13 Feb 19. Today Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced the opening of its $50m, 255,000 square foot Research & Development II facility in Orlando, Fla. Since 2017, Lockheed Martin has created more than 1,000 jobs to support this facility and others in Orlando, with hundreds more expected over the next three to five years.
“I am proud to recognize Lockheed Martin’s continued investment in our community through the expansion of its new research and development building and the hundreds of new high-wage jobs the company is creating,” said Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor. “Lockheed Martin and other businesses help drive innovation and opportunities across Orange County and worldwide.”
“Orlando is known for its skilled workforce and strong economic climate, thanks in large part to the foundation laid by Lockheed Martin’s location to Central Florida more than 60 years ago,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This announcement demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s continued commitment to our residents, their families and our Armed Forces by providing high-paying jobs and a state-of-the-art facility that will develop some of the most advanced technology in the industry right here in Orlando.”
Additionally, Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President Frank St. John said, “The Research & Development II facility expands our robust Florida presence and fosters significant opportunities for collaboration and innovation among our employees. We will continue our strong partnerships with local and state governments, community partners and area universities to grow our business, our workforce and the critical capabilities we provide to customers worldwide.”
Lockheed Martin officially broke ground for the six-story building on Feb. 14, 2018, with an aggressive goal of completing it in a year. Employees in the building will support engineering, program management and business operations for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s Orlando site.
13 Feb 19. US Navy Commissioned Littoral Combat Ship Tulsa. The US Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Tulsa (LCS 16), during a 10 a.m. PST ceremony Saturday, Feb. 16, at Pier 30/32 in San Francisco.
U.S. Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Kathy Taylor, former mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Taylor gives the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
“This ship is named in honor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but represents more than one city,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “USS Tulsa represents an investment in readiness and lethality, and is a testament to the increased capabilities made possible by a true partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industrial base.”
The future USS Tulsa is the second naval vessel to honor Oklahoma’s third largest city. The first USS Tulsa was an Asheville-class gunboat designated as PG-22 that served from 1923 to 1944 before being renamed Tacloban. She earned two battle stars for World War II service. A cruiser to be named USS Tulsa was also authorized for construction during World War II, but the contract was canceled before it was built.
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls). The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin, Marinette, Wisconsin, (for the odd-numbered hulls).
USS Tulsa will join USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), USS Omaha (LCS 12) and USS Manchester (LCS 14) in their homeport of San Diego. (Source: US DoD)
12 Feb 19. Papua New Guinea commissions first Guardian-class patrol boat. The first of four Guardian-class patrol boats for the Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s (PNGDF’s) Maritime Element has been commissioned, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) announced on 12 February. HMPNGS Ted Diro (with pennant number 401) entered service in a ceremony held on 1 February in Port Moresby that was also attended by Chief of the Australian Defence Force General Angus Campbell.
The vessel, which had been handed over to the PNGDF by Australian shipbuilder Austal in November 2018, is the first of 21 boats of the class to be gifted to 12 Pacific Island Nations and Timor-Leste as part of Australia’s Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (Sea 3036) programme, which is aimed at enhancing maritime security co-operation across the South Pacific region. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Feb 19. UK to study fast-track plan for Littoral Strike Ships. Key Points:
- The UK MoD is studying an accelerated acquisition of Littoral Strike Ships
- Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the vessels could be used for missions ranging from crisis support to warfighting
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to explore the accelerated acquisition of two new multirole support vessels that would serve as forward-deployed sea bases for the Royal Marines and special forces elements.
Announcing the move in a speech on 11 February, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the new vessels – termed Littoral Strike Ships – are intended to increase the ability of the United Kingdom to maintain a global presence in areas of strategic interest. Early concept and development work is being funded through the MoD’s ‘Transformation Fund’.
The Littoral Strike Ship is one of a number of proposals emerging from the MoD’s Modernising Defence Programme. The concept shares many similarities with the US Navy’s new Expeditionary Sea Base ships (a purpose-built adaptation of a commercial tanker design) and the special forces mother ship MV Ocean Trader (a converted roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ship operated by the US Military Sealift Command as a special warfare support vessel).
Williamson told an audience at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, “[We are] investing now to develop new Littoral Strike Ships and, if successful, we will look to dramatically accelerate their delivery.
“These globally deployable multirole vessels will be able to conduct a wide range of operations, from crisis support to warfighting. They would support our future Commando Force … they’ll be forward deployed at exceptionally high readiness and able to respond at a moment’s notice, bringing the fight from sea to land.”
