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29 Aug 19. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) employees and local community leaders marked the 50th anniversary of the corporation’s subassembly plant located here with a celebration today. Lockheed Martin’s Meridian facility began production operations in August 1969, initially producing the L-1011 jet airliner’s empennage. Since then, the Meridian facility has been involved in the production of aircraft components for the JetStar, the C-5 Galaxy and C-141 Starlifter strategic airlifters, the P-3 Orion submarine hunter, the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, and the C-130J Super Hercules tactical airlifter.

“While these iconic aircraft have made history around the world, we are proud to say their roots are in Meridian, Mississippi,” said Mike Sarpu, vice president and general manager of Operations at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “We have relied on the skills and craftmanship of the Meridian team for 50 years — and for many more to come. I congratulate the women and men of Lockheed Martin’s Meridian subassembly plant on reaching this important milestone. More importantly, I want to thank them for their contributions in building the world’s greatest aircraft!”

There are 150 employees who work in the 110,000 square-foot Meridian facility, building 50% of the C-130J’s fuselage. The C-130J is world’s workhorse, with 20 countries choosing the Super Hercules to deliver proven and unmatched tactical airlift support. More than 430 C-130Js have been delivered to date. Final assembly for the C-130J takes place at Lockheed Martin’s site in Marietta, Georgia.

28 Aug 19. Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] celebrates 35 years of operation in Greenville, S.C. this week. The Greenville facility provides nose-to-tail aircraft sustainment services, such as maintenance, modification, repair and overhaul, and is the new home of the F-16 Fighting Falcon production line. In August 1984, the company signed a lease with the Donaldson Development Commission to begin operations as the Lockheed Aeromod Center, Inc. Major players who worked to attract the company to South Carolina included Sen. Strom Thurmond, Rep. Carroll Campbell and Lt. Gov. Mike Daniel. The new Lockheed facility was the largest new industry to locate in Greenville County that year and among the largest in the last decade.

The inaugural team occupied only two hangars and one office building at the start of the operations and quickly welcomed a P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft to the facility as the first aircraft in work.

Over the past 35 years, the Lockheed Martin Greenville team delivered nearly 3,000 aircraft, volunteered thousands of hours with local organizations, provided millions of dollars in philanthropic donations and contributes an annual economic impact of $100m to the surrounding area.

“This is an exciting time for Lockheed Martin in Greenville,” said Mike Fox, Lockheed Martin’s site director. “We are proud to call South Carolina home for 35 years and look forward to an event brighter future ahead as we continue to grow and add more jobs to support the war fighter.”

The site currently spans 276 acres and 16 hangars at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center, employs a highly-skilled workforce of 500 people and will be hiring hundreds more to support its aircraft sustainment and F-16 production contracts.

28 Aug 19. USAF delays runway replacement project at Offutt Air Force Base. The US Air Force (USAF) has revealed that the planned runway replacement project at the Offutt Air Force Base (AFB) has been delayed by nearly ten months. The 55th Wing was scheduled to begin the replacement project in December. The delay means work will not start until October next year. In a statement, the USAF said that the delay will be used to commence demolition and earthwork before winter.

The project is expected to enter the asphalt and concrete work phase by mid-2021 with completion of construction expected in October 2021.

The service will reopen the runway following inspections and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval.

The $176m project is intended to eliminate the need for regular maintenance to the existing runway, which has sections that are more than 70 years old. The runway was built in 1941.

Once the replacement is completed, the 55th Wing will be able to continue its global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission for at least 20 years without any major maintenance.

55th Wing Project Management Office engineering lead Rob Hufford said: “It is definitely needed. The 55th Civil Engineer Squadron is pouring man-hours and resources into our current runway just to keep it functioning.

“As it ages we have to put more time and money into it, but we still have the same amount of people and the same amount of money.”

Under the plans, the new runway will be narrower. However, it will have the same length.

