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05 Mar 20. USAF gets ready for decision on commercial aerial-refueling services. The U.S. Air Force will know by the end of this month whether it will kick-start a competition for aerial-refueling services, the head of Air Mobility Command told Defense News.
The service is in the final stages of a feasibility study that is evaluating whether the Air Force should buy commercial tanking services to support day-to-day needs for training and testing, said Gen. Maryanne Miller in an exclusive Feb. 28 interview.
“The interest is high on the commercial side. The commercial companies who are considering this are really waiting to see the feasibility study, which will be completed in March,” she said. “The interest is high on the outside. I talked to a few vendors yesterday that was asking me when the study is going to be done. We’re all waiting for that.”
The study will help the Air Force determine whether it is cost-effective to use commercial aerial-refueling services as well as help set parameters on how a contract could be structured. However, Miller said, industry-operated tankers would not conduct combat or other overseas operations, and instead would be used exclusively for tasks in the continental United States such as augmenting training or for test and evaluation missions that AMC does not always have the capacity to fill.
AMC believes its requirement will amount to about 6,000 hours per year, although the study could influence that number. Currently 14 companies have indicated interest in competing for the opportunity, she said.
If the service decides to move forward with a competition, it believes it will be able to move from a contract award to an initial operating capability using a few aircraft in about a year, Miller said.
“I love the idea. I hope the feasibility proves positive for us. That way we can get our requirements out there, we can start receiving proposals and then work that process as defined. We’re optimistic,” she said. “That would be exciting to relieve some of the tension and stress on our force.”
Getting Congress to agree to fund aerial-refueling services could be a hard sell, especially as the service considers paring back some of its own capacity. To free up funds for other priorities, the Air Force proposed retiring 16 KC-10s and 13 KC-135s in fiscal 2021. However, the idea has come under fire from U.S. Transportation Command — which has sought funds to buy back 23 of those tankers — as well as lawmakers who question whether the Air Force would be taking on too much near-term risk.
But Miller contended that having the flexibility of commercial aerial-refueling services could relieve pressures on the military’s own tankers, filling the gap for U.S. missions when there is high demand abroad.
“It really just relieves and fills that market of the service missions we just don’t get to today. Some of that is readiness-related,” she said. It also could have a positive impact for acquisition programs, as there will be more aerial-refueling resources available for test and evaluation, allowing test points to be completed more quickly and efficiently, and let the Air Force ensure it doesn’t wear out its legacy KC-135s too quickly. “Having one more option is just really, really important.” (Source: Defense News)
03 Mar 20. Boeing to continue maintaining Australia’s Super Hornet and Growler. The Australian Government has extended the Boeing Defence Australia Air Combat Electronic Attack Sustainment contract. Under the four-year contract extension, the company will continue to provide sustainment services for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft fleet.
The A$280m contract will support hundreds of defence industry jobs in Amberley, Queensland, Australia. Boeing delivers logistics, maintenance, engineering and operational and capability upgrade management services under the contract.
The original contract was signed in August 2016, with an initial tenure of five years.
Subcontractors involved in the Boeing contract are Raytheon Australia, Northrop Grumman Australia and Pacific Aerospace.
Delivery of the sustainment contract will be majority carried out by 230 Boeing Defence Australia and sub-contractor personnel based in the region of Amberley.
The extension programme was welcomed by Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price.
Price said: “The contract, valued at A$280m, provides a highly experienced maintenance, engineering, supply, project management, and weapon system integrator workforce to defence.
“This partnership continues to recognise Boeing’s commitment and performance in supporting these airforce capabilities.
“Australian industry workforce is vital to the ongoing sustainment and regular upgrades critical to the Super Hornet and Growler capabilities.”
In January this year, RUAG International concluded the first component repairs on RAAF’s Super Hornet aircraft.
In May last year, Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) announced that the Growler aircraft achieved initial operating capability (IOC).
