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Discussions about all nations and places / Baden-Württemberg class frigate
« on: September 18, 2018, 07:58:41 PM »
German Navy experiences “LCS syndrome” in spades as new frigate fails sea trials
With 90% new systems, this bigger, lighter-crewed monster frigate is not ready for duty.
SEAN GALLAGHER - 2/7/2018, 3:20 PM

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The Baden-Württemberg class frigates were ordered to replace the 1980s-era Bremen class ships, all but two of which have been retired already. At 149 meters (488 feet) long with a displacement of 7,200 metric tons (about 7,900 US tons), the Baden-Wurttembergs are about the size of destroyers and are intended to reduce the size of the crew required to operate them (in this way, they are similar to the US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) classes and the Zumwalt-class destroyers).

Like the LCS ships and the Zumwalt, the Baden-Württemberg ships were conceived in the mid-aughts—the product of lessons allegedly learned from the “asymmetric warfare” of the Gulf and Iraq Wars.

Like the Zumwalt, the frigates are intended to have improved land attack capabilities—a mission capability largely missing from the Deutsche Marine’s other post-unification ships. The new frigate was supposed to be a master of all trades—carrying Marines to deploy to fight ashore, providing gunfire support, hunting enemy ships and submarines, and capable of being deployed on far-flung missions for up to two years away from a home port. As with the US Navy’s LCS ships, the German Navy planned to alternate crews—sending a fresh crew to meet the ship on deployment to relieve the standing crew.

It was to be a wonder ship and evidence of the resurgence of the Deutsche Marine. At least that was the plan.

Instead, the Baden-Württemberg now bears the undesirable distinction of being the first ship the German Navy has ever refused to accept after delivery. In fact, the future of the whole class of German frigates is now in doubt because of the huge number of problems experienced with the first ship during sea trials. So the Baden-Wurttemberg won’t be shooting its guns at anything for the foreseeable future (and neither will the Zumwalt for the moment, since the US Navy cancelled orders for their $800,000-per-shot projectiles).

System integration issues are a major chunk of the Baden-Würrtemberg’s problems. About 90 percent of the ship’s systems are so new that they’ve never been deployed on a warship—in fact, they’ve never been tested together as part of what the US Navy would call “a system of systems.” And all of that new hardware and software have not played well together—particularly with the ship’s command and control computer system, the Atlas Naval Combat System (ANCS).

Built by Atlas Electronik GmbH of Bremen, ANCS is a brand-new, multi-role command-and-control system for the ship’s weapons and sensors. It is intended to tie radar, sonar, and other sensor data (along with information from the ship’s helicopter and drones and the ship’s weapons fire control systems) into a suite of consoles. The system is supposed to allow a small team of sailors and officers to centrally manage nearly the entire operation of the ship and its weapons from joystick-equipped stations in the ship’s operations room. Atlas has marketed the combat system as “The system for frigates and Corvettes of the new generation,” and the F125 class was to be ANCS’ big debut.

But integration of the sensors and weapons hardware with the command and control system has gone poorly, to say the least. The problems weren’t fixed before sea trials began in April of 2016, and Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), the agency of the German government that oversees procurement of military systems, pushed functional tests of the operations room’s systems back to the end of August of 2017. That’s beyond the ship’s original scheduled commissioning date of July 28. And, as of December, the problems had not yet been addressed to an extent that the BAAINBw would accept as successful.

On top of the information systems issues, there are other problems: the ship leans a little to the right, is overweight, and can’t make top speed with its first-time-deployed combined turbine propulsion system that combines diesel and gas.

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Photo by Ein Dahmer

Unmanned Vehicles / RoKA outlines plans for new ‘Dronebot Warrior’ unit
« on: September 18, 2018, 02:13:19 PM »
DX Korea 2018: RoKA outlines plans for new ‘Dronebot Warrior’ unit
Kelvin Wong, Goyang, South Korea - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
14 September 2018

The Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) aims to formally establish a specialised unit that will operate and develop new concepts of operation for unmanned aerial and unmanned ground vehicles (UAVs and UGVs) by 2019, an army spokesperson told Jane’s at the DX Korea 2018 exhibition.

