17 Jul 19. RAF Lakenheath breaks ground on future F-35 infrastructure. Leaders of the 48th Fighter Wing in partnership with Defence Infrastructure Organisation and members of the local community, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new F-35 Lightning II infrastructure at RAF Lakenheath. Leaders of the 48th Fighter Wing in partnership with Defence Infrastructure Organisation and members of the local community, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new F-35 Lightning II infrastructure at RAF Lakenheath, July 15.
“Throughout the project we will be working closely with the local supply chain to deliver this crucial infrastructure, allowing RAF Lakenheath to become the first permanent home in Europe for the U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter jet,” said James Hindes, Kier managing director of aviation and defence.
Through the partnership with the DIO, as well as Kier and VolkerFitzpatrick construction groups, the installation will be ready to welcome the first F-35A Lightning II aircraft in late 2021. The infrastructure projects will include a flight simulator facility, a maintenance unit, new hangars and storage facilities to accommodate the new squadrons.
“This ceremony is an exciting milestone for the (48th FW) as we prepare this installation to welcome two squadrons of F-35A Lightning II aircraft and supporting personnel,” said Col. William Marshall, 48th FW commander. “Breaking ground on this project takes us one step closer to becoming a more lethal and ready force as U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s premier combat wing.” (Source: Google/https://www.intelligent-aerospace.com)
16 Jul 19. Qatari Coast Guard inaugurates main base.Naval base during the inauguration. The Qatari Coast Guard’s new main base was officially inaugurated on 14 July, a milestone event in the major expansion in the force’s capabilities. Located about 30km north of Doha and called the Al-Daayen Naval Base, the facility was opened by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, who serves as interior minister as well as prime minister. The coastguard is part of the Interior Ministry’s General Directorate of Coasts and Borders Security (GDCBS).
“Today we witnessed the inauguration of Al-Daayen Naval Base and the launch of new naval boats for the General Directorate of Coasts and Borders Security; a milestone for strengthening the security strategy of our country and meeting the requirements of maritime security in Qatar,” Sheikh Abdullah said following the inauguration.
The base covers 640,000 m 2 and includes operations and training centres, and boat manufacturing and maintenance facilities. It has accommodation for 150 officers and 1,600 enlisted personnel, as well as a hotel with 25 suites and 50 rooms, the Qatari media reported.
Many of the coastguard’s newly acquired vessels were on display during the ceremony, including the two Ares 150 Hercules offshore patrol vessels (OPVs): the largest type operated by the GDCBS. The two OPVs were part of an order announced in April 2014 that also included 10 Ares 110s, and five Ares 75s. Another three Ares 150 and six Ares 80 SAT craft will be delivered under a follow-up order announced in 2018. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Jul 19. China launches Malaysia’s second Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship. Key Points:
- China’s Wuchang Shipbuilding has launched a second Keris-class patrol vessel on order for Malaysia
- The ship is scheduled to be handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy in April 2020
A second Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) on order for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has been launched.
The vessel, which has been named Sundang (112), was launched by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industrial Group at its Shuangliu facility in Wuhan on 12 July, according to media release from the RMN’s strategic communications branch on the same day.
Sundang is part of a four-vessel contract, which was originally worth about MYR1.17bn (USD289mi), that was signed between the Malaysian government and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) in 2017. The contract is Malaysia’s first-ever order for naval ships from China, and the programme’s first of class, Keris
(111), was launched in April 2019 by the same shipbuilder.
Under the original contract, Malaysia’s state-affiliated Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) was scheduled to construct two Keris-class vessels in Lumut, Perak, with assistance from Wuchang Shipbuilding as part of a technology transfer, and capacity-building arrangement.
