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Topics - adroth

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The first of two (2) 94-meter multi-role response vessels (MMRVs) acquired by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II (MSCIP Phase 2) is set to be launched at the Shimonoseki Shipyard of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. in Japan on 28 July 2021.

The two MRRVs will be the largest vessels of the PCG’s fleet, once delivered. These MRRV's modeled after the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) Kunigami-class vessels are expected to improve the PCG's maritime security and maritime safety capabilities.

Each of the new MRRVs measure approximately 94 meters, has a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots, and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles. The ships are capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions, including the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

In addition, the two vessels will significantly boost the capabilities of the PCG in conducting maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

Through the accelerated construction of the Japanese shipbuilder, the first 94-meter MRRV is expected to arrive in Manila by March 2022, while the second vessel will arrive two months later or by May 2022. 

The addition of the two new MRRVs to the PCG’s fleet is welcomed by DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade who stressed that the acquisition of new vessels is a breakthrough towards the government's thrust of modernizing and upgrading the country's maritime safety and border protection.

“The modernization of Philippine Coast Guard has been going fast and quick and very meaningful. In fact, in this effort to make it quick, fast, and very meaningful, the government of Japan has contributed very much. And to which I express my appreciation for your continued support,” Secretary Tugade said.

The new vessels, according to the DOTr Secretary, will be of great help in responding to maritime incidents in the country's waters and exclusive economic zone (EEZ), such as in the conduct of search and rescue operations and maritime security patrols, as well as in the enforcement of marine environmental laws, among others.

For his part, PCG Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr noted that the addition of the two MRRVs – the biggest in the fleet – is a big stride in strengthening the country’s maritime security and maritime safety capabilities.

“We are making a milestone, not just for the Department of Transportation and Philippine Coast Guard, but also for the Philippines – acquiring the first-ever biggest ship for the Coast Guard. It is a 94-meter multi-role response vessel. It is a big stride in the development of our country in the context of maritime security and maritime safety,” Admiral Ursabia expressed.

The MSCIP Phase 2 is a Japanese-assisted project funded by an Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) amounting to approximately JPY 16,455,000,000 (JPY 16.5 billion).

The contract between the DOTr and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for the design, construction, and delivery of the two 94-meter MRRVs amounting to JPY 14,550,000,000 (JPY 14.6 billion) was signed on 27 December 2019 and became effective on 08 May 2020.


Space / NASA Europa Clipper
« on: July 24, 2021, 03:30:51 PM »

About the mission

NASA's Europa Clipper will conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.

The mission will place a spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter in order to perform a detailed investigation of Europa -- a world that shows strong evidence for an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust and which could host conditions favorable for life. The mission will send a highly capable, radiation-tolerant spacecraft into a long, looping orbit around Jupiter to perform repeated close flybys of the icy moon.

Space / SpaceX - Blue Origin rivalry
« on: July 23, 2021, 05:10:58 AM »

It’s a rivalry that spans many years and many occurrences, tracing back to the affair of poaching employees.
Between 2005 and 2008, Blue Origin lured away a number of employees from SpaceX.

I couldn’t find a source with the exact number but it got to the point to where SpaceX designed a way to filter employee’s emails for the word “Blue Origin”. According to a lawsuit filed by SpaceX against a former employee, the company claims that Blue Origin would hire carefully targeted SpaceX employees in order to gain information on SpaceX design efforts. 

The episodes of employee poaching were followed by a quarrel for the Historic Launch Pad 39A.

39A was the launch site for the majority of the Apollo missions along with many Space Shuttle Missions including the first orbital spaceflight of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.

By 2013, the site sat dormant, 2 years removed from the end of the Space Shuttle Program, costing NASA $100,000 per month.
NASA decided to lease the site for commercial use and that’s when SpaceX and Blue Origin jumped in for the opportunity.

SpaceX wanted exclusive rights to the launch pad, and shortly after finding out, Blue Origin submitted their own bid.

