Thursday, April 30, 2009

HongQi (HQ) 9 vs Lockheed's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC 3)

K-Mart vs Lock-Mart, aka CPMIEC's HongQi (HQ) 9 vs Lockheed's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC 3) for Turkey's $4 billion missile defense system.

I don't think it will be a fair match. However, the fact that PRC is offering their SAM to Turkey, a member of NATO, shows a degree of new found confidence by PRC's defense firm.

Here is a brief background on the HQ-9 system:

HQ-9 is an improved Russian S-300 SAM system with radar guidance incorporated US based technologies (SJ-231), possibly Lockheed’s Patriot’s Track-via-Missile (TvM). The TvM active radar homing guidance allows the HQ-9 to have a limited anti-ballistic missile capability up to 150 km in addition to the traditional anti-aircraft role.

It's naval version, HQ-9A, is currently fielded in PLAN’s Type 052C destroyer and has been spotted in number of Chinese cities included Hong Kong and Shenzhen as a replacement for the older HQ-2 systems.

The HQ-9 version offered to Turkey is likely to be the HQ-9B, an improved version with dual-mode semi-active radar seeker in addition to IR imaging.

HQ-9's SJ231 radar

Photo of Patriot's AN/MPQ-53 radar

HQ-9 spotted near HongKong

Lockheed steps up efforts to sell Turkey missile defense systems

Lockheed Martin says the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC 3) missile defense system is the ultimate line of defense against enemy airborne threats.
Along with increasing risks emanating from countries in Turkey's neighborhood has come increasing competition amongst the world's leading defense companies for contracts to build elaborate defense systems that will reduce threats to Turkey's security.

Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contractor, is teaming up with Raytheon in Turkey's tender for the acquisition of long-range missiles and hoping to become the company that will ultimately supply Turkey with what it says is the ultimate line of defense against enemy airborne threats: the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC 3) missile defense system.

However, the challenges posed -- not only by the effects of the ongoing economic crisis and the possible restructuring of defense budgets, but also by competition from countries not listed amongst the US's allies -- represent significant obstacles to negotiations.

Having admitted to the media on a number of occasions that Turkey currently has no defense against ballistic missiles, Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) head Murad Bayar has said that a request for proposal (RFP) will soon be issued for the direct purchase of a long-range air and missile defense system intended to counter both missiles and aircraft. The project, valued at some $4 billion, will include the purchase of about 12 systems and follows a request for information (RFI) initially issued in March 2007. Turkey plans to announce the winner of the project by the end of 2009.

Lockheed Martin says the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC 3) missile defense system is the ultimate line of defense against enemy airborne threats.

According to Dennis Cavin, vice president of Lockheed Martin's business development for missiles and fire control department, the RFP has already gone out. He reported that a couple of weeks ago, when Turkey issued the RFP, it went not only to US companies, but also to Russian and Chinese companies. Both letters of request (LOR) and letters of offers and acceptance (LOA) were reported as having been submitted.

While US companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have jointly offered a combination of PAC-3 and PAC-2 low-to-high-altitude surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to be purchased through US foreign military sales (FMS) credits, the China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC) has offered the HQ-9 (reported export designation FD-2000) air-defense system. Turkey is hoping Russia will offer its more advanced S-400 defense system, which many suspect of having been manufactured with much Chinese input.

However, Washington has been pressing Ankara to consider potential NATO interoperability problems that could occur should Turkey opt for a non-Western solution.

Offsetting, the process of maximizing domestic input into defense expenditures, has been set at 50 percent by the Turkish authorities and offset negotiations are said to have begun between Raytheon and Turkish companies for the possible procurement of missile defense systems.

While the companies duke it out for contracts, Turkey has hinted that it would also like to combine various missile defense systems from different countries in order to maximize efficiency, and, as observers have pointed out, maximize leverage in negotiations.