However, the contract amount has since been revised down by the new administration in Putrajaya to MYR1.05bn, and all four ships will now be built in China. The Keris class has an overall length of 68.8m, an overall beam of 9m, a hull draught of 2.8m, and will displace about 700 tonnes at full load. The platform can attain a top speed of 22kt, and a standard range of about 2,000n miles (3,704km) at 15kt. Weapons that are expected to go onboard the vessel type include either a 20mm or a 30mm remote-controlled naval gun in the primary position. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Jul 19. OCEA launches new OPV for Philippine Coast Guard. French shipbuilder OCEA has launched the 84 m offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Gabriela Silang (8301) for the Philippine Coast Guard. Claimed to be the largest aluminium-built OPV in the world, Gabriela Silang was craned into the water at OCEA’s facility in Les Sables d’Olonne on the west coast of France on 17 July. Sea trials will start later this year after the French summer vacation period. The new ship, built to OCEA’s proprietary OPV 270 design, is the fifth and final vessel from a EUR90m contract awarded by the Philippine Department of Transportation and financed through BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole-LCL. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Jul 19. Japan launches second Maya-class destroyer. Japan Marine United (JMU) Corporation launched the second of two Maya (Improved Atago)-class destroyers on order for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) on 17 July. Named Haguro (pennant number 180), the 170 m-long vessel entered the water in a ceremony held at JMU’s facility in Yokohama City, and is expected to be commissioned in March 2021. The destroyer, which will be the eighth JMSDF ship to be equipped with the Aegis Combat System, is 5m longer than the Atago-class destroyers operated by the JMSDF. Haguro will use the Aegis Baseline J7 supported by the Lockheed Martin/Raytheon AN/SPY-1D(V) phased array radar and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band (NATO I-band) (8-12.5 GHz) high-resolution fire-control radar.
The ship, which cost about JPY173.4bn (USD1.6bn) to build, will be equipped with the US-developed Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, which will enable the destroyer to act as part of a wider ‘grid’ of sensors and weapon platforms that allow other CEC-equipped ships to share surveillance and targeting information.
The JMSDF also plans to provide first-of-class Maya, which was launched on 30 July 2018 and is expected to enter service in March 2020, with this capability to better counter threats such as those posed by North Korean ballistic missiles. The Maya class has a standard displacement of 8,200 tonnes, which is 450 tonnes more than the Atago-class ships. Powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines in a combined gas turbine-electric and gas turbine (COGLAG) configuration, each of these platforms can reach a top speed of 30kt, according to JMU. The destroyers, each of which has a crew of about 300, are also equipped with multifunction towed array (MFTA) sonar systems and electronic warfare (EW) capabilities. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Jul 19. France receives sixth FREMM. The Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, has announced on its website that it received the sixth Frégate Européenne Multi-Missions (FREMM) frigate, Normandie, for the French Navy in Brest on 16 July.
The DGA received the French Navy’s sixth FREMM on 16 July. (DGA)
The DGA said on 17 July that it had completed testing of the smooth operation of Normandie and that it meets expected performance requirements. Naval Group stated in a 26 June press release that Normandie had been built in 40 months, faster than any of the first five FREMMs.
Naval Group is therefore on schedule to deliver all six FREMMs, specialised in anti-submarine warfare and ordered by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) on behalf of the DGA, to the French Navy by the end of 2019. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Jul 19. In the presence of the President of the French Republic, Naval Group launches the Suffren, the latest generation of nuclear submarines (SSN). On July 12 2019, during a ceremony presided over by the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, Naval Group launched the Suffren, the first of six nuclear submarines of the latest generation in Cherbourg. This event is a key step for the Barracuda program for the benefit of the French Navy.
Hervé Guillou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Naval Group, said: “We are proud to have presented to the President of the French Republic the first submarine of the Barracuda-class, a symbol of our exceptional know-how and our ability to master the most advanced technologies and the most complex products. The construction of the Suffren is a collective success, the result of a strong cooperation with our long-standing partners: the French Navy and the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), but also the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), TechnicAtome and all the manufacturers of the sector. Now, we are all focused on finalising the Suffren tests at the shipyard, with the start-up of the nuclear boiler room in the coming weeks, but also on producing the complete series. Maintaining our knowledge and adapting to new technologies are among our main priorities.”
Vincent Martinot-Lagarde, Director of the Barracuda program at Naval Group, also commented: “To successfully complete this extraordinary project, several thousand women and men worked together, driven by the same values of team spirit and technical excellence. Today, on the occasion of this exceptional ceremony, we are very proud to present our work, which is the result of the extraordinary diversity of our skills.”
Naval Group’s know-how and technological expertise
The Suffren is the first of the Barracuda-class series, designed to replace the Rubis-class generation. Naval Group is in charge of the construction of this submarines series, including the design and construction of the ship and information systems as well as the manufacturing of the main components of nuclear boiler rooms.
Naval Group is the overall prime contractor of the ship’s architecture (2 500 people) and TechnicAtome is the prime contractor for the nuclear reactor. The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) is in charge of the overall program, with the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) for the nuclear reactor.
