02 Nov 12. With more than $6bn in foreign military sales in its sights, Sikorsky is to establish a flight and maintenance training academy for the UH-60/S-70 Black Hawk helicopter in Altus, Oklahoma. The company says many customers, particularly foreign militaries, have difficulty getting access to training for flight crews and maintainers, and rely on providers that are not approved by either the U.S. military or the manufacturer. The lack of training is being exacerbated by strong international demand for the Black Hawk and its naval counterpart, the MH-60/S-70B Seahawk. Sikorsky booked $3.2bn in UH-60M and MH-60R foreign military sales to four countries in 2012. (Source: Glstrade.com/Av Week)
06 Nov 12. Cubic to Open Office Near Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Cubic Defense Applications, the defense systems business of Cubic Corporation has opened a new office in Beavercreek, Ohio, to pursue new
training and tactical communications business at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Cubic recently received two-year contract to deliver expanded live training capabilities at the National Center for Medical Readiness, also known as Calamityville. New instrumentation being supplied by Cubic will enhance the ability to track personnel and vehicles during live training and mission rehearsal exercises. The instrumentation will also provide an improved common operating picture and planning tools during disaster response, first responder, special operations and law enforcement SWAT team training and mission rehearsal activities at the facility. (Source: ASD Network)
08 Nov 12. The United States Department of Defense’s Defense Security Service (DSS) has presented Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Melbourne, Fla., facility with the prestigious James S. Cogswell Award for outstanding industrial security achievement. The DSS presents the Cogswell Award annually to a select group of security programs at cleared industrial sites that go well beyond industry standards and, in so doing, serve as an example to other cleared facilities. Only 26 of the nation’s more than 13,000 cleared facilities received this year’s award. The Melbourne site earned the honor, its third since 1995, after achieving two consecutive “superior” DSS ratings. Since learning of this year’s award, the site has earned another “superior” rating.
05 Nov 12. Laos: New Embassy. The Foreign Office announced (5 Nov 12) that the Foreign Secretary has opened a new Embassy in Vientiane. The UK now has an Embassy in each of the 10 ASEAN nations.
Comment: The re-opening of the Embassy in Vientiane is part of a major increase in UK diplomatic representation in 22 countries. The British Embassy in Laos was closed in 1985, since when the British Ambassador to Bangkok has been accredited to Laos. It is anticipated that the new Embassy will be fully established in January 2013, until when the Australian Embassy in Vientiane will continue to assist British nationals. There are around 37,000 British visitors every year to Laos.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/44, 12 Nov 12)
08 Nov 12. St Helena: Airport Equipment. Thales announced (8 Nov 12) that the Company has been selected by the construction company Basil Read to supply and install air traffic management equipment for the new airport on St Helena. The contract will see teams from Thales UK and South Africa provide and install all the navigational aids necessary for the new airport to be classified as ‘commercial’.
Comment: The International Development Secretary announced on 3 Nov 11 that a design and build contract worth just over £200m had been signed with Basil Read. On 29 Oct 12 the House of Commons was told that work on the St Helena Airport Project was “progressing well”. The Foreign Office believes that the (much delayed) airport “could transform St Helena from an island in decline into a prosperous and thriving community”. St Helena is possibly best known as Napoleon’s home in exile,