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03 Jul 19. USAF launches two Osprey squadrons at Yokota AB, Japan. The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has launched two new squadrons to operate and maintain CV-22 Ospreys at Yokota Air Base (AB), Japan. The 21st Special Operations Squadron (SOS) and 753rd Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron were activated by the 353rd Special Operations Group stationed at Kadena AB, Japan. Yokota AB serves as the main airlift hub for peacetime and contingency operations in the Western Pacific region. Forward-basing the CV-22 multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft at the airbase will enable greater security, disaster preparedness, and emergency airlift capability during crisis situations.

AFSOC commander lieutenant general Jim Slife said: “The air commandos that will fly, maintain and support this mission will deliver a one-of-a-kind, vertical-lift capability unmatched by other fixed or rotary-wing platforms.

“This platform’s combination of speed, range and operational flexibility affords US Indo-Pacific Command unparalleled special operations capabilities in the region as part of America’s commitment to Japan’s defence and regional peace and security as outlined in our National Defense Strategy.”

The last active assignment of the 21st SOS was from 1988-2007 when the unit operated the now-retired MH-53s.

The 21st SOS is responsible for the execution of rapid global response supporting infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in defence of Japan.

21st SOS commander lieutenant colonel Jason Hock said: “The air commandos of this squadron are so proud to carry forward the legacy of those that came before us.

“We will deliver an unmatched capability to the theatre and do it safely and in cooperation with our Japanese and regional partners.”

The permanent basing status for CV-22s assigned to Yokota AB was approved in 2018. The first five aircraft arrived at the base in the early half of 2018. (Source: airforce-technology.com)


28 June 19. Brazilian Navy’s PHM Atlantico takes centre stage. Since the Brazilian Navy has formally decommissioned the aircraft carrier NAe São Paulo (A12) on 22 November 2018, PHM Atlantico (A140) multipurpose amphibious helicopter carrier (Porta-Helicópteros Multipropósito) has assumed the service’s flagship role. The purchase of PHM Atlantico enabled the Brazilian Navy to restore its amphibious aviation capability, the ship’s commander, Captain Giovani Corrêa, told Jane’s. The ship is to carry out a range of other roles such as amphibious assault, troop and equipment transport, humanitarian aid, command-and-control, and more.

A plan to acquire the ship, formerly the UK Royal Navy’s HMS Ocean (L12), was approved on 29 November 2017. A GBP84.6m (USD107.3m) contract by Directorate General of Navy Material to purchase the ship was signed on 19 February 2018 with the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). The contract included maintenance and overhaul work by Babcock and BAE Systems, which was done during a 4-29 June 2018 docking period, and supply of four Mk 5B landing craft and one landing raft. A comprehensive training package included two-week aviation training in January 2018 that involved British Apache, Chinook, and Merlin helicopters.

Several systems were removed prior to transfer to Brazil, including the ship’s electronic support measures (ESM) system, communication systems, three Phalanx Mk15 Block 1B weapon systems, four 7.62mm M134D machine guns, and a towed sonar system. Following commissioning by Brazil on 29 June 2018 at the Royal Navy’s HMNB Devonport in Plymouth, Atlantico conducted a three-week operational sea training (OST) at the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) in July 2018. Brazilian crews began working with the ship on 6 February 2018 and fully took over on 1 August 2018. It departed from Plymouth on 1 August 2018 and arrived at its homeport, the Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ), 24 days later. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

28 June 19. Naval Group finishes building FREMM frigate Normandie. Naval Group has completed construction of the FREMM multi-mission frigate Normandie for the French Navy. With completion of Normandie, Naval Group has built six multi-mission frigates for the navy. The milestone was celebrated at a ceremony attended by the French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly and the French Navy chief of staff admiral Christophe Prazuck. Normandie is equipped with the Herakles multi-function radar, the naval cruise missile, the Aster and Exocet MM40 missiles and MU 90 torpedoes. The vessel measures 142m in length and 20m in width.

Naval Group CEO Hervé Guillou said: “We are proud to meet the expectations set by the military programming law. Today, with the completion of the FREMM Normandie, Naval Group has fulfilled its commitment. This industrial and technical success, which represents more than 2.5 million working hours, encourages us to keep on completing our mission in service of our national and international clients. This project shows once again the firm’s capacity to respect its engagements in terms of costs, deadlines and performance.”