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In 2013, an intense battle for the rights for 39A unfolded between SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Blue Origin argued that the launch pad should not be operated exclusively by any one company.

Additionally, Blue Origin promised that if they won the bid, they would share it with other companies including SpaceX.
SpaceX ended up winning the lease of the esteemed launch site.

The decision boiled down to the fact that SpaceX already had a 7-year relationship with NASA dating back to the 2006 Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Contract.

And Blue Origin was far from having a rocket that would use the site with the New Glenn many years away.

But Bezos didn’t take NASA’s decision lying down, he filed a legal protest.

Then Blue Origin teamed up with SpaceX’s Nemesis the United Launch Alliance or ULA.

Blue Origin and the ULA lobbied several senators who had close ties with the Aerospace industry. 

The senators wrote a letter to the NASA administrator but the attempt to change NASA’s mind was not successful, however, they did a great a great job making Musk Angry.

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The next conflict came the following year in 2014 and centered around a patent…

Three years before SpaceX grasshopper started testing vertical landing tech and six years before Blue Origin first landing the New Shepard, Bezos filed Patent number 8,678,321 in 2009.

The patent is 10 pages long, titled, “Sea Landing of Space Launch Vehicles and Associated Systems and Methods”.

And it claimed the rights behind the concept of recovering rocket boosters on a landing ship in the ocean or other bodies of water.

By the time SpaceX announced that it contracted a Louisiana shipyard to build the first landing drone in October 2014, Bezos patent was approved just 7 months earlier.

Musk was FURIOUS when he found out about the patent.

He thought the patent was ridiculous, and that the idea of landing rocket boosters has been seen on movies and many proposals over the past 50 years.

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HAL is all set to respond to Royal Malaysian Air Force’s RfP for LCA
By: Huma Siddiqui
Updated: July 21, 2021 8:29 PM

By the end of September 2021, the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is expected to respond to a Request for Proposal (RfP) from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). The Malaysian Air Force has sent out a global request for low-cost light fighter aircraft.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a top officer has confirmed to Financial Express Online “The Company will be responding to the RfP from RMAF for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) `Tejas’. And it has to be sent at the end of September.”

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Space / 'Mercury 13' pilot Wally Funk flies to space on Blue Origin
« on: July 21, 2021, 01:41:31 PM »
'Mercury 13' pilot Wally Funk will carry 60 years of history to space on Blue Origin flight
By Meghan Bartels 1 day ago

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Funk, age 82, is one of a dozen women who have come to be known as the Mercury 13 in pointed contrast to NASA's original astronauts, the Mercury 7. Funk and the others were skilled pilots who, like their male counterparts, dreamed of flying even higher, to space. But they were never included in NASA's vision for spaceflight and never became astronauts — until now.

"Wally Funk has really never given up on her dream of spaceflight," Margaret Weitekamp, curator of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's space history department who wrote a book about the women who lobbied to be included in NASA's astronaut program, told "There's a nice bit of poetic justice in including her on this flight."

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Operation "MASO"

The Marines conducted their first-ever heliborne combat operation in Tairan, Basilan City, on July 21, 1973. The 2nd Marine Battalion landed behind enemy lines aboard 11 Huey helicopters, despite fierce resistance from the rebels.
The battalion successfully blocked enemy withdrawal and reinforcements while suffering only one casualty in action. This heliborne action was the turning point of the campaign in Basilan that broke the enemy's will to fight.
Source: The Philippine Navy (1898 - 1996)


Muling itinaguyod ng Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ang karapatan ng Pilipinas sa Marie Louise Bank na matatagpuan 147 nautical miles mula sa baybay dagat ng El Nido, Palawan.

Base sa report na natanggap ng PCG Command Center noong ika-13 ng Hulyo 2021, na-monitor ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) ang isang ‘navy warship’ na may watawat ng People’s Republic of China at markado ng Chinese character.

Mahinahong nag-radio challenge ang BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) habang mino-monitor ang galaw ng nasabing barko gamit ang radar. Lumapit rin ang PCG vessel para mas maaninag ang aktibidad na isinasagawa ng Chinese Navy Warship sa katubigan.

