12 Sep 14. Australian munition plants operated by Thales Australia will continue operations for the country’s military under a five-year plan announced this week. Defense Minister David Johnston said the decision on the facilities in Mulwala, New South Wales, and Benalla, Victoria, allow finalization of negotiations on a munitions program worth more than $320m. “This is great news for the Mulwala workers and their colleagues down the road at Benalla,” he said. “Entering into the new interim arrangements for continuing operations at Benalla and Mulwala means the facilities will be able to retain about 550 direct manufacturing jobs in regional Victoria and New South Wales. (Source: Open Source Information Report/Space War)
12 Sep 14. Construction begins on Singapore Navy’s first littoral mission warship. The Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) has started construction on the first of eight littoral mission vessels (LMVs) with the keel laying at Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine in Jurong. Being built locally by ST Marine together with ST Electronics and DSO National Laboratories, the new LMVs are intended to replace the RSN’s 11 aging Fearless-class patrol vessels (PVs) from the 182/9 Squadron under the maritime security task force. The vessels will feature advanced combat systems, technologies and modern concepts aimed at boosting the vessel’s operational efficiency with a leaner crew size. Capable of being deployed for a range of mission modules, the new LMVs will bolster the RSN’s potential for the seaward defence of Singapore. ST Marine built a total of 12 Fearless-class patrol vessels in the 1990s for the RSN, with six armed for anti-submarine warfare missions, while the remaining were intended for patrol operations. The first LMV is anticipated for delivery in 2016 and all eight vessels are scheduled to be commissioned by 2020. RSN’s LMV programme is managed by the Defence Science and Technology Agency, which is also the systems integrator. (Source: naval-technology.com)
16 Sep 14. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony announced that SSN 792, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Vermont. Mabus named the submarine to honor the long-standing partnership its namesake state has had with the Navy. “From our nation’s beginning, the people of Vermont have tirelessly supported our Navy, enabling us to become the unparalleled fighting force we are today,” said Mabus. “I am here on the banks of Lake Champlain, to once again honor the sailors and Marines who have come from this great state, and to honor your support of our Navy and Marine Corps and your naval history.” Vermont’s Lake Champlain was the site of two critical historic naval battles. Under the command of Commodore Benedict Arnold, the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island had a profound impact on the outcome of the Revolutionary War, and during the War of 1812, the U.S. defended Lake Champlain against invasion from Great Britain in the Battle of Plattsburgh. “The name USS Vermont has a long history in our Navy,” said Mabus. “In honor of the victories on Lake Champlain, following the War of 1812, the first USS Vermont was laid down and became one of our nation’s largest and most powerful ships. The second USS Vermont was one of our great battleships in the years before World War I, and was one of the ships that led the Great White Fleet around the world.” This is the first ship named for Vermont since 1920 when the second USS Vermont was decommissioned.
Virginia-class submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and special warfare enhancements that enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements. Virginia-class submarines have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert lon