With this program, Naval Group irrigates the French industry with more than 10,000 people and 800 companies involved.
All the skills within the group are called upon to design and produce the Suffren and the following of the Barracuda series. All Naval Group sites are simultaneously mobilised. Nantes-Indret, Angoulême-Ruelle, Brest and Lorient design and produce different systems and modules. The Ollioules site is responsible for the design and production of the combat system. The entire program is managed from Cherbourg, where the submarines are assembled and tested.
The Toulon site will be in charge of the maintenance of the Suffren and gradually that of the entire series. The in-service support was taken into account from the submarine’s design stage to limit the number and duration of interventions, thus optimising the availability of the Barracuda-class at sea.
The Suffren: a technology and capacity leap
The Suffren is one of the stealthiest submarines over the world. This discretion, combined with its advanced detection capabilities, guarantees its acoustic superiority. For the first time thanks to the Suffren-class submarines, the French Navy will have a deep strike capability with MBDA’s naval cruise missiles (MdCN). The latest generation of SSN also allows the discreet deployment of special forces underwater, in particular thanks to its “divers hatch” and the optional carrying of a dry deck shelter allowing for the deployment of underwater vehicles.
More discreet, manoeuvrable and mobile, the Suffren has the latest generation of systems, including a centralised and more automated driving.
The technical characteristics of the Suffren-class submarines
- Surface displacement: 4,700 tonnes
- Diving displacement: 5,300 tonnes
- Length: 99 metres
- Diameter: 8.8 metres
- Armament: naval cruise missiles, F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes, modernised Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles
- Hybrid propulsion: pressurised water reactor derived from the reactors on board the Triomphant-type SSBN and Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier, two propulsion turbines, two turbo generators and two electric motors
- Crew: 65 crew members + commandos
- Availability: > 270 days per year
18 Jul 19. Leonardo TH-119 Becomes First Single-Engine Helicopter In Decades To Gain FAA Instrument Certification. Leonardo’s TH-119 is now cleared by the FAA to fly in inclement weather under instrument flight rules, the first single-engine helicopter in decades to earn that certification.
“The TH-119 is the only single engine helicopter in decades to meet current IFR requirements, allowing pilots to operate the aircraft safely in low visibility and challenging weather conditions, thanks to advanced avionics by Genesys Aerosystems and redundant helicopter flight systems,” Leonardo said July 18 in a prepared statement.
IFR certification allows a pilot to fly the aircraft through bad weather, where visibility is limited, using only onboard avionics and navigation instruments. It is a core requirement for the U.S. Navy’s training helicopter replacement program, also known as Advanced Helicopter Training System TH-73, formerly known as TH-XX. The new training helo will replace the legacy TH-57 Sea Ranger fleet used by all Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard pilot trainees. Though the certification comes a bit later than Leonardo had planned, the TH-119 — a training-specific version of the commercial AW119 — now meets that requirement. The process to certify the TH-119 aircraft alone took seven months, Leonardo officials told sister publication Rotor & Wing International in May. At the time, IFR certification was a month off, the company said. The TH-119 features a four-screen all-glass Genesys Aerosystems cockpit, which is also installed on the twin-engine AW109 Trekker.
It is the fourth cockpit evolution the company has been through in eight years of developing the AW119, according to Andrew Gappy, Leonardo’s director of U.S. government sales. Also competing to replace the Navy’s fleet of legacy TH-57 Sea Ranger training helicopters are the twin-engine Airbus H135 and the Bell [TXT] 407GXi, an evolutionary descendant of the TH-57. The Navy is on an abbreviated timeline to purchase as many as 125 IFR certified, commercially available aircraft within five years. The H135 already is IFR certified. All competitors have until August to achieve certification and deliver documentation to the Navy, according to the service’s timeline. An award to one company is expected in November. The retiring Sea Ranger is a relative of the state-of-the-art 407GXi, which Bell says will meet the IFR requirement by the Navy’s self-imposed deadline. “The program team is confident and working towards the Navy’s mid-fourth quarter deadline,” a Bell spokesperson told R&WI. (Source: Defense Daily)
18 Jul 19. A squadron of British F-35B fighters just returned from the US — and some of them are sporting new markings. Royal Air Force 207 Squadron returned to RAF Marham in the UK. The squadron was embedded since 2013 with VMFAT-501 at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, where Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots trained alongside US Marine Corps pilots. The squadron will now reform officially as Operational Conversion Unit on August 1, 2019 and will train new F-35B pilots on UK soil.
