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06 May 13. Materion Barr Precision Optics & Thin Film Coatings, a Materion Corporation business, announced the current construction of a 3,000-square-foot class 1000 clean room outfitted with the market’s latest infrared coating chambers and 3D patterning equipment. The work cell will significantly enhance Materion’s capability to manufacture low-defect coatings in high volume for the infrared wafer level, defense and consumer electronics markets. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

03 May 13. Vector Aerospace announced the grand opening of its new hangar and office complex which adds 45,000 square feet to its existing Helicopter Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Andalusia. This expansion provides Vector with over 90,000 square feet of operations and support area and will allow Vector to service more than 20 aircraft concurrently. The additional space will enable Vector to implement a number of Lean Manufacturing processes which will further reduce aircraft Turn Around Time (TAT). The increased capacity and streamlined processes will also result in additional aircraft completions per year. Vector will increase its workforce from 140 to 170 employees this year and continue to increase its direct employees to meet customers’ requirements, both military and commercial, in the coming years .

07 May 13. Boeing has delivered a training center for the C-17 Globemaster III airlifter to the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, enabling the base to cut costs by training pilots and loadmasters onsite. The delivery is part of an initial $44m contract awarded in December 2010 to deliver C-17 Weapon System Trainers (WSTs) to Wright-Patterson, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., and Stewart Air National Guard, N.Y. In December 2011, the Air Force exercised a $29m option for additional C-17 WST deliveries for Air National Guard bases in Memphis, Tenn., and Martinsburg, W.V., scheduled for completion in 2014. The Wright-Patterson facility includes a new and fully networked C-17 WST, a training management system, computer-based training devices, a core integrated processor task trainer and portable flight-planning devices. The new WST has the ability to be networked with other U.S. Air Force WST devices around the world for cross-team mission training.
Wright-Patterson is home base for nine C-17s, and the Air Force contracting office for the Boeing C-17 training program has been stationed at the base since the program’s inception in 1989.

08 May 13. U.K. Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, officially opened the new manufacturing facility of an entirely new clean green cooking fuel for the military, camping and leisure markets. The FireDragon fuel plant in Llanelli, run by Cardiff-based BCB International, was able to start with support from the Welsh Government’s Economic Growth Fund and will initially create six new jobs. Award-winning BCB International, are an established designer and manufacturer of survival and protective equipment supplying the MoD and defence organisations worldwide. One of its most highly publicised recent products are the Blast Boxer shorts used by many of our Armed Forces to protect them from blast and fragment injuries to the groin caused by roadside bombs better known as IEDS. BCB has been developing and formulating Fire Dragon – its new fuel – over the past five years, and having successfully applied for a patent and getting £150,000 support from the Economic Growth Fund can now start production.

MARITIME

07 May 13. HMS LEDBURY: Off to the Med. HMS LEDBURY sailed from Portsmouth (7 May 13) for a four-month NATO mission in the Mediterranean. The Hunt Class minehunter will be working as part of a permanent multinational maritime force in the area known as Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2).
Comment: The 42 sailors on board HMS LEDBURY returned to the UK four months ago, having served on board sister-ship HMS ATHERSTONE in the Gulf. All t

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