Qioptiq logo Raytheon




27 Nov 19. China expanding support infrastructure at Yulin Naval Base. Key Points:

  • China is expanding support infrastructure at Yulin Naval Base on Hainan Island
  • The new facilities could support long-term operations of an aircraft carrier

Commercial satellite imagery captured on 19 November shows that China is expanding support infrastructure at the Yulin Naval Base on the country’s southern Hainan Island. The ongoing construction work appears to be tailored to the operation and maintenance of large surface combatants.

Of note is the construction of an apparent dry dock suitable in size to berth not only China’s second aircraft carrier but also smaller surface combatants and/or submarines. A dry dock in the area would eliminate the need for the carrier to return to Dalian or use closer commercial facilities for underwater repair or maintenance work. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

25 Nov 19. NGA breaks ground on new St. Louis campus. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will break ground on its new campus in St. Louis Nov. 26, putting it on schedule to be open and operational by 2025.

“The new campus will be a secure, flexible, cutting-edge intelligence facility that will put NGA in the heart of St. Louis’ growing geospatial ecosystem and help NGA take advantage of its biggest strengths, its people and partners,” Vice Adm. Robert Sharp, the agency’s director, said in a statement.

A key feature of the new 712,000-square-foot campus will be its ability to facilitate both classified and unclassified work. The agency wants to have space that can be transformed quickly from classified to unclassified environments, allowing the intelligence organization to temporarily open up more of the building to contractors and visitors that aren’t cleared for more classified work and increase collaboration.

The agency is also working to enable wireless connectivity in the campus, a technology largely unprecedented in the intelligence community due to security difficulties.

“NGA’s new campus will be built with spaces that will facilitate information-sharing and collaboration among NGA’s and St. Louis’s talented innovators,” Sharp said. “Working together, we can better achieve NGA’s mission of providing world-class geospatial intelligence to U.S. service members and leaders to keep our nation secure.”

The new campus will replace NGA West’s current facility in St. Louis, which was built in the 1840s. The NGA announced the site of the new, updated campus in 2016 and officially acquired the land in 2018. (Source: Defense News)

25 Nov 19. GDELS set to sell last munitions plant in Spain. General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) expects to sell off its last munitions manufacturing factory in Spain to Slovakia’s MSM Group in the next month or so, pending final approval from the Spanish Ministry of Defence. GDELS confirmed on 25 November that Spain’s competition authority, the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de la Competencia, had approved the sale of the El Fargue factory near Granada. MSM will operate the factory as a new company called Fábrica de Municiones de Granada (FMG SL). A GDELS spokesman declined to give further details on the sale, only saying that the company wants it to be completed “before the end of the year”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)


26 Nov 19. HHIC hands over second PKX-B-class patrol craft to RoKN. South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) has handed over the second Patrol Killer Experimental-B (PKX-B)-class fast attack craft on order for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN), according to South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). The vessel (with pennant number 212), which was handed over in a ceremony on 26 November at the company’s facilities in Busan, will enter service in the first half of 2020 and be deployed on patrol missions near the inter-Korean maritime border, according to the DAPA.

The first craft of the class, which was given pennant number 211, was delivered to the navy in October 2017. The third and fourth vessels of the class, which have been given pennant numbers 213 and 215, are expected to be handed over to the service before the end of the year.

The latest developments come after HHIC announced on 31 October that it had won a KRW246bn (USD211m) contract from the DAPA for the construction of four more vessels of the class for the RoKN. Under the contract HHIC is expected to deliver the four vessels by December 2022, according to the Yonhap News Agency. HHIC said that, with the latest deal, it now has orders from the RoKN for 16 of these vessels worth a total of KRW1.1trn. Additional orders are expected, possibly as part of a second batch.

The PKX-B class, which is also known as the Chamsuri II class, has a full-load displacement of 300 tonnes, an overall length of 44m, an overall beam of 7m, and can accommodate a crew of 20.

Powered by General Electric’s 6,000 shp LM 500 gas-turbine engines and Caterpillar Marine’s Cat C32 diesel engines in a combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) configuration, and propelled by waterjets, the platforms have a top speed of 40kt. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

27 Nov 19. US Navy to christen aircraft carrier John F Kennedy in December. US aircraft carrier John F Kennedy (CVN 79) will be christened by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former President John F Kennedy and sponsor of his namesake ship, on 7 December.

