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North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Malolos - Tutuban


signing ceremony

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with the Philippines: Using Japanese technology and urban planning models to construct a landmark commuter railway system connecting Metro Manila and outlying areas | JICA - 27 November 2015
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On November 27, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in the capital city, Manila, to provide a Japanese ODA loan of up to 241.991 billion yen for the North – South Commuter Railway Project (Malolos - Tutuban).

Being the largest economic center in the Philippines with a concentration of 13 percent of the country’s population and 36 percent of the GDP, Metro Manila has grown from 7.92 million people in 1990 to 11.85 million people in 2010, reaching a population density of 19,137 people per square kilometer. In Mega Manila-the region encompassing Metro Manila along with neighboring Rizal, Cavite and Laguna Provinces-the population has also increased rapidly over that period, rising from 12.39 million people in 1990 to 23.02 million people in 2010, a growth rate exceeding that of Metro Manila.

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To provide assistance for sustainable development in Mega Manila, JICA has assisted in the creation of the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and Its Surrounding Areas in 2014. This infrastructure roadmap calls for enlarging the capital region to the north and south with greater connectivity to the suburbs, thereby alleviating the overconcentration in Metro Manila, and to do so, proposes the creation of two new railway lines as a transportation corridor connecting Metro Manila with the outlying areas to the north and south.

This project will construct a commuter line interval (approximately 38 kilometers long) as one of those proposed lines in the infrastructure roadmap, running from Malolos, the capital city of Bulacan Province north of Metro Manila, to Tutuban in the City of Manila, thereby enhancing the connectivity of the transportation network and alleviating the serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila, with the objectives of expanding the economic sphere of Metro Manila and reducing air pollution. The loan funds will be allocated to civil works, including elevated railway tracks, station buildings and a depot, to the procurement of electrical and mechanical systems and rolling stock, and to consulting services. Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) will be applied to this project, and it is expected that Japanese technology such as construction techniques for elevated railways, efficient signal systems and rolling stock will be utilized.

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PH, Japan seal P97-B commuter rail project | Inquirer.net - 29 January 2016
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The initial phase of the project involves a 38-kilometer elevated commuter train line from Tutuban, Manila,  to Malolos, Bulacan, and its construction is set to proceed following a landmark 241.99-billion-yen (P97,376,145,568.86) financing deal that was sealed last November with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

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The bigger portion is the NSCR’s south line, which involves about 653 km of railway lines, mainly a Tutuban to Legazpi City long-haul route that was suspended in 2012 due to typhoon damage to bridges along its alignment.

Part of the NSCR project is a 58-km line from Calamba, Laguna, to Batangas City, Batangas, and a 117-km line from Legazpi City to Matnog, Sorsogon.

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Japanese loan
The Manila-Bulacan northern line, which was closed in 1984, is being funded by a Japanese overseas development assistance loan. It can now proceed as its financing is already in place.

The loan carries an annual interest rate of 0.1 percent and 0.01 percent for consulting services over a period of 40 years with a 10-year grace period, according to Jica.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said construction of the Manila-Bulacan line would start by early 2017 and the project would be finished in the latter part of 2020.

The line  is expected to have a total of 15 stations and demand is projected at about 340,000 passengers per day once it opens.
Abaya said the Manila-Bulacan line would cut the usual multi-hour trip to about 35 minutes.

Related Infrastructure Projects:

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Chamsuri II-class (PKX-B)



First PKX-B Chamsuri II-class Patrol Boat with 130mm Guided Rockets Delivered to ROK Navy | NavyRecognition - 30 October 2017
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South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced today that the first Chamsuri II-class (project name PKX-B batch I) patrol boat has been delivered to the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy).

PKMR 211 (for Patrol-boat Killer Medium Rocket - hull number 211) is the first vessel to be fitted with the LIG Nex1/Hanwha 130mm guided rocket launcher at the stern. The system was specifically design to counter swarming attacks of DPRK Navy (North Korea) fast attack crafts and hovercrafts.

The vessel was launched on 28 July at Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC)'s shipyard in Busan in July 2016. The 2nd to 4th ships will be delivered to the ROK Navy by the end of 2019.

Talking to Navy Recognition at the recent MADEX 2017 exhibition, a LIG Nex1 representative (and former ROK Navy captain) explained that the launcher combined with the 130mm guided rocket gives precision strike capability to the ROK Navy small surface combatants.

The launcher has 12 canister each containing one guided rocket. The 130mm rocket has a maximum range of over 20 Km and minimum range of 3 Km. The rocket weighs over 80 Kg (including the 8Kg warhead).