But US officials are not keen on the idea of sharing their technology with potential adversaries. While in Ankara early last year, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that any purchase of missile systems by Turkey should be in coordination with NATO's defense systems. He said Turkey should discuss this issue with its NATO allies.

When asked by Today's Zaman about the willingness of Lockheed Martin to operate interoperably, Cavin said, "Interoperability is a key element of our allies and US defense architecture." Referring to the ability of the PAC-3 systems to operate with the input of additional technology from other firms, Cavin added, "But, if you talk of inter-operability with respect to people who are not yet our allies, then that's a separate issue and it involves a lot of government policy decisions."

Understanding this rationale would seem to be straight forward enough: Interoperability involves the exchange of intellectual property and other sensitive data -- data that countries with longstanding hostilities would be reluctant to share.

"You have to buy for the long haul, and Lockheed Martin will be here for the long haul," says Cavin. "We have proven this with the F-16, which was one of the first offshore production products and which enjoyed significant contribution from Turkish Aerospace Industries [TAI]. Lockheed Martin has been here the whole time. We are a solid, accountable company who value the products we produce and our customers."

Why does Turkey need such an elaborate missile defense system? According to Lockheed Martin, the reason lies, at least in part, with the threats posed by a number of Turkey's neighbors. Most of the global "bad actors," including Iran, have been developing short-range and long-range tactical missiles. Any appropriate response, the argument goes, has to be built on a layered defense.

"We use a combination of mid-course intercepts, high terminal intercepts and lower terminal intercepts. Systems that fit that category are the Patriot PAC-3 missile for shorter-range missiles. The Thaad system takes on medium range and some shorter-range intercontinental. And then the SM3 for the mid-course," Cavin explained, emphasizing that if a target is engaged far enough out, a number of stop-gap measures can be implemented that can discriminate to find the real warhead sooner. "Our programs that are in existence today all use hit-to-kill technology (body-to-body technology). This has proven to be the most lethal method for missile defense. … So if you are going to build layered defense, you want to build it around a technology that works, which means you want to build around hit-to-kill."

01 May 2009, Friday

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where is she now?

Someone asked me where she is now, here is the answer.

Eikenberry will be the next U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan

General Retires, Readies to Become Ambassador to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry retired today, 24 hours before being sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Until today, Eikenberry served as the deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium. Tomorrow he will be sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as ambassador.

"I'll make this very brief. [My wife] and I are very eager to enjoy our 24-hour vacation," the general joked during his retirement ceremony held at the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon. (Here)

For those who are not around back in the "good-ole-days" General Eikenberry's work was the topic of discussion; he was one of the few US flag officer with an advanced degree in Chinese history from Nanjing University and wrote number of very good articles related to China.

The following was what he wrote back in 2005 for National Defense University and of course there were skeptics who dismissed the idea of an assertive China and a stationary Japan. I, myself included.

McNair Paper 36, Explaining and Influencing Chinese Arms Transfers, February 1995


With a continuation in current growth trends, China's GNP is expected to surpass Japan's by the year 2010, and become the second largest in the world. (Note 96) Because of its still relatively low standard of living, of course, this does not imply the PRC's global reach will soon only be surpassed by that of the United States. Still, a fundamental shift in the distribution of world power is clearly underway. If China manages to sustain its extraordinary rate of development, it will demand a larger role in shaping the international order. Concomitant with such claims will be an increased use of arms transfers to realize security, versus strictly economic objectives. But such a time is yet distant, and given the unpredictability of world affairs, we should discount concerns about the possible consequences appropriately. This paper, rather, is relevant to the more immediate future, a period when China will primarily assert itself as a regional power, but whose economic clout will, nevertheless, start to be felt worldwide. Thus, we can anticipate Beijing adopting a more assertive role on questions of weapons sales within Asia, and a more entrepreneurial approach to business elsewhere. While the latter portends for occasional bilateral discord with the world's remaining superpower, the United States, the means for the peaceful resolution of such differences unquestionably exist.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Politcal Dividend??