Naval Group will soon deliver the Normandie frigate in Brest. The frigate was built under a programme managed by the OCCAR on behalf of the French Navy and Defence Procurement Agency (DGA). The company will begin construction of two FREMM frigates, the Alsace and the Lorraine, with reinforced air defence capabilities and the Defence and Intervention Frigate (FDI), which is regarded as the first fully digital warship.  These two frigates will be delivered in 2021 and 2022. First steel cut for the FDI warships is planned to take place in October this year. Naval Group expects to deliver the fully digital warships from 2023. (Source: naval-technology.com)


02 Jul 19. Madagascar receives new aircraft. Madagascar’s military has received three Airbus AS350 helicopters, five Cessna 206 light aircraft, a single Airbus CN235 transport aircraft, and various vehicles. President Andry Rajoelina formally handed over the three helicopters, the CN235, several Russian-made Gaz 4×4 trucks, and a number of all-terrain vehicles to the military on 24 June. His office identified the helicopters as Ecureuil B2s, a likely reference to the AS350B2, an older variant of the Airbus Helicopters H125.

The three helicopters appeared to include one that local media reported being delivered to the Malagasy Armed Forces in May.

In his address, President Rajoelina also announced the delivery of five Cessna light aircraft for use in the coastal surveillance role. While he did not specify the type, the Malagasy Ministry of Defence identified them as Cessna 206s when they took part in the 26 June Independence Day parade.

A single Airbus Helicopters BK117 twin-engine helicopter, most likely an earlier acquisition, also took part in the parade, together with the three AS350B2s.

The presidency said the new helicopters will enable the military to deploy to the country’s most inaccessible areas, while the CN235 will be used for troop transport and medical evacuation, as well as to move supplies and support disaster relief operations.

While the presidency did not provide details on the origins of the aircraft, Malagasy media reported that the AS350s were acquired from South Africa, which was confirmed by the fact that they still had South African registrations, as did the BK117. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

02 Jul 19. Panama receives six Hueys from the US. The United States has donated six Bell UH-1H ‘Huey’ helicopters to Panama’s security forces for search-and-rescue, medical evacuation, and surveillance missions.

The transfer was made under the umbrella of the Merida Initiative between the two governments. The helicopters will be utilised by Panama’s main security agencies, the National Naval-Air Service (Servicio Nacional Aeronaval: SENAN), and the National Border Service (Servicio Nacional de Fronteras: SENAFRONT). The transfer ceremony took place on 28 June at SENAN’s Base ‘Teniente Octavio Rodríguez Garrido’. Panama’s government has taken steps to upgrade the aerial platforms of its security services. (Source: IHS Jane’s)


01 Jul 19. Australian Navy retires replenishment ship, frigate. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has retired auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ship HMAS Success (II) and Adelaide-class (US Oliver Hazard Perry design) guided-missile frigate HMAS Newcastle. After 33 years of service, Success(pennant number OR 304) was decommissioned in a ceremony held on 29 June at Sydney’s Garden Island, Fleet Base East.

Commissioned in 1986, the 157.2m-long vessel steamed almost one million n miles, participated in 11 ‘Rim of the Pacific’ exercises, and earned battle honours for service during the 1991 Gulf War and in East Timor in 1999, according to a statement by the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra. Success, along with RAN supply ship HMAS Sirius , are expected to be replaced with a single-class of two double-hulled AOR vessels based on the Spanish Navy’s Cantabria-class AORs. Currently being built by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, the new 19,500-tonne ships, Supply (II) and Stalwart (III), are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2021. The lead ship, Supply, was launched at the Navantia Shipyards in Ferrol, Spain, on 23 November 2018. A day after decommissioning Success, the RAN retired Newcastle (06) in a ceremony held at the same location in Sydney. The 138.1 m-long frigate, which was commissioned in December 1993 as the last of six ships of the Adelaide class, had returned from its final overseas mission on 12 June. During its 25 years in service, Newcastle steamed about 815,000 n miles; was deployed on operations to the Middle East six times; earned battle honours for its service in East Timor, the Persian Gulf, and the Middle East; and conducted peacekeeping operations in the Solomon Islands, according to the DoD. (Source: IHS Jane’s)



03 Jul 19. USAF activates new medical readiness agency. The US Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) has activated a new field operating agency (FOA), the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency (AFMRA). The activation ceremony was held at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, US. The organisation was stood up to fulfil a requirement from the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to establish a unit dedicated to improving readiness.

