Pakar UAV Dunia Tawarkan “Drone” Garuda Khusus untuk Indonesia

02 September 2014

Ilustrasi Indonesian Sky Scanner Drone Garuda. (image : Kompas) – Pakar UAV dunia menawarkan drone untuk mendukung visi presiden terpilih Joko Widodo. Penawaran tersebut dikatakan khusus untuk Indonesia.

Josaphat Tetuko Sri Sumantyo yang juga berasal dari Indonesia menawarkan drone bernama Indonesian Sky Scanner Drone Garuda.

Drone tersebut adalah jenis stratosphere drone. Drone ini dirancang terbang di ketinggian 13-20 kilometer di atas permukaan laut sehingga tidak mengganggu penerbangan sipil.

“Stratosphere drone ini saya propose khusus untuk Indonesia saja,” kata Josh yang saat ini bekerja di Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University, Jepang.

Josh telah memaparkan drone yang dikembangkannya kepada perwira di Direktorat Topografi TNI-AD dan Dinas Survei dan Pemotretan Udara TNI-AU pada 15 Agustus 2014 lalu di Jakarta.

Drone Garuda memiliki dua fungsi, sebagai drone sekaligus satelit. Selain itu, drone ini juga dapat dilengkapi dengan beragam sensor, mulai kamera hingga teleskop.

Dengan beragam sensor, drone bisa mendukung tujuan pengawasan wilayah perbatasan, penebangan dan perikanan ilegal, sampai pengejaran terorisme.

Ada beragam sensor yang bisa dibeli. Namun, Indonesia juga bisa mengembangkannya sendiri sekaligus memberdayakan ilmuwan dan akademisi di lokal.

Contoh sensor yang bisa dikembangkan Indoensia antara lain sensor cuaca dan relay telekomunikasi untuk daerah terpencil.

Untuk perangkat navigasi, Indonesia harus mengembangkan sendiri. Sistem navigasi biasa macam GPS tidak bisa digunakan sebab ketinggian maksimal pemakaian GPS adalah 18 km.

“Bila kita kembangkan dan operasikan saat ini secepatnya, maka jelas bisa dikatakan ini buatan Indonesia dan Indonesia menjadi pemimpin terdepan,” urai Josh lewat email, Senin (1/9/2014).

Josh yang mengepalai Josaphat Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory mengatakan, jumlah drone “Garuda” yang dibutuhkan sesuai dengan tujuan pemantauan.

Misalnya, jika tujuan pemakaian drone adalah untuk pemantauan daerah perbatasan kritis seperti Malaysia, Australia, dan Papua Niugini, jumlah drone yang dibutuhkan 6 unit.

Sementara, Josh mengungkapkan bahwa untuk satu unit drone, harganya adalah Rp 10 miliar, belum termasuk ragam sensornya.

Sensor setidaknya terdiri atas sensor optik dan Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) yang dapat tembus awan dengan harga kira-kira 10M dan 15M rupiah.

Harga tersebut berlaku bila menggunakan komponen-komponen impor. Bila komponen bisa dikembangkan sendiri dan produksi massal, harga bisa ditekan.


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Fighter Procurement Projects Pick Up Speed

02 September 2014

KFX C-103 serie (photo : 360js, image : tiexue)

South Korea’s mega projects to develop indigenous fighters and purchase stealth warplanes are picking up pace as Seoul plans to approve crucial administrative steps at the national defense acquisition program committee in September.

At the committee, top defense officials are to approve the bidding plan for the “KFX project” to develop home-built fighters, and the result of negotiations for the FX stealth fighter procurement project will be reported, sources said.

After giving public notice of the bids for the KFX project this month, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration plans to pick the preferred bidder in November and sign a contract on the system development in December. Korea Aerospace Industries, the country’s sole fighter maker, is likely to be chosen as the system developer.

Observers say that budgetary issues remain a major barrier to the KFX project, which seeks to deploy 120 fighters after 2023 to replace South Korea’s aging fleets of F-4s and F-5s. Including both the development and mass production of the envisioned fighters, the project, the country’s largest-ever defense program, is expected to cost nearly 20 trillion won ($19.7 billion). 