To quote D6, "The pirate excursion and other peacekeeping missions are paying big dividends to PLA capability" and political influence.....few months ago, the Philippine government was calling foul in South China Sea and other maritime related issues with China.

While there is danger of reading too much into it, there is clearly a political signal being sent by the Philippine government.

Chinese frigate escorts stranded RP tanker off Somalia
Updated April 27, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A Chinese navy frigate escorted a Philippine-flagged chemical tanker to safe waters after its release by Somali pirates last week.

A Chinese embassy statement said the missile frigate Huangshan also provided the crew of the 32,400-ton MT Stolt Strength with food and medical supplies.

The escort mission was made upon request of the Philippine government, according to the statement.

Pirates released the Philippine vessel and its 23 Filipino crew on April 20 or five months after it was seized off Somalia.

The Chinese warship found the chemical tanker drifting without fuel in the waters near Hobiya in Somalia.

The ship was low on food and medical supplies.

“On April 25, upon the request of the Philippine government, the missile frigate Huangshan, one of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy vessels on escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, arrived in the waters near Hobiya where it joined Stolt Strength. The tanker was released on April 20 after being seized by pirates for five months,” the press statement read.

China said it began on Dec. 26 last year its deployment of naval vessels for escort missions to the Gulf of Aden in accordance with resolutions of the UN Security Council.

“They have been protecting the vessels and crews of China and international organizations passing through the pirate-infested waters,” the embassy statement said.

Greater cooperation

The Philippines, meanwhile, has called for greater international cooperation in addressing the piracy problem in Somalia and in assisting sailors victimized by Somali pirates.

The appeal was made by the Philippine delegation before the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families in Geneva over the weekend. But the appeal fell short of pushing for rescue operations for the captive seamen, most of whom are Filipinos.

“The Philippines urges the global community and relevant international bodies to intensify efforts to assist seamen from all nations whose human rights have suffered as a result of piracy in lawless waters off Somalia,” Ambassador Erlinda Basilio, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva said.

She said 105 Filipino seamen still remain in the hands of pirates.

“The Philippines supports efforts led by the United Nations and concerned countries, regional and international organizations, to assist in the stabilization of Somalia in partnership with the government of Somalia to make concrete progress in finding a long-term solution to this international crisis,” she said.

She said her call was in accordance with the policy of the Department of Foreign Affairs led by Secretary Alberto Romulo “to mobilize greater endeavors involving all international forums.”

Undersecretary Severo Catura, executive director of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights and a member of the delegation said the Philippines has completed the review of its compliance with the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families or ICRMW. - With Paolo Romero and Jose Rodel Clapano

Chinese naval frigate comes to escort released Filipino tanker in Somali waters 2009-04-26 15:33:40

BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- At the request of the Philippines, a Chinese naval frigate came to escort a Philippine-flagged chemical tanker which has just been released from pirates in Somali waters, according to the press office of China's Ministry of National Defence on Sunday.

The Chinese frigate FFG-570 Huangshan, which was on escorting commission in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, came to the Hobiya waters on Saturday night to escort the 32,400-ton Philippine merchant ship which was just released from Somali pirates, and provide it with supplies including food and medicine.

The released Philippine-flagged chemical tanker MT Stolt Strength, with 23 Filipio sailors on board, is on its way to safe seas under the escort of the Chinese naval frigate, according to sources with the Ministry of National Defense.

The frigate FFG-570 Huangshan was among the second fleet of Chinese escort ships which has been sent to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters early April for escorting missions through pirate infested waters.

China sent two destroyers and one supply ship last December to conduct a historic escort mission to protect Chinese merchant vessels, as well as those from other parts of the world sailing through the region.

UN Security Council Resolution 1851, adopted on last Dec. 16, authorized countries to appeal to military forces in the narrow Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast for a 12-month period.

