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16 Aug 18. Uganda unveils Nyoka production facility. Uganda revealed its armoured vehicle production facility for the first time on 8 August, when it was officially opened by President Yoweri Museveni. The Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) said the Nyoka Conversion Project is located at the Magamaga Barracks in the Mayuge district, east of the capital Kampala. The Nyoka is a remanufactured and improved Mamba, a type of South African mine-protected armoured vehicle the UPDF acquired from South Africa in the 1990s. It is promoted by the South African company Twiga and its Kampala-based affiliate Impala Services and Logistics, which is involved in the Ugandan project. Twiga told the South African website defenceWeb in 2014 that 10 Nyokas were being assembled in Uganda using remanufactured Mamba drivelines and armour plate cut in South Africa. At least part of that process has now moved to Uganda as a plasma cutting machine made by the Slovakian company MicroStep was seen in the Ugandan television news coverage of Museveni’s visit to Magamaga barracks. Brigadier Charles Byanyima, the commander of the facility, provided more details of the programme in his speech during the event, saying the first phase of the project produced 10 vehicles, the second another 10, and the current phase is producing 13. UPDF chief David Muhoozi said planning is under way for new projects once this process is complete. “A conversation is taking place to link this facility with other additional possibilities so that this capacity doesn’t lie idle after we complete the overhaul of all our light armour fleet,” he said.
Brig Byanyima provided one possibility for a future project, saying “there is a need to advance to another IFV [infantry fighting vehicle] called the Nyoka Mk 2”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Aug 18. USN awards cruiser USS Cowpens modernisation contract. The US Naval Sea Systems Command awarded General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company a USD147.7m firm-fixed-price contract to overhaul and upgrade the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) on 14 August. This long-term availability will include a combination of maintenance, modernisation, and repairs, the US Navy (USN) said. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to USD154.8 million. Work will be performed in San Diego and is expected to be completed by December 2019. With the Cowpens contract, the USN is starting the modernisation of the second half of its 22-cruiser fleet. During the first years of this decade, the service tried to essentially mothball the fleet, but Congress forced it to keep, repair, and upgrade the ships instead. One of the reasons USN officials said they wanted to keep its cruisers pier-side was due to the extensive work that the ships would need to be repaired, maintained, and modernised. As with all major long-serving surface combatants, there is the usual amount of major work to be carried out, such as accessing, cleaning, and replacing tanks, upgrading weapons systems, and replacing communications equipment. However, with cruisers, there are also other concerns. The superstructure has historical cracking issues throughout the entire class that require continuous repairs. The reason the cruiser’s superstructure is so prone to cracking is because it is made of aluminium. Unlike steel, which becomes more flexible and ductile as it flexes over time, aluminium stiffens and then cracks. The cracking can lead to major structural failures and it can be difficult and sometimes impossible to weld to, depending on how extensive the cracking has become. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 Aug 18. US Navy supercarrier John C. Stennis is headed for a complex overhaul. Huntington Ingalls Newport News is gearing up to start a yearslong overhaul of the U.S. Navy carrier John C. Stennis, which is shifting home ports from Washington state to Norfolk to get ready for its break from the rotation. The company announced last week it had inked a $187.5m contract for advanced planning to support Stennis’ refueling and complex overhaul, or RCOH, slated to begin in 2021. The contract is for “engineering, design, material procurement and fabrication, documentation, resource forecasting, and pre-overhaul inspections,” according to the announcement. In a statement, HII’s head of carrier maintenance said the contract was a critical first step toward getting Stennis started out right.
“The planning stage is critically important to the overall success of an engineering and construction project of this magnitude,” Chris Miner said. “This contract allows us to prepare for each step in the overhaul process from preparing for the ship’s arrival at Newport News to its redelivery back to the Navy.”
The carrier George Washington is currently going through its RCOH and will be replaced by Stennis when it’s completed. Washington will eventually return to Japan to be the Navy’s forward-deployed carrier, relieving the Reagan which replaced Washington in 2015. Washington started its 48-month RCOH last summer.
14 Aug 18. General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO), San Diego, California, is awarded a $147,650,048 firm-fixed-price contract for the execution of USS Cowpens (CG 63) fiscal 2018 modernization period availability. This is a “long-term” availability will include a combination of maintenance, modernization and repairs. This was competed on a coast-wide (West coast) basis without limiting the place of performance to the vessel’s homeport. GD-NASSCO will provide the facilities and human resources capable of completing, coordinating and integrating multiple areas of ship maintenance, repair and modernization for USS Cowpens. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $154,805,657. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by December 2019. Fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance (Navy); and fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $147,650,048 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured using full and open competition via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received in response to solicitation N00024-18-R-4439. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-18-C-4439).
