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Friday, March 12, 2010

Kapal Selam, Tetap Jadi Prioritas TNI AL

Luas wilayah yuridiksi Indonesia yang mencapai 5,9 juta km persegi sangat membutuhkan sarana pengamanan yang handal. Luas perairan nasional yang terdiri dari 2,7 juta km persegi luas zona ekonomi eksklusif (ZEE) dan 3,2 juta km persegi luas perairan kepulauan dan perairan sangat membutuhkan kekuatan kapal selam dalam hal pengamanannya.

Kepala Staf Angkatan Laut (KSAL), Laksamana TNI Agus Suhartono mengungkapkan TNI AL kini sedang memproses pengadaan kapal selam. Rencana penambahan kapal selam ini menurut KSAL telah ditetapkan dalam cetak biru (blue print) kekuatan TNI AL.

Sebagaimana diungkapkan Kepala Dinas Penerangan TNI Angkatan Laut (Kadispenal), Kolonel Laut (P), Herry Setianegara di Mabes AL, Cilangkap, Jakarta Timur pada Kamis (11/3) bahwa TNI AL tengah memprioritaskan pembelian kapal selam hingga tahun 2011 nanti.

"Penambahan kapal selam tetap mempertimbangkan kondisi keuangan negara. Mengenai jumlah ideal kapal selam bisa dilihat dari berbagai perspektif, misalnya geografis," kata Agus Suhartono.

Dalam mengadakan kapal selam, kata KSAL, dipertimbangkan pula kemampuan selam dari kapal tersebut. "Kemampuan kapal selam itu bisa menyelam lebih lama, minimal dua minggu. Itu yang paling utama bagi kapal selam. Kalau kapal selam tiap hari harus muncul yah ketahuan. Harus bisa menyelam cukup lama," katanya.

Direktur Jenderal Sarana Pertahanan Kementerian Pertahanan (Kemenhan) RI, Laksamana Muda TNI Gunadi mengatakan anggaran yang dibutuhkan untuk pengadaan dan pemeliharaan Alutsista hingga 15 tahun mendatang sekitar Rp.400 triliun. Selain itu, ke depan Kemenhan dan TNI akan memprioritaskan penggunaan alutsista dalam negeri. Namun, untuk saat ini beberapa alutsista masih berasal dari luar negeri.

German submarine in Grand Harbour

German Navy submarine U-17 (Pennant number S196) slipped into Grand Harbour this morning for a courtesy visit.

The submarine was commissioned in 1973 and subsequently modernised, but vessels of this type are now being withdrawn.

The submarine has eight torpedo tubes and can carry mines.

It is seen above crossing Dockyard Creek, which is dominated by the sleek lines of the superyacht The Maltese Falcon.

Picture: Patrice Peyre

In too deep: Defence anchored by cost of new subs

As Australia prepares to commit to its most expensive defence project yet, military chiefs are being warned not to get out of their depth when buying new submarines.

Defence recently acknowledged that only two of Australia's six Collins-class submarines are seaworthy. (File photo) (Australian Navy)

Defence officials will be burning the midnight oil at their Canberra headquarters in the coming months, hatching plans for an all-out assault on the nation's purse strings.

Their mission will be to persuade their political masters that billions of taxpayer dollars should be committed towards building their preferred replacement for Australia's troublesome and costly Collins-class submarines.

Later this year, the Defence Force will give the Federal Government its wish list for the new submarines, detailing the features and capabilities it wants in the boats. It is expected to be the most expensive defence spending project in the nation's history.

"You can be absolutely sure that what they're cooking up is a very big, very complex, very sophisticated, very expensive and very risky submarine," says Professor Hugh White, head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University and a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

Another leading defence analyst, Andrew Davies from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, says he is also worried.

"There are certainly a lot of things to worry about when planning a future submarine project because you'd have to say at the moment the Collins fleet is in a shambolic state," he said.

In an embarrassing admission, Defence recently acknowledged that only two of Australia's six Collins-class submarines are seaworthy.

Of the others, one needs repairs to a diesel motor and another requires repairs to one of its electric generators. Two more will be out of service for long-term maintenance for at least four years - a significant chunk of the submarines' projected operational life span.

Defence wants to replace the Collins boats by 2025.

"We've seen with Collins that developing your own submarine is a pretty fraught activity," Dr Davies said.