The new unit – which is known locally as Dronebot Jeontudan (‘Warrior’) – was first announced in December 2017 to enable the service to create the necessary command and human resource infrastructure, such as a new military occupational specialty to recruit suitable candidates within its ranks. The unit is expected to be “battalion-sized” and will begin operations in October 2018, although it will only be fully staffed by 2019.

Russian REX-1 counter-UAV system breaks cover on exercise
Andrew Galer, London - Jane's International Defence Review
14 September 2018

ZALA Aero Group’s REX-1 anti-UAV weapon on trial on Exercise ‘Vostok 18’. Source: Russian MoD
Images from Russia’s major ‘Vostok 2018’ exercise on 13 September appear to show a production version of the REX-1 counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) weapon in use by Russian Federation airborne troops.

The REX-1 is a rifle-like, man-portable jammer developed by Kalashnikov Group subsidiary ZALA Aero Group and first seen at a Russian defence exhibition in 2017. It does not appear to have a kinetic kill mechanism, relying on the jammer’s ability to cut the UAV off from its operator, communications bearer, and autonomous navigation capability to neutralise the threat.

Specifications data indicate that it operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz ranges, which are commonly associated with wireless and mobile telephone operations, as well as global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), such as BeiDou, Galileo, GLONASS and GPS.

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Infrastructure and Nautical Highways / North-South Commuter Railway project
« on: September 18, 2018, 09:47:14 AM »

Published on May 31, 2016

The objective of the Project is to expand the economic sphere of Metro Manila and reduce air pollution by constructing a commuter line interval, running from Malolos, the capital city of Bulacan Province at the north of Metro Manila to Tutuban in the City of Manila. Its total length is 37.9 kilometers, and there will be 10 stations throughout the section. The project is to enhance the connectivity of the transportation network and alleviating the serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

General Discussion / NETC visits South Korea @ 2018
« on: September 17, 2018, 08:21:07 PM »
The Foreign Informational Program Visit to South Korea of the Naval Command and Staff Course Class 84 together with Rear Admiral Allan Ferdinand V Cusi AFP, Commander, NETC and Captain Francis Alexander R Jose PN (GSC), Chief of Staff, NETC on 10-13 September 2018.


2 cargo planes, 10 choppers to assist in relief missions: Lorenzana
By PTV News - CD - September 15, 2018

MANILA — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Saturday two Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” cargo aircraft and 10 helicopters will be deployed for Typhoon Ompong relief and rescue efforts, particularly in Cagayan Valley, once the weather clears.

Lorenzana made the statement during a 9 a.m. press briefing presided by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that was held at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Building in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The defense chief said the two C-130s can airlift relief goods while the 10 helicopters can reach Cagayan Valley’s mountainous area to fulfill rescue missions.

He said these air assets are on standby at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City and could fly anytime once the weather improves.

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Filipino Potential / Current account gap hits $3.1B
« on: September 16, 2018, 10:35:47 PM »
Current account gap hits $3.1B
PH economy spent more dollars than it earned in first half of 2018
By: Daxim L. Lucas - Reporter / @daxinq Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:20 AM September 15, 2018

The Philippine economy spent substantially more than what it earned through foreign trade in the first half of 2018, with the resulting currency outflows further depressing the value of the peso against the US dollar.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the country’s current account posted a deficit of $3.1 billion in the first six months of the year. This was markedly higher than the $133-million deficit recorded in the same period in 2017.

The Philippine economy spent substantially more than what it earned through foreign trade in the first half of 2018, with the resulting currency outflows further depressing the value of the peso against the US dollar.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the country’s current account posted a deficit of $3.1 billion in the first six months of the year. This was markedly higher than the $133-million deficit recorded in the same period in 2017.

At this level, the current account—which tallies the country’s trade surplus of gap with the rest of the world—already hit the $3.1-billion full year target of the central bank only halfway into 2018.

“This outcome was due mainly to the widening deficit in the trade-in-goods account and lower net receipts in the primary income account, which more than offset the higher net receipts in the trade-in-services and secondary income accounts,” the BSP said.

The trade deficit for the first half of 2018 rose by 27.9 percent to $23.3 billion as imports of goods expanded by 10.7 percent while exports of goods declined by 1.6 percent.

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Food Security / Duterte to appoint Rolando Bautista as new NFA Administrator
« on: September 16, 2018, 10:05:26 PM »
Duterte to appoint Rolando Bautista as new NFA Administrator
Updated September 16, 2018, 5:15 PM
By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has announced plans to designate Army chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista as the next National Food Authority (NFA) administrator when he retires next month.

