13 Mar 19. FLIR Systems Expanding Presence in Washington, D.C. with New Headquarters. New Headquarters Situated Near Major Customers, Regulators, and Investors Features Sensing Solutions Showroom. FLIR Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: FLIR) today announced it would open a new headquarters office in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. The facility significantly expands the company’s presence in Washington, D.C. and creates a new space to showcase FLIR technology that helps save lives and livelihoods.
“FLIR is a global company serving diverse customers around the world with advanced technologies,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR Systems. “Having a greater presence in Washington, D.C. is critical to helping us grow our business, as it creates better proximity for FLIR to support key customers, investors, regulators, and the more than 4,000 FLIR team members around the world.”
Located in Pentagon Row at 1201 South Joyce Street in Arlington, the office will house 65 employees and serve as a conference center and gathering space to support the company’s largest customer, the United States (U.S.) Government, as well as investors and regulators located on the east coast of the U.S. The 30,000-square-foot facility will serve as home office for FLIR’s Government and Defense Business Unit and for members of the senior executive team, including the company’s CEO, CFO, and CHRO. The facility will feature a state-of-the-art technology showroom to demonstrate FLIR sensing solutions for customers. FLIR employees currently located at the company’s Crystal City, Virginia facility will move to the new Arlington headquarters. FLIR Systems remains incorporated in the state of Oregon and the company plans to begin a renovation project for its Wilsonville, Oregon headquarters in the second quarter of 2019. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
12 Mar 19. Kognitiv Spark has opened an office at the National Science and Innovation Campus of Sci-Tech Daresbury in the U.K. – the Fredericton company’s first location outside of Canada. “It’s really exciting and we’re genuinely looking forward to having a footprint outside of Canada and it really helps us to reach out to a market that seems to be really ready for our solutions,” said Duncan McSporran, the company’s co-founder, COO, and VP of Aerospace and Defence. “It gives us a lot of credibility, the fact that [Sci-Tech] approved our application to be part of the team there.” McSporran said having an office in the U.K. gives it better access to the European and Middle Eastern industrial and aerospace and defence markets. (Source: Google/https://huddle.today)
11 Mar 19. Altitude Angel opens new office in Vienna, citing “Brexit uncertainty.” UTM company Altitude Angel is expanding its operational base with the opening an office in Vienna, Austria.
According to a company press release: “The new office opening represents the first step in Altitude Angel’s international expansion, as it strengthens its portfolio of partners and projects across the globe, including Frequentis, DJI, the FAA (LAANC) and the SESAR research programme (Impetus and GOF).”
Richard Parker, Altitude Angel, CEO and founder, said: “Opening an office in Vienna is a milestone in the history of Altitude Angel. With the uncertainty Brexit represents for many industry stakeholders, as an international company dedicated to building the future infrastructure for the safe integration of drones, we’re taking this positive step. Our European partners will now have a hub on their doorstep to manage their requirements in an effective manner, regardless of what happens in the political landscape.”
Parker continued: “There were a number of cities under consideration for our first international office, but our strong and growing relationship with Frequentis, meant Vienna held a number of key strategic benefits for us. This is the first in a number of international expansion moves we have planned for 2019 and 2020.” (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
09 Mar 19. SAIC Makes SXSW Debut and Opens New Office Space in Austin, Texas. Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) announced today that it has opened a new office in Austin, Texas, and is making its first appearance at South by Southwest® (SXSW). Increasing its footprint in Austin, one of the nation’s start-up hotspots, aligns with SAIC’s commitment to rapidly deliver emerging technologies to solve our customers’ toughest challenges. Opening a new office in the Capital Factory also puts SAIC close to Army Futures Command, which announced Austin as its headquarters last summer.
“Our customers’ appetite for rapid innovation is growing and the need to deliver innovative solutions faster is critical,” said Jim Scanlon, SAIC executive vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Group.
Josh Jackson, SAIC executive vice president and general manager of the Solutions & Technology Group, added, “The community at the Capital Factory expands our ecosystem of partners, which includes start-ups and established information technology market leaders. And the proximity to customers in Texas will allow us to rapidly solve problems together.”
SAIC has been supporting the Air Education and Training Command’s Pilot Training Next (PTN) initiative, which is revolutionized pilot training, since early 2018. PTN is conducted at the Armed Forces Reserve Center, also in Austin.
