18 Oct 19. USAF reactivates 356th Fighter Squadron ahead of F-35 arrival. The US Air Force (USAF) has reactivated the 356th Fighter Squadron (FS) in Alaska to prepare for the arrival of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft. The squadron reactivation ceremony took place at the Eielson Air Force Base on 10 October. The 356th FS is the first of two fighter squadrons to be based at the Eielson Air Force Base to deter possible adversaries in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. Around 54 F-35As are scheduled to arrive at the base from mid-2020.
USAF 356th FS commander lieutenant colonel James Christensen said: “The 356th FS is reactivating to bring F-35s out to the Pacific Theater. Looking back at the squadron history, the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron was previously stationed in the Pacific for both the Vietnam conflict, and to defend Korea and Japan out of Kunsan Air Base and Misawa Air Base respectively. We are excited to bring the squadron back to the (Indo-Pacific Command) theatre.”
Christensen received the 356th FS guidon from 354th Operations Group commander colonel David Skalick.
The USAF stated that the strategic location of the fighter squadron will allow it to work with allies in the Indo-Pacific region and to be ready for global deployment.
The squadron will focus on preparing for the arrival and the subsequent employment of the F-35 fighter jet weapons system.
Christensen added: “We are strategically placed here in Alaska to prepare and project fifth-generation stealth fighter capabilities, working with our programme partners and allies in the Pacific and to be ready, if called, to deploy around the world.”
For the 354th Fighter Wing, the reactivation marks a key step in the return of its air assets to operational combat status.
He said: “The 354th FW has done an amazing job preparing for the arrival of the F-35. The transition to a combat force-provider mindset is what we will all get to learn together.”
Last month, Eielson hosted ten F-35s from the Luke Air Force Base for a training capstone. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
18 Oct 19. Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems has helped develop historic naval systems. For more than 50 years, Northrop Grumman has developed and delivered game-changing technologies that have help ensure America’s undersea dominance and national security. As the company’s facility in Annapolis, Maryland celebrates its fifth decade, the team remains committed to providing high quality systems, affordably and on-time, in support of the U.S. Navy and other domestic and international customers.
In February 1967 Westinghouse established the Ocean Research and Engineering Center as a new facility dedicated to naval and maritime innovation. In 1971, the site was renamed the Westinghouse Oceanic Division. This unit was part of the operations sold by Westinghouse to Northrop Grumman in 1996, and in 2006 this division became Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems. Located on the Maryland western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, directly adjacent to the towering Bay Bridge, the site enjoys a unique geographic location supportive of its undersea technology development mission.
Throughout its history, Northrop Grumman employees have designed, developed, built, tested and supported some of the world’s most sophisticated undersea systems including submarine sensors, unmanned maritime systems, mine hunting systems, torpedoes and other capabilities that support or leverage the undersea domain.
Northrop Grumman’s Annapolis campus is home to one of the world’s largest and most advanced research centers for future undersea warfare technology. The site includes an acoustic test facility, test pools, full ocean depth pressure chambers and flexible manufacturing capabilities for acoustic sensors and deep submergence systems. The site’s location and capabilities have led to numerous historic undersea developments, several of which paved the way for future programs and continue to drive innovation today.
- Among the more recognized historical accomplishments of the Annapolis team is the Deepstar 4000, which is based on Jacques Cousteau’s design of the Diving Saucer. The manned submersible, developed in collaboration with Cousteau in the late 1960s, was used by the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office to study marine geology, biology and the physical properties of the water column in the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean.
- In 1968, the Ocean Bottom Scanning Sonar Side-Looking Sonar, having already successfully assisted in locating a lost hydrogen bomb off Palomares, Spain in 1966, was used to locate the USS SCORPION.
- In 1974, the Annapolis team was awarded the AN/AQS-14 contract to develop a high speed helicopter-towed mine hunting system, which was approved for military service in 1979.It was deployed in the Gulf of Suez in 1984, the Persian Gulf in 1987, and during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991 to locate and clear mines.
