• Australia's Future Submarine selection criticised by former ASC head

    The concept behind the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A submarine selected to replace Australia's Collins-class fleet has been criticised by the person who was responsible for the construction of the Collins-class boats. Should the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) hold firm to the concept offered by French

  • Islamic State reverses in Middle East likely to increase threat to minorities and foreigners in Pakistan

    EVENT Unidentified Pakistani intelligence officials have warned of a growing militant threat to Punjab, posed by Islamic State fighters returning to the province from the Middle East through Afghanistan, according to a report by news outlet Dawn on 14 January. The report reflects increasing

  • Thailand aims to operate fleet of three submarines by 2026

    The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has outlined a requirement to operationalise its planned fleet of three submarines by 2026, and is currently in the process of submitting this proposal to the country's military government. The matter was disclosed by Captain Prawoot Rodmanee, chief of the RTN's submarine

  • China likely to increase non-tariff barriers against South Korean companies in run-up to THAAD anti-missile deployment

    EVENT The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) reported on 12 January that China's commerce ministry had extended anti-dumping duties imposed on South Korean-made optical fibres for five more years from 1 January 2017. This followed the exclusion of various models of electrical vehicles

  • China's Kuang-Chi invests in UK technology firm

    The Kuang-Chi Group, a Chinese technology developer, has announced that it is investing USD30 million in Gilo Industries, a UK-based firm involved in aerospace and engineering activities. Kuang-Chi, which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, said in a press release on 16 January that the

  • Indonesia hints at submarine fleet mix that includes midget boats

    The Indonesian Navy's (Tentera Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL's) plans to operate a fleet of 12 submarines by 2024 may include a number of midget boats, said Commodore Muhammad Ali, commander of the service's maritime security task force, on 17 January. The commodore was speaking at the

  • Japan to provide six patrol vessels to Vietnam

    Japan will provide six patrol vessels to Vietnam as part of a loan offered to the Southeast Asian country totalling about JPY117 billion (USD1 billion) to enhance bilateral co-operation, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying on 16 January during a two-day visit

  • Japan unveils 8x8 APC prototype

    Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has unveiled a prototype 8x8 armoured personnel carrier (APC) that is expected to replace the Komatsu Type 96 APC in use by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF). Built by Japanese manufacturer Komatsu, the (Improved) Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier

  • Kashmir neighbours install new security chiefs

    Key Points A series of incidents in 2015 and 2016 called into question India's ability to defend against militant incursions, although its intelligence capabilities against mobile targets appear to have improved. With India maintaining a clandestine network of agents within Pakistan, Islamabad is

  • Malaysia bolsters submarine rescue capabilities with USN certification

    The privately owned Malaysian submarine rescue ship, MV Mega Bakti, has received certification from the US Navy (USN) as an approved commercial vessel of opportunity (VOO), and can now be deployed to rescue distressed submariners, a senior Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) confirmed on 17 January. The

  • NORINCO announces growth in turnover and profits

    The China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO) Group said on 16 January that turnover and profit increased in 2016 as a result of expanding innovation and improving efficiencies. The NORINCO Group said that annual turnover was CNY403.8 billion (USD58.5 billion) and that net profit was

  • Seoul urges Tokyo to 'stop claiming' disputed Liancourt Rocks

    South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) called on Japan on 17 January to stop making what Seoul describes as Tokyo's "unjustified" claims to the disputed Liancourt Rocks in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), which are known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese and are claimed by

  • Thailand and Russia move towards joint industry programme

    Thailand and Russia are moving closer to finalising a defence industrial collaboration programme based on the Royal Thai Army's (RTA's) expected purchase of additional Mil Mi-17V-5 transport helicopters. Defence officials from the Russian government and the Royal Thai Armed Forces met in Bangkok on

  • Australia and Japan strengthen military co-operation

    Australia and Japan have signed an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) to facilitate closer bilateral defence logistics support and co-operation during activities such as combined exercises, training, and peacekeeping operations, Australia's Department of Defence stated in a 14 January

  • China, Vietnam agree to 'manage differences' on South China Sea

    China and Vietnam have pledged to manage their differences and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea (SCS), according to a joint communique issued during a four-day visit to China by Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam. After a "candid

  • Relaxation of Russian sanctions in 2017 likely tied to reaching bilateral agreements on nuclear armaments and counter-terrorism

    EVENT On 13 January 2017 US president Barack Obama signed an executive decree extending all US sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea and military involvement in eastern Ukraine by another year to March 2018. These include a series of economic sanctions targeting individual Russian

  • Asia's piracy figures drop but abductions at sea raise concerns over maritime terrorism

    Key Points Asia is registering its lowest piracy and armed robbery figures in a decade Kidnap-for-ransom cases in the Sulu and Celebes seas are raising concerns The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) information-sharing centre (ISC)

  • China urges shipbuilders to secure foreign acquisitions

    The Chinese government is urging its national shipbuilders - dominated by stat-owned corporations and their subsidiaries - to acquire foreign companies with a view to boosting capabilities and revenues. A statement by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on 13 January said

  • Japan, Indonesia take initial steps towards enhancing maritime security co-operation

    Key Points Japan and Indonesia have taken early steps towards bolstering maritime security co-operation Move is reminiscent of Japan's recent overtures towards Vietnam and the Philippines Tokyo and Jakarta have agreed to look into the enhancement of maritime security co-operation between the two

  • Permanent maritime boundary negotiations between East Timor and Australia likely to further delay key gas project

    Key Points East Timor believes that a permanent maritime boundary settlement would place the Greater Sunrise fields entirely within its territory, providing it with total control of potential revenue from the fields. East Timor will be under pressure to ensure a timely resolution of the boundary