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Discussions about all nations and places / Kenya launches coast guard
« on: December 07, 2018, 10:36:59 PM »
Kenya launches coast guard
Jeremy Binnie, London - Jane's Defence Weekly
20 November 2018

The new Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) was officially launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta during a 19 November ceremony that saw the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Doria commissioned as its first vessel.

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General Discussion / PAF Black Hawk in SAR colors
« on: December 07, 2018, 12:29:13 PM »

General Discussion / Black Hawks for the PAF?
« on: December 07, 2018, 08:59:41 AM »
Administrator’s note: See also S-70 @ PAW


PH to buy US helicopters, not Russian, due to sanctions: Lorenzana
Posted at Dec 07 2018 08:14 PM | Updated as of Dec 07 2018 08:39 PM

MANILA- The Philippines will buy 16 Black Hawk helicopters from the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp for P12.67 billion ($240 million), shunning cheaper Russian equipment due to U.S. sanctions on Russian military exports, Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.

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Lorenzana said the Air Force would sign a contract early next year for the 16 Black Hawks, even though the Russians offered the second lowest price.

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Huawei exec's arrest opens a new front in the US-China trade war
Updated 11:28 AM EST December 6, 2018

Hong Kong

General Discussion / Kintanar out as PAF Commanding General
« on: December 05, 2018, 10:52:50 PM »
BREAKING: Sacked? Lorenzana says Air Force chief to retire early
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosingINQ / 01:07 AM December 06, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force chief, Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr., who is 13 months away from retirement, has opted to step down early from military service, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

“He said he will retire early,” Lorenzana told in a text message on Wednesday night, but he did not elaborate.

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Read more:
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Inside Microsoft's big US military bet
By Julia LimitonePublished December 05, 2018TechnologyFOXBusiness

Discussions about all nations and places / Surion crash
« on: December 05, 2018, 11:19:37 AM »
Let us begin this discussion of the crash of a Airbus aircraft that formed the basis for the Surion.

H225 crisis grounds South Korea’s Surion

South Korea has grounded its fleet of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KUH-1 Surion utility helicopters, pending the replacement of gearboxes.

According to a report by state news agency Yonhap, quoting an official at Seoul’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration, Airbus Helicopters informed it that the fatal crash of an H225 in Norway was due to a “defective main gearbox”. The report adds that 57% of the Surions in military service will need their gearboxes replaced, and that Airbus will reimburse the South Korean government.

KAI confirms that it is working with Airbus Helicopters to “retrofit the defective Surions”. The rotorcraft, which resembles the AS332 Super Puma, was developed indigenously in South Korea, with extensive assistance from the European company.

Responding to the report, Airbus Helicopters states: “As the supplier of the Surion main gearbox, which bears close similarities with the AS332 L2 and EC225 LP main gearboxes, Airbus Helicopters has issued an emergency alert service bulletin calling for the withdrawal of a specific type of second-stage planet gears in order to provide increased reliability and safety across the Surion fleet.

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About the Surion

Filipino Potential / PH seen making headway in S&T
« on: December 05, 2018, 12:25:11 AM »
PH seen making headway in S&T
By Ma. Cristina Arayata  October 29, 2018, 8:50 pm

MANILA -- The Philippines seems to be making headway in science and technology (S&T), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said.

Dela Peña was on his way to Kagoshima, Japan on Sunday to attend the scheduled launch of the Philippines' second microsatellite called "Diwata 2," which can be used to gather information about disasters, among others.

"Diwata-2" was set to be launched at the Tanegashima Space Center on Monday.

In a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on his way to Japan on Sunday, dela Peña also enumerated other recent vital developments in the country's S&T sector.

"Our Balik Scientist Act is now in effect. I signed the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) last Oct. 4, and it took effect on Oct. 21," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Balik Scientist Act into law last June. The law seeks to provide incentives to Balik Scientists, or S&T experts residing abroad and who are contracted to return to the Philippines to work and use their expertise in the country.