The mid course guidance of the rocket is GPS + INS + data uplink and the terminal guidance is IIR homing. The system fitted aboard the PKX-B can engage over 3 targets simultaneously according to LIG Nex1.

The PKX-B Batch I class is a 230-ton high-speed fast attack craft that replaces the aging Chamsuri-class of patrol vessels. The vessel is 44.7 meters in length. Its speed is 35 to 40 knots. It is powered by GE 6,000 shp LM 500 gas-turbine and Caterpillar Marine's Cat C32 diesel engines in a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) configuration.

Weapons include the 130mm guided rockets launcher at the stern by LIG Nex1, a 76mm gun by Hyundai Wia, two 12.7mm remote weapon stations (RWS) by Hanwha Land Systems and Korean combat management system. Reflecting the lessons learned from the 1st and 2nd Yeonpyeong naval battle, DAPA and ROK Navy strengthened the firepower, accuracy, and survivability of these vessels. Crew complement is 20 sailors.

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced that it has entered into a contract with South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC) on June 28 for the construction of additional 'B' variants of the Patrol Killer Experimental (PKX) fast attack craft. This will be the "Batch II).

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South Korea's Navy launches new Chamsuri-211 fast patrol boat | NavyRecognition - 28 July 2016
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The Chamsuri-211 is armed with 130 millimeter anti-ship guided rockets, which can hit North Korean hovercraft or air-cushion vehicles, that are very fast and hard to hit using conventional naval guns. The Navy added the new boat can effectively engage other small boats and even has countermeasures if attacked by missiles.

Besides the guided rockets, the boats are armed with a 76 mm rapid-firing main gun and two radar-guided 12.7 mm heavy machine guns.

The new PKMRs measures 44 meters in length has a beam of 7 meters and a crew of 20 sailors. It can reach speeds up to 40 knots, or 74 kilometers per hour, the Navy said.

Compared with the existing Chamsuri patrol boat killer medium boats, the new vessels are larger, faster and more powerfully armed, while having a smaller crew. Existing PKMs have a crew of more than 30 with their main armament being limited to 30-40 mm automatic cannons along with smaller 20 mm Sea Vulcans guns. These purely gun armed boats were cited for not being effective against ACVs, military sources said.


130mm guided rocket launcher

Concept of operation: 130mm rocket aboard PKX-B. LIG Nex1 image


76mm rapid-firing main gun by Hyundai Wia

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See also:

Philippine National Railways
NSRP South Line – Commuter Line

Station     Most recent photo
     
Long-Haul (South)     
     
Lucena City     
Gumaca     
Hondagua
Aloneros
Tagkawayan     
     
Long-Haul extension     
     
Sorsogon     
Matnog     
     
Station     Most recent photo
     
Bicol Commuter

See FB extension here
     
     
Sipocot station     July 13, 2017
Libmanan station     January 2011
Pamplona station      
Naga station     July 13, 2017
Pili station      
Iriga station     Circa 2016
Polangui station      
Ligao station      
Travesia station      
Daraga station      
Legazpi station     January 3, 2017


=====


Route Map


PNR Southern Luzon route (Image from the website of the Philippine National Railways)


Long-Haul & Long-Haul Extension

https://ppp.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/NSRP_PIM_FINAL.pdf





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P175-B development aid from China to revive PNR’s Bicol Express | Inquirer.net - 21 October 2017
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By: Juan Escandor Jr.

NAGA CITY — Using the P175-billion overseas development aid to be borrowed from China, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will revive the operation of the Philippine National Railway’s Bicol Express with reconstruction of a new railway system from Manila to Bicol, Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez said.

“It is not a rehabilitation,” Chavez said at the Bicol Express Modernization Forum held here on Friday. “It will be a reconstruction. Everything will be new. New railways. New train wagons. New stations. New modalities.”

Chavez said China and the Philippines is set to sign the loan agreement of P175 billion payable in 20 years at 2 percent interest per annum on Nov. 16 and 17 at the time of the 31st Asean Summit and Related Meeting in Manila.

He said the revived Bicol Express would take six hours to reach Bicol from Manila with a design speed of 120 kph and operational speed of 80 kph.

With a timetable from 2018-2022, he said the reconstruction of the new railway system would be undertaken through Chinese general consultancy services while the determination of the firms to undertake the actual construction was still under negotiations.

He said there would be nine new train stations from Paco in Manila to Matnog town in Sorsogon, stretching 683 km of newly constructed railways following international standards.

He enumerated the nine train stations to be constructed as Paco, FTI, Los Baños, Lucena City, Gumaca, Pili/Naga, Legazpi/Camalig, Sorsogon City and Matnog.