The Offutt AFB’s runway will also include concrete landing zones with an asphalt centre and shoulders, the USAF said.

Hufford added: “The design we are going with is the model bases are going to across the airforce where we can.

“It’s faster to construct and it’s, in theory, easier to maintain. We can go through and do asphalt repairs in a couple hours, and it’s good to go. Whereas with concrete, you need a couple of days.”

Flight operations at the base will be relocated to Lincoln Airport (LNK) until the new runway is built. The plan was originally intended to replace part of the runway. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

28 Aug 19. Astra Rafael Communication System (ARC), a Joint Venture between Astra Microwave Pvt Ltd. and RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. of Israel, inaugurated their state-of-the-art facility at Hardware Technology Park, Hyderabad on 27 August 2019. The occasion was graced by Shri G Kishan Reddy, Hon’ble Minister of State, Home Affairs, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Ron Malka, Hon’ble Ambassador of Israel to India.

The Joint venture, setup on a 51:49 percent basis with all regulatory approvals, is in line with the Government’s “Make in India” initiative and will invest in high-end technology and advanced production techniques to design, develop and manufacture state-of-the-art Tactical Communication systems (BNET), for the Indian Armed Forces. The Joint Venture’s focus is on leveraging the technological ability and indigenous manufacturing capability of AMPL, combined with the state-of-the-art technology expertise of RAFAEL, to support the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces in the ‘Make in India’ program. It is envisioned that ARC will emerge as a leader at the forefront of technology in the Tactical Communication domains. This green field Joint Venture envisages creation of significant direct and indirect employment opportunities, import substitution and foreign direct investments into the country.

ARC would soon be India’s first private sector company to manufacture cutting-edge Software Defined Radios in multiple variants, at its facility spread across an area of over 20,000 sq.ft. ARC will also be involved in the development and manufacture of a wide range of other advanced capabilities, with the aim of opening new export markets.

RAFAEL’s President and CEO, Maj. Gen (Ret.) Yoav Har-Even: “Our cooperation with India is strategic. This has been demonstrated a number of times, not just in declarations, but in actions. The inauguration of the facility here today is yet another proof of RAFAEL’s implementation of India’s Prime Minister’s MAKE IN INDIA strategy and policy and of our ongoing and uncompromising support for the needs and requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.”

COO ARC, Brig Ravi Hariharan: “ARC is a company which is starting into the business of revolutionising the communication domain in the defence environment. Currently we have ongoing orders for providing state of the art Software Defined Radios to the Indian Air Force. We intend to work with all the players in this strategic sphere, both public and private sector to create a great environment for defence electronics. ARC would like to acknowledge the contributions made by both Astra Microwave and Rafael in helping this company come alive and allow us to contribute to the country’s much-needed indigenous defence capability.“


28 Aug 19. Sinpo South Shipyard: Construction of a New Ballistic Missile Submarine? CSIS’s Beyond Parallel has acquired new satellite imagery of the Sinpo South Shipyard that suggests circumstantial evidence of the construction of a new ballistic missile submarine and preliminary evidence indicating possible preparations for a test. These images confirm North Korean media reports late last month, in the midst of multiple sets of short-range missile tests, of Kim Jong-un’s inspection of a “newly built submarine.” While it is more accurate to describe the ballistic missile threat as emerging rather than imminent, these images suggest North Korea is making real progress in developing a second leg of the nuclear triad, bringing them closer to a survivable nuclear force and lessening prospects for full denuclearization. (Source: CSIS)

27 Aug 19. US Navy’s future USNS Puerto Rico EPF concludes acceptance trials. The US Navy’s newest expeditionary fast transport (EPF) vessel, the future USNS Puerto Rico (EPF 11), has completed acceptance trials.  USNS Puerto Rico, which is the 11th Austal designed and built EPF vessel, was underway in the Gulf of Mexico for two days and returned to the Austal USA shipyard after completing sea trials on 22 August.

