I was able to attend the 2018 Asian Defense and Security (ADAS) at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Manila recently, and every time the event is held (every two years) it always seem to get bigger and better. More people seemed to have turned out on the first day for example, and there were more and better booths.
The Russians for the first time were there, represented by Rosoboronexport. Initially I thought that the Chinese were Missing in Action (MIA) in the event, but later I did see at least one Chinese booth showing Law Enforcement related products.
ADAS seemed to have become an even bigger regional event now as I also saw more than a few foreign military people going around and doing some “Window Shopping”.
‘Gripen Mock Up‘
Perhaps the biggest attraction of the show was a Full Scale Mock Up (FSMU) of the JAS-39 Gripen made by the Swedish company Saab. Initially I thought it was their “E” version because it looked bigger than the JAS-39C Gripen that I saw up close at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum in Bangkok a couple of years ago.
But Saab later confirmed that is was their “C” version which they are offering to our Air Force. As a bonus, the FSMU came with most of the Gripen’s most advanced weapons like the IRIS-T Short Range Air to Air Missile (SRAAM), AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM), RBS-15 Multipurpose Missile, etc.
They allowed people to sit on the cockpit and I was able to do that later. The cockpit was kinda small though, I’m only 5’5” and I found it a bit cramped around the leg area, so how much more for taller people. The three (3) large Multi-Function Display (MFD) and the wide Heads Up Display (HUD) were pretty impressive, though.
‘Austal’s CCPB Philippine Variant’
The Australian shipbuilder Austal showed a model of the bigger variant of the Cape Class Patrol Boat (CCPB) that they are offering to the Philippine Navy (PN), but the Australian representative at the booth was hesitant to reveal any other details than what is already shown on the brochure or on the model.
I learned later that Austal had released more details about the ship on their website on the same day that the ADAS event began, and it seems to be a lot more heavily armed than I thought with higher caliber cannons, but with two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) just like on the CCPB.
‘PN HHI Frigate’
A scale model of the Frigate that the South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is building for the PN was also there, labeled as the HDF-2500. HHI did not seem to release a brochure about the ship listing all its Sensors and Weapons, so I only relied on what the HHI representative told me verbally.
Among those I can remember that he confirmed was the main gun will be the Oto Melara 76 mm caliber Super Rapid (SRGM), the Anti-Air missiles will be the Simbad RC, Air and Surface Search Radar (ASSR) will be the TRS-3D, Anti-Ship missile will be the SSM-700K C-Star and Torpedo will be the K-745 Blue Shark.
One of the HHI representatives also mentioned that there will be a Land Attack version of the C-Star, which means that the Chang Bogo class Submarines will have Land Attack capability as well since they fire the same missiles.
I saw a Hanhwa representative showing a presentation of the PN HHI Frigates’ Combat Management System (CMS) on their booth, and when I tried to access it later, the Hanwha rep politely told me it was for PN personnel only.
It was only much later after the entire event when I learned that, as posted by the United Defense of the Philippines (UDP), Hanwha actually had a closed room where the CMS was, but which of course access was restricted only to select personnel.
A Bulgarian company was advertising their RPG-7 as being “Marawi Proven”. I initially did not get the name of the company, and the representative I talked to casually mentioned that if you search the internet, they are the only company in Bulgaria making the weapon.
So when I got home I did just that, and found the company Armaco JSC which I thought was them. It was only later that I realized after looking at the markings showing the models of the weapons that there was not just one but actually two companies in Bulgaria making the RPG-7, and they were the second one, Arsenal JSCo.
Anyway, the representative said a number of other things like which exact model our armed forces bought, but that might be a bit unreliable knowing what the representative said earlier above.
’PCG’s X-95 SMG’
Among the things I found interesting at ADAS was the new X-95 Tavor of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) built by the Israeli company Israel Weapon Industries (IWI).
It was in 9 mm caliber Sub Machine Gun (SMG) version, and was heavier than the Scorpion Evo SMG bought by the PCG before from the Czechoslovakian company CZUB. The X-95 was also not so well balanced as it was rear heavy, but it did have a pretty nice Optical Sight on it.