02 Feb 10. Preparations for two of the US Army’s newest mission-critical aircraft, the V-22 Osprey and the joint strike fighter (JSF) are forcing airfield engineers to rethink the way expeditionary airfields are built. Speaking at January’s military engineering conference in Munich, lead engineer 3rd Maritime Aircraft Wing, Master Gunnery Sergeant Manny Diaz said that the landing requirements of the two aircraft were posing serious engineering challenges. “We are having to create an entirely new expeditionary airfield,” he said. The engineers responsible for setting up airfields in forward deployed situations are experiencing issues with the V-22 as the wash, or downdraft created by the tilt rotor blades is so strong that both infrastructure and personnel are in danger of being blown away. The JSF on the other hand produces such high temperatures that the gear used by expeditionary airfield teams is melting. According to Diaz, the engineer corps are in the process of developing new products.”This is an ongoing process. We have ideas but they need testing,” he said. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
02 Feb 10. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) officially announced the founding of a new subsidiary in Singapore today. Named KMW Asia-Pacific, it will act as a regional hub for KMW’s activities in Singapore and Asia. “This step is a clear commitment to Singapore which has recently purchased LEOPARD 2 main battle tanks and respective periphery systems, delivered by KMW”, Frank Haun, CEO of KMW, said during his visit to the Singapore Air Show 2010. “With the LEOPARD 2, KMW has arrived in the Lion City. The MBT is a catalyst for future activities in Singapore and beyond.” The new company is headed by Christian Goettfert, KMWs former Regional Sales Director for Asia-Pacific. He has a long standing record in sales and marketing and an in-depth knowledge of the region.
27 Jan 10. Astute Class Submarines: Build State. The Defence Equipment Minister confirmed (27 Jan 10) that four of the seven planned Astute Class [SSN] submarines have been ordered. Boat 1 (ASTUTE) is currently undergoing an extensive programme of sea trials, while Boats 2, 3 & 4 (AMBUSH, ARTFUL & AUDACIOUS) are in various stages of construction. Orders have also been placed for long lead items for Boat 5 and for the reactor core for Boat 6.
Comment: A promised Ministerial Statement about the postponed in-service date for HMS ASTUTE is still awaited. Instead of a straight answer, the Minister could only say that the “boat build profile can only be confirmed once detailed joint planning and cost analysis work has been completed…”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/05, 01 Feb 10)
Feb 10. HMS ROEBUCK: Decommissioning. Navy News (February 2010) confirmed that the survey ship HMS ROEBUCK and the Sandown Class minehunter HMS WALNEY are to be decommissioned in 2010.
Comment: On 15 Dec 09 the Defence Secretary said that one survey ship and one minehunter were to be taken out of service early. The Defence Equipment Minister subsequently said that HMS WALNEY was to be withdrawn in April 2010 (rather than in 2017). HMS ROEBUCK has now been identified as the survey ship leaving early (rather than in 2014). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/05, 01 Feb 10)
27 Jan 10. Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA): Replacement Vessels. The Defence Equipment Minister outlined (27 Jan 10) the latest development in the Tanker element of the MARS (Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability) programme. A new international competition for the Tankers is under way, with pre-qualification questionnaires being evaluated. Invitations to submit outline proposals are expected to be issued in Spring 2010, with contract award in 2012. The later Classes of MARS vessels (Fleet Solid Support and Amphibious Combat Support) “remain uncommitted at this stage”.
Comment: The latest version of the MARS Tanker programme invites Industry to offer a range of solutions “tha