Chavez said China wpi;d bring in and transfer technology and operational expertise to Filipino engineers and operators while utilizing Chinese consultants and contractors. Filipino engineers would handle the maintenance and operation, he said.

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Chavez said P45 billion of the project cost would be spent for the resettlement of affected families living within the trunk line while some P9 billion would be spent for land acquisition for the new alignment of the railways.

He said the civil works would cost P102.72 billion; station development and depot, P1.4 billion; electrical and mechanical system, P4.08 billion; rolling stock (trains), P11.60 billion; machinery and equipment, P1.37 billion; and pre-operating expenses, P400 million.

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Videos & Images / PCG videos
« on: November 01, 2017, 09:30:18 PM »
Philippine Coast Guard AVP 2017

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JkM5PFcA68

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MOSAIC Family - Corvettes and Light Frigates



From Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (OSN)
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MOSAIC (Modular Open System Architecture Integrated Concept) is a family of modular ships, representing an excellent solution to the need of an effective and modern combat component, both littoral and off-shore.

These vessels derive from the Comandanti Class Corvettes, but their most distinguishing element is the design, centred on the volumetric modularity and open architecture concepts. In fact, the ships compartments are prearranged to accommodate different kinds of systems, e.g. engines, with no need for a redesign, limiting acquisition and operating costs.

The software of the Combat Management System (CMS) is natively prepared to accept a great quantity of different systems. The CMS is also reconfigurable in order to allow possible upgrades to the systems already installed and accepts the addition of new hardware, providing design flexibility also in terms of Combat System.

Currently OSN offers five different configurations with a full-load displacement of, respectively, 1,500, 1,700, 2,000, 2,200, and 2,400 tons.

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Comandante Cigala Fulgosi Class



From Fincantieri
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Vessel size, high performance, transport and support capability are optimized to play different roles such as: escort, support, relief, interdiction and patrol operations.

Such ships are highly handy, have excellent nautical qualities and seaworthiness, long range and are able to operate in open seas missions and to manage protracted helo operations. The vessels are built following stealth principles and are able to accommodate different Combat System versions.

From Forecast International
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Mission. The ships are tasked with routine maritime policing and economic exclusion zone (EEZ) patrol.

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Design Features
... The light frigate-sized hull is topped with a superstructure featuring reduced signature characteristics, including inclined surfaces on the hull and the superstructure, and side openings (which house small service craft) masked by a mesh that deflects enemy radar.

The hull itself is slender and rather attractive, with a strongly raked bow with pronounced sheer lines. The underwater section of the bow features an underwater bulb for reduced drag and greater fuel efficiency. The aft part of the superstructure incorporates a helicopter hangar, with the associated deck forming part of the main hull. The hangar accommodates an AB-212 helicopter, which will later be replaced by an NH90. The aft section of the helicopter hangar is telescopic, provided by Canada’s Indal Technologies (ITI). It consists of three sections, with Fincantieri providing the fixed section, and ITI the two movable sections, the track, and the specialized doors. The hangars are also designed with maximum radar cross-section (RCS) suppression in mind, including a feature that allows the sliding door to be stored flat inside the hangar instead of requiring a large box, as is typical for roller-curtain doors.

The ship is powered by two GMT-Wartsila 28V26XN diesels of 8,685 shaft horsepower (shp) fitted with an exhaust cooling system to suppress infrared signature. These diesels drive two controllable-pitch propellers. The twin-engine configuration is expected to yield a top speed of about 25 knots.

Operational Characteristics
The operational experiences in the Balkan crises (Bosnia, Kosovo) and Italy’s need to monitor refugees arriving in increasing numbers from neighboring Albania and North have changed the operational concept somewhat.

Key changes to the design finalized in 1998 were made to improve the ship’s seakeeping capabilities farther out in the Mediterranean, in the Sicilian and Sardinian channels.

The larger size was adopted to boost the ships’ endurance and provide substantially more margin for growth of onboard systems. Also, the new ships provide more space to accommodate inspection teams, as well as refugees and/or survivors of disasters.

These ships are minimally armed, with the weapons suite being oriented exclusively toward the patrol function. They have no significant air defense capability (the hand-swung, unstabilized 25mm Oerlikon cannon technically have an anti-aircraft role, but this is theoretical at best). They are totally devoid of any anti-submarine or realistic anti-surface warfare capability.

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NUMC. During its gestation period, the Commandante Cigala Fulgosi patrol vessel class had frequently been referred to as NUMC (presumably for Nuova Unità Minore Combattanti, or New Minor Combatant Unit), until the class name was publicized in 1999.