"You'd have to say the results, as we stand here today, are disappointing."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spain Defence And Security Report Q2 2010

Reduced military spending is expected to continue in Spain throughout 2010 and maybe beyond. At EUR11.9bn for 2010, which constitutes a EUR1.3bn fall compared with 2009, the government's defence budget is about the same proportion of total government spending, at 2.61%, and about the same proportion of GDP, at 0.8%. In terms of defence capability, Spain, as with other EU countries, faces a drop in capability in conducting vital out-of-area operations if defence spending falls again. In 2009, there was a slight increase in numbers across all forces following a series of recruitment drives.

However, in December 2009, Spain announced its intention to send 500 more troops to Afghanistan serving under NATO's ISAF. Some 220 soldiers returned to Spain in November, leaving 1,000 deployed soldiers in Afghanistan. In January, the government announced the setting up of a Counter-IED Centre of Excellence and will prioritise the integration within the EU of maritime surveillance to counter terrorism during its tenure of the EU presidency from January 2010.

Regarding the internal security situation, Basque separatist group, ETA - while still nominally active - poses a sporadic rather than constant threat and has been trying to recruit young untrained militants following arrests of several leaders in October. In December, the Spanish interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba warned that Madrid's EU presidency period could provide ETA with an opportunity to launch a spectacular' or kidnapping to reassert its aims and prove it is still capable of inflicting attacks. Meanwhile, EADS Defence & Security (DS) in Spain signed a EUR9mn contract in January 2010 to supply the Spanish Navy with fixed-wing maintenance for several military aircraft over a four-year period. The work includes engineering, logistical and technical support for the AV8B Harrier II, AV8B Harrier II Plus and CESSNA aircraft. EADS expects Spain, along with France and Germany, to state their commitment to the development of Talarion, a wholly EU-made, advanced UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Other collaborations continue, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and the NATO RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), an advanced version of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow. Shipbuilder Navantia is continuing production of the S-80 diesel-electric attack submarine and has produced an advanced design for the CIM-2000 Scorpene class diesel-electric attack submarine, in collaboration with DCNS of France.

Lockheed to provide design service for MK 41 missile launchers

Lockheed Martin has won a $17 million contract from the US Navy to provide engineering design services for the MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems integrated in the Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.

The MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems. A Lockheed Martin Photo

As per the contract, Lockheed will work on missile integration, software development, integration of VLS into new ships, technical refresh, systems engineering and life cycle support for MK 41 VLS.

The cost-plus-fixed fee contract combines purchases for the US Navy and eight Allied navies under the Foreign Military Sales programme, Lockheed said.

The MK 41 Vertical Launching System is a ship-based missile launching platform. The fixed, vertical firing system can hold an array of missiles – anti-air, anti-submarine, land-attack and ballistic missile defense and other missiles.

The canister launching system consists of a single eight-cell missile module and can fire missiles against hostile aircraft, missiles and other land targets.

The MK 41 VLS is currently deployed at sea in 13 different configurations, ranging from a single module with eight cells to 16 modules with 122 cells.

N-sub takes the plunge after refit

A NUCLEAR-powered submarine is back at sea following a major £300million refit at Devonport Dockyard.

HMS Triumph has sailed from her home port of Plymouth for trials to test improvements made during the six-year refit.

More than 1,000 specialists from Babcock, which operates the dockyard, and other contractors worked on the submarine totalling 2.75 million man-hours.

The refit work has seen her reactor refuelled and her weapons systems updated.

Captain Mike Robinson, the Superintendent Submarines for Devonport, said: "HMS Triumph sails for sea trials with significant safety and capability improvements, equipping her to provide a substantial contribution to defence during her second commission.

"The next few months will see HMS Triumph conduct extensive tests at sea ensuring that the modifications made to her propulsion and command systems withstand the demanding environment at sea both surfaced and dived.

"Following her planned acceptance back into the Royal Navy fleet later this year, her crew will then also be tested with the rigours of operational sea training."

The work – the last Trafalgar class submarine refit and refuel to be undertaken – was carried out in partnership with the Royal Navy's major contractor, and naval base neighbour, Babcock.

The company's Submarine Operations Director (Devonport), Gavin Leckie, said: "The quality of HMS Triumph as she leaves for sea trials, and timely completion of this extensive refit, is testament to the skill, dedication, and close teamwork by all involved, and the clear leadership from the Defence Equipment and Supplies agency project contract manager, Babcock project manager and the submarine's commanding officer."

