04 Dec 19. UNSW Canberra launches concept of new collaborative defence and security workplace. The University of NSW Canberra has launched plans for a new workspace precinct in Canberra City dedicated to the defence and security industries. Called Launch on Northbourne and hosted by UNSW Canberra, the precinct is a concept that will provide three floors of collaborative workspace for industry, government and academia to grow innovation and capability in defence and security. UNSW Canberra rector Professor Michael Frater said innovation is one of the most significant sources of sustainable competitive advantage.
“That is why UNSW Canberra identified the need for a dedicated innovation space that will allow these different industries to come together to develop defence and security capability, talent and technology,” he said.
As part of the Launch concept, UNSW Canberra will host a group of start-ups in the defence and security industries. The incubator initiative also forms part of the university’s commitment to growing regional industry and academic capability.
“Universities are trusted partners in the development of defence and security capabilities and Launch on Northbourne will build off a successful base of established activity, talent and infrastructure that is maintained by UNSW Canberra and the greater UNSW network,” Professor Frater said. (Source: Defence Connect)
02 Dec 19. New Zealand to upgrade Ohakea base for P-8A Poseidon fleet. The New Zealand Government has begun infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) base in Ohakea. The project’s infrastructure will include crew and maintenance simulators, operations centre, as well as hangar, warehousing and maintenance facilities.
Minister of Defence Ron Mark, who broke ground on the upgrade works at the airbase, said: “The coalition government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead of the first aircraft’s arrival in 2023. The purchase by the coalition government of these aircraft to replace the ageing 1960s-era P-3K2 Orions demonstrated a strong commitment to the security of New Zealand, and reinforced our foreign policy interests through enabling stronger defence contributions to Pacific and global security.”
The work will be carried out in two phases. The first phase, valued at A$64.5m ($44m), has been awarded to construction, roadworks and aggregate supplier company Fulton Hogan and involves site preparation, roads, utilities and runway aprons.
A separate procurement process will be launched for the second phase, which involves the construction of the building. Work under the second phase is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2020.
The total cost of both phases is expected to be more than A$200m ($135m). Infrastructure work under these phases is expected to be completed by early 2022.
Mark said: “The coalition government will make the once in a generation decisions required, after years of under-investment leading to ageing equipment and infrastructure.
“Basing the P-8A fleet at Ohakea will be a boost for the economy and vitality of Manawatu and the surrounding region through the construction phase, and over the long term as around 270 members of the airforce’s 5 Squadron bring their families to the area.
“The works I am starting today will feed into the region in the form of engagement of local services, manufacturing, equipment and materials industries. At its peak, the construction project will be employing around 300 people, many of whom will be recruited from the local area.”
In July 2018, the coalition government announced the decision to buy four P-8A aircraft at a cost of A$2.346bn ($1.6bn). (Source: airforce-technology.com)
29 Nov 19. Dassault Aviation opens pyrotechnics facility in France. French aircraft manufacturing company Dassault Aviation has inaugurated its new pyrotechnics facility at the Martignas-sur-Jalle site. Previously, the company’s pyrotechnic activities were based in Argenteuil and Poitiers and all these have been shifted to the new facility in Martignas. The new pyrotechnics facility consists of a 2,500m² tripod-shaped building, with each wing dedicated to a specific function.
The first wing is dedicated to the production of long products (cutting cords, expansible tubes and transmission lines), the second wing for the manufacture of pyromechanisms and initiators, and the third wing for design study activities and test laboratories.
The facility also includes a bunker for safe storage of explosive components.
Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier said: “Aeronautical pyrotechnics is a rare, high-technology specialty. The relocation of this activity to Martignas is fully in line with our transformation plan, ‘Leading our Future’, launched at the end of 2016. This plan aims to make our company more flexible and competitive, without modifying our DNA. Today’s ceremony marks another successful step in our transformation.”
Pyrotechnics is a key contributor to the safety of fighter pilots, as it facilitates the instantaneous transmission of the ejection signal and ensures that the canopy shatters to allow the ejection seat to pass through.
The company said that pyrotechnics is used on space launch vehicles for engine ignition, and stage and payload fairing separation.
