29 Sep 15. Australia conducts JSF Site Activation Task Force planning session. Australia has hosted a week long joint strike fighter (JSF) Site Activation Task Force (SATAF) planning session, focussing on topics related to the readiness of the Royal Australian Airforce’s (RAAF) Williamtown Base to accept and operate the first F-35A Lightning II JSF.
Held in Canberra, the latest session is the second of four SATAFs to be conducted in Australia. The RAAF Base Williamtown is expected to start operating the first F-35A aircraft from the end of 2018. The session involved representatives from the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Division, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), US based F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) and JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
JSF Division F-35 Maintenance lead squadron leader Scott Schultz said: “The Agenda was based around fundamental inputs to capability development and includes topics such as facilities, workforce, training, security, warehousing and contract planning.
“One of the most critical aspects in integrating the new capability into the ADF sustainment environment is the incorporation of the new Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) into the existing Defence Information Environment and this was also a key item on the agenda.”
SATAF sessions are being conducted annually for the four years leading up to the start of F-35A operations at each country’s main operating base.
Schultz added: “This year’s SATAF provided a huge jump in knowledge and lessons learnt from last year, so much happens in a year as F-35 operating sites stand up in the United States and around the world.
“We rely on a small amount of Australian staff in the US to provide insight to us here in JSF Division as we plan for the arrival of our first two F-35A aircraft at RAAF Base Williamtown at the end of 2018.
A total of 72 fifth-generation F-35A aircrafts will be operated from the RAAF Bases Williamtown in NSW and Tindal in the Northern Territory.
Australia’s F-35A fleet will replace the old F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft.
30 Sep 15. Vietnam inducts fifth, sixth Tarantul V corvettes into 2nd Regional Command. Key Points:
• The Vietnamese navy has commissioned its fifth and sixth Tarantul V missile corvettes
• The vessels will be deployed to bolster Vietnam’s presence near disputed areas of the South China Sea
The People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Navy has commissioned its fifth and sixth Project 1241.8 Tarantul V-class guided-missile corvettes, the People’s Army Newspaper reported on 25 September.
The ships (pennant numbers HQ 379 and HQ 380) were understood to have been inducted into the PAVN Navy’s 2nd Regional Command in a ceremony on 24 September. The command is responsible for Vietnam’s south-central region, off the coast of Binh Thuan Province to Bac Lieu Province, according to IHS Jane’s World Navies. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Sep 15. India commissions second Kolkata-class destroyer. The Indian Navy (IN) commissioned INS Kochi , the second of three locally designed 7,500-tonne Project 15A stealth missile destroyers, in Mumbai on 30 September. Built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) for INR40bn (USD615m), Kochi is the second Kolkata-class destroyer, the first of which joined IN service in August 2014 following a four-year delay.
“Kochi is as good as any foreign warship,” Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said at a commissioning ceremony at Mumbai’s Naval Dockyard. Chennai, the third Project 15A destroyer, is scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2016. Project 15A follows on from Project 15, under which three 6,700-tonne Delhi-class destroyers were built by MDL and commissioned between 1997 and 2001. “Kochi will add more teeth to the navy, helping it discharge its duty in safeguarding our interests in the Indian Ocean Region,” said IN chief of staff Admiral R K Dhowan. “It further reaffirms our resolve and faith in indigenous shipbui