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21 Apr 20. Pope Airfield needs tens of millions in repairs for the paratroopers and spec ops units who use it. After an audit found Fort Bragg’s airfields in North Carolina to be among the Army’s worst maintained infrastructure, service leaders are promising more repairs to the neglected facilities which serve as a key waypoint for contingency response plans.
Pope Army Airfield, which rests on Fort Bragg and is owned by the Army, serves units belonging to Army Special Operations Command, Joint Special Operations Command and the 82nd Airborne Division, among others.
Pope Airfield is a staging area and launch site for the 82nd’s immediate response force, which deploys paratroopers aboard C-17 Globemasters anywhere in the world within 18 hours of notification. That capability was tested by the January deployment of the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team to Kuwait during a period of heightened tension between Iran and the United States.
But lawmakers are worried Fort Bragg’s lift capabilities are being underfunded after “a recent Army audit found its airfields as being the poorest infrastructure in the Army.”
“These infrastructures serve as primary training air fields for USASOC [United States Army Special Operations Command], JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command], and others, including the immediate response force,” Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said in a recent paper hearing. “Is the Army adequately funding power projection and installation readiness?”
In their responses, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said that funding has already been planned for the airfield, and more is on the way.
“In [fiscal 2020] we have an approved project of $25m for airfield lighting repair and in the  budget, we plan to spend $65m to repair the [Pope Army Airfield] runway and taxiways,” the secretary and chief said.
That $90m total for this fiscal year and next is nearly as much as the investment over the past eight years. Since the Army took over Pope Airfield from the Air Force in 2011, the service has pumped $115m into repairs, the two leaders said.
“Army Materiel Command is currently reviewing the full scope of additional requirements in support of this critical power projection platform as part of our comprehensive facilities investment strategy,” they added.
The investments comes after the Army tried out a new deployment model for paratroopers during the January crisis with Iran.
The 82nd’s deployment fell under the auspices of an immediate response force mission, which replaced the global response force model used previously and includes more focus on air assets, cyber capabilities and logistical support for paratroopers, according to a primer for the new model viewed by Army Times.
The framework emphasizes penetrating enemy airspace using combat aircraft to set conditions for paratroopers, delivering a mass tactical assault force on one-lift operations with roughly 2,500 paratroopers, bringing more robust electronic warfare capabilities, and distributing command and control throughout an entire operation.
Despite the renewed focus, Pope Airfield has been an important power projection platform for the U.S. military for years. Strategic airlift ferried paratroopers out of Pope during the 1989 invasion of Panama and the 1983 invasion of Grenada. During both operations, Army Rangers who launched out of Hunter Airfield, Georgia, were followed by paratroopers out of Pope. (Source: Army Times)
21 Apr 20. Parliamentary committee to scrutinise RAAF Base Tindal project. Recently-announced plans for the redevelopment of RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory are to be scrutinised by the parliamentary standing committee of public works at a public hearing, which will meet on 21 April.
The parliamentary standing committee of public works plans to review the $1,174m revampment plans, aimed at maintaining existing base capability and airfield works to support KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport operations. The committee also plans to examine the US Force Posture Initiative Airfield Work.
The proposed works at RAAF Base Tindal will include an F-35A Operational Precinct, upgrades to the on-base warehouse, minor pavement upgrades, counter measure storage and preparation facilities, engineering infrastructure and replacement of displaced elements. According to Defence, the F-35A Operational Precinct will also include:
- Squadron headquarters facility;
- Off-aircraft maintenance facility;
- Detached training facility;
- Parking apron; and
- Manual aircraft wash and engine wash.
The Committee will look to scrutinise:
- The stated purpose of the proposed work and its suitability for that purpose;
- The need for the work;
- The cost-effectiveness of the proposal; and
- The amount of revenue it will produce if the work is revenue producing the current and prospective value of the work.
However, it will not look at the tendering process, awarding of contracts or details of the proposed works.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the committee will be conducted by teleconference from 2pm to 3pm (AEST). The hearing will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live. (Source: Defence Connect)
22 Apr 20. Australia transfers Adelaide-class frigates to Chile. Australia has officially transferred two Adelaide (Oliver Hazard Perry)-class guided-missile frigates to the Chilean Navy.
