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03 Mar 16. US Air Force Adds New RPA Bases at Home & Abroad. The US Air Force will add two new locations for remotely piloted aircraft operations within the continental United States, and look to build new overseas locations as it builds its RPA force. General Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, said ACC will add the two locations “as rapidly as possible,” though he could not provide a specific timeline.
The process would start with just a mission control element, followed by a launch and recovery element and a maintenance group. After building up the two locations, the Air Force would look abroad, Carlisle said at AWS16. The process stems from the Air Force’s Culture and Process Improvement Program that looks to revitalize RPA operations in the service. Additional operating locations would help RPA operators work more regular hours to coincide with global operations and increase career options.
In addition to the new bases, the Air Force is looking to increase the amount of airmen in the RPA community, improve the promotion process and career track for those airmen, and create a new wing to normalize the organization structure, among other steps. (Source: UAS VISION/US Air Force Magazine)
28 Feb 16. TAI Plans $212m Investment To Modernize Factory. Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is planning a large investment to renew and modernize its plant near Ankara to catch up with its growth plans for the next decade, company sources said. The sources said that the company would make a fixed investment of 384m Turkish liras (approximately $130m). In addition, it will buy $82m worth of machinery and equipment from foreign suppliers. TAI hopes its business will grow 10-fold to $6bn annually in the next 10 years and plans to employ a workforce of 10,000 people. By 2040, it hopes to reach an annual business worth $10bn with 12,500 employees. TAI employs 4,500 personnel. Of that number, 1,800 are engineers. In 2005, its turnover was a mere $90m. TAI earns approximately 60 percent of its annual income from aerostructures. The Turkish Armed Forces Foundation owns 55 percent of TAI, while Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) owns the remaining 45 percent. Last year, TAI invested $50m in a production unit where it manufactures the center fuselage for the F-35 under the multinational joint strike fighter (JSF) program.
TAI also produces body parts for the Airbus family of civilian aircraft — it is the sole-source barrel producer of Airbus’ A320 and A321 aircraft and a design partner and sole-source aileron producer for Airbus’ most advanced aircraft, the A350. It also produces body parts for Boeing’s 737, 747, 767 and 777 series, including parts for the elevator, cargo barrier and body seal for the B787 (a total of 400,000 sub-assembly parts every year go to Boeing); the center fuselage for the Italian British AgustaWestland’s AW139 helicopters; and parts for the Bombardier C series aircraft. TAI is 5.56 percent partner in the multinational A400M program and produces parts for the future large transport aircraft.
Company sources said the new investment plan is expected to bolster the company’s mostly indigenous programs, including drones, a basic trainer, a future fighter jet, a regional jet with a dual civilian-military mission and attack, utility and light helicopters. (Source: Defense News)
03 Mar 16. US Navy Christened Submarine Washington. The US Navy christened its newest Virginia-class attack submarine USS Washington (SSN 787), Saturday, March 5, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News