The RAAF has 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets and 11 EA-18G Growlers. The service operates the aircraft out of RAAF Base Amberley. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
03 Mar 20. Exide to Present Latest Battery Technology at Middle East Energy Dubai 2020. Exide Technologies a global provider of stored electrical energy solutions, will present a selection of its products at the upcoming Middle East Energy conference taking place on 3-5 March 2020 in the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), United Arab Emirates. The company’s new telecom lithium battery will be officially launched in the region for the first time, while high-performance lead-acid batteries will also be on display. Exide will be positioned at Stand H4.G20.
At the event Exide will demonstrate how its technology is used in a broad variety of applications, including telecoms, uninterruptible power supplies, back-up power for renewables, power and grid quality, and providing off-grid power to remote communities. The company has a wide range of batteries available, allowing it to recommend the best technology for the application in question.
Exide will launch its high-performance GNB Sonnenschein Lithium in the Middle East for the first time at the event. The battery offers fast recharging and advanced safety features, and its maintenance-free design is ideally suited to BTS (Base Transceiver Station) applications. Its compact, lightweight structure makes transport and installation easier, and its impressive charge acceptance provides greater operating freedom. The efficiency and exceptional service life reduce total cost of ownership for operators.
Also on display will be GNB Classic Solar, Sonnenschein Solar, Sonnenschein PowerCycle, Sprinter Top Terminal and Front Terminal, Marathon Front Terminal, and Absolyte System, which is used mainly in the oil & gas and utilities & telecoms sectors. The next-generation Marathon Front Terminal batteries now have an increased design life of 15 years up from 12, and next-generation Sprinter Front Terminal batteries now have an increased design life of 12 years up from 10.
“We’re looking forward to the Middle East Energy event in Dubai,” said Adnan Eid, Exide’s Regional Sales Director MEA / India. “The MEE conference is always at the center of research and future developments in the energy industry – just where Exide likes to be. We’re excited to see what this year’s conference will bring, and to present our industry-leading products to audiences from around the world. We encourage all attendees to visit us at Stand H4.G20.”
Middle East Energy (MEE) Dubai evolved from the world-leading Middle East Electricity event, which annually attracts governments, consultants, manufacturers, managers, contractors, developers and experts from such diverse fields as renewables, telecommunications, energy management, power storage and smart technology. Exide is now entering its eighth year participating in the event.
This year will be the 45th edition of the MEE conference, a testament to its popularity and success in the energy industry not just in the Middle East – where the energy and utilities sector has been rapidly expanding – but also globally. Over the three days it will include case-study-led sessions and panel discussions presented by some 150 speakers.
28 Feb 20. MTU Maintenance Canada Becomes F138 Engine Depot for the USAF. MTU Maintenance Canada Ltd, MTU’s stronghold and competence center for military engine maintenance will support the United States Air Force’s (USAF) F138 engines and components with depot maintenance, repair and overhaul. The contract is currently valued at 225m USD, awarded via the Canadian Commercial Corporation, and runs for ten years to February 2030.
The F138 is the military variant of the CF6-80C2 engine and powers the C-5M Super Galaxy – the largest aircraft in the USAF inventory with four of these engines. The CF6-80C2 program was recently introduced at MTU Maintenance Canada, with the first engine inducted in early 2020 and test cell correlation currently underway. “We are delighted to have been awarded such a prestigious contract right off the bat,” says Michael Schreyögg, Chief Program Officer, MTU Aero Engines. “This is one of the largest contracts in MTU Maintenance Canada’s history and we look forward to providing USAF with excellent technical support.”
“The CF6-80C2, and its military variant the F138, is a logical introduction into the MTU Maintenance Canada portfolio, as we have already serviced CF6-50 and KC-10 engines in the past,” adds Helmut Neuper, CEO and President, MTU Maintenance Canada. “We had a great track record of 100 percent on time delivery within the KC-10 program, a military derivative of the CF6-50 engine, and are delighted to have become prime contractor in this case.” The first F138 USAF delivery order is expected in April this year.