Nang walang matanggap na verbal response, ginamit ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409), sa pangunguna ni Commander Erwin Tolentino, ang Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) para ipahatid ang verbal challenge sa Chinese Navy Warship.

Matapos nito, nagsimulang gumalaw ang barko palabas ng Marie Louise Bank. Sinundan ito ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) para masigurong lilisanin nito ang nasabing katubigan na bahagi ng exclusive economic zone (EEZ) ng Pilipinas.

Nang maramdaman na humigit-kumulang 500 - 600 yarda o 0.25 – 0.30 nautical mile lang ang distansya ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) sa kanilang barko, nagpahatid ng radio message ang Chinese Navy Warship: 

“Philippine Coast Guard 4409, this is Chinese Navy Warship 189. Please keep two nautical miles distance from me,” ayon sa barko.
Sa kabila nito, nagpatuloy ang mahigpit na pagbabantay ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) sa Chinese Navy Warship gamit ang ‘Rules on the Use of Force (RUF)’. Ito ay hanggang sa tuluyang nakalabas ng Marie Louise Bank ang nasabing foreign state vessel na tumakbo sa bilis na 9.4 knots.

Ang bawat desisyon at aksyon ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) ay naka-base sa ‘PCG MANUAL ON RULES ON THE USE OF FORCE WITHIN THE PHILIPPINES’ EEZ’. Ito ay para masiguro na ‘RULES-BASED AND PEACEFUL APPROACH’ ang ginagamit sa pagtataguyod ng soberanya at pagpoprotekta sa karapatan ng Pilipinas at mga Pilipino sa katubigan. 

Ang pagpapatrolya ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) sa Marie Louise Bank at Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) sa Palawan ay bahagi ng misyon nito sa ilalim ng Task Force Pagsasanay.

Maaalala na noong ika-30 ng Hunyo 2021, pinaalis din ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) ang limang ‘Chinese ship' at dalawang ‘Vietnamese vessel’ na na-monitor sa Marie Louise Bank.

Kasunod nito, kinamusta rin ng BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) ang kalagayan ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda sakay ng F/B XIROXIRA mula San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. Naabutan silang nagsasagawa ng fishing operation sa Marie Louise Bank. Ayon sa kanila, nananatiling payapa at sagana ang kanilang pangingisda at wala silang nararanasang pang-a-abuso o pang-ha-harass mula sa ibang barko.
Noong ika-06 ng Abril 2021, inilunsad ni PCG Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr ang Task Force Pagsasanay, alinsunod sa direktiba ni Department of Transportation (PCG) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade at Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte na itaguyod ang seguridad at kaligtasan ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda sa EEZ ng Pilipinas, kabilang ang West Philippine Sea.

This DOTr Entitlement Matrix shows what people who are affected by projects can get. Note this this was written for the North-South Commuter Railway project, and explicitly for the Mindanao Railway Project. However it is an example of the DOTr protects the rights of those affected by projects.


BRP ANG PANGULO (ACS25), under NTG80.1, conducted a simulation exercise on Presidential/VIP Security Operations, comprising Presidential/VIP Sealift Operations, Presidential/VIP Airlift Operations and VIP Waterborne Security Operations on Thursday July 8 2021, as part of routine training to maintain her readiness and proficiency to undertake her mission of providing safe transportation to the President and the members of the first family.

The exercise was participated by three Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (BA492, BA 493 and BA494) from the Littoral Combat Force, two SEAL Teams from Naval Special Operations Unit 9, as well as two Bell 412 helicopters (6685 and 2000) of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing of the Philippine Air Force, and members of the Special Reaction Unit of the Presidential Security Group, ensuring seamless interoperability among the different units.

