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27 Oct 19. U.S. Forces Kill ISIS Founder, Leader Baghdadi in Syria. U.S. forces killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a raid in Northwestern Syria last night, President Donald J. Trump announced today.
The “daring and dangerous raid” went off without a hitch, Trump said. There were no casualties among the American forces.
Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations.” President Donald J. Trump
Baghdadi was arguably the world’s most-wanted terrorist. He was the founder and leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
ISIS — an outgrowth of al-Qaida in Iraq — exploded onto the scene in 2014. The group took advantage of the Syrian civil war to take territory and proclaimed itself a caliphate.
The terror group ruled from its capital of Raqqa, Syria. It held vast swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq — including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
“The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years,” Trump said from the White House. “Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration. U.S. special operations forces executed a dangerous and daring nighttime raid in northwestern Syria and accomplished their mission in grand style.”
Trump said he watched much of the raid from the White House Situation Room, and he called the U.S. forces who executed the raid “incredible.”
Trump said Baghdadi was trapped in a dead-end tunnel and exploded a suicide vest that killed him and three children.
“His body was mutilated by the blast; the tunnel had caved in on it, … but test results gave certain, immediate and totally positive identification it was him,” Trump said.
“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him,” the president said.
The American forces also took information and material from the compound that will be exploited moving forward, Trump said.
“Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations,” he said.
U.S. support to indigenous forces in Iraq and Syria led to the defeat of the physical caliphate in March. The group has been attempting to reconstitute itself as a terror group. The raid yesterday is a reminder to all that the United States and like-minded nations will not let this happen, the president said.
“This raid was impeccable, and could only have taken place with the acknowledgement and help of certain other nations and people,” Trump said. “I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us. This was a very, very dangerous mission.” (Source: US DoD)
27 Oct 19. Esper Meets Middle East Leaders, Attends NATO Meeting. Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper’s trip to the Middle East and Central Asia was dominated by actions in Syria, but he still managed to get a good feel for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The secretary left Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, on Oct. 19 to assess what is happening on the ground. While it was Esper’s first trip to the region as defense secretary, he has made numerous trips there, beginning with one as a soldier serving in Operation Desert Storm.
The secretary also spoke to the leaders of the countries at each stop.
“As appropriate, wherever I go, I want to make sure I reassure our partners that the United States is committed to their defense and, then, how can we work forward to make sure that we maintain the appropriate level of support as we work toward ensuring stability, promoting stability in the region,” he said.
The secretary ended the trip in Belgium, where he participated in the meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
But no matter where he went, the secretary had to answer questions about operations in Syria and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from that nation’s border with Turkey. He noted stabilization in the lines in Syria.
He said the U.S. withdrawal is continuing at a fast pace from northeast Syria, and that the process will take weeks.
“We want to be very deliberate and very safe as we go about it,” he said.
In Afghanistan, Esper met with President Ashraf Ghani; Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid; Acting Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi and U.S. Army Gen. Austin S. Miller, NATO’s Resolute Support commander.
In addition to meeting the leaders, Esper also met with troops.
“I had a good meeting … with President Ghani,” he said. “We spoke about the important relationship between our two countries. The United States and Afghanistan have a strong security partnership, built over many years of cooperation and shared sacrifice. That bond was forged in battle, and it grows even stronger as our work continues today.”
Esper said the Afghan defense forces are leading their country’s defense efforts and have grown more capable.
“The United States remains committed to their success,” he said. “I had the opportunity to visit Camp Morehead to meet with the NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan and the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command. I was impressed by the skill and professionalism of those brave soldiers. Counterterrorism operations have remained critical to our efforts to achieving peace and ensuring terrorist organizations cannot find safe haven in Afghanistan.”
He also praised the Afghan forces for their efforts in securing the recent presidential election in the country.
“Regardless of the outcome of the election, our security partnership with Afghanistan will remain strong,” Esper said. “Our mission in Afghanistan has not changed. We continue to conduct counterterrorism operations while supporting the development of the [Afghan forces].”