MTU Maintenance Canada is the North American member of the MTU Maintenance network of companies, the global leader in customized services for aero engines. Based in British Columbia (BC), the company operates a shop where it repairs and overhauls engines and accessories and performs engine tests. MTU’s Canadian affiliate holds licenses for work on the CF6, CFM56 and V2500 engine families. Alongside accessory repairs, the company also offers its customers so-called Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) management services which play an increasing role in MTU’s service offerings. Last year, the company committed to significantly increasing capacity and engine portfolio within North America. (Source: ASD Network)
28 Feb 20. US Navy carrier Kennedy’s reactor sailors start operating aboard ship. US Navy (USN) carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) Reactor Department sailors started to operate aboard the ship this week, marking another early milestone for the ship’s construction, which is being completed in the shipyard at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.
“Sailors are beginning to operate on board three months ahead of schedule,” Captain Todd Marzano, Kennedy commanding officer, said on 27 February in a statement.
As the sailors move into the compartments aboard the ship, they and the USN take ownership of the newly completed ship spaces – considered to be a construction milestone.
“Working aboard the ship in our permanent spaces,” Capt Marzano said, “enables us to begin the process of taking ownership of our equipment, systems, and compartments, which brings us another important step closer to delivering JFK to the fleet.”
Kennedy Master Chief Machinist’s Mate Gerrit Assink noted, “It allows the Reactor Department to settle into the day-to-day routine.”
The sailors will continue their training and certification process aboard Kennedy as they prepare to operate the equipment on board.
Newport News Shipbuilding’s construction team was able to complete and turn over 63 compartments to the Kennedy crew more than four months earlier than had been the case during the construction of the carrier-class lead ship, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The turned-over compartments include a training facility, offices, and habitable spaces. Altogether, 2,700 compartments will be turned over to the ship’s crew by the time the carrier is finished.
The completed spaces allow sailors to begin training on the ship while shipyard workers continue final outfitting and testing. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Feb 20. Convoy across the Atlantic will test delivery of equipment to Europe. As soldiers begin arriving in Europe for the massive Defender-Europe 20 exercise, a convoy of Navy, Military Sealift Command and merchant ships are testing the movement of Army equipment across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time since before the end of the Cold War.
Guided-missile cruiser Vella Gulf is escorting roll on/roll off ship Benavidez, operated by Military Sealift Command, and U.S.-flagged vehicle carriers Resolve and Patriot. They will participate in a simulated adversarial transit exercise to test the fleet’s movement across the Atlantic while bringing about 1.3 million square feet of Army equipment from the U.S. to ports in Europe, Navy officials say.
The simulation will include virtual and live scenarios and incorporate anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare elements, Cmdr. Troy Denison, director of current operations at 2nd Fleet said in a phone interview Friday. Aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower along with a submarine and a P-8A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron 4 “sanitized” the undisclosed battle space for the exercise, setting it up for the simulated enemy so “the convoy could also have an encounter with them as well and react,” he said.
Convoys were critical for moving supplies and troops between the U.S. and Europe during both World Wars. This is the first Navy convoy operation in the Atlantic since 1986, Denison said.
“This is really the first time in quite a while that we’ve conducted convoy operations,” he said.
Defender-Europe 20 is the largest deployment of soldiers from the U.S. to Europe in a quarter century and is designed to test the military’s ability, along with its allies, to move combat forces and equipment quickly. Equipment is traveling from ports states and arriving in six European countries.
The operation comes as Navy leaders caution about the need to wrangle control of the Atlantic amid increased Russian activity. In early February, the Navy’s 2nd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis warned that sailors need to start treating the Atlantic as a contested battle space.
In a wartime scenario, 90 percent of cargo moved into theater operations is taken by Military Sealift Command, underscoring the need for more integrated training, said Kim Harriss, a supervisory marine transportation specialist for the command.