The President said he wanted Bautista to rationalize the “idiotic” structure in the NFA and ensure a stable supply of rice in the country.

Bautista, former Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander, is scheduled to retire from service next month.

A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1985, Bautista will take the place of NFA administrator Jason Aquino who recently offered to be relieved from his post last week. Aquino has drawn criticisms for the recent shortage of NFA rice that triggered price hikes in the market.

“NFA ka na. Mabait yan si Rolly [You’ll be assigned in NFA. Rolly is good],” the President told Bautista during the government’s disaster response meeting in typhoon-hit Cagayan.

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COA chides BFAR for poor maintenance and misuse of patrol boats
Published September 16, 2018, 6:44 PM
By Ben Rosario

Patrol boats of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources have practically been abandoned due to poor maintenance while some are being misused for tourism purposes to the consternation of the Commission on Audit (COA).

In its 2017 annual audit report for BFAR, COA chided the agency for maintaining poorly its patrol boats which are supposed to be utilized for surveillance of fishing activities in the country.

COA asked BFAR to address the problem by conducting periodic monitoring of the local government units’ use of patrol boats and provide adequate budget for the immediate repair of the deteriorated units.

State auditors disclosed that 14 Fisheries Management patrol vessels for monitoring, control and surveillance, seven had non-operational navigational and communications equipment.

Procured in 2001, the boats’ current state threaten the safety of BFAR personnel who are assigned to conduct and monitor surveillance operations in the high seas.

“Any distress signals cannot be received/sent as the VHF/UHF all mode transceivers were not operational. In case the operating auxiliary machinery had bogged down during the operations, their mission will not be pursued as there were no available units available,” auditors reported.

COA also pointed out that the failure to spend on the boats’ maintenance would only put to waste the loan payments made by the government.

The status of 43 patrol boats purchased from 2009 to 2011 have also been assessed as auditors stressed that this has been procured under the United States’ Public Law 480 program.

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Defense Legislation / Act creating the Philippine National Railways
« on: September 16, 2018, 07:50:30 PM »
The original act creating the Philippine National Railways, RA 4146, expired in June 2014 and was extended by RA 10638.




Section 1. Name, Duration and Domicile. A corporation to serve as the instrumentality of the Government of the Philippines in providing a nation-wide railroad and transportation system, is hereby created, to be known as the Philippine National Railways, which shall exist for a term of fifty years from the date of approval of this Act. It shall have its main office in the City of Manila, and shall have such branches and agencies within or outside the Philippines as may be necessary for the proper conduct of its business. The Corporation shall be under the Office of Economics Coordination.

Section 2. Purposes and specific powers. The Philippine National Railways shall have the following purposes and specific powers:

(a) To acquire and hold the assets of the Manila Railroad Company of the Philippine Islands, and to succeed to, or acquire, maintain and operate such grants, concessions and franchises as are now held and enjoyed by the said Manila Railroad Company of the Philippine Islands;

(b) To own or operate railroad, tramways, and other kinds of land transportation, vessels and pipelines, for the purpose of transporting, for consideration, passengers, mail and property between any points in the Philippines; and

(c) As an auxiliary to its main purpose, to own and/or operate powerhouses, hotels, restaurants, terminals, warehouses, timber concessions, coal mines, iron and other mineral properties and to manufacture rolling stock, equipment, tools and other appliances; to construct and operate in connection with its railroad lines, toll viaducts, toll tunnels.

Section 3. Authorized capital stock of the Philippine National Railway. The authorized capital stock of the Philippine National Railways shall be two hundred fifty million pesos divided into one million two hundred fifty thousand par value shares of two hundred pesos each, which shall include the present capitalization of the Manila Railroad Company: Provided, That the increase in the authorized capital shall be fully subscribed by the Government: Provided, further, That the existing long term obligations of the Manila Railroad Company to the Government of the Philippines including its agencies or instrumentalities, in the amount of ninety-two million six hundred thousand pesos shall be converted into capital stocks of the Philippine National Railways and made a part of the subscription: Provided, still further, That the Philippine National Railways shall, aside from its authorized capital stock of two hundred fifty million pesos, receive from the Government of the Philippines the amounts allocated under Republic Acts Numbered Eighteen hundred sixty-seven, Sixteen hundred twenty-three and Eighteen hundred one, for the construction of new railroad lines to the Cagayan Valley, and to the Province of Sorsogon, and the rehabilitation of the Cabanatuan line, respectively: And, provided, finally, That the additional amount of one hundred twenty million pesos be set aside, and the entire amount or so much thereof as may be needed by the Philippine National Railway be made available to the Philippine National Railway at least one year before the completion of the Cagayan and/or Sorsogon construction projects, for the purchase of motive power, rolling stocks and other supplies for use in the new lines, it being specified that fifty million of the authorized capital of the Philippine National Railway shall be invested for the purchase of motive power and rolling stock for the railway project in Mindanao and five million pesos or so much thereof for the survey of said railway project

