23 May 13. Italy’s Finmeccanica is close to completing the link-up of eight of its simulator facilities to allow the integration of simulation training involving vehicles, helicopters, UAVs and other platforms. Under the scheme, which the firm has dubbed SimLabs, Finmeccanica units, including vehicle builder Oto Melara, aerospace unit Alenia Aermacchi, satellite firm Telespazio, electronics unit Selex ES and missiles firm MBDA Italy have integrated their product simulators up and down Italy to create what the company calls “federated, distributed simulation.” With Selex EX bringing three sites to the team-up, seven sites are involved in total, while Oto Melara was the last to come on line a month ago. The final step will involve bringing in the simulators used by helicopter unit AgustaWestland, which are run out of the firm’s Yeovil facility in the UK. That should happen by year end, and has taken longest since it is the only set-up outside Italy, said Pierpaolo Gambini, a Finmeccanica official involved in the program. (Source: Defense News)
21 May 13. Ukraine has opened the rocket engine airframes disposal facility in Dnipropetrovsk oblast. Its operation allows for environmentally friendly disposal of the RS-22 (SS-24) missile components and contributes to international security. The launch of the facility has been the result of negotiations between the U.S. President Barack Obama and the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych back in April 2010. Ukraine has entered the final stage of the fulfillment of its international commitments stipulated by to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, said the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych at the opening ceremony. The newly opened facility will house the destruction of RS-22 missiles, developed in 1980s by the Design Bureau Yuzhnoye in Dnipropetrovsk. Created to counter American Peacekeeper (the MX missile), RS-22 featured nuclear warheads and had a range of 10,000 kilometers, informs plesetzk.ru. Over three years ago, the U.S. has agreed to contribute to the destruction of Ukraine’s intercontinental ballistic missiles and its components. Currently, USA’s contribution to the project approaches USD 20m – 90 percent of the total project cost. The funding helped create an industrial research center at the Ukrainian chemical plant – Pavlohradskyi Khimichnyi Zavod. The center allows for environmentally friendly melting of the RS-22 (SS-24) missile airframes, as well as safe waste and solid fuel disposal. In March 2013, the plant launched landmine destruction line. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
22 May 13. Air Force Announces KC-46A Preferred and Reasonable Alternatives. Air Force officials announced the preferred and reasonable alternatives for the first KC-46A Tanker aircraft training and main operating bases. Altus Air Force Base, Okla., is the preferred alternative for the KC-46A formal training unit. McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., is the preferred alternative for the first active duty-led KC-46A main operating base. Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., and Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., are the reasonable alternatives. The preferred alternative for the first Air National Guard KC-46A main operating base is Pease Air Guard Station, N.H. The reasonable alternatives are Forbes Air Guard Station, Kan.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; Pittsburgh International Airport Air Guard Station, Pa., and Rickenbacker Air Guard Station, Ohio.
22 May 13. HMS TRENCHANT: Back from a Long Patrol. HMS TRENCHANT returned to Devonport on 22 May 13, 11 months to the day from when she sailed for what became the longest patrol ever completed by one of the RN’s hunter-killer boats. During her time at sea HMS TRENCHANT visited six ports: Fujairah, Diego Garcia, Bahrain, Aqaba, Souda Bay and Gibraltar.
Comment: The deployment covered 38,800nm and the boat spent over 4,700 hours under water. HMS TRENCHANT is now to undergo a two-year maintenance period. (Sourc