Kennedy is an electric aircraft carrier with several systems powered by steam on Nimitz-class carriers powered by electricity.

The ship is designed to save the navy $4bn in total ownership costs over the 50-year lifespan of the vessel and features fewer overall components, extended drydocking interval, and improved ship-wide air conditioning.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) was awarded a $3.35bn contract in June 2015 for the design and construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The company also received a $941m modification to a construction preparation contract to continue material procurement and manufacturing for the ship.

John F Kennedy is the second aircraft carrier in the Ford-class and second ship built by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

Work under the contract included ship construction and design, engineering services, procurement of materials, and hardware to support construction and logistics activities.

The first steel for John F Kennedy was cut in December 2010 and since then over 450 of the 1,100 structural units have been constructed under the construction preparation contract.

The keel-laying ceremony for the aircraft carrier was held in August 2015.

HII installed the final superlift on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier in July 2019. The Newport News Shipbuilding has added the upper bow section, one of the last steel structural units to be placed on CVN 79. In October this year, the dry dock was flooded in phases with more than 100 million gallons of water. Several tests were carried out during the flooding process. Over 3,200 shipbuilders and 2,000 suppliers supported the construction of the ship. HII said that the aircraft carrier will undergo outfitting and systems testing in the James River after its christening and is expected to be delivered to the US Navy in 2022. The 1,092ft-long Ford-class carriers will replace the Nimitz-class models. The vessels can operate up to 90 aircraft and feature a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults and an enhanced flight deck. (Source: naval-technology.com)

25 Nov 19. Admiralty Shipyards JSC Handed Over the Submarine. Admiralty Shipyards JSC transferred the large diesel-electric submarine Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the Russian Navy. The ceremony of raising the Navy flag was held on the company’s deep-water pier.

“Today is a special holiday, because we fly the St. Andrew flag on the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky submarine, the first in a series built for the Pacific Fleet. The ship passed all the tests and fully confirmed the tactical and technical characteristics incorporated in it,” said Alexander Buzakov, Director General of Admiralty Shipyards JSC. “I want to note that all subsequent ships of the series are being built in accordance with the contract and in 2022 the construction of the series will be completed.”

A real contribution to the implementation of the shipbuilding program, approved bythe Supreme Commander of the Russian Federation, was recalled when raising the flag by the chief of the General Staff – First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Vice Admiral Andrei Volozhinsky.

“Today is a wonderful day, because Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the first ‘swallow’ going to the Pacific Fleet, which has long been waiting for an update,” said the chief of the General Staff. “It is especially pleasing that the construction of submarines at the Admiralty Shipyards has entered the regime of serial construction, and today’s event clearly confirms that the team is clearly coping with the task on schedule.”

The submarine Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky of Project 636.3 is the first in a series of six boats being built at the Admiralty Shipyards for the Pacific Fleet; she was laid down in July 2017 and launched in March 2019. Her construction was a significant event in the implementation of the long-term plan of the Russian Ministry of Defense to equip the Navy with new-generation submarines and to implement the state program of naval shipbuilding.

At the direction of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, TsKB MT Rubin JSC modernized the basic systems of the base project 636submarine, including the information-control system, radar and sonar systems. A number of improvements were made to general on-board systems in order to increase the stealth of the submarine and improve the living conditions for the crew.

Today, work is underway on the second submarine of the Volkhov series to prepare the boat for launch, which is scheduled for the end of the year. In November, the third and fourth submarines were launched – Magadan and Ufa; in October, metal cutting began on the fifth submarine for the Pacific Fleet. The construction of a series of six ships is on schedule and, in accordance with the contract, should be completed in 2022.

Compared with previous models, submarines of the modified Project 636.3 have higher combat effectiveness. Their optimal combination of acoustic stealth and target detection range, the latest inertial navigation system, modern automated information and control system, and powerful high-speed torpedo-missile weapons provide true world-class capability for ships of this class in the field of non-nuclear underwater shipbuilding. Admiralty shipyards are the undisputed leader in the construction of submarines of this class and have been successfully exporting them since 1983. (Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Admiralty Shipyards JSC)

20 Nov 19. JMU unveils preliminary LHD design. Shipbuilding company Japan Marine United (JMU) Corporation unveiled at the 18-20 November DSEI Japan 2019 defence exhibition in Chiba the preliminary design of a landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship that it plans to propose to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Unlike the service’s current Izumo-class helicopter carriers, JMU’s Future Landing Helicopter Dock will be a roll-on/roll-off ship capable of deploying armoured amphibious assault vehicles and air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC), in addition to having a full-length flight deck to support helicopter operations.

