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Subject: The Straits of Malacca: RAAF set to fight piracy from the air
tjkhan    9/18/2005 4:38:54 PM
Below is an article appearing in today's Australian.......Those P-3Cs and their crews are going to be working in yet another theatre. Dose this sort of activity make replacement by the 737 MMA a higher probability? "RAAF set to fight piracy from the air Michelle Wiese Bockmann 19sep05 AUSTRALIAN warplanes could soon be flying patrols to help secure the world's busiest shipping lane, Southeast Asia's pirate-infested Malacca Strait. Navy chief Russ Shalders has offered to provide RAAF aircraft for joint patrols of the piracy hotspot amid concerns that al-Qa'ida-sponsored regional terror groups have infiltrated local piracy gangs. "We would be very happy to help in terms of providing experience in air patrolling," said Vice-Admiral Admiral Shalders, who is in Malaysia for a two-week joint defence exercise. But he said Australia needed a formal request from the Malaysian Government before any official offer could be made. New Zealand made a similar offer of assistance during Exercise Bersama Lima, wargames that began last Thursday in which Malaysia, Singapore and Britain are also participating. The foriegn-surveillance proposal comes after Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand last week began the first-ever joint piracy air patrols over the congested waterway, where violent and well-organised piracy gangs have operated for decades. The offers were made in response to rising international concerns and pressure from Australia, the US and Japan about maritime security and terrorism threats along the 960km-long waterway. About 50,000 ships carrying a quarter of the world's trade and half its oil pass through the dangerous Malacca Strait each year. The area, which recorded 38 attacks on ships last year, was placed on a par with Iraq as a high-risk region for war and terrorism by the Lloyd's of London insurance market in July. Jemaah Islamiah, the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) have all been linked to piracy attacks in the area. A spokesman for Defence Minister Robert Hill was unable to clarify if Australia had made or received any formal offer to join the air patrols. But Senator Hill indicated last month that he was pushing for closer regional surveillance and intelligence-sharing in the Malacca Strait. In a major departure from attitudes a year ago, the three Asian nations with jurisdiction over the Malacca Strait indicated last week that they would consider any foreign offers to help secure the vital waterway from piracy and maritime terrorism. Malaysian and Indonesian leaders last year flatly rejected a similar offer by the US to monitor and patrol the area. Australia is supporting Malaysia's bid to join the UN's International Maritime Organisation, which is responsible for overseeing global merchant shipping. Piracy survivors have reported that highly organised and violent criminal gangs with corporate structures have operated with impunity in the Malacca Strait, hijacking ships, stealing valuable cargoes, and killing crews or demanding ransoms. The so-called "Eyes in the Sky" air patrols began last week, more than a year after the first co-ordinated piracy sea patrols started. The initiative followed decades of political inertia that prevented effective monitoring of the longstanding problem of piracy. There were 127 piracy attacks recorded around the world in the first six months of this year, a third of which occurred in Indonesian waters. privacy terms © The Australian "
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gf0012-aust    RE:The Straits of Malacca: RAAF set to fight piracy from the air   9/18/2005 9:39:11 PM
I'm not so sure about whether it boosts MMA, it certainly boosts the opportunity for UAV sales in the region though. just as an aside, last year I was contracted to find suitable people for insurance companies and shipping companies for "on-board" protection. Quite a number of companies now are fielding teams on the more valuable assets they baddies are highly efficient - they're running sophisticated comms. have inside help, are often kitted with high cal weapons inclusing RPG's,.LAWS, 50cal and in some instances we were advised 20mm. Thats a huge problem in that area as the traffic movement is extraordinary - its just not practical to assume that each vessel can have an exclusion and safety zone. It's like Kings Cross on a Friday night in some areas. My view (FWIW) is that UAV/ROV's, snatch teams etc are better long term solutions. If you want to get them, be aggressive. A lot of the more useful traffic managment in waters off Iraq was not done by the compound interception assets (like the FFG's, DDG's etc..) but by subs. They're far more usefull for benign surveillance as the baddies can't see them. Like Iraq, as soon as a skimmer heads in that general direction, every unsociable pirate this side of the equator gets to know about it. I think claret type ops need to be considered in conjunction with more discrete surveillance. anything in the air requires clearance, so they can just re-position whilst there's a flyover. You need to cut the local corrupt officials out of the info loop.
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bou boy    RE:The Straits of Malacca: RAAF set to fight piracy from the air   9/18/2005 10:17:35 PM
The Orions were in Malaysia since 1981 (operation gateway)until ???? doing shipping patrols over the malacca straights, so this is nothing new. It wasnt only anti piracy at the time though,it was fishing, illegal immigrants, russian naval movements etc etc. We were however not allowed to venture into indoneseian airspace. To see these 4 countries finally co-operating is a good thing, and well overdue.
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bou boy    RE:The Straits of Malacca: RAAF set to fight piracy from the air   9/18/2005 10:25:02 PM
GF, The depth of the involved waters is a bit of a problem for submarines. More than once RAAF orions tracked surfaced russian "charlies" through the straights, it was too shallow to submerge. Also they are visable in the water from the air if they do submerge as the sail etc is likely to be less than 20ft under depending on type, location and water clarity.
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EW3    RE:The Straits of Malacca: RAAF set to fight piracy from the air   9/18/2005 10:26:50 PM
The factory in San Diego is turning out Predators like sausages. Bet they would provide you with one or two, if not a Mariner. The CEO is a very agressive type, and I'm sure he'd get you a couple with the prospect of a sale in the future.
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gf0012-aust    RE:The Straits of Malacca: RAAF set to fight piracy from the air   9/18/2005 11:08:08 PM
"The depth of the involved waters is a bit of a problem for submarines." hence my ref to ROV's. In the main channels Subs traversing the straits are not an issue as we're not hiding from overheads.... There is sufficient expertise and demonstrated capability to have ROV's traversing the straits while talking to other assets. ditto for UAV's run off of someones fantail.
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Aussie Digger    RE:The Straits of Malacca: RAAF set to fight piracy from the air   9/20/2005 8:55:11 AM
Be nice if the RAAF Orion's had some sort of appropriate armament should the baddies decide they were sick of being snooped upon and decided to send some "20 mike mike" the Orions way. Even the greatest EWSP suite in the world won't stop 20mm... Harpoon Block II seems a bit "over the top", though a few Hellfires should do the trick...
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gf0012-aust    RE:The Straits of Malacca: RAAF set to fight piracy from the air   9/20/2005 9:13:51 PM
"though a few Hellfires should do the trick... " which happen to fit quite well and have been used in real time on on Predators sans Mariners....
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Aussie Digger    RE:Hellfires fit quite well.   9/21/2005 9:16:41 AM
On Orions though? It's hasn't yet been done to my knowledge, (which is admittedly limited in this area). Orions don't have a Laser designator for one thing, though one could probably be fitted fairly easily. Also could the flash new Elta radar on the AP-3C's, guide Millimetric wave radar Hellfires? Ala, Apache Longbow?
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gf0012-aust    RE:Hellfires fit quite well.   9/21/2005 10:41:11 AM
"On Orions though?" no, I was only referring to UAV's. Although I don't see how complex it can be to slave it to the existing buss and FLIR systems. If the Kiwis can whack Mavericks on theirs, then gimbal mounting a 150lb seeker ala predator seems more than do-able onto an Orion.
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Aussie Digger    RE:Hellfires fit quite well.   9/22/2005 4:02:11 AM
The Orions would still require a laser designator though in order to target the Hellfires. The mavericks NZ used are probably EO/IR variants. No such variant exists for Hellfires to my knowledge...
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