currently producing Super Puma and N-Bell choppers, while NBO-105 choppers are no longer produced as the license with Messoshmit Bolkow Blohm (MBB) has expired," he added.


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