The United States will continue to work toward a political settlement in Afghanistan, the secretary stressed. “Until that is accomplished, we will continue to pursue an aggressive military campaign against the Taliban and terrorist groups that continue to conduct violence against the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
When asked if U.S. forces might withdraw from Afghanistan as they are in Syria, he noted the situations in the two countries are very different.
The reason for our withdrawal from northeast Syria was because of the imminent invasion planned by the Turks, a longstanding NATO ally, Esper said. “My concern, and the chairman and the Joint Chiefs’ concern, is that our forces would be in harm’s way. And we did not want to put our forces in that situation,” he said.
In Afghanistan, the situation is different. “We’ve been here since 2001, since the heinous attacks against America as part of 9/11, and we have now a longstanding commitment to our Afghan partners,” Esper said. “We’ve invested billions upon billions of dollars. Both the Afghan people and the American people have sacrificed treasure and the lives of their soldiers to defend … the Afghan government, the people, and really stand up for democracy and liberty in this country, in this land.”
Al-Qaida, ISIS-Khorasan and other terror groups would like to put down roots in the soil of Afghanistan, but the U.S. effort will not let them do that, the secretary said.
“So all these things, I think, should reassure our Afghan allies and others, that they should not misinterpret our actions in the recent week or so with regard to Syria … and contrast that with Afghanistan,” he said.
Esper later met the leaders of Saudi Arabia and discussed the threats posed by Iran. The United States sent troops and equipment after Iran launched an attack on a strategic oil facility in Saudi Arabia.
Accompanied by Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, and retired Army Gen.John Abizaid, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Esper met with King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud and other Saudi leaders.
He also visited U.S. service members based at Prince Sultan Air Base, where most of the troops are deployed. He reiterated that the United States is helping Saudi Arabia to deter Iranand defend the international rules-based order.
In Baghdad, Esper met with Iraqi leaders — including Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Defense Minister Najah al-Shammar. He also met with U.S. leaders and troops involved in Operation Inherent Resolve.
In Brussels, Esper participated in the meeting of NATO defense ministers. The 29 ministers discussed Syria, Afghanistan, the NATO Mission in Iraq, as well as the deterrence and reassurance missions against Russia and the increasing influence of China.
Esper stressed America’s commitment to the alliance. “I want to make clear: the United States commitment to NATO is ironclad; and joined together, we form the most powerful military alliance in the world,” he said. “Our willingness to defend one another has been the bedrock of our security since the alliance was first established, and it will continue to preserve our collective security well into the future, provided we commit to investing in it.” (Source: US DoD)
26 Oct 19. F-35 firming as favourite for Canada’s multibillion-dollar Hornet replacement program. Canada’s long-running, US$15bn fighter replacement program appears to be edging ever closer to a decision, with the Lockheed Martin F-35 firming as the favourite for the second time in the program’s history.
Canada’s relationship with the multibillion-dollar F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program has been one of heady highs and tumultuous lows, with the Conservative government led by Stephen Harper committing the nation to acquiring 65 airframes to replace the ageing 80 CF-18 Hornets in 2010.
However, the election of Liberal Party Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2015 spelt doom for the country’s participation in the F-35 program, with the Prime Minister declaring not to purchase the F-35, instead, focus on “one of the many, lower-priced options that better match Canada’s defence needs”.
This resulted in a multi-horse race to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s ageing CF-18s, drawing competitors including the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Boeing F-18 E/F Super Hornet, Saab’s Gripen and, of course, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Following the withdrawal of the Eurofighter in August of this year, the remaining contenders are furiously vying for the lucrative contract to supply 88 jets beginning in 2022.
Canada, like Australia, has enjoyed a boost to local competitive aerospace manufacturing as part of its participation in the multibillion-dollar program, with Canadian companies taking part in contracts worth an expected value of US$1.1bn between the 2013 and 2023 time frame – with a total potential value of Canada’s involvement in the JSF program worth an estimated US$9.9bn in 2013.
Another hurdle was a new requirement that the winning fighter must show it would be integrated into the joint US-Canadian air defence system NORAD.