According to Williamson, the MoD envisages the Littoral Strike Ships being permanently deployed away from the UK. “Our vision is for these ships to form part of two littoral strike groups, complete with escorts, support vessels, and helicopters,” he said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Feb 19. Second Type 901 carrier supply ship in service with PLAN. Photographs posted in online forums indicate that a second Type 901 fast replenishment ship has completed sea trials and entered service with China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Although no official announcement has been made and no reports by state-owned media have been published about it, unverified internet sources suggest that the commissioning took place in late December 2018. The imagery shows that the ship, which is believed to have been named Chagan Hu, bears the pennant number 967. The 240 m-long vessel, which has a beam of 31m and an estimated full-load displacement of 45,000 tonnes, was launched in in the first half of 2017at the Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) yard on Longxue Island on the Pearl River. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Feb 19. Norway awaits arrival of new LSV. The Royal Norwegian Navy’s (RNoN’s) new and much-delayed Logistics and Support Vessel (LSV), KNM Maud, has begun its delivery voyage from South Korea. Separately, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (Forsvarsdepartementet) has announced that Maud will be dual-crewed to maximise operational availability. This move follows the sinking of the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM Helge Ingstad in Hjeltefjorden last November following a collision. Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), partnered by BMT Defence Services, was awarded a NOK1.32bn (USD153.2m) contract in June 2013 by Norway’s Defence Logistics Organisation for the design and build of the LSV under Project 2513. The new ship is intended to meet the RNoN’s long-standing requirement for a multirole auxiliary vessel to provide afloat and logistics support for a maritime task group, and to contribute to NATO-led international operations.
Construction work on Maud began at DSME’s Okpo shipyard in May 2015 after a programme critical design review the previous month. Keel laying occurred in December 2015, followed by launch in June 2016. Under the original programme schedule, ship acceptance had been planned for September 2016. However, the construction programme suffered significant delays attributable to DSME’s financial situation and the complexity of the build and integration. As a result, the LSV delivery schedule was pushed back to April 2018. Sea trials began in December 2017, but the programme encountered a further delay after the ship’s main machinery suffered damage during testing. Rectification and repair work meant Maud was not accepted off contract until 16 November 2018, more than two years later than original planned. Maud departed DSME’s Okpo yard on 3 February to begin the first part of its delivery voyage across the Pacific to San Diego. After transiting through the Panama Canal and crossing the Atlantic the vessel is expected to reach Haakonsvern naval base in Bergen in late March. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Feb 19. New Zealand’s future hydrography ship begins conversion into naval platform. The Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN’s) future hydrographic and diving support vessel, MV Edda Fonn, has arrived in Frederickshavn, Denmark, for a fitting-out process that will be conducted according to naval requirements. The 85m vessel, which will be in service as HMNZS Manawanui once commissioned, departed its previous homeport of Haugesund, Norway, on 31 January, and arrived in Frederickshavn on 1 February, according to data from IHS Markit’s Maritime Portal.
Edda Fonn was acquired by the New Zealand government in 2018 for NZD103m (USD69m) to fulfil existing gaps in the RNZN’s diving support and hydrographic survey capabilities. These operational gaps arose following the decommissioning of the hydrographic ship HMNZS Resolution in 2012 and the retirement of the RNZN’s namesake dive tender HMNZS Manawanui in 2018. Edda Fonn has an overall length of 84.7m, an overall beam of 18m, and a hull draught of 6.3m. It is equipped with a 100-tonne salvage crane that can be used to launch and recover remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Feb 19. Turkey launches intelligence ship. Turkey’s first national test and training ship, TCG Ufuk (A-591), was launched on 9 February at Tuzla shipyard near Istanbul, Turkey. The ship was described by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the country’s first ‘intelligence corvette’.
“The Ufuk corvette will fill a big hole in today’s world where preventive intelligence in general and signal intelligence in particular has gained vital importance. The Ufukcorvette will be Turkey’s eyes and ears on the seas,” Erdogan said during the launch ceremony.
“The difficult geography in our region dictates Turkey must also get very strong in intelligence gathering. The Turkish requirement for intelligence gathering has become more critical and urgent in the face of threats stemming from Syria as well as developments taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and the Black Sea,” he added.
Contesting the oil- and gas-drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean by the Greek Cypriot government, which Ankara does not recognise, Turkey maintains warships in the area to escort its own drilling vessels.
Ufuk is 99.5m long, 14.4m wide, displaces 2,400 tonnes, and has a draft of 3.6m. It can attain a speed in excess of 18kt and has a landing pad that can accommodate a 10-tonne helicopter, according to Erdogan.