Seoul has sped up the KFX project, which was already more than a decade behind schedule, as concerns have been growing over a possible shortage of fighters in the coming years. The Air Force is expected to face a shortage of around 100 fighters in 2019, when almost all of the F-4s and F-5s will be decommissioned.

Regarding the project, there was some controversy over whether the KFX would take a single-engine platform or a double-engine one. But last month, the government opted for a double-engine platform, which would increase the plane’s overall capabilities despite a potential price increase.

Seoul also seeks to sign the “letter of acceptance” for the FX project as early as September ― a process that would accelerate its acquisition of 40 radar-evading F-35 fighters from the U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin. The FX project is estimated to cost around 7.4 trillion won.

The DAPA is in the final round of negotiations over the price with the U.S. government, while it is in talks over technology transfer and related issues with Lockheed Martin. The FX project is proceeding through a government-to-government foreign military sales program.

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China defence ministry tells US to stop ‘close-in’ surveillance

China’s military on Thursday told the United States to end air and naval surveillance near its borders, saying it was damaging relations between the Pacific powers and could lead to “undesirable accidents”.

The US should “take concrete measures to decrease close-in reconnaissance activities against China towards a complete stop”, defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said at a monthly briefing.

Yang’s comments came with Beijing and Washington at odds over an incident last week in the skies 220 kilometres (135 miles) off China’s Hainan island.

The US said that an armed Chinese fighter jet flew dangerously close to a US military aircraft, while China countered in a ministry statement carried on state media that the allegations were “totally groundless”.

“The location of the incident is 220 kilometres from China’s Hainan island,” Yang said Thursday. “It is not 220 kilometres from Hawaii in the United States and certainly not 220 kilometres from Florida. So the rights and wrongs of this case are very clear.”

The encounter has raised comparisons to an incident in April 2001, when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US Navy EP-3 spy plane around 110 kilometres off Hainan.

One Chinese pilot died and the US plane had to make an emergency landing on Hainan where China detained the 24-member crew for more than a week until Beijing and Washington cut a deal for their release.

In the ensuing years China’s military spending and capabilities have increased while the US military, long a presence in the region, has strengthened its defence alliance with Tokyo, which is at odds with Beijing over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Yang said US ships and aircraft had long been engaged in “frequent, wide-range, close-in reconnaissance activities against China”.

Such missions “not only damage China’s security interests but also damage strategic trust and the bilateral relationship between China and the United States”.

They could also “possibly lead to undesirable accidents”, he said.

The two militaries have been stepping up exchanges and visits in an effort to build trust and try to work out guidelines to avoid miscalculations as they increasingly encounter each other at air and sea.

- ‘Act of hostility’ -

Regarding just such a scheduled meeting under way this week in Washington, Yang offered no details, citing the ongoing nature of the talks.

China’s Global Times newspaper, which is linked to the ruling Communist Party, on Monday warned that Beijing could treat US surveillance flights as an “act of hostility”.

On Thursday it said that if the US does not end them, China could carry out similar activities near US territory.

Such an “option has become increasingly possible as China’s military technologies are advancing”, it said in an editorial.

Yang, when asked directly about such a possibility, gave an ambiguous answer.

“As to what missions PLA ships and aircraft will take in the future, that will be decided based on various factors,” he said, using the abbreviation for the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military.

China lacks the kind of forward bases in the Western Hemisphere that Washington has in the Asia-Pacific, such as in Hawaii, Guam, Japan and South Korea, making any such reconnaissance operations against the US far more difficult.

Separately, Taiwan said on Tuesday that its air force scrambled fighter jets the day before to track two Chinese Y-8 maritime patrol aircraft it claimed intruded into the island’s air defence zone and followed them until they departed.

Asked about the incident, Yang would only say that Chinese planes “conducted routine flights in related air space” on Monday.

“No abnormal situation occurred,” he added.

