10 Sep 19. Arkansas officials joined Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) executives to break ground on the new Long Range Fires Production Facility, the first of many expansions at the company’s site in Camden. In June, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson joined Lockheed Martin executives during the Paris Air Show to announce the company’s $142m investment in its Camden facility, adding 326 new jobs by 2024. These newly created jobs will grow the Camden facility workforce from approximately 650 employees to more than 900 employees in the next few years.
The new Long Range Fires Production Facility adds more than 70,000-square-feet of production and office space to the current property in Highland Industrial Park, supporting increased orders for the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), the Low-Cost Reduced-Range Practice Rocket (LCRRPR) and other associated work.
“This new building represents Lockheed Martin’s long-standing commitment to meeting our customers’ current and future needs, as well as bringing more high-paying jobs to the Camden area,” said Justin Routon, site director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s facility in Camden. “Our facility has a long record of precision manufacturing and on-time deliveries, which is the reason Lockheed Martin continues to invest in our Camden Operations and this is an exciting first step in our expansion process.”
Building construction is slated for completion in the beginning of 2021. Camden Operations is Lockheed Martin’s Precision Fires Center of Excellence.
09 Sep 19. Kongsberg Maritime has expanded its Canadian operation by establishing a presence at COVE, the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Already a major player in the Canadian ocean technology sector with its East Coast Canadian headquarters located in Dartmouth’s Burnside Industrial Park since 1992, the addition of a new COVE office provides KONGSBERG with access to an 8-acre site, a 13-acre water lot, 2,850 feet of docks and piers, office space, 10,000 square feet of incubation space and 16,500 square feet of shop and lab space that it will share with other members of the ocean tech community.
The open culture at COVE is vital to sharing ideas that can improve performance and sustainability across the Canadian and global ocean economies.
“Our presence at COVE is a logical extension of our established Dartmouth office,” said Nick Burchill, Sales Manager for Kongsberg Maritime, Canada. “COVE keeps us in touch with developments in the local ocean tech sector and brings us closer to our customers and industry partners. We look forward to expanding on existing relationships and finding new ways to introduce Canadian ocean tech to the world.”
“We are very pleased to have KONGSBERG join the family of COVE tenants,” said Jim Hanlon, CEO of COVE. “This world-leading company has been a long-time part of the ocean technology community here in Atlantic Canada and now they are bringing their innovative ideas directly into COVE. We have already seen the KONGSBERG team with other COVE tenants on innovation projects and we are expecting to see more coming soon.”
12 Sep 19. BMT unveils multirole support ship design concept. Ship design and systems engineering house BMT has extended its family of afloat support and logistics vessel designs with the addition of a third offering, dubbed ELLIDA.
ELLIDA was showcased for the first time at the 2019 Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition (DSEI 2019) in London, and joins BMT’s two existing naval auxiliary platforms: SALVAS and AEGIR. SALVAS is a utility auxiliary designed for a range of tasks including salvage and towing, diving support, submarine rescue, maintenance and repair, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations, while the AEGIR design, which is in service in the United Kingdom and Norway, is a replenishment ship. Speaking to Jane’s on 11 September at DSEI, Andy Kimber, BMT’s chief naval architect, said ELLIDA fills a capability gap in BMT’s naval auxiliary portfolio by adding a ship focused on logistics and ro-ro transport that is based around volume rather than weight.
“So what we have is a platform with a very large internal vehicle deck,” Kimber explained. “On this particular version it’s about 700 lane metres of internal vehicle storage and it has a dock at the back for two landing craft and it can carry 350 troops. The idea is that it’s a ship that carries logistics equipment, but it’s also multirole so we’ve been exploring what other suitable capability we can get from that platform given that it’s essentially a vessel with lots of space on it.”