To further confuse the issue, though, the same acronym has also been erroneously used on occasion to refer to the New Major Combatant Unit, which is a substantially larger frigate-sized vessel now known as the FREMM and built in collaboration with France.

Program Review
Background. The NUMC (Nuova Unità Minore Combattanti, or New Minor Combatant Unit) class program was initiated in 1995. Originally, construction of a third group of four Minerva class corvettes was planned to produce a total class of 12 ships. This program would have provided a single class of patrol ships to replace the mixed fleet of corvettes.

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A revised design based on the first proposal was presented in 1998. This featured a larger hull but less sophisticated equipment, reflecting reduced operational demands and the final elimination of the anti-ship missile armament provisions. The primary intentions were to improve the ship’s seaworthiness and extend its operating endurance. Part of the reason for enlarging the design was to provide added growth margin for possible future expansion, along with more space to accommodate inspection teams, refugees, or survivors.

Besides being built on a larger hull, which gave added seaworthiness, the new design eliminated the UAV launch/recovery capability. It relied on small- to medium-caliber guns for its self-defense and policing functions. These changes reflected the need to monitor a growing stream of refugees from both the Balkans and the North African coast. This aspect is a strong driver in the projected future mission of these ships. It means that the ships need to be capable of performing sustained and extended surveillance and patrol missions
at longer distances.

First Orders Placed. The order for the first four ships of the series was placed in February 1999. At that time, it was believed that the first-of-class would begin its sea trials in 2001, followed by the rest of the class at 6- to 12-month intervals.

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Funding
The program is funded by the Italian government for the Italian Navy.

Contracts / Orders & Options
Contractor: Fincantieri
Award: US$ 415 million
Date/Description: Feb 1999 – First batch of four units ordered.

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7
Discussions about all nations and places / Abu Dhabi Class Corvette
« on: October 04, 2017, 02:21:15 PM »
Abu Dhabi Class Corvette



From Fincantieri
Quote
Vessel size, high performance, transport and support capability are optimized to play different roles such as: escort, support, relief, interdiction and patrol operations.

Such ships are highly handy, have excellent nautical qualities and seaworthiness, long range and are able to operate in open seas missions and to manage protracted helo operations. The vessels are built following stealth principles and are able to accommodate different Combat System versions.

From NavyRecognition
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Designed and built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, the "Abu Dhabi class" corvette for the United Arab Emirates has been developed from the "Cigala Fulgosi" design on the basis of which four "Comandanti" class vessels were built for the Italian Navy.

The cutting edge ship will mainly carry out patrolling and surveillance activities and may be employed in antisubmarine, anti-aircraft and surface activities. It will be able to exchange tactical data in real time with other naval vessels, helicopters and on shore bases and will be able to provide support and shelter for Emirate Navy helicopters.

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Double Order from India and U.A.E. for Fincantieri | Fincantieri via defense-aerospace.com - 03 August 2009
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Fincantieri has gained new important orders from foreign navies: a corvette for the United Arab Emirates Navy of and a fleet tanker for the Indian Navy. The vessels, worth 250 million Euros, will be built at Fincantieri’s Italian shipyards.

The “Abu Dhabi class” design of the corvette for the U.A.E., due for delivery early 2011, has been developed from the “Cigala Fulgosi”, on the basis of which four “Comandanti” class vessels were built for the Italian Navy.

In addition to an option for a second sister ship, the contract also comprises provision to the U.A.E. Navy of logistical support and training for crew. What makes the order even more important for Italian industry is that the ship’s combat system will be supplied by Selex Sistemi Integrati, a company in the Finmeccanica group.

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TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

-- The corvette for the U.A.E. will be 88 metres long, 12m broad and have a displacement at full load of 1,650 tonnes. The ship will be able to reach a speed of 25 knots with an endurance of over 3,000 nautical miles at 14 knots, thanks to 2 diesel engines of 7,000 kW. Accommodation will be available for a crew of approximately 70.

This cutting edge ship will mainly carry out patrolling and surveillance activities and may be employed in anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and surface activities. She will be able to exchange tactical data in real time with other naval vessels, helicopters and bases on shore and will be able to provide support and shelter for helicopters of the Emirate Navy. In addition to highly flexible operational capabilities, the vessel will also feature high standards of safety and living conditions for the comfort for the crew.

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Finmeccanica Wins Contract Worth a Total of Around 45 Million Euro for Naval Systems in the United Arab Emirates | Finmeccanica via defense-aerospace.com - 03 August 2009
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Finmeccanica, through its companies SELEX Sistemi Integrati, OTO Melara and WASS, has been selected by the United Arab Emirates Navy to supply it with naval and underwater systems for a new Abu Dhabi class ship.