Recent highlights for Northrop Grumman’s undersea team include the design, development and production of industry leading mine-hunting systems, submarine acoustic sensors and torpedoes.
- Northrop Grumman mine-hunting sensors include the AQS-24A Mine Hunting Sensor (sonar and laser), among the fastest operational mine hunting system in existence, and the AQS-24B High Speed Synthetic Aperture Sonar System, another very high speed operational Synthetic Aperture Sonar Mine Hunting System.
- Northrop Grumman is the original designer and the sole source provider of the Light Weight Wide Aperture Array sonar for Virginia class submarines. This is a discriminating detection technology allowing the U.S. to maintain true acoustic superiority and global undersea dominance. The company’s newest hull-mounted acoustic “Advanced Flank Array” product addresses next-generation flank array requirements.
- In 2013, Northrop Grumman re-entered the torpedo business, securing the U.S. Navy’s MK54 Light Weight Torpedo contract. This was followed by the win of two MK48 Heavyweight Torpedo component delivery programs in 2014 and most recently, the MK48 Heavyweight Torpedo Transducer Array/Nose Shell Assembly Production contract in 2017.
The AQS-24 technology was used to conduct a rapid response search for large shipping containers containing potentially toxic chemicals lost off the side of a cargo ship. They were located within 72 hours before any contaminants leaked out. The same technology was also used following the TWA-800 crash to identify and prioritize wreckage recovery, and in response to a water taxi accident in Baltimore Harbor, where poor water clarity prohibited divers from locating the wreckage.
Throughout its history, Northrop Grumman has brought its unique capabilities to bear in assisting communities with environmental and humanitarian operations. The Northrop Grumman team performed a high-resolution sonar survey of Chesapeake Bay Oyster Beds for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. This first-of-its- kind effort was conducted to learn behavioral patterns of the Chesapeake Bay’s oysters.
Northrop Grumman supports the local community through numerous outreach programs aimed at schools and universities across the region. Each year, hundreds of students – from primary school to college age – are engaged through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) -themed sessions, including the Northrop Grumman High School Involvement Partnership (HIP) program, which offers job training to high school seniors. Numerous local charities and community philanthropic organizations are also supported each year by company volunteers and contributions.
With its close proximity to the U.S. Naval Academy, Northrop Grumman has established a long and special relationship with the institution. The campus hosts Naval Academy classes and clubs for guest lectures, tours and demonstrations, which provide future naval officers with an overview of the systems and programs they may rely on during their careers.
Additionally, the company has donated its Voyage Management System software used in navigation training and sponsors an annual award for the top midshipmen in navigation. Northrop Grumman has also become the Naval Academy Foundation’s largest corporate partner, donating more than $21 million in support of the Academy’s strategic priorities.
Northrop Grumman is one of the largest private employers in Maryland with more than 10,000 employees. In addition to its support to the Annapolis area, the company supports other STEM initiatives in Maryland such as the High School Engineering Scholars program – which provides college scholarships to Maryland students pursuing STEM education degrees; a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics partnership with Baltimore City schools and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and the CyberPatriot high school cybersecurity competition, which involves some 4,000 schools internationally and in 2016 held its national finals in Baltimore.
18 Oct 19. On Tuesday 15 October 2019, RAF Coningsby and Luftwaffengeschwader 73 Taktisches, based at Laage, Germany, signed a formal ‘Twinning’ agreement at a ceremony at the Lincolnshire base. The agreement allows the two forces to create regular opportunities to meet, train and exercise together, at both Laage and Coningsby.
Station Commander at Coningsby, Group Captain Mark Flewin said, “I’m delighted that we have now joined with our German colleagues in this mutually beneficial arrangement. The Twinning agreement formalises the relationship we have had with our NATO ally for many years, but it will also create enhanced opportunities to strengthen cooperation and interoperability.”
