29 Oct 13. Romania starts European anti-missile defence facility construction. Romania has started main construction work on the facility at Deveselu Air Base, which will host the controversial European land-based anti-missile defence (AMD) system. Representing the second phase of the four-phase European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) initiative, the facility is scheduled to become operational by the end of 2015. Romania has signed a bilateral agreement with the US for construction of an Aegis ballistic missile defence system, including missile defence radar and standard missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors at Deveselu Air Base, in September 2011. Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony, Nato deputy secretary general, Alexander Vershbow, said the facility represents a vital link in the chain of assets provided by the alliance members, and will serve as an important part of Nato’s overall missile defences in Europe. (Source: army-technology.com)
29 Oct 13. North Korea has undertaken major construction work at its main missile launch site, possibly to cater to larger and more mobile weapons, a US think-tank. Satellite images taken earlier this month suggest construction of a second flat mobile launch pad at the Sohae missile site, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University posted on its 38 North website. Work has also been carried out on Sohae’s main launch pad, “possibly to upgrade that facility to handle future larger rockets,” the post said. The pad was used for the launch in December of the North’s Unha-3 carrier, which successfully placed a satellite in orbit. The launch was condemned by most in the international community as a disguised ballistic missile test that violated UN sanctions on Pyongyang.
North Korea insisted it was a purely scientific mission and vowed to push ahead with similar launches in the future. (Source: Defense News)
31 Oct 13. A new warship has been handed over to the Royal Navy of Oman amid colourful celebrations on HM Naval Base Portsmouth this morning. AL RAHMANI is the second of three 99 metre corvettes designed, built and
delivered for the Royal Navy of Oman as part of Project Khareef. Her Interim Acceptance, in which the ship’s title is transferred before sailing to Oman, marks an important milestone for the project. The formal handover ceremony was attended by our employees and VIPs from the
Royal Navy of Oman and the Royal Navy who watched her crew board the vessel and raise the National Flag of Oman on the ship’s flight deck for the first time. In celebration of the milestone, our employees took part in a week of Omani themed activities with the ship’s crew members. Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower also joined the celebrations by lighting up in Oman’s national colours over the city in which AL RAHMANI was constructed. We will now support AL RAHMANI’s crew as they complete Flag Officer Sea Training with the Royal Navy before departing on a 3,000 mile delivery voyage to Oman. The ship will then complete final hot weather trials during which the ship will demonstrate her ability to perform in temperatures in excess of 45 degrees celsius. The first vessel in the class, AL SHAMIKH which was handed over in June, has now arrived in Oman, while the third ship, AL RASIKH, is scheduled for handover in the first half of 2014. (Source: ASD Network)
30 Oct 13. US Navy’s first Zumwalt-class warship launched. The US Navy’s first Zumwalt-class warship, USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) has been launched at the General Dynamics Bath Iron’s Maine shipyard. US Navy’s Program Executive Office, Ships Zumwalt-class programme manager captain Jim Downey said the USS Zumwalt is the company’s largest ship ever constructed and also the US Navy’s largest destroyer. Designed to provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities, the vessels will be deployed to operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, an