25 Aug 12. The United States will not seek permanent military bases in Australia and nor would hosting one be in Canberra’s interests, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Aug. 25. Australia has welcomed long-term ally Washington’s plans for an enhanced naval presence in the Pacific and last year agreed to allow up to 2,500 U.S. Marines to be deployed to a barracks near the northern city of Darwin. But Carr rejected the idea of a permanent U.S. military base in Australia. (Source: Defense News)
28 Aug 12. Smiths Detection formally confirmed its recently expanded plant in Edgewood, Md., as its new US headquarters, part of its strategy of aligning production more closely to major customers. Its long-standing Edgewood facility already plays a key role in meeting the growing demand for advanced threat detection technologies from government agencies and companies representing aviation, transportation, military, emergency response and public infrastructures. Smiths Detection has invested more than $8.5m in its Edgewood operation, increasing the local workforce by more than 25%. The site recently expanded by more than 100,000 sq feet to accommodate manufacturing for the company’s X-ray, baggage screening, and security scanning systems for North and South American customers. Edgewood is also where Smiths Detection makes Joint Chemical Agent Detectors (JCADs), to safeguard soldiers as part of one of the US Department of Defense’s largest chemical warfare protection programs. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
28 Aug 12. CGI Group Inc. will establish an information technology center of excellence in Athens, Ohio, in January 2013. The center will employ 150 IT professionals over the next three years, expanding CGI’s footprint in Ohio to 600 employees and boosting regional economic development. The company will begin recruiting for the new center this fall, targeting both experienced IT professionals and college graduates, including veterans and military family members. The new CGI Ohio Onshore Center of Excellence will extend CGI’s capabilities to support both government and commercial enterprises in Ohio, the Midwest and the Nation. (Source: Yahoo!/Marketwire)
17 Aug 12. Pyongyang completes major step in construction of new reactor. Imagery taken on 6 August by the GeoEye-1 satellite reveals North Korea has taken a major step in its mission to build a modern, indigenous nuclear reactor with a 21 m diameter dome now having been emplaced over the reactor building at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre. The emplacement of the dome is a significant development, although it may take several more years for the facility to be completed and brought into full operation. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
20 Aug 12. Type 26 Frigate: Basic Specification Agreed. The Defence Equipment Minister released (20 Aug 12) the basic specification of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship (T26 GCS). The replacement frigate will have a displacement of around 5,400 tonnes and will be about 148 metres in length. The Minister said that he is “delighted the programme has been endorsed by the Investment Approvals Committee”.
Comment: The MoD has confirmed a planning assumption for the construction of 13 vessels. It is anticipated that an order will be placed in 2014, with steel being cut in 2015 and First of Class launch in 2019. Type 26 frigates are expected to replace Type 23s, on a one-for-one basis, from 2021. The ‘T26 GCS’ nomenclature has been authorised by the MoD and is said to reflect the aspirations for collaboration. Discussions are said to have taken place with Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Turkey. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/34, 03 Sep 12)
24 Aug 12. Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division opened a new, 65,000-square-foot facility, called the Supplemental Module Outfitting Facility (SMOF), to facilitate the Virginia Class Submarine (VCS) Program’s tw