The ship will have an endurance at sea of 45 days, allowing it to detect threats to Turkish national security instantly and without interruption, he said.
Meanwhile, a tweet from the Presidency of the Turkish Defence Industry (SSB) on 9 February noted that Ufuk “will enable the Turkish Navy to test its new systems while facilitating personnel training”.
Turkish defence technology and engineering company STM is the main contractor in the Ufuk corvette project, with Aselsan developing its command-and-control, electronic, and test/training systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
12 Feb 19. British MI6 spy chief set to stay on to steer through Brexit – The Times. The head of Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service is expected to stay on beyond his retirement date this year to guide the intelligence agency through the post-Brexit period, The Times newspaper reported. Alex Younger, 55, is due to retire in November after five years in the role. But officials want him to extend his appointment to cover the 12 to 24 months after Britain has left the EU, The Times said.
If Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirm the extension, he will become the longest-serving MI6 chief since the 1960s. MI6 chiefs, known as “C”, traditionally serve for five years at most. Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, has agreed to remain as director-general of the security service until 2020. He was appointed in 2013.
MI6, depicted by novelists as the employer of some of the most memorable fictional spies from John le Carré’s George Smiley to Ian Fleming’s James Bond, operates overseas and is tasked with defending Britain and its interests. (Source: Reuters)
08 Feb 19. Huge Intel Leadership Shifts: New Directors For NRO, NGA. The low grading noise you could barely hear yesterday was the sound of the tectonic plates of American intelligence shifting as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Agency got new directors. The nugget of news is that Vice Adm. Bob Sharp replaces Robert Cardillo as NGA director and President Trump has nominated Chris Scolese, director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, to replace the redoubtable Betty Sapp as NRO director. Sharp is in place today. Scolese faces Senate approval.
I was the only reporter to attend the change of leadership ceremony at NGA so I feel a responsibility to detail some of what was said. While there was no news, you can at least get some idea of the crucial importance of geospatial intelligence from those who attended, including: Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Kernan, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI), Eric Shinseki, former Army Chief of Staff, Sue Gordon (the former NGA deputy who got the longest and most vigorous applause of all the visitors), Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of Cyber Command and the NSA, and Lt. Gen. Dash Jamieson, head of ISR for the Air Force, were all there.
Sharp appeared, well, pretty sharp. He spoke in sentences and appeared genuinely excited to lead what is arguably the most important of the three military intelligence agencies since it often does what one might call the data fusion of information from the NRO and NSA. Little is known publicly about the longtime naval intelligence officer beyond the fact he was last commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence and director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office. There is one very encouraging fact that should be noted. Sharp graduated from the University of the Pacific with a degree in English. His predecessor, Robert Cardillo, was also a liberal arts grad and it showed in his ability to communicate with Congress, President Obama (whom he briefed every day for years), the public and his workforce.
Cardillo was no stranger to mapping, photo imagery or geospatial intelligence. He was the first career NGA employee to rise to director, with a relatively brief diversion to DIA and the Office of Director of National Intelligence. He began his career as a GS-7 photo interpreter. As a reporter, I will miss Cardillo’s eloquent and thoughtful answers to our often fumbling questions.
At the NRO, we don’t know much, as usual. Sapp, who has done all in her power to drag the NRO back into the shadows while rebuilding its once renowned engineering and acquisition skills, rarely spoke in public and even more rarely said anything that shed light on the workings of her crucial agency. Sapp deserves much credit for helping rebuild NRO’s credibility on the Hill and appearing to improve its acquisition performance after more than a decade of troubled programs, most notably the flawed and cancelled Future Imagery Architecture. (Of course, we know almost nothing except what Sapp told us in her very rare public appearances, where she almost always refrained from taking direct questions from the press.) Scolese brings management skills with him from the six-month period he was acting administrator of NASA, as well as his almost six years running Goddard. We can hope that Scolese, with his long grounding in NASA’s culture of openness, may widen the aperture so both Congress and the public can help the agency make more informed decisions about its work. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
08 Feb 19. USAF LG VeraLinn Jamieson for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, and assignment as deputy chief of staff, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Cyber Effects Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia. Jamieson is currently serving as deputy chief of staff, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.