The Chinese navy fleet escorting activity demonstrates a responsible role of China in undertaking international obligations, and the devotion of China's People's Liberation Army to safeguard peace and security in the region and world. It has also played an active role in safeguarding security of Chinese and international vessels and crews through pirate infested waters, according to the sources.

Statistics from the Ministry of Transport shows that Chinese warships have escorted 130 vessels and rescued three foreign merchant ships from pirate attacks as of early April. Annually about 1,000 Chinese merchant vessels pass through the Gulf.
Editor: Wang Guanqun

Saturday, April 25, 2009

PLANAF 2nd "Specialized" Division

PLANAF 2nd "Specialized" Division, North Sea Fleet, PLA Navy is headquartered in Dialing with primary focus on ASW, ELINT and other EW related missions. It was commissioned in April 1952 in Ningbo’s Zhuang Airport from Army’s 138th Division, 44th Army, 4th Field Army with Lai Jinhua as its first commander. Its three regiments are: 4th, 5th and the 6th.

PLANAF 4th Specialized Regiment, HQ Shangdong Laiyang Airport
Aircraft Serial Number (93x1)

Known Aircraft
Y8J Airborne Early Warming: 9301, 9311, 9321
Y8GX2 ELINT: 9331, 9341, 9351

9341 took part in the recent Naval Review

PLANAF 5th Flying boat Regiment, HQ QingDao Tuandao Airport
Aircraft Serial Number (91x3), PLA Daily’s special section on the 5th

Known Aircraft
SH-5 ASW flying boats (9113, 9123, 9133, 9143)

PLANAF 6th Specialized Regiment, HQ Dalian Tuchengzi Airport
Aircraft Serial Number (92x1)

Y-8X Maritime Patrol Version: 9261, 9271, 9281, 9291

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Face of the new China.

Makes you wonder what Mao would think of this; his beloved navy is now sponsored by a Telecom company……. is this the new Chinese "might" everybody is so fearful?

Photos of some of the PLAN Warships that took part in the naval review and their official description:

Seeing all those boats, makes me wanta get into'em shrimpin' business, cause shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.

Official Descriptions From PLA Daily:

Amphibious landing ship

  The "Kunlunshan" ship with a hull number of 998 is an amphibious dock landing ship. With a total length of 210 m, a maximal width of 28 m and a normal displacement of 18,500 tons, it is the surface combat ship with the biggest tonnage in China at present. The service of this ship symbolizes the great enhancement of the PLA Navy in projecting amphibious combat strength to the medium and long distance sea areas. Hundreds of marines from the marine corps of the PLA Navy will board on this ship in this maritime parade.

The new-type missile speedboat

  A new-type missile speedboat that is equipped with advanced missile and anti-electromagnetic interference system has evoked the extensive concerns of domestic and foreign military experts since its début in 2004. Although small in size, it is characterized in fast speed, strong firepower and excellent stealth capability. It has become a trump card in resisting against the enemy's threat in coastal waters.

The new-type home-made submarine

  Chinese nuclear submarine will be a highlight in the maritime parade. A new-type home-made submarine formation will be on display besides the nuclear submarine in this parade. Relevant military experts said that the underwater noise of the new-type submarine was greatly reduced for the adoption of a multiple of advanced designs.

A nuclear submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is seen during a naval parade of the PLA Navy warships and aircraft in waters off China's port city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, on April 23, 2009. A Chinese officer introduces Chinese naval submarine to heads of delegations of foreign navies at Qingdao port, east China's Shandong Province, on April 22, 2009.

Aircraft in the air

The "Flying Leopard" fighters

  Besides "Flying Leopard" fighter-bomber, shipboard aircraft and electronic spy aircraft will also appear during the maritime parade. And a type of air guard aircraft will make its debut. This type of aircraft has rather strong detection and tracking ability for maritime objects, and certain detection ability for air objects with certain commanding and control ability. It can shoulder such missions as reconnaissance and guard of maritime objects, guiding naval and air strength to attack enemy's warships and support operation.

