26 May 2017

Industry: NSAG joint venture (Navantia Australia and SAGE) wins contract to supply Integrated Platform Management Systems

Navantia and NSAG have signed a $2.8m purchase order which will see NSAG supply the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) to the Royal Australian Navy's AOR (Auxiliary Oil Replenishment) ships currently under construction under Defence’s SEA1654 program. The order was signed in Adelaide on 23rd. May.

A critical control system on-board a Navy vessel, the IPMS is key to the safety of sailors and provides a significant control over ship operation. The IPMS developed by NSAG has already been installed on the two Canberra Class Amphibious Assault Ships and aboard the three Hobart Class Destroyers.

NSAG, a Navantia Australia and SAGE Automation Joint Venture will install the enclosures and consoles and provide IPMS support under a 5-year support contract.

Navantia Australia’s Managing Director Francisco BarĂ³n has welcomed the announcement and used the occasion to highlight the importance of partnering with Australian experts to contribute to the Australian ship building industry.

News Report: Beijing Pumps the Brakes on Next-Gen Aircraft Carrier

China's Type 001A Aircraft Carrier just after launch
Pictures on Chinese social media of battleship parts have led to frenzied discussion as to whether China’s Type 002 aircraft carrier is underway ahead of schedule, but analysts say the engineering chops for the ship simply aren’t there yet.

The images fueling the speculation may be part of a warship, but they aren’t part of China’s next carrier, a source told the South China Morning Post. “The [Jiangnang] shipyard is empty. It’s impossible to hide such a huge ship,” the official said.

On April 26, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA-N) sent the yet-unnamed Type 001A carrier sailing on the high seas. Beijing’s first homemade carrier will join PLA-N’s Liaoning in 2020, the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimates.

News Report: India Risks Annoying China With Its New Tsunami-Warning System in S China Sea

India’s plans for setting up a tsunami early warning center in the disputed South China Sea could annoy China, which sees the region as its sole preserve.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — The tsunami early warning system will benefit Vietnam and Thailand as they will be provided timely alerts about incoming tsunamis.

“India chairs the Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System for Asia and Africa (RIMES). We are also a major contributor in terms of resources. So we are exploring the possibility of having a tsunami early warning system in the South China Sea,” M Rajeevan, Secretary, Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences, said.

This Indian initiative could possibly annoy China which has been very touchy on issues related to the South China Sea. Beijing has breathed fire and brimstone at countries that had sought to also enjoy the benefits of the South China Sea, like the Philippines.

News Report: Trespass Against Us - Beijing Angered by US Actions in South China Sea

Beijing has criticized the US for "trespassing" off the coast of the Spratly islands - a group of 14 islands, islets and cays - that China insists is its territory. However, the US disputes the Chinese claim, with a Pentagon spokesperson saying that the US has the right to fly and sail "wherever international law allows."

On Wednesday, 24th April, the news broke that the USS Dewey — a guided missile destroyer — sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.

On Thursday afternoon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang left the world in no doubt as to what Beijing made of the move.

"The US trespassed in the waters…without permission from the Chinese government. The relevant action taken by the US vessel undermines Chinese sovereignty and security interests. We urge the US to correct this mistake."

Such stringent rhetoric from Beijing directed against the US has come as no surprise to regional political analysts. The issue of China's disputed claims in the South China Sea are hugely significant to China, and have long been so. China has been locked in a biter dispute between several neighbors — including Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia — over several islands and reefs.

News Report: China Blames US for S China Sea Militarization Over Warship Sailing - Ministry

China's Artificial Island built on Mischief Reef
(Click Image to Enlarge)
Chinese Defense Ministry accused Washington of militarization of the South China Sea region, following sailing of an US Navy destroyer near the disputed Spratly Islands chain.

BEIJING (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, media reported that the USS Dewey sailed within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of Mischief Reef, in the Spratly Island chain. Chinese frigates tracked it and issued a warning, urging the vessel to leave the area.

"China expresses strong protest and has already made representation to the US side in connection with such a demonstration of military force, boost to the militarization of the region and actions that can easily lead to incidents at sea and in the air," ministry's representative Ren Guoqiang said.

Ren pointed out that the US vessel entered waters of the disputed archipelago, which China claims sovereignty of, without permission.

