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12 Jul 18. Vietnam upgrades navy MRO capabilities. Vietnam’s state-run media has published details of the work the country’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) is doing to modernise the country’s naval maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities. Reports on 9 July said that the MND had invested in the past two years in developing the so-called X52 Shipyard, which is owned by the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) and is located in Cam Ranh Bay in the south central coast province of Khanh Hoa. Upgrading of the facilities has been undertaken primarily to support the VPN’s six Project 636 ‘Kilo’-class diesel-electric attack submarines, which were procured from Russia in 2009. The last of two of these submarines were commissioned in March 2017. Reports said that investments in the X52 Shipyard, which was inaugurated in 2012, had enabled the facility to repair and upgrade about 20 navy ships in 2017 in addition to its initial work in supporting the Kilo-class submarines. Capability development has also been secured through efforts to send engineers for training overseas, most notably to Russia. Reports added that the MND aims to continue investing in the facility with the intention to enable it to carry out full MRO services for the Kilo-class submarines by 2019. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Jul 18. Russia upgrades Arctic infrastructure. On 3 July, Russia’s Northern Fleet reported that its headquarters airbase at Severomorsk-1 was reopened and fully operational after extensive renovation and modernisation. It had been closed for three years. Severomorsk-1 has received new flight management and communications systems, as well as new buildings. The runway has been extended from 3,000m to 3,500m. The base can house about 40 bombers and a number of fighters. The aerodrome will now be able to handle the heaviest long-range aircraft and serve as a strategic staging point for aircraft transiting operationally between east and west using the shorter high-latitude Arctic flight route. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Jul 18. Philippines to upgrade Rafael Ramos naval base to support larger ships. The Philippine government has allocated PHP1bn (USD18.7m) to upgrade Naval Base Rafael Ramos in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu Province, to make it accessible for the Philippine Navy’s (PN’s) current and future frigates, the state-owned Philippines News Agency (PNA) reported on 9 July. The improvements envisaged for the base include dredging, the provision of primary and secondary roads, installation of drainage systems, slope reinforcement works, a 152 x 12 m wharf, a 105 x 165 m beaching ramp, and a 225 x 20 m berthing area, among other things. The bidding process for the project began a week earlier, PN spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata was quoted by the PNA as saying, adding that the upgrades are intended to address the basing needs of larger vessels such as the two 2,600-tonne frigates being built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the PN. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Jul 18. Indonesia commissions seventh PC-40-class patrol vessel. Key Points:
- The Indonesian Navy has commissioned its seventh PC-40-class patrol boat
- The vessel will bolster security in the Gulf of Youtefa, and along Indonesia’s maritime border with Papua New Guinea
The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) has commissioned its seventh PC-40-class patrol vessel. The ship, which has been named KRI Albakora (867) was received, and inducted into the service’s Armada III on 9 July. It will be based at the TNI-AL’s naval base at Jayapura, on the island of New Guinea. Albakora was built by Indonesian shipbuilder PT Caputra Mitra Sejati, and launched in March 2018. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Jul 18. US Navy’s Burlington EPF 10 completes builder’s trials. The US Navy’s tenth spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport vessel, Burlington (EPF 10), has successfully completed builder’s trials at the Austal USA Shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast worked with the shipyard to test the ship’s equipment, including fire protection systems, as well as its overall system operation during the trial programme. EPF 10 was also put through a number of tests to assess its readiness, which included the calibration of the vessel’s communication and navigational systems, along with ship propulsion, ride control and anchor handling trials. In addition, the ship’s four steerable water jets were tested as part of the manoeuvrability trials, while a series of high-speed turns demonstrated the stability and agility of the EPF catamaran’s hull concept.
US Navy Program Executive Office Ships Strategic and Theater Sealift programme manager captain Scot Searles said: “Burlington performed very well and is well on the way towards her delivery as the next expeditionary fast transport vessel to the navy. The testing results achieved this week are a testament to the combined efforts of industry and navy.”