The ship, which will have a crew of about 500, can accommodate up to five helicopters on its flight deck, with additional space for about five more helicopters in the vessel’s two aircraft hangars located beneath the flight deck.

JMU’s design shows that the ship will feature three more hangars, the use of which will depend on the JMSDF’s requirements. The LHD will be capable of embarking up to two (LCAC)-like vessels in its well deck and more than 20 amphibious assault vehicles, such as the BAE AAV7A1, in its forward storage section, according to a company official.

However, no information was provided about the number of troops the ship will be capable of carrying.

According to the company, the LHD, which will be capable of reaching a top speed of 24kt, is expected to be 220m long, have a beam of 38 m, a draught of 7m, and a standard displacement of 19,000 tonnes.

Although the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has yet to set out a formal requirement for this warship type, a company official told Jane’s that JMU is anticipating that the announcement will be made in the coming years. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

22 Nov 19. German coastguard commissions third Potsdam OPV. The coastguard arm of the German Federal Police commissioned its third and final Potsdam-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), FGS Bad Düben (BP 83), during a ceremony held in Cuxhaven, Germany, on 20 November. The 86m OPVs were built under a contract awarded to Fassmer shipyard in December 2016. The design is derived from Fassmer’s proven OPV 80, with modifications including a hybrid propulsion system and exhaust treatment system to meet Tier III/ECA standards. Fassmer subcontracted the steelwork for the second and third hulls to Western Baltija Shipbuilding in Klaipeda, Lithuania, with outfitting taking place back in Germany. First-of-class FGS Potsdam (BP 81) was commissioned on 22 July 2019, followed by the second ship FGS Bamberg (BP 82) on 18 September. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

22 Nov 19. Philippine Navy’s first José Rizal-class frigate to begin sea trials. South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is preparing the Philippine Navy’s first José Rizal-class frigate for sea trials. The vessel will sail in waters off Ulsan, Busan, and Mokpo from 23-27 November as part of the trials, the Philippine Navy announced via its official social media channels on 21 November. The frigate, which will be in service as BRP José Rizal once it is commissioned, was launched in May and is part of two-ship contract awarded by the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) to HHI in 2016. The second-of-class, Antonio Luna, was launched in November. The frigate has an overall length of 107.5m, an overall beam of 13.8m, and a draught of 3.65m. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

26 Nov 19. US to transfer second Hamilton-class cutter to Vietnam. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced during a 19-21 November visit to Vietnam that Washington will hand over a second ex-US Coast Guard (USCG) Hamilton-class high-endurance cutter to the Southeast Asian country.

“The delivery of the vessel – one of the largest class ships in the US Coast Guard’s fleet – is a symbol of the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Vietnam and will increase Vietnam’s maritime law enforcement and search and rescue capabilities,” said the US Embassy in Hanoi in a 21 November statement about Esper’s first official visit to the country.

The embassy quoted Esper as saying that Washington is “committed to expanding this strategic partnership by increasing co-operation in areas of common interest such as maritime security, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

28 Nov 19. Pakistan launches fourth Azmat-class fast attack craft. Pakistan’s state-owned Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) launched on 27 November the fourth missile-capable Azmat-class fast attack craft (FAC(M)) on order for the Pakistan Navy (PN).

The ship, which is expected to have pennant number 1028, entered the water in a ceremony held at KSEW’s facilities in Karachi that was also attended by Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Defence Production Mohtarma Zobaida Jalal.

A keel-laying ceremony for the 63 m-long multi-role vessel, which has a beam of 8.8 m and a standard displacement of 566 tonnes, had been held in March 2017.

In a statement the PN described the vessel as the “first indigenously designed FAC(M)”, pointing out that design work was carried out by Karachi-based Maritime Technologies Complex (MTC). Speaking at the ceremony Zobaida Jalal congratulated the PN, MTC and KSEW “for this remarkable achievement towards the national goal of indigenisation and self-reliance”.