Lieutenant Colonel Joachim Kaschke, the Commander of the Tactical Air Wing at Laage said, “This is a great day for all of us! With this agreement, we have taken our cooperation to the next level. We have already achieved a lot and are excited to continue this shining example of British and German Airmen working together.” (Source: Warfare.Today/U.K. MoD)
18 Oct 19. Underwater collision research facility launches in Launceston. Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price have confirmed the launch of the new Underwater Collision Research Facility (UCRF) at the Australian Maritime College in Launceston.
The UCRF is a joint initiative between Defence Science and Technology and the University of Tasmania, and will support Australia’s national shipbuilding capability.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the facility is a key part of the University of Tasmania’s Maritime Defence Innovation and Design Precinct.
“The Underwater Collision Research Facility is an exciting new development which will provide us with a better understanding of the impact of underwater collisions,” Minister Reynolds said.
The AMC and University of Tasmania are already supporting the Australian Defence Force and defence industry, providing innovative research and development to support Defence capability.
Minister Reynolds added, “Researchers will look at ways of improving ship and submarine design which will keep our Navy crews safer by improving the safety of our submarines and autonomous underwater vehicles.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price congratulated Defence Science Technology and the University of Tasmania on their partnership in this project.
“The UCRF is an excellent example of the unique facilities developed at the Australian Maritime College. The facility provides an important maritime research capability in Tasmania and will work with researchers not only just here in Australia, but internationally as well,” Minister Price said.
Under a collaborative research agreement, Defence Science and Technology funded the purchase of equipment and the university provided the building capital works and support infrastructure to house the facility at its Newnham campus.
The growing maritime, defence, marine and offshore sectors are an exciting and strategic area of growth for AMC and the University of Tasmania. AMC is a strategic partner in the Naval Shipbuilding College, where it collaborates with industry, government and academia to deliver the expertise and workforce required for Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding program. (Source: Defence Connect)
15 Oct 19. Marshall invests in Europe’s largest quiet test building. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has installed the largest fully-enclosed engine test structure in Europe at its UK headquarters in Cambridge. The new Ground Running Enclosure (GRE), which is the size of a football pitch, significantly reduces noise during aircraft ground testing and can accommodate aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 747-400. The multi-million pound structure significantly reduces noise impact in the immediate vicinity of Cambridge Airport where most of Marshall ADG’s specialist applied engineering work is undertaken on aircraft from across the globe.
Marshall ADG CEO, Alistair McPhee, said: “It’s a very exciting development for us. This facility gives us great flexibility in terms of the breadth of aircraft it can accommodate, while at the same time ensuring we are living up to our commitment to reduce any potential noise pollution for our neighbours.”
The new GRE is 90m wide and 20m high and enables conditioning of the airflow to the propellers and jet engine intakes. Construction began in May last year by Blast Deflectors, Inc. who are world leaders in solutions for reducing aircraft noise. It will be fully up and running by the end of October.
17 Oct 19. US Navy Christened Expeditionary Sea Base USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5). The US Navy christened the Expeditionary Sea Base USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) during a 10 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, Oct. 19, at General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego.
The ship is named in honor of Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Lance Cpl. Miguel Keith, and is the first ship to bear the name.
Retired Gen. Walter E. Boomer, USMC, 24th assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Keith’s mother, Mrs. Eliadora Delores Keith, who serves as the ship’s sponsor, will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship.
“USNS Miguel Keith honors the dedicated and heroic service of a fellow Marine,” said the Honorable Richard V. Spencer, Secretary of the Navy. “This dedication will live on in the ship and her crew as they deploy around the world bringing additional capability to our fleet. This christening cannot be achieved without the dedication demonstrated by the men and women who worked tirelessly to build this ship.”
Keith was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1951. He left North High School in Omaha, Nebraska, in December 1968, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Omaha Jan. 21, 1969. He was discharged Apr. 30, 1969, and enlisted in the regular Marine Corps May 1, 1969.
In 1969, Keith served as a machine gunner with Combined Action Platoon 132, III Marine Amphibious Force in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam. He was promoted to the rank of lance corporal on April 1, 1970.
He was severely wounded on the morning of May 8, 1970, when his platoon came under a heavy-ground attack. Despite being injured in the attack and open to hostile fire, he continued to engage the enemy with heavy machine gun fire.
