16 Dec 16. Chinese Seize U.S. Navy Underwater Drone in South China Sea. Using appropriate government-to-government channels, the Defense Department has called upon China to immediately return an unmanned underwater vehicle that it unlawfully seized yesterday in the South China Sea, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement today.
Earlier, Pentagon press operations director Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters that a Chinese Navy Dalang-III class submarine rescue vessel launched a small boat and retrieved the UUV as the oceanographic survey ship USNS Bowditch was attempting to retrieve it and a second UUV in the South China Sea.
The incident occurred in international waters about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay Naval Air Station in the Philippines, Davis told reporters.
Calling for International Law Compliance
“The UUV is a sovereign immune vessel of the United States. We call upon China to return our UUV immediately and to comply with all of its obligations under international law,” Cook said.
Bridge-to-bridge communications took place between the Bowditch and Chinese ships, but demands to have the UUV returned were ignored, Davis said.
“The USNS Bowditch and the UUV — an unclassified ‘ocean glider’ system used around the world to gather military oceanographic data such as salinity, water temperature, and sound speed — were conducting routine operations in accordance with international law,” Cook said.
Chinese Ignored Calls to Return UUV
Davis said the Chinese ignored repeated U.S. calls for them to return the U.S. property.
“As [the Chinese ship] went sailing off into distance, [it] said, ‘We are returning to normal operations,’” Davis said.
“We need to find out what the Chinese have to say about it,” he said. “It’s certainly not something we consider to be commensurate with their level as a professional military.”
Davis said the entire incident occurred within a 500-yard area.
“It is ours. It is clearly marked; we’d like to have it back and [would] like this to never happen again,” he said. (Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)
16 Dec 16. India has floated global bids to procure state-of-the-art active electronically scanned array radars and electronic warfare self-protection jammer pods for the forthcoming modified version of the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Mark-1A aircraft.
Under the ministry of defence’s directions, India’s sole combat aircraft manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., on Thursday released global requests for quotations for the equipment. Two systems will be selected by April next year, according to a top MoD defense production official.
“We cannot wait for Indian companies to develop and build these proven systems, and they will be bought off-the-shelf from overseas,” the MoD official added.
Under a fast-track program, around 100 AESA radars will be bought at a cost of $1.85bn, and bids have been issued to Elta of Israel, US companies Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, SAAB of Sweden, Thales of France and Rosoboronoexport of Russia.
In addition, 100 electronic-warfare jammer pods will be procured from overseas at a cost of $200m, and bids have been sent to Elta, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, SAAB, Thales, Rosoboronoexport, Indra of Spain and Leonardo-subsidiary Finmeccanica of Italy. All global bids will be asked to submit price quotations before Feb. 15, and the final selection will be made before April. HAL will launch serial production of the fighter jet 2018.
Last month, the defense ministry cleared the acceptance of necessity for procurement of 83 f LCA-1A, an upgraded version of LCA to be manufactured by HAL at a cost of $7.7 billion. The aircraft will be fitted with the AESA radar, air-to-air refueling capability, a self-protection jammer and an improved layout of internal systems to ease maintenance. Currently HAL is producing 20 copies of a basic version of the LCA aircraft, and the upgraded LCA-1A with an order of 83