The trials involved the integration of builder’s and acceptance trials, allowing completion costs to be reduced. A key benefit of the integrated approach is that Austal demonstrated the EPF’s operational capability and readiness in a single underway period. It represented the first time the two trials were combined on an EPF vessel.

Austal CEO David Singleton said: “The future USNS Puerto Rico successfully completed and passed all tests, a clean sweep, and returned from sea earlier than scheduled, a testament to the effort and expertise of Austal USA’s professional shipbuilding team and the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).”

The trials tested the performance of all major systems on the USNS Puerto Rico.

Program Executive Office Ships Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager captain Scot Searles said: “The EPF programme continues to be an example of stable and successful serial ship production. I look forward to seeing EPF 11 deliver in the fall and expand the operational flexibility available to our combatant commanders.”

The sea trials mark the final key milestone in the programme before the vessel is delivered to the US Navy by the end of this year.

Other Spearhead-class EPF ships under production at the Mobile, Alabama shipyard include the future USNS Newport (EPF 12), the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13) and EPF 14.

The EPFs can be used in support of several missions ranging from engagement and humanitarian assistance or disaster relief missions.

The ships also have the ability to support future missions such as special operations support, command and control, and medical support operations.

27 Aug 19. China building second Type 075 LHD. Commercial satellite imagery captured on 17 August of the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai shows that China has begun constructing the second Type 075 landing helicopter dock (LHD) vessel for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The LHD is being built in one of the dry docks at the yard, more specifically in the space previously occupied by the eighth Type 071 landing platform dock (LPD) hull, which was launched on 6 June.

A comparison of both Type 075 hulls during similar stages of construction shows identical internal arrangements and details. The Type 075 LHD will carry between 20 and 30 helicopters of undisclosed types, although naval variants of the new Z-20 are possible. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

23 Aug 19. Philippine Navy plans to acquire two additional Pohang-class corvettes. The Philippine Navy (PN) is reportedly planning to procure two additional Pohang-class corvettes from the Republic of Korea Navy.  The proposed acquisition of the warships will add to the recent procurement of an ex-Korean Navy Pohang-class corvette.

PN acting spokesperson Captain Henry Quinto was quoted by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) as saying: “Yes, the PN is looking and hoping for two more Pohang vessels to ensure that we have at least three ships in its class and it was clear in a message delivered by flag-officer-in-command vice-admiral Robert Empedrad and the secretary of national defense Delfin Lorenzana himself.”

The ex-Korean Navy corvette entered service in May 1987 and arrived in the Philippines on 18 August. The vessel was commissioned into PN as BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) at Jinhae Naval Base in Changwon City, South Korea on 5 August. Conrado Yap will also be used to tackle surface and aerial threats. The ship can accommodate 118 personnel and can perform operations for 20 days. Pohang-class Flight II corvettes have the ability to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. The corvette features two 76mm Oto Melara automatic guns and two Oto Breda 40mm light cannons. The ship is also equipped with two triple torpedo tubes, a radar and a sonar. In May, the Philippines acquired two AgustaWestland AW159 anti-submarine helicopters to secure ASW capability. (Source: naval-technology.com)


29 Aug 19. Rostec unveils Mi-24P-1M upgraded combat helicopter. Russia’s JSC KRET and other Rostec subsidiaries have developed the upgraded Mil Mi-24P-1M combat helicopter, which was unveiled at the MAKS 2019 aerospace show being held in Zhukovskiy near Moscow on 27 August–1 September.