Dela Peña said institutionalizing the Balik Scientist Program would encourage more Balik Scientists, since the new law allows them to process their visa and immigration requirements faster.

Host institutions for Balik Scientists could be local or private institutions seeking technical assistance.

Dela Peña said some host universities are grateful for the huge help of the Balik Scientists, especially in the fields of robotics, pharmaceuticals, and drug development.

"The UST Dean of Pharmacy, for instance, told me that their initial engagement with a Balik Scientist significantly improved their R&D (research and development) program and plans. The president of Southern Leyte State University said likewise," dela Peña added.

He said some host universities are having difficulty bringing in a Balik Scientist. He cited, for instance, the University of Mindanao in North Cotabato, where there were reported incidents of war between soldiers and the leftist group New People's Army.

Dela Peña is eyeing to get 60 Balik Scientists per year after the Balik Scientists Program has become a law.

Another S&T development that he mentioned was the recently concluded ASEAN Science Ministers' meeting that he chaired in Cebu City.

Dela Pena said among the accomplishments of the ASEAN meeting was that the ministers have agreed to the creation of new S&T centers and networks in the region.

An ASEAN Center for Microbial Utilization will be established in Thailand, he said, adding that the ASEAN Network for Diagnostic Initiatives will be led by the Philippines.

The Philippines and other member states have also agreed to invest more in science, technology, and innovation, he added.

"(It was also during the ministers' meeting) that a Filipina was given the US ASEAN Award for Outstanding Woman Scientist," he said.

Dela Peña was referring to Dr. Gay Jane Perez, who has been extensively involved in DOST's space technology development program.

The DOST chief said Perez bested 45 other nominees from the region. (PNA)

Filipino Potential / DOST seeks help in trumpeting S&T benefits to public
« on: December 05, 2018, 12:12:17 AM »
DOST seeks help in trumpeting S&T benefits to public
By Ma. Cristina Arayata  December 4, 2018, 7:31 pm

MANILA -- Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña is seeking more partnerships with the media to inform the public about the benefits of science and technology.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday afternoon, Dela Peña said one executive had commented that the DOST is only known for the Food Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), Phivolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) and PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration).

"These (attached agencies) are visible due to disasters, and their programs that benefit the people," Dela Peña noted.

He said the most common DOST program that the public knows is its scholarship program but awareness about it, however, is still low.

"We can work hard (to address this)," the DOST chief admitted, saying the DOST's partnership with the National Press Club (NPC), Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI), the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), and other government agencies, is a good example on how the DOST deals with the low public awareness of its programs.

Recently, he was able to watch a DOST show, where a taxonomist at the National Museum is being interviewed.

"How would the public know that there is a taxonomist at the National Museum? How would they know taxonomy's benefits and how important it is? We need our partners to share these things with the public," Dela Peña stressed, lamenting further that public officials, both at the national and local levels, are sometimes not aware of the important benefits of research in their areas.

"Also, there are many kids, who would like to become chefs because that is what they see on television. Only a few would say they would like to become a scientist or an engineer," he said. "So, we need partners to help us inform the public about the benefits of science and technology, and about our programs." (PNA)

General Discussion / More missiles in the pipeline for PH Navy
« on: December 04, 2018, 10:31:10 PM »
More missiles in the pipeline for PH Navy
By Priam Nepomuceno  December 3, 2018, 9:30 am

MANILA -- More capable and powerful missile weaponry are now in the pipeline for the Philippine Navy (PN) following the successful integration of Rafael Advanced Defense Ltd.'s Spike-ER (extended range) surface-to-surface missile system into the fleet.

This was revealed by Navy spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata when asked if more sophisticated missile systems and platforms are in the offing, and whether the Spike-ER heralded the formal entry of the PN into the missile age.

"(Yes). It (Spike-ER) ushered the Navy and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to the missile age and also prepares for the forthcoming acquisition of a more sophisticated and powerful weapons systems and capabilities," Zata told the Philippine News Agency Sunday.

