31 Dec 19. Turkish Aerospace opens Pakistan office. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has launched an office in Pakistan to boost its profile in the South Asian country. TAI announced the opening of the office on 24 December. The ceremony was attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. TAI said the office is based within Pakistan’s National Science & Technology Park (NSTP), which itself was inaugurated by Khan in early December. The NSTP is located within Pakistan’s National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad. TAI said its presence at the NSTP will support its efforts to increase collaboration with Pakistan industry and academia. In July 2018 the Turkish government signed an agreement with Pakistan to supply 30 TAI T129 attack helicopters to the Pakistan Army’s aviation corps. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Jan 20. Khulna Shipyard lays keel for five more Padma-class patrol vessels for Bangladeshi Navy. Bangladesh’s Khulna Shipyard Ltd has begun construction of a second batch of five Padma-class patrol vessels on order for the Bangladeshi Navy (BN). The navy said in a 3 December statement that a keel-laying ceremony for the 50.4 m-long vessels, which can reach a top speed of 23 kt, had been held the previous day at the company’s facilities in Khulna. The ceremony was attended by Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury, the BN’s chief of naval staff, among others. The service already operates five vessels of the class, all of which entered service in 2013. This first batch was built in Bangladesh by BN-owned Khulna Shipyard in collaboration with mainland China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding through the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corporation (CSOC). The contract for the second batch was signed with Khulna Shipyard on 20 May 2019, with the shipyard signing a new collaboration agreement with CSOC nine days later. The Padma class, which as a crew complement of 31, including 5 officers, has a full-load displacement of 270 tonnes, an overall beam of 7.5m, and a hull draught of 1.9 m. Each of the ships is armed with Norinco twin 37mm naval guns and two 20mm guns. Separately, the BN announced on 22 December that it had decommissioned three days earlier its Chinese-made Yuch’in-class (Type 068/069) coastal survey ship BNS Tallashi, which entered service in 1983. (Source: Jane’s)
01 Jan 20. The US Navy’s aging submarine support ship Frank Cable completes sea trials. The U.S. Navy’s aging Guam-based submarine tender Frank Cable completed sea trials Dec. 19, even as the White House canceled plans for its eventual replacement over cost. The 40-year-old ship completed a yearlong overhaul in December with sea trials to shake out the cobwebs and retrain the crew, according to a Dec. 26 Navy release. The main focus of the overhaul was boiler repair.
“December has been a very busy and productive month for our team,” Capt. Jeff Bierley, commanding officer of Frank Cable, said in the release. “The ship and crew performed extremely well on sea trials, and it was great to get our ship to sea for the first time in over a year.”
The ship, which was commissioned in 1979, was originally designed as a support ship for Los Angeles-class attack submarines.
The Navy has considered replacing its two submarine tenders with new auxiliary ships that use a common hull, known as the Common Hull Auxilliary Multi-Mission Platform, or CHAMP. But the White House’s Office of Management and Budget directed the Navy to look at alternatives for the CHAMP program after the cost estimate for the submarine tender variant hit $1.3bn, according to a memo obtained by Defense News.
“The CHAMP submarine tender and CHAMP sealift vessels are not cost-effective solutions. The revised estimate for the sub tender ($1.3bn) is even more than the $1bn in the FYDP [Future Years Defense Program] and more cost-effective alternatives should be explored, including procuring and converting a used vessel,” the memo read. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jan 20. PAC Kamra completes production of first batch of JF-17B fighters for Pakistan Air Force. The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra has completed production of the first eight twin-seat JF-17B Thunder multirole combat aircraft on order for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The aircraft were rolled out on 27 December in a ceremony that attended by the PAF’s Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, and China’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing, among others. Speaking at the event, ACM Khan, congratulated both the PAC and the China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) on the “successful accomplishment of [the] 2019 production target and on completing [the] first 8 dual-seat JF-17 aircraft in [a] record time of five months”, according to a PAF statement. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Jan 20. FAA returns F28 to service. The Argentine Air Force (FAA) has returned to service one of its Fokker F28 medium transport jets, the last of which was grounded in August 2019 due to structural problems with the type, after finding it had no budget to fund a replacement fleet. F28 serial number TC-52 flew again for the first time on 23 December, having been made airworthy again at reportedly a third of the cost calculated by commercial aircraft maintenance companies. On 27 December, with the F28’s tests flights concluded, FAA chief Brigadier General Enrique Amrein used the aircraft for one of his visits to the main FAA bases across the country and, as a former F28 pilot, was in control of it for part of his journey. (Source: Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
27 Dec 19. Balfour Beatty sacked from MI6 refurbishment contract. Sensitive floor plans showing security measures and internal details at HQ had gone missing. The UK Secret Intelligence Service has sacked Balfour Beatty as its building contractor after the company lost sensitive floor plans of MI6’s London headquarters during refurbishment work. The loss of the documents was discovered a few weeks ago after the plans disappeared from a secure room in which they were being kept for the duration of the project. The drawings, compiled by Balfour Beatty, showed information about the headquarters of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency that could be useful to hostile states, terrorist groups or organised crime gangs. They contained details such as entry and exit locations, alarms and other security measures, desk arrangements and the wiring of the building. Most of the documents have now been recovered, and it is thought they were lost through carelessness rather than theft, said one government official. As a result, the refurbishment contract with Balfour Beatty has been terminated even though the work has not yet been completed. The incident — first reported by The Sun newspaper — is an embarrassing lapse for the company. Balfour Beatty declined to comment. The Foreign Office, which oversees MI6, said it “would not comment on intelligence matters”. The MI6 headquarters at Vauxhall Cross on the bank of the Thames is a London landmark that has featured in James Bond films such as Skyfall. It was designed by the architect Terry Farrell and is inspired by the art deco look of 1930s power stations, and the ziggurat design of Aztec and Mayan temples. The building is fitted with 25 different types of glass because of MI6’s security requirements, and has been home to the intelligence agency for the past 25 years. Balfour Beatty, which traditionally focused on building, now divides its operations into construction and support services, and infrastructure investments. It reported pre-tax profit of £123m for 2018, up 5 per cent compared to 2017, in its most recent full-year figures. (Source: FT.com)
