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Analysis: China and U.S. economies diverge over coronavirus response
October 22, 2020
By Andrea Shalal, Gabriel Crossley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China dealt with the spread of the devastating coronavirus pandemic in vastly different ways, and that split is reshaping the global battle between the world’s two leading economies.

About 11 months after the Wuhan outbreak, China’s official GDP numbers this week show not only that the economy is growing, up 4.9% for the third quarter from a year earlier, but also that the Chinese are confident enough the virus has been vanquished to go shopping, dine and spend with gusto.

China’s total reported death toll is below 5,000 and new infections are negligible, the result of draconian lockdowns, millions of tests, and strict contact tracing that set the stage for an economic rebound.

“China’s success in containing the virus has allowed its economy to rebound more quickly, and with relatively less policy support, as compared with other large economies,” said former senior U.S. Treasury official Stephanie Segal, a senior fellow at the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

In the United States, 221,000 people are dead from COVID-19 after a delayed federal response, partisan battles over mask-wearing and lockdowns, and plenty of public events that do not follow public health guidelines. The country is in the midst of a new wave of infections.

Entertainment venues, restaurants and tourist spots are closed or only partially open, millions of people are out of work indefinitely, GDP is expected to shrink this quarter and the United States faces a gap in economic output that could last years.

“Obviously the U.S. government bungled it,” said Harry Broadman, a former senior U.S. trade official and managing director with Berkeley Research Group. The singular authority of China’s Communist Party helped Beijing enforce contact tracing and lockdowns, Broadman said. Other democracies, including New Zealand and South Korea, stamped out the virus as China did.

The real difference between the United States and China is Washington “has been arguing over stimulus issues on Capitol Hill and it’s still far too little and too late,” said Broadman, who has served under both Republican and Democratic presidents. “That has created more and more uncertainty on the part of business.”


The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday released data that showed a slight to modest recovery in the U.S. economy, although the picture varied greatly from sector to sector.


But for now, the divergent responses to the virus will have an impact on the fierce political and economic rivalry between Beijing and Washington with ripples felt around the world, experts said.

“China’s economy in 2021 is going to be 10% bigger than it was in 2019, and every other major economy is going to be smaller,” said Nicholas Lardy, an economist with the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

That means China’s “role in the global economy is going to continue to expand,” Lardy predicts, making any attempts by U.S. policymakers to discourage other countries from deals with Beijing, or otherwise “decouple” China from the global economy, more difficult.

China’s exports have been stronger than expected, bolstered by demand for medical goods overseas. While the IMF projects global trade volume will fall by 10.4% in 2020, China’s overall share of global trade has grown.

Beijing is experiencing other benefits as well. “We see signs of China’s success in the exchange rate and equity market performance at a time when many other economies are under pressure,” Segal said.

China’s fiscal deficit for 2020 will expand by 5.6 percentage points to 11.9% of GDP - a smaller-scale increase than the massive stimulus that Beijing deployed during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor shows.

By contrast, the United States will see a 12-percentage point increase in its 2020 fiscal deficit as a share of GDP, to nearly 19%.

While China’s consumption is improving, retail sales are still down 7.2% over the first three quarters, with urban residents’ disposable incomes down 0.3% over the same period. Strict lockdowns earlier in the year led to months of lost wages for many workers.

In Beijing, officials are highlighting their leadership role.

“China’s epidemic control and prevention is at the forefront of the world, and China’s companies are supporting the global resumption of work and production through their own resumptions,” said Liu Aihua, spokeswoman for the National Bureau of Statistics, at a news conference where she announced the third quarter GDP results.

Meanwhile, the United States still lacks a robust contact tracing system, or enough testing, Lardy said. These are things the U.S. could have “done much better at without being an authoritarian single party state,” he added.

OPFOR: Secessionist Movements / 11 ASG yield in Sulu
« on: October 18, 2020, 10:12:51 AM »
11 ASG yield in Sulu
October 17, 2020

Eleven Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists from Sulu have surrendered to the military as combat operations continue in their stronghold, security officials disclosed Saturday.

Col. Antonio Bautista Jr., commander of the Jolo, Sulu-based 1101st Infantry Brigade, facilitated the surrender of alias “Alji,” 24; “Gaspar,” 45; “Amz,” 45; “Ardin,” 32; “Bebs,” 25; “Madz,” 48; “Uyong,” 34; “Bahad,” 52; “Nayin,” 35; “Allon,” 45; and “Asir,” 42, last Friday.

