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Discussions about all nations and places / Mitsubishi F-2
« on: Today at 11:11:46 AM »

The F-2 support fighter aircraft is a multi role single engine fighter aircraft principally designed for the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF), the result of a joint Japan and USA development programme. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is the prime contractor and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company serves as the principal US subcontractor. The F-2A is the single-seat version and F-2B is the two-seat version.

The Japanese Defence Agency originally planned to procure a total of 130 F-2 aircraft (83 single-seat and 47 two-seat aircraft) with deliveries to beyond 2010, but, in early 2007, this number was reduced to 94.

The initial order was for 81 aircraft. A further five were ordered in March 2007 in a $150m contract. MHI awarded a further $250m contract to Lockheed Martin in April 2008 to manufacture components for eight more F-2 aircraft. The contract was the 12th annual contract awarded by MHI to Lockheed Martin.

F-2 fighter programme and development

In 1987, the JASDF selected a variant of the F-16C as the Japanese FS-X aircraft to replace the Mitsubishi F-1 aircraft, and in 1988 Mitsubishi was selected as prime contractor for the aircraft, which became known as the F-2. The programme involved technology transfer from the USA to Japan, and responsibility for cost sharing was split 60% by Japan and 40% by USA.


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Les Chevaliers du Ciel HD Promo
Published on May 4, 2009


SteelAsia embarks on P80-B integrated steel project
Published March 13, 2018, 10:00 PM
By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp. (SteelAsia), the country’s largest steel rebars manufacturer, has embarked into an P80-billion integrated steel project that will limit the country’s steel importation starting next year.

Industrialist Benjamin O. Yao, chairman of SteelAsia, said that construction has already started for the first phase of this six-year project, which will employ 7,000 to 8,000 direct workers from the current 2,700.

The first phase (2019-2021) will cost the company P25 billion ($500 million).

This includes three integrated steel mills for rebars (already existing), and two new mills for wire rods ($300 million), and sections mill ($200 million).

The first phase is expected to employ 3,000 workers or indirect workers of 15,000 since steel manufacturing has 7-8 times multiplier effect.

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General Discussion / About the International Criminal Court (ICC)
« on: March 15, 2018, 09:30:38 PM »
The ICC, and the Philippines' relationship to it, are in the news.


Cayetano says ICC withdrawal meant for soldiers, policemen
By: Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Leila B. Salaverria - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:12 AM March 16, 2018

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said President Duterte decided to withdraw the country’s ratification of the Rome Statute, the treaty that put up the International Criminal Court (ICC), not for himself but for the soldiers and policemen.

“To those who say that the President just does not want to be held liable, I say, ‘He’s not doing it for himself because we still have obligations during the time’ [the Philippines was a member of the ICC],” Cayetano said on Wednesday night.

He said it was really for the soldiers and police who had been opposed to ratifying the Rome Statute in the first place since it could be used to charge them with crimes against humanity in the ongoing conflict with communist and Moro rebels.

Cayetano said Mr. Duterte must have also considered the country’s internal conflict “like what happened in Marawi” when he ordered the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC.

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General Discussion / PH Navy’s oldest warship fades away
« on: March 15, 2018, 06:58:30 PM »
Administrator's note: See also BRP Rajah Humabon


PH Navy’s oldest warship fades away
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosingINQ / 03:32 PM March 15, 2018

BRP Rajah Humabon sailing the waters of Manila Bay in 2016. /Frances Mangosing

The Philippine Navy’s oldest warship BRP Rajah Humabon (PS-11), which rendered almost four decades of service, was decommissioned on Thursday at a naval base in Sangley Point, Cavite.

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Philippine Fleet spokesman Lt. Sahirul Taib said former commanding officers who had served aboard BRP Humabon attended the decommissioning ceremony.

The PS-11 (former PF-11) served as the Philippine Navy’s flagship from 1980 until the arrival of Del-Pilar class warships from the US in 2011.

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Prior to its retirement, it was operating as a ceremonial ship for welcoming visiting foreign warships in Manila Bay.

BRP Humabon will become a part of the Philippine Navy museum in Sangley in due time, Taib said.

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Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said they are “slowly” decommissioning their older vessels in anticipation of newer assets.

“Because of the modernization program we have to transfer personnel in preparation for incoming vessels,” he said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said it was his directive to “fast track” the decommissioning of vintage ships: “They are old and uneconomical to maintain.”

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Ching-Kuo (IDF) Multirole Fighter Jet

The Taiwanese Ching-Kuo Fighter is developed and manufactured by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation based in Taichung. The aircraft is also referred to as the Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF). The Ching-Kuo is an all-weather, multi-role fighter and is built in one-seater and two-seater configurations.

Ching-Kuo fighter programme

The programme to develop the aircraft, known as the An Hsiang or Safe Flight programme, started in 1982 with identification of the requirements for an air-superiority fighter. The rollout ceremony of the first prototype took place in December 1988, when the aircraft was named after the late President Chiang Ching-Kuo. The Ching-Kuo made its first flight in May 1989.

