Japan will start procuring Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States in fiscal 2025, a year earlier than initially planned, in response to the worsening Asian security environment, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said Wednesday.

Kihara, who took up his new post in a Cabinet reshuffle in mid-September, made the announcement when he met the press in Washington after holding his first face-to-face talks with his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin.

Amid growing security challenges presented by China, North Korea and Russia, Kihara and Austin confirmed their mutual interest in ramping up the Japan-U.S. alliance's deterrence and response capabilities while modernizing the partners' roles and missions, officials said.

As part of preparations to acquire "counterstrike" capabilities, or the ability to hit enemy bases should the need arise, Japan plans to purchase 400 Tomahawks, which have a strike range of about 1,600 kilometres.
Saab has received an order from the Japan Self-Defense Forces, JGSDF, for the supply of the man-portable, multi-role weapon system Carl-Gustaf®. The order includes over 300 systems and deliveries will take place in 2025.
Indonesia has again failed to notify the South Korean government of its financial plan for contributing to the KF-21 fighter project, jeopardizing this collaborative endeavour.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), South Korea’s arms procurement agency, expressed its concerns as Indonesia failed to provide the expected payment schedule by the end of October, further straining the partnership

According to reports on 24 May 2022, the issue of paying US$4.2 million in development costs that Indonesia did not pay has not been resolved. In November 2021, Indonesia and South Korea agreed to draw up a new sharing agreement for development costs by March 2022, but it has not been implemented so far. In November 2022, reportedly Indonesia has resumed payment for its share of the cost for a joint fighter development project.

As of 17 Sep 2023, Indonesia did not pay and South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that the UAE will buy Indonesia's KF-21 shares and be part of the KF-21 program as a partner
North Korea is supplying munitions to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine in return for satellite technology, South Korea has said.

Pyongyang has supplied Moscow with more than one million artillery shells since early August, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) reported on Wednesday.

In return, Russia is assumed to be providing technology and know-how to North Korea, which is making a third effort to launch a satellite following two failures.

South Korean lawmaker Yoo Sang-bum said that Pyongyang has sent around 10 arms shipments to Russia by air, as well as via naval shipments between a North Korean east coast port and Russian ports, as the United States has previously claimed.

More than one million artillery shells were transported by sea, originating from the port of Najin and reaching the Russian ports of Dunai and Vostochny, according to NIS. From there, they were conveyed by train to Ukraine, near the Toretsk ammunition depot.

It is estimated that these deliveries will keep Russian forces in Ukraine supplied for two months. Meanwhile, the West is struggling to keep pace in supplying Ukraine’s forces with ammunition.

“North Korea is running its munition factories to full capacity to meet demand for military supplies to Russia and even mobilising residents and civilian factories to make ammunition boxes for exports,” Yoo said.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) will acquire a total of 12 new FFMs that will succeed the Mogami-class FFM for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in coming five years, a spokesperson at the Japanese Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) revealed to Naval News on November 2.

The Mogami class, which has a standard displacement of 3900 tons with a full load displacement of about 5500 tons, is currently being built at a high pace of two ships per year both at shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)’ facility in Nagasaki City on the island of Kyushu and its subsidiary Maritime Systems’ facility in Tamano City of Okayama Prefecture.

The JMSDF had originally planned to build a total of 22 Mogami-class frigates as Tokyo ramps up efforts to strengthen the country’s naval forces. However, it has decided to now procure a total of only 12 such frigates until the current fiscal year (FY) 2023, with plans to construct a new class of 12 warships from 2024 until 2028. The new frigates will essentially be improved Mogami-class ships that are set to be built to the design proposed by MHI.

In August, the JMSDF also requested 174.7 billion yen ($1.16 billion) to build two New FFMs for fiscal year 2024.

The latest move reflects the increasingly stern security environment around Japan. As neighboring China expands the activities and capabilities of its naval forces, Tokyo plans to defend the southwestern Nansei Islands, including the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, by increasing surveillance missions in Japanese coastal waters. The Senkakau/Diaoyu Islands are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan.

The Philippines has received a surveillance radar system from Japan as part of the first major equipment transfer since the Japanese government lifted its post-war defense export ban in 2014.

The delivery comes amid clashes between the Philippines and China over contested territory in the South China Sea.

Japan’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency announced the delivery Nov. 2 on social media, the same day Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addressed the Philippine Congress during a two-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

The new warning and control radar system, FPS-3ME, can detect multiple fighter jets and ballistic missiles. The FPS-3ME is an improved version of the J/FPS-3 radar, which has been used by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, according to manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

The Japanese company in August 2020 signed a contract with the Philippine Defense Department worth about $100 million for four FPS-3ME radars. Domestic production for the first radar concluded in October 2022, and the Philippine Air Force received it last week.

The second radar is meant for the Philippine Navy, and its acquisition is possible thanks to $4.2 million from a Japanese-run security assistance program, according to the Japanese and Philippine governments.