The real identities of the surrenderers were not divulged for security reasons.

Bautista said they were under the direct command of ASG bomb expert Mundi Sawadjaan who is behind the twin suicide bombings in a plaza in Jolo last Aug. 24 that killed 17 people and injured 75 others.

They handed over seven assorted and high-powered firearms primarily composed of M16 Armalites and M1 Garand rifles.

Bautista said these ASG fighters were operating in Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, Talipao, and Pata.

Major Gen. William Gonzales, commander of 11th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Sulu, said the surrenderers will undergo a social integration program to be managed by the Sulu government and the military.

To help them get back on their feet, the surrenderers were enrolled in various livelihood trainings and seminars under the supervision of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE). 

“They have undertaken their physical and medical examination at Camp Bautista Station Hospital and will go through profiling process for the next few days prior to the administration of psychosocial interventions,” Gonzales said.

Since 2017, 344 ASGs have surrendered to authorities in Sulu, of which 217 had availed themselves of Bangsamoro livelihood assistance programs.

2 NPA amazons, 1 supporter yield to authorities in Isabela
October 17, 2020

CAMP MELCHOR F. DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela – Two female New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and one of their supporters surrendered to joint police and army operatives in San Mariano, Isabela province, according to the Army’s Fifth Infantry Division (5th ID) Spokesperson Maj. Jekyll Julian D. Dulawan.

Dulawan identified the NPA amazons as “Ka Grace” and “Ka Lita”, who were supply officers of  the Komiteng Rehyon- Cagayan Valley (KR-CV)

The NPA supporter, who surrendered to the authorities, was identified as “Dalisay”, a member of the Milisyang Bayan (MB), which is an NPA support group. She also surrendered an Armalite rifle.

Dulawan said the 95th Infantry Battalion (95th IB) and the local police worked out the surrender of the two NPA amazons and the former MB member.

In a related development, Dulawan said operatives of the 95th IB recovered an M16 rifle and a carbine M1 rifle in an NPA arm-cache in Barangay Cadsalan, San Mariano, Isabela.

Recently released as their entry for the Philippine Army's light tank acquisition requirement:

Quote from: Army Recognition
The Elbit Systems Sabrah light tank is available in two configurations including a tracked variant based on the General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) ASCOD 2 and a wheeled version based on the Pandur II 8x8 armored vehicle also produced by GDELS.

Elbit Systems’ “Sabrah” configurable light tank solution adds highly effective firepower to Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV’s). Based on the success of our fully combat-proven armored vehicles and turrets in use by numerous armed forces around the world, the “Sabrah” series of solutions is the latest generation AFV system developed by Elbit Systems. The modular design enables using the same 105mm turret for tracked or 8X8 wheeled platforms to deliver reliable, high-performance firepower to the battlefield.

The Sabrah turret design benefits from the reference of Elbit Systems and the IDF “Merkava” Directorate “MANTAK” combat-proven Armored Vehicles. The turrets, Fire Control Systems (FCS), electro-optics, and 105mm tank guns are in use by the IDF as well as numerous other armed forces around the world. The Booth version of the Sabrah light tank is fitted with a two-man turret armed with an Elbit Systems Land 105mm gun and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. Each side of the turret are equipped with a bank of four smoke grenade dischargers. The turret drive is fully electric with elevation and traverse stabilization

Standard equipment of the turret includes a fire control system, laser range finder, and one panoramic sight with advanced Electro-Optic sensors (Day, Night-Vision, and LRF) for an effective day, night, and all-weather fighting conditions. The panoramic sight is used for observation and target aiming.

The 105 mm gun system is fitted with an automatic loading system with 12 rounds ready to fire. The vehicle carries a total of 36 ammunition, with 24 rounds stored in the hull. The gun can fire a wide range of NATO ammunition including HEP-T (High-explosive), HESH (High-explosive squash head), APFSDS (Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot) as well as advanced ammunition, T-MP-HE M110.

The 105 mm gun has an effective firing range of 3,600m with a rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute.

The wheeled variant is based on the Pandur II platform, while the tracked variant is based on the ASCOD platform.

News article @ Army Recognition

Unmanned Vehicles / Drone usage in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
« on: October 04, 2020, 02:21:15 AM »
The renewed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has seen extensive use of drones, particularly on the part of the latter.

