source:http://defense-studies.blogspot.jp/MANILA - At least six foreign countries are offering frigates to the Philippines after the Department of National Defense (DND) expressed interest in purchasing at least two more warships to boost territorial defense amid the dispute at West Philippine Sea.
Fernando Manalo, Defense Undersecretary for finance, munitions, installations and materiel, disclosed that aside from Italy, countries that are offering their frigates are South Korea, Spain, United States, Israel, Croatia, and Australia.
Manalo said that earlier, the Philippines is only eyeing the refurbished Maestrale-class frigates from the Italian navy worth over P11 billion, but more countries have made their offers in the latter part of 2012.
“Other countries are now just being convinced that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is serious in its efforts to make itself stronger and more credible,” Manalo said.
Manalo further disclosed that some of the countries were offering brand new frigates. He added that the DND is still in the process of conducting studies to determine which type of frigate will be best for the country.
He said the department hopes to come up with a decision by the end of January. “Within this month something must happen,” Manalo said.
“Due diligence is being exercised here because we are talking of billions of pesos,” he added.
Meanwhile, the AFP’s Western Command has not monitored any Chinese vessels on disputed territories at West Philippine Sea.
Air reconnaissance conducted Thursday showed no signs of Chinese warships, said Lieutenant General Juancho Sabban, Western Command commander.
“As per information from my commanders, we conducted aerial recon (Thursday), we didn’t see any of the new vessels that China said they will deploy to West Philippine Sea, and I understand also that from reports (that) China already retracted its statement that they will board and search all vessels passing through West Philippine Sea. I think this is a good development,” Sabban said.
Source:http://interaksyon.com/article/52204/us-drone-came-from-guam-says-embassyMANILA - (UPDATE, 1 p.m.) The United States-made drone recovered off Masbate last Sunday was used in a military exercise in Guam, the US embassy here said Tuesday.
"The unarmed target drone that washed ashore off the coast of Masabate Island is an expended BQM-74E Aerial Target drone that was launched from the USS Chafee (DDG 90) during exercise Valiant Shield 2012 on September 19, 2012 off the coast of Guam," the US embassy said.
"It appears that ocean currents brought the drone to where it washed ashore last week off Masbate Island," it said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines, in a separate statement, said the drone could have just drifted to Philippine waters due to "strong currents and weather disturbances that frequent the Pacific."
"We sent an EOD (explosives and ordnance team) team for initial investigations on the navy drone. The EOD team found that the drone already has some barnacles and assessed it to be safe for transport," said AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos.
Local police earlier reported the recovery of the drone, which was a BGM-74E Chukar III. Fishermen found the drone floating off the waters of Ticao Island Sunday morning and thought it was a bomb.
"The AFP maintains that the drone found in Masbate is not a spy plane but an aerial target drone. Its orange color and US Navy logo suggests that it is used primarily to simulate enemy missiles and aircraft during exercises," Burgos said.
The drone is now with the Naval Forces Southern Luzon.
source:http://defense-studies.blogspot.jp/On December 28, 2012 at JSC "Admiralty Shipyards" in St. Petersburg, was taken out of the factory and launched the second built for the Vietnamese Navy large diesel-electric submarine of Project 06361 - "HQ-183 Hồ Chí Minh" (construction number 01340). The boat was laid down in the workshop № 12 "Admiralty Shipyards" on September 28, 2011.
The contract for the construction of Vietnamese six submarines 06361 to about $ 2 billion dollars was awarded by "Rosoboronexport" in December 2009. Given the construction of infrastructure, supply of arms and other total cost of the agreement reached 4 billion.
First boat for Vietnam "HQ Hà Nội" (building number 01339) was founded on the "Admiralty Shipyards" August 24, 2010, launched on August 28, 2012, and went to the factory test runs on December 3, 2012. Currently "Hà Nội" is in the port of Svetly near Kaliningrad, in January it should start training Vietnamese crew. Transfer of the boats to Vietnamese Navy is scheduled for August 2013.
lumayan...Philippine Coast Guard to receive 10 patrol boats from Japan
By Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
4:41 pm | Saturday, January 12th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines–The Philippine Coast Guard is set to hire some 300 new personnel to man 10 new patrol boats expected to arrive from Japan.
PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said they would prioritize applicants who would fit the qualifications of those who will man the new acquisitions.
“We need to recruit people with maritime-related courses such as marine engineers and marine navigation course. But we would also be needing technical experts such as those who have mechanical, welding and electrical skills or background,” said Balilo.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario discussed with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, during the latter’s visit early this week, a loan agreement for the Philippines’ procurement of 10 multi-role response vessels for the Coast Guard.
The new patrol vessels, which are expected to arrive in 2014, are expected to boost the country’s territorial defense in the West Philippine Sea.
PCG usually accepts applicants who finished even non-maritime-related courses.
“But we should now prepare for our new assets. We should prepare the right people or the crew and asset management team who would be in charge of our new vessels’ maintenance,” Balilo explained.
He added that they have one year to hire the needed personnel, who would be assigned for deck operation, navigation, gunnery and engineering.
