Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Thailand, China vow to push forward all-round development of military ties

(Xinhua)    08:36, May 31, 2017

BANGKOK, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Thailand and China pledged here Tuesday to joint hands to push forward the all-round development of the military relations between the two countries.

While meeting with Fang Fenghui, a member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) and chief of the Joint Staff Department under the CMC, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the kingdom is ready to learn China's experiences on reform, dovetail its national development strategy with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and deepen cooperation with China in all sectors.

The Thai prime minister said the kingdom is also willing to enhance high-level exchanges and boost cooperation in joint training on counter-terrorism with China.

For his part, Fang said that China and Thailand have witnessed the stable development of bilateral ties, with mutual political trust enhanced continuously and cooperation in all fields getting closer.

China is willing to work together with Thailand to further deepen all-rounded cooperation between the two militaries so as to make positive contribution to the further development of the bilateral ties and to the regional peace and stability, Fang said.

On the same day, Fang also met with Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Thai Chief of Defense Forces General Surapong Suwana-Adth.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

S.Korean president orders investigation into THAAD launchers delivery

(Xinhua)    15:21, May 30, 2017

Protesters shout slogans during a rally near the golf course where the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system will be deployed in Seongju, South Korea, March 15, 2017. About 200 local residents attended the rally on Wednesday to protest against the deployment of THAAD system. (Xinhua/Liu Yun)

SEOUL, May 30 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the unauthorized delivery of four more mobile launchers of the U.S. missile shield to the country.

Yoon Young-chan, chief presidential press secretary, told a press briefing that President Moon said it was "very shocking" after he was briefed by his top national security advisor Chung Eui-yong on the unauthorized delivery.

About two weeks before the May 9 presidential by-election, two mobile launchers and a radar for the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile interception system were transported in the middle of night to a golf course at Soseong-ri village in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province.

THAAD is composed of six mobile launchers, 48 interceptors, a AN/TPY-2 radar and a fire and control unit.

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THAAD missile defense: Details

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Trump's proposed budget would add funding for up to 74 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets

Super Hornets see boost in new US budget request


President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would add funding to buy up to 74 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets through 2022, or 60 more than planned in previous budget forecasts.

The Navy is requesting 14 Super Hornets in Fiscal 2018 to mitigate the service’s strike fighter shortfall, officials said this week. In addition, Trump’s budget proposal inserts new plans to procure 23 more F/A-18E/Fs in FY2019, 14 in FY2020, 14 in FY2021 and 15 in FY2022. The recent request not only includes funding for new Super Hornets, but also advanced procurement dollars to address advanced capabilities.

While Boeing celebrated the intended purchase of new F/A-18E/Fs as a sign that the Trump administration would commit to funding Super Hornets year after year, the status of the five-year funding plan is not settled. During a budget rollout briefing this week, Pentagon officials warned that procurement numbers beyond FY2018 would be subject to change following the outcome of a defence strategy review due this August. John Roth, the Pentagon's deputy comptroller, emphasised that the long-term budget was not informed by strategy or policy.

“We have focused on getting a budget ready for FY2017 and then we pivoted to get '18 done to meet this date as well, the secretary has not spent anytime looking beyond '18,” he says.

Trump’s FY2018 request continues a steady procurement for the navy. Although FY2018 budget documents detail 26 F/A-18E/Fs procured in FY2017, the Navy only received funding to procure 14 fighters for that year. The original FY2017 base budget did not call for a Super Hornet order, but did request two aircraft using overseas contingency operations funding. When the navy released its unfunded priorities list, it included a request for 12 Super Hornets. The service called for another 12 in a supplemental budget released after the election, but those dozen aircraft were not funded.

In February, Trump appeared to foreshadow a larger F/A-18E/F order during a visit to Boeing’s manufacturing complex in North Charleston, South Carolina.

“Do you care if we use the F/A-18 Super Hornets?” Trump asked. “We are looking seriously at a big order. The problem is that [Boeing CEO] Dennis [Muilenberg] is a very tough negotiator, but I think we may get there.”

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F/A-18E/F Blk III Super Hornet: Details

French Navy's frigate Prairial visits Bangkok

French navy frigate makes port call

28 May 2017 at 04:00

Thai sea cadets and naval officials had the rare chance to board the French Navy's frigate Prairial as it visits Bangkok on a diplomatic and maritime surveillance mission which aims to strengthen ties between the Royal Thai Navy and the French Navy.

The Prairial was the second in a series of six ships built in the Saint-Nazaire shipyards in France in 1990-92 by Chantiers de l'Atlantique.

Her home port is Papeete in Tahiti, and the name Prairial refers to the "month of pasture harvest" in the calendar of the 18th century French Revolution.

The 2,600-tonne vessel is armed with 20mm and 100mm guns and Exocet surface-to-air missiles, and carries a transport craft, three boats and one Alouette III helicopter. Patrol ship Prairial and its 100 sailors are now in the second month of a three-month deployment.

It visited Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines before arriving at Bangkok's Klong Toey port for its fifth port call on Thursday.

According to commander Christophe Le Coz, the ship will be docked in Thailand until today before returning to Tahiti.