Keith’s efforts resulted in him killing three attackers and dispersing two remaining adversaries. Despite receiving further serious injuries caused by an enemy grenade, he continued to advance upon an estimated 25 enemy soldiers, killing four and dispersing the rest.
Keith was mortally wounded, but his performance in the face of overwhelming odds contributed, in no small measure, to the success of his platoon defeating a numerically superior enemy force.
ESB class ships are highly flexible, modular platforms optimized to support a variety of maritime-based missions, including Special Operations Forces and Airborne Mine Counter Measures support operations, in addition to humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.
Built by General Dynamics NASSCO, the Montford Point-class is comprised of five ships across two variants: expeditionary transfer dock and expeditionary sea base. USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1), USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2), USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), and USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) have been delivered to the fleet. Miguel Keith is the third platform of the ESB variant, and is scheduled to deliver later this year.
The platform has an aviation hangar and flight deck that include four operating spots capable of landing MV-22 and MH-53E equivalent helicopters, accommodations, work spaces and ordnance storage for an embarked force. The platform will also provide enhanced command and control, communications, computers and intelligence capabilities to support embarked force mission planning and execution. The reconfigurable mission deck area can store embarked force equipment including mine sleds and rigid hull inflatable boats. (Source: US DoD)
09 Oct 19. Bahrain receives RB-M patrol boats. The United States has delivered three coastal patrol boats to the Bahraini Coast Guard, the US Embassy in Manama confirmed on 7 October. It said David Pekoske, the acting deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, had visited the three boats at Muharraq Coast Guard Base and released a photograph showing a Response Boat – Medium (RB-M) moored at the facility.
“The three boats are the first delivery of a six-boat USD30m order paid for in full by the US government,” Gulf Daily News quoted a US embassy statement as saying. “A second delivery of three additional boats is planned for February.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Oct 19. Chilean Navy considers tactical seagoing role for AS365s. As its current frigates are replaced over the next few years the Chilean Navy will see an expansion in the availability of flight decks to take tactical rotary-wing aircraft to sea from six to eight. However, as the service has only five seagoing, armed maritime strike AS332F Super Puma helicopters it is looking at how to increase this number by upgrading and giving a tactical role to four AS365Fi Dauphin 2s already in its inventory, military sources in Santiago have told Jane’s .
Bought in 2008 in a transaction worth USD24 million, the four former Irish Air Corps helicopters are currently used in a utility role – both shore based and seagoing on board offshore patrol vessels – for search and rescue (SAR), exclusive economic zone control, liaison and community support. Similar to the AS365Fs acquired by the French and other navies but intended for SAR and fishery control functions, the AS365Fi aircraft were fitted with a Bendix RDR 1500 search radar, SUM 155 autopilot, CDV 155 four-axis flight director coupler and a complete navigation suite.
With the AS365Fi is in high demand in its utility capacity, its upgrade will be facilitated by the renewal of the Chilean Navy’s fleet of utility helicopters. The tender to acquire a first batch of five new aircraft, to replace old Bell 206 JetRangers, has been launched and an order is expected by the end of this year.
According to military sources, the upgrade of the AS365Fi fleet would take place between 2020 and 2023. The cockpit, sensors and communications of the aircraft would be modernised and a datalink added. Their Safran Arriel 1C1 turbines and dynamic components would also be uprated to improve the type’s power-to-weight ratio. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Oct 19. SB>1 Defiant returns to flight after gearbox bearing creep delay. Key Points:
- The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant returned to the skies after it was grounded to repair bearing creep
- The team said that the aircraft would have been grounded for twice as long if it waited until early next year to fix the issue
The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant co-axial compound helicopter returned to flight in late September after a bearing creep issue in the gearbox grounded the aircraft for six to eight weeks.