The ship is slated to begin acceptance trials later this month, which will involve an inspection by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey in order to evaluate its readiness for delivery to the US Navy. EPFs are non-combatant vessels that are specially designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways. They are primarily used for relief operations in small or damaged ports, in addition to providing flexible logistics support or enabling rapid transport operations. Each vessel is equipped with a flight deck, which enables them to assist in both day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. (Source: naval-technology.com)
05 Jul 18. Tunisian Navy commissions latest Damen OPV and locally built patrol boat. The Tunisian Navy commissioned its second Damen Multi Service Offshore Patrol Vessel (MSOPV) 1400 and a third Istiklal-class patrol boat at the port of La Goulette on 25 June. Syphax (P 611), the second of four MSOPV 1400s on order for the Tunisian Navy, was delivered to Tunisia the previous month after completing construction at Damen’s shipyard in Galati, Romania, on 2 May. First-of-class Jugurtha was delivered in early March. Built to Bureau Veritas classification standards, Tunisia’s Damen MSOPV 1400 vessels have a length of 72m, a 12.7m beam, and a 3.75m draft. The vessels have a standard displacement of 1,284 tonnes or up to 1,877 tonnes fully loaded. Powered by two Caterpillar engines, with a total power rating of 7060 kW, the nominal top speed is 20kt, but this limit has been exceeded on sea trials with speeds approaching 22 kt. So far, no heavy weapons have been fitted. Meanwhile, the third OPV, Hannon, commenced initial sea trials in the Black Sea on 26 June. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Jul 18. Portuguese Navy inducts third OPV. The Portuguese Navy commissioned its third Viana do Castelo-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), NRP Sines (P 362), on 6 July. NRP Sines and fourth ship NRP Setúbal (P 363) form a second batch of OPVs ordered from a consortium comprising West Sea-Estaleiros Navais and Thales subsidiary EDISOFT in July 2015 for about EUR77m (USD90m). Setúbal is due to commission in December. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Jul 18. Royal Navy re-dedicates HMS Northumberland to service. The British Royal Navy’s Duke-class Type 23 guided missile frigate HMS Northumberland has been returned to the fleet during a re-dedication service at Whitehill Point Jetty in the Port of Tyne, England. The ceremony was conducted at the Port of Tyne in order to allow a greater number of the ship’s affiliates to attend the service.
HMS Northumberland commanding officer commander Alexandra Pollard said: “It is really important to us to be here today to strengthen our affiliations with the north-east. Built on the Tyne, it is good to see so many of our affiliates here. These links are important to us and it’s a really momentous day in our history. We have received a warm and generous welcome, and I know that the ship’s company are looking forward to getting out to visit Newcastle. HMS Northumberland is a reliable workhorse to the fleet, and as we leave Newcastle we now prepare to move forward to our operational training.”
HMS Northumberland previously returned to service in October last year following a major upgrade project by shipbuilding firm Babcock, which included the integration of the new Sea Ceptor missile system on-board the frigate, as well as a new command and control system and four new diesel generators, reported Naval Today. The vessel was originally constructed by UK-based shipbuilding company Swan Hunter. It was initially launched on 4 April 1992 before being commissioned into service with the navy on 29 November 1994. (Source: naval-technology.com)
12 Jul 18. RAF announces new Typhoon, Protector squadrons. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is to transition its final two Panavia Tornado GR4 units over to new types as it retires the strike aircraft from service over the coming months. Speaking at the Air Power Conference 2018 in London, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshall Sir Steven Hillier said that 9 Squadron and 31 Squadron will be re-roled to the Eurofighter Typhoon multirole combat aircraft and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9B Protector unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) respectively. The RAF currently has approximately 40 Tornado aircraft still in service, with the last of these set to be retired in early 2019. ACM Hillier said that 9 Squadron at RAF Marham will be stood down as a Tornado unit later this year, before being immediately reformed as a Typhoon unit at RAF Lossiemouth. 31 Squadron, also at RAF Marham, will stand down in early 2019 before being reformed as the service’s first Protector unit at RAF Waddington. ACM Hillier did not say when 31 Squadron would be stood up again, but it is not expected to receive its first aircraft until 2024. In terms of the aircraft to equip 9 Squadron, ACM Hillier made it clear that the RAF will not be buying new Typhoons. Instead, this unit and 12 (Bomber) Squadron, which will follow it at RAF Coningsby as the RAF’s second new Typhoon unit, will be populated with Typhoons that were slated for retirement but were spared during the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2015. Jane’s had previously been told by then (now retired) Deputy Commander of Operations Air Marshal Greg Bagwell that these 24 early model Tranche 1 Typhoons would be fielded as a separate air defence force, with the later and more capable Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 aircraft used in a multirole capacity.