KRET director general Nikolai Kolesov told Jane’s that the modernised platform has been fitted with new avionics and an enhanced armament suite. “The [Mi-24P-1M] helicopter has received a modernised modular direct infrared countermeasures system, autopilot, improved power supply unit, and OPS-24N-1L navigation and targeting station. There is an option to install a radar with an active electronically scanned array,” said Kolesov. Night vision goggles have been integrated with the Mi-24P-1M, he added. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

27 Aug 19. Indian Air Force receives 11th C-17 transport aircraft. Boeing delivered the 11th C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Hindon Air Force Station (AFS) on the outskirts of New Delhi on 26 August. The aircraft, which is the last of 12 ‘white-tail’ airlifters that Boeing built before closing down its C-17 production facility in Long Beach, California, in 2015, was acquired by the IAF in 2018 for USD336.2m, including equipment and after-sales support. The airlifter joins 10 other C-17s that are operated by the IAF’s 81 ‘Sky Lords’ Squadron from Hindon AFS. The previous platforms had been ordered in 2001 for US4.1bn under the US Foreign Military Sales Programme (FMS), and began entering service with the IAF in 2013. As with all the other operators of the C-17, the IAF’s fleet is supported by Boeing via its Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) performance-based logistics contract that provides the IAF access to the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) support infrastructure. The IAF has pointed out that the C-17 is capable of operating from short runways, and in March 2014 the service successfully landed one of them at the 1,240 m-high Tuting Advanced Landing Ground in north-eastern India, close to the country’s disputed border with China. Senior IAF officers said the airlifter can transport 74 tonnes of cargo or 150 fully equipped military personnel to a distance of 4,200km. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

27 Aug 19. New Russian Military Aircraft at MAKS-2019. The International Aerospace Salon MAKS-2019 is held at Zhukovskiy, Moscow Region on August 27 to September 1. The show profile allows to display all type of military and commercial aircraft, space technology and air-defence systems attracting a huge number of participants, predominantly Russian. Due to U.S./EU sanctions Western companies limited their presence to commercial technology. The Su-57E fighter and the Il-112VE military transport aircraft will be the highlights of the Russian military showcase. The Su-57 has already been presented at previous shows under the name of T-50 PAKFA but this time it will debut as a system combat proven during the anti-terrorist operation in Syria. It is expected that a long awaited official contract between the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and the Russian Ministry of Defense on 76 Su-57 will be inked during the show in presence of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. This step would be a milestone in the programme history, and it would push the international sales of its export version, the Su-57E.

Alexander Mikheev, CEO of Rosoboronexport, national state arms trade mediator, said: “At MAKS-2019, Russian manufacturers will be unveiling the fifth-generation Su-57E multi-role fighter jet and the Il- 112VE light military transport aircraft, the hottest and most anticipated new products of recent years. Rosoboronexport is ready, at the request of foreign partners, to present these aircraft and turn a new page in promoting state-of-the-art aircraft systems in the world market. I am sure the interest in them will be great.”

The advanced Su-57E fifth-generation fighter jet designed by the Sukhoi Bureau and manufactured by the Gagarin plant at Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and the Il-112VE light military transport aircraft from Ilyushin Bureau and Voronezh aviation plant (all are subsidiaries of UAC) have received the necessary export permits and Rosoboronexport has the right to offer them to foreign customers.

The Su-57E is an export version of the fifth-generation multi-role aircraft system designed to accomplish a wide range of missions against air, ground and surface targets. It can be used year round at any climate conditions and in a severe jamming environment. The aircraft employs “stealth” technology to reduce radar and infrared signature, and claims to have a high immunity of both avionics and aircraft armament system, as well as a strong supersonic cruise capability. The Su-57E key features have been announced as multi-mission capability, automation and AI technologies incorporated into target engagement processes, all-azimuth and multiple target capability, the use of long-range precision-guided weapons, super-manoeuvrability.

This makes the Su-57E fighter an attractive fifth generation aircraft already available on the market with low life cycle cost. It has been recently offered to the Turkish Air Force as a possible replacement for the US F-35 if Turkey is withdrawn from the F-35 programme due to the purchase of Russian S-400.

MAKS-2019 will be the debut international stage for the Il-112 which had its maiden flight on March 30, 2019.