Ken Eland, Boeing Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme manager, told reporters on 15 October at the Association of the United States Army 2019 (AUSA 2019) annual conference that the team in the second quarter of 2019 found an issue in the guts of the power system test bed (PSTB) during a scheduled disassembly required to create a flight release for the aircraft. Sikorsky and Boeing, he said, realised that the Defiant was not going to reach its speed point until this issue was fixed.
Eland said that although the bearing creep issue sidelined the Defiant for six to eight weeks, it could have been longer. He said if the team had waited until early 2020 to fix this issue, it would have grounded the aircraft for twice as long. Boeing developed the Defiant’s gearbox.
Bearing creep is a phenomenon in bearings in which relative slippage occurs between fitting surfaces. Possible causes include insufficient interference or loose fit or insufficient sleeve tightening. Remedies include checking the interference and preventing rotation, correcting the sleeve tightening, or preloading in the axial direction, among others.
Eland said bearing creep is not related to the SB>1’s technology but is a known phenomenon in the rotorcraft industry. He said the bearing creep was in a joint inside the transmission and that Sikorsky-Boeing made a slight design modification to better control that joint so it did not become a safety-of-flight issue. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Oct 19. Iranian jet trainer takes first flight. Iran’s indigenously developed Yasin jet trainer has taken its first flight, the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) announced on 17 October.
The event was attended by Minister of Defence Brigadier General Amir Hatami, who said the Yasin is an important milestone in Iran’s scientific and technological development and also serves as a “clear and proud symbol of the failure and ineffectiveness of the sanctions” imposed on Iran. The MODAFL released videos showing the Yasin’s development process, including wind tunnel, engine, and ejector seat testing, as well as the aircraft taking off and landing at Shahid Nojeh Air Base in Hamedan province. The aircraft appeared to be the same as the one unveiled as the Kosar (or Kowsar) in April 2017 with some additional decals. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Oct 19. Super Herculean Accomplishment: Global C-130J Fleet Surpasses 2 Million Flight Hours. Milestone Achieved By 22 Operators Representing 18 Countries. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced today the global community of C-130J Super Hercules operators recently surpassed 2 million flight hours. These hours were logged beginning with the C-130J’s first flight on April 5, 1996, through the end of July 2019. Twenty-two operators from 18 nations contributed to this achievement, adding hours through multiple missions including combat, transport, aerial refueling, special operations, medevac, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, firefighting and commercial freight delivery.
Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business at Lockheed Martin, announced the milestone at the Hercules Operators Conference, the annual C-130 operator-industry event held in Atlanta.
“The C-130J has earned a reputation as the world’s workhorse and this most recent achievement is a powerful reminder of the Super Hercules’ unmatched global reach,” McLean said. “Crews continue to exemplify the C-130J’s proven capability and versatility with every mission they fly. The Lockheed Martin team is proud of the work of the Super Herc crews who rely on the C-130J to support vital missions, both home and abroad.”
Countries with military variant C-130Js contributing to these flight hours include (in order of delivery) the United Kingdom, United States (the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard), Australia, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Canada, India, Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Tunisia, Israel, Kuwait, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, France, and Bahrain. Also contributing is Lockheed Martin Flight Operations, whose crews are the first to fly every C-130J produced.
The U.S. Air Force maintains the largest C-130J fleet, with Super Hercs flown by Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command, Air Education and Training Command, Special Operations Command, and Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units. In addition, Defence Contract Management Agency crews support C-130J test flights at Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics site in Marietta, Georgia, home of C-130 production.
14 Oct 19. Russia offers Ka-32 upgrades for Korea. Rostec State Corporation has offered to upgrade South Korea’s fleet of Kamov Ka-32 ‘Helix’ multirole medium rotorcraft, Russian Helicopters reported on 14 October. Announced at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX), the offer would see the avionics, engines, and a firefighting system of the co-axial helicopters modernised. Specifically, the aircraft used by the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) and other state agencies would be equipped with a new ‘glass’ cockpit, more powerful VK-2500PS-02 engines, and a new firefighting system. The work would be carried out in conjunction with South Korean company RH Focus Corp, with the upgraded version of the Ka-32 being designated Ka-32A11M.