Chinese Navy, hospital ship "Daishan" (866)

The "Lanzhou" missile destroyer

  Among the new generation of home-made destroyers attending the maritime parade, the "Lanzhou" missile destroyer with a hull number of 170 is the latest one in China. The construction of the destroyer started at the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard in August 2001. It was launched in April 2003, left the shipyard in August 2005 and enlisted in the array of the PLA Navy formally in September 2005.

Chinese Navy, destroyer "Shijiazhuang" (116)

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Great Wall 218

For the first time, PLAN officially released their naming convention for its conventional-powered submarines during the current Naval Review; they are called the "Great Wall"

Photo of GreatWall 218, one of the PLAN submarines opened to senior naval officers from 29 nations. Photo released by Xinhua News

Great Wall (GW) 218 is a member of the 32nd conventional-powered submarine Zhidui or flotilla (Unit number 92858), South Sea Fleet. The 32nd is commanded by Sr Captin Ma Lixin headquartered at Dr Evil’s secret lair, aka Sanya, Hainan island. (Here for Sr Captain Ma's bio)

Sr Captain Ma

Each PLAN Submarine Zhidui is commanded by Sr Captain, equal to an army division commander. Each submarine Zhidui is divided into small number of Zhongdui, commanded by Lt Commander, equal to that of an army Battalion Leader. A Zhongdui also commands number of surface auxiliary support ships.

Name Number Type
GW213 313 039 (Song)
GW218 318 039
GW220 320 039
GW226 326 039
GW229 329 039
GW230 330 039

GW272 373 636M (Kilo)
GW273 373 636M
GW274 374 636M
GW275 375 636M

GW203 303 033 (Ming)
GW204 304 033

新华网青岛4月22日电 (记者李宣良、颜昊)前来青岛出席庆祝中国人民解放军成立60周年多国海军活动的各国海军代表团团长,22日上午应邀参观了中国海军的主力舰艇。各位海军高级军官对中国海军装备建设的成就和军事透明度普遍表示祝贺和赞赏。


Scouting, Signaling, and Gatekeeping by Peter Dutton

With the PLAN Naval Review in the media spotlight, it might be a good time to examine how Japan is viewing this development. While both India and US are putting positive views on the new found power of the PLAN, see Adm Roughead's comment on current relationship between USN and PLAN as "positive" (here) and Indian naval chief's lecture "Harmonious Seas" given in a symposium in China (here)

Understandingly, Japan does not show the same level of "excitement", in light of the "display" by the PLAN back in Oct 2008 when a taskforce four Chinese naval vessels, including a destroyer and a supply ship, passed through the Tsugaru Strait on its way back to China after a Sino-Russian naval exchange. Dr Peter Dutton, member of the US Naval College, a noted expert on International law and martime policy wrote a very good article on this and other Sino-Japan related naval incidents in his "Scouting, Signaling, and Gatekeeping and the International Law Implications" (Click here to download the full article)

The Asia Pacific can be a complicated ocean.....

Chinese destroyer sailed through Tsugaru Strait(between Hokkaido and Honshu)
Yomiuri ^ | 10/22/08

Chinese destroyer sailed through Tsugaru Strait

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Four Chinese naval vessels, including a destroyer and a supply ship, recently passed through the Tsugaru Strait bound for the Pacific Ocean, officials from the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry announced Monday.

Chinese naval vessels had previously sailed through the same strait, but it is the first time that Chinese vessels with attack capabilities have navigated through the strait.

The naval vessels had sailed in international waters and although it did not infringe upon Japan's territorial waters, the Defense Ministry believes the Chinese Navy is stepping up activities in the Pacific Ocean.

According to a Joint Staff Office official, the Chinese vessels' movements were discovered by a P-3C patrol aircraft used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force about 35 kilometers off Tappizaki cape on the northwestern tip of the Tsugaru Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture, on Sunday evening.