SAIC’s expansion in Austin follows the opening of its own Innovation Factory at its Reston headquarters last year and participation in a new space accelerator in partnership with Techstars and Starburst. All of these initiatives are designed to accelerate innovation.
Capital Factory’s mission is to be the center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas and to introduce them to their first investors, employees, mentors, and customers. According to Pitchbook, Capital Factory has been the most active investor in Texas since 2013.
Ingenuity Meets SXSW
As a founding member of Capital Factory’s Defense Innovation Council, SAIC is participating in SXSW for the first time, hosting a brunch to bring members of the defense community together with start-ups. The company is also participating in two panels.
The first, “The Future of AI: Accelerating Innovation,” will be moderated by SAIC Vice President Chitra Sivanandam and features Army Brig. Gen. Matt Easley, director of Army Artificial Intelligence at Army Futures Command, and Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, head of Air Education and Training Command.
Amy Benson, SAIC vice president of government affairs and policy, will participate in a second panel, “The ABCs of Security a Government Contract,” featuring Army Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, principal military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) and director of the Army Acquisition Corps. All events take place at the Defense Innovation Center, 8th floor, Capital Factory, 701 Brazos St, Austin. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
13 Mar 19. Babcock International, the Aerospace and Defence company, has successfully completed the refit of HMS Penzance minehunter vessel at Babcock’s Rosyth site in Fife. HMS Penzance – one of the Royal Navy’s Sandown class minehunters – underwent a 10 month docking period at Rosyth. The refit included the replacement of both main engines, multiple Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) repairs and Addition and Alteration (A&A) packages. A team of over 50 Babcock employees made up of experienced electrical, mechanical, engineering, joinery and GRP shipwright resource delivered the work – alongside specialist
sub-contractors. After passing the Ready for Sea inspection on schedule, HMS Penzance returned to her home port, HMNB Clyde, with full operational capability. The second of the Royal Navy minehunter flotilla, HMS Pembroke has arrived at Babcock’s Rosyth facility to undergo a similar package of work.
Sean Donaldson, Managing Director of the Babcock Rosyth site, said: “We were delighted to work on the upgrade of HMS Penzance and look forward to working on HMS Pembroke. Our Common User Facility at Rosyth is home to one of the largest waterside manufacturing and repair facilities in the UK. This, alongside our skilled and experienced workforce with their commitment to innovation and quality, ensures that we offer the complete package for visiting ships.”
10 Mar 19. Japan launches third Shikishima-class vessel. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) launched a 6,500-tonne patrol vessel for the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) on 8 March. The 150m vessel, which has been named Reimei, will be the third Shikishima-class ship in service with the JCG once it is commissioned in 2020. The vessel has an overall beam of 17m, and can accommodate a helicopter on its flight deck. It has also been equipped for high-tempo search and surveillance operations, and can also take on roles as a command ship, a JCG spokesperson told Jane’s. The total cost of acquiring the vessel, and its accompanying helicopter is about JPY30bn (USD270m), the spokesperson added. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
11 Mar 19. USMC retires Prowler electronic attack jet. The US Marine Corps (USMC) has retired the Grumman EA-6B Prowler electronic attack (EA) aircraft after more than 40 years of service. With the US Navy (USN) having already retired its Prowler jets in 2015, the USMC withdrew the last of its aircraft on 8 March. The standing-down of the final unit, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VMAQ) 2 ‘Death Jesters’ squadron located at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point in North Carolina, ended a service record that had begun in 1977. With no plans to transition over to the Boeing EA-18G Growler as the USN has done, the USMC expects to be able to field a similar EA capability with its Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
13 Mar 19. UK MoD confirms plans to form specialised Gurkha battalion. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed plans to establish the 3rd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles as a specialised infantry battalion.
UK Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster confirmed the announcement and noted that recruitment for the battalion will begin this year.
The 2015 Defence Review had set out plans for the formation of up to five specialised infantry battalions to deliver expert capacity development and training skills.
Royal Gurkha Rifles colonel major general Gez Strickland said: “The Royal Gurkha Rifles is delighted to be able to support the Army by creating a third battalion. The specialised infantry role is exciting and challenging and we look forward to learning new skills and making new partnerships around the world as we begin the new task. We are enormously proud of the Army’s confidence in our ability to take this on.”
Constituting a major part of the British Armed Forces for more than 200 years, Gurkhas have a record of demonstrating 100% basic training pass rate.
They also offer unique skills such as specialist language skills that play a role in building relations with the UK’s global partners.