"During the four-day period here, we have opened the Prairial's doors to many Thai sea cadets and naval officials and offered them guided tours around the 93.5-metre ship. The navies of both countries have exchanged good experiences," Le Coz said.

Earlier this month, the Prairial conducted international joint exercises with Thai Ratanakosin-class coastal defence ship Sukhothai and some Malaysian and Singaporean naval ships around the Strait of Malacca.

The operational exchange was aimed at promoting stability in the region, free navigation and strong strategic partnerships.

"It is important to have stability and freedom of navigation in this region, so we are working together to fight piracy and international drug trafficking, and illegal fishing. And I can say that we have worked very well with the Royal Thai Navy," Le Coz said.

He said both navies now aim to share more information about international drug trafficking, illegal fishing and exploitation of natural resources in the future.

The French commander and some of his crew will visit the Grand Palace to pay their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and write messages of condolence.

Writer: Dumrongkiat Mala
Position: Reporter

Original post:

Floréal-class frigate

General characteristics
Class and type:
2600 tonnes (2950 tonnes full load)
93.5 m (307 ft)
14 metres (46 ft)
4.4 m (14 ft)
  • Engines : 4 diesel SEMT Pielstick 6PA6 L280
  • Auxiliaries : 1 Ulstein 200 kW beam propulsor
  • Propellers : 2 variable pace Lips
  • Propulsive power : 8800 hp (6470 kW)
  • Electric Plant : 3 Baudouin 12P15 2SR diesel alternators and 3 Alsthom AA 49L9 alternators
  • Electric Power : 3 × 590 kW
20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph), 13,000 nautical miles (24,000 km; 15,000 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
  • ETN 90 (Embarcation de Transport en Nombre)
  • Zodiac Hurricane 530 OB with two Yamaha 2T 140 CV VETOL engines
  • One 10-seat zodiac
  • 11 officers
  • 36 non-commissioned officers
  • 42 men
  • (11 men for the helicopter)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar:
  • DRBV-21C (Mars) air sentry radar
  • Racal Decca RM1290 navigation radar
  • Racal Decca RM1290 landing radar
  • Navigation
  • Microcin type intertial navigation system
  • Ben LMN4 loch
  • Furuno depth measure system
  • Navstar GPS system
  • Taiyo gonio VHF radio
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • ARBG-1A Saïgon
  • 2 Dagaie decoy systems
Aircraft carried:
Panther helicopter


Russia's new Il-112 transport plane to make maiden flight in 2017

Published time: 29 May, 2017 19:00

After the maiden flights of several new Russian aircraft including a short-haul airliner, another long-expected premiere is to happen before year’s end. The light military transport plane Il-112 will take to the skies after two decades in development.

The pledge comes from Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who supervises the country’s military, aviation and space industries. On Monday he reported on the latest achievements in aircraft development to his direct superior, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Rogozin said 2017 is already “bountiful” for aviation with maiden flights by the MiG-35, the Ka-62 and the MC-21 conducted since January.

He added that another first will happen by December, as the Russian military will be shown their new light-transport plane.

The Ilyushin Il-112 has a bumpy route to take-off. Initially designed as a civilian aircraft in the mid-1990s, it won a tender from the Defense Ministry in 2004 to become the new light transport for the Russian military. But the funding of the development ran dry, and the project was put on ice until 2013.

The Il-112 is a small, 24-meter twin-engine turbofan high-wing aircraft. It aims to transport up to 44 passengers or five tons of cargo and can land on little-developed airfields, including those using unpaved runways. The manufacturer expects it to make flights of up to 2,400km on average.

The Russian military want the aircraft to replace the aging Soviet-era An-26s and are expected to buy at least 62 of them. A civilian variant of the aircraft will be produced as well.

Original post:

Il-112V Light Military Transport: Details

Irkut MC-21: Details

Ka-62 helicopter

The new medium multirole Ka-62 helicopter incorporates the latest technologies and materials in aircraft building. It meets Russian and international flight standards (Russia’s AP-29, Europe’s CS-29 and JAR-OPS3), offshore operational requirements, international standards for reliability, resource use, flight safety, comfort, usability, service life and repair.

The Ka-62 is fitted with two Ardiden 3G 1,680 h.p. engines made by Turbomeca. Their modular design and dual-channel FADEC system ensures high reliability, heightened ease of operation, and low fuel use. The helicopter is also equipped with a glass cockpit developed by the Russian company Transas.

The Ka-62 is built to a single-rotor design with a multi-blade anti-torque rotor ducted into the vertical tail fin. It has a five-bladed main rotor, enclosed tail rotor, secondary hydraulics circuit, heavy-duty wheeled landing gear, strengthened fuselage and mounting attachments for major components, as well as shock-absorbent seats for passengers and crew.
The airframe and propeller blades will be over 50% made of polymeric composite materials.