“The U.S. Army is troubled by a looming sealift shortfall that will create “unacceptable risk in force projection” within the next five years if the Navy doesn’t act quickly.” David B. Larter
Benavidez left Beaumont, Texas Monday and the convoy began Thursday, Vella Gulf commanding officer Capt. Andrew Fitzpatrick said in a call with reporters from the cruiser Friday.
“We are prepared to thwart any sorts of aggressive behavior that we’re confronted with, whether they’re aircraft, surface ships, submarines and other types of attack, which does include cyber warfare,” Fitzpatrick said.
Capt. Hans E. Lynch, commander of Military Sealift Command Atlantic, said MSC has been hampered by a lack of investment in command and control infrastructure. It is relying almost entirely upon commercial communications services, including satellite phones, he said, and as a result there’s a greater emphasis on the role of watch standers.
Identifying gaps in equipment and planning is a focus for MSC in the exercise, Lynch added.
“It can be very challenging for us to even communicate with ships that are right next to each other,” Lynch said in a call from the Benavidez. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Navy Times)
28 Feb 20. Nova Systems wins contract to support NH90 helicopter programme. Nova Systems Norway has secured a contract from the Norwegian Armed Forces to support the NH90 maritime helicopter programme. The company won the two-year €15m framework contract through an open and competitive tender. The latest contract signifies a significant expansion and will double the size of Nova Norway’s Norwegian operations. Nova Systems developed the medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter NH90 in response to the Nato requirements for a multiple capability helicopter. The helicopter is a Norwegian Naval Frigate Helicopter (NFH) variant of the NH90.
Supporting the strategic requirement to patrol, it will also protect Norwegian territorial waters from existing and future threats.
The NH90 contributes to the increased anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability to Nato forces and operations.
For several years, Norway operated the NH90 from coastguard ships in a search and rescue (SAR) and surveillance role.
Nova will initially provide a team of ten to 12 operators, engineers and software specialists fully embedded with RNoAF and Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) personnel at the new squadron building, which is based at Haakonsvern Naval Base near Bergen.
The building accommodates both 334 Squadron and the NH90 OT & E Squadron.
Developed to meet the needs of military operators worldwide, the NH90 programme is managed by the joint venture NHIndustries, a company owned by Leonardo Helicopters, Airbus Helicopters and GKN Fokker.
In August 2018, the Royal Norwegian Navy conducted tests of NH90 helicopter landings on ships in order to assess ship‑helicopter operational limitations. (Source: naval-technology.com)
About Hobson Industries
Hobson Industries is a private company established in 1987 by Peter Hobson, after serving as a Charge Chief Weapons Engineering Artificer in the Royal Navy. Hobson Industries is an innovative and highly technical engineering business operating to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System which is complimented with our ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System.
Across the markets we serve in, the UK and globally, we establish close relationships with the people that trust and depend on us. We specialise in the through life support management and development of Land Rover heritage military and civilian platforms – in effect, the Land Rover need never die!
Hobson Industries offer four core services that we specialise in:
We offer Land Rover vehicle builds to original specification or complete with modifications and upgrades at the customers request. All work is done in house using our bountiful facilities. In addition to vehicle refurbishment, reconditioning and homologation across all Land Rover models.
Powertrain and Transmission Units:
We offer new and reconditioned units, perfect for your Land Rover. All built using Land Rover tolerances and specifications. All for sale on our website. Additionally, we offer reconditioning services to your own units.
With over 16,000 part lines in stock, and the Asset Management programme pioneered by the company, we are able to provide a cost effective range of parts which may no longer be available. Additionally, we are offering Hobson Original branded parts to drawings for obsolete parts to help provide Land Rover owners the parts to keep them on the road. Our parts strategy ensures that all re-cycled, asset managed and reconditioned parts and units meet original equipment standards and specifications to ensure your safety while driving on or off road.
Amour – Design and Fabrication and Blast Protection
We offer armouring in steel, composite and ceramic of new and refurbished vehicles and fleets.