The 200 m ship features a large vehicle deck through the middle of the platform, a stern well dock with space for two landing craft, and a lower vehicle deck that could alternatively be reconfigured for stowage. There is also a forward deck area that can carry containers or more vehicles and a large two-spot flight deck at the back with a single spot hangar. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Sep 19. Indian Navy to commission second Scorpène-class submarine in late September. The Indian Navy (IN) will commission Khanderi, the second of six licence-built Kalvari (Scorpène)-class diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) in a ceremony set to be held at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on 28 September, IN officials told Jane’s. The event is expected to take place in the coming weeks, despite IN sources stating in June that commissioning would be deferred until 2020 to “fix” 36 “observations” or deficiencies found in Khanderi. The observations included what they described at the time as “unacceptably’ high engine and propeller noise levels and problems with the boat’s indicator buoys and onboard toilets. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Sep 19. BAE completes next Anzac frigate upgrade. BAE Systems has successfully finalised the mast manufacture and installation of the mast for HMAS Anzac as part of the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade at its yard at Henderson, Western Australia, under the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA).
The new mast is the second to be manufactured by BAE Systems as part of the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) between BAE Systems, SAAB Australia, Naval Ship Management (NSM) and the Commonwealth of Australia. The first mast was manufactured for HMAS Arunta. Around 650 people are currently working on the upgrade of the Anzac Class frigate fleet, including 400 BAE Systems Australia employees. The mast installation is one of the last major works on the HMAS Anzac ahead of her undocking later this year. She will then undertake sea trials ahead of a planned return to service in 2020.
The replacement mast is taller and wider than the existing mast so that it can accommodate the new CEA L-Band radar system, while retaining the existing anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) radar capability. The new L-Band high power active phase array radar incorporating an integrated ‘friend and foe’ capability replaces the previous AN/SPS-49(V)8 radar system. This new radar complements the existing ASMD radar system and is integrated into the existing combat management systems of the ship by SAAB Australia. (Source: Defence Connect)
13 Sep 19. First aerial refuelling-capable E-2D Advanced Hawkeye enters US Navy. The first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft with aerial refuelling capability has joined the US Navy’s fleet at Naval Station Norfolk. The upgraded aircraft was received by the navy’s Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, also known as Greyhawks. It will enhance the navy’s battlespace awareness. In 2017, the E-2D aircraft tested its aerial refuelling capability with a KC-10 Extender of the US Air Force at NAS Patuxent River. The aircraft is expected to achieve initial operating capability by next year.
Naval Air Force Atlantic commander rear admiral Roy Kelley said: “This is an important day for naval aviation as we continue to increase our capabilities and maintain our competitive edge in the skies.
“This capability will extend the endurance of Hawkeyes, increasing the navy’s battlespace awareness and integrated fire control, both from the air and the sea.”
The US Navy intends to have two operational fleet squadrons of aerial refuelling capable E-2Ds by next year.
VAW-120 commanding officer commander Scott Wastak said: “Aerial refuelling capability is a game-changer for the E-2D community and future operations in the high-end fight. We will now begin to train instructor pilots and refuel with several different Navy and Air Force tanker aircraft, including F/A-18s.”
The squadron is a Fleet Replacement Squadron tasked with training naval aviators, flight officers, aircrewmen and maintainers to operate E-2 and C-2 aircraft. In April this year, the US Navy awarded a contract modification worth $3.2bn to Northrop Grumman to deliver 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne surveillance aircraft. (Source: naval-technology.com)
11 Sep 19. India to receive first Rafale fighter in France on 8 October. Senior Indian officials are expected to receive on 8 October the first of 36 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters that New Delhi ordered in September 2016 for the Indian Air Force (IAF) for EUR7.9bn (USD8.71bn).
Official sources said Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to travel to France with Ministry of Defence (MoD) and IAF personnel to receive the aircraft at Dassault’s facility in Bordeaux-Mérignac.
However, the twin-engined fighter is only expected to arrive in India in about April–May 2020 as part of a first batch of four Rafales that will be ferried to Ambala Air Force Station (AFS) for induction into the IAF’s 17 ‘Golden Arrow’ Squadron, which was formally reinstated on 10 September, about eight years after it was decommissioned following the retirement of its Soviet-era MiG-21 aircraft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
08 Sep 19. RAF Tucano makes final public display at Southport air show. An RAF aircraft used to train pilots and navigators, including the Duke of Cambridge, has taken part in its last public display. The Tucano T1 is due to retire from RAF service next month after 30 years. It made its farewell appearance at the Southport air show over the weekend. The Red Arrows’ longest-serving pilot, Sqn Ldr Mike Ling, who retired from the RAF after 21 years earlier this year, tweeted: “A real pleasure to join the Tucano for a couple of passes at the Southport. “Privileged to have 1000 hours flying them (in my early twenties!)”
