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General Discussion / Re: Black Hawks for the PAF?
« on: June 20, 2020, 07:06:13 PM »
Remember that the Mi-171 has a cargo variant with a loading ramp. Something that neither the S-70 nor the 412 have.

It's also significantly cheaper to acquire in numbers than the Chinook. Something that should be plainly apparent DND officials given the budgetary concerns that have weighed heavily on the attack helicopter acquisition project.

And then there's the aircraft's track record of being robust and over engineered such that it can operate even with minimal maintenance (not that you'd want to make it a habit). Though on that note: the air frame is ubiquitous enough that there are numerous certified support service providers outside of the country of origin (Ex. Elbit Systems). At least 7 countries within the SEA region have long operated the aircraft.

So there's more there than just geopolitical considerations to justify the selection.

But in any case, this is getting out of topic for this thread.

General Discussion / Re: Black Hawks for the PAF?
« on: June 19, 2020, 09:06:31 PM »
What happened to the Mi-171 deal? I thought they were in Russia recently to inspect the production line. Couldn't get a CAATSA waiver?

The Mi-17 purchase is a completely separate acquisition project.

Well in the first place you're talking about two different levels of weapon system so this is really a apples-to-oranges comparison. In practice a 40mm grenade launcher and a 60mm mortar would be used to cover different combat ranges: the M203 grenade launcher has an effective range from 14m (minimum) to 350m (15 to 382 yards) while an Elbit C05 commando mortar's range is from 85m to 800m (92 to 874 yards). Of course those ranges can be extended depending on the model of launcher or mortar used and the ammunition loaded (ex. ERLP grenades than can be loaded onto the Milkor MGL and can extend up to 800m, the Elbit C576 commando mortar with max. range of 1600m), but that doesn't really effect the general difference in use.

This picture should give one a better understanding of the difference in ranges we're talking about.

A commando mortar is supposed to be one step above the grenade launcher in terms of range and munition payload, but still be light enough to be man-portable and usable by just one operator, as opposed to other infantry mortars which require dedicated crews. This is achieved at the expense of accuracy and firepower when compared to the larger crewed mortars (lowering equipment weight and reducing the number of operators means less precise targeting and fire correction as well as having a less stable mortar platform).

A grenade launcher is even lighter and more portable, with correspondingly lighter munitions as well. Of course they can lob a lot less firepower than any mortars with significantly larger caliber munitions.

Its all a compromise among firepower, portability & range and the "best" option depends on what's needed in the situation. You probably wouldn't want to use a grenade launcher to try to engage targets in a field 500m away, likewise you probably wouldn't want to use a mortar to lob an explosive through a window 50m away.

I think the writer seriously misinterprets the situation from the very get go of the article.

Nothing about the Duterte administration's moves to distance itself from the U.S. has every really been "populist", they have always been top-down initiatives by leadership with a prior history of left leanings mixed with realist geopolitical calculation. In a country where the the political establishment has always been tremendously right-leaning and highly inclined towards the U.S. (to a fault), the current administration has been unprecedented in its policies. As such any policy shifts it has tried to effect have been against the inertia of over a century of policy and political culture. Not to mention societal and cultural affinity built up during that time. One could argue that they would even be "counter-populist" given the potential pushback.

All that said...

The thing that really gets my goat though, is the bit where they allege the administration as having been "neglectful" to the promise of Bangsamoro autonomy. That is a grossly erroneous interpretation of reality.

Prior to the Marawi siege, the administration together with the Bangsamoro leadership had picked up the pieces of the last administration's failed effort and was working continuously though the Bangsamoro Transition Commission to draft a new organic law to be passed. Hell, I was in Davao to attend the meetings prior to and up to the official launching of the BTC. And then Cotabato for the first few meetings of the commission. All this in less than a year into the (then) new administration. Marawi blindsided everyone involved because from our perspective, the developments in the peace process were incredibly optimistic.

If anyone was to blame for any disillusionment with the peace process among the Bangsamoro it would have been the previous administration, who had somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  And even then, the people who took part in the siege were extremists (so-called "anarchists" in the words of Mohagher Iqbal) who were had pledged themselves to being the local front of the Daesh.