It is also used for ejection of satellite and deployment of solar panels and antennas.
Dassault Aviation said that this is achieved using computer-controlled pyrotechnic systems, such as multi-layer relays, valves, and transmission lines.
The company deploys these competencies on Ariane 5, the Vega rocket, some non-European launchers, and satellites.
Over the last century, Dassault Aviation has delivered more than 10,000 military and civil aircraft, including 2,500 Falcons, in more than 90 countries. Dassault Aviation has been involved in the design, development, sale and support of various aircraft, including the Rafale fighter, the Falcon family of business jets, military drones and space systems. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
04 Dec 19. New Gerald R. Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy Christened Dec. 7. The US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), was christened on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at Newport News, Virginia. John F. Kennedy is the second aircraft carrier of the Gerald R. Ford class, slated to replace USS Nimitz (CVN 68), when that ship is decommissioned.
Former NASA Administrator Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, USMC (Ret.), delivered the ceremony’s keynote address. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy’s daughter, will serve as the ship’s sponsor and break a bottle of American sparkling wine against a plate welded to the hull.
“USS John F. Kennedy will carry the legacy of its namesake and the power of our nation,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. “The advanced technology and warfighting capabilities this aircraft carrier brings to our global challenges will strengthen our allies and partners, extend our reach against potential adversaries, and further the global mission of our integrated naval force.”
CVN 79 is the second aircraft carrier to honor President John F. Kennedy for a lifetime of service to the nation. The president wore the uniform of our nation as a Navy lieutenant during World War II and served as the 35th President of the United States, from January 1961 to November 1963.
John F. Kennedy, along with its embarked air wing and other strike group assets, will provide the core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance.
Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division, the Gerald R. Ford class incorporates advances in technology, such as a new propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, radars and integrated warfare systems.
At 1,092 feet in length and 100,000 tons, CVN 79 incorporates more than 23 new technologies, comprising dramatic advances in propulsion, power generation, ordnance handling and aircraft launch systems. These innovations will support a 33% higher sortie generation rate at a significant cost savings, when compared to Nimitz-class carriers. The Gerald R. Ford class also offers a significant reduction—approximately $4bn per ship—in life cycle operations and support costs compared to the earlier Nimitz class.
The new technology and warfighting capabilities that the John F. Kennedy brings to the fleet will transform naval warfare, supporting a more capable and lethal forward-deployed U.S. naval presence. In an emerging era of great power competition, CVN 79 will serve as the most agile and lethal combat platform in the world, with improved systems that enhance interoperability among other platforms in the carrier strike group, as well as with the naval forces of regional allies and partners. (Source: US Navy)
04 Dec 19. US Navy Christened Littoral Combat Ship Mobile. The Navy christened its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, Dec. 7, in Mobile, Alabama. U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, representing Alabama’s first district, deliveredthe christening ceremony’s principal address. His wife, Rebecca Byrne, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of South Alabama, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Rebecca Byrne will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
”USS Mobile is a marvel of engineering,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. ”She will extend our capabilities for any mission, from the middle of the ocean to the shallowest of waters, enhancing our ability to project power ashore and at sea. This Independence-class LCS will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world.”
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
LCS 26 is the 13th Independence-variant LCS and the 26th in the class. It is the fifth ship named in honor of the port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The first Mobile was a side wheel steamer that operated as a Confederate government operated blockade runner. It was captured by U.S. forces at New Orleans in April 1862, commissioned as Tennessee and later renamed Mobile. The second Mobile was a passenger liner operated by Hamburg Amerika Lines between Germany and the United States until the outbreak of World War I. It was taken over by the Allied Maritime Council and assigned to the United States after the Armistice and commissioned March 1919. The third Mobile (CL 63) was commissioned March 24, 1943. It participated in numerous campaigns in the Pacific during World War II and received 11 battle stars for her service by the time she was decommissioned May 1947. The fourth Mobile (LKA 115) was an amphibious cargo ship that served from September 1969 until decommissioning in February 1994. (Source: US Navy)
04 Dec 19. Saab flies first series-production Gripen E for Sweden. Saab has flown the first series-production Gripen E aircraft for Sweden, the company announced on 3 December. An image of aircraft 6002 flying in a new splinter tri-tone grey camouflage pattern reminiscent of the Swedish Air Force’s (SwAF’s) green and brown scheme from the Cold War was released by the company. While 6002 was shown with SwAF roundels, a Saab representative was unable to say if it is the first aircraft that will be delivered to the service. This particular airframe might go to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for testing, and might remain with the organisation rather than being subsequently handed over to the SwAF. Saab also has three flying Gripen E prototypes in aircraft 39-8, 39-9 and 39-10, and it is unclear if some or all of these will remain Saab assets or if they will be refurbished and delivered to the SwAF/FMV ahead of 6002.