While probably not an issue for the Super Hornet, it would surely have been one for the European contenders.
Canadian media highlighted the challenges faced by the European contenders, namely Airbus, stating: “Airbus would have been required to show how it planned to integrate the Eurofighter Typhoon into the US-Canadian system without knowing the system’s full technical details.”
Nevertheless, even Boeing seems to be having second thoughts about participating in the program, which was reported in Reuters in July this year by David Ljunggren, who alongside Airbus, formally lobbied Ottawa, expressing concerns about the current requirements of the contracting program – which both parties believe is rigged in favour of the F-35.
There are a number of advantages for Canada acquiring the F-35, with the aircraft expected to form the backbone of Western air combat capabilities for the better part of the next several decades – not just in the United States, but also with key Canadian NATO allies like the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, and global partners including Pacific partners in Japan and Australia.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is billed as a catalyst for the fifth-generation revolution, changing the face and capability of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the wider Australian Defence Force (ADF).
For the RAAF, the F-35A’s combination of full-spectrum low-observable stealth coatings and materials, advanced radar-dispersing shaping, network-centric sensor and communications suites – combined with a lethal strike capability – means the aircraft will be the ultimate force multiplying, air-combat platform.
The F-35A – the variant chosen by the RAAF – will have a projected life of 30 years in service.
Ten nations are currently flying F-35s, including the US, UK, Italy, Norway, Israel and Japan. The firsts of Australia’s F-35A aircraft are now based on home soil after a period of training and development at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona USA, plus an epic Pacific Ocean crossing in December 2018.
More than 340 F-35s are operating today with partner nations, more than 700 pilots and 6,500 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 170,000 cumulative flight hours.
Over the coming years, Australia will purchase 72 of the advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft as part of the $17bn AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program – which is aimed at replacing the ageing F-18A/B Classic Hornets that have been in service with the RAAF since 1985.(Source: Defence Connect)
25 Oct 19. US Suspends Cooperation on Jet Engine Tech. India and the United States have suspended cooperation on jet engine technology under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) that seeks to deepen bilateral cooperation and identify opportunities for sharing of high-end defence technologies, a senior Pentagon official revealed on Thursday.
The US export controls is one of the reasons for dropping the cooperation on jet engine technology, she said.
Under the 2012 DTTI, India and the US set up joint working groups (JWGs) for cooperation on aircraft carriers and jet engine technology.
“The original project (jet engine technology) we have is suspended right now but we are talking about other potential engine working groups. We could not come to an understanding of what exportable technologies will be useful to India and we did run into a challenge in terms of US export controls,” said Ellen Lord, the US undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.
She was interacting with a small group of reporters after holding talks with secretary (defence production) Subhash Chandra at the 9th DTTI group meeting held here. She said there was an enormous amount of aircraft technology that India and the US could work on together. “I know that in the past, there have been frustrations with progress under DTTI, but I can assure you that we are making considerable progress.”
She said the two sides had come a long way since the JWG format began in 2015. “The JWG co-chairs are working hard to show progress on current projects and identify new ones. The technologies that they are discussing are significant…”
She also said that India and the US had agreed to a joint statement of intent (SOI) that would deepen defence technology cooperation and interoperability consistent with shared national security interests.
Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd), additional director general, Centre for Air Power Studies, said, “It would have been over optimistic to expect the Americans to give us high-end engine technology — no one parts with such strategic know-how. We must go for realistic technologies that we lack — and there are many such techs which the US can give.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Hindustan Times)
25 Oct 19. Australia to deploy HMAS Parramatta for UN sanction support. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is deploying the HMAS Parramatta Anzac-class frigate to support the international coalition in the enforcement of sanctions against North Korea. HMAS Parramatta will be part of a broader East Asian deployment to ensure regional security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea is the target of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions for its nuclear and missile activities.
The UNSC has adopted several resolutions against the country since 2006 to force it to curb nuclear activities and rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The Australian Department of Defence said in a statement: “This deployment reflects Australia’s ongoing commitment to maintain pressure on North Korea to take concrete, verifiable and irreversible steps towards denuclearisation.”