The Azerbaijani military has built up a sizable drone fleet over the past several years (Notably sourcing from the Israelis.) and has has deployed them in recent conflicts. (Notably having first used the IAI Harop during 2016 conflict.).

Recently release videos have show Azerbaijani drones targeting Armenian SAM sites and convoys:
The footage released by Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence shows drones destroying Russian-made Armenian air defence systems.
Another video of an Azerbaijani kamikaze drone in action

Azerbaijani army says it struck Armenian tanks and combat vehicles in Nagorno-Karabakh
On 27 September, Azerbaijani drones (reportedly is a Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aircraft) targeted T-72 main battle tanks and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles carrying members for the Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army, a Defense Ministry source said.

Another notable use has been the conversion of old An-2 "Colt" biplanes into drones to trick Armenian air defenses into revealing their positions:
From what I have found that's, #Azerbaijani side using #Chinese made FH-98 drone (AN-2 copy) as a bait to locate #Armenian air defense. And then target them with #Israeli Harop suicide drones

Azerbaijani military turns Soviet biplane aircraft into drones

Which corresponds with earlier reports of An-2 aircraft being shot down:
Nagorno-Karabakh claims to have shot down an Azerbaijani plane/aircraft

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.

Six more BIFF rebels surrender in Maguindanao
April 14, 2020
ANOTHER six members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), due to pressure by military offensive, have surrendered in the province of Maguindanao.

Colonel Joel Mamon, Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade officer-in-charge, said the six BIFFs surrendered Monday, April 13, to the troops of the 33rd Infantry Battalion Alpha Company in Mileb Village, Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao.

Mamon identified the BIFF surrenderers as the following: Naldo Babalay; Nashrudin Kanapia; Abil Kusain; Dok Adam; Alamansa Manampad; and, Antok Pendatun. They belong to the BIFF’s Bungos Faction.

They surrendered a week after seven of their compatriots in the Bungos faction have yielded to the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion in the village of Midtimbang, Datu Angal Midtimbang, Maguindanao.


(SunStar Zamboanga)

[Youtube] Hospital Technicians Ignore Copyright Law to Fight COVID-19 @ ReasonTV

Hospital techs have turned to a decentralized information-sharing network to repair essential COVID-19 equipment. Manufacturers have fought to stop them, on the grounds that they're violating copyright laws.

Dressed in his blue medical mask and scrubs, Justin Barbour looks like a doctor on a break from treating COVID-19 patients. He's actually a biomedical technician, or BMET—someone who fixes medical devices. He's on staff at a Houston hospital that he asked that we keep anonymous.

Barbour's job has suddenly become dangerous. "If one of us gets sick, then, obviously, multiple technicians in a room, somebody else is probably gonna get sick, and you could take down a whole hospital just by taking down your biomed staff," he tells Reason.

Barbour, who has been working as a BMET for over a decade, often uses service manuals when repairing equipment, but he lacks a lot of essential documentation. So he turns to online forums and relies on his intuition. During the COVID-19 pandemic, BMETs have turned especially often to this decentralized information-sharing network to repair essential hospital equipment. But they've been using it for years, trading information on Reddit, Facebook, and websites like MedWrench and DotMed.

Medical device manufacturers have responded by imposing software locks, proprietary code, and requirements that users obtain special authorizations. They've also fought against DIY repair services in court. So biomedical technicians have had to think especially creatively—because in a pandemic, one broken machine could be the difference between life and death.

Kyle Wiens, the CEO and founder of the third-party repair company iFixIt, says medical device companies have adopted certain tactics pioneered by Apple.

"Well, we'll sell it to you, but we're not going to let you service it," he says. "We want to be the ones to service it."

Manufacturers frequently claim that the information in manuals is their intellectual property—a result of broadly written copyright laws that date back to the 1990s. These were intended to protect the music and film industries from pirates, which were taking their work and sharing it first through physical bootlegs and then online.

But in the 2000s, software began to get integrated into phones, household items, cars, farming equipment, and medical devices too. Manufacturers claimed that copyright laws established that they're the only ones the law permits to repair consumer devices.

"There [are] some manufacturers that won't even sell us parts. It's proprietary and we have no access to it," says Barbour.

BMETs around the world began to rely on, a website started by a technician in Tanzania named Frank. Frank (who kept his last name private) was having trouble servicing medical devices that had been donated to hospitals in Africa, since he lacked the proprietary keys to make them useable. He figured other people might be in his same position, so he started a website where he posted manuals and wrote about how the equipment worked.

