16 Jul 10. Thailand modernises missile development centre to aid Chinese collaboration. Thailand is expanding the research and development capabilities of its Royal Thai Army-run Weapons Production Centre (WPC) in a bid to facilitate the flow of modern missile technologies that it is receiving from China, Jane’s understands. The modernisation process – at the WPC’s main facilities in Lopburi, central Thailand – represents the first stage of a drive to develop a wide range of rockets and missiles for the Thai armed forces over the next decade, using base technologies ordered from Beijing in 2009. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
28 Jul 10. Drew Marine has moved its headquarters to 100 South Jefferson Road in Whippany, NJ. The company is a worldwide supplier of water treatment, fuel management, safety, maintenance and cleaning products to the maritime industry. Drew Marine was acquired by J.F. Lehman & Company in 2009 from Ashland, Inc. where it had been an operating unit since 1982. The move is the result of the closing of Drew Marine’s campus in Boonton, NJ. In addition to the headquarters move, Drew’s Technology Center recently relocated from the Boonton campus to 46 DeForest Avenue in East Hanover, NJ.
27 Jul 10. The U.S. Navy accepted the Northrop Grumman Corporation built Aegis guided missile destroyer Gravely (DDG 107) today on the fantail of the ship here at the company’s Pascagoula facility. Gravely is the 27th DDG 51 class ship delivered to the Navy.
“Our shipbuilders continue to perform well on this program, as they have done for more than 20 years in building quality DDGs,” said Bob Merchent, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s vice president of surface combatants and U.S. Coast Guard programs. “It was a challenge with sea trials in the wake of the oil spill, but together with our Navy customer, we have worked to execute a seamless plan to get to this point. Our shipbuilders understand who will be operating this ship, and those sailors deserve our best effort as they take control of Gravely and begin the ship’s mission of defending our nation.”
Gravely (DDG 107) will be commissioned on Nov. 20, 2010 in Wilmington, N.C.
“This milestone doesn’t come easy. It takes teamwork with Northrop Grumman, SupShip and now the Gravely crew,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Galinis, supervisor of shipbuilding, Gulf Coast. “The shipyard has continued to restore itself from Katrina and this is the third ship in this class to be delivered since the storm and each DDG continues to improve. The team has done a great job.”
U.S. Navy Commander Doug Kunzman is the ship’s first commanding officer and will lead a crew of over 300 officers and sailors. The 510-foot, 9,500-ton Gravely has an overall beam of 59 feet and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas-turbine propulsion plants will power the ship to speeds above 30 knots.
“To the Northrop Grumman/SupShip Gulf Coast team, I want to say thank you,” said Cmdr. Kunzman. “You are delivering to us 510 feet of sovereign U.S. territory that will go around this world. So thank you for building this ship, testing this ship and training this crew. I guarantee you this crew will sail this ship with the same pride and professionalism you put into constructing this ship. I’d be honored to take each one of you to sea with me.”
This highly capable multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. Gravely will be capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
23 Jul 10. Oman: Corvette Commissioned. BAE Systems announced that the Royal Navy of Oman’s (RNO) second corvette, AL-RAHMANI, had been commissioned at Portsmouth on 23 Jul 10. The commissioning ceremony was attended by