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14 May 13. Eurocopter officially opened its new Systemhaus helicopter development centre at Donauwörth, Germany in the presence of Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer. The facility, which provides workspace for some 900 employees, offers complete system capability for the global helicopter market leader’s production activity at its German location – a key aspect of the company’s worldwide innovation strategy. This new development center allows Eurocopter to manage the entire life-cycle of its helicopters at one German location, covering all aspects from research, development and prototype con-struction through manufacturing and final assembly – along with training, maintenance and product improvement. Approximately 900 employees are moving from an existing operation in Ottobrunn near Munich, bringing the Donauwörth location’s total workforce to a staff of some 6,500.

15 May 13. 5D Robotics, Inc., a robotics software company that integrates human behaviors with leading robotics hardware, has moved its office to 2236 Rutherford Road Ste 113. The new office encompasses 14,500 total square feet, half again the size of the company’s last office. The new space will serve as the 5D Robotics headquarters, and includes executive offices as well as a bay for robotic research and development. The company will continue to rent a large outdoor space for robotic testing and demonstrations as needed. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)

MARITIME

May 13. HMS DEFENDER: Visiting Hamburg. HMS DEFENDER made her first foreign visit to Hamburg in order to take part in the port’s 824th birthday festival. The Hafengeburtstag has been celebrated every year since 1189 and is now attended by hundreds of vessels. HMS DEFENDER was berthed alongside the frigate FGS SACHSEN and she hosted 6,000 visitors over two days. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/20, 20 May 13)

17 May 13. HMS TIRELESS: Coolant Leak. The Defence Equipment Minister said (14 May 13) that no liquids associated with the coolant leak on board HMS TIRELESS had been offloaded at Devonport or discharged at sea. On the submarine’s return to Devonport, the reactor compartment was surveyed and a small amount of dry surface radioactive contamination detected. The area was cleaned and no further contamination was found.
Comment: The Minister answered the initial Question about HMS TIRELESS on 1 Mar 13 (DNA 13/10) but there were supplementary Questions (all from the same Member) on 4 Mar, 15 Apr & 14 May 13. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/20, 20 May 13)

17 May 13. HMS ASTUTE: Final Trials. The RN reported (13 May 13) that HMS ASTUTE “is preparing to take her place on the front line as her final trials come to an end in the US”. The boat’s first Operational patrol is expected to start towards the end of 2013.
Comment: As her work-up trials conclude, HMS ASTUTE has been making use of AUTEC (the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Centre) off Andros Island in the Bahamas. Sister-boat and second in Class, HMS AMBUSH, is expected to complete sea trials during 2013. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/20, 20 May 13)

17 May 13. Future USS Minnesota Successfully Completes Sea Trials. Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Minnesota (SSN 783), the nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, moored May 16 at Huntington Ingalls Industry’s Newport News Shipbuilding following its successful completion of Alpha and Bravo sea trials. Testing evolutions completed during Alpha sea trials included diving to test depth, conducting an emergency surfacing, and testing the submarine’s propulsion plant to evaluate the ship’s seaworthiness and operational performance. Bravo trials consisted of testing Minnesota’s acoustic performance and combat systems. The tenth ship of the Virginia-class, Minnesota is scheduled to be delivered approximately one year earlier than its contract delivery date. Starting in August of 2008 with USS New Hampsh

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