25 Sep 19. StandardAero expands Ohio facility. StandardAero Component Services has expanded its engine component manufacturing and engine component repair facility in Hillsboro, Ohio, the company announced on 24 September. The 30,000 sq ft expansion adds working space and capital improvements, including building and additional equipment, to support aerospace engine low pressure turbine vane manufacturing. The expansion also provides additional space for further growth.
StandardAero Component Services provides a complete suite of complex, high precision manufacturing capabilities for aerospace, oil and gas, and military customers; along with repair and overhaul capabilities.
Mark Greene, vice president and general manager of the company’s Hillsboro facility, said: ‘We are very pleased to complete this expansion to create the additional capacity that is necessary to meet our growing customer demands for engine component manufacturing and component repairs.
‘Our dedicated employees have set the standards for quality and delivery. This expansion is a direct result of their commitment to excellence.’ (Source: Shephard)
25 Sep 19. South Shields firm buys a former military port 350 miles away. An maritime repair specialist which started out as a small boatyard plans to invest “millions” into its latest purchase. South Shields firm UK Docks has announced the purchase of Royal Clarence Yard, in Gosport, Hampshire. UK Docks, based in River Drive, South Shields, has purchased the five-and-a-half acre Royal Clarence Yard, in Gosport, near Portsmouth, which was formerly owned by the Ministry of Defence. The yard had previously been offered to Gosport Borough Council for a £1 – but the offer was rejected because of the extensive repairs required on the site.
Managing director Harry Wilson said the company’s purchase of the premises had cost “well over one pound” and would see millions of pounds invested into it over the next decade.
He said: “We were in competition for the site. But we paid a fair price for it.
“In the past, we have taken over four companies which had all been in a derelict condition and in each case we have spent our time improving each one.”
The yard includes the remains of a railway station used by Queen Victoria, now advertised as a potential site for a café or restaurant.
Mr Wilson said the company would primarily use the site to expand its maritime servicing and repair business as well as making it a “pleasurable part of Gosport” to visit.
UK Docks, which started as a small boatyard on the River Tyne in 1995, has grown to become a national and international organisation.
It now operates dry docks, boatyards and marine service centres around the country. Earlier this year it secured a £150m deal to service and repair Royal Navy ships for the Ministry of Defence.
Mr Wilson described the April contract “as an extremely proud moment for ourselves, as a family-run firm, and the whole of our workforce”.
Speaking about the Royal Clarence Yard deal, Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, said “this land is the final piece of the jigsaw” when it came to redeveloping Gosport’s waterfront area and added: “We have had talks with the company several years ago, so their purchase does not come as a surprise.
“Anything that drives business in to the area has got to be a good thing.” (Source: News Now/https://www.shieldsgazette.com)
20 Sep 19. Construction completed on British Royal Navy’s new Welsh headquarters. The British Royal Navy has completed the construction of the Royal Naval Reserve Wales building in Cardiff Bay. The completion of the HMS Cambria facility was marked with a ‘topping out’ ceremony, which was performed by construction company Morgan Sindall and the Royal Navy.
The £11m building is the navy’s new Welsh headquarters and will serve as a focal point for the service in the region. The project involved the transformation of the former industrial site in Sully into a home for HMS Cambria, which will serve the Royal Navy, the Royal Naval Reserve and Wales University Royal Naval Unit. Cambria features classrooms, administrative facilities and accommodation for up to 50 members to support training. Other infrastructure in the building includes an armoury and an external rope training area, as well as a parade square.
Maritime Reserves commander Commodore Martin Quinn said: “This building is a major investment and represents a big step in relationships with Wales and Cardiff, as well as the close affinity that the Maritime Reserves has with the community it serves.
“It is an enormous pleasure to be able to represent the Royal Navy today and in particular the Maritime Reserves who will be soon operating from this new Reserve Unit.
“I’d like to thank Morgan Sindall as the main contractor, ABP for the land lease and RFCA Wales for their efforts in achieving this point in the building of the New HMS Cambria in the Heart of Cardiff.”