The platform for the ship will be built by Fincantieri. The total value of the contract is around 45 million euro.

SELEX Sistemi Integrati will provide an IPN-S command and control system, an NA 30S firing control system, a KRONOS 3D radar system, a SIR-M secondary radar and a Medusa MK4B electro-optical system, with a total value of 15 million euro. The company will also be responsible for the functional integration of the combat system.

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OTO Melara will supply two 30-mm Marlin Weapons Stations, worth 2 million euro, and a stealth version of the Super Rapid 76/62 naval gun.

As the prime contractor, WASS, in partnership with Thales Underwater Systems, will build an ASW (Anti-Submarine-Warfare) system worth around 27 million euro.

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Fincantieri delivers "Abu Dhabi" ASW corvette and "Ghantut" FALAJ 2 patrol vessel to UAE Navy | NavyRecognition - 09 January 2013
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The delivery ceremony of two vessels for the United Arab Emirates Navy was held today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia). These were an "Abu Dhabi Class" corvette, launched in February 2011, and the "Ghantut" patrol vessel, launched at the same yard in January 2012.

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Vietnam / Vietnam's Gepard class frigate (Gepard 3.9 type)
« on: September 29, 2017, 02:28:47 PM »
Gepard class frigate (Gepard 3.9 type)


From NavyRecognition
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The Gepard-3.9 frigates are designated to search, trace and fight surface, underwater and air targets of the adversary, carry out escort operations, patrol and protect maritime state border and exclusive economic zone.

From globalsecurity.com
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In 2004 Vietnam signed a deal with Russia for four Gepard Project 11661 frigates. Two were to be delivered from Russia and the other two were to be constructed in Vietnam. Rosoboronexport and Defense Ministry of Vietnam had been talking over the deal since 2003.

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In February 2006 it was reported that the Gepard project will be the first military export order for Zelenodolsk Shipyard since Soviet times. The Vietnamese had already agreed on the specifications of the ships, therefore it was thought that the contract may be signed even during the visit of the Russian officials to Vietnam.

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The first two frigates entered service with Vietnam’s navy in 2011. The second contract was signed in February 2013. Unlike the first two, the new frigates feature antisubmarine weapons and an advanced propulsion system.

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Russian shipyard built frigate for Vietnam | RusNavy.com - 14 December 2009
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Russian-made frigate Gepard 3.9 built under order of Vietnamese Navy was launched in Tatarstan. The ship developed in 2003 was constructed by shipwrights of Zelenodolsky Zavod named after A.M. Gorky, informs ITAR-TASS.

In total, Vietnamese Navy ordered two Gepard frigates; the second one will be delivered to the customer in 2010.

The length of Gepard makes 102 meters, displacement is 2,100 tonnes. The ship's crew is up to 100 men. The frigate is armed with Uran-E antiship missile system, 76.2-mm gun mount AK-176M, Palma anti-aircraft artillery system and two 30-mm gun mounts AK-630M. The heliport for Ka-28 or Ka-31 is also provided at the deck of Gepard.

Delivery contract of two frigates for Vietnamese Navy was signed in 2006.

Vietnam purchases two more Russian frigates | VietNamNet Bridge - 27 February 2014
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The Russian Gorky Shipyard will build and hand over two additional Gepard-class frigates to the Vietnam People's Navy by 2017, the Itar-Tass news agency reported on February 26.

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Vietnam received two first Gepard-class frigates from Russia in 2011 under a contract signed in 2006.

It signed another contract for two more such vessels in 2013, and the manufacture is on the right track.

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Discussions about all nations and places / MBDA Sea Ceptor
« on: September 08, 2017, 12:38:02 PM »
From MBDA



Quote
Sea Ceptor is the next-generation, ship-based, all-weather, air defence weapon system. Through the use of new advanced technologies, Sea Ceptor provides complete protection against all known and projected air targets.

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Sea Ceptor will protect both the host ship and high value units in the local area. The Weapon System has the capability to intercept and thereby neutralise the full range of current and future threats including combat aircraft and the new generation of supersonic anti-ship missiles. Capable of multiple channels of fire, the system will also counter saturation attacks.

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The weapon system can be easily retrofitted into a wide range of platforms, ranging from 50m OPVs to frigates and destroyers. Two main features provide this flexibility.

Firstly, the use of “soft-launch” weapon technology for a highly scaleable and compact launch system that can easily be installed in a number of locations. Secondly, Sea Ceptor can be targeted from the ship’s existing surveillance radar sensors and therefore does not require dedicated fire control radars.

