30 Sep 09. Eurofighter Typhoon: Start of Support Contract. BAE Systems announced that the opening (30 Sep 09) of the Typhoon Support Centre and the Typhoon Maintenance Facility at RAF Coningsby marks the official start of the Typhoon Availability Service (TAS). Under the terms of the TAS, BAE Systems is to take a major role in ensuring the availability of the Typhoon fleet to meet all its commitments.
Comment: On 4 Mar 09, the Defence Equipment Minister announced the award of the £450m TAS contract for an initial five years. Over 270 BAE employees work on the contract at RAF Coningsby and at the Company’s Samlesbury and Warton sites. The number of employees is expected to rise to about 500. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/37, 05 Oct 09)
01 Oct 09. US Navy declares first Growler squadron operational
The US Navy (USN) has declared its first Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic warfare squadron “safe for flight operations”, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced on 29 September. Electronic Attack Squadron 132 (VAQ-132) ‘Scorpions’, based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Washington state, received the official notification from the commander of the Electronic Attack Wing of the Pacific Fleet on 22 September. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Sep 09. US Army opens UAS centre in Utah. The US Army officially opened a new one-stop shop for integration and testing of unmanned aerial systems (UASs) at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, on 23 September. According to an army announcement, this new Rapid Integration and Acceptance Center (RIAC) was established to consolidate testing of military UAS payloads and technologies so that these systems can be more rapidly developed and deployed to theatre(Source: Jane’s)
25 Sep 09. RAF deploys four Typhoons to Falklands
The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has deployed four Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 combat aircraft to the Falkland Islands/Malvinas for air defence duties. The aircraft, which departed from their homebase at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire on 12 September, were accompanied by aerial refuelling tanker aircraft for their 8,000-mile journey to the South Atlantic island chain. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Sep 09. US hands Manta back to Ecuador. The United States formally handed its Manta Forward Operating Location (FOL) at the Ecuadorian Air Force’s Eloy Alfaro airbase back to local forces on 18 September. The Manta FOL was leased in 1999 to facilitate regional operations by US military aircraft. (Source: Jane’s)
18 Sep 09. HMS VICTORY: Future Secured. The International Defence Minister announced (18 Sep 09) the outcome of work to examine options for the future support of HMS VICTORY. The Minister was speaking at the launch of the National Museum of the
Royal Navy when she said that HMS VICTORY is to remain a commissioned warship and the Flagship of the Second Sea Lord.
Comment: HMS VICTORY is the oldest commissioned warship in the world, having been commissioned in 1778 and remaining on active service until 1812. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/37, 05 Oct 09)
08 Oct 09. The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Wayne E. Meyer, during a 1 p.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009, at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, Pa. Designated DDG 108, the new destroyer honors the late Navy rear admiral who led the development of Aegis, the first fully integrated combat system built to defend against air, surface and subsurface threats. Meyer was regarded as the father of the Navy’s Aegis Weapons System. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations and the first officer to have commanded both an Aegis cruiser and destroyer, will also deliver remarks. Anna Mae Meyer will serve as sponsor of the ship named for her late husband. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tra