The Spike-ER system, which arrived in the country last April, is the PN's first missile weapon that is capable of penetrating 1,000-mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a range of eight kilometers.

It was first tested in Aug. 9 off Lamao Point, Limay, Bataan and again on Nov. 21.

The weapons were installed and fired by the PN's three Mark III multi-purpose assault craft (MPAC) constructed by Subic-based Propmech Corporation.

Zata added that the PN will gain more capability to operate modern naval weaponry with the arrival of the Pohang-class frigate, donated by the Republic of Korea (ROK), next year.

"The Pohang-class frigate from ROK will also be delivered by next year equipped with a better weapons system that the Navy can already use as it prepares for the delivery of the two purposely-built frigates starting 2020," he stressed.

The Pohang-class frigate is equipped with a primary and secondary gun systems, sensors and torpedoes for anti-submarine missions as well as sensors for anti-air operations, Zata revealed.

Earlier, the PN spokesperson said their high-speed MPACS can also be utilized against large surface targets intruding into the country's territorial waters.

Zata said this is the essence of the "swarming tactic" developed by the Navy for its MPAC fleet.

In the said tactic, large numbers of MPACs will be deployed to engage large surface threats.

"(In the said tactics) numerically superior of fast, agile and missile-equipped MPACs will engage and neutralize targets," the PN spokesperson pointed.

He added that the MPACs can be also optimized for hit-and-run raids if needed. (PNA)

Information Technology & Cyber Security / NIST 800-171
« on: December 04, 2018, 06:28:15 PM »
Computing Services  ›  Information Security Office  ›  Regulatory Compliance  ›  NIST 800-171 Compliance information

NIST SP800-171 or just 800-171 is a codification of the requirements that any non-Federal computer system must follow in order to store, process, or transmit Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or provide security protection for such systems.  This document is based on the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) Moderate level requirements. The exact requirements for NIST SP 800-171 revision 1 can be found at

NIST SP 800-171 compliance is currently required by some Department of Defense contracts via DFARS clause 252.204-7012.

The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for research contracts and will work with and contracting officers to ensure that NIST 800-171 requirements are applicable.  When NIST 800-171 requirements are applicable,  it is advisable to consult NREC and/or PSC,  both of which are capable of supporting this type of research.

The Information Security Office is available to assist if you have questions about NIST 800-171, CUI, or general data protection requirements.

A little more insight on how single-track railroads work

Sidings make rail networks operate more efficiently

BNSF Railway
Published on Apr 26, 2016
If Train A is traveling eastbound at 40 miles per hour, and Train B is traveling westbound on the same track at 55 miles per hour, how will they get past each other? Answer: A rail siding.

Sidings are a crucial piece of BNSF's rail network. The more sidings, and the closer and longer they are, the less time it takes for multiple trains to move through an area. That's why projects to lengthen sidings and add new sidings to the network are so important.

China wants academics and think tank members to help defuse tensions with US
Beijing has eased restrictions on budgets and how long researchers can stay in United States for some state-backed think tanks and experts, sources say
PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 6:03pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 December, 2018, 6:15am

China is encouraging think tank members and academics to go to the United States for exchanges and research trips as it tries to find ways to de-escalate tensions with Washington, according to sources familiar with the situation.

In recent months, the authorities have loosened restrictions on budgets and how long researchers can stay in the United States for some government-backed think tanks and specialists familiar with US-China relations, said one of the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

They added that one of the challenges for Beijing was the difficulty of conveying its message to the conservative think tanks that have influence over the administration of US President Donald Trump.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier that Beijing had limited to one week trips to the US by Chinese researchers, who complained the restriction would only add to China’s lack of understanding about the situation there. Researchers and observers also said the restriction was one of the reasons Beijing was not aware that Washington aimed to go through with its tariff threats until the first round of duties was imposed in July.

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