During the deployment, HMAS Parramatta will work with international partners to ‘monitor and deter ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned goods’.
Earlier this year, Australia deployed a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon aircraft to Japan to support maritime surveillance operations.
The DoD added: “Since 2018, Australia has contributed to international efforts to deter and disrupt illicit trade and sanction-evasion activities by North Korea and its associated networks.”
Other RAN vessels in the East Asian deployment are HMAS Stuart and HMAS Hobart.
Last week, the New Zealand Government decided to deploy a P-3K2 (P-3) Orionaircraft to support UN sanctions against North Korea.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) maritime patrol aircraft will be based in Japan. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Oct 19. Pakistan’s Defence Exports Reached USD212.6m in 2018-2019. According to the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) “First Year Performance Report,” the country had registered $212.6m US in defence exports from August 2018 to August 2019. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) booked the highest value at $184.38m US, which was followed by Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) at $7.13m US and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) at $1.3m US. In addition, private sector firms booked $19.36m US in sales. No additional breakdowns were provided by the MoDP.
It is likely that PAC’s exports were fueled by co-production work for FC-1/JF-17 sales to Myanmar and/or Nigeria. Though an agreement was signed with Turkey for the sale of 52 Super Mushshak basic trainers, it is unclear if PAC has started manufacturing these aircraft.
According to the MoDP’s yearbook for 2017-2018, POF had registered sales of $58.15m US (including a contract with Turkey for the sale of 1,000 PK-83 general purpose bombs). In 2016-2017, POF registered sales worth $67.8m US, and in 2015-2016, it exported $93.68m US in defence goods.
No explanation was provided as to why POF only achieved 12.3% of its export figures from the previous year, or, more alarmingly, the cause for the downward trend in exports since 2015-2016.
HIT’s exports likely comprised of the six ‘Interceptor’ light armoured vehicles it supplied to Bahrain.
The MoDP did not record export figures were recorded for Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) or the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC).
Relative to capacity, Pakistan’s defence suppliers categorically underperformed. In fact, Bulgaria exported $844.3m US in goods in 2018, while India booked $621m US in sales for 2019-2020.
Though plagued with many constraints and challenges, the root cause of Pakistan’s lack of defence exports could be traced to a lack of institutional interest. This is apparent in the quality of the marketing, outreach, and lack of coherent product development and prioritization.
Be it deflating the efforts of the private sector or binding the modernization of defence production assets, such as POF’s small arms manufacturing, to armed forces requirements, Pakistani defence manufacturers will find it increasingly difficult to compete against more agile competitors.
Moreover, the armed forces’ general lack of interest in research and development (R&D), and alarmingly, joint R&D ventures with South Africa, Ukraine, and/or Turkey, will prevent the domestic industry from at any point offering its own competitive solutions.
The solution will ultimately have to start with changing the business leadership and management of these organizations to individuals with genuine product design, development, marketing and sales experience.
Under the current – yet slow and rigid – administration, change is not tenable, nor will Pakistan’s defence exports climb to figures that better suit the country’s heavy investment in the infrastructure.(Source: Google/https://quwa.org)
24 Oct 19. Tempers flare at Senate estimates as SEA 1000 hits early snag.
“This is a project running late minister and if you don’t recognise that you shouldn’t be in the chair,” senator Rex Patrick levelled at Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds during Senate estimates yesterday.
Lines of questioning from Senator Patrick had seen Defence officials confirm that the future submarine program had yet to complete its ‘system requirements review’, which had originally been scheduled to be finalised in March this year.
The Senate was advised in 2018 of that timeline, however it has been pushed back to start “later this year”, according to Rear Admiral Greg Sammut, the acting General Manager of Submarines for Defence.
“The project is clearly at least seven months late,” Senator Patrick tweeted yesterday.
Senator Patrick and Minister Reynolds clashed during the hearing when the former sarcastically said “all is well in the Soviet state”, during his questioning.