Capability improvements on HMS Triumph have also included installation of the latest sonar systems, and an upgrade for Tomahawk land attack cruise missile systems.

Kapal selam

Kapal selam adalah kapal yang bergerak di bawah permukaan air, umumnya digunakan untuk tujuan dan kepentingan militer. Sebagian besar Angkatan Laut memiliki dan mengoperasikan kapal selam sekalipun jumlah dan populasinya masing-masing negara berbeda. Selain digunakan untuk kepentingan militer, kapal selam juga digunakan untuk ilmu pengetahuan laut dan air tawar dan untuk bertugas di kedalaman yang tidak sesuai untuk penyelam manusia. Jerman memiliki kapal selam yang populer dengan sebutan U-Boat yang merupakan ringkasan bagi Unterseeboot, mulai ditugaskan dalam Perang Dunia I sebagai sistem senjata yang mematikan bagi Angkatan Laut lawan terlebih-lebih pada Perang Dunia II. Sehingga terkenal dengan sebutan U-Class. Selain Jerman, negara yang populer menggunakan kapal selam sebagai kekuatan utama Angkatan Laut adalah Uni Soviet/Rusia. Salah satu pesawat selam yang lain adalah lonceng selam.

Kapal selam militer digunakan untuk kepentingan perang atau patroli laut suatu negara, berdasarkan jenisnya setiap kapal selam militer selalu dilengkapi dengan senjata seperti meriam kanon, torpedo, rudal penjelajah / anti pesawat dan anti kapal permukaan, serta rudal balistik antar benua.

Scorpene deal: PAC slams defence ministry

Slamming the Defence Ministry over the nine-year delay in awarding contract to French firm Thales to build six Scorpene submarines in Mumbai, a Parliamentary Committee on Wednesday said the indecisiveness resulted in cost overruns and undue favour to the vendor, besides adversely impacting Navy's operational preparedness.

Referring to a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report for 2008 that rapped the Ministry for the delay, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also noted that this led to a cost escalation of the submarines by more than Rs 2,800 crore.

The CAG report had observed that "despite the Indian Navy's depleting force level, the Ministry took nine years to finalise a contract for the construction of the six submarines." The PAC report in this regard was tabled in both Houses of Parliament today.

The committee noted that due to the delay in the finalisation of the contract for as long as three years from 2002 to 2005, there had been an escalation in the price of submarines by more than Rs 2,800 crore and an additional Euro 27.05 million commitment on the procurement of missiles for the naval vessel.

"Such indecisiveness and systemic flaws on the procurement of submarines led to time and cost overrun and undue favour to the vendor besides adversely impacting Navy's operational preparedness," the report said.

The report said the cost overrun was primarily due to escalations of exchange rate variations and increase in cost of missiles, despite a discount of 1.03 per cent by the vendor.

Seeking an explanation from the defence ministry for the delay in finalising the contract and for cost overruns, the PAC also expressed astonishment over its "inability" to quantify the exact financial loss from the Scorpene deal, also known as Project-75.

Arms Control Advocates Call for Nuke-Free Arctic Zone

Amid growing military interest in the Arctic, a new report urges nations that border the North Pole region to declare it a nuclear weapon-free zone, the Canwest News Service reported today.

Polar bears examine the now-retired U.S. attack submarine USS Honolulu, shown about 280 miles from the North Pole in 2003. A recent report calls for the creation of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Arctic region (U.S. Navy photo).

The report's authors, Michael Wallace and Steven Staples of the Canadian Pugwash Group, argue that in light of anticipated future competition over the Arctic's territory and resources, establishing the zone now would be a sensible precautionary measure that would also protect the area's environment from possible nuclear mishaps.

There are five nuclear weapon-free zone treaties covering Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Africa.

The Antarctic is also considered a zone, as are the seabed, space and the moon, according to the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

This month, foreign ministers' from the planet's Arctic nations -- Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Russia and the United States -- are set to meet in Canada.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

U.N. Head Calls For Productive Nuclear Treaty Meeting

Maintenance crews perform work on the French ballistic-missile submarine Triomphant in 2007. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday expressed hopes for success in the May review conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (Marcel Mochet/Getty Images)

The secretary general of the United Nations on Friday said he hoped for a productive Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference in May, Agence France-Presse reported.
"I would like to underscore the importance of a successful review conference," U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said in a statement observing the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of the treaty intended to curb the spread of nuclear weapons.