Yang also defended the professionalism of China’s air force against accusations of aggressiveness and recklessness, saying its pilots have “given due regard” to matters of safety.

“Our aircraft are very precious and the lives of our pilots are even more precious compared with countries which ask their pilots to fly around on other countries’ doorsteps,” he said, an apparent reference to the US.

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Swedish Defence Raises Military Readiness

By on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The Swedish Armed Forces have raised the level of readiness at Headquarters and placed two Gripen fighter jets on the island of Gotland.

A statement on their web page reads: “In view of the serious developments in Ukraine, the Armed Forces act, among other things, by raising preparedness at Headquarters and intensifying intelligence efforts.” Lieutenant General Jan Salestrand, Chief of Defence Staff, said they are following the developments very closely.

“We’re making a statement and are upholding our territorial integrity by raising out incident preparedness,” Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told news agency TT on Friday night. “But that shouldn’t be interpreted as the existence of an imminent threat.”

According to the prime minister, Russian aggressions are escalating. “This is a type of behaviour that we saw during the Cold War and it’s now coming back,” Reinfeldt said.

The defence has also placed two Jas Gripen fighter planes on Gotland, where they are in a better position to quickly reach the Baltic Sea.

Starting Monday, the Swedish Armed Forces are taking part in the international naval exercise Northern Coast in Finland.

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Pentagon: Russia Intensifies Efforts Inside Ukraine

Russia continues to build up along its border with Ukraine and has moved sophisticated weapons systems into the country, the Pentagon press secretary said here today.

Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters that Russian military forces are part of those movements. Russian forces are, “facilitating the movement and then helping the separatists use the systems, if not using it themselves in support of separatists,” he said.

NATO has released surveillance photos showing these assets inside Ukraine. Kirby tied the Russian movements to the success that Ukraine has had against Russian-backed separatists in the country. “We believe that that has helped foster Moscow’s intention to intensify these efforts,” he said.

Kirby called Russian actions an “intensification” of the behaviors the Kremlin has exhibited for months.

“Our position hasn’t changed,” he said. “We continue to look for ways to support the Ukrainian armed forces and the border guards. We continue to look for ways to reassure our NATO allies and partners, and we continue to call for Russia to pull its forces back and to stop escalating the tension there.”

President Barack Obama addressed the issue yesterday during a White House news conference. Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the president said. He called on nations of the world to impose new sanctions against Russia.

“As a result of the actions Russia has already taken and the major sanctions we’ve imposed with our European and international partners, Russia is already more isolated than at any time since the end of the Cold War,” the president said.

Obama said he would reaffirm U.S. commitment to the defense of NATO allies and said he would speak with fellow NATO leaders at the summit in the United Kingdom next week.

“We’ll focus on the additional steps we can take to ensure the alliance remains prepared for any challenge,” he said.

Ukraine is not a NATO member, but the United States does “stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them,” the president said.

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PCU North Dakota (SSN 784), First Block III Virginia Class Submarine Delivered

By on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The Navy accepted delivery of PCU North Dakota (SSN 784), the 11th ship of the Virginia Class, on Aug. 29, two days prior to its contract delivery date.

North Dakota is the first of eight Virginia Class Block III ships. Approximately 20 percent of North Dakota was redesigned as part of the Virginia Cost Reduction work done to lower acquisition cost and increase operational flexibility. The changes include a ship’s bow redesign, replacing 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk Cruise Missiles.

“North Dakota delivered ahead of schedule and under budget,” said Capt. David Goggins, Virginia Class program manager. “When one considers the scope of design changes, this represents a tremendous achievement.”

Only six days ago North Dakota successfully completed Alpha, Bravo, and Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials, which evaluate the submarine’s seaworthiness and operational capabilities. During the trials, the crew took the submarine to test depth, conducted an emergency surfacing, and tested the submarine’s propulsion plant.