Sea Ceptor will operate from the SYLVER and Mk41 launchers using a quad-pack configuration, various flexible canister configurations are also available. The Soft Vertical Launch technology reduces system mass and eases installation.

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Royal Navy missile contract sustains 500 UK jobs | GOV.UK - 10 September 2013

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A new naval air defence system that can intercept and destroy enemy missiles is to be manufactured in the UK under a £250 million (US$400 million) contract.
 
Sea Ceptor, which will be fitted to the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates and, in future, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, is a cutting-edge missile designed and built by MBDA.

Capable of travelling at speeds of more than 2,000 miles per hour, it will be able to intercept multiple targets and protect an area out to a range of 25 kilometres.

< Edited >

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MBDA & Lockheed Martin co-operation achieves first missile launch from a MK 41 VLS launcher | NavyRecognition - 12 September 2013

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MBDA and Lockheed Martin demonstrated the first launch of a Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) from Lockheed Martin’s MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) launcher using the host variant of the Extensible Launching System (ExLS).

This is the first test by MBDA and Lockheed Martin since the May 2013 announcement of cooperation between the two companies to offer MBDA missile systems for use with the MK 41 and ExLS family of launchers. The test used MBDA’s soft vertical launch technology to eject the CAMM from its canister and position the missile for main motor ignition. The trial is the first in a series to demonstrate that the CAMM can be installed using ExLS in vessels that use the MK 41 launcher or on the 3-cell stand-alone ExLS CAMM launcher.

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New Zealand contract signed for MBDA’s Sea Ceptor | MBDA - 27 May 2014

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The New Zealand Ministry of Defence signed a contract with MBDA for the provision of Sea Ceptor for the Local Area Air Defence element of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade (FSU) project. This contract confirms the selection of the system by the RNZN for its ANZAC frigates that was announced in October 2013.

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Qatar Confirms Order for Air Defence Corvettes, LPD and OPVs from Fincantieri | Navy Recognition - 02 August 2017
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Qatar confirmed today its order for seven vessels from Italian shipbulder Fincantieri following the signing of a preliminary contract in June 2016. The deal consists in four air defence corvettes of over 100 meters in length, one amphibious vessel (LPD - Landing Platform Dock acting as mobile radar station for the corvettes), and two patrol vessels (OPV - Offshore Patrol Vessel)

"We have signed a contract on behalf of the Qatari navy to acquire seven warships from Italy for five billion euros (5.9 billion U.S. dollars)," Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said at a Doha press conference with his visiting Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano.

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Leonardo will be responsible for the integrated supply of the new naval units’ combat system, main radars and on-board sensors and defence sub-systems, including 76/62 medium calibre and 30mm small calibre weapon systems, the anti-torpedo protection system, the Thesan mine avoidance sonar.

MBDA will be supplying the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) with Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles as well as Aster 30 Block 1 and VL MICA air defence missiles.

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General Discussion / Philippine Coast Guard Modernization Act
« on: July 26, 2017, 12:01:02 PM »
Created this thread to track its progress

Approval sought for bill that will help modernize Philippine Coast Guard | Business World Online - 30 June 2015
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Melissa Luz T. Lopez

A LAWMAKER yesterday pressed for the approval of a measure seeking to modernize the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in view of the rising tension over the West Philippine Sea.

House Bill 5112, filed by Romblon Rep. Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona, seeks to upgrade the Coast Guard’s capability to strengthen the country’s support especially in light of the West Philippine Sea dispute.

Besides maintaining its presence within the country’s territorial waters, it is equally important for the country to protect its fishing industry and citizens traversing its internal waters, Mr. Madrona said in a statement sent yesterday.

The PCG will be tasked to craft a 15-year modernization program in increasing security measures for the 36,000-kilometer local coastline.

Under the bill, a Modernization Trust Fund will be put up to finance the additional equipment for the forces. It will be sourced from budget allocations from Congress, as well as from the sale or rental payments for properties under the agency’s custody.

The modernization fund is eyed to have as much as P50 billion of funding for the first five years.

<Edited>

If approved, the funds will be used to upgrade the country’s 12 Coast Guard districts to improve maritime security operations and protection of marital environment and resources.

The equipment and skill upgrades shall be geared towards hastening response time, increasing maritime zone security, and trimming pollution within Philippine waters.


Copy of House Bill 1199 filed on 05 July 2016.