Lancaster said: “The Gurkhas have built an outstanding reputation for their skill and bravery as soldiers through centuries of service and sacrifice.
“They bring unique expertise and perspective to the United Kingdom and British Army which makes them an ideal choice to form a third battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles as a Specialised Infantry Battalion.”
Furthermore, the MoD will increase the support offered by the Gurkha units to the army and set up further Gurkha Engineer and Signals squadrons. These essential capabilities are required for the UK to fulfil its defence commitments worldwide. The formation of the new units will provide an opportunity for Gurkhas to serve a full 24-year army career within the brigade while offering additional career prospects. (Source: army-technology.com)
13 Mar 19. US Army Rapid Capabilities Office is getting a new name and mission. The Army Rapid Capabilities Office has already had a major metamorphosis since its inception in 2016, shifting from a focus on just three near-term challenges to an emphasis on a broader portfolio that aligns with the Army’s major modernization efforts.
But now the RCO is getting a new name, a new charter and will be led by a three-star general, according to the Army’s acquisition chief. That leader is Maj. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, who’s nomination to be promoted to a three-star general has been submitted for congressional approval, Bruce Jette confirmed to Defense News. Thurgood is currently the director of Army hypersonic programs.
The RCO’s new name is the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office — or RCCTO — Jette said at the McAleese & Associates and Credit Suisse Defense Programs conference in Washington. The name is a more cumbersome acronym, Jette admitted, but the idea is to name the RCO to better reflect its new mission and mandate.
The RCO took a major pivot in its direction under the leadership of Tanya Skeen, its short-lived director, last year where it moved away from a focus on three major priorities — electronic warfare, cyber and position, navigation and timing — to a broader focus on the Army’s top six modernization priorities: Long-Range Precision Fires, Next-Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, the Network, Air-and-Missile Defense and Soldier Lethality.
And the RCO quickly took part in helping to advance capability within the Army’s modernization priorities including demonstrating an initial incremental capability — underneath the LRPF umbrella — to extend a cannon’s range to strategic distances at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, last September.
But Skeen parted ways with the RCO in late October to become the executive director of the F-35 Joint Project Office leaving the direction of the office in question. The Army approved a new charter in December and is moving out on a new mission and mandate from a focus on responding to the Army’s modernization branch. Previously, RCO was focused on responding to needs from combatant commanders.
Its mandate is to move from a focus on rapid prototyping to larger scale efforts.
“There is a focus on strategic issues,” Jette said.
“There are things that are technical approaches to particular efforts that really don’t fall well into one particular category of a [program executive office] that already exists, but are very much in support of the [Army Futures Command] and the [Cross Functional Team] needs,” he added.
The RCCTO is supposed to work in lock-step with the AFC — the new four-star command which was officially established in the summer of 2018 to tackle the Army’s modernization priorities — and the CFTs which are each tasked to focus on a particular priority.
In a separate speech, Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy highlighted hypersonics, directed energy and space as particular areas of technology development where the RCCTO would be of particular use. He added the idea is for the office to work on quick strategic assets that are cross-cutting and “hone their energy against really, big, hard problems.”
The RCCTO is “meant to do things that are unique and it’s not meant to be one big [Rapid Equipping Force]. It’s meant to be a real serious program office that is focused against those things which are the hardest ones [and with] the shortest need to get it out to the field,” Jette said. (Source: Defense News)
13 Mar 19. Karin A. Orvis, Ph.D., has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service as the director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) and will oversee policy, oversight, and advocacy of the U.S. Department of Defense’s suicide prevention programs. Dr. Orvis brings nearly 20 years of experience within the federal government, academia, and private sector. She transitioned to the federal government after four years as a university assistant professor at Old Dominion University. During her tenure as the program manager of the Basic Research program at the U.S. Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences, she was responsible for the overall strategic direction, program planning and sustainment of six research portfolios.
09 Mar 19. The U.S. Air Force’s first “chief architect” began work at the Pentagon this week, the service confirmed in a statement Friday. Preston Dunlap, formerly the national security analysis executive at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, has been named chief architect for the office of the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. As the Air Force becomes increasingly interested in “systems of systems,” where multiple technologies and platforms are wrapped together to accomplish a single mission, the service wanted to name a single person to oversee those programs. The first program for which Dunlap will be responsible is the Advanced Battle Management System, a series of legacy and new manned and unmanned aircraft, sensors, communications equipment, and other emerging tech that will conduct the ground surveillance mission currently performed by the E-8C JSTARS aircraft. (Source: Defense News)
13 Mar 19. BAE Systems and The Welding Institute (TWI) have signed an agreement designed to drive innovation, skills and training across UK Industry. The two organisations will embark on a number of joint studies and research programmes designed to help innovation across current and future aircraft programmes. New technologies that could be applied in the development of a Future Combat Air System will be central to this work with the aim of enabling rapid innovation.
