ADAS 2018 Observations and Highlights

A scale model of the HDF-2500 Frigate made by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the Philippine Navy.

I was able to attend the 2018 Asian Defense and Security (ADAS) at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Manila recently, and every time the event is held (every two years) it always seem to get bigger and better. More people seemed to have turned out on the first day for example, and there were more and better booths.

The Russians for the first time were there, represented by Rosoboronexport. Initially I thought that the Chinese were Missing in Action (MIA) in the event, but later I did see at least one Chinese booth showing Law Enforcement related products.
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Australia’s Cape Class Patrol Boats (CCPB) and its Proposed Philippine Variant

A Cape Class Patrol Boat (CCPB) of the Australian Border Force (ABF). Photo courtesy of Austal.

In August 2018, the Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that a deal with Austal is being finalized to build six (6) Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) in Cebu for the Philippine Navy (PN).1

A couple of days later, Austal revealed more details about the pending deal saying that they had submitted a proposal to the PN for a bigger and more capable variant of the Cape class vessels of Australia’s maritime forces,2 so let’s take a closer look at that ship.
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The KUH-1 Surion Helicopter for the Philippines?

A KUH-1 Surion Helicopter. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Near the end of the official three (3) day State Visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to South Korea in June 2018, he visited the aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) where he was shown the KUH-1 Surion Helicopter. Duterte also got to ride the aircraft for around five minutes and was reportedly impressed by it, but left it to the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Philippine Air Force to review the proposed acquisition of the aircraft.1 2

Other government officials later added more details about the possible acquisition, with Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana putting the number to be purchased to be as low as eight (8) while National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. putting it to be as high as twelve (12).3 With this, let us take a closer look at the Surion.
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Surion Helicopter Problems up to July 2018

A menacing front view of a KUH-1 Surion helicopter of the Republice of Korea Army. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I decided to break this off from another blog about the KUH-1 Surion helicopter I was writing because I thought that it was getting too long and I was presenting too much information already to comfortably read in one sitting. With this blog, I will be discussing the problems that were publicly revealed about the aircraft up to the time of writing.

’Problems, Problems, Problems’1 2
The first of the number of problems that the Surion has encountered over the years were the Cracks that were found on the left side of the aircraft near the Vibration Absorption Devices and on the Windshields as first reported by the South Korean media in May 2016.
Continue reading Surion Helicopter Problems up to July 2018

AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopters for the Philippine Air Force

An AH-1 Cobra Helicopter of the Jordanian Air Force. Photo courtesy of the United States Air Force (USAF).

During his speech at the 120th Anniversary of the Philippine Navy last May 22, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he sent his National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to Jordan to facilitate the negotiations and the release of two AH-1 Cobra helicopters.1

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana later added in an interview that two Philippine Air Force Pilots were sent to Jordan and they reported that the helicopters for transfer were in “good condition”.
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The Philippine Navy’s HHI Frigate Controversy

The Philippine Navy’s new Frigate. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

I have been closely monitoring the developments on the controversy surrounding the Philippine Navy’s (PN) purchase of two Frigates from Hyundai Heavy Industry (HHI) for the past couple of months, but held off writing a blog until I had gathered and studied enough information from news reports about it.

And now I think I have enough material to comfortably write about the topic, hence this blog. The controversy started to break out into the mainstream when just a couple of days before Christmas on December 19, 2017, Vice Admiral (VA) Ronald Mercado was relieved of his post as Flag Officer in Chief (FOIC) of the PN by the Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.1
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The Thales Group’s Long History of Corruption

A Kang Ding class Frigate of the Taiwanese Navy. Beneath its beauty lies a scandal full of bribes and at least one death. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

One day, after I kept seeing Thales’ name splashed all over the news related to the purchase of our Frigates from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), I just suddenly got this idea of researching about corruption news related to them on the internet. And I was quite surprised to see virtually a deluge of detailed materials about it come up on my screen. Hence I thought it would be a good idea to organize my findings and put them into this blog.

’The Thales Group’1
But first, let’s learn a little bit about the company, previously known as Thomson CSF until they changed their name in 2000 to the Thales Group. It is a pretty big company with around 64,000 employees in 56 countries, with a revenue of EUR 15 billion (around USD 18.54 billion at the exchange rate of EUR 1 = USD 1.24) in 2016.
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