10 Jul 18. Ukrainian Air Force receives upgraded An-26KPA aircraft. The Ukrainian Air Force has received a repaired and upgraded An-26KPA aircraft from state-owned defence firm UkrOboronProm’s Civil Aviation Plant 410 aircraft enterprise. The laboratory aircraft will be deployed to inspect the work of radar equipment at airfields, according to Ukrainian government-run news agency Ukrinform. It was transferred to the Ukrainian Air Force in the presence of the country’s President Petro Poroshenko, who attended the ceremony to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Civil Aviation Plant 410.
Poroshenko was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Today, on this important jubilee day, we release to the sky another An-26 of the airforce of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In a few minutes, I will hand over a plane certificate to the commander of the crew, airforce major Bohdan Andrushko.”
The An-26KPA military transport aircraft is used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to conduct a range of missions such as timely freight, evacuation of the wounded, and the landing of troops. It is also deployed to act as a training aircraft, as well as for reconnaissance and patrol missions. The Civil Aviation Plant 410 modernised two An-26 military transport aircraft, one each for the country’s armed forces and the airforce in June last year. It specialises in aircraft and engines repair, including An-24, An-30, and An-74. Services include heavy airframe maintenance and modification services, component maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
06 Jul 18. RAF receives first ‘Centurion’ Typhoons ahead of Tornado retirement. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has received back into service the first of its Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft to be provisioned for the Project Centurion weapons fit, BAE Systems told reporters on 5 July. Speaking at the company’s Warton facility in northern England, a senior programme official said that the first Typhoons that have been modified to carry the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) and MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile have been returned to their operational units, ahead of the capability being officially cleared for use by 2019.
“There are 26 aircraft now at the first phase of the Project Centurion standard, and the pilots will start training in a few weeks’ time,” Eurofighter Delivery Director Andy Flynn said, adding, “We now have to go through the approval process, which should be complete by the end of the year.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
12 Jul 18. The new US Army Futures Command (AFC) will be in Austin, Texas, congressional sources, who are now being notified of the choice, have confirmed. The new four-star command was stood up in October at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference in Washington. The plan is to realign the Army’s modernization priorities under a new organization that will implement cross-functional teams that correspond with the service’s top six modernization efforts: Long-Range Precision Fires, Next-Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, the network, air-and-missile defense and soldier lethality. The service plans to make an official announcement on the location of the command July 13 at the Pentagon. The Army has wanted the new command’s headquarters in a city or urban hub close to industry and academia and not on a base or military installation. Earlier this year it shortlisted several major cities in the U.S. as possible locations and put each through a rigorous vetting process. Congressional leaders from the locales pressed hard for a chance to host the new command. The creation of the AFC has also meant taking some elements from some of the major commands and moving them over to the new organization, Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy told Defense News in an exclusive interview just ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium in March. But he said many of those elements won’t have to move to the command’s new location. (Source: Defense News)
12 Jul 18. NATO has a new Baltic command structure. With a nervous eye on Russia, a group of NATO allies have pushed forward with the creation of a new Baltic-focused regional command. On Wednesday, the first day of the Brussels Summit, Denmark, Latvia and Estonia signed into life the new Northern Multinational Division Command, with Canada, Great Britain and Lithuania signing on as “contributing countries.” Although not as high level as the recently created command focused on the Atlantic Ocean, the group will provide continuous operational overview of the regional activities, manage the two to four brigades under its command, and coordinate exercises and operations for the region ― all with an eye on being prepared in case conflict breaks out on the Baltic Sea. The staff will be operational in September of this year, achieving initial operational capability in the first half of 2019 and full operational capability in the middle of 2020. The division will be part of NATO’s Force Structure and will coordinate closely with NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence battalions and the Multinational Divisional Headquarters in Elblag, Poland. The goal is to have it stood up by 2019, with full manning of more than 300 NATO military personnel come 2020. The unit will be split into two hubs: one located in the Latvian city of Adazi, approximately 25 kilometers from Riga; and one in the central Danish region of Karup. In an interview with Defense News, Jonatan Vseviov, the top civilian in the Estonian Ministry of Defence, made the case for why the new office was needed.
