04 Feb 15. Systematic UK office opened its new office in Farnborough on Wednesday 4th February. The office on the Farnborough Aerospace complex was officially opened by the Danish Ambassador Claus Grube.
30 Jan 15. US Missile Defense Agency spends $58m on new Alabama facility. The United States has spent about $58m on a large Missile Defense Agency facility construction at the Von Braun Complex in the US state of Alabama, the agency has announced in a statement. “The 225,000 square foot facility has office space to accommodate more than 900 employees…The construction cost of Von Braun IV was approximately $58m,” the US Missile Defense Agency’s Wednesday press release said. Earlier in the day, the agency’s Deputy Director Kenneth Todorov officiated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which marked the opening of the complex in Huntsville, Alabama. “This new facility will increase the Agency’s efficiency and effectiveness by consolidating the majority of MDA’s Huntsville workforce into one central location,” Todorov was quoted as saying in the release. The Von Braun Complex will now accommodate 5,500 personnel from both MDA and the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command, who will thus be working together on one campus, according to MDA. (Source: Open Source Information Report/Space War)
29 Jan 15. Cameroon takes delivery of Chinese patrol boats. Cameroon has taken delivery of the two patrol vessels that were completed in China last year, Airbus Defence and Space satellite imagery has confirmed. The imagery from 23 January shows two 64m vessels moored in the commercial area of Duala, rather than at the existing naval base, which will struggle to accommodate the new vessels. It emerged that the two vessels were being built for the West African country when the Journal du Cameroun newspaper reported on 24 April 2014 that Defence Minister Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o had inspected the work during a trip to the Chinese city of Qingdao. The story was accompanied by a photograph showing the Cameroonian delegation standing on the foredeck of a ship armed with a 76 mm PJ26 (the Chinese version of the AK-176) multipurpose gun. Journal du Cameroun said the ships were being built under a contract signed with the Chinese company Poly Technologies in October 2013 and that the project was at least partly funded by the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China. No further details have been released about the new vessels since then and it is unclear when they were delivered.
The Cameroonian Navy had only one vessel that was capable of carrying out extended patrols before the arrival of the Chinese patrol vessels as its 42m patrol craft L’Audacieux has been out of the water since at least 2003, leaving the 53 m vessel Bakassi as the only such asset. However, photographs posted on a Facebook page that claims affiliation with Cameroon’s Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) shows that the Delta branch of the elite force has been using the accommodation vessel Rio Del Rey (IMO: 9480681) as a floating base for rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIB) and helicopters, thereby extending their operational range. Automatic Identification System (AIS) data shows that the Rio Del Rey, which is owned by the national oil and gas company Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures (SNH), generally operates off the Bakassi Peninsula, near Cameroon’s maritime border with Nigeria. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Jan 15. The US Navy is making progress building a new class of ships configured for sea-basing and expeditionary missions as a way to help account for a shortage of amphibious assault ships and forward-position Marines, sailors, special operations forces, air assets and ship-to-shore connector vehicles, service officials said. So far, the Navy has built and delivered two of five planned Mobile Landing Platforms, or MLPs — commercial oil ships re-engineered for military sea-basing and transport missions. In total, the service plans to build