Frank's site was, "from my experience, the most comprehensive, most used resource for medical service information," says Wiens.

Then manufacturers started sending Frank takedown requests. Now, when businesses forbid certain downloads of manuals, his site is limited to featuring the companies' names.

A right-to-repair movement has been fighting to change federal copyright law—or to pass state-level laws that let people fix their own devices. But medical device companies fought back with letters to lawmakers, saying right-to-repair laws could endanger the lives of patients if devices were fixed improperly by untrained personnel.

The trade association AdvaMed, which represents medical device companies, has even lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to regulate third-party device repairs. But after the agency did an assessment in 2018, it concluded that third parties provide high-quality, safe, and effective servicing of medical devices.

iFixit recently announced an initiative to begin collecting service manuals and information about medical devices on its website. They are looking for more info, as well as for people to help organize the information for BMETs.


3M Response to Defense Production Act Order

Friday, April 3, 2020 7:39 am CDT

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M issued the following statement in response to the announcements issued by the White House last evening:

Over the last several weeks and months, 3M and its employees have gone above and beyond to manufacture as many N95 respirators as possible for the U.S. market. Yesterday, the Administration formally invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to require 3M to prioritize orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for our N95 respirators.

We have been working closely with the Administration to do exactly that, and we appreciate the authorities in the DPA that provide a framework for us to expand even further the work we are doing in response to the global pandemic crisis. We look forward to working with FEMA to implement yesterday’s order.

In the course of our collaboration with the Administration this past weekend, the Administration requested that 3M increase the amount of respirators we currently import from our overseas operations into the U.S. We appreciate the assistance of the Administration to do exactly that. For example, earlier this week, we secured approval from China to export to the U.S. 10 million N95 respirators manufactured by 3M in China.

The Administration also requested that 3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets. There are, however, significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators. In addition, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done. If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the Administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek.

We also continue to act on reports of price gouging and unauthorized reselling related to 3M respirators. This activity is unethical and illegal. We are working with the U.S. Attorney General and attorneys general of every state, making it clear that 3M has not and will not raise prices for respirators and offering our assistance in the fight.

We look forward to working closely with the Administration to implement yesterday’s DPA order. We will continue to maximize the amount of respirators we can produce on behalf of U.S. healthcare workers, as we have every single day since this crisis began.


China / PLAAF performance during Falcon Strike 2015 (vs. & alongside RTAF)
« on: February 10, 2020, 12:02:32 AM »
I read this story a couple months back but just realized that I never posted these here.

Note the results of the exercises and the takeaways. Also note the different headline titles, despite the same exercises being spoken of.

PLAAF J-11 beat RTAF Gripen 16-0 on first day of Falcon Strike 2015

A talk was given at China’s Northwestern Polytechnical University on Dec. 9. The speaker was reported to be Li Zhonghua who is said to have participated in Exercise Falcon Strike 2015 in Thailand. One of the slides showed the score during each day of the exercise and during the first day, the Thais flying the Gripen were beaten 16-0.

Another slide shows that although the Thais did very badly on the first day. These were dogfights and the Gripen fared better in the beyond-visual-range (BVR) arena. With 24 percent of the kills at range beyond 50km.

There were important lessons for the Chinese side. This slide explains that the Chinese pilots had poor situation awareness. Too much focus was on front of the aircraft rather than all round. There was a lack of coordination between the attacking aircraft and its sweeper escorts. The pilots were not experience in avoiding missile shots. Their response were too mechanical and could not judge correctly on the evasive techniques for missiles with different ranges.

In large scale air battles, the Thais were able to score kills while playing the attacker by taking down the Chinese defenders. When the Chinese attack, they had difficulty making it pass the Thai defenders. The only success for the Chinese when attacking is when they were protected by the Gripen, that was a low-level attack.

