Dzirhan Mahadzir

About Dzirhan Mahadzir

Dzirhan Mahadzir is a freelance defense journalist and analyst based in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Among the publications he has written for and currently writes for since 1998 includes Defence Review Asia, Jane’s Defence Weekly, Navy International, International Defence Review, Asian Defence Journal, Defence Helicopter, Asian Military Review and the Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter.


Recent Posts By the Author


SECDEF Esper: U.S. Will ‘Keep Up the Pace’ of South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operations

SECDEF Esper: U.S. Will ‘Keep Up the Pace’ of South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operations

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) conducts routine operations near the Panamanian flagged drill ship, West Capella on May 12, 2020. US Navy Photo

KUALA LUMPUR – The U.S. will continue to keep up the pace of freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, which hit an all-time high in 2019, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Tuesday. Read More

State Department Approves $23B Japanese F-35 Fighter Deal

State Department Approves $23B Japanese F-35 Fighter Deal

An F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), takes off from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) during an air defense exercise March 23, 2020. US Marine Corps

KUALA LUMPUR — The State Department signed off on a Japanese buy of 105 F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters and associated equipment, according to a Thursday notification to Congress. Read More

Incoming Air Force Chief Gen. Brown Focused on China, New Maritime Weapons

Incoming Air Force Chief Gen. Brown Focused on China, New Maritime Weapons

Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown responds to a question, May 7, 2020 on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to consider his nomination to be the next Air Force chief of staff. US Air Force Photo

KUALA LUMPUR — The U.S. Air Force is expanding their maritime capabilities in the Western Pacific and mulling creating its own operating concept similar to the U.S. Marine Corps Force Design 2030, the Air Force’s next top commander told reporters on Wednesday. Read More

U.S. Navy Maintains Operations In Western Pacific as Other Navies Slow Down

U.S. Navy Maintains Operations In Western Pacific as Other Navies Slow Down

Sailors and Marines conduct flight operations from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) with aircraft assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 on April 9, 2020. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy is continuing to run missions to ensure freedom of navigation and show presence in the Western Pacific while other militaries are scaling back their operations amid COVID-19 concerns.

Read More

U.S. Sends Warships on Patrol Near South China Sea Standoff

U.S. Sends Warships on Patrol Near South China Sea Standoff

USS Montgomery (LCS-8) conducts routine operations near Panamanian flagged drillship, West Capella, on May 7, 2020 in the South China Sea. US Navy Photo

KUALA LUMPUR — The U.S. Navy sent a pair of ships to patrol in the vicinity of a mineral rights dispute between Malaysia and China in the South China Sea for the second time in a month, U.S. officials told USNI News. Read More

USS America Now Steaming Near South China Sea Standoff

USS America Now Steaming Near South China Sea Standoff

A CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 takes off from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) on April 18, 2020. US Navy Photo

KUALA LUMPUR — USS America (LHA-6) is steaming towards waters in the South China Sea where a Chinese government survey ship and its China Coast Guard escorts are in an international maritime dispute with Malaysia. Read More

U.S. Warns China Will Gain Edge if the Philippines Ends Visiting Forces Agreement

U.S. Warns China Will Gain Edge if the Philippines Ends Visiting Forces Agreement

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Alex Donahue discusses the importance of proper knots and rigging with Philippine soldiers during a subject matter expert exchange in support of Balikitan 2017 at Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Philippines on May 4, 2017. US Army Photo

KUALA LUMPUR — The Philippines government has now formally begun the process of terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, Philippines Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin confirmed on Twitter: the U.S. Embassy in Manila has received notice, and the termination will take effect 180 days later. Read More

Air Force Keeping Up Presence Operations Over South China Sea

Air Force Keeping Up Presence Operations Over South China Sea

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, fly a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, through the South China Sea, operating with the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG-104) on June 8, 2017. US Air Force Photo

KUALA LUMPUR — Though they don’t get as much attention as the Navy’s, U.S. Air Force has been conducting its own regular freedom of navigation flight operations in the South China Sea, Commander of Pacific Air Forces Gen. Charles Q. Brown told reporters on Friday. Read More