What is the Tucano?
- The Tucano T Mark 1 provides basic fast jet training to RAF and RN aircrew
- It was built by the Shorts factory in Belfast in a joint venture with Brazilian aerospace company Embraer
- 130 were built for the RAF
- Is flown by 72 Squadron with No. 1 Flying Training School, at RAF Linton-on-Ouse
- Formation flying, low-level navigation, poor weather flying and aerobatic handling are all taught on the aircraft
- It has a length of 32ft 4¼in (9.86m), a height of 11ft 1¾in (3.40m) and a wingspan of 37ft (11.28m)
- It entered service with the Central Flying School at RAF Scampton, for trials, in June 1988
- Will be replaced by the Texan II based at RAF Valley in Wales
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
09 Sep 19. Recruiting Cyber Workforce Easier Than Retaining Them. The military is doing a great job recruiting cyber talent into military and civilian service, but retention is more difficult, said the deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy said at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit in Washington.
“We have people lined up out the door that are ready to come onboard and do the mission, whether it’s cyber operations or traditional cybersecurity,” Burke E. “Ed” Wilson said at last week’s event.
Wilson said Congress gave the military some unique authorities that have helped in hiring qualified civilians.
“This has allowed us to hire with more agility based on the talent,” he said. “That’s been a big win, and we’ve seen very good results over the last 18 months.”
But the challenge is retention. “Clearly, we don’t do well on salary in the military, but we’ve been able to handle that with bonuses,” Wilson said, adding that the strategy is working well, except in some niche areas.
John “Jack” Wilmer, the Defense Department’s deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity and chief information security officer, said young people are attracted to the military because it has a “cool mission.” To keep them, the military provides them with some really great training opportunities, he said.
Cyber games, for example, allow them to go toe-to-toe with some of the best cyber warriors from other countries, he said. “We try to incentivize people and connect them with opportunities,” he added.
Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of Army Cyber Command, said another way to incentivize the workforce while solving difficult cyber problems is to organize the cyber workforce into teams.
Teams can be made up of people who are experts at electronic warfare, information operations, intelligence, developers, malware analysts and other specialties based on the type of operation they’re engaged in, he said.
The teams can extend outside the U.S. military and include foreign military partners, commercial vendors and academia, Fogarty said.
“We very rarely act without a consortium of partners. I can’t think of a single operation that didn’t include multiple partners,” he said. “Young people reach out to their peers and build their own networks. They’re very successful at building these ad hoc relationships, and they get after the mission.” (Source: US DoD)
10 Sep 19. UK Armed Forces and defence majors sign Women in Defence Charter. UK Minister for Defence Procurement Anne-Marie Trevelyan today launched the Women in Defence Charter at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event in London. Following the announcement, a number of organisations signed the charter, a collaboration between the UK Ministry of Defence, Women in Defence UK, ADS, Defence Growth Partnership and defence industry companies. Signatories commit to supporting diversity and inclusion and providing opportunities for women to succeed at all levels with the aim of improving gender balance.
The charter specifically commits organisations to supporting the progression of women to senior roles in the defence sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level. It recognises the diversity of the sector and that organisations will have different starting points and should set their own targets accordingly. It requires organisations to publicly report on progress to deliver against any internal targets to support the transparency and accountability needed to drive change. And it aims to enable women to thrive, enhancing the individual and collective impact of women across defence and in doing so, improving the overall output of defence.
Announcing the charter, Trevelyan said: “It is the greatest pleasure to be to be kicking off this fantastic new charter and signing the MOD and all the constituent parts that we work on in defence up for this charter too.
“Perhaps defence has been an all-male preserve, possibly by accident and strength requirements, for a very long time. But that is longer required or indeed the right way to do thing; The other 50% of the population brings a different perspective, great skills, and defence industries are missing out by not making sure that they have more of us working.