As said by the Squadron Commander, Wg Cdr Scott Williams, the six F-35s departed MCAS Beaufort at 6:00 am local time and were met by two Voyager tankers for the trans-Atlantic flight.
Each aircraft refueled 8 times to ensure high fuel levels in the event of an emergency, giving them as much range as possible to return feet-dry and land. The F-35 arrived at their new homebase at around 08:00 pm after an uneventful flight and no problems were reported.
ScrambleMagazine reported that the flight used the callsigns Ascot from 9711 to 9716 and the F-35 involved were serials ZM137, ZM139, ZM149, ZM150, ZM151, ZM152.
And here’s a photo of the No 207 Squadron boss, Wg Cdr Scott ‘Mox’ Williams (on the right), in his previous positing as the UK’s senior national representative at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.
The six jets that arrived at Marham this evening include ZM139 with the lightning bolt markings of @OC617Sqn – as mentioned in the article posted previously, the Lightning Force will operate a pooled fleet aircraft shared between Nos 207 and 617 Squadrons.
Interestingly, at least two F-35s, ZM139 and ZM151, were spotted with a lightning bolt tail marking and Modex numbers “139” and “151” that, according to a Twitter post by Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth, will be applied across the entire British F-35 fleet.
The 207 Squadron will share RAF Marham with the “Dambusters” of 617 Squadron and they should be joined by the Fleet Air Arm’s 809 Naval Air Squadron by 2023. Aircraft, personnel, equipment and support infrastructure, dubbed “Lightning Force,” will be jointly manned by Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel.
To reflect that, 207 Squadron was purposefully chosen because it has both Air Force and Naval lineage. The Squadron, in fact, was first established as 7 Naval Squadron belonging to RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) in 1916, and when the Royal Air Force was born in 1918, absorbing RNAS squadrons, it was renamed 207 Squadron.
The first F-35 pilot course at RAF Marham is set to begin in early September 2019.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, stated: “Being able to train our pilots in the UK is another great leap in our sovereign capability and will ensure the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy can train our pilots to fight and win with these extraordinary jets, which will sit at the heart of our country’s globally deployable forces.”
Noteworthy the 207 Squadron, or 207(OC) Squadron according to the official designation, will be first unit dedicated to F-35 pilot training outside of the United States. (Source: News Now/https://www.businessinsider.com)
16 Jul 19. NSPA announces establishment of multilateral MRTT fleet unit. The Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) and its partners have established the multilateral multi-role tanker transporter (MRTT) fleet (MMF) unit. MMF Executive Board (MEB) chairman navy commodore Dick Kreiter handed over command of the multinational MRTT unit (MMU) to Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) colonel Jurgen van der Biezen during a ceremony at Eindhoven airbase in the Netherlands. Colonel van de Biezen becomes the first MMU commander.
The airbase will function as the future main operating base for the MMF. The ceremony was attended by members of the MEB, the MMF support partnership committee, national representatives of the MMF programme countries, Airbus, OCCAR, European Defence Agency (EDA), and NSPA. NSPA noted that the MMU will look after the preparations for the arrival of the first MRTT aircraft on 1 May 2020. The unit will be supported in its efforts by NSPA and OCCAR.
Kreiter said: “The MMF is a success story that runs on time, within budget and scope. This is achieved by sticking to the philosophy of one lead-nation, one lead-industry and one configuration, but of course mainly due to the belief and perseverance of the excellent men and women involved in the programme.”
The MMF project was initiated by EDA in 2012 for additional tanker and transport aircraft capability in Europe.
Initially launched by the Netherlands and Luxembourg in July 2016, the programme is designed to procure aircraft for air-to-air refuelling, transport of passengers and cargo and medical evacuations. Germany, Norway, and Belgium later joined the MMF programme.
Based on the Airbus A330-200, the aircraft will be owned by Nato. The participating nations will operate the MRTT aircraft in a pooling arrangement.
Under a contract signed in 2016, Airbus will supply eight aircraft. The contract also includes options for up to 3 additional aircraft.
Last month, France signed an agreement with the MMF member countries for cooperation on the project.