“We have co-operated with [RH Focus Corp] in the sphere of after-sales service, and both our firms have benefited from this. There was a good reason why the upgraded Ka-32 helicopter has been selected for our joint exposition: a fleet of these rotorcrafts in Korea is fairly large, and they have proved their efficiency in terms of transporting cargo, search-and-rescue operations, and firefighting,” said Director General of Russian Helicopters Holding Company Andrey Boginsky. As noted by Russian Helicopters, the avionics of the Ka-32A11M helicopter have already been tested on the Ansat, Mi-38, and Ka-62 civil multipurpose helicopters. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 Oct 19. KAI showcases Surion Marine Attack Helicopter. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is to convert its Surion utility helicopter into an armed assault platform for the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (RoKMC). A scale model of the Marine Attack Helicopter (MAH) was displayed for the first time at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX), taking place from 15 to 20 October.
As the model and associated literature show, the MAH is fitted with the same chin-mounted 20 mm Gatling gun and nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret as the KAI Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) being developed for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA). It has six hardpoints mounted on stub wings, with the model displayed showing a combination of 70 mm rocket pods, as well as quad-launchers and dual-launchers for air-to-surface and anti-armour missiles.
As with the LAH, the Surion Light Utility Helicopter from which the MAH is derived has been developed by KAI in partnership with Airbus Helicopters. This common heritage is reflected in the highly similar Gatlin gun and EO/IR turret configurations. The LAH was, and remains, the only platform in its class to feature a turreted 20 mm cannon under the nose. “This is not an easy thing to integrate,” Airbus Helicopters has previously said, adding, “There are all sorts of issues with weight, centre of gravity, and recoil, but [we have] the skills.” Airbus Helicopters appears to have used the skills and the lessons learned from the Surion LAH to do the same for the Surion MAH. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
16 Oct 19. New Zealand retires two Lake-class vessels after 10-year service. As part of its transition towards focusing on missions in the wider Pacific Ocean region, the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has retired two of its Lake-class inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) after only 10 years of service. The boats, which were in service as HMNZS Pukaki and HMNZS Rotoiti, were retired in a formal decommissioning ceremony on 17 October. Both vessels were commissioned in 2009.
“With a greater focus on Pacific missions, there is no longer a need for four vessels designed for inshore operations,” said the RNZN via its official social media channel on the same day to mark the vessels’ retirement. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Oct 19. HAL Crippled As 20,000 Employees Declare Strike For Wages: Is This National Security Issue? Hindustan Aeronautics Limited or HAL is India’s premier, state-owned aerospace and defence company, which comes directly under Ministry Of Defence. All operations under HAL has been grounded, and the defense manufacturing company is right now crippled, as 20,000 employees have joined a massive strike against their own management. The issue here is wage revision. HAL trade union has confirmed that their strike against Govt. is a massive success, as 20,000 strong workforce has refused to work, starting Monday.
All 9 production facilities have stopped all their operations.
HAL trade union General Secretary S. Chandrasekhar said, “The response to our strike call has been overwhelming with all the employees abstaining from work in the nine production locations across the country,”
HAL has 9 production facilities across India, which are: Nasik, Korwa, Kanpur, Koraput, Lucknow, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kasaragod. In these locations, HAL is involved in design, fabrication and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, helicopters and their spare parts.
Crippling such crucial manufacturing of aerospace equipment and defense machinery is certainly a national security issue.
HAL Employees Strike: What Is The Reason?
The revision of the wages for all HAL employees was due on January 1st, 2017, which has not been done as of now. This strike has been called for this reason. The previous wage revisions happened in 2007 and then in 2012, as it is supposed to happen every 5 years. While the management offered revise rate of fitment benefit at 11%, the employees have rejected this compromise. As per Chandrasekhar, this is not wage increase, but wage reduction, and this is not acceptable.
HAL management has termed this strike as illegal, and have claimed that not every employee from HAL is on strike. As per them, employees at Korwa production joined duty.