“If I can make it from zero to hero as a defence minister in four years, any woman can take on the challenge of getting into grips with some of the fascinating parts of defence, and being part of this extraordinary family whose job is not only to build very terrifying equipment that does really dangerous things, but they are fundamentally designed to protect our values and our people. So that if we get into a fight, and our defence is credible, those who wish us harm will not do so.
“That is an instinctive female trait; we will protect our children. That, for me, is what defence is, as much about as delivering the firepower when you need to. So this charter, the opportunity to encourage women from young girls up was to think about defence, that broad family of industry of serving of so many skills is across the whole breadth of the defence family. We want more of our amazing women to come in and work alongside all of us to do that.”
Women in Defence UK founder Angela Owen added: “It’s absolutely wonderful to see the Ministry of Defence, the armed forces and so many major defence companies signing up for the Women in Defence charter today. We can work together and this will really make a difference.”
Signatories to the charter include ADS, Airbus, Atkins, Atlas Elektronik UK, Babcock, BAE Systems, BMT, Boeing Defence UK, General Dynamics, GKN Aerospace, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin UK, MBDA UK, the Ministry of Defence, Northrop Grumman, QinetiQ, Raytheon UK, Rolls-Royce, Saab UK, Safran, Serco and Thales UK. (Source: army-technology.com)
10 Sep 19. USAF MG Michael A. Minihan for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, and assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii. Minihan is currently serving as chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii.
10 Sep 19. USAF MG Scott A. Kindsvater for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, and assignment as deputy chairman, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee, Brussels, Belgium. Kindsvater is currently serving as deputy chief of staff, operations, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Casteau, Belgium.
09 Sep 19. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce that Morgan Dwyer has joined CSIS as a fellow in the International Security Program (ISP) and deputy director for policy analysis in the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group (DIIG). She will focus on acquisition policy, defense reform, and innovation and technology after having worked extensively on defense modernization in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation (OSD CAPE).
03 Sep 19. General Raymond Names Two Subordinate Commands for U.S. Space Command. U.S. Space Command Commander General John W. “Jay” Raymond, in his first official directives, established two subordinate commands that will jointly provide support to the new Unified Combatant Command. General Raymond said that to ensure USSPACECOM can conduct its mission decisively, he is establishing two subordinate commands with distinct and defined mission areas to ensure the command is postured to protect and defend, while also increasing joint warfighter lethality and strengthening partnerships. The establishment of the Department of Defense’s 11th COCOM dedicated to space operations reflects the value of space contributions to national security, the evolution of the threats to U.S. space systems, and the importance of deterring potential adversaries from challenging or attacking U.S. space systems. These subordinate commands will have a direct impact on that mission. /The JTF-SD will be commanded by Brigadier General Thomas L. James, with a mission to conduct space superiority operations in unified action with mission partners to deter aggression, defend space capability, and when directed, defeat adversaries throughout the continuum of conflict. The JTF-SD will execute its protect and defend mission through various operations centers, including National Space Defense Center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado; Space Situational Awareness Units; and Emerging Space Defense Units. The CFSCC will be commanded by Major General Stephen Whiting with a mission to plan, integrate, conduct, and assess global space operations in order to deliver combat relevant space capabilities to Combatant Commanders, Coalition partners, the Joint Force, and the Nation. CFSCC plans and executes space operations through four distinct and geographically dispersed operations centers, including: Combined Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB, California; Missile Warning Center at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado; Joint Overhead Persistent Infrared Center at Buckley AFB, Colorado; and Joint Navigation Warfare Center located at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. Additionally, CFSCC executes tactical control over a number of Air Force, Army, and Navy space units. (Source: Satnews)
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