Section 4. General powers. The Philippine National Railway shall have the following general powers:

(a) To do all such other things and to transact all such business directly or indirectly necessary, incidental or conducive to the attainment of the purpose of the corporation; and

(b) Generally, to exercise all powers of a railroad corporation under the Corporation Law.

Section 5. Board of Directors, Composition and Appointment. The corporate powers of the corporation shall be vested in and exercised by a board of Directors of not more than eleven and not less than five members as may be fixed by the President of the Philippines, consisting of chairman, vice-chairman and other members, appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. The members of the Board need not to be stockholders of the Corporation. The first members of the Board shall serve as designated by the President in their appointments for terms of one, two, and three years, respectively, from date they qualify and assume office; but their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years, except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired term of the member whom he succeeds. for actual attendance of meetings, each such members shall receive a per diem of twenty-five pesos.

Section 6. Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To prescribe, amend and repeal, with the approval of the Administrator of Economic Coordination, by-laws, rules and regulations governing the manner in which the general business of corporation may be exercised, including provisions for the formation of such committee, or committees as the Board of Directors may deem necessary to facilitate its business.

(b) To appoint and fix the compensation of the General manager, subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines, and to appoint and fix the compensation of the other officers of the Corporation, with the approval of the Administrator of Economic Coordination. The Board by a majority vote of all the members, may, for cause, and with the approval of the President of the Philippines, suspend and/or remove the General Manager.

(c) To approve, subject to the final action of the Administrator of Economic Coordination, the annual and/or such supplemental budgets of the Corporation which may be submitted to it by the General Manager from time to time.

Section 7. Suspension and removal of Directors. Any member of the Board of Directors may be suspended or removed by the President of the Philippines.

Section 8. Prohibition for Board Members. No chairman or member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation shall at the same time serve in the Corporation in any capacity whatsoever other than as Chairman or member thereof, unless otherwise authorized by the President of the Philippines or existing law.

Section 9. Managing head. The management of the Corporation shall be vested in the General Manager.

Section 10. Powers and duties of the General Manager. The General Manager shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To direct and manage the affairs and business of the Corporation on behalf of the Board of Directors, and subject to its control and supervision;

(b) To sit in all meetings of the Board of Directors, as Vice-chairman, and participate in its deliberation, with the right to vote, and to preside any meetings for or in the absence of the Chairman;

(c) To submit within sixty days after the close of each fiscal year an annual report, through the Board of Directors, to the Office of the President of the Philippines;

(d) To appoint and fix the number of salaries, with the approval of the Board of Directors, of such subordinate personnel as may be necessary for the proper discharge of the duties and functions of the Corporation, and with the approval of the Board of Directors, to remove, suspend, or otherwise discipline, for cause, any subordinate employee of the Corporation; and

(e) To perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Board of Directors from time to time.

Section 11. Appointment and promotion. In the appointment and promotion of officers and employees, merit and efficiency shall serve as basis, and no political test or qualification shall be prescribed and considered for such appointments or promotions. Said officers and employees shall be subject to the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations.

Section 12. Exemption from taxes, duties and port charges. The Corporation is hereby exempt from payment of all taxes of every name and nature municipal, city, provincial, or national upon its capital stock, franchises, rights of way, earnings, and all other property owned or operated by it and all duties on all railways materials, supplies and equipment imported in the Philippines for and/or by the said Corporation and this exemption shall extend to port charges upon vessels whose entire cargo consist of materials for the construction or equipment of the Corporation and to such proportion of the prescribed port charges on other vessels as the tonnage of materials for such constructions or equipment may bear to the tonnage of the entire cargo of the vessel.