Sweden is due to receive the first of 60 Gripen Es before the end of the year, with deliveries running through to 2026. The only international customer to date, Brazil, has ordered an initial batch of 28 Gripen Es and eight twin-seat Gripen Fs to be delivered between 2021 and 2024. Both countries have left open the option for further procurements.
In terms of the wider production programme, manufacture of the first serial-standard aircraft began at Linköping in January. While similar concurrent testing and production has caused problems for other programmes, Eddy De La Motte, vice-president and head of Gripen E/F, said in June that he was not concerned that the Gripen E/F effort would encounter the same issues. “We have de-risked that element of the programme,” he said. The line at Linköping is geared to turn out 24 aircraft per year. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Dec 19. PTDI to begin delivery of Bell-412EPI helicopters to Indonesia. Indonesian state-owned firm PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) will start deliveries of Bell-412EPI assault helicopters to the Indonesian Armed Forces in 2020. The assault helicopters are supplied by US company Bell Textron. PTDI performs customisation work on the aircraft, including assembling Gatling gun weapons and bullets. While the Gatling gun will be procured from Dillon Aerospace, the bullets will be provided by PT Pindad.
PTDI has so far received two helicopters from Bell and expects to receive another five by next year, according to Indonesian media sources. The remaining two 412EPI units are in production in the US.
The company takes around six to 24 months to complete the raft process. Assembly work is followed by operational feasibility tests and training of Indonesian Army pilots and technicians.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia Aircraft Sales vice-president Ibnu Bintarto said: “Hopefully in the middle of next year it can be sent.”
The Bell-412EPI is powered by two PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney. The engine enables 15% more power at take-off for the aircraft when compared to other Bell-412 engines.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia business development and marketing vice-president Gatot Mulia Pribadi said: “This product can be used in various fields and is designed to withstand the conditions of seawater.”
The helicopter features full glass cockpit instruments and a four-axis flight control technology.
The procurement of the Bell helicopters is valued at around $178m. Indonesia has plans to have a fleet of 40 Bell-412 EPI aircraft.
Last year, the Philippines reached an agreement to acquire additional Bell 412EPI helicopters. (Source: army-technology.com)
29 Nov 19. Iraq receives final T-50IQ light fighter and trainer aircraft. Iraq has received into service its 24th and final Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50IQ Fighting Eagle light fighter and trainer aircraft, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 29 November. The delivery of the final batch of aircraft, which is the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle/FA-50 Fighting Eagle, marks an end to the six-year procurement process that was launched in December 2013. The IqAF fields the twin-seat T-50IQ primarily as a lead-in fighter trainer for its 36 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters. Basic flight training takes place on Serbian Utva Lasta 95 piston-engined aircraft, with intermediate training on the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II turboprop. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Nov 19. Israeli Air Force launches investigation into Yasur helicopter fire. The Israel Air Force (IAF) has launched an investigation into the emergency landing of a Yasur transport helicopter and grounded the entire fleet. A technical problem led to the helicopter’s engine catching fire. IAF Commander Amikam Norkin has ordered to ground all Yasur helicopters until the source of the problem is identified. No injuries were reported for those on the helicopter, which landed near Kibbutz Beit Kama in the northern Negev.