11 Sep 19. Thailand’s Military Reshuffle Announced. His Majesty The King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, has approved the annual military reshuffle of the Three Armed Forces, the Supreme Command and the Permanent Secretariat Office of Defense. Altogether the move includes 871 senior officers together with Air Chief Marshal Manat Wongwath, Chief of Staff of the Royal Thai Air Force who, became Commander in Chief of Royal Thai Air Force, while General Narongphan Jitkaewtae, Commander of Region 1 – moving up to become Assistant Commander and one of the top 5 Commanders in the Royal Thai Army. Key highlights of this year’s military reshuffle include:
OFFICE OF THE PERMANENT SECRETARY FOR DEFENCE
- General Napol Sangsomwong as Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defence
- General Kukiat Srinaka as Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defence
- Admiral Somprasong Nisamai as Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defence
- General Thanis Pipitwanichakarn as Director General of Defence Industry and Energy Center
- General Chaichana Nakkerd as Deputy Commander in Chief of Royal Thai Armed Forces
- Admiral Patchara Phumphichet as Deputy Commander in Chief of Royal Thai Armed Forces
- General Choochart Buakhao as Deputy Commander in Chief of Royal Thai Armed Forces
- General Chalermpong Srisawad as Chief of Staff
ROYAL THAI ARMY
- General Jakchai Mokasmit as Chairman of the Advisory Board of The Royal Thai Army
- Lt. Gen. Narongphan Jitkaewthae as Assistant of Commander in Chief of Royal Thai Army
- Lt. Gen. Sunai Phraphuchanae as Assistant of Commander in Chief of Royal Thai Army
ROYAL THAI NAVY
- Admiral Chorchat GraTes as Deputy Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Navy
- Admiral Somchai Na Bangchang as Chairman of the Advisory Board of The Royal Thai Navy
- Admiral Chatchai Srivorakan as Assistant of Commander in Chief of The Royal Thai Navy
ROYAL THAI AIR FORCE
- Air Chief Marshal Manat Wongwat as Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air force
- Air Chief Marshal Weerapong Niljinda as Deputy of Commander in Chief of The Royal Thai Air Force
- Air Marshal Tharin Phunsri as Assistant of Commander in Chief of The Royal Thai Air Force
- Air Marshal Sittichai Kaewbuadee as Assistant of Commander in Chief of The Royal Thai Air Force
- Air Marshal Suthiphan Taithong as Chief of Staff at the Royal Thai Air Force
12 Sep 19. AAR (NYSE: AIR), a leading provider of aviation services to commercial airlines and governments worldwide, has been selected as the main distributor for Leach International Corporation. As part of the agreement, AAR OEM Solutions will be stocking, promoting and selling electromechanical and solid state switch gears, such as relays, switches, relay panels and power distribution units to OEMs for new production, commercial airlines and MRO providers, as well as to the military aftermarket, including the U.S. government.
“We are excited to partner with Leach International in support of the Americas region,” said Eric Young, AAR Senior Vice President of OEM Solutions. “AAR will leverage its market reach and promote Leach products technically and commercially, while improving the customer service experience.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with AAR for the distribution of Leach’s industry-leading product line for the aerospace and defense markets,” said Michel Potvin, Leach International Corporation President. “This new partnership comes as Leach celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. I am confident that AAR will help us improve service for our customers and, as an extension of our sales force, support our growth as we look ahead to a promising future over the next 100 years.”
12 Sep 19. Vertex Aerospace partners with Hybrid Air Vehicles to deliver airships to DoD. The two organizations will partner together to provide joint proposals to the DoD for fully configured Airlander 10 aircraft.
Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding in London on Tuesday with Vertex Aerospace LLC to deliver missionized Airlander 10 aircraft to the U.S. Department of Defense. The two organizations will partner together to provide joint proposals to the DoD for fully configured Airlander 10 aircraft.
Vertex’s Aircraft Integration & Sustainment division in Crestview, Florida, will work with Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) to missionize the aircraft to provide persistent multi-domain intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, computing and communication capabilities.
HAV, a British aerospace company, works in hybrid aircraft technology. Airlander 10 provides a versatile solution to many of the challenges facing aviation today. HAV’s Chief Executive Tom Grundy said this week at the Defence & Security Equipment International event in London that the two companies share a commitment to delivering affordable, high-quality products that respond to changing mission requirements. (Source: Google/https://www.armyrecognition.com/)
09 Sep 19. BMT, a leading international design, engineering and science management consultancy, has appointed Rob Teasdale as the Business Development Director of its Global Defence and Security division. Rob brings to the company 35 years of Defence and Security experience from the Royal Australian Navy and employment with global Defence companies. His most recent role was as the inaugural Chief of Staff for BAE Systems Australia, a company where as the Head of Business Development he was a key player in their successful campaign for the $35bn Future Frigate Program.