In a statement, HAL said, “The trade unions have gone on illegal and indefinite strike even as conciliatory proceedings are on and against the advice of the labour authorities who want them (unions) to find solution without resorting to agitational means,”
HAL has admitted that this strike poses a question for India’s security preparedness, and reputation. Their statement stated: “The India Air Force (IAF) bases will be affected without our engineers who service, overhaul and repair the fighters. Military aircraft will be grounded, affecting preparedness and reputation,”
In their defence, the employee union has alleged that only contractual workers from Korwa had resumed duty, and all full time employees are on strike. (Source: Google/https://trak.in)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
18 Oct 19. NASA appoints next human spaceflight head. On Wednesday, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine named Douglas Loverro as the agency’s new associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. For three decades, Loverro was in the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office developing, managing and establishing national policy for the full range of national security space activities. Loverro succeeds former astronaut Kenneth Bowersox, who has been acting associate administrator since July. From 2013 to 2017, Loverro served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy. In this role, he was responsible for establishing policy for the US allies to the benefits of space capabilities and to help guide the department’s strategy for addressing space-related issues. He led departmental activities in international space co-operation, assessment of the national security impacts of commercial space activities, and oversaw the establishment of a strategy for addressing growing challenges in space security. Loverro is the recipient of many prestigious honours, including the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Galaxy Explorers, the Society of Satellite Professional Engineers Stellar Award, and the AFCEA Benjamin Oliver Gold Medal for Engineering among many other civilian and military honours. Loverro holds a master’s of science in physics from the University of New Mexico, a master’s of political science from Auburn University, and an MBA from the University of West Florida, in addition to his bachelor of science in chemistry from the US Air Force Academy. He was a distinguished graduate from the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College and Squadron Officer School, and was the top graduate from the Defense Department’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Bowersox will return to his previous position as deputy associate administrator. (Source: Space Connect)
17 Oct 19. The Senate on Wednesday approved Barbara Barrett, a former ambassador to Finland, to become the next secretary of the U.S. Air Force after a 85-7 vote. Barrett will serve as the Air Force’s 25th secretary, becoming the fourth woman to hold that role. Barrett is a former chairwoman of the nonprofit Aerospace Corporation, which conducts space research and development activities and certifies rockets for launch. Previously, she served on the boards of Raytheon, Piper Aircraft and the nonprofit Space Foundation. (Source: Defense News)
18 Oct 19. Ian Stopps R.I.P.. It was with great sadness that BATTLESPACE saw the death announcement of Ian Stopps CBE. Ian was BATTLESPACE Businessman Of The Year 2005 and a huge figure in the UK defence industry overseeing the remarkable growth of Lockheed Martin UK. He then went on to Chair Raytheon UK, he will be missed.
11 Oct 19. Mil and Kamov Design Bureaus to team up as National Helicopter Center. Mil and Kamov Design Bureaus to team up as National Helicopter Center. The Board of Directors of Russian Helicopters Holding Company (part of Rostec State Corporation) has taken a decision to unite JSC “Mil Moscow Helicopter plant” and JSC “Kamov” to establish JSC “National Helicopter Center named after Mikhail Mil and Nikolay Kamov” (NHC). National Helicopter Center shall combine the potential of two helicopter design schools for more efficient and higher-quality rotorcraft design and upgrade.
The consolidation is aimed at the upgrowth of two design bureaus, Mil and Kamov; at the same time their brands shall be preserved as freestanding and the personnel of both bureaus shall make part of NHC. Also, the creation of NHC shall assist in getting rid of administrative, legal and economic barriers currently in the way of cooperation between the two design teams.
Working as a united team shall optimize the activities of a number of back-office and administrative units. Such an approach will set up the environment for smooth exchange of technical solutions and achievements, efficient distribution of workload between the subdivisions and unification of technical standards. Among the expected benefits are reduced labor costs, improved managerial and production efficiency, enhanced quality of design and less time before release for serial production.