The frame of the new headquarters was completed in April this year.(Source: naval-technology.com)
25 Sep 19. Chinese navy holds launch ceremony for first helicopter carrier. China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) held a launch ceremony for its first helicopter carrier on 25 September at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai. The Type 075-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship was floated the same day in the dry dock in which it was built and, according to a warning notice issued by the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration, was expected to be moved to a berth on the Huangpu River the following day. Equipment installation, setting to work, and testing are likely to continue for a period of around 12 months before the ship begins sea acceptance trials. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Sep 19. MDL delivers second Scorpène submarine to Indian Navy. India’s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) has delivered another licence-built Kalvari (Scorpène)-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) to the Indian Navy. The vessel, which will be in service as INS Khanderi once commissioned, was handed over on 19 September at a delivery ceremony in Mumbai. Khanderi is the second of six boats ordered under an INR230bn (USD3.2bn) contract signed with Naval Group (then known as DCNS) in October 2005 under India’s Project 75 submarine programme. The programme’s first-of-class, INS Kalvari, was commissioned in December 2017. Khanderi was launched in January 2017 and was originally scheduled for commissioning in early 2018 after it took to the water. This has since been postponed to 28 September 2019, as reported by Jane’s earlier in the month citing senior Indian Navy officials. The 66 m boat can accommodate a crew of 31 including six officers and can attain a top speed of 20 kt when dived. “The Scorpène class of submarines can undertake multifarious tasks typically undertaken by any modern submarine which include anti-surface as well as anti-submarine warfare”, said India’s Ministry of Defence in a statement on the delivery. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Sep 19. Royal Navy commissions Batch 2 River-class OPV HMS Medway. The British Royal Navy has commissioned the second of the Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), HMS Medway, during a ceremony at Chatham Dockyard on the River Medway. HMS Medway is based in Portsmouth and has been declared ready to deploy for operational duties. The Royal Navy will induct a total of five Batch 2 River-class OPVs for deployment overseas, as well as in home waters.
HMS Medway commanding officer commander Ben Power said: “It is special to be commissioning this ship here on the River Medway, an area that has an incredibly strong connection with the Royal Navy going back to the 16th Century. We have a part to play in the very bright future of the Royal Navy. Medway is a very fine ship, she’s slick, fast and agile.”
The BAE Systems-built River-class vessels are designed to provide greater capability, a flight deck, increased top speed and improved endurance at sea.
The navy will use the class of ships to conduct counter-terrorism, anti-smuggling, maritime defence and counter-narcotics.
In addition, the OPVs will help the navy to secure the UK’s borders and protect interests overseas. BAE Systems cut the first steel for HMS Medway in June 2015 in Glasgow. The ship was delivered to the navy in March this year and first completed sea trials in June. The 90m-long Batch 2 River-class OPVs have a displacement of 1,800t and can cruise at a top speed of 25k. With a range of 5,500 miles, the ships have an endurance of 35 days. All five vessels in the class are expected to be delivered to the navy by 2021. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Sep 19. China launches fifth Type 055 destroyer for PLAN. The fifth Type 055 (Renhai-class) destroyer on order for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has been launched at the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard near Shanghai. Work is now continuing in the fitting-out basin, as shown in commercial satellite imagery captured on 18 September. The launch was not covered by official Chinese media but the satellite imagery shows that it occurred between 7 and 18 September, with some Chinese social media sites claiming that it took place on 12 September. Displacing more than 10,000 tonnes, the Type 055 is the largest destroyer built for the PLAN. Its vertical launch system (VLS) comprises 112 cells from which surface-to-air, anti-ship, anti-submarine, and land-attack missiles can be launched. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Sep 19. Philippines broadens Tarlac class’ operational capabilities with deck landing trials. Key Points:
- The Philippine Navy has carried deck landing trials for several helicopter types on its Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessel
- The trials aim to broaden the types of mission sets that can be conducted from the ships
In a bid to expand on the range of operations that can be conducted from its Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels (SSVs), the Philippine Navy has carried out deck landing trials for various aircraft types that are in service with the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
The trials, which took place from 9 to 11 September in Manila Bay, were conducted onboard second-of-class SSV, BRP Davao del Sur (602), as part of the Philippine Fleet’s Naval Air Wing’s deck landing qualification course (DLQC) 01-19. The three-phase DLQC began with a ‘ground academics’ course for participating crew members on 4 September at the Danilo Atienza Air Base in Cavite City. The first phase also included instructions on hashing and stowage procedures for the various aircraft types. This was followed by Phase 2, which saw static landing trials on Davao del Sur while the ship was berthed at South Harbour, Manila. This was followed by the third phase on 9 September, under which deck landings were done while Davao del Sur was underway.