“I think our command structure needs to evolve as the challenges evolve, and as the forces that we have available for our defense evolve,” he said. “I think we’re on the right path. And the Multinational Division North, not only is it necessary; it is also a decision that will come at a very, very right time.”
“There are no silver bullets when it comes to security in general,” he added. “It’s a complex picture. So we need to concentrate on alliance relationships, on our presence or the presence of the alliance in the air domain, in the naval domain, in the land domain.”
NATO allies on the Baltic Sea have expressed concerns over the last few years that the alliance is not thinking strategically enough about what could happen in its region should war with Russia break out. (Source: Defense News)
06 Jul 18. Belgian Army stands up Special Operations Regiment. Belgium stood up its new Special Operations Regiment (SOR) in a ceremony in Heverlee, east of Brussels, on 3 July. The regiment replaced the Belgian Land Component’s Light Brigade, taking over its 3 Parachute Battalion and 2 Commando Battalion – known collectively as para-commandos – and their training centres, as well as the Special Forces Group. In addition, the Heverlee-based 6 Communication and Information Systems Group has been integrated into the SOR. Belgian Defence Minister Steven Vandeput pointed out that the conversion of the Light Brigade is part of the Strategic Vision 2020 defence review, describing it as “one of the spearheads of the restructuring of the land component”. He added that the formation of the SOR laid “solid foundations” for the future. “Co-operation between special forces and highly specialised troops like the para-commandos clearly reinforce our country’s possibilities for contributing to new NATO concepts within the framework of our collective defence.” Vandeput cited as one of the important tasks of the regiment “to provide military support to local ground troops” like the Belgian Army’s training and support of Iraqi troops “so they can guarantee the security of their country themselves”. SOR commander Colonel Vincent Descheemaeker said the regiment would have a much more adaptable modular structure, with the ability to form detachments with specific armaments required for a mission. He said the SOR’s decision-making process, structure, and training made it ready to be committed wherever Belgium has to intervene.
Col Descheemaeker expected more changes. “Our internal structures are in the process of being changed. The Special Forces Group is receiving new personnel and each unit will receive a specific reorientation aimed at conducting special operations,” he said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Jul 18. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 9 announced his new Cabinet, appointing the head of the Turkish military as the new defense minister. This is the first time a civilian government in Turkey has picked an active-duty military commander as defense minister. Army Gen. Hulusi Akar will take over from Nurettin Canikli. Some of the top dossiers Akar will have to deal with immediately include a potential U.S. arms embargo on Turkey, including deliveries of the multinational stealth fighter F-35; deployment of the Russian-made S-400 air-defense and anti-missile systems on Turkish soil, a first time for a NATO ally; development of the TF-X, Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet; the serial production of the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous new-generation main battle tank; and scores of other procurement programs. Born in 1952, Akar graduated from the Army College in 1972. He twice served for NATO tasks. In another foreign posting, Akar served as commander of the Turkish forces in Bosnia. He also served as deputy chief of the General Staff (2011-2013) and commander of the Land Forces (2013-2015). Akar has been Turkey’s top commander, the chief of the General Staff, since 2015. He was one of the prime targets of a failed coup in July 2016 and is widely known as a staunch supporter of Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist strongman. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
11 Jul 18. President Trump Nominates David Hale to Be Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. President Trump has nominated David Hale of New Jersey to be Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Ambassador David Hale, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career-Minister, is the Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a position he has held since 2015. He previously served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon from 2013 to 2015 and as the United States Ambassador to Jordan from 2005 to 2008. In Washington, D.C., he has served as the Special Envoy and Deputy Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2013 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2008 to 2009. From 2001 to 2003, Ambassador Hale was Director for Israel-Palestinian Affairs. He was Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State from 1997 and 1998. Mr. Hale received a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and he is the recipient of numerous senior State Department awards, including the Distinguished Service Award and the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Service. (Source: glstrade.com)
11 Jul 18. USMC MG Frederick M. Padilla for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, and assignment as commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve; and commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces North. Padilla is currently serving as the director, Joint Capabilities Integration Directorate, Department of Combat Development and Integration, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, District of Columbia.