The PN currently operates three Azmat-class craft: PNS Azmat (1013), PNS Dehshat (1014), and PNS Himmat (1027) which were commissioned in June 2012, June 2014, and July 2017. According to Jane’s Fighting Ships, the Azmat class is armed with eight launchers for the 180-km range C-802A surface-to-surface missile. (Source: IHS Jane’s)


28 Nov 19. Russia donates two MiG-29UB fighter aircraft to Mongolia. Russia has donated two MiG-29UB ‘Fulcrum-B’ twin-seat fighter aircraft to Mongolia, according to a 26 November statement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Moscow. “On 26 November two MiG-29UB operational trainers were handed over to the Mongolian Armed Forces in Ulaanbaatar as part of a military-technical assistance programme,” said the MoD, adding that the aircraft will increase the combat capabilities of the country’s aviation component and enhance both the military and military-technical co-operation between the two countries. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

28 Nov 19. Poland ends grounding of MiG-29s. Poland’s General Command on 25 November ended the grounding of MiG-29 fighters imposed since 4 March after one of the Soviet-made aircraft crashed near Drgicz village. The General Command spokesman said that the fighters would resume flights this week, adding that five MiG-29s are at present flight ready – two trainers and three fighters – and 12 more will be allowed to operate after test flights. Polish Air Force (PAF) inspector Divisional General Jacek Pszczoła said on 25 November that the MiG-29s “were kept ready for the resumption of training and operational flights and received scheduled maintenance and service. The aircraft are operational; we have complied with all the recommendations of the air accident investigation committee after the last incident.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)

27 Nov 19. German Navy delays NH90 Sea Lion flight operations. The German Navy will not begin flight operations with its new NH90 Sea Lion helicopter for the time being because it does not meet the necessary safety and quality standards, the Bundeswehr announced in a press release on 27 November.

“We are generally convinced of the capabilities of the NH90 Sea Lion helicopter,” the Bundeswehr stated, “but because of inadequate and incomplete technical documentation, it would not be responsible at the present time for flight operations to be conducted by the women and men of the navy.” The service has therefore decided not to begin training flights this year.

“The manufacturer has agreed to rectify the still significant errors in the documentation as quickly as possible,” the Bundeswehr said. Airbus Helicopters told Jane’s on 27 November, “The issues mentioned by the ministry have been known for some time and we are already working with all partners involved to fix them in a timely manner.”

The Bundeswehr did not foresee the delay having any impact on the Sea Lion becoming fully operational in 2023, as planned, nor on the German Navy’s ability to fulfil its tasks.

The service said the delivery of the first Sea Lion to the Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw), Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support, on 24 October was necessary and made sense so as to be able to examine, along with the German Navy, if all requirements had been met so that flight operations could be started soon. After the helicopter was transferred to its home base in Nordholz, northern Germany, the interactive electronic technical documentation for the system’s operation, maintenance, and repair was used for maintenance and checked in detail, said the Bundeswehr, reporting that 150 major anomalies were found that would prevent safe flight operations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

25 Nov 19. Afghanistan receives final MD 530F helos. Afghanistan has received the last of 60 MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light attack and reconnaissance rotorcraft that have been delivered from 2011. The final five Cayuse Warriors, which were part of a follow-on batch of 30 helicopters ordered by the US Army under a wider USD1.4bn Foreign Military Sales (FMS) effort for allied nations, were delivered to Kandahar via a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft on 27 October. The manufacturer announced the arrival on 24 November. As noted by MDHI, all five helicopters have now been reassembled and are now in operational service with the Afghan Air Force (AAF). Taking battlefield losses and accidents into account, Jane’s understands that the AAF has an active inventory of 55 MD 530F helicopters at its disposal. However, neither the US 438th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) that trains and assists the AAF nor MDHI was able to confirm this number by the time of publication.