09 Sep 19. Mattis Joins Advisory Group Run by Former Defense Secretary. Former defense secretary Jim Mattis plans to remain a prominent voice on national security issues in his post-military career as a counselor to the business advisory group led by former defense secretary William Cohen. In a release Sunday, The Cohen Group announced that Mattis would be a senior counselor for the firm effective Oct. 1. Since his resignation in December following a policy dispute with President Donald Trump, Mattis has also joined the board at General Dynamics and resumed his role at Stanford University as Davies Family Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.
“We are honored to be working with [Mattis], and our clients will benefit from his knowledge and guidance,” said Cohen, who served as defense secretary from 1997 to 2001 and was previously a Republican senator from Maine. “Jim Mattis is a national treasure, a leader known throughout the world for his strategic judgment as well as his unyielding principles.”
A spokesman for The Cohen Group declined comment on what Mattis will be paid. General Dynamics also did not disclose any information on Mattis’ compensation when he rejoined the board of directors. Mattis previously served on General Dynamics’ board from 2013-17 before becoming SecDef. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military.com)
05 Sep 19. HawkEye 360 Names New Chief Operating Officer. HawkEye 360 Inc. has announced that Robert Rainhart has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Rainhart brings more than 20 years of experience in engineering complex systems and leading teams developing software, firmware, and hardware. Before the promotion, Rainhart served as Executive Vice President of Engineering, where he led development of the first satellites and products from visionary concept to live capabilities.
As COO of HawkEye 360, Rainhart will oversee technology development, product creation, and corporate operations. The next priority is growing the constellation to improve on-orbit capacity and revisit rates while delivering higher levels of service to customers.
Prior to HawkEye 360, Rainhart held various engineering and technical leadership roles with RT Logic and Harris Corporation. He holds an MS in Systems Engineering from Penn State and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University.
John Serafini, CEO, HawkEye 360, said that Rob’s steady hand has successfully guided the firm’s engineering effort from the earliest days. Through this expanded role, he’ll bring these proven leadership skills to other facets of the company as HawkEye 360 grows the organization to better support customer demand.
Robert Rainhart added that this team is passionate and invested in this company. Together, the transition to commercial operations will be completed and will make a positive difference through the firm’s RF analytics. (Source: Satnews)
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
11 Sep 19. New Zealand-based Rocket Lab has appointed Richard French to the role of director – global government launch services, after 12 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). French’s new role will see him focus on providing launch and on-orbit solutions for US civil space customers such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as international civil space customers. In his previous role at NASA JPL, French spent several years as an engineer working across various missions, including the Soil Moisture Active Passive mission (for which he won the NASA Honors Early Career Public Achievement Medal for his work as a lead system engineer) and helping to land the Curiosity Rover on Mars.
After moving into a managerial role in the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA HQ, and then JPL’s Space Technology Office, he made significant contributions in implementing public-private partnerships with companies like Blue Origin, Astrobotic Technology, and Made in Space, and helped stand up NASA’s first start-up accelerator program with Techstars.
The appointment comes at a pivotal time for Rocket Lab, as construction of the company’s second launch complex in Virginia nears completion and the first customer to fly on Electron from the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport to be announced in the coming months. Launch Complex 2 in Virginia has been designed specifically for government missions and the site can support up to 12 launches per year. (Source: Space Connect)
10 Sep 19. Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation solutions provider, has appointed John Tan as regional director for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Based out of the SD Hong Kong office, Tan will manage the APAC sales and business development activities. As the senior executive in the region, his responsibilities include providing leadership to the regional commercial and technical team, maintaining and developing commercial activity in the region, and delivering valuable input into SD product innovation. In a competitive market, he will also be responsible for the creation of unique customer value propositions. He will report directly to the Vice President, SD International, Michael Skou Christensen, who was previously regional director for the APAC region.