The technical malfunction took place when the helicopter was at an altitude of 170m and it landed within a minute. Of the fourteen soldiers who were on board the aircraft when the incident took place, 11 were members of the elite Shaldag commando unit, along with two pilots and a mechanic. The helicopter, which was destroyed in the fire, had been en route for a training exercise at a base in southern Israel. The Yasur has been used by the Israeli military for 50 years. It is an American-made Sikorsky aircraft.
Advanced technology has been incorporated into some of the aircraft, which are no longer similar to the original Yasurs that were exported to Israel in 1969. The Israel Air Force has already made the decision to stop using them from 2025. A decision on the helicopters selected to replace the Yasur is anticipated to be taken in the coming months. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
02 Dec 19. Indian Navy stands up sixth Dornier 228 squadron. The Indian Navy (IN) stood up its sixth Dornier 228 maritime reconnaissance aircraft squadron in a ceremony held at the Naval Air Enclave Porbandar in northwestern India on 29 November. The Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 314, also known as the ‘Raptors’, will operate 12 licence-built Dornier 228s that are set to enhance maritime security and “our surveillance footprint in the North Arabian Sea”, said Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Murlidhar Sadashiv, adding that, owing to its strategic location, the squadron “will act as the first responder in this crucial region”. The IN is procuring the new aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. (Source: Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
03 Dec 19. RoKN retires final Alouette III naval helicopters. The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) retired its final three Aérospatiale Alouette III naval helicopters in a ceremony held on 3 December at the southwestern port city of Mokpo. In a statement issued that same day the RoKN said that it had been operating the Alouette IIIs since 1977 in different roles, including as a reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform. The service procured a total of 12 units of the type, which gradually took on the role of training platforms for naval helicopter pilots after the RoKN began introducing Westland WG.13 Lynx Mk 99 helicopters in the early 1990s. (Source: Jane’s)
01 Dec 19. Airbus dismisses 16 employees in German compliance investigation. Airbus (AIR.PA) has dismissed 16 employees without notice in relation to an investigation into the potential misuse of client documents, a spokesman for the group said on Sunday, confirming a newspaper report. Munich prosecutors launched the investigation in September after the company notified the authorities about potential irregularities involving the documents, which relate to two German procurement deals. German weekly Welt am Sonntag first reported the dismissal of the 16 employees. (Source: Reuters)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
05 Dec 19. Northern Fleet Naval Aviation re-organised. Two aviation regiments have been re-established at the Russian Northern Fleet’s main air base near Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula as a major re-organisation of the country’s naval aviation branch continues to be rolled out. In ceremony on 2 December at Severomorsk-1, the 7050th Air Base command was disbanded and the 830th Separate Naval Anti-Submarine Helicopter Regiment and the 403rd Separate Mixed Aviation Regiment stood up. The move in effect reverses changes introduced a decade ago by former Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov to reduce several layers of command and bureaucracy across Russia’s military, including the navy and its aviation branch. (Source: Jane’s)
05 Dec 19. BG Brenda P. Carter, director of operations, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida, to vice commander, 19th Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.
05 Dec 19. BG Matthew W. Davidson, deputy Combined Force Space Component commander, U.S. Space Command; and vice commander, 14th Air Force, Air Force Space Command, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to deputy commander, Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, U.S. Special Operations Command, Kabul, Afghanistan.
05 Dec 19. BG Michael E. Martin, deputy commander, Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, U.S. Special Operations Command, Kabul, Afghanistan, to director of operations, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida.