Helicopter types that took part in the activity include a PAF’s AW109E attack helicopter, one MD-520MG light-attack aircraft, two Bell 412EP logistics support helicopters, and a S-76A that has been configured for search-and-rescue (SAR) operations. A casualty evacuation scenario was also included in the S-76A’s deck landing trials. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Sep 19. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) today announced the Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program achieved a Milestone C decision from the U.S. Air Force, which moves the program into low rate initial production. The Combat Rescue Helicopter will perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services.
The four instrumented test aircraft at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, demonstrated their production readiness during rigorous U.S. Air Force (USAF) performance and flight load survey testing. The joint Sikorsky and USAF flight test team has executed over 70 hours of envelope expansion flights, which provided USAF the data necessary to execute a Milestone C decision. This decision allows Sikorsky to begin production of the aircraft, which is based on the venerable BLACK HAWK helicopter.
“This affirmative Milestone C decision validates the modifications to Sikorsky’s most successful BLACK HAWK helicopter, making it capable of saving downed airmen anytime, anywhere around the world,” said Greg Hames, Sikorsky program director. “This establishes the Combat Rescue Helicopter as a production program.”
Prepared for Production
There are five CRH aircraft in various stages of production at Sikorsky’s Stratford facility. Sikorsky employees and our nationwide supply chain are ready to begin production and support delivering this all new aircraft to the warfighter.
The USAF program of record calls for 113 helicopters to replace its predecessor, the Sikorsky HH-60G PAVE HAWKs.
“We have just successfully gained approval to launch the production of a helicopter that will save the lives of our warfighters and our allies all over the world. This decision begins the transition to this more capable and reliable helicopter to fulfill the Air Force’s mission to leave no one behind. I could not be more proud of our government-contractor team for making this happen,” said Col. Dale R. White, Program Executive Officer, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Special Operations Forces, USAF.
The CRH is significantly more capable and reliable than the HH-60G PAVE HAWK. The aircraft hosts a new fuel system that nearly doubles the capacity of the internal tank on a UH-60M BLACK HAWK, giving the USAF crew extended range and more capability to rescue those injured in the battle space. The CRH specification drives more capable defensive systems and enhances the vulnerability reductions, hover performance, electrical capacity, avionics, cooling, weapons, cyber-security, environmental, and net-centric capabilities beyond the current HH-60G.
24 Sep 19. The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has successfully achieved its first helicopter air-to-air refueling contacts with an H225M. Over the course of 4 flights, operated in day conditions over the south of France, the A400M performed 51 dry contacts marking a decisive milestone towards its full capability as a tanker. These tests were performed under the coordination of the French “DGA Essais en vol” flight test centre. The tests, involving no fuel and performed between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft at flight speeds as low as 105 knots, confirmed the positive results of previous proximity flights conducted at the beginning of 2019. The next step in the flight test program will involve wet contact operations scheduled to take place before the end of 2019 ahead of final certification in 2021. The flight test campaign also included the first proximity trials between the A400M and an H160 helicopter requested by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) in the frame of the feasibility study for the Guépard (future military multirole helicopter for the French armed forces). Tests were performed successfully.
23 Sep 19. First Global 6000 delivered to German Air Force. Bombardier has delivered the first Global 6000 jet to the German Air Force, the company announced on 17 September. This is the first of three jets that will be delivered for VIP transport missions. Powered by Rolls-Royce BR710 engines, the Global 6000 aircraft are being delivered by Bombardier’s Specialized Aircraft division fitted with the Bombardier Vision flight deck featuring a head-up display with both enhanced and synthetic vision.
David Coleal, president, Bombardier Aviation, said: ‘Bombardier is incredibly pleased that the Luftwaffe will add the Global 6000 aircraft to its fleet. Our Specialized Aircraft team has built longstanding relationships with governments around the world who trust in the safety and performance of our products.’ The remaining two jets will be delivered by the end of 2019. (Source: Shephard)
23 Sep 19. France receives first KC-130J tanker-transport. France has received into service the first of two Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker-transport aircraft as part of a wider Hercules procurement effort, the Directorate General of Armament (DGA) announced on 20 September.