US Air Force surgeon general lieutenant general Dorothy Hogg said: “We are in exciting and historic times as we engage in multiple lines of effort to transform our organisation to support a more ready airforce.

“Activating AFMRA streamlines our organisation from a dual-focus on health benefit delivery and readiness, to one laser-focused on readiness.”

Activation of AFMRA will drive operational medical readiness and support the airforce secretary’s vision to achieve a more ready fighting force.

The primary task of the new organisation will be to supervise medical readiness programmes, expeditionary medical capabilities, and readiness-related airforce mission support requirements.

In addition, AFMRA will provide assistance to the surgeon general in the development of policies to support the airforce’s major commands and base-level unit missions.

The ceremony also marked the standing down of the previous two FOAs in the AFMS, the Air Force Medical Operations Agency and the Air Force Medical Support Agency. AFMRA commander brigadier general Mark Koeniger said: “AFMRA lets us be more responsive to emerging readiness requirements. AFMRA improves our support to the readiness mission at military treatment facilities and airforce major commands, while also helping the Defense Health Agency take on management of the health care benefit at MTFs.”

The organisation is expected to achieve full operating capability next year.

The creation of AFMRA represents another step in the overhaul of the AFMS and the overall military health system.

Meanwhile, AFMS unveiled a medical model to restore the overall readiness of forces.

The service will create provider care teams aligned with an operational medical readiness squadron to improve the availability of airmen to support combat missions. (Source: airforce-technology.com)


03 Jul 19. Army Command Sgt. Major Craig Bishop, currently assigned as the command sergeant major for 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, has been selected to replace Command Sgt. Major David J. Blake as the command senior enlisted leader for the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.



03 Jul 19. Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Paramount Group, the global aerospace and technology company, announced the signing of a high-level defence collaboration agreement, in step with Saudi Arabia’s vision for the creation of an integrated defence industrial ecosystem. The multiple collaboration agreement between SAMI and Paramount Group will see the development of technologies and capabilities across the land, sea and air domains, as well as system integration, in support of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s economic development plan, which sets an ambitious objective to increase the domestic share of military equipment expenditure to 50% by 2030.

CEO of SAMI, Dr. Andreas Schwer, said: “The collaboration between SAMI and Paramount Group will play a large part in helping to achieve the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. This will contribute significantly to further enhancing the capability of Saudi Armed Forces and increasing local content, in addition to creating new job opportunities and training for Saudi youth to increase their contribution and raise their role in this vital industry and the national economy in general.

He added: “Paramount Group has an established track record of working in partnership with customer countries, helping to create local defence industrial capabilities through technology and skills transfer. We believe there are many synergies between our companies that can be leveraged to build the defence industrial capability that Saudi requires.”

Group Chairman of Paramount Group, Ivor Ichikowitz, said: “Saudi Arabia is important to Paramount Group as much of the technology that we have created over the years has been developed with the Middle East in mind. We share the vision of the Crown Prince and his economic development plan. We are sensitive to the requirements of our customers to establish strategic industrial capability and put a strong focus on assisting governments in creating domestic manufacturing capacity.”

Ichikowitz continued: “Paramount Group has, for many years, been a world leader in the development of technology for asymmetrical conflict, primarily from our experience we had in Africa. Both the technology and expertise now have huge relevance to the security realities facing the Middle East. We have also invested very heavily in developing some of the most modern land forces, aviation, and naval platforms in the world. These platforms have allowed us to compete amongst the best in the world for both developed markets, as well as emerging markets.”

Ichikowitz added: “Paramount Group’s portable manufacturing model has been successfully implemented in a number of countries around the world. Over the years, we have refined this model, which is now perfectly aligned with the declared intent of Saudi Arabia. Where many organisations are still learning this approach, Paramount Group has been implementing projects on this basis for many years and is a viable major partner even in the most sophisticated markets.”