PLAAF Senior Pilot Reveals Poor Performance in Joint Exercise With RTAF

These first exercises ran at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base and showed the advantages of the smaller and more technologically-advanced Gripen over the Russian Sukhoi.  Several of Li’s summations from the exercise are:

  • The JAS-39 performance was at its worst inside the within visual range (WVR) envelope.  Over a two-day period, PLAAF pilots shot down 25 Gripens at a loss of only one Su-27.  The Su-27 has an advantage over the performance of the JAS-39 due to its more powerful Salyut AL-31F engines, and the Swedish aircraft was handicapped in that it was equipped with the older-generation AIM-9L Sidewinder instead of the current-generation Diehl IRIS-T missile.
  • Once the exercise transitioned to beyond visual range (BVR) combat, the superiority of the JAS-39 became readily apparent. The Swedish aircraft shot down 41 Su-27s over a period of four days with a loss of only nine JAS-39s.
  • The Su-27s flown by the PLAAF were operating with a modified version of the NIIP N001 radar that could fire the Vympel RVV-AE active-homing air-to-air missile (AAM). But its effective detection range was only 120km in comparison with the JAS-39’s Ericsson PS-05/A at 160km.  The Gripen’s Raytheon AIM-120 AAM also outranged the RVV-AE at 80km versus only 50 km for the Russian missile.
  • Li stated that the JAS-39C/D’s much smaller radar cross-section (RCS) at 1.5-2.0 m2 was a major factor, as the much larger Su-27 is easier to detect at 12 sq miles.  The JAS-39 can also ripple-fire up to four AIM-120s simultaneously but the Su-27 can fire only one RVV-AE at a time.

Gripen achieved 88 percent of its kills at 19 miles or greater, while the Su-27 had just 14 percent of its kills at this range. The RTAF also had 10 kills at a distance of more than 31 miles compared with zero long-distance kills by the Su-27.

In subsequent exercises the PLAAF fared better by sending the Chengdu J-10A - and then in 2019 the J-10C - in place of the Su-27.  Li pointed out that the J-10C was more of a match for the JAS-39C/D in that “its active array radar significantly improves detection distance and multi-target attack capability, the DSI (divertless) air intake of the J-10C reduces the radar intercept area while the PL-15 missile increases the range, making it an over-the-horizon platform.”

A note regarding the RTAF: a former USMC acquaintance who was involved in several Cobra Gold exercises years ago noted that RTAF pilots (flying F-16s) at the time seemed to be in dire in need of more training and flight hours. He noted that USMC F/A-18 pilots would often bait them into situations that favored the Hornets in close range. The same issues could have also been at play during the Falcon Strike exercises.

Self-Reliant Defense Posture / Project BUHAWI (PN-DOST-MRSP)
« on: January 14, 2020, 03:45:03 PM »
SND Lorenzana Lauds PN, DOST, MRSP for Project BUHAWI Success (Facebook video)
Posted 14 January 2020

Awed by the initial success of the Project BUHAWI or Building a Universal Mount for Heavy-Barrel Automated Weapon Integration, Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense (DND) lauded the project's management team during the soft launching held on 7 January 2020 at the Force Reconnaissance Firing Range, Marine Base Gregorio Lim in Ternate, Cavite.

Project BUHAWI was a collaboration between the Philippine Navy - Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Science and Technology, DOST's Metals Industry Research and Development Center, and Mechatronics and Robotics Society of the Philippines.

It aims to improve the fire power capability of various floating assets of the philippine navy through the development of a fully automated weapon station for .50 caliber machine gun.

In his speech, Secretary Lorenzana conveyed his gratitude, on behalf of the One Defense Team, to Secretary Fortunato dela Peña of the DOST who personally graced the launching, for assisting the PN in the project.

He also thanked Engineers Jonathan Puerto, Roberto Quizon, and Franklin Quiachon; and the rest of the DOST and MRSP staff who assisted in the conceptualization, design and execution of Project BUHAWI.

The Defense Chief also commended the leadership of the Philippine Navy under VAdm Robert A. Empedrad, and the officers and enlisted personnel of the PN and Philippines Marines who worked hard on the endeavor.

"Aside from the obvious practical gains this project can give to the philippine navy, project buhawi embodies the true spirit of the Self-reliance Defense Posture (SRDP) Program of the department. We, at the DND, believe that the SRDP is the key towards having a truly patriotic and independent defense sector, through the self-manufacture of original and indigenous defense materiel which are products of filipino ingenuity and produced by our people’s labor and industry. I thank you all for keeping that spirit, that dream, alive and within our reach," Secretary Lorenzana said.

Alternate link.

General Discussion / Taal Volcano Eruption and Ash fall (2020)
« on: January 12, 2020, 11:33:14 PM »
PHIVOLCS warns of ‘hazardous explosive eruption’ of Taal Volcano soon
By CNN Philippines Staff
Published Jan 12, 2020 3:24:26 PM

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised Alert Level 4 over Taal Volcano, warning that the volcano, which showed a marked unrest Sunday afternoon, may soon have a “hazardous explosive eruption.”

