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17 Apr 08. Boeing Australia Limited opened a component repair business that will be housed in a new AUS$10m facility at Melbourne Airport, Victoria. The new business will maintain, repair and overhaul a wide range of components for commercial and military aircraft, ranging from the revolutionary Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18 Hornet. Boeing Australia Limited President David Withers said the opening of the new business puts the company at the forefront of aircraft composite-repair technologies and significantly expands its capabilities.

07 Apr 08. HQ 6 Division: Formation. HQ 6 Division was officially formed on 1 Apr 08, although work did not start until 7 Apr 08. The new headquarters has a core staff of 55 and is stationed at Imphal Barracks in the Fulford area of York. The Divisional Commander is Major General J D Page OBE, whose first official engagement was a ceremonial parade on 11 Apr 08.
Comment: Subject to official confirmation, the aim of the new Divisional Commander is to develop the nucleus of a deployable Divisional Headquarters and to prepare Brigades for OP HERRICK. It is anticipated that HQ 6 Division will take over Regional Command (South) in Afghanistan from Summer 2009. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0816, 22 Apr 08)

22 Apr 08. The Boeing Company has opened a new F-15E Mission Training Center (MTC) at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom. The center, Boeing’s third, will provide F-15E aircrews with high-fidelity, simulator-based training without the material, personnel and environmental costs associated with training on operational aircraft. The training center provides two high-fidelity, dual-cockpit F-15E simulators with a 360-degree visual system, a robust synthetic environment and instructor/operator and brief/debrief stations. The simulators, enhanced with a head-tracked area-of-interest visual display system, can be operated individually or linked to provide two- or four-ship training within the MTC. They also can be linked locally with two medium-fidelity F-15E Manned Combat Stations to allow local four-ship training. The MTC will join the Air Force’s Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) training network next year. As with the MTCs at Mountain Home Air Force Base (AFB) in Idaho and Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina, Boeing supports this training capability with several key products, including the Visual Integrated Display System, Manned Combat Stations and the Big Tac Combat Environment Server. Boeing also provides the key network elements to enable local and long-haul networked training. Lockheed Martin provides the instructor/operator station, the noncombatant natural environment system and electro-optical/infrared imaging system, along with the geographic databases. Science Applications International Corp. provides the brief/debrief station.
Apr 08. RFA Fort Rosalie: Life Extension. Preview (April 2008) reports that RFA Fort Rosalie is undergoing a 10-month ship’s life extension project (SLEP) in Liverpool with North Western Shiprepairers. The £28m SLEP is designed to ensure the vessel’s reliability through to her new out of service date of 2018.
Comment: The 30-year old stores vessel Fort Rosalie had been due to decommission in 2013. Sister-ship Fort Austin is one year younger and due to decommission in 2014, but could also continue in service with a SLEP. How these arrangements affect the RFA replacement programme (Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability or MARS) remains to be seen. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0816, 22 Apr 08)

22 Apr 08. EADS is to sell its Socata unit to French aerospace, defence nuclear and automobile group Daher, French Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche reported, citing union sources. Socata, which manufactures touring, training and business aircraft and aerostructures for other planemakers, including EADS stablemate Airbus, currently has a partnership agr

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