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26 Aug 15. Boeing launches rotary-wing MRO venture in Saudi Arabia.
Boeing announced on 26 August that it had signed an agreement to create a new helicopter maintenance, repair, and overhaul joint venture in Saudi Arabia. The agreement, signed by Boeing, Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries, and the Alsalam Aircraft Company, will see the creation of the Saudi Rotorcraft Support Centre. The centre will conduct operations in the cities of Jeddah and Riyadh and will cover both military and commercial platforms. Boeing military helicopters to be serviced at the centres will include the AH-6i, AH-64 Apache, and CH-47 Chinook. Commercial rotorcraft platforms were not specified. The centre will help boost the readiness of Saudi platforms by increasing the amount and depth of servicing that can be done in-country, particularly as the AH-6i is being prepared for delivery. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Aug 15. Iran reopened its embassy in London on Sunday, reciprocating hours after Britain restored diplomatic ties with Tehran, a Reuters witness said. Iran’s chargé d’affaires in London, Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh, and Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Danesh Yazdi attended the ceremony at the Iranian diplomatic residence, a few doors away from the embassy in Kensington, West London. (Source: Reuters)
23 Aug 15. Britain reopened its embassy in Tehran on Sunday, a striking signal of how Western ties with Iran have thawed since protesters stormed the compound nearly four years ago. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond watched the British flag being raised in the garden of the opulent 19th century building while the national anthem played. In 2011, the attackers burned the Union Jack and ransacked the ambassador’s residence.
“Today’s ceremony marks the end of one phase in the relationship between our two countries and the start of a new one – one that I believe offers the promise of better,” he said.
After what was a low point in diplomacy between the two countries, he said, the relationship had improved “step by step” since the election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2013.
Hammond said the nuclear deal that the Islamic Republic struck with six major world powers last month was also an important milestone.
The agreement prompted a flurry of European visits – including from German and French ministers – aimed at positioning for the end of Iran’s long economic isolation.
Britain had been held back by security concerns after the storming of its two main diplomatic compounds in Tehran on Nov. 29, 2011. The protesters slashed portraits of British monarchs, torched a car and stole electronic equipment. (Source: Reuters)
26 Aug 15. Japan launches second Izumo-class helicopter carrier. Japan’s second and final Izumo-class helicopter carrier was launched at the Japan Marine United shipyard in Yokohama on 27 August. Named Kaga (the first Japanese naval ship to take the name since the Second World War aircraft carrier that took part in the Pearl Harbor attacks and was lost at the Battle of Midway), the ship is due to be commissioned in March 2017. Kaga is almost identical to JS Izumo , which was launched in August 2013 and commissioned in March 2015. The only differences from specifications released for Izumo is a draught of 7.1 m rather than 7.3m, and a complement of 520 rather than 470, according to details provided by Japan Marine United. Both displace 19,500 tonnes (24,000 tonnes at full load) and, like Izumo, Kaga is likely to be armed with two Raytheon Sea RAM RIM-116 systems and two Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx close in weapon systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Aug 15. DSME selected to design new