PHIVOLCS recommended that all residents within a 14-kilometer radius of the volcano’s crater be evacuated, due to the “high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.”

All residents of the Taal Volcano Island have been evacuated, the Office of Civil Defense in Calabarzon region said. Forced evacuation is also underway in some areas in Tagaytay City in Cavite, and in Balete, Laurel, San Nicolas and Agoncillo towns in Batangas.

"The volcano is inside a bigger crater or basin or bowl, which is why people would have to evacuate horizontally and away from the crater. There is water that would be hindering the rapid evacuation and that is why people need to get out of the island as soon as possible," PHIVOLCS officer-in-charge Renato Solidum told CNN Philippines.

Disaster reduction officials have assured that they have enough supplies to provide families affected by Taal Volcano’s unrest.

Ash fall

It added that eruptive activity of the volcano in Bataan has increased since 5:30 p.m., which spewed a 10-15-kilometer-high ash column.

This has sent ash falling on nearby provinces and areas as far north as Quezon City, PHIVOLCS said. People have lined up at medical supply and hardware stores across Metro Manila, which are quickly running out of masks which would offer protection from the hazardous volcanic ash.

Equipment and Gear / M67 90mm recoilless rifle
« on: November 05, 2019, 05:01:30 PM »
(I just noticed that there hasn't been a thread on this long-serving weapon system, despite there having been a thread on its replacement with the RPG-7.)

M67 90mm recoilless rifle

Quote from: Characteristics:
The 90mm recoilless rifle, M67, is a lightweight, portable, crew-served weapon intended primarily as an antitank weapon. It can be employed in an antipersonnel role too. It is designed to be fired primarily from the ground using the bipod and monopod, but it may be fired from the shoulder. It is an air-cooled, breech-loaded, single-shot rifle that fired fixed ammunition. The rifle is equipped with a manually operated breech mechanism. It is designed for direct firing only, and sighting equipment for this purpose is furnished with each weapon...

Quote from: Tabulated data (90mm Recoilless Rifle, M67.)
  • Weight: Complete system (unloaded) -- 35 pounds. [15.8kg] Telescope with mount and instrument light -- 2 1/2 pounds. [1.1kg]
  • Overall length -- 53 inches. [1.34m]
  • Height ground mounted (approx.) -- 17 inches. [43.8cm]
  • Maximum range (approx.) -- 2,100 meters.
  • Maximum range (as determined by sight graduations) -- 800 meters.
  • Maximum effective range: HEAT, TP -- 400 meters. Antipersonnel -- 300 meters.
  • Rates of fire -- Rapid: 1 round each 6 seconds, not to exceed 5 rounds. Sustained: 1 round per minute indefinitely.
Note: When firing, the rapid rate of fire, a 15-minute cooling period must be observed after every five rounds.

FM 23-11 (90mm Recoilless Rifle, M67)

General Discussion / Counter-drone Defense Systems
« on: October 14, 2019, 04:22:39 AM »
The recent attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities have once again put the spotlight on the increased danger that drone systems pose. While there has long been recognition of this new security threat, the scale and economic ramifications of these attacks have made countries more urgently look into investing in counter-drone capabilities.

Our own military has begun to look into acquiring counter-drone systems in order to combat this emerging threat.

As such, I felt that we needed a new thread on the topic to keep track of systems currently available on the market. Note that I've primarily focused on the high-end of the spectrum in terms of capability: systems that are designed to protect large areas and are capable of detecting, tracking and neutralizing drones using either soft or hard kill methods. This is as opposed to the many less-sophisticated/man-portable systems that are on the market (man-portable jammers, netguns, specialized ammunition, drone/bird-deployed nets, etc.)

I've further limited the list to systems offered by reputable companies with confirmed track records of providing sophisticated defense systems.


Currently available counter-drone systems:


1. Israeli Aerospace Industries ELI-4030 Drone Guard

2. Rafael Drone Dome

3. Elbit Systems ReDrone (PDF brochure)

4. Elbit Systems Red Sky 2 (Video)


1. Aselsan IHTAR Anti-Drone System


1. Rheinmetall Defence Drone Defence Toolbox


1. Raytheon Counter-UAS Systems

2. Ascent Vision Technologies X-MADIS


1. JSC STC-EW Repellent-1 (english news article)


If anyone else can think of other counter-drone systems currently being offered, feel free to post them in the thread.

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