Max. speed
308 km/h
Cruise speed
290 km/h
Max. flight range with main fuel tanks
770 km
Operational ceiling
5,700 m
Hover ceiling (OGE)
3,300 m
Weight Parameters
Max. take-off weight
6,500 kg
Max. Payload, kg
in transport cabin
on external sling
Engines 2хArdiden 3G, Turbomeca
Take-off power
1,776 h.p.
Contingency power
1,941 h.p.
Dimensions of Сargo Сabin
4,100 mm
Maximum floor width
1,750 mm
1,300 mm
9.5 m3
Air crew
1–2 persons
Service passengers
12–15 persons


Monday, 29 May 2017

Thailand plans US$5.7b upgrade of civil-military airport to take on Singapore: Report

SINGAPORE: Thailand is set to upgrade its U-Tapao civil-military airport near Bangkok to the tune of US$5.7 billion, a Bloomberg report said on Monday (May 29).

The move is meant to enhance the airport's capabilities in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul in a bid to compete with Singapore, the report added.

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Sikorsky Aircraft is set to study a possible increase in maintenance, repair and operating supplies, or MRO, spend in Thailand amid plans for the upgrade, said Ajarin Pattanapanchai, deputy secretary general of the nation’s Board of Investment in an interview with Bloomberg.

"Singapore is quite tight right now.

"To catch up with the demand of airlines in the region - especially new demand from Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia - and given that we have existing strengths with automotives and engineering, Thailand will be the second choice to be the MRO hub," he added.

The project is part of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha's plans to boost the economy, along with potential investments in high-speed rail, new cities and industry.

Source: CNA/mn

Original post:

High speed rail will be linking the three Airports

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MC-21-300 commercial airliner first flight

On 28 May, 2017, the maiden flight of MC-21-300 commercial aircraft took place at the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant, the affiliate of Irkut Corporation (a UAC member).

The duration of the flight was 30 minutes at the altitude of 1000 meters, at the speed of 300 km/hour.

The flight plan included checking of in-flight stability and controllability, and also the controllability of the power plant. According to the program, during the flight a simulated landing approach was performed, followed by a flight over the runway, climbing and turning. This technique is typical for the maiden flight of new types of aircraft.

The aircraft was piloted by the crew commander Oleg Kononenko, test pilot, the Hero of Russia, and the copilot Roman Taskayev, test-pilot, The Hero of Russia.

Oleg Kononenko reported, “flight mission is accomplished. The flight went in the normal mode. There are no obstacles revealed preventing the tests continuation”.

Roman Taskayev noted, that ''characteristics and operational modes of the power plant are confirmed, all aircraft systems operated without glitches.''

Oleg Demchenko, the President of Irkut Corporation, stated, ''today is the historic day for our personnel and the whole big team, which works on creation of MC-21 aircraft. We put the most advanced technical solutions in our aircraft, to provide enhanced comfort for passengers and attractive economic characteristics for air carriers. I am happy to declare the maiden flight of the MC-21 aircraft has been successfully accomplished. I congratulate all project participants on our common holiday!''

Yury Slyusar, the President of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), stressed, ''MC-21 is created in a wide cooperation, where together with Irkut, other enterprises of the United Aircraft Corporation are actively participating, namely Aerocomposite company, Ulyanovsk and Voronezh aircraft plants, UAC Integration. Center in Moscow. This is an important stage in the formation of the new UAC industrial model. According to our estimates, the global demand in the MC-21 segment will be about 15,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years. I'm sure the airlines will appreciate our new aircraft''.

MC-21-300 New Generation Commercial Aircraft

MC-21-300 new generation aircraft with capacity of 163 to 211 passengers targets the most massive segment of aviation market.

MC-21 aircraft provides passengers with the qualitatively new level of comfort, due to the biggest fuselage diameter in the category of narrow-body aircraft. This design decision significantly widens private space of each passenger, ensures free passage of passenger and service trolley over the aisle, and shortens airport turnover time. Natural lighting of the passenger cabin is enhanced due to big windows. Comfortable air pressure and advanced microclimate will be maintained in the aircraft.

MC-21 aircraft features an innovative ergonomic pilot cabin.

High demands for comfort and economic effectiveness of the aircraft pushed forward introduction of advanced technical solutions in aerodynamics, engine-building, and avionics.

MC-21 aircraft is superior to existing counterparts in terms of flight-technical characteristics and efficiency.

The best Russian and international companies participating in MC-21 program fully comply with their obligations, while introducing their most advanced design solutions.

The major contributor to the enhancement of flight-technical characteristics of the aircraft is the wing made of polymer composite materials, the first-in-the-word one developed for narrow-body aircraft with the capacity of over 130 passengers. The share of composites in MC-21 design exceeding 30% is the unique for this category of aircraft.

For the first time in the history of Russian aircraft manufacturing, the airliner is offered to the customers with two options of power plant - PW1400G of Pratt & Whitney Company (USA) or PD-14 of United Engine Corporation (Russia). New-generation engines feature reduced fuel consumption, low noise and hazardous emissions. MC-21 aircraft meets prospective environmental requirements.

Calculated reduction of direct operational costs for MC-21 is 12-15% lower than for counterparts.

The initial portfolio of firm orders for 175 MC-21 aircraft provides utilization of production capacity in the coming years. All firm contracts are prepaid.