The Il-112VE light military transport aircraft is the export version of the Il-112V developed for the Russian Air Force. It is built for the transportation and airdropping of cargo, vehicles, equipment, ammunition and personnel.

The major advantage of the Russian Il- 112VE light military transport aircraft is its versatility, enabling a wide range of transport missions, including airdropping of cargo and special forces groups, transportation of personnel with organic weapons, delivery of weapons, ammunition and materiel, casualty evacuation, state-of-the-art avionics to perform combat missions day-and-night, in any weather and in different climatic conditions.

Dimensions of the Il-112VE cargo compartment allow to carry various payloads. The plane is equipped with two new higher-power and more fuel-efficient engines, the Klimov TV7-117ST with composite AV112 propellers controlled by a single automatic system to increase flight safety and provide high take-off and landing performance allowing the aircraft to be operated from short runways, including unprepared terrain.

The Il-112VE features on-condition maintenance to minimise the need for major overhauls, so the operational costs are especially low over the service life of approx. 30,000 flight hours or 30 years. The aircraft meets all ICAO standards on flight accuracy and safety. (Source: ESD Spotlight)

26 Aug 19. First Brazilian Gripen E Completes its First Flight. Saab today completed a successful first flight with the first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft, 39-6001. At 2.41 pm CET on August 26, the Gripen E aircraft took off on its maiden flight flown by Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg. The aircraft operated from Saab´s airfield in Linköping, Sweden. The duration of the flight was 65 minutes and included test points to verify basic handling and flying qualities at different altitudes and speeds. The main purpose was to verify that the aircraft behavior was according to expectations.

“This milestone is a testament to the great partnership between Sweden and Brazil. Less than five years since the contract was signed, the first Brazil Gripen has conducted her first flight,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.

This aircraft is the first Brazilian production aircraft and will be used in the joint test program as a test aircraft. The main differences compared to the previous test aircraft are that 39-6001 has a totally new cockpit layout, with a large Wide Area Display (WAD), two small Head Down Displays (sHDD) and a new Head Up Display (HUD). Another major difference is an updated flight control system with updated control laws for Gripen E. It also includes modifications both in hardware and software.

“For me as a pilot it has been a great honour to fly the first Brazilian Gripen E aircraft as I know how much this means for the Brazilian Air Force and everyone at Saab and our Brazilian partners. The flight was smooth and the aircraft behaved just as we have seen in the rigs and simulators. This was also the first time we flew with the Wide Area Display in the cockpit, and I am happy to say that my expectations were confirmed,” says Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg.

39-6001 will now join the test programme for further envelope expansion as well as testing of tactical system and sensors.  39-6001 will be designated F-39 in the Brazilian Air Force and will have the tail number 4100. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Saab)

26 Aug 19. RAAF receives third and final Dassault Falcon 7X. The Royal Australian Air Force has received the third and final Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft, which has phased out the fleet of Bombardier CL604 Challengers for the ADF’s VIP transport requirements. It meets the original slated schedule of having three Falcon 7X aircraft entering service by 3Q 2019.

“Following a review, Defence will lease three new Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft to replace the three existing Bombardier CL604 Challengers,” the Department of Defence said in a release earlier in the year.

“The Falcon will have reduced operating costs, larger passenger load, modern communication capability and increased range and endurance. The Challengers are being replaced at a natural point in their ageing and maintenance cycle.”

The Falcon 7X can accommodate 12 to 16 passengers, compared with the nine maximum that the CL604 Challenger can carry.

Following the arrival of the first Falcon to the RAAF, Wing Commander Jason Pont, Commanding Officer of 34 Squadron, said, “The Falcon 7X is an advanced business jet designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation.

“The jet has a standard crew of three (pilot, co-pilot and crew attendant) and can carry up to 14 passengers.

“With a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.9 and a range of up to 11,000 kilometres, the aircraft can fly from Canberra to anywhere in the world with only one stop. Its ability to land at almost any airfield provides notable regional and remote airfield accessibility.”