The tanker variant of the C-130J transport aircraft arrived at Orléans-Bricy Air Base the day prior to the announcement, and follows the earlier delivery of two ‘stretched’ transport C-130J-30 aircraft to the same location. A second KC-130J will be delivered in 2020, with both KC-130Js and both C-130J-30s being operated by 2/61 “Franche-Comté” 123 at Orléans-Bricy Air Base. As noted by the DGA, the purchase of the four new Hercules is being expedited due to the high operational commitment in North Africa. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Sep 19. Royal Navy deploys additional Wildcat to Gulf. An AH1 land variant of the Wildcat helicopter is now operating from a Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship to boost the British presence in the Gulf region. RFA Wave Knight ‘s Twitter account announced on 10 September that it had embarked a Wildcat from 847 Squadron Commando Helicopter Force to extend its capabilities. A British naval source confirmed the deployment to Jane’s on 23 September, saying the helicopter was accompanied by a detachment of Royal Marines who are trained and equipped for maritime security operations. The source described the move as “not unusual”. RFA Wave Knight ‘s deployment to the Gulf was announced by the UK Ministry of Defence on 16 July as tensions with Iran escalated. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
24 Sep 19. Thyssenkrupp moves to dismiss chief executive Guido Kerkhoff under pressure after failed Tata merger. The supervisory board of the German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp has moved to dismiss the struggling company’s chief executive, Guido Kerkhoff, after just 14 months in the job. Mr Kerkhoff was originally handed a five-year mandate to restructure the steel-to-submarines group but has come under increasing pressure after attempts to merge with Tata were blocked by Brussels and a plan to split Thyssenkrupp into two was shelved. If the decision is voted through, former Bosch vice-president and current chair of the supervisory board Martina Merz will take the helm for up to 12 months. Ms Merz would then oversee the sale or partial initial public offering of the group’s prized elevator unit, which is due in the current fiscal year. Unlike Mr Kerkhoff, who has been at the company for 11 years, Ms Merz is seen as a more objective outsider who would take the necessary decisions to slim down the sprawling conglomerate. She would become among the few women to lead a large German industrial group. Mr Kerkhoff, a former CFO at Thyssenkrupp, was made interim CEO after the unexpected departure of Heinrich Hiesinger last year, and the subsequent resignation of chairman Ulrich Lehner. Earlier this month, Thyssenkrupp was relegated from Germany’s flagship Dax index, of which it was a founding member, following steep declines in the share price, exacerbated by successive profit warnings. Mr Kerkhoff’s severance package has yet to be negotiated. (Source: FT.com)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
23 Sep 19. Top arms control, weapon sales official leaves US State Department. Andrea Thompson, who oversaw both arms control and foreign weapon sales for the U.S. State Department, has exited the Trump administration. In a statement announcing the departure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Thompson, the undersecretary for arms control and international security, “a dedicated public servant who brought over 25 years of military experience to her role at the State Department.”
“Her wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership skills will be missed. I thank her for her commitment to the State Department’s mission and for her decades of service to the United States of America. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” Pompeo said.
A former Army intelligence officer, Thompson came into the Trump administration as the national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, before being confirmed for the State Department role in April 2018. During her time there, she was a notable voice among those arguing that the U.S. should exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which happened earlier this year. Thompson also had oversight on weapon sales and ran her agency at a time when the Trump administration was prioritizing reforms to the arms sale process. (Source: Defense News)
24 Sep 19. Joint Chiefs vice chairman nominee to get final Senate confirmation vote this week. Senate leadership will move ahead this week with a full-chamber vote on Air Force Gen. John Hyten’s nomination to become the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, potentially ending months of controversy surrounding his promotion.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that before the end of the week “we’ll have confirmed our next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs,” voicing his own support for Hyten’s nomination. The current head of U.S. Strategic Command was advanced by the Senate Armed Services Committee in a 20-7 vote in July. Hyten’s nomination, announced in April, has been slowed for months over allegations of sexual harassment and assault of a former aide. Hyten has publicly denied the charges.