The delay is being blamed on the review’s criteria still being set, in order to allow the design phase to progress without interruption.
Despite the early setback, RADM Sammut reassured Senate estimates that the Attack Class is still on track to enter service in the mid-2030s, as per the original timeline.
“We have not changed delivery date for the future submarine,” he said.
Question marks over the timeline of the Attack Class program have long-persisted, particularly due to the three-year delay of France’s Barracuda nuclear submarines, which are also being built by Naval Group.
Originally slated for delivery in 2016-17, the first Barracuda was launched in July this year, and is expected to be commissioned next year.
The Attack Class was originally submitted as the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A by Naval Group when bidding for the contract.
However Naval Group has insisted that past mistakes will not be repeated with Australia’s Attack Class, due to lesson’s learnt during the Barracuda program.
French Defence Minister Florence Parly also reassured Defence that the submarines would arrive on time, despite the Australian government reportedly growing frustrated with the lack of clarity surrounding the timeline.
Defence Connect questioned the viability of the current timeline of “2030s” for the Attack Class in May, noting that Australia’s submarine building industry is starting from a low base, which would increase the risk of a delay.
While time is of the essence for Australia’s defence capabilities and the need for the Attack Class, what may be more concerning if delays were to occur, would be the price blowout on the boats.
It is estimated that by the time the first-of-class, the HMAS Attack, is ready for operational service in the mid-2030s, HMAS Collins will be 35 years old, with each of the subsequent new submarines replacing a vessel of similar age.
As it stands, this delivery time frame will see the last of the Attack Class submarines launched in the late-2040s, commissioned in the early-2050s and ready for operational tasking sometime in the mid-to-late 2050s, provided the design finalisation, construction, systems integration and trial phases of the early build vessels go according to plan. Already priced at $50bn, making it Defence’s largest ever acquisition, any delays would force the already eye-watering unit cost of between $4.2 and $6bn to rise.
Conversely, France’s Barracuda submarine costs around $2.1bn per unit.
Defence Connect also asked the question of whether the Collins Class should undertake mid-life capability upgrades considering the age of the vessels by the time each unit is replaced.
If this option were undertaken, what would be the solution to the missing capability during the upgrade? Would it be necessary to purchase a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solution to help fill the gaps?
Submarines are critical to the nation’s ability to protect these strategically vital waterways and key naval assets, as well as providing a viable tactical and strategic deterrent and ensure the nation’s enduring national and economic security.
The need for submarines is only going to grow over the next few decades too, as the waterways around our island nation become more and more cluttered. (Source: Defence Connect)
22 Oct 19. US to Ask NATO to Pay More to Protect Saudi Arabia from Iran. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he will urge allies later this week to contribute more to the defense of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region to counter threats from Iran. The plan is part of a broader U.S. effort to get NATO allies to take on more responsibility for Gulf security. That has included U.S. pleas for nations to send ships, aircraft and air defense systems to the region. The U.S. has already agreed to send three Patriot missile batteries, dozens of fighter jets and other aircraft to Saudi Arabia. Esper got a look at one of the Patriot batteries Tuesday as he toured a military base there.
He says the Saudis will “help underwrite” some of the U.S. costs for the additional aid, which includes about 3,000 American troops.(Source: defense-aerospace.com/Voice of America News)
23 Oct 19. Latest Chinese military rhetoric raises eyebrows. “No one and no force can ever stop China’s full reunification,” defence minister Wei Fenghe told a security forum earlier in the week, piquing interest around the world and particularly among China’s regional neighbours.
Minister Wei made his comments specifically regarding Taiwan, claiming that separatist activities were “doomed to fail”, but it’s the overall message being sent that is of great cause of concern for the rest of the world.
“China is the only major country in the world that is yet to be completely reunified,” he said.
“Resolving the Taiwan question to realise China’s full reunification is the irresistible trend of the times, China’s greatest national interest, the righteous path to follow and the longing of all Chinese people.”
There’s growing concern that it is just a matter of time before China “reunifies” Taiwan by military force, despite President Xi Jinping insisting that reunification of “One China” would be done through “peaceful development”.