“North Dakota and her crew delivered an outstanding performance,” said Program Executive Officer for Submarines Rear Adm. David C. Johnson. “It was almost 10 years ago that the first ship of the class, USS Virginia delivered on Oct. 12, 2004. Since then, this program has delivered 10 ships, with North Dakota the latest. We continue to meet the Virginia Class standard of delivering submarines early, under cost, more complete and ready for tasking right out of the shipyard. North Dakota set a new benchmark for excellence in what is the arguably the best performing program in defense acquisition.”

The Navy postponed North Dakota’s original May commissioning date because of quality issues with vendor-assembled and delivered components that required an unplanned dry-docking to correct. Additional design certification work was also required on the submarine’s redesigned bow.

“Now that certifications are complete, and we’re armed with lessons learned,we can move forward knowing that we are providing our fleet with the most capable, and battle-ready submarine possible,” said Goggins.

North Dakota will spend the next two months preparing for its Oct. 25 commissioning in Groton, Connecticut.

Virginia-class submarines are built to dominate the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting Anti-Submarine; Anti-Surface Ship; Strike; Special Operation Forces; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; Irregular Warfare; and Mine Warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, firepower, and sensor suite directly enable them to support five of the six Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities – Sea Control, Power Projection, Forward Presence, Maritime Security, and Deterrence.

Team Submarine oversees the submarine force’s research, development, acquisition, maintenance and life cycle support.

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First Consignment of Upgraded Mi-8AMTSh Delivered to Russia

Russian Helicopters has delivered the first consignment of four upgraded Mi-8AMTSh transport helicopters to Russia’s Defence Ministry. The helicopters were built at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAP), a Russian Helicopters company, as part of the state defence order, and have successfully completed the flight to their new duty stations.

A long-term state contract for upgraded Mi-8AMTSh helicopters was signed in Ulan-Ude in August 2013. The improvements to the aircraft – the first of their type in serial production – have been designed to reduce maintenance requirements over the life-cycle of the helicopter.

“The new helicopters will help strengthen our national defence capabilities,” said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. “Today the Russian Army can call on the latest technologies and equipment. The Defence Ministry is a key customers for Russian Helicopters, and we are committed to producing reliable and failsafe helicopters as one of its priorities under the state defence order.”

“Improving the capabilities of our helicopters is a core priority for us,” said UUAP Managing Director Leonid Belykh. “In conjunction with Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant, which designs Mi-8/17 helicopters, we are able to offer the Russian Defence Ministry the latest helicopters which combine their unique operating experience with the latest technologies.”

The Mi-8AMTSh helicopters delivered to the Defence Ministry are fitted with enhanced VK-2500 engines and an upgraded and strengthened transmission to provide independent control of hours logged in service and improve the aircraft’s operational efficiency in mountainous terrain and hot climates. They also come with new TA-14 auxiliary power plants that generate improved thrust and power output, as well as modern weapons systems. Increased lightweight metal cladding protects the crew and essential support systems, while batteries with enhanced capacities mean electrical systems can function autonomously for longer periods.

Thanks to the latest navigational equipment, the helicopter can fly a full range of military missions, including at night with the use of night-vision goggles. The aircraft’s potential capabilities can be significantly expanded by additional equipment for SAR missions and troop drops, and medical equipment to evacuate wounded personnel.

The Mi-8AMTSh has been upgraded with a focus on operational efficiency and ease of maintenance. The new helicopter now has a time between overhaul of 2,000 hours (up from 1,500 previously) and a service life of 35 years (up from 25), while operating costs across the life-cycle of the helicopter have been reduced by about 25%-30% compared to the basic model.

The delivery of the first consignment of upgraded Mi-8AMTSh helicopters marks a new page in the long history of collaboration between Russian Helicopters and Russia’s Armed Forces.

Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant is a Russian Helicopters company. In the 70 years of its existence, it has produced over 8,000 units. Today the plant specialises in producing the Mi-8AMT (Mi-171 – export variant) multirole helicopter and the Mi-8AMTSh (Mi-171Sh – export variant), and is also involved in developing and preparing for series production on the latest Mi-171A2 medium helicopter.

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