16 Jul 19. Two more F-35A fighter aircraft arrive in South Korea. The third and fourth of 40 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters ordered for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) arrived at South Korea’s Cheongju Air Base on 15 July, according to a report by the Yonhap News Agency. Citing the country’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) the media outlet said on 16 July that the two fifth-generation fighter aircraft (with tail numbers 007, 008 respectively) landed at their main operational airbase after several stopovers for refuelling following departure from Luke Air Force Base in the US state of Arizona. By the end of the year six more F-35As are expected to arrive in South Korea. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Jul 19. CH-53E Super Stallion Reaches One Million Flight Hours. The CH-53E Super Stallion has logged more than one million flight hours since entering service with the Marine Corps in 1981, according to U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), which referred to the helicopter as “still one of the most used aircraft in the United States military air arsenal.”
Missions involving the Super Stallion include amphibious assault, long-range insertion, and delivering troops, vehicles and supplies.
“The CH-53E has seen more work than was ever anticipated it would see,” said Maj. Matthew Baumann, NAVAIR Heavy Lift Helicopter program office co-lead.
The Super Stallion is no longer in production, but the fleet is undergoing a “reset” to extend their service life through 2032. Of the 142 CH-53Es in the fleet, the first 25 helicopters have completed their reset process, according to Baumann, “allowing the squadron commanders to
plan for training, operations and maintenance with renewed confidence.”
Resetting the fleet will help smooth the transition to the new CH-53K King Stallion, the Super Stallion’s heavylift replacement.
“The CH-53K is the most powerful helicopter ever built by the United States military,” said Col.
Jack Perrin, NAVAIR’s Heavy Lift Helicopter program manager.
The King Stallion is currently in the testing and capability requirements phase, with deployment scheduled for 2024.
“It’s a game-changer,” Perrin said. “We can’t wait to have the K available for fleet use. But for now, we’ve got a capable, reliable and safe helicopter doing heavy-lift for our Marines.” (Source: Defense Daily)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
16 Jul 19. Talks to save East Yorkshire aircraft factory jobs. An MP has met with defence officials to try and save jobs at a military-training aircraft factory. More than 240 workers at BAE Systems’ plant in Brough, East Yorkshire, face redundancy after the Kuwaiti government decided not to buy Hawk jets. Conservative MP David Davis said he had spoken to the Minister for Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew, about government support for the factory. Unions have warned that without more Hawk orders manufacturing could end. In October 2017, BAE announced almost 400 job losses at Brough.
Since then 147 workers have taken voluntary redundancy and 61 people have transferred to the engineering section leaving 185 workers reliant on Hawk manufacturing, according to BAE.
Mr Davis said the company’s chief executive told him there would be no compulsory redundancies this year due to orders from the Qatari government and the US Navy.
The Haltemprice and Howden MP said: “The government must now continue doing all they can to ensure production continues at the BAE site.
“With over a hundred years of aircraft production at the site, BAE Brough is a very important part of the local and regional economy.”
The Unite union has called on the government to save jobs by buying the latest version of the Hawk trainer for the RAF Red Arrows display team.
Rhys McCarthy from Unite said the Red Arrows could “end up flying in foreign-built aircraft”.
“The UK government must bring forward the replacement order of Hawk jets for the Red Arrows who are currently flying planes [that are] over 40 years old, and invest in the advanced Hawk programme to ensure the RAF’s pilots of tomorrow are trained in the most up-to-date, cutting-edge aircraft available,” said Mr McCarthy. (Source: News Now/BBC)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
18 Jul 19. Senate committee approves Esper and Milley to lead Pentagon, teeing up final vote. The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved President Donald Trump’s picks to the Pentagon’s top two spots: Army Secretary Mark Esper for defense secretary and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The panel confirmed the duo in separate voice votes Thursday during a closed meeting, which sets them up for Senate confirmation votes as soon as Thursday, but more likely next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is expected to set the timing for their votes.
The action came as the Pentagon nears 200 days without a permanent top leader, by far the longest absence in the history of the department. More than a dozen jobs there have no permanent occupant.
“I’m very pleased with Milley and Esper, and we need to get more [nominees],” SASC Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said after exiting the meeting. “I’ve said this to the White House so we can get more people to go through the [confirmation] process. I think we’ve made some headway today in getting it done; we did it the right way.”
Earlier in the day, Inhofe announced a SASC confirmation hearing for next Tuesday for Defense Department Comptroller David Norquist to become deputy defense secretary. Norquist has been performing those duties for the past several months. (Source: Defense News)
15 Jul 19. German defense minister resigns to pursue EU’s top job. German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen says she is resigning from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet to focus on becoming the next head of the European Commission, the top job in the European Union. Von der Leyen tweeted Monday that “tomorrow I will ask for the confidence of the European Parliament. Regardless of the outcome, I will step down as Minister of Defence on Wednesday in order to serve Europe with all my strength.”