The agreement will also see BAE Systems support TWI with its ambitious growth plans, which include the potential development of a number of new regional centres for excellence, one of which could be located on the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone in Lancashire alongside BAE Systems manufacturing hub.
Dave Holmes, Manufacturing Director and recently appointed President of TWI, BAE Systems, Air, said: “The UK has been a pioneer in air power for more than 100 years. It’s essential that we retain our world leading position when we look to the next 100. Faced with fast developing technology and an increasingly competitive global landscape, collaboration and fast deployment of innovation will be essential.
“Our new agreement with TWI – one of the world’s leading professional engineering institutes – will help deliver this. It is the latest in a number of collaborations we have agreed across academia and business that will help us, and the UK, deliver more capability, more quickly, maximising investment”.
TWI Chief Executive Aamir Khalid added: “A core aim of our organisation is to promote the advancement of knowledge across our core focus areas of welding, joining and allied industries. The combat air sector is an important one for our membership, one that is at the forefront of jobs, skills, investment and innovation. This new agreement will help drive development in the areas that matter most to us and play a role in securing the long term future of our members, now and in to the future.”
Both organisations have a long-standing pedigree in manufacturing and material research, with an international customer base spanning multiple industries. Having worked together for more than 50 years, the two companies have built up a trusted working relationship with TWI providing expertise in everything from design to production and ongoing support across BAE Systems maritime, land and air sectors. The agreement underpins a conscious effort to increase collaboration across industry.
12 Mar 19. SAIC head Moraco to retire come July. Tony Moraco, who has led Science Applications International Corporation as CEO since 2013, will retire at the end of July, the company has announced. Succeeding Moraco is Chief Operating Officer Nazzic Keene, who joined SAIC in 2012. According to a company release, Keene was the lead on the $2.5bn acquisition and integration of Engility, which concluded in January. With her ascension, SAIC also joins the growing ranks of defense firms run by women.
“I am extremely proud of how SAIC has evolved as a leading technology integrator with strong financial performance, led by an excellent leadership team, and I’m very confident that SAIC will deliver sustained profitable growth into the future,” Moraco said in the statement.
“I am also excited that Nazzic will become our company’s next CEO. She has an exceptional track-record leading the company’s operations, building great teams and growing business, most recently as the lead architect of the highly successful Engility merger and integration. Nazzic is the best person to take the helm, accelerate SAIC’s mission-focused strategy, and continue to deliver outstanding value for our customers, employees, and shareholders.”
Added SAIC Board Chair Donna Morea, “We are appreciative that Tony chose and groomed a highly respected, highly qualified successor. Nazzic has a deep understanding and proven mastery of how technology can be applied to further the critical missions of our government and a clear strategic vision for SAIC’s growth and future success.”
Moraco leaves SAIC in a strong position as a services and government IT leader. The Engility acquisition is estimated to put the company at around $6.5bn in annual revenues. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
14 Mar 19. Today Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced Roderick McLean as vice president and general manager for the company’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions organization, succeeding George Shultz, who will retire later this year. Additionally, Bridget Lauderdale will become vice president and general manager for the Integrated Fighter Group organization, succeeding McLean. Both appointments are effective April 15.
As leader of the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions organization, McLean will be responsible for the C-130, LM-100J, C-5 and P-3 programs. He will also serve as the leader for the Marietta, Georgia, facility, and oversee sub-assembly sites in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and Meridian, Mississippi. A 25-year Lockheed Martin employee, he most recently led the Integrated Fighter Group. He also previously served as deputy for that group, as well as deputy for the F-16 program.
As leader of the Integrated Fighter Group, Lauderdale will be responsible for the development, manufacture and sustainment of the F-16 and F-22 programs. A 30-year Lockheed Martin employee, she most recently served as vice president, F-35 Global Sustainment. She has also held roles as senior vice president of Corporate Strategy & Business Development, vice president for Aeronautics Operations, vice president and general manager for F-16 and F-2 fighters, and vice president for F-22 Product Development.