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Why the Philippines Needs More Than Just Military Upgrades | The Diplomat - 11 July 2016
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By Jay Tristan Tarriela and Jeffrey Ordaniel

In 2012, the Philippines deployed its Navy’s flagship, BRP Gregorio del Pilar, to apprehend Chinese fishing vessels and arrest fishermen who had poached critically endangered sea turtles and other marine creatures in the Scarborough Shoal, a disputed feature in the South China Sea previously under the exclusive control of Manila. It must be noted that sending its warships to conduct law enforcement patrols was nothing new for the Philippines. In fact, the country’s Navy had routinely apprehended Chinese fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratlys in the past. Manila’s civilian maritime law enforcement agency, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), lacked the capability to traverse waters beyond the country’s territorial sea. Considering the Scarborough Shoal’s 220-kilometer distance from the nearest Luzon landmass, PCG could not possibly patrol the area. China’s decision, however, to respond by sending white vessels from China Marine Surveillance, a paramilitary maritime law enforcement agency under its Transport Ministry, was something new. It resulted in a standoff, which eventually led to a new status quo, albeit ambiguous, in favor of Beijing.

The 2012 incident that disadvantaged Manila was just one manifestation of the country’s security challenges, brought about by the so-called tyranny of geography. After all, the Philippines is an archipelagic nation with some 7,500 islands and a 36,000-kilometer coastline.

First, it borders China, a fast rising great power and an increasingly threatening neighbor. As a U.S.-treaty ally loudly disputing Beijing’s claim to over 80 percent of the South China Sea, the Philippines is proving to be a serious obstruction to China’s maritime ambitions and aspirations. Second, while the archipelago is inhabited by 100 million Filipinos, the islands are so dispersed over a wide area that monitoring maritime activities has proven to be an impossible job for government forces. The occasional kidnapping of tourists by the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group from resorts in Sabah and Mindanao highlights this point. Finally, the location of the country itself means that many parts of it are prone to natural disasters. For instance, around 20 typhoons batter the country each year, necessitating massive evacuations and post-disaster rescue and relief operations. These are the security challenges of maritime Philippines.

Apart from the on-going Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program, fast-tracked by the previous Aquino Administration, there seems to be nothing else significant on the table to address these issues. But Manila’s three-pronged security challenge – internal security, natural disasters, and maritime security in the South China Sea – is complex and multilayered. It calls for a more comprehensive approach that should not rely exclusively on military upgrades.

While billions of dollars are being spent on the ill-equipped AFP, there seems to be a lack of attention to civilian maritime forces. In fact, the last major hardware acquisition of the PCG was in 2004. This is peculiar given that the Philippines is a maritime state. Last year, the national budget passed by Congress included allocations for two choppers intended for PCG. Nothing materialized.

Coast Guard Surface Assets
A quick review of current PCG inventory could easily expose the Philippines’ lack of capability to patrol its coastline, the fifth longest in the world, to guard its UN Convention on the Law of the Sea-mandated exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and other entitlements, and to respond to contingencies, such as law enforcement and search and rescue, in Philippine-controlled maritime areas.

The Coast Guard has a 60-meter vessel acquired from Japan in 1999. It has eight Search and Rescue Vessels (SARVs) – four 35-meter vessels and another four 56-meter vessels – acquired through a soft-loan from Australia in 2000. In 2004, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) received a soft loan from Spain for the construction of ten 30-meter Monitoring, Controlling and Surveillance (MCS) boats and four 11-meter MCS boats. These assets are jointly being operated by BFAR and PCG in fulfilling their interlinked mandates. It must be noted however, that none of these surface assets could patrol beyond the country’s territorial waters for a long period of time. These SARVs and MCS boats are also not big enough and not equipped to withstand weather disturbances and difficult sea currents. Their reliability and operational capability have gradually deteriorated as they age.

In addition to those relatively newer surface assets, the PCG also has 34 older small crafts, many of them with serious operational and maintenance issues. Meanwhile, PCG’s three buoy tender vessels (AE-79, AE-89, AE-46) and a lone patrol gunboat (PG-64), which were once part of the Philippine Navy’s fleet, are no longer operational and are considered beyond repair.

Need for Coastguard Modernization
While it is understandable for Manila to focus on military upgrades, the complexity of the Philippines’ security challenges require that it also provide a renewed attention to its civilian maritime law enforcers.

First, as mentioned above, China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea will remain to be the country’s biggest traditional security challenge in the years to come. For some time now, Beijing has been conspicuously using civilian maritime law enforcement vessels to enforce its claim and change the status quo of disputed features to its favor. These vessels are large, many of them armed, and are capable of traversing the high seas. In terms of sheer numbers, China has the biggest coast guard fleet in the world with an estimated total tonnage of more than 500,000. In addition to government vessels, China has also been notorious in recent years for using “maritime militia” or simply civilian fishing boats to create new facts in areas it wants to control.