The European Parliament is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to confirm her as European Commission president. Von der Leyen, 60, was the surprise last-minute compromise candidate nominated by the leaders of EU nations earlier this month to replace Jean-Claude Juncker. (Source: Defense News)
17 Jul 19. Merkel confidante Kramp-Karrenbauer is Germany’s new defense minister. A top candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor, is Germany’s new defense minister following the election of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president. News of the surprise development broke late Tuesday night, as many here were expecting Health Minister Jens Spahn to get the job. Kramp-Karrenbauer herself had recently said she would rather remain at the helm of the Christian Democratic Union than take a Cabinet position. Merkel said on Monday that she wanted to fill the defense minister job as quickly as possible after von der Leyen announced her resignation, effective Wednesday, earlier that day. The now-former defense minister was narrowly voted into the top European Union job by the European Parliament on Tuesday evening, garnering 383 votes out of 747, or nine more than needed for confirmation. Kramp-Karrenbauer is a relative newcomer on the military and geopolitical stage. She has generally championed defense-budget hikes for the Bundeswehr and earlier this year attracted some attention with comments that she backs the idea of a European aircraft carrier. (No plans for such a ship exist.)
She inherits from von der Leyen a ministry in the midst of multibillion-euro investment decisions on major defense programs. Those include a heavy transport helicopter dubbed STH, the TLVS missile defense system and the MKS-180 multirole combat ship for the navy.
Kramp-Karrenbauer will have to come up ways to confront the Bundeswehr’s ongoing readiness crisis that has repeatedly seen non-deployed units deal with significant equipment shortfalls. Von der Leyen has argued the problems stem from decades of under-investment in Germany’s armed forces during a time when post-Soviet Russia was expected to deepen its ties with the West.
Next up for the new defense minister is a potentially gruelling debate on Germany’s defense budget, set to continue after the summer recess. The Merkel government recently proposed a defense-spending trajectory that risks falling even below Berlin’s self-declared target of 1.5 percent of GDP by 2024, whereas the NATO-agreed spending goal is 2 percent. (Source: Defense News)
18 Jul 19. Gilday Formally Nominated As CNO. As expected, President Trump on Thursday officially nominated Vice Adm. Michael Gilday to be the next Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). Gilday currently serves as director of the Joint Staff. If confirmed, he will succeed CNO Adm. John Richardson, who by law must step down by Sept. 17. A Senate Armed Services Committee staff member told Defense Daily that Gilday’s confirmation hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 30. Gilday was chosen only after Adm. Bill Moran, who had already been confirmed by the Senate to succeed Richardson, decided to retire this month after Secretary of the Navy Spencer questioned his judgment over an ongoing professional relationship with a former public affairs officer. Moran previously served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, a position since succeeded by Adm.
Robert Burke in June. Burke previously served as Chief of Naval Personnel. Gilday previously led the U.S. 10th Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command; director of operations, J3, for the Joint Staff; and as commander of Carrier Strike Group 8 aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). In recommending Gilday to the White House, Spencer passed six non-retiring four-star admirals beyond Burke. This group includes Adm. John Aquillino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet; Adm. James Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program; Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command; Adm. James Foggo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Naval Forces, and Africa Allied Joint Force Command Naples; and Adm. Christopher Grady, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command. The only other times a non-four-star admiral was chosen to be CNO was when President Richard Nixon selected Vice Adm. Elmo Zumwalt in 1970 and President Dwight Eisenhower picked Rear Adm. Arleigh Burke in 1955. (Source: Defense Daily)
15 Jul 19. Statement by Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman on the Nomination of Dr. Esper to be Secretary of Defense. Statement by Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman on the nomination of Dr. Esper to be secretary of defense: At 3:04 p.m. today, the Senate received the president’s formal nomination of Dr. Mark T. Esper to be secretary of defense. At that time, Esper ceased to serve as acting secretary of defense and is solely serving as secretary of the Army. As a result, as prescribed in Executive Order 13533, “Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Defense,” March 1, 2010, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer became acting secretary of defense. As such, Secretary Spencer has the full authority and responsibility of the secretary of defense. The senior team supporting the Office of the Secretary remains in place to ensure institutional continuity. Notably, this includes David Norquist, the under secretary of defense (comptroller)/chief financial officer, who continues to perform the duties of the deputy secretary of defense; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr.; and Eric Chewning, the chief of staff to the secretary of defense. Additionally, Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly is now performing the duties of the secretary of the Navy. Ryan McCarthy is no longer performing the duties of the secretary of the Army and is solely serving as under secretary of the Army.