...But I suppose its gets to me more because I have personal stake on the matter.

Equipment and Gear / Re: MG3 GPMG @ PNP
« on: June 04, 2020, 12:01:58 PM »
Huh. The PNP procurement system inducts the oddest bits of hardware. Makes for interesting gun spotting if not sensible logistics.

My guess is that these were license-produced by either POF of Pakistan or MKEK of Turkey (though the latter appears to no longer have it on their product catalog). Any information on the local company that imported the guns?

MG3 page on Pakistan Ordnance Factories website
POF Infantry Weapons brochure

Unmanned Vehicles / Re: Hermes 900
« on: May 23, 2020, 11:30:55 AM »
Elbit Systems Introduces a UAS-Based Long-Range Maritime Rescue Capability

Haifa, Israel, 07 May, 2020 – Elbit Systems introduces a unique life saving capability to its Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Integrating detection and identification capabilities, onboard inflated life-rafts, and precision dispatch capability, enables the UAS to perform long-range maritime Search and Rescue (SaR) missions. Such a configured Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol UAS was recently delivered to an undisclosed customer in South-East Asia.

Adverse weather conditions and short endurance significantly degrade the SaR capabilities of manned aircraft, often preventing them from executing their missions. Capable of more than 24 hours of continuous flight, the Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol can operate in adverse weather conditions in both day and night. Equipped with the new SaR capability the UAS can increase the number of SaR missions that can be safely executed and improve the safety and effectiveness of maritime SaR response.

The Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol can carry up to four, six-person life-rafts that are integrated on its wings. Using an onboard maritime radar the UAS detects survivor situations. Upon detection the UAS’ Electro-Optic/Infra-Red (EO/IR) payload is deployed to provide visual identification, and a rapid calculation of the drop-point is performed, enabling the UAS to dispatch life rafts from a low-altitude of 600ft to a pin-pointed location at a safe distance from the survivors. A gradual inflation process of the life-rafts is initiated after dispatch and is completed upon landing.

Alternate links:
Defense Update
Defense World

Military History / Re: PAF Command/Parade vehicles
« on: May 23, 2020, 06:33:19 AM »
Some pictures of my own that I took during the display of the Balangiga Bells:


Stephan Haggard on developmental states

Professor Stephan Haggard, UC SanDiego, discusses development states.

The concept of the developmental state emerged to explain the rapid growth of East Asia in the postwar period. Yet the developmental state literature also offered a heterodox theoretical approach to growth. Arguing for the distinctive features of developmental states, its proponents emphasised the role of government intervention and industrial policy as well as the significance of strong states and particular social coalitions. Comparative analysis explored the East Asian developmental states to countries that were decidedly not developmentalist, thus contributing to our historical understanding of long-run growth. Prof. Haggard provides a critical but sympathetic overview of this literature and ends with a look forward at the possibilities for developmentalist approaches, in both the advanced industrial states and developing world.

Additional details on home quarantined cases.

General Discussion / Re: SAF armor
« on: April 25, 2020, 07:37:23 PM »


Graph is now more detailed with different shades distinguishing asymptomatic, mild, severe and critical cases including those undergoing testing.

Vietnamese Hackers Targeted China Officials at Heart of Outbreak

Vietnamese hackers began targeting Chinese government officials at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak in the early days of 2020, when the threat of pandemic had barely registered elsewhere in the world, according to findings by cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc.

The attacks were going on as early as January 6 and continued through April, said Ben Read, a senior manager for cyber-espionage in the firm’s threat intelligence unit. The campaign of spearphishing and malware fit a pattern the firm ascribed to APT32, a group of hackers working for the Vietnamese government, and the group’s targets were the government of Wuhan and the national ministry of emergency management, he said.

“This group is what Vietnam has for cyber-espionage. It doesn’t have four or five times that -- this is their group,” he said. “So if this is what they’re doing at this time, it’s a priority for them.”

The Vietnamese foreign ministry called the report “baseless.”

“Vietnam prohibits cyber-attacks against organizations and individuals in any form,” deputy spokesperson Ngo Toan Thang said in a statement online.

China’s foreign ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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