The Falcon 7X is being leased to the RAAF through National Australia Bank Global Infrastructure, as well as being sustained by Northrop Grumman Australia. The aircraft have already been used in service, transporting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Tuvalu in August for the Pacific Islands Forum. (Source: Defence Connect)


29 Aug 19. Singapore Navy decommissions three Fearless-class patrol vessels. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has decommissioned three Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs) during a ceremony at Tuas Naval Base. The RSS Fearless, RSS Brave and RSS Dauntless vessels entered service with the RSN in the 1990s.

While RSS Fearless and RSS Brave were inducted into the fleet in October 1996, RSS Dauntless joined the RSN fleet in May 1997. The decommissioning ceremony was officiated by RSN chief rear-admiral (RADM) Lew Chuen Hong.

The Singapore Navy is transitioning to new ST Marine-built Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs). Under the LMV programme, the navy is replacing the 12 Fearless-class patrol vessels with eight Independence-class corvette-sized LMVs.

Maritime Security Task Force commander RADM Seah Poh Yeen said: “Throughout their operational service, RSS Fearless, RSS Brave and RSS Dauntless were an integral part of the Maritime Security Task Force’s High Readiness Core and truly lived up to 182 Squadron’s motto of being ‘sharp and vigilant’.

“The success of these patrol vessels would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication, professionalism and sacrifices of the many generations of sailors who served on board.”

The ceremony also marked the transfer of the operational duties of the three Fearless-class PVs to the new LMV ships.

The LMVs are equipped to provide a wider range of capabilities than the Fearless-class vessels.

All eight LMVs are expected to be fully operational by next year.

In January, ST Marine launched the Singapore Navy’s eighth and final Independence-class LMV. The littoral mission vessels, which are manned by a crew of 23 members, are designed to support coastal security, maritime patrol, and surveillance missions. They can also be used for humanitarian assistance and search-and-rescue (SAR). (Source: naval-technology.com)



23 Aug 19. Russia proposes new railroad battalions in each military district. Russia is proposing that additional new ’emergency’ railroad battalions are created and deployed in each military district. Two have already been established in the Western Military District, Russian media reported on 19 August. Although headlined as civil defence in nature, the proposed new units are certainly dual role. A fresh look was taken at military rail capabilities following events in Ukraine in 2014, when extensive new track had to be laid. Railroad troops have also proved useful recently in flood relief in the Amur and Irkutsk regions and recovery following mammoth explosions at the Achinsk arsenal in Siberia. They rebuilt bridges destroyed in conflict in the North Caucasus and laid track in Abkhazia prior to the 2008 Georgia War. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

28 Aug 19. RAF drone operators reap rewards. Operational service medals have been awarded to RAF drone operators for the first time, but without the ribbon clasp for danger in the line of duty.

Members of the RAF Reaper Force have received the Operational Service Medal Iraq and Syria for their work in the Shader campaign against Isis. Their medals will not have the “Iraq and Syria” clasp that goes to the pilots of manned aircraft. The 36ft Reaper drone has a top speed of 290mph and a ceiling of 30,000ft when armed. It can carry two 500lb laser-guided bombs and four Hellfire missiles. Reapers were responsible for more than 1,280 of the 4,013 deaths of Isis fighters in RAF strikes in Iraq and Syria between September 2014 and January this year.

Before presenting the medals, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, said: “It’s absolutely right and proper that they get recognition because their contribution to the success of the operation is just phenomenal.”

In the same ceremony, some Reaper officers received pilots’ wings. Air Vice-Marshal Smyth, who presented the wings, said: “What you do remotely piloting an air vehicle is equally as challenging, is equally as dynamic as flying a fast jet. It’s just different.”(Source: The Times)



29 Aug 19. Esper sees progress to fill top Pentagon vacancies. New U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that Congress and the White House are working to fill senior vacancies at the Pentagon.  Five nominees will face Senate hearings in the coming weeks, while eight are undergoing White House vetting, Esper told reporters at an on-camera briefing beside Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“We’re making steady progress with Senate confirmations,” Esper said.