27 Dec 19. Indian Air Force retires its last MiG-27ML squadron. The Indian Air Force (IAF) retired its last squadron of upgraded MiG-27ML ‘Flogger’ tactical ground-attack aircraft on 27 December: a move that further reduces the service’s overall combat strength.
Officials said that the IAF has “number-plated” the No. 29 ‘Scorpions’ Squadron based in Jodhpur, western India, until it is re-operationalised with new aircraft and manpower at a later stage. The move comes after the IAF retired its other MiG-27ML squadron in December 2018.
Licence-built by India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), some 165 single-engine, ‘swing-wing’ MiG-27s entered IAF service from 1985. IAF officers who operated the MiG-27s told Jane’s that the agile fighter – a derivative of the Soviet-era MiG-23BN fighter – could ‘swing’ its wings from 16 to 72°, depending on the mission. (Source: Jane’s)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
01 Jan 20. BIS Seeks New Members for Its Technical Advisory Committees. (84 Fed. Reg. 72292) – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has announced its recruitment of candidates to serve on one of its seven Technical Advisory Committees (“TACs” or “Committees”). TAC members advise the Department of Commerce on the technical parameters for export controls applicable to dual-use items (commodities, software, and technology) and on the administration of those controls. The TACs are composed of representatives from industry, academia, and the U.S. Government and reflect diverse points of view on the concerns of the exporting community. Industry representatives are selected from firms producing a broad range of items currently controlled for national security, nonproliferation, foreign policy, and short supply reasons or that are proposed for such controls. Representation from the private sector is balanced to the extent possible among large and small firms. Six TACs are responsible for advising the Department of Commerce on the technical parameters for export controls and the administration of those controls within specified areas: Information Systems TAC: Control List Categories 3 (electronics), 4 (computers), and 5 (telecommunications and information security); Materials and Equipment TAC: Control List Categories 0 (nuclear and miscellaneous), 1 (materials, chemicals, microorganisms, and toxins) and 2 (materials processing); Sensors and Instrumentation TAC: Control List Category 6 (sensors and lasers); Transportation and Related Equipment TAC: Control List Categories 7 (navigation and This document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 12/31/2019 and available online at https://federalregister.gov/d/2019-27629, and on govinfo.gov avionics), 8 (marine), and 9 (propulsion systems, space vehicles, and related equipment); and the Emerging Technology TAC (identification of emerging and foundational technologies that may be developed over a period of five to ten years with potential dual-use applications). The seventh TAC, the Regulations and Procedures TAC, focuses on the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and procedures for implementing the EAR. TAC members are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce and serve terms of not more than four consecutive years. TAC members must obtain secret-level clearances prior to their appointment. No TAC member may represent a company that is majority-owned or controlled by a foreign government entity (or foreign government entities). TAC members will not be compensated for their services or reimbursed for their travel expenses. To respond to this recruitment notice, please send a copy of your resume with the following information to Ms. Yvette Springer at Yvette.Springer@bis.doc.gov:
- Name of applicant
- Affirmation of U.S. citizenship
- Organizational Affiliation and title
- Mailing address
- Work telephone number
- E-mail address
- Summary of Qualifications for membership
- An affirmative statement that the candidate will be able to meet the expected commitments of Committee Work (Source: glstrade.com)
01 Jan 20. British Army targets Love Island viewers in new recruitment campaign. Social media appeal hopes to attract millennials as troop numbers fall. The British army is targeting Instagram addicts, Love Island viewers and fans of fast fashion in a new recruitment campaign aimed at persuading millennials to join its ranks. The campaign, unveiled on Thursday on TV, radio, Twitter and Facebook, will promise that an army career provides a longer-lasting confidence boost than the “quick hits” achieved by engaging with social media or buying clothes. The strategy aims to reverse the long-term decline in forces strength: the army has 73,470 full-time and fully-trained troops, against a government target of 82,000, according to the latest figures. Senior officers have also revealed that the army is running a four-week boot camp to help those who fail to meet selection requirements because they were “on the borderline of being overweight or unfit”. The Royal Marines Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon © Chris Jackson/Getty Images “Those people who are . . . a bit slow on their run, or they were just a little bit too large, we effectively try and coach them through a four-week course that they then meet the minimum standard required,” said Colonel Nick Mackenzie, head of army recruiting. “If they don’t come up to standard required after those four weeks then they don’t get in . . . it’s about development, it’s about developing confidence.” Since September, between 150 and 200 people had attended the courses, he said. The new campaign features billboard posters depicting popular confidence-boosting activities — such as getting a spray tan, perfecting a make-up technique or bodybuilding — and contrasting them with the fact that the confidence from joining the army and overcoming challenges will “last a lifetime”. Nick Terry, head of marketing for the army recruitment team run by outsourcer Capita, said he was trying to reach 18 to 24-year-olds who may not have previously considered a career in the military.