14 Aug 18. Boeing Co., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has been awarded a $16,072,212 contract for engineering support services for C-32 interior refresh second aircraft. The C-32A interior requirements are for an appearance more commensurate with presidential section of the VC-25A. The requirements necessitate a combination of the following: upgraded interior elements; refurbished interior elements; painting and cleaning; replacing double-seat configuration with triple-seat configuration, aft of Door 3. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and various locations, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 8, 2019. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $16,072,212 are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (FA8106-17-D-0002/ FA8106-18-F-0112). (Awarded Aug. 9, 2018)
14 Aug 18. Chilean Navy contracts overhaul of PC-7 powerplants. The Chilean Navy has signed a support agreement with US firm Prime Turbines to have the PT6A-25 turboprops of its fleet of Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer aircraft fully overhauled and refurbished, according to sources in Santiago. The first two engines are in the process of being sent to the United States, in what is the first step towards increasing the serviceability of the type, which has been in service since 1980. The overhaul and upgrade of the aircraft had already been planned but a mishap with one of the seven surviving PC-7s, which had to make an emergency landing after an engine failure a month ago, added urgency to its implementation, the sources said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Aug 18. Primes working together: BAE and Lockheed supporting F-35. BAE Systems Australia and Lockheed Martin have partnered to support critical sustainment training for Australia’s local F-35 workforce ahead of the first two F-35 aircraft arriving in Australia later this year. As the countdown to the arrival of Australia’s first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters gains pace, so too does the upskilling of a specialised workforce to support regional F-35 training centres and operational sites. Key industry support partnerships between prime contractors BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin are paving the way for eight BAE Systems Australia technicians travel to the US for training to support the Royal Australian Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft’s arrival. The technicians, who have transferred from the Hawk Lead-In Fighter program, will be trained by Lockheed Martin at its production facility training centre in Fort Worth, Texas. During their 13-week training program, the mechanical, avionics and structural technicians and qualified instructors from BAE Systems will work alongside Lockheed Martin F-35 subject matter experts and mentors.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive Gabby Costigan said, “This is the first step in creating a depot capability in Australia. Our mechanical, avionics and structural technicians will be trained at the facility where the F-35 is designed and built. This training will ensure they have all the necessary skills to provide the very best support for the Royal Australian Air Force.”
In early 2015, the US government assigned BAE Systems Australia (Williamtown) the regional F-35 airframe depot maintenance responsibility for the south Asia-Pacific region. In August 2017, BAE Systems Australia was also assigned the regional warehouse responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region. When all of Australia’s aircraft are delivered, BAE Systems will support up to six dedicated F-35 maintenance bays employing around 100 people.
BAE Systems Australia aerospace and integrated systems director Steve Drury said BAE is proud of its close collaboration with Lockheed Martin on the F-35 program.
“The training of our team in Fort Worth is an important milestone for our capability in Australia to support the Royal Australian Air Force and regional F-35 fleets,” Drury said.
Lockheed Martin Australia CEO Vince Di Pietro said industry partnerships such as these ensure the demands of the F-35 and other advanced fifth-generation technologies and platforms are met.
“Through our continuing relationship with Australian industry, Lockheed Martin Australia will be a committed partner in delivering high performing and affordable sustainment solutions for Australia for decades ahead,” said Di Pietro. “As the original equipment manufacturer, we are committed to bringing our accumulated experience to the successful establishment and through-life support of the RAAF F-35A fleet.”
Australian industry regional depot maintenance responsibility for 64 of the first 65 aircraft components (Tier 1) was assigned by the US government to BAE Systems, GE Aviation, Northrop Grumman and RUAG in November 2016. Regional assignments for the next tranche (Tier 2) of about 400 aircraft components are expected to occur in the latter part of 2018. Australia is spending about $17bn to buy 72 fighters of the F-35A variant, with the aircraft due to reach IOC by December 2020. Australia’s first six F-35As are currently operating at the international Pilot Training Centre at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, with four more aircraft expected to be delivered by the end of this year. Two of Australia’s F-35A aircraft are scheduled to arrive for permanent basing at RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle in December this year. (Source: Defence Connect)
About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].
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