Last month, the Senate locked in the Pentagon’s top two leaders for the first time in 2019: Esper, the former Army secretary, and Army Gen. Mark Milley, to succeed Dunford. It also confirmed former comptroller David Norquist as deputy secretary of defense and Vice Adm. Michael Gilday as the next chief of naval operations.

Among the remaining vacant senior positions, the Senate is expected to take up the nomination of Gen. John Hyten to replace Gen. Paul Selva, who retired as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs late last month. The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced Hyten last month, despite a subordinate’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her, which he disputed.

Esper did not name the candidates. However, the White House submitted nominations for Dana Deasy to be chief information officer and for Lisa Hershman to be chief management officer ― a position vacated by John Gibson nearly nine months ago.

Regarding military positions, the Senate Armed Services Committee has yet to hold a hearing for Ryan McCarthy, the undersecretary of the Army and acting secretary to replace Esper. President Donald Trump tapped Barbara Barrett as his pick for Air Force secretary in May, with no official word since. (Source: Defense News)

28 Aug 19. South Australian Premier launches Defence Industry Scholarship Program. South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has announced a flagship program that connects SA university students with defence companies as the state gears up for a range of major Defence programs.

The program will strengthen the state’s future skilled workforce, and help students take advantage of the opportunities on offer within SA’s $90bn defence industry. Applications are now open for the first round of the Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarship Program, which will offer $600,000 in scholarships over three years and support eligible students to gain defence industry experience through work placements with local defence companies.

Sixty scholarships of up to $10,000 are available to third year and honours university students who are completing a degree in science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM) or business students majoring in project management or logistics.

The state government is encouraging small and medium defence businesses to support the placement of eligible students.

Premier Marshall said the scholarship program will help to maximise job opportunities in the defence sector and boost skills development by partnering with the state’s universities and defence companies.

“My government is investing in our defence industry’s future workforce with the creation of this program, to support the sector to build a pipeline of potential employees with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience,” Premier Marshall said.

“The scholarships support students undertaking an industry placement with defence companies to apply the skills and expertise gained in the classroom on the job, and builds an awareness of the many career opportunities in the defence industry.”

Premier Marshall added, “Raising up the next generation of skilled workers and leaders is critical to South Australia’s defence industry’s long-term success, and my government is committed to building a strong and capable workforce to take advantage of the jobs that flow from major defence projects.”

Defence SA chief executive Richard Price welcomed the announcement, saying the program is a win-win for students and defence industry, and ensures the right range of skills are available within the workforce to service a vital sector.

“By supporting the placement of high-calibre students, defence companies can build their future workforce, enhance innovation and research capacity, and grow the quality of expertise of graduates emerging from our universities,” Price said.

The program will be managed by the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), a national employer organisation with strong membership in the defence, manufacturing and ICT sectors and administered by Defence SA, on behalf of the SA government. Ai Group will collaborate with South Australian universities to attract STEM students and place them within defence businesses.

Ai Group CEO Innes Willox the program brings higher education and the defence industry together to more effectively deliver work-integrated learning opportunities.

“It will mean better skills matching and greater partnering opportunities, which will enhance skills training and pathways to employment in industry. In short, it will help deliver much needed skills at the right time and in the right place,” Willox added.

CEO of Babcock Australasia, David Ruff, said SA is rightly entrusted with delivering Defence’s flagship capability acquisitions, namely the Hunter frigate and Attack submarine programs, to be built in Adelaide.