Air Force officials have backed him after an internal investigation turned up insufficient evidence for criminal charges, and released parts of their review of the case which cast doubt on his accuser’s credibility. During a confirmation hearing in July, several Republicans from the Senate Armed Services Committee praised Hyten as an exemplary nominee and attacked that accuser — Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser — as a toxic leader who has made false accusations in the past. (Source: Defense News)
24 Sep 19. Perfect Fit as PPM Systems teams up with Corry Micronics. RF products from US manufacturer Corry Micronics will now be available from PPM Systems in the UK. The new partnership sees RF amplifiers, RF switches, switch matrixes, RF and microwave sub-systems added to PPM’s existing portfolio of RF over fibre systems, antennas, software-defined radio, spectrum analysers and more. Corry Micronics has its roots in the US defence and security industries, the same sectors PPM has always been deeply committed to in the UK. Its components are an ideal complement to PPM’s suite of engineering services and products.
“Working with PPM Systems in the UK is a perfect fit for both our companies,” emphasised CJ McBride, Vice President of Sales at Corry Micronics. “PPM’s solid relationships within defence and security makes it well matched with our line of RF switches, amplifiers and custom RF sub-assemblies.”
Established in the 1970s to meet the needs of the US Department of Defense, Corry Micronics has become one of the key suppliers of EMI/RFI filters, RF and microwave components and sub-systems for critical defence, aerospace, medical, communications and industrial applications.
24 Sep 19. Ametra Group of France ties up with Nucon Aerospace for joint venture production facility. The Ametra Group, France’s leader in aerospace and defence, and Nucon Aerospace have established a joint venture production facility in Hyderabad. The new French-Indian business, called Nucon Ametra Electronics Systems Ltd, currently employs 20 electronic and electrical integration operators and managers. It will be dedicated to launching a mass production series of critical components and systems.
“We are investing one million euros in this project,” indicated Anne-Charlotte Fredenucci, Chairman of the Ametra Group in a statement.
Nucon Aerospace is an important player in supplying motion control systems for aerospace and defence.
The creation of this entity between two family-owned businesses, with close company cultures, is consistent with Nucon and Ametra’s strategies for growth and internationalisation, the joint venture partners stated.
Top executives from both firms, Anne-Charlotte of Ametra, Roque Carmona, Chief Procurement Officer of Thales and Udit Jalan, executive director of Nucon, took part in the inaugural function in Hyderabad in the presence of Marjorie Vanbaelinghem, Consul-General of France in Bengaluru.
Hyderabad-based Nucon already works with Thales and MBDA of France, who are partners of Ametra Group. With this joint venture, Ametra plans to take advantage of the offset and Make in India incentives of the Indian Government and make industrial design, prototyping and small series products for its clients. The company has a facility in Tunisia currently.
On the occasion, Thales signed a framework agreement concerning design and manufacture of equipment for Ametra, an order for the integration of electrical racks, to be manufactured over the next three years for Nucon Ametra, and an order for a cryogenic mechanical system for Nucon Aerospace, said Udit Jalan.
Nucon Aerospace employs around 600 people and has an R&D team with 70 engineers. Nucon Ametra is its fifth joint venture since it began operations around 1970. (Source: Google/https://www.thehindubusinessline.com)
25 Sep 19. AeroVironment Announces CFO Transition, Appoints Brian Shackley Interim CFO. AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems for both defense and commercial applications, today announced that senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) Teresa Covington will resign to become CFO of a private company, effective October 18, 2019. Brian Shackley, AeroVironment vice president and controller, has been appointed interim chief financial officer, effective October 18, 2019. AeroVironment has initiated a search process to select a new CFO. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
23 Sep 19. Vale Darren Edwards, vice president and managing director, Boeing Defence Australia. Boeing has announced the passing of senior executive and head of the organisation’s Australian defence business, Darren Edwards. In a statement to Defence Connect this afternoon, Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said Edwards passed away Sunday, 22 September, at the age of 51. The cause of his death has not been determined.
Edwards will be remembered by the Australian defence sector as a talented and determined leader that has been at the helm of Boeing Defence Australia for nearing three years.
Under his stewardship, Boeing Defence Australia delivered a range of support programs to the Commonwealth, leading over 2,500 employees across the country.
Prior to his appointment as managing director, Edwards spent an earlier 14 years with Boeing Defence Australia where he held a number of senior roles, including chief operating officer, director of supply chain management, and director of strategic partnerships.
“Darren was not just a talented leader who helped transform Boeing’s defence business in Australia, he was a respected and trusted colleague and mentor to countless people inside and outside the company,” Caret said. (Source: Defence Connect)