While early MD 530Fs (known as ‘Jengi’ [Warrior] in AAF service) delivered between 2011 and 2016 were equipped with standard avionics, the newer aircraft have a ‘glass’ cockpit (the older aircraft are likely to be upgraded to this same standard over time). They also have a ballistically tolerant crashworthy fuel system that features self-sealing fuel cells; crashworthy bladders compliant to MIL-DTL-27422 (the standard for crash- and ballistic-resistant fuel systems); gravity feed auxiliary fuel transfer; compatibility with the 38-gallon Little Bird Auxiliary Tank System (LBATS); accessibility for easy maintenance; and ‘combat proven performance’. All AAF MD 530Fs are fitted with the Enhanced Mission Equipment Package (EMEP). The baseline Mission Equipment Package (MEP) comprises the FN Herstal Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP) that features the company’s M3 12.7mm (.50 calibre) machine gun. The HMP, which is carried on external weapons planks, has a rate of fire of 1,100rds/min and a 400-round ammunition box. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

25 Nov 19. Nepal, Thailand take delivery of PTDI turboprops. The Nepalese Army has taken delivery of a single Airbus Defence & Space CN235 that was produced by Indonesian Aerospace (PTDI). This delivery marks the first time the Indonesian manufacturer, which produces Airbus types under licence, has delivered an aircraft to Nepal, says the company. The delivery stems from an order placed in June 2017. The aircraft delivered to Nepal can be quickly reconfigured for five missions: troop transport, VIP transport, medical evacuation, passenger transport, and cargo. The Nepal milestone follows recent Indonesian Aerospace deliveries of a pair of NC212i turboprops to Thailand, which will be operated by Thailand’s agricultural department. These aircraft arrived in October and November. (Source: Google/FlighgGlobal)


26 Nov 19. Norway disposes of stored C-130H aircraft. The Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) announced on 25 November that it has sold five Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules aircraft to US firm Coulson Aviation. Under the deal, the aircraft will be sold for a total of USD4.5m and will be handed over in late 2019 or early 2020. Coulson Aviation will modify the aircraft to become aerial firefighting platforms and will modernise them with new glass cockpits and other equipment for aerial firefighting. The five C-130Hs have been stored at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) in Tucson, Arizona, since 2008. The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) had operated six C-130H aircraft between 1969 and 2008, with the sixth currently held as a museum piece in Norway. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

24 Nov 19. Statement by DOD Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman. Statement by DOD Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman: “Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper has asked for the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.

After Secretary Esper and Chairman Milley spoke with the Commander in Chief on Friday regarding the case of Gallagher, Secretary Esper learned that Secretary Spencer had previously and privately proposed to the White House – contrary to Spencer’s public position – to restore Gallagher’s rank and allow him to retire with his Trident pin.  When recently asked by Secretary Esper, Secretary Spencer confirmed that despite multiple conversations on the Gallagher matter, Secretary Esper was never informed by Secretary Spencer of his private proposal.

Secretary Esper’s position with regard to UCMJ, disciplinary, and fitness for duty actions has always been that the process should be allowed to play itself out objectively and deliberately, in fairness to all parties. However, at this point, given the events of the last few days, Secretary Esper has directed that Gallagher retain his Trident pin.  Secretary Esper will meet with Navy Under Secretary (now Acting Secretary) Thomas Modley and the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday on Monday morning to discuss the way ahead.

“I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD official.” said Secretary Esper.  “Unfortunately, as a result I have determined that Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position. I wish Richard well.”

Secretary Esper has proposed to the President that Ambassador Kenneth Braithwaite, current U.S. Ambassador to Norway and a retired Navy Rear Admiral, be considered as the next Secretary of the Navy.” (Source: US DoD)

22 Nov 19. Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that Anne Toulouse, senior vice president of Communications, has elected to step down from her role at year end and retire next year after 30 years with the company.

“Anne has been an outstanding leader and committed contributor to Boeing over her entire career,” said Muilenburg.  “I could not be more grateful for her dedication to this company, her One Boeing leadership style, and her strong commitment to investing in our people and culture.

“Above all, I also want to thank her for her tireless efforts as we worked through the challenges of the past year.  I understand her decision to retire and appreciate her commitment to ensuring a smooth transition.” Boeing expects to name a successor in the near future.

“Over the course of my Boeing career I have been fortunate to know and work with some of the most talented, principled, and impressive people anywhere,” Toulouse said, “This past year has been all-consuming and profoundly difficult for all of us at Boeing – albeit nowhere close to the experience of the families affected by the MAX accidents. As we look ahead, I am confident the hard lessons learned will make Boeing better and that we will deliver on our important commitments. As we move into that next phase, I can best serve the company by turning over the role to someone with fresh perspective and, therefore, made the difficult decision to retire.”

Toulouse, 61, became interim senior vice president of Communications, reporting to Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s President and CEO, in September 2018.  She served on the company’s Executive Council and took over the permanent communications role in February of 2019.