Those who would be selected would undergo one-year training on board the new ships.
wow I did not knew I'm dat famous.gimana mau perang lawan Spore yg US ally? hehe
harusnya Yinchet baca nih, biar gak kayak kodok dlm tempurung dia...
Versions differ in Malaysia, Philippines border standoff
BREAKING NEWS: Malaysia in standoff with “Royal Sulu Sultanate Army”
Malaysia's government security forces have surrounded 80 to 100 of suspected Philippine “heavily armed” militants in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Malaysia’s national police chief Ismail Omar was quoted as saying the militants had declared themselves followers of “a descendant of the Sultan of Sulu.”
Earlier Thursday Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak was quoted saying police were negotiating with the gunmen “to get the group to leave peacefully to prevent bloodshed”.
Philippine officials, said Manila is trying to get information about on going standoff and was in touch with Kuala Lumpur. Also added that the Filipinos are unarmed and had been promised land in Sabah.
According to source, Royal Army of Sulu aim to push for the recovery of Sabah as part of the Sulu Sultanate.
Link(Reuters) - Malaysian security forces have surrounded about 100 armed men believed to be from a breakaway rebel faction in the southern Philippines, Malaysian police and a government official said on Thursday, but a Philippine official said they were unarmed Filipinos who had been promised land.
source:Link(Reuters) - A pre-dawn raid on a Thai military base ended with 16 Muslim insurgents killed on Wednesday in the deadliest violence in the country's south in nine years, marking a dangerous escalation in one of Asia's least-known conflicts.
Malaysian forces open fire on Pinoys in Sabah, Sulu Sultan's brother claims
March 1, 2013 10:20am
(UPDATED 12:10 p.m.) — Malaysian security forces on Friday morning started firing at a group of Filipinos holed up in a village in Sabah, the brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III said.
In his first interview with radio dzBB on Friday at around 10:00 a.m., Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, the leader of the group in Sabah, said they were being shot at and had to "defend" themselves.
"Biglang pumasok sa amin, we had to defend ourselves," Raja said.
Asked what time the Malaysian forces allegedly moved in, Raja said, "oras na ito (at this time)."
Reached for a comment, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez said "we are still validating as of the moment."
Hernandez said they only found out about the shooting from news reports.
The Malaysian Embassy through Raveendran Nair, First Secretary of Information and Public Diplomacy told GMA News Online, "At the moment, the embassy has no comment. The embassy will not issue a statement on the matter."
Meanwhile, radio dzBB's Carlo Mateo reported that President Benigno Aquino III has summoned Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to a meeting amid reports about the alleged fighting in Sabah.
De Lima said the Philippine government has to be careful in giving statements on the matter at this time.
Gunshots in the background
Sounds of gunshots were heard in the background while the interview was being conducted. The first interview was cut, however.
However, in a report aired over GMA's News TV Live, reporter Mariz Umali quoted Kiram's spokesman Abe Idjirani in Manila as saying that Malaysian forces began surrounding the Filipinos at around 6:00 a.m.
He likewise said the first shot "was done by Malaysian police authorities."
"We would like to bring into your attention to an advice of our sultan his royal highness Jamal Kiram III that the hope that we had for nearly three weeks for a peaceful resolution of the Sabah standoff resulted now into the first fire perpetrated by the Malaysian police authorities," he said in an interview earlier in the day in Manila.
In a second interview with radio dzBB on Friday, Raja said he had received reports some of his men were wounded but said there will be no retreat or call for a ceasefire.
"Meron na," he said in an interview on dzBB radio when asked if some of his men had been wounded, several moments after a first interview was cut off.
When asked if there were members of the Malaysian police who were wounded, he said, "ewan ko."
In the News TV Live report, however, Umali said Raja claimed that two of their men were already wounded.
Shots were still heard in the background in the second interview with Raja.
When asked what his immediate plans were, he said, "lalaban."
He added that he himself was trading shots with the Malaysian forces. "Tuloy pa rin," he added.
When asked if he would call a ceasefire, he said, "Sino mag-ceasefire? Sila mag-ceasefire."
Another member of the Sulu Sultan's family, Princess Jacel Kiram, told radio DZBB, "About a few minutes ago before this started, my uncle (Engr. Idjirani) was about to leave with the Malaysian ambassador kaya nagulat kami nang tumawag ang Sabah na nagsimula na ang putukan."
"Hindi na po natuloy ang pag-uusap dahil sa nangyari," the princess explained.
The group had adopted a defiant stance after being surrounded by Malaysian forces, and when the first deadline for them to leave peacefully lapsed midnight of Tuesday.
The group, which claimed Sabah is their homeland, arrived in Sabah on February 9 and engaged Malaysian forces in a standoff.
Malaysian forces blocked off their food and water supplies but until Friday did not fire on them while waiting for a peaceful resolution to the situation.
On Thursday, Malaysia's The Star online reported the group of armed Filipinos coped with the blockade by living off houses abandoned by local villagers.
However, the report on Thursday said the Filipinos claimed they were "all fine" despite the land and sea blockade by Malaysian security forces.
Call for prayers
Idjirani, meanwhile, appealed for prayers for a peaceful solution.
The group and the police had been separated by a 300-meter distance, he said.
- with Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Kimberly Jane Tan, VVP, GMA News