Ching-Kuo air superiority fighters are operational in the RoC Air Force of Taiwan (Republic of China) since January 2000 and the last of a total of 130 entered service in July 2000.

AIDC has developed an upgrade package which includes a digital cockpit, upgraded radar and countermeasures. BAE Systems supplied the new 32-bit digital flight control computer. Two F-CK-1 prototypes were upgraded to F-CK-1 C/D in 2006. The upgraded C/D aircraft made its first flight in October 2006. It was renamed as F-CK-1 C/D Hsiung Ying (Brave Hawk) in 2007. Other improvements in the upgrade package included increased internal fuel capacity, improved avionics, renovated electronic warfare capabilities and strengthened landing gear. Production of the C/D version began in 2009 as part of the $588m Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) programme.

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Stealth / Japan pays a premium for locally built F-35s
« on: March 14, 2018, 10:27:31 PM »
Japan pays a premium for locally built F-35s
Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - IHS Jane's Defence Industry
14 March 2018
Japan has confirmed that local production of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter adds USD33 million to each aircraft. Source: Lockheed Martin/Thinh

Key Points

F-35s assembled in Japan cost about USD33 million more than imported types
Japan could look to improve costs efficiencies through expanded local involvement

The cost of locally building Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) is about USD33 million more than importing the same aircraft from the United States, Jane’s has learnt.

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US Army signs for additional Lakota helos
Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
08 March 2018
The US Army is adding to the more than 400 Lakotas it already operates, with a contract having been issued for 35 more. Source: US Army
The US Army has signed for a further 35 Airbus Helicopters UH-72A Lakota training and support platforms to add to the more than 400 already delivered.

A USD273.3 million contract for the additional civil variant EC145 helicopters was announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 8 March. The helicopters are scheduled to be delivered by 8 March 2021.

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Kazakhstan plans to acquire additional Su-30SM fighter aircraft, says report
Gabriel Dominguez, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
08 March 2018
Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to procure additional Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole fighter aircraft from Russia, according to a 6 March report by Russian news agency TASS.

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Brazil expects to receive first KC-390s this year
Victor Barreira, Istanbul - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
08 March 2018
The Brazilian Air Force will receive its first two serial-production Embraer KC-390 multi-mission aircraft in the second half of 2018, the company told Jane’s on 8 March. The aircraft will initially be fielded by the newly established Kilo Group from Wing 2 located at Anápolis in the state of Goiás.

Brazilian Army eyes US SuperCobra helicopters
Victor Barreira, Istanbul - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
08 March 2018
The Brazilian Army has contacted the US government to inquire about possibly buying surplus US Marine Corps (USMC) Bell AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters, the army told Jane’s .

No government-to-government talks have yet been scheduled.

The United States recently announced plans to sell surplus SuperCobras through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) programme. The type remains a valuable combat platform and the aircraft could be ready for delivery quickly as well as integrate modern avionics.

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Chilean Navy seeks to replace air-defence frigates
Jose Higuera, Santiago, Chile - Jane's Navy International
09 March 2018

Chilean Navy chief Admiral Julio Leiva has officially confirmed that the service’s plans include the replacement of its two Latorre-class (Jacob van Heemskerck) air-defence frigates by 2023.

The decision to replace the vessels, which were acquired from the Netherlands in 2004, was taken after an option to replace the frigates’ ageing Rolls-Royce Olympus and Tyne gas turbines was discarded, senior military sources told Jane’s.

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The 3,750-ton Latorre- (or L)-class frigates, built between 1985 and 1986, are armed with SM-1MR Standard missiles, with a range of 38 km, which are fired from a single Mk 13 Mod 1 launcher.

‘It was a different mind-set’: How Trump soured on Tillerson as his top diplomat
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asleep in his Nairobi hotel room early Saturday morning fighting a stomach bug when White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly called to wake him around 2 a.m. to relay a terse message from President Trump: The boss was not happy.

The president was so eager to fire Tillerson that he wanted to do so in a tweet on Friday, but Kelly persuaded Trump to wait until his secretary of state was back in the United States from Africa, two people familiar with the conversation said. It was Tillerson’s first trip there since Trump disparaged parts of the continent as “sh*thole countries.”

But Kelly had also warned Tillerson to possibly expect a pejorative tweet from Trump over the weekend, a State Department official said. Tillerson failed to fully understand that the chief of staff was gently signaling to him that he was about to be fired.

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Officials at the White House and the State Department, who have been at loggerheads since the beginning of the administration, offered conflicting accounts of just how the departure occurred. And the chaotic aftermath led to collateral damage — this time in the form of Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, who was swiftly fired for contradicting the White House’s version of events.