After joining the company in 1989 as a media relations manager at McDonnell Douglas, Toulouse advanced to lead Boeing’s global brand-building programs, helping position the company for growth in its second century.  Over her career, she was responsible for the company’s brand strategy, global advertising, sponsorships, the Boeing Store, the in-house creative team, historical archives and corporate identity. She led a large-scale, multi-channel initiative to observe the company’s centennial anniversary in 2016. She also served as vice president for Employee Communications, Business Operations and Corporate Identity and Advertising.




26 Nov 19. Catherine Marsh will serve as the director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, a research organization within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence charged with developing new tools to solve the intelligence communities most difficult problems, the office announced Nov. 22. Marsh replaces Stacey Dixon, who left that position to become deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Dixon’s move was announced in May, and IARPA’s Deputy Director for Research Catherine Cotell has served as the agency’s acting director in the interim. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

25 Nov 19. MG (frocked) Alexus G. Grynkewich, deputy commander, operations and intelligence, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, U.S. Central Command; and commander, 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force-Levant, Air Combat Command, Southwest Asia, to director of operations, J-3, Headquarters U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.


25 Nov 19. AIDN commits to unification. The Australian Industry & Defence Network (AIDN) has announced that after a strategy workshop, the network concluded that becoming a single organisation will ensure its survival in the longer term. The workshop featured the following representation for each member state and territory:

  • AIDN ACT – Stuart Althaus
  • AIDN NSW – John Small and David Preller
  • AIDN NT – Kerryn Smith
  • AIDN QLD – Carl Quarterman
  • AIDN SA – Gary Bettcher
  • AIDN TAS – Di Edgerton
  • AIDN WA – Kristian Constantinides

Each of the member states and territories respective committees have voted and agree to the shared ‘concept of a transition’ to a single national entity, and due to votes not being unanimous, AIDN concedes that “there is a considerable amount of work required to ensure that we continue to deliver on our existing services to members while implementing a relevant and shared national voice”.

Noting that in 2020 AIDN National will celebrate its 25-year anniversary, the network said that “time is of the essence” to ensure the future and progression of the organisation.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, and the unification process will take several months to complete,” a release from the network said.

“This activity is viewed as a key strategic change in order to meet our national mission: helping small business win more defence-related work through creating local industry opportunities”.

AIDN National chairman Lester Sutton said, “Each state and territory organisation will have different processes and due diligence to follow over the coming months and we encourage you to discuss this with your local representatives.” (Source: Defence Connect)



24 Nov 19. Bayanat, US firm partner to develop latest aerospace solutions. The project is being developed under Tawazun Economic Programme. Bayanat, a developer of comprehensive geospatial solutions and data aggregation services, has signed an agreement with Collins Aerospace, a US-based aerospace and defence firm, to develop advanced aerospace solutions, said a report. The project is being developed under Tawazun Economic Programme, which is overseen by Tawazun Economic Council, added the Wam report. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow 2019, and will see a team of eight Emirati engineers work on the ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) project, which includes software development, training, and systems integration among its components.

Matar Ali Al Romaithi, chief economic development officer at Tawazun Economic Council, said that they are pleased to facilitate this collaboration, out of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to enable the UAE’s defence and security industry by promoting investments and projects across this vital sector.

“We anticipate robust capability growth in terms of economic value and capability development from this agreement as it brings about a very high technology and know-how, available only to limited number of technologically advanced nations,” he added.

Mohammed Al Beloushi, CEO of Bayanat, noted that the collaborative solutions will be developed and tested by Bayanat. (Source: Google/https://www.zawya.com/)



25 Nov 19. Thales announces two appointments to its Leadership Committee.

Effective 2 January 2020:

  • Marko Erman, currently Chief Technical Officer for the Thales Group, is appointed Scientific Director. He will report directly to Patrice Caine, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
  • Bernhard Quendt joins Thales as Chief Technology Officer, reporting to Philippe Keryer, Executive Vice-President, Strategy, Research and Technology.