Their messages aren’t at all surprising, just a reiteration of the long-standing goals of communist China.
“No one and no force can ever stop China’s full reunification. We are committed to promoting the peaceful development of cross-Taiwan strait relations and the peaceful reunification of the country,” Minister Wei said.
“However, we will never allow separatists for Taiwan independence to have their way, nor allow interference by any external forces. Advancing China’s reunification is a just cause, while separatist activities are doomed to failure.”
As well as Taiwan, there’s also the aggressive antics of Beijing in disputed regions of the South China Sea.
“The South China Sea islands and Diaoyu Islands are inalienable parts of the Chinese territory. China exercises its national sovereignty to build infrastructure and deploy necessary defensive capabilities on the islands and reefs in the South China Sea, and to conduct patrols in the waters of Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea,” China’s White Paper said.
Late last year a Chinese colonel issued a warning to the US and its regional allies operating in the region, and more broadly the western Pacific Ocean, regarding China’s increased territorial and economic ambitions being challenged.
Dr Malcolm Davis of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) told Defence Connect, “2018 has been an interesting year in the South China Sea. It started fairly early on with the basing of anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) on reclaimed islands in the SCS, the basing of the upgraded, H-6K nuclear-capable bomber on Woody Island and more recently the USS Decatur (DDG-73) incident really reinforces that China is not backing down from its territorial ambitions.”
With these hostile tactics, and an almost obsession with reclamation, its not just a concern of what China is doing, but concern of how far they’re going to be allowed to go.
Liberal MP Andrew Hastie controversially compared China’s attitudes, and the attitude of the rest of the world to them, to Nazi Germany, in an August opinion piece for a media outlet.
“The West once believed that economic liberalisation would naturally lead to democratisation in China,” he wrote. “This was our Maginot Line. It would keep us safe, just as the French believed their series of steel and concrete forts would guard them against the German advance in 1940. But their thinking failed catastrophically.
“The French had failed to appreciate the evolution of mobile warfare. Like the French, Australia has failed to see how mobile our authoritarian neighbour has become.”
While its an extreme example, especially in this day and age, it still has relevance as the world remains intent on learning from past mistakes.
It would be folly to not at least acknowledge the possibility that China’s obsession with reclamation will lead to future conflict, and from their own military advancements, China knows that too.
Earlier this week, Defence Connect highlighted China’s rapid advancement in naval capabilities, particularly its growth in amphibious capabilities that would be of great help to Beijing’s goals in the South China Sea.
Also highlighted by Steve Kuper was China’s extensive development of surface combatants in comparison to the rest of the world, with the construction of over 100 warships, as well as the increased production of submarines for use in their region. Nobody builds 100 warships if they aren’t prepared for war. (Source: Defence Connect)
22 Oct 19. Singapore, China step-up defence cooperation. Singapore and China signed an enhanced Agreement on Defence Exchanges and Security Cooperation (ADESC) on 20 October, signalling a step-up in defence cooperation between the two countries.
Singapore’s Minister for Defence, Ng Eng Hen, and Chinese State Councillor and Minister of National Defense, Wei Fenghe, signed the enhanced agreement at the 7th International Military Sports Council Military World Games in Wuhan.
First signed in 2008, the ADESC formalises activities between the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore armed forces, and the People’s Liberation Army; including port calls, bilateral exercises, mutual visits, and cross-attendance of courses.
Under the enhanced ADESC, bilateral defence cooperation between Singapore and China will be increased significantly to include the establishment of a regular Singapore-China Defence Ministers’ Dialogue, a Visiting Forces Agreement for troops participating in bilateral exercises, a mutual logistics support arrangement and a bilateral hotline.
Both countries will also conduct more regular academic exchanges among military academies and think-tanks. On enhancing cooperation on multilateral platforms, both sides are also committed to maintaining high-level attendance at multilateral conferences and dialogues such as the Shangri-La Dialogue and the Beijing Xiangshan Forum. (Source: Shephard)
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