Section 13. Audit Personnel and Report.

(a) Personnel. The Auditor General shall appoint a representative who shall be the Auditor of the Corporation, and the necessary personnel to assist said representative in the performance of his duties. The number and salaries of the Auditor and said personnel shall be determined by the Auditor General, subject to appropriation by the Board of Directors. In case of disagreement, the matter shall be submitted to the President of the Philippines whose decision shall be final. Said salaries and all other expenses of maintaining the Auditor's office shall be paid by the Corporation.

(b) Report. The financial transactions of the Corporation shall be audited in accordance with law, administrative regulations, and the principles and procedures applicable to commercial corporate transactions. A report of audit for each fiscal year, by the representative of the Auditor General, through the latter, to the Board of Directors of the Corporation, and copies thereof shall be furnished the President of the Philippines, the Administrator of Economic Coordination and the Presiding Officers of the two Houses of Congress. The report shall set forth the scope of the audit and shall include a statement of assets and liabilities, capital and surplus or deficit; a statement and surplus or deficit analysis; statement of income and expenses; a statement of sources and application of funds; and such comments and information as may be necessary, together with such recommendations with respect thereto as may be advisable, including a report of any impairment of capital noted in the audit. The report also shows specifically any program, expenditures, or other financial transaction or undertaking observed in the course of audit, which in the opinion of the Auditor, has been carried on or made without authority of law.

Section 14. Legal Counsel. Any provision of law or executive order to the contrary notwithstanding, the Philippines National Railway shall have its own legal department, the chief and members of which shall be appointed by the Board of Directors.

Section 15. Exemption from the Public Service Act. The Philippine National Railway shall not be subject to the authority and supervision of the Public Service Commission.

Section 16. Liquidation. When its term or period of existence has expired in accordance with the provision of this Act, it shall nevertheless, continue as a body corporate for three years after the time of its dissolution for the purpose of prosecuting and defending suits by or against it and of enabling it gradually to settle and close its affairs, to dispose of and convey its properties, but not for the purpose of continuing the business for which it was established. In order to carry out its liquidation, upon the dissolution of the Corporation, a Board of Liquidators shall appointed by the President to take charge of winding up its corporate affairs and affecting its liquidation.

Section 17. Strikes during national emergency. The provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, in cases of national emergency, or when in the opinion of the President of the Philippines, the national security or interest is in imminent danger, employees and laborers of the Corporation shall not strike for the purpose of securing changes or modification in their terms and conditions of employment during said period of emergency.

Section 18. Reversion of General Funds. All funds resulting from dissolution and liquidation of the Corporation as herein provided shall revert to the general funds of the Government.

Section 19. Applicability of the Corporation Law. The provisions of the Corporation Law which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, shall be applicable to the corporation created hereby.

Section 20. Repeal or Modifications. All Acts, Executive Orders, Administrative Orders, and Proclamations or parts thereof inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 21. Separability Clause. In the event any provision of this Act or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance is declared unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act or the application of said provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Section 22. Dissolution of the Manila Railroad Company of the Philippine Islands. The Corporation known as Manila Railroad Company of the Philippine Islands is hereby abolished and dissolved. Its rights, permanent personnel, assets, liabilities and obligations of all kinds are hereby transferred to or assumed by the Corporation herein created. A process of liquidation shall be decided upon, and carried out, in accordance with general principles of law and accounting procedures.

Section 23. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: June 20, 1964


Republic Act 10638

SECTION 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 4156, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"SECTION 1. Name, Duration and Domicile. - A corporation to serve as the instrumentality of the Government of the Philippines in providing a nationwide railroad and transportation system, is hereby created to he known as the Philippine National Railways, which shall exist for a term of fifty (50) years from the date of approval of this Act and shall be extended for another fifty (50) years, commencing on 20 June 2014. It shall have its main office in the City of Manila, and shall have such branches and agencies within the Philippines as may be necessary for the proper conduct of its business. This Corporation shall be under the Department of Transportation and Communications.

SEC. 2. This Act shall take effect immediately following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general


President of the Senate     Speaker of the House of Representatives

This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill No; 4089 and Senate Bill No. 1831 was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on May 21, 2014 and May 19, 2014, respectively. 

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