The weight of geographic constraints on Chinese naval military development

Guest article by Noam Hakoune in permanent full access For the months of July and August 2021, the very influential journal Foreign Affairs asked itself the question of whether China could continuously grow.[1] It is indeed the inevitability of Beijing's growth that has haunted all American strategists since the intrusion of the Thucydides Trap concept by Graham Allison in 2012.[2] Comparing the Chinese and American powers cannot be done without a fine analysis of the naval and maritime balance of power. Because given the distance between the two powers and the geography of the region, a potential conflict between China and the United States...

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Will the Swedish JAS39 C / D Gripen win in the Philippines?

Despite a promising start and a very attractive performance-price ratio, the Swedish fighter Saab JAAS 39 Gripen is struggling to win in international competitions, squeezed between versatile fighters such as the Rafale, the F35A and the Typhoon, which are more expensive but also more efficient. , and light fighters like the South Korean FA-50 and the Pakistani JF-17, whose performances are increasingly remarkable, and the acquisition costs are singularly low. In addition, the Swedish single-engine fighter has to deal with the return of Lockheed-Martin's F16 in its Viper version, a device whose performance and characteristics are substantially identical to that of the Gripen E/F, but...

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In Southeast Asia, the number of submarines has increased by 300% in 20 years

With the rise of the Chinese fleet, which aims to equal the US Navy by 2050, and the policy of fait accompli sometimes implemented by Beijing, naval tensions in Southeast Asia have increased since ten years. It is therefore not surprising to note that the majority of the countries in the zone are developing and modernizing their navies, sometimes in a substantial way. Beyond Japan, the two Koreas, Australia and India, many Marines, who until then were confined to coastal defense and State action missions at sea, are now being given of…

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Sikorsky offers its S-70i Armed Black Hawk in the Philippines and tries to revive the market for armed maneuver helicopters

Decidedly, the tiny Philippine market arouses all desires! In a previous article, we saw how the Americans Bell and Boeing were positioning themselves with radically different offers in order to replace at short notice the offer of the Turkish industrialist TAI. The winner of this commercial competition will thus be able to place half a dozen combat helicopters with the Philippine Air Force. If the Philippine ambitions seem modest, the contracts envisaged are still counted in the hundreds of millions of dollars. However, for American manufacturers, the Philippine market is above all seen as a showcase for the entire Asia-Pacific region, where…

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US authorizes export of combat helicopters to the Philippines, despite tensions between the two countries

At the end of last week, the US State Department approved the sale of helicopters to the Philippines, as part of an FMS (Foreign Military Sales) procedure. As so often with FMS, this does not necessarily presume a future contract between the Philippine Air Force and American industry. Indeed, the FMS are often granted by the political authorities while the negotiations are not finished, which makes it possible to accelerate the sale and the delivery in the event that a firm sale is signed later. This administrative particularity explains why the FMS authorizations relate to two very distinct offers. One of them is about selling...

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Philippine President R. Duterte wants to end 69 years of military cooperation with the United States

Originally a Spanish colony since the 16th century, the Philippines was ceded to the United States as compensation for the American-Spanish war which ended in 1898 with the Treaty of Paris. Following the Japanese invasion of 1942, and the defeat of the latter in 1945, the country declared its independence and became one of the founding countries of the United Nations in 1946. The Philippine authorities, however, granted military concessions to American forces for 99 years in 1947, and in 1951 signed a very close military cooperation treaty with Washington. In fact, throughout the Cold War, the Philippines was a mainstay of the American presence in the…

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Naval Group's Scorpene submarine hypothesis in the Philippines becomes clearer

Over the past 20 years, the number of submarines used by the navies of Southeast Asian countries has almost quadrupled. This has led some countries, hitherto without this type of ship, to want to quickly acquire this capacity, and therefore these buildings. This is the case of the Philippines which, according to an article in latribune.fr, is increasingly interested in acquiring 2 conventional Scorpene submarines from the French Naval Group. The information is not new, since already in July 2019, we mentioned this marked interest by the Manila authorities for the French submersible. But it seems...

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The two new frigates José Rizal Philippines will be equipped with SIMBAD-RC MBDA

Good news for the European missile MBDA! The Philippine Navy has selected the SIMBAD-RC system to provide close protection for its two new José Rizal class frigates. The SIMBAD-RC is an automatic close protection system against aerial targets, drones, missiles and light craft, implementing 2 MBDA Mistral missiles, providing effective coverage within a radius of 6 km around the building. Reloading, manual, is very fast, so as to maintain optimum defensive capacities. The two frigates, derived from the HDF-3000 of the Korean group Hyundai Heavy Industry, and whose keel of the first unit was laid in…

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