“The success of producing these sovereign capabilities hinges upon the skills and quality of the workforce; Premier Marshall’s Defence Industry Scholarship Program is an astute initiative that will attract Australia’s brightest young intellects to the defence industry – thereby assuring the future of this nation-building enterprise,” Ruff said. (Source: Defence Connect)


28 Aug 19. Clarion appoints new Managing Director for Defence and Security division. Clarion Events has further strengthened its Defence and Security team with the appointment of Sally de Swart as Managing Director. The division’s portfolio has grown significantly in recent years, boosted by the acquisition and introduction of new international events, including: BIDEC, DSEI Japan, VIDSE (Vietnam), and EDEX (Egypt).  This new appointment reflects this expansion and will see Sally managing ongoing operations across Clarion Defence and Security’s four international offices, including oversight of the division’s flagship events such as: DSEI; LAAD; BIDEC, EDEX, together with Undersea Defence Technology; Counter Terror Expo; MilSim Asia; and Electronic Warfare Europe. Sally is re-joining Clarion from Reed Exhibitions, where she held the position Group Director of the Retail Portfolio in Sydney, Australia. Prior to her time in Australia, Sally also held the position of Exhibition Director for DSEI 2007 and 2009. In her new role Sally will report to Tim Porter, Group Managing Director for Clarion’s global Defence and Security division. He said: “We’re delighted to welcome Sally back to the team and the additional expertise she will bring to group, both from her time in the defence industry and experience overseeing global events”.


19 Aug 19. Metis Technology Solutions’ New First VP of Space Programs. He is Custom Made for the Job. Metis Technology Solutions of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has named its first Vice President, Space and IRAD Programs.James (Jim) Theiss is Metis’ first Vice President, Space and IRAD Programs. Jim, age 49, is a former U.S. Air Force officer who is driving the successful performance of this fast-growing space mission support company.  Jim currently manages Metis work at several NASA centers and at the U.S. Air Force Material Command and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). He also oversees the company’s research and development activity at its Albuquerque, New Mexico facility, which is performing innovative software projects for cybersecurity and flight safety funded by both the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA.   Jim was previously Space Division Manager for Metis, which he joined in 2016 after retiring as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. As Division Manager he provided day-to-day management of three NASA projects which provide support at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Ames and for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center at its White Sands Test Facility. He also managed two projects for the U.S. Air Force including support for Air Force Material Command KC-46 Aerial Refueling Tanker, and AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate Engineering and Integration.  Before joining Metis, Jim had a 23-year career with the U.S. Air Force. As a Developmental Engineer and Acquisition Management his assignments included Deputy Division Lead for the Space Electro-Optics Division, Air Force Research Lab Directed Energy Directorate, Deputy Director of Air Force Inspection Agency analysis and training, and Chief of Technology Development for the Space and Missile Systems Center. He also held several engineering management positions and was a mission unique acquisition manager for aircraft and weapon flight testing.

Jim, who is an AIAA Senior Member, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Arts in Military Operational Art from Air University.

Metis, which was named one of the fastest growing technology companies in New Mexico, was also a contract winner at the U.S. Air Force Pitch Day, a “Shark Tank” type event held last March to award Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts using a streamlined evaluation process. Based on its next-generation cybersecurity technology, the company was accepted into the Air Force Technology Accelerator class of 2019. (Source: Satnews)


30 Aug 19. Lockheed Martin has announced the appointment of its new Australia and New Zealand chief executive, taking over the role from interim CEO Scott Thompson. Defence Connect can confirm that Joe North has been appointed chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, with Thompson assuming the newly created position of deputy country executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.

Over a career that has spanned 30 years with Lockheed Martin, North has a proven record of leading the delivery of capability platforms, most recently as vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) operations for Australia and New Zealand.

During his time with Lockheed Martin, he has provided an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship for employees, leading major capability programs for the US Navy. In recent years he has led the Lockheed Martin LCS program, supporting new construction (of 14 ships), class services, sustainment and international efforts, including five years spent in Japan focusing on delivering Japanese self defence capability in the maritime domain.

North said he was proud to have the opportunity to lead Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand at what is a critical period for the modernisation of Australia’s defence capability. (Source: Defence Connect)




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