16 Apr 15. In partnership with local leadership, Northrop Grumman Corporation confirmed its dedication to the future of unmanned systems development in the Red River Valley region by signing a lease agreement to anchor the new Grand Sky Technology Park in Grand Forks County. Northrop Grumman is working to identify specialized opportunities for the Grand Sky facility. The opportunities, as permitted by the lease, will allow employees to do general office work, research and development, flight test, flight training, flight operations, hangar activities, light manufacturing, assembly operations and warehouse operations. The signed lease permits Northrop Grumman to complete its initial designs and plans for the new facility on ten of the approximately 217 acres that will make up the Technology Park on Grand Forks Air Force Base.
“Northrop Grumman remains committed to bringing innovative programs in industry, education and research to the region,” said Tom Vice, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “Northrop Grumman is proud of our strong relationship with the State of North Dakota and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial working relationship.”
Northrop Grumman designed and manufactures the RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system flown out of Grand Forks Air Force Base.
15 Apr 15. The Arctic Centre for Unmanned Aircraft – ASUF is a national and international focal point in the use of unmanned aircraft for emergency preparedness, environmental monitoring and technology development in the Arctic. The centre will also contribute to increased safety in connection with commercial flights and ambulance, rescue and police operations. ASUF offers education, training, research and operational services. The centre spans the entire value chain from education and basic research to innovation and commercial activities. ASUF develops communication systems, sensors and instruments, algorithmic and analytical tools and navigation and control systems, as well as testing new materials and adapting these for use in cold and extreme climates. Particularly in the Arctic, unmanned aircraft are extremely well suited given the long distances and the unique weather, light and environmental conditions, as well as the increasing level of international commercial activity. It is anticipated that the future demand will be even greater for unmanned aircraft for a variety of purposes and among various industries that operate in the Arctic. These include environmental and climate research, avalanche monitoring, shipping, energy supply, tourism, petroleum and the seafood industry. (Source: AUVSI/The Arctic Journal)
09 Apr 15. China launches second modified Type 904A supply ship.
China has launched a second modified Type 904A supply ship at the GSI shipyard in Guangzhou, southern China, following the launch of the first modified vessel in October 2014, as reported by IHS Jane’s. The vessels are now fitting out alongside each other. Both differ from the first Type 904A (Fuxianhu, pennant number 888) in having improved aviation support facilities through the provision of a hangar rather than just a flight deck. Chinese media closely linked to the government reported that Fuxianhu’s role is troop transport and logistics supply for island garrisons, and that it supported more than 10 garrison rotations between 2009 and 2012. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Apr 15. US Navy’s newest assault ship USS America completes final contractor trials. The US Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6), has successfully completed final contractor trials (FCT), as part of a series of post-delivery tests. The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) carries out the FCT during which the ship and its major systems are exercised, tested and corrected as required. USS America assistant FCT coordinator Ensign Nicholas Haan said: “The warranty on o