JMSDF DD 156 Setogiri in the background watching the PLAN taskforce

PLAN Taskforce in Vladivostok

Some news capture from Japanese TV

Monday, April 20, 2009

Home coming for BN F18 Osman and HTMS Takin.

The PLAN Navy Review marks the homecoming of two ships, Bangladesh BNS Osman and Royal Thai Navy HTMS Taksin. For both, it is their first trip back to China since the transfer.

BNS Osman, formerly FFG556 was sold to Bangladesh on 26th of September, 1989. Originally, it was equipped with the standard Jianghui I class weaponry of that time (2x 1 100 main gun, 2x6 SY-1 SSM) most of them were replaced in number of upgrades.

From this photo released by PLA daily, the new 2x4 C802A SSM is clearly visible. Other upgrades included a new 2x2 100 mm main gun, a new combat datalink and a pair of new Caterpillar Marine diesel. Rumor of a new sonar suit has been reported.

HTMS Takin, one of the two Naresuan class FFG build by Shanghai’s Zhonghua shipyard. It was launched in May 14th, 1994 and commissioned in September 28th 1995. It is equipped with a mixture of Chinese and NATO equippments; 1x Mk41 8 cell VLS SAM, 2x4 McDonnell Douglas Harpoon SSM, and 1x FMC 5 in Mk 45 Mod 2 main gun. It is powered by two GE LM2500 gas turbines and 2 German MTU diesels.

As expected.

China's nuke submarines up for maiden parade
Updated: 2009-04-21 09:12

QINGDAO -- China will display its nuclear-powered submarines for the first time in history during a fleet parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Navy, a senior navy officer said in Qingdao Monday.

China's nuke submarines up for maiden parade
The Chinese navy's missile destroyer 115 Shenyang is docked at Qingdao Port April 20, 2009 for an international fleet review to be held on April 23 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy. [Agencies] More Photos

Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the PLA Navy, made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua, but did not disclose any further details about the submarines.

In addition to the fleet parade, there will also be seminars and a sampan race that will be held off the coast of the eastern city of Qingdao during the four-day celebration.

"It is not a secret that China has nuclear submarines, which are key to safeguarding our country's national security," Ding said, adding that the number of China's nuclear submarines were far less than those of the United States and Russia.

Ding stressed that China's national defense policy and nuclear strategy is purely defensive in nature, and that the country's naval forces would not pose any threat to other countries.

"The PLA Navy will continue to make contributions to maintain world, regional and maritime peace," he said.

The fleet parade will strive to be grand, practical, safe and frugal, the officer added.

The parade would be grand as it was unprecedented in terms of the celebration scale.

Dozens of Chinese naval ships and planes and 21 naval vessels from 14 countries will participate in the fleet review, slated for Thursday, he said.

He said it is the first time for the country to have a fleet parade participated by high-level naval delegations from 29 countries.

Frugality is the professional virtue of both the Chinese navy and their foreign counterparts, he said.

The whole celebration will feature the concept of practicality. All activities must have an actual effect rather than just being aesthetic and pompous.

To ensure the safety of the celebrations, the navy and local public security departments had worked out a detailed security plan which had referred to that of the Beijing Olympics, he said.

All the Chinese naval vessels and weapons displayed during the fleet review were domestic-made. Most of the participant naval vessels were from the Beihai Fleet, with a few from the Donghai Fleet and Nanhai Fleet.

Some of the Chinese vessels are new while some of them have already served for some time, he added.

Ding called the maritime gathering a naval "Olympics" as a variety of foreign vessels would participate in the fleet review, ranging from warships to auxiliary vessels, and from big naval ships with a displacement more than 10,000 tonnes to smaller ones with several hundred tonnes.

The foreign vessels' order would be arranged in conformity with the international practice during the fleet review, he said, adding the warships would sail in front of the auxiliary vessels; ships with bigger tonnage sail in front of the smaller ones; and vessels of the same type and tonnage would be arranged in alphabetical order of their home country.