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
05 Dec 19. DMTC has confirmed the appointment of retired Air Marshal John Harvey AM to its board of directors at the 2019 annual general meeting. Harvey will join the board while maintaining his other current roles including as an advocate for the defence industry in NSW (appointed by the NSW government in June 2016). Harvey’s Australian Defence Force career spanned more than 30 years, highlighted by senior roles managing Australia’s F-35 acquisition and later serving as Chief Capability Development Group. In the Australia Day Honours of 2008 he was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (Military Division). Since retiring from the RAAF in 2012, Harvey has completed a PhD in Computer Science at UNSW (Canberra). DMTC works collaboratively with many innovative Australian industry, research and government partners. Our focus is on delivering enhanced defence and national security capabilities, and strengthening Australian industrial capacity. Harvey was welcomed to the board by DMTC chair Tony Quick, who said, “John’s experience and expertise in the sector stand him in good stead, and without hesitation I can say I am confident that he will make a valuable contribution to the DMTC Board.” (Source: Defence Connect)
29 Nov 19. Navantia teams up with Huisman for Dutch sub contract. Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Rotterdam with local company Huisman Equipment to compete for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s Walrus-class submarine replacement programme. The company said the both firms had agreed to look at setting up construction and assembly lines in the Netherlands for a submarine that will be based on Navantia’s own S-80 design. Navantia is currently building four S-80 vessels for the Spanish Navy, with the first due to be delivered by about late 2022 from its Cartagena yards. The shipbuilder said it is well prepared, with “state-of-the-art engineering and management tools to support the construction in other countries, such as the Netherlands”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Dec 19. University and Industry collaboration supports next-gen naval shipbuilders. The Australian Maritime College in partnership with Navantia Australia and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects Australian Division (RINA) have launched a range of support programs to enhance the capacity of Australia’s future naval shipbuilders.
Four Australian Maritime College (AMC) students are getting invaluable experience as interns at Navantia Australia during their summer break. The third year maritime engineering students are based in the Sydney and Melbourne offices of Navantia for 12 weeks.
Hadiqa Khan and Zachary Sutherland are working with teams embedded at the Garden Island Naval Precinct in Sydney where they will be exposed to work in the ACPC LHD (landing helicopter dock) sustainment program and the DDG (guided missile destroyer) Transition to Service Program.
As part of the internship Khan will be mentored by Navantia’s field engineer LHD Tom Ross and Sutherland by configuration engineer DDG Andrew Mann.
In Melbourne, Maitland Osborn and Johnson Joseph are working in Navantia’s Naval Design and Engineering Centre, where they will be mentored by lead engineer general design Matthew Harman and lead engineer equipment and outfit Simon Kelly, respectively.
Navantia communications and marketing manager Cindy Slaven said the students were the first group to receive internships with the firm. AMC industry coordinator for maritime engineering James Erbacher said it was great that Navantia is able to take so many students.
“It offers them a chance to put all their academic and practical learning into practice in a workplace environment,” Erbacher said.
Further supporting the offering for students, all maritime engineering graduates of the AMC have had their path to chartered status smoothed by a new agreement with the RINA Australian Division.
AMC principal Michael van Balen, AO, and RINA president Dr Martin Renilson signed the agreement at the Newnham campus.
“This sets our students off on the start of their career for certification as maritime engineers,” van Balen said.
Dr Renilson said RINA was the international learned society for maritime engineers.
“This arrangement with AMC, which is the primary principal place for teaching maritime engineering in Australia, is a good move forward. It makes it easier for AMC maritime engineering students to join RINA as student members and thus makes their path to corporate member and subsequent chartered status a lot easier,” he said.
The agreement comes at a time of growing demand for naval architecture and maritime engineering graduates thanks to the $90bn National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.
Under the agreement, all AMC bachelor of engineering students can become student members of RINA free of charge.
“Graduation from AMC as a bachelor of engineering in any of the three specialties has been accepted as meeting the educational requirements for corporate membership of RINA,” Dr Renilson said.
He said it may take up to five years of experience to achieve member grade and be eligible to be a Chartered Engineer.
“A person only becomes a fully fledged maritime engineer when they achieve MRINA CEng or the equivalent EA membership grade,” Dr Renilson said.
“It is only when a person is at chartered status that they can truly work independently and call themselves an engineer.”
He said that the requirement for a person to have chartered engineer status was increasing generally and especially with large companies. Membership of RINA also provides members with up to date technical information and general news related to the maritime engineering industry.
“It also monitors continued professional development, which is a requirement to maintain chartered status,” he said.
Navantia Australia is a subsidiary of the Spanish parent company Navantia, which dates back to 1730.
Navantia Australia has a partnership with the Royal Australian Navy that began with contracts to design the Hobart Class DDGs, and continued with the design and co-manufacture of the Canberra Class amphibious assault ships (LHD), the construction of 12 LHD landing craft, and a recent contract to build and maintain two replenishment ships. (Source: Defence Connect)