11 Jul 18. USAF MG Jon T. Thomas for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, and assignment as deputy commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Thomas is currently serving as director, operations, strategic deterrence, and nuclear integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
11 Jul 18. USAF Col. Susan J. Pietrykowski has been nominated to the rank of brigadier general. Pietrykowski is currently serving as the deputy command surgeon, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
09 Jul 18. MG Viet X. Luong, deputy commanding general (operations), Eighth Army, Republic of Korea, to commanding general, United States Army Japan and I Corps (Forward), Japan.
09 Jul 18. BG David M. Hamilton to deputy chief of staff for operations, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, United Kingdom. He most recently served as deputy commanding general (support), 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
09 Jul 18. BG Robert A. Rasch, Jr., deputy program executive officer, missiles and space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to program executive officer, missiles and space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
11 Jul 18. Navy Capt. Robert D. Katz for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Katz most recently served as Program and Budget Analysis Division chief, Joint Staff, Washington, District of Columbia.
12 Jul 18. Accenture hires Army, industry veteran as defense and intelligence head. Accenture Federal Services has hired George Batsakis, former CSRA executive vice president, to head its defense and intelligence portfolios. The former Army infantry officer will manage the company’s development and delivery of technology platforms to the Department of Defense, branches of the intelligence community and the Department of Veterans Affairs, among other clients. (Source: Defense News)
09 Jul 18. J.F. Lehman & Company, a leading middle-market private equity firm focused on the aerospace, defense, maritime, government and environmental sectors, is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael V. Cuff to its Operating Executive Board (“OEB”). The OEB is a group of seasoned industry and government executives who have significant experience in the firm’s target industries. Through key relationships and sector-specific knowledge, OEB members contribute to sourcing and evaluating transactions, advising on portfolio company strategy and recruiting senior level portfolio company management.
12 Jul 18. Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) chairman and chief executive officer Wes Bush announced today that he will step down from the position of chief executive officer effective Jan. 1, 2019. He will remain chairman through July 2019. Northrop Grumman’s board of directors has elected Kathy Warden, the company’s president and chief operating officer, to the position of chief executive officer and president, effective Jan. 1, 2019. The board has also elected Warden to serve as a member of the board, effective immediately. Warden joined the company in 2008, and has held a series of positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as the vice president and general manager of the company’s cybersecurity business, president of its former Information Systems sector, president of its Mission Systems sector, and currently as president and chief operating officer.
12 Jul 18. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) today announced that it has appointed Jeanette Hughes Vice President Internal Audit, effective September 4, 2018. Hughes succeeds Larry Harrington, who is retiring after 14 years with Raytheon. Hughes currently serves as Vice President Internal Audit for Ingram Micro Inc., a global leader in technology and supply chain services based in Irvine, CA. Hughes joined Ingram Micro in 2006, leading internal audit using a risk-based approach and introducing data analytic strategies to improve risk identification and audit efficiencies. During her tenure with the company she supported audit strategies in a time of significant business expansion into new geographies and lines of business, operating in 52 countries. Hughes and her team provided independent assessment of financial, operational and legal compliance controls on a global scale. Prior to her current role, Hughes served as SVP and Chief Audit Executive at ACE Limited (now Chubb Ltd.). From 1995-2002, she served in roles of increasing responsibility at Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance, including EVP and Group Chief Auditor based in the UK. Hughes began her career in public accounting at Coopers and Lybrand (now PWC). She is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in science with concentrations in finance and accounting from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
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