“According to our estimates, distribution of tasks between the two design bureaus, and serial and aircraft repair plants of the Holding Company should cumulatively free up around 15-20% of annual working capacity of two design bureaus which can be allocated to the creation of technical groundwork and development of new helicopters,” highlighted Mikhail Korotkevich, Deputy Director General for science and technology policy and helicopter development at JSC “Russian Helicopters”, who presented the roadmap for consolidating design bureaus at the Board meeting. “Earlier, there was certain competitiveness between the companies; the same types of rotorcraft were being developed in parallel. Our common objective is to compete with foreign manufacturers, not with each other. Consolidation of two schools shall advance the objective.”
Economic effect from design bureau consolidation is expected due to optimization of the use of common ground infrastructure and reduction of expenses for performing same-type tests. At the same time, a part of freed resources shall be channeled towards enhancing scientific and technical potential and engaging new designers.
The roadmap for establishing NHC on the basis of two design bureau was approved by the Board of Directors of Russian Helicopters Holding Company. The first stage when two design bureaus are scheduled to make one company shall be completed by mid-2020. Further integration processes aimed at optimization of the two design bureaus’ activity within one company shall take up until 2022.
JSC “Russian Helicopters”, part of State Corporation “Rostec”, is a leading player in the global helicopter industry, the sole Russian designer and manufacturer of helicopters. The Holding Company was established in 2007. Headquartered in Moscow. We operate five helicopter assembly plants, two design bureaus, component production and maintenance enterprises, aircraft repair plants and one helicopter service company providing after-sales support in Russia and abroad. The customers of the Holding Company are the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Home Affairs, EMERCOM of Russia, and other state customers, Gazpromavia, UTair Aviation company, large Russian and foreign companies.
State Corporation Rostec is one of the largest industrial companies in Russia. It unites more than 800 scientific and industrial organizations in 60 regions of the country. Its key areas of activity are aircraft manufacturing, radioelectronics, medical technology, innovative materials, etc. The corporation’s portfolio includes such well-known brands as AvtoVAZ, KAMAZ, Kalashnikov, Russian Helicopters, United Engine Coorporation, Uralvagonzavod, Schwabe and others. Rostec is active in the implementation of all 12 national projects. The company is a key provider of Smart City technology, it is engaged in the digitalization of public administration, industry and social sectors, and it is developing plans for the development of 5G wireless technologies, an Industrial Internet of Things, big data and blockchain systems. Rostec partners with leading world manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Daimler, Pirelli and Renault. The corporation’s products are delivered to more than 100 countries worldwide. Almost a third of the company’s revenue comes from the export of high-tech products.
11 Oct 19. ASC explores propulsion and generation joint ventures with Jeumont Electric. Australian naval shipbuilding and maintenance supplier ASC announced on 9 October that it is pursuing joint activities with Jeumont Electric, a French specialist in electric propulsion systems used on submarines. The two companies signed a heads of agreement document aimed at identifying opportunities for joint business activities, including through joint ventures and other forms of teaming, in the area of marine power generation and electrical machinery. Through the co-operation with ASC, Jeumont Electric is seeking to position itself for life-extension work on the Collins class and future Attack-class submarine. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Oct 19. Saab Appoints Petter Bedoire as new Chief Technology Officer. Saab has appointed Petter Bedoire as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Petter Bedoire takes up his new position on November 1. Petter Bedoire has been working at Saab since 1995 and has held a number of senior positions, most recently as deputy head of Saab business unit EW (Electronic Warfare) Systems, within business area Surveillance. (Source: ASD Network)
11 Oct 19. The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) today announced that its Board of Directors has separated the roles of chairman and chief executive officer. Dennis A. Muilenburg continues as CEO, president and a director. The board elected David L. Calhoun, current independent lead director, to serve as non-executive chairman. The board said splitting the chairman and CEO roles will enable Muilenburg to focus full time on running the company as it works to return the 737 MAX safely to service, ensure full support to Boeing’s customers around the world, and implement changes to sharpen Boeing’s focus on product and services safety. This decision is the latest of several actions by the board of directors and Boeing senior leadership to strengthen the company’s governance and safety management processes.