The treaty now has 189 member states, including recognized nuclear powers China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. It "has remained the cornerstone of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, and a framework for promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," Ban said.

However, there are continuing questions about the nonproliferation regime as nations such as India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea conducted nuclear-weapon operations outside of the treaty.

Review conferences have been held at five year intervals over the decades.The last conference in 2005 ended in confusion and produced no final document on promoting the regime.
.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the Obama administration at the review conference would highlight its commitment "to reversing the spread of nuclear weapons and to building momentum for their eventual elimination."

Navy gets assistance with submarine satellite connectivity

The Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a new $10.2 million task order through the Integrated Topside program to help develop advanced satellite communications systems for submarines.

The company will support the technology development phase of an initiative to develop a prototype of a satellite communications system suitable for integration into submarines, the Defense Department said March 5. The contract has options that could raise its value to $32 million.

The mission of the Integrated Topside program is to develop a scalable family of electronic warfare and radar and communications equipment to support multiple classes of ships and other Navy platforms.

Lockheed Martin will perform the work in Moorestown, N.J. The Office of Naval Research is the contracting activity.

Monday, March 8, 2010

HMS Triumph attack submarine sails marking end of an era

Nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) HMS Triumph sailed from Devonport Royal Dockyard today (Thursday 4 March) following a successful Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) [LOP(R)] by Babcock – the last Trafalgar class submarine refit and refuel to be undertaken.

The extensive four year, 2.75 million manhour refit has included some significant capability improvements, as well as reactor refuelling, refurbishment work on all submarine systems, and addressing considerable emergent repair work.

Capability improvements have included installation of the latest sonar 2076 bow, flank and towed array systems, and upgrade for Tomahawk land attack cruise missile systems. A new command and control system has been installed, as well as a new internal fibre optic computer systems network and enhanced satellite communications system. An additional ballast pump has been installed to aid rapid deballasting, and a number of safety improvements incorporated to fire fighting and escape capabilities. Major equipments have been upgraded to support both efficiency and obsolescence management programmes, such as the chilled water plants.

The LOP(R), which saw some 30,000 work instructions raised and issued, and over 75,000 items of equipment overhauled, has included a number of challenges that were successfully met. Among these was the need for new inspection equipment to be designed, manufactured and commissioned to carry out surveys on the reactor systems. This required close working between Babcock, the MoD design authority and Rolls Royce to minimise programme impact. Additionally, repairs were successfully carried out by Babcock to both torpedo tube air ram cylinders which were far more extensive than anticipated before being surveyed at the start of the LOP(R). Further challenges included equipment obsolescence issues, often requiring fault diagnosis and resolution without original manufacturer’s drawings.

Commenting on the LOP(R), Babcock submarine operations director, Devonport, Gavin Leckie, said: “The quality of HMS Triumph as she leaves for sea trials, and timely completion of this extensive refit, is testament to the skill, dedication, and close teamwork by all involved. The significant safety and capability improvements undertaken during this substantial overhaul programme have fully equipped the submarine for her next commission.”

Albania to sell Soviet-made submarines for scrap

Albania will sell for scrap two of its four submarines which it kept after breaking with the Soviet Union in 1961 in an effort to keep them from sinking, a defence spokesman said on Thursday.

Moscow set up a submarine base in Albania in the 1950s, basing 12 subs near Vlore where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet.

After Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha deemed that the Soviet Union had gone soft on the true ideals of Communism, the two countries parted ways.

Albania kept four of Moscow's Whiskey-class submarines in what the regime glorified as the victory of a small nation over a revisionist predator after a standoff with the Soviet navy.

"We are afraid they might plunge deeper and sink. That is why we are selling them," Defence Ministry spokesman Mentor Beqa said. "One has already sunk."

The project to either sell them or send them to a museum originated after 1997 when crowds vandalized the submarines to take away copper to sell during the anarchy caused by the collapse of fraudulent pyramid schemes.

The boats are rusty and non-functioning, Beqa said. "We are considering keeping the remaining one for the museum," he added.

In a movie based on a novel by writer Ismail Kadare, current Defence Minister Arben Imami plays a soldier that guards the submarine with his Kalashnikov.

The last scene shows the Soviets leaving Albanian waters with their submarines under the watchful muzzle of a cannon. The Soviet submarine base at Pashaliman prompted NATO to deploy missiles in neighbouring Greece.