Neither the Japanese government nor Mitsubishi have disclosed the status of the remaining radar systems on order.

“The coastal radar systems ... are a vital addition to the [Armed Forces of the Philippines’] maritime defense capabilities and will bolster our ability to monitor and protect our extensive coastline, ensuring the safety and security of our seas,” Gen. Romeo Brawner, the military’s chief of staff, said in a statement.

FPS-3ME is a long-range 3D AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) air surveillance radar system capable of simultaneous detection and tracking of multiple aerial targets. The system is a new and improved version of the J/FPS-3, which has been in use by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force for over 30 years.
The Indonesian Air Force has cited bad weather as a possible cause of the crash involving two light attack aircraft during a training mission in East Java on 16 November.

The incident involved two EMB-314 Super Tucano aircraft, each carrying a pilot and a co-pilot. Rescue workers confirmed discovering three bodies of the personnel onboard in Puspo district, Pasuruan regency, while the search for the fourth pilot continues.

"It appears that the incident was primarily caused by adverse weather conditions. However, further investigation is required for confirmation," Air Force spokesman Air Commodore Agung Sasongkojati said in a news conference at Abdulrahman Saleh Air Base in Malang, East Java,

Agung explained that the two Tucanos were flying in formation alongside two similar planes under unfavourable weather conditions that significantly limited the pilots' visibility.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) performed a joint air patrol in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) during the weekend, part of the two countries’ inaugural Maritime Cooperative Activity.

The Philippine Air Force's A29B Super Tucano and N-22 Nomad, Philippine Navy's BNI2A aircraft, and ADF's P-8 Poseidon Maritime Surveillance aircraft took part in the activity.

The aircrafts took off from the Antonio Bautista Air Base ramp in the City of Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

On Saturday, Philippine Navy vessels BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Davao Del Sur, and Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba patrolled in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, along with two A29 Super Tucanos.

The AFP-ADF activity aims to enhance maritime interoperability and deepen strategic partnership as signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Sept. 8.

“We endeavor to enhance bilateral interoperability in maritime security and domain awareness; test doctrines, existing protocols, and enhance efficiency; and foster closer cooperation between our countries' armed forces,” Marcos said during the signing.

“This inaugural Maritime Cooperative Activity and those that may follow are a practical manifestation of the growing and deepening strategic and defense partnership between our countries.”

In August, the AFP and the ADF held their first amphibious exercise in the city of Darwin under the Indo-Pacific Endeavor activities.

Filipino and Australian troopers also conducted special training for jungle and urban warfare at Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal in May as part of the Army-to-Army Exercise “Kasangga” 23-2.

On Monday, December 18, the DPRK carried out a training launch of the Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile. Kim Jong-un watched the rocket launch process along with his daughter. In just over an hour, the ICBM covered 1,002 kilometers, rising to a peak altitude of 6,518 kilometers. At the end of the flight, the missile successfully hit a conditional target in the Sea of Japan. When launched along a normal trajectory, optimal for flight range, at an angle of 30-45 degrees, the DPRK intercontinental missile could fly up to 15 thousand km. Exercises to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles were carried out to test the combat readiness of the republic’s nuclear war deterrent forces and confirm their mobility

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Indonesia has signed a contract to buy 18 more Rafale fighter-jets from France, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday, as Jakarta completed a 2022 order for 42 of these warplanes, in upgrading its air force fleet amid regional security challenges.

Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto signed a contract on Monday for the last batch of 18 Rafale, the ministry said. The first delivery is expected in early 2026, it added. “The arrival of the Rafale fighter-jets along with their weapons and support equipment is expected to significantly increase the strength and readiness of the Indonesian Air Force in safeguarding the country’s sovereignty in the air,” the ministry’s spokesman, Brig. Gen. Edwin Adrian Sumantha, said in a statement.

Indonesia has not disclosed the value of the deal, but back in 2022 Reuters had reported it was worth US$8.1 billion, citing the French defense ministry. Indonesia signed contracts for six Rafale in September 2022 and another 18 in August 2023, after scrapping a plan to buy Sukhoi SU-35 jets from Russia due to the threat of US sanctions over Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

South Korea will mass-produce a 155-millimeter extended-range artillery shell this year after successfully completing its development in a yearslong project, the state arms procurement agency said Tuesday.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) held a meeting with ammunition maker Poongsan at the company's research centre in Daejeon, 139 kilometres south of Seoul, to officially conclude the development project launched in 2014 after the shell was assessed as combat suitable last August.

The newly developed shell can fly up to about 60 km, marking an increase in range of more than 30 percent compared with existing projectiles. To ensure the extended range, the shell employs base bleed technology, which reduces the shell's drag, and a rocket motor.

DAPA said it plans to sign a contract with Poongsan this year for the shell's mass production.

In a release, DAPA Minister Eom Dong-hwan said the shell's development will pave the way for South Korea to push for its exports along with the homegrown K9 155 mm self-propelled howitzer.


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