08 Feb 19. USN Force Master Chief James Herdel, currently assigned as the force master chief for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been selected to replace Army Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford as the command senior enlisted leader for U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
12 Feb 19. Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula has welcomed the appointment of industry and defence expert John O’Callaghan as the new defence industry advocate. O’Callaghan is taking the reins from Victoria’s first ever defence industry advocate, Greg Combet AM. Mr O’Callaghan has been a member of the Defence Council Victoria since 2017 and has worked as a senior executive in both government and industry roles in the defence sector. In his role as advocate, O’Callaghan will play a leading role in promoting Victoria’s brightest defence talent and best technology to the world, working with contractors, supply chain companies and R&D organisations to ensure the Victorian defence sector grows to create more jobs and more economic benefit for the state. (Source: Defence Connect)
14 Feb 19. BAE Systems has used current tech trends to predict jobs which will exist in the 2030s onwards. These roles include scientists who can organically grow computers, to interpreters who will be the middleman between human and machine. This follows BAE Systems’ research which shows 68 per cent of career-savvy Generation Z (16 to 24-year-olds) are wanting to future-proof their careers and that nearly half of young people (47 per cent) said they expect to work in industries which don’t yet exist. As a result, BAE Systems technologists have profiled three roles in science and tech which are due to become prominent in decades to come:
- Systems Farmer – scientists capable of ‘growing’ mechanical parts from chemical processes
- Human e-Sources Manager – measuring employees’ wellbeing and cognitive state using tools such as wearable technologies
- AI Translator – tuning artificial intelligence aids to be the perfect working partner to human operators
12 Feb 19. Martina Merz Chairwoman Of The Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board of Thyssenkrupp AG has elected Martina Merz, a qualified mechanical engineer with experience in several high management positions, as its new Chairwoman. On February 1, 2019, she took over from Dr Bernhard Pellens, who had assumed the position after the departure of Dr Ulrich Lehner and will now concentrate again on his role as Chairman of the Audit Committee. Merz held various management positions at Brose and Bosch and became a member of the Supervisory Board of Thyssenkrupp in 2018. In addition, Merz is a member of the supervisory boards of Lufthansa, Volvo, SAF-Holland, Bekaert and Imersys. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
04 Feb 19. What’s NEXT After Iridium’s Retiring COO, the New COO is Returning, she Comes from OneWeb. Iridium Communications Inc.’s (NASDAQ: IRDM) COO is retiring after a well earned tenure that included an amazing legacy of accomplishments, not the least of them the NEXT project. And stepping into the COO slot is a return Iridium executive. COO Scott Smith has decided to retire effective March 15th. Smith led Iridium’s technology and operations, including Iridium® NEXT, which recently completed its final launch. Smith will continue to work with Iridium in a consulting role as the handoff to his successor is completed, with the company wishing him well in his greatly earned retirement. In conjunction with this announcement, the company is welcoming back to Iridium new Chief Operations Officer Suzi McBride. McBride will assume this position effective as of February 11, 2019. (Source: Satnews)
13 Feb 19. VITEC, a worldwide leader in advanced video encoding and streaming solutions, today announced that Bryan Reksten has joined the company as vice president of marketing. With over 20 years of marketing experience in the technology industry, Reksten will oversee and broaden VITEC’s market presence. Reksten built his career at some of the world’s most well-known companies, including Cisco, AT&T, and Comcast. Before joining VITEC, he led a global team tasked with delivering go-to-market strategies for Technicolor’s Connected Home business unit as VP of global marketing. Prior to that role, he acted as Cisco’s chief of staff for the Connected Devices business unit, which was acquired by Technicolor in 2015, with business operations and process integration responsibility. At Cisco, Reksten also served as the senior manager of strategic marketing for the Service Provider Technology Group where he managed an innovative cooperative marketing program, initiated consumer research studies on DVR product adoption, and consulted field marketing teams on best practices. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Oral Roberts University and an MBA in marketing from Regent University.
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
11 Feb 19. Collins Aerospace announces senior MEA appointment. Collins Aerospace, a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defence industry, has appointed Talel Kamel as its vice president customer and account management for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). (Source: Google/http://tradearabia.com)
14 Feb 19. Northrop Grumman Australia has officially appointed Air Vice-Marshal (Ret’d) Chris Deeble as its new chief executive to replace interim chief executive, Warren King. Defence Connect confirms the appointment of Air Vice-Marshal (Ret’d) Chris Deeble chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia. Deeble replaces interim CEO Warren King, who will continue in his role as the chairman of Northrop Grumman Australia’s advisory board. (Source: Defence Connect)
14 Feb 19. Leanne Heywood will be appointed non-executive director of Sydney-based company Quickstep, and is expected to fill the existing casual vacancy before the February 2019 board meeting. Quickstep, a manufacturer of advanced carbon fibre composites, said it is pleased to announce the appointment of Heywood. (Source: Defence Connect)