02 Jul 19. Cohort, the independent technology group, announced the appointment of Mr Edward (“Ed”) Lowe as a new non-executive director with effect from yesterday, 1 July 2019. Mr Lowe was most recently Chief Operating Officer at Thales UK, a subsidiary of Thales Group, the global technology business operating across aerospace, defence, digital security, transport and space.  He started his career at Racal Electronics in 1980 and, over a twenty-year period, undertook a variety of commercial, sales and managerial roles.  In 2000, he was appointed Vice President within Thales UK with responsibility for the commercial, sales and strategy functions. In 2005 he was appointed Managing Director of the Thales UK naval activities and led the international business line for naval platforms and services. In this role Ed sat on the Board of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, the body responsible for delivering the Royal Navy’s two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.   In 2010 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Thales UK with operational responsibility for all Thales UK activities.  Mr Lowe is a graduate of Reading University.

Consequent to the appointment, Cohort is making a number of changes to the composition of its Board committees. Mr Lowe is joining the Remuneration & Appointments Committee as Chairman, and the Audit committee. Sir Robert Walmsley will step down from both committees and from his role as Senior Independent Director (SID) with effect from the publication of the Group’s final results on 23 July 2019 but will remain a non-executive director of Cohort. Jeff Perrin will become the SID at that time.


01 Jul 19. L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) has named Jesus “Jay” Malave, Jr. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, reporting to L3Harris Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William M. Brown, effective June 29, 2019. Malave was elected CFO of the new L3Harris following the close of the merger between L3 and Harris, and succeeds former L3 and Harris CFOs, Ralph D’Ambrosio and Rahul Ghai, who have decided for personal reasons to pursue new opportunities. Both D’Ambrosio and Ghai will actively support a transition period. Malave is a seasoned CFO with an extensive background in financial planning and analysis, corporate finance, post-merger integration and investor relations, and has a deep knowledge of the aerospace and defense industry. He joins L3Harris from United Technologies Corporation, where he spent more than 20 years in roles of increasing responsibility, including VP & CFO of the $15bn UTC Aerospace Systems business; VP, Financial Planning & Treasury at Hamilton Sundstrand, with responsibility for planning the integration of Goodrich Corporation; four years as VP, Investor Relations; and most recently as VP & CFO of the $19bn Carrier business segment. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

01 Jul 19. Lockheed Martin’s board of directors approved the appointments of new leaders for two of the corporation’s business areas. Frank St. John will move to executive vice president of Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) and Scott Greene will become executive vice president of Missiles and Fire Control (MFC). St. John succeeds Dale Bennett, who intends to retire but will serve as strategic advisor on the executive leadership team through the end of the year. Both Greene and St. John will serve as corporate officers. Their appointments will be effective Aug. 26.

St. John, 52, joined Lockheed Martin as an intern more than 30 years ago, and took on roles of increasing responsibility in engineering and program management before joining the corporation’s executive leadership team. For the past year and a half, he has served as executive vice president of MFC. Under his leadership, MFC secured significant long-term strategic contract wins and grew international sales significantly.

Greene, 61, has served as vice president of Tactical and Strike Missiles in the MFC business segment since August 2017, where he had total business, operational and financial responsibility for that line of business. With more than 38 years of experience, Greene has held positions of increasing responsibility throughout the corporation.

“Frank and Scott are proven leaders who have built impressive records at Lockheed Martin. They bring a commitment to excellence and strong customer focus to their respective business areas,” said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson. “These appointments reflect Lockheed Martin’s commitment to succession planning and strong governance. We have deep talent and expertise in our executive leadership team, and I am confident Frank and Scott will continue to deliver strong performance in their new roles.”

Bennett began his career in the U.S. Air Force and joined Lockheed Martin in 1981. In his most recent role as the leader of RMS, Dale led a team of more than 35,000 people across the globe working on a diverse product portfolio of over 1,000 programs ranging from helicopters to naval platforms. He has been a champion for the corporation’s military veteran workforce and an advocate for STEM education initiatives.

“We appreciate Dale’s leadership and service over his remarkable 40-year career in the military and in industry,” Hewson said. “His broad experience across engineering, business development and strategy made him a uniquely valuable part of our leadership team. We wish him well in his retirement.”

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