Recommended UK defence spending Britain must rethink military strategy, warns army head “This generation is being bombarded with stuff that gives them very short-term or superficial quick hits of confidence whether that’s through chasing likes on Instagram, buying the latest pair of trainers every month, getting your body buffed up for the summer, Love Island-style,” he said. “These are all things that on the surface give quick hits of confidence but actually . . . there’s something longer-lasting that the army can give.” The strategy builds on last year’s controversial “snowflake” campaign, which sought to attract a range of millennial types from “phone zombies” to “binge-gamers” and “selfie addicts”. Some suggested the campaign was insulting to young people while others questioned whether these were really the types of people that Britain wanted in its armed forces. Although it divided opinion, the Ministry of Defence insists the drive was successful in spurring debate and resulted in a doubling of army applications in the first three weeks of January 2019 against the same month the previous year. The MoD also said it had so far met 90 per cent of its recruitment targets for the year to April 2020. But Capita’s 10-year deal to provide army recruitment has come under intense criticism. The company has missed its target to recruit new soldiers into the army by an average of 30 per cent every year since the contract began in 2012, according to a National Audit Office report published in December 2018. (Source: FT.com)
28 Dec 19. UK head of cyber security to step down. Ciaran Martin has been in charge of Britain’s online defences for more than six years. Ciaran Martin will leave the National Cyber Security Centre next summer. The founding head of the UK’s national cyber security unit on Friday announced that he would be stepping down in 2020 after more than six years in charge of Britain’s online defences. Ciaran Martin is chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, an arm of the UK’s communications intelligence service GCHQ, which works across industry to protect Britain against threats from hostile states and criminal hackers. He said on Friday that he would be leaving the NCSC next summer, and would be taking up a role in the private sector, although no more details were given. Mr Martin’s departure from NCSC comes at a crucial time: Downing Street will embark next year on a strategic review of British defence and security, with cyber capabilities at the forefront. The government will be looking for a new NCSC head who is able to engage with companies which run critical UK energy, finance and telecoms infrastructure, and understands security risks posed by opponents attempting cyber espionage, disruption of online services or hacks for financial gain. The NCSC has helped the government to publicly attribute state-sponsored cyber attacks by Russia and other countries. Mr Martin said it had been the “privilege of a lifetime” to lead the NCSC, but that it was now time to move on. “Challenges around securing technology are only going to get ever more complex so it’s right that after six and a half years that someone else takes this world-class organisation to the next level,” he added. The government is aiming to have a new NCSC head in place by the summer of 2020. Internal candidates for the post are expected to include Ian Levy, NCSC technical director, who has been instrumental in assessing the risks posed by allowing Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei to provide parts of the UK’s fifth-generation mobile phone network. No government decision has been reached. Mr Martin’s departure comes amid a period of key personnel change in the other intelligence services. Andrew Parker, head of the Security Service, MI5, is due to step down in 2020, but no successor has been announced. Alex Younger, head of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, was due to leave his post this year but has been granted an extension of his tenure to help ease the post-Brexit transition. Mr Martin, a career civil servant, has been in charge of UK cyber security at GCHQ since 2013. He recommended the establishment of the NCSC after the 2015 general election, and went on to lead the centre the following year. Mr Martin will not be announcing his future positions outside the civil service until later next year, but has confirmed that he will take up a role as a visiting professor at King’s College London. (Source: FT.com)
02 Jan 20. BG Douglas S. Coppinger, director of intelligence, J-2, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, to deputy chief, Central Security Service, National Security Agency, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
02 Jan 20. BG David N. Miller Jr., director of plans, programs, and financial management, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, to senior military assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.