18 Jul 19. USN Vice Adm. Michael M. Gilday for appointment to the grade of admiral, and assignment as chief of naval operations, Washington, District of Columbia. Gilday is currently serving as director of the Joint Staff, Washington, District of Columbia.
15 Jul 19. BG William G. Holt III, special assistant to the commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida, to director, joint exercise and training, J-7, U.S. Space Command.
15 Jul 19. BG Christopher S. Povak, commander, Space Operations Wing, Aerospace Data Facility, Colorado, National Reconnaissance Office, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, to deputy commander, Joint Task Force-Space Defense, U.S. Space Command.
15 Jul 19. Col. Julian C. Cheater, who has been selected for the grade of brigadier general, from commander, 432d Wing and 432d Air Expeditionary Wing, Air Combat Command, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, to director, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Cyber Effects Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.
13 Jul 19. F-35 PEO Change of Command. Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric Fick assumed leadership of the F-35 Joint Program Office July 11, taking over command from former F-35 PEO Vice Adm. Mat Winter. Fick previously served as deputy PEO for the JPO. (Source: Defense Daily)
15 Jul 19. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremy M. Lile, currently assigned as the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan command senior enlisted leader, Afghanistan, has been selected to replace Command Master Chief Richard V. Puglisi as the Joint Special Operations University command senior enlisted leader, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida.
16 Jul 19. Air Force Col. Linell A. Letendre for appointment to the rank of brigadier general, and assignment as dean of the faculty, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
15 Jul 19. UK government launches Tempest recruitment drive. The British government has launched a recruitment drive aimed at encouraging more people to enter into careers that can support the UK’s development of its Tempest sixth-generation fighter. The government claims that the team behind Tempest is seeking to employ 2,500 people by 2021 to support the programme, in order to have a sufficient workforce to enable the development of the fighter that is expected to enter service from 2035. Mark Lancaster, minister for the armed forces, officially launched the initiative, which will involve Team Tempest carrying out work across the country to encourage students at schools, colleges, and universities to take up careers in science, technology, engineering, and maths. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Jul 19. Cesium announced that Robert Cardillo, the former Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), has joined the company’s advisory board. Until February 2019, Cardillo was the sixth Director of the NGA where he advocated for stronger partnerships with the commercial geospatial industry when he retired after dedicating 35 years to public service. Prior to NGA, he served as the first Deputy Director for Intelligence Integration in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where his role included delivering the President’s Daily Brief. Cardillo also returned to serve at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as Deputy Director and Deputy Director for Analysis after starting his career there as an imagery analyst. Cardillo earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University, a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Saint Louis University. He’s been awarded the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive (twice), the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, the Director of National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal (twice), the Secretary of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (twice) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
15 Jul 19. FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced Sonia Galindo as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary, and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. Ms. Galindo will assume a key role on the executive team reporting to President and CEO Jim Cannon, providing leadership and management of all legal and compliance matters in support of the company’s business objectives.
16 Jul 19. Kellstrom Defense Aerospace, Inc. (“KDA”) announced the appointment of Michael Farmer as Vice-President of Life Extension Products (LEP) for the Engineered Products business segment. Michael will be responsible for the overall leadership of the LEP business team focused on the development and deployment of proprietary intellectual property for the life extension of critical aircraft equipment and systems. The overall Engineered Products business segment is focused on end of life aircraft proprietary part manufacturing, aftermarket component design, licensing of proprietary OEM parts, and the development of complex technology insertion solutions for aircraft life extension. Current LEP fielded solutions include the SHORT-POD® APU and E2H ECS® upgrades for legacy C-130 Hercules aircraft and a wing refurbishment solution for the F-5 fighter. Additional technologies are currently under development for upgrade of mission critical systems on numerous military aircraft including the DFQMS™, Digital Fuel Quantity Measurement Solution, currently in qualification for C-130 and C-5. Michael will be based at the KDA Miramar, Florida facility and will report directly to the President of Engineered Products, Scott Wooden.