How then should Manila respond? Manila cannot afford to be accused of “militarizing” the South China Sea disputes by dispatching warships to the areas it controls. Doing so would provide Beijing yet another opportunity to reverse status quos. Hence, what Manila really needs is a fleet of highly capable Coast Guard vessels that could patrol its maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, in particular the waters surrounding Scarborough Shoal and the Spratlys. This is particularly important considering the likely favorable decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Manila’s case against Beijing’s nine-dash line in the South China Sea.

Also, a highly equipped PCG could complement the AFP’s “minimum credible defense posture,” maintain constant presence indicating effective control and jurisdiction on Philippine-controlled maritime zones, and deter illegal fishing, while at the same time avoiding escalation of conflicts.

Second, a strong Coast Guard is imperative for the Philippines’ fulfillment of its obligations under international law and its regional security responsibilities. On the former, UNCLOS mandates coastal states to provide maritime and aviation search and rescue services and repression of piracy on the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction, among other responsibilities. This is particularly important given that Southeast Asia has been a maritime piracy hotspot for some time now. The Philippines also has the responsibility to counter and to prevent the proliferation of WMDs provided for by international strategic trade control regimes. Hence, for the fulfillment of all these tasks, Manila should have the capability to track, chase, and regulate the passage of ships within its maritime area of responsibility. Moreover, for the country to benefit from UNCLOS-mandated economic entitlements, it is important for Manila to have the capability to enforce its laws and protect marine biodiversity.

A constant presence of highly equipped Coast Guard vessels could go a long way in preventing extremist groups, such as Abu Sayyaf from carrying out their usual kidnapping, often from resorts in Sabah. A highly capable PCG bodes well for the blossoming non-traditional security cooperation among the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, an important step in preventing the Islamic State from increasing its presence in the areas surrounding the Sulu and Celebes Seas.

Third, boosting PCG significantly helps in disaster preparedness. Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013 exposed how the government’s limited resources hindered its ability to respond rapidly and effectively to catastrophes. The massive relief operations in the aftermath of the super typhoon required air and maritime assets for the transport of relief goods and medical supplies, and the relocation of victims, assets that the Philippines simply did not have. Highly equipped Coast Guard vessels, choppers, and equipment could prove to be useful during evacuations and post-disaster search, rescue and relief operations.

Policy Prescription: Rapidly Modernize PCG
The Philippines’ decision to tap Japan for the construction of ten 40-meter Multi-Role Vessels (MRV) for civilian maritime law enforcement is a step in the right direction. Needless to say, these new vessels will enable PCG to fulfill its mandates and extend its operations even up to Philippine-controlled areas of the South China Sea. However, it must be recalled that, for at least three years, the project languished from bureaucratic delays or perhaps indecision. First agreed upon in 2011, construction only began in 2015 and the first of the ten vessels has not even been delivered yet. Manila needs a sense of urgency in concluding similar agreements in the future.

Indeed, the Japan deal should not be the be-all and end-all of PCG modernization. The new Duterte administration should be able to conclude similar agreements with other countries to further PCG’s capability upgrades and reach. For instance, offshore patrol vessels will still be needed in order to sustain a longer and continuous presence in those areas controlled by the Philippines. PCG also lacks radar facilities for full maritime domain awareness, as well as surveillance, search and rescue equipment.

But relying on soft loans cannot be Manila’s exclusive mode of PCG modernization. It has to increase budget allocations for its maritime law enforcement commensurate to its status as a rapidly developing maritime state. Since the PCG is under the Transportation Ministry, it should be relatively easier and less sensitive for the government to justify increased budget allocation. The next big step should therefore be for President Duterte to push for the PCG Modernization Bill in Congress and certify such as “urgent,” the same manner in which Aquino treated the AFP Modernization.

Not solely relying on overseas development assistance and soft loans for PCG modernization also means that other acquisitions could be built locally. The Philippines, the fourth largest shipbuilding nation in the world, is certainly capable of locally sourcing civilian vessels. Not only is it politically sound, since doing so would create local employment and boost the local economy, it is also cost-effective.

Finally, parallel to PCG’s physical upgrades, the Philippines should also proactively engage its peers in the region, from Japan and China to ASEAN and Australia for policy coherence, common understanding of international maritime norms, regimes, and other codes of acceptable behaviors, and increased cooperation. By so doing, it could effectively influence civilian maritime law enforcement standards and dissuade countries from using their Coast Guards to challenge the status quos of disputed maritime zones and from imposing new restrictions on the high seas, helping guarantee freedom of navigation.

Overall, the Philippines should pay closer attention to its Coast Guard and see the agency’s potential to help address many of the country’s traditional and non-traditional security challenges.

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