BRP ANG PANGULO (ACS25) and Naval Special Operations Unit 9 are under the Fleet Marine Ready Force under the leadership of Brigadier General Armel S Tolato PN (M) and Navy Captain Lemuel Espartinez PN (MNSA), Commander, Naval Task Force 80.                 ( Photo Credits: ACS25 )

General Discussion / PAF-PN joint operations on air defense
« on: July 18, 2021, 12:00:04 AM »

Conducted a virtual lecture on the Command and Control Functions of the Philippine Air Defense Control Center in Air Defense Operations as part of the Air Weapons Controller virtual lecture by officers of the 580th Aircraft Control Warning Wing on May 2021... The virtual lecture were attended by Operations Officers and Enlisted Personnel from Philippine Navy (PN) warships capable of air surveillance and air warfare operations: BRP ANTONIO LUNA (FF151), BRP JOSE RIZAL (FF150), BRP ANDRES BONIFACIO (PS17), BRP ARTEMIO RICARTE (PS37), BRP MAGAT SALAMAT (PS20), BRP CONRADO YAP (PS39), BRP GREGORIO DEL PILAR (PS15) and BRP APOLINARIO MABINI (PS36)... The activity aims to appraise the said PN warships, particularly the units with Anti-Air Warfare capabilities, on the concept and system on how the PAF performs its mandate in Air Defense Operations... Also, the activity aims to identify opportunities for interoperability between PN and PAF in connection to the AFP's modernizing capabilities.


The bridge for the #MindanaoRailway will cross the Davao River at this point. In the general vicinity of the trapezoidal clearing shown in the image. This estimate is based on landmarks visible in a Notice of Taking issued on June 18, 2021 for a property in Tigatto (red dots on upper right), and survey reference point (white dot on lower left) in map published by the Environment Management Bureau for the railway.

White House: US begins shipping 3.2-M COVID shots to Philippines
Posted at Jul 16 2021 02:27 AM

WASHINGTON—The United States has started shipping 3.2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines, the White House said on Thursday, as Washington continues its coronavirus diplomacy by sharing doses with developing nations.

"We are beginning to ship over 3.2 million doses of J&J to the Philippines today," White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said on Twitter.

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General Discussion / Explosion in Roxas, Palawan
« on: July 15, 2021, 02:22:38 PM »

Ilang mga residente sa Sityo Kayasan, Barangay Nicanor Zabala sa bayan ng Roxas ang nagsilikas umano sa kanilang mga bahay matapos makarinig ng ilang malalakas na pagsabog na may kaugnayan sa operasyon ng tropa ng gobyerno laban sa armadong grupo ng New People's Army (NPA) simula pa noong Lunes, July 12.

Kinumpirma ang bagay na ito sa Palawan News ng kapitan ng Brgy. Nicanor Zabala na si Marvin Montilla ngayong araw, July 14. Ngunit sinabi rin niya na nakabalik na ang mga residente dahil nasa ibang lugar na ang operasyon ng mga tropa ng Philippine Marines.
Ayon kay Montilla, kagabi (July 13) bumaba ang ilang residente mula sa Sityo Kayasan matapos makarining ng aabot sa 10 malalakas na pagsabog bandang alas singko hanggang alas sais ng hapon. Naikuwento umano sa kanya ng mga bumaba na ang mga pagsabog sa lugar kung saan may engkwentro ay dalawang ilog lamang ang nakapagitan mula sa kanilang mga bahay.

"May iba po na bumaba na kagabi (July 13) sa takot dahil sunod-sunod na ang pagsabog. Pati kanilang bahay ay niyayanig daw talaga," pahayag niya sa Palawan News. Noong malaman na umalis na ang mga tropa ng militar sa lugar ay agad na nagsibalikan din ang mga ito sa kani-kanilang bahay ngayong araw.

Matatandaan na isang Marines ang nagkaranas ng slight injury matapos nilang maka-engkwentro ang isang grupo ng hindi mabilang na rebelde habang nagsasagawa ng Community Support Program (CSP) noong July 12 sa Sityo Maselwangon sa natura din na barangay sa Roxas.

Wala pang ibinibigay na opisyal na pahayag ang pamunuan ng military sa Palawan hinggil sa balitang ito. | via Arphil Ballarta

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