News Report: Indonesian Leader Calls for Thorough Investigation Into Wednesday's Explosions & Daesh Could Be Behind Deadly Explosions in Jakarta - Police

Indonesian Leader Calls for Thorough Investigation Into Wednesday's Explosions

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo extended his condolences over the recent deadly explosions that hit Jakarta and urged for a thorough investigation to unveil the terrorist network, local media reported Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Two suicide bombings hit a bus stop in the eastern part of the country's capital on Wednesday night and left three police officers and two civilians dead, and several civilians injured.

Widodo ordered National Police Chief Tito Karnavian to investigate the attack and unveil the network of the bombers, according to The Jakarta Post newspaper.

"This has gone too far. Ojek [motorcycle taxi] and angkot [public minivan] drivers have fallen victim and so have police officers," Widodo was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

News Report: US Naval Vessel Sails Near Chinese-held Reef in South China Sea

China's Artificial Island built on Mischief Reef
(Click Image to Enlarge)
A U.S. Navy warship on Thursday sailed within 22 kilometers (12 nautical miles) of a Chinese-controlled reef in the South China Sea, in the first mission under President Donald Trump to challenge Beijing's territorial claims in the disputed waterway.

U.S. military officials said the guided missile destroyer USS Dewey passed near Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.

U.S. military spokesman Major Jamie Davis said the United States was continuing its operations aimed at upholding freedom of navigation in international waters.

American forces operate daily in the South China Sea and will continue to "fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows," Davis said.

A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry told reporters Thursday that the U.S. patrol undermined peace and stability in the South China Sea.

A U.S. defense official told VOA on Thursday that a Chinese military frigate "shadowed" the Dewey throughout the entire freedom-of-navigation operation. Another Chinese frigate and a Chinese coast guard vessel also were nearby when the American warship passed near the reef, the official added.

The United States and other nations have criticized Beijing for its island-building in the region, which is home to one of the world's busiest shipping routes. Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam and other Asian nations also have competing claims to region.

VOA's Carla Babb contributed to this report from the Pentagon.

This story first appeared on Voice of America & is reposted here with permission.

News Report: Fresh Taliban Attacks Kill 25 Members of Afghan Forces

Ayaz Gul

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — A suicide car bombing and clashes with Taliban insurgents across Afghanistan have killed at least 25 security personnel.

The violence comes as the United Nations urges parties to the Afghan conflict to cease hostilities during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, beginning this week.

Local television stations quoted security officials in the embattled Helmand province as saying that a suicide bomber Thursday afternoon rammed his explosives-laden car into an office of the Afghan intelligence agency.

Initial reports said at least six people were killed and several more wounded. The district chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Tor Jan, was said to be among the dead.

The Taliban claimed credit for the violence, with a spokesman saying the massive explosion destroyed the facility in the Washir district and killed at least 20 people, including Jan.

The Islamist insurgency often releases inflated tolls for such attacks. Helmand is the largest Afghan province and is mostly controlled by, or under the influence of, the Taliban.

News Report: Amid Rising Islamist Politics, Indonesia Prepares for More Stringent Ramadan

Krithika Varagur

JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting that starts Friday, has typically been a relaxed affair in the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia. But in the last few years there has been rising intolerance against activities like selling food during daylight hours. This year, after a divisive election cycle that marked the first true emergence of Islamist politics in modern Indonesia, many are preparing for the most austere Ramadan in recent memory.

There has also been a spate of disturbing crackdowns on gay Indonesians and a suicide bombing attack Wednesday in an East Jakarta train station. Experts have speculated that at least one factor behind the former is a desire for high-profile value signaling before the holy month.

News Report: Philippine Troops Begin Campaign to Retake City From Islamist Militants

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Philippine troops entered a besieged city on the southern island of Mindanao Thursday to begin clearing out Islamist militants who virtually took control earlier this week.

Two military helicopters flew above the city’s rooftops as armored tanks rolled through its neighborhoods amid sporadic gunfire and explosions. Many of Marawi’s 200,000 citizens are fleeing to safety.

The crisis began late Tuesday when Philippine security forces launched a mission to arrest militant leader Isnilon Hapilon, who was believed to be in Marawi recovering from wounds sustained in a previous clash. The raid collapsed after a wave of militants stormed the city and went on a rampage, burning houses, a university and Catholic churches and taking hostages, including a priest and more than a dozen others at a cathedral.

The military says at least six government troops and 13 militants have been killed in the fighting.