22 Nov 19. Waymon Armstrong, CEO & President of Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS), announced that Joanne Barnieu has joined ECS as its Director of Instructional Science. Barnieu will lead the Instructional Systems Design (ISD) team and projects while providing integral research regarding the use of innovative instructional strategies and technology-based solutions. Barnieu has an extensive background in the design and execution of research studies serving the military training community. Fluent in both English and French, Barnieu brings 27 years of experience in education and instructional design to ECS, including an extensive focus on adult learning, learning science, and analysis of training effectiveness studies. In addition, she has over 12 years of experience as an instructional designer and researcher for defense-related training projects including instructional technology, micro learning, assessment, AR/VR, haptics, and serious games.

25 Nov 19. General Electric has appointed an executive of shipping group AP Moller-Maersk as its new chief financial officer from early next year, marking the conglomerate’s first outside leadership team in its 127-year history. Carolina Dybeck Happe, who has been CFO of the Denmark-based company for 10 months, will take over from Jamie Miller, who joined GE in 2008 and became its first female CFO two years ago. Her appointment magnifies the company’s efforts to seek outside help to turn itself round following financial and business mis-steps under previous management. Larry Culp became the first chief executive to not have risen up through the conglomerate in its history when he took the reins 13 months ago. He has since slashed the company’s dividend and delivered swingeing changes to its retirement benefits in an effort to improve cash flow and reduce its pension deficit and debt pile. (Source: FT.com)

20 Nov 19. ManSat Group’s New Man on Board is a Spectrum Engineer. Healthy business growth results in more personnel, and The ManSat Group continues to expand its service offerings and grow its team on the Isle of Man with the announcement of Rama Theertha Kasi as Spectrum Engineer. Rama’s experience in previous assignments has taken him to several continents. He previously worked as Network Engineer at Ericsson, serving clients across several countries. And as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, EuroScience and Space Generation Advisory Council, Rama worked as an intern in the Indian Space Research Organization’s Satellite Center, focusing on Pseduo-Noise Regenerative Ranging for Deep Space Missions. He was also selected as Interim Communication Subsystem lead for a Mars Robotic Mission at NASA Ames Research Center in California. Rama said that nothing can be more exciting than starting his career in the space industry with the world’s largest commercial spectrum provider, ManSat. With ManSat’s 20 years of extensive expertise and experience in satellite filing process and consultancy across different administrations around the world, he feels honored to have joined the company as a Spectrum Engineer. Rama holds a Masters in Space Studies from International Space University and a Bachelor of Electronics and Communication Engineering from Amrita School of Engineering. (Source: Satnews)

18 Nov 19. ST Engineering iDirect’s New Executives Come from Newtec. New executive appointments have occurred at ST Engineering iDirect since the company’s acquisition of Newtec Group NV. Thomas Van den Driessche has been named as President of the Executive Strategic Board and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Frederik Simoens has been appointed to the role of Chief Technology Officer.

Thomas Van den Driessche comes with a wealth of management experience, most recently as Newtec’s Chief Executive Officer, Thomas will lead the newly-formed Strategy Group which comprises product lifecycle management (PLM), vertical market development, marketing and strategic business development. In this role he will spearhead the company’s efforts to establish a new standard in ground infrastructure to propel further transformation and market opportunity across the satellite communications (satcom) industry. As CCO Thomas will steer the global sales organization to better serve customer needs as the industry evolves.

Frederik Simoens will draw upon his history of innovation, which will be invaluable to ST Engineering iDirect as it further harnesses its pioneering role in leading the satellite industry forward. Frederik has served as Newtec’s CTO since 2015 and brings with him invaluable expertise in satcom, standardization, physical layer technologies, networking and network virtualization.

The appointment of these two industry leaders will add a greater depth of knowledge and experience to the ST Engineering iDirect management team. Both Thomas’ and Frederik’s success in spearheading one of the fastest-growing players in the industry will ensure that the company is further strengthened to meet demand across the full spectrum of the evolving satellite communications market.  (Source: Satnews)


29 Nov 19. Lockheed Martin has appointed Steve Froelich as the vice president of rotary and mission systems operations for Australia and New Zealand, and program executive for AIR 6500. Froelich will be responsible for business performance and organisational transformation, joining Lockheed Martin’s local leadership team to “build a foundation for future growth in the region”. Lockheed Martin said in a statement that “a critical component of the future strategy will be leadership of Lockheed Martin’s efforts related to the AIR 6500 program, which will provide an even greater level of capability and integration across the Australian Defence Force”.(Source: Defence Connect)

Back to article list