US surges carriers in Pacific
For the first time in three years, three U.S. Navy carrier strike groups are operating in the Pacific. The carriers USS Nimitz, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan are currently in the Western Pacific, with the former two carrying out joint dual-carrier operations in the Philippine Sea, while the Ronald Reagan was operating off Japan’s Ryukyu group of islands last week.
The area was also where Japan’s ministry of defence said a foreign submarine was tracked and shadowed by its forces as it transited westward through the contiguous zone between two of its islands. The identity of the submarine’s operator was not revealed, although local media reports quoted defence officials as saying that the submarine was Chinese.
The carrier deployment move is seen as being directed at China as tensions continue to simmer between the two powers over a range of issues, with the Chinese media agency Global Times calling it a “mere show of vanity” in a commentary.
India seeks more Russian fighters
The Indian Air Force is seeking approval from the country’s government to urgently acquire a total of 33 more fighter jets from Russia.
Multiple Indian news outlets have reported that the request is for 12 Sukhoi Su-30MKI Flanker and 21 MiG-29M2 Fulcrum fighters, with the value of the deal reportedly worth A$1.13 billion. The request comes after rising tensions with China.
China continues border build-up
Satellite photos have shown the extent of the recent Chinese military build-up at the Galwan Valley in the Himalayas, the site of the recent clashes with India.
Reuters and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) have both noted that satellite photos obtained by both organisations show approximately 100 trucks belonging to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) near the site of the clashes the day after the incident.
ASPI estimates that the PLA forces in the area number about 1,000, while Reuters adds that China is building roads and river crossings, as well as damming the river running through the rugged area.
Japanese Aegis destroyer starts sea trials
The eighth Japanese destroyer to be equipped with the Aegis combat system for air- and ballistic-missile defence has started sea trials. The ship, named the Haguro, departed builder Japan Marine United Corporation’s shipyard at Isogo near Yokohama, south of Tokyo on June 23.
Haguro is the second Maya class destroyer, and is scheduled to be commissioned into the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2021. In addition to the Aegis combat system, it is also fitted with 96 Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells for missiles such as the SM-2, SM-3, or SM-6 capable of intercepting ballistic missiles.
Singapore takes more Leopard 2 tanks
An arms export report released by the German government states that the European country delivered two more Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Singapore, bringing the number of tanks delivered since 2016 to 45.
The deliveries bring the number of tanks delivered to Singapore since 2007 to over 200. Singapore announced the acquisition of former Bundeswehr Leopard 2A4s in 2006, saying at the time it intended to put 66 into service with the rest used as spares.
The Southeast Asian city-state is extremely secretive about its military, and has never officially acknowledged that it has placed a follow-on order for more tanks.