But Tillerson perhaps should not have been surprised by his ouster, which has been so long in the making that recurring rumors of his demise took on a nickname: Rexit.

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Trump and Tillerson have disagreed over strategy in key areas of foreign policy, such as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, how to handle China and the Middle East, the Paris climate accord, the approach to North Korea, and the overall tone of U.S. diplomacy. The president was disdainful of his secretary of state for being “too establishment” in his thinking and for disagreeing with him in meetings.

In a sign of the tension, Trump made one of his biggest foreign policy gambles without so much as consulting his secretary of state. The president decided Thursday to accept North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s invitation for a face-to-face meeting

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Photo c/o Bloomberg

General Discussion / Commentary: What should Duterte do with China?
« on: March 11, 2018, 06:47:09 PM »
Administrator’s note: Companion thread on the forum’s FB extension is available here


Commentary: What should Duterte do with China?
 PhilStar Global PhilStar Global
Richard Javad Heydarian

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Day after day, what we hear are unmistakably defeatist statements, which reflect the creeping grip of strategic fatalism among our leadership. Case in point is the false argument that our options in the West Philippine Sea, and increasingly in the Benham Rise, are a suicidal war or graceful accommodation. 

This could be no farther from the truth, since, as Buddha would have counseled, there is always the third, more moderate path forward. And that is called "strategic resistance." 

We see this approach in the case of other neighboring countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, Japan and Indonesia, which have managed to keep China's maritime ambitions at bay by, first and foremost, refusing to internalize defeat and succumb to Beijing's intimidation tactics. 

Vietnam, a country far poorer than the Philippines and with no superpower ally, has gradually built up its own defensive capacity, knowing it only needs a minimum credible deterrence to protect its precious resources and territorial claims across the South China Sea.

Indonesia, on the other hand, has renamed the waters off the coast of Natuna islands as North Natuna Sea, an explicit rejection of China's vague but expanding claims beyond the South China Sea basin and well into the Southeast Asian country's exclusive economic zone. 

Jakarta, which has similar per capita income as the Philippines and without any superpower ally, is also stepping up its crackdown on illegal fishing by Chinese elements within its waters, while deploying a larger share of its resources to maritime security. 

Both Vietnam and Indonesia, two countries with fiercely nationalist ideologies, have stepped up their military cooperation with America in order to signal their unwillingness to accept Chinese hegemony in the area. Following the Chinese dictum, they are using 'far barbarians' to balance a 'near barbarian'. 

Both Japan and South Korea, which happen to be top trading partners of China, have also resisted Beijing's maritime push into the East China and Yellow Seas, respectively. In several occasions, South Korea went so far as shooting to death illegal Chinese fishermen encroaching into the Yellow Sea. 

All four countries mentioned, meanwhile, have maintained robust economic ties with China, despite resisting the latter's territorial assertiveness. In short, there has been minimal-to-nonexistent tradeoff between standing up to Beijing, on one hand, and maintaining robust trade ties with the world's second biggest economic power, on the other. 

Throughout the decades, one Southeast Asian country after the other, ranging from Thailand to Vietnam and Indonesia, have realized that much of China's promised investment deals have either failed to materialize or/and were embroiled in corruption scandals and major quality, sustainability concerns. 

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But, in exchange, what have we received from China, so far? 

Latest data shows that Japan is by far our largest source of Overseas Development Assistance. In the past year, Chinese investments in the Philippines went from a tiny P1.4 billion to P1.61 billion. In contrast, Japanese investment increased by 23.79 percent, from a whopping P25.43 billion in 2016 to P31.48 billion in 2017.

In the same period, Americans invested as much as P8.357 billion, while the South Koreans made P11.82 billion in investments in the previous year. In short, Chinese investments are extremely tiny compared to our traditional partners. Ad there are no assurances that Beijing will commit large-scale investments beyond rhetoric.

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General Discussion / French frigate arriving in PH
« on: March 11, 2018, 06:36:43 PM »
French frigate arriving in PH
By Priam Nepomuceno  March 9, 2018, 12:26 pm

MANILA -- A Floréal-class light surveillance frigate of the French Marine Nationale, the FNS Vendemiare (F-734), will be paying a goodwill visit to the Philippines on March 12-16, the spokesperson of the Philippine Navy (PN) said.

The French frigate will dock at Pier 15, Manila South Harbor, Capt. Lued Lincuna said in a message Friday.

FNS Vendemiare has a standard displacement of 2,600 tons and weighs 2,950 tons when fully loaded. It has a length of 93.5 meters (about 307 feet) and a beam of 14 meters (46 feet).

The French frigate has a maximum speed of 20 knots and a range of 10 nautical miles (19,000 km.), and is armed with anti-ship, anti-air missiles and guns and an anti-submarine helicopter.

Navy delegates will render a customary welcome ceremony upon the arrival of the vessel, to be followed by a port briefing on security and health aboard the French Navy ship. (PNA)

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