The ex-Royal Australian Navy (RAN) frigates, Melbourne (FFG 05) and Newcastle (FFG 06), were formally handed over during a ceremony held at HMAS Watson naval base in Sydney on 15 April.
The vessels are intended to replace two recently decommissioned ex-Royal Netherlands Navy Latorre (Jacob van Heemskerck)-class air-defence frigates that were built in the 1980s and acquired by Chile in 2004.
Melbourne and Newcastle were built in Australia between 1985 and 1993 under licence from the United States and withdrawn from RAN service in 2019. They are equipped with RGM-84J/L Harpoon Block II missiles, SM-2MR Block IIIA Standard and RIM-162B Evolved Sea Sparrow (ESSM) surface-to-air missiles, an Oto Melara Mk 75 76 mm/62 Compact Gun, the ADACS combat management system, Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes, and a Spherion hull-mounted sonar.
The two frigates, which have been renamed Almirante Latorre (FFG 14) and Capitan Prat (FFG 11), are undergoing a basic refit at Garden Island shipyard, in Sydney. The Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) will be removed in Australia, and the Thales Goalkeeper CIWS along with the other standard equipment, will be refitted after the ships arrive in Chile. Crew training is under way at the RAN’s Training Fleet Support Unit Sydney (FSU-SE) at HMAS Kuttabul and will continue until May. However, due to the ongoing situation of Covid-19 pandemic, the date of final transfer of the vessels to Valparaiso has yet to be confirmed. (Source: Jane’s)
22 Apr 20. China’s second Type 075 amphibious assault ship launched in Shanghai. The second Type 075 (Yushen)-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship on order for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was launched at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai on 22 April: a day before the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the PLAN.
Tugs pulled the ship from the dock in which it was built and manoeuvred it to a berth on the Huangpu river adjacent to the first Type 075, which entered the water on 25 September 2019, making the interval between the launch of China’s first and second LHD just over six months.
The Type 075 is about 235 m long, with a 36 m wide flight deck and an estimated displacement of about 35,000 tonnes, making it smaller than the US Navy’s 45,000 tonne America-class landing helicopter assault (LHA) vessels. (Source: Jane’s)
21 Apr 20. Australian Navy, industry combine to enhance mine hunter capability. The Royal Australian Navy and defence industry have joined forces to help support HMAS Gascoyne after a recent deployment as part of a five-yearly refit, ensuring she remains ready to fight. Gascoyne’s refit saw the vessel removed from the water in the Captain Cook Graving Dock at Garden Island where her propeller was removed and her hull repainted while all of her major systems also are being removed, refurbished and overhauled. The 52-metre long Huon Class minehunter coastal (MHC) is undergoing a refit in Sydney following her most recent overseas deployment.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Sean Aitken, said the refit had left the ship looking almost brand new but would also improve how she sails.
“Cleaning the hull and replacement of Gascoyne’s anti-fouling fittings will have a significant impact on Gascoyne’s performance once back at sea. We found that during our last deployment with our sister ship HMAS Diamantina, we were roughly one knot slower and had a higher rate of fuel consumption. This refit will make us a faster and more efficient vessel,” LCDR Aitken explained.
The refit comes following busy previous 12 months with Gascoyne sailing more than 22,000 nautical miles in 2019 over two major deployments to the south-west Pacific and north-east Asia.
LCDR Aitken added, “We’ve also inspected the rudder and shaft, replaced or overhauled our cranes, fire pumps and replaced multiple valves throughout the ship.”
Commissioned in 2001, HMAS Gascoyne is homeported at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney, with sister ships Diamantina, Huon and Yarra.
Originally designed in Italy as the Gaeta Class for the Italian Navy, the RAN Huon Class has been modified to suit Australian conditions, including improved accommodation and mine hunting capabilities.
The Huon Class feature a unique hull design, outstanding shock resistance and an inherently low magnetic signature, allowing the ships to operate in hostile mine environments. Each single skin monocoque hull has been designed with no ribs, frames or stiffeners, avoiding local stress points that could separate under shock conditions.
For their mine countermeasure operations the ships are fitted with a Variable Depth Sonar capable of detection ranges in excess of 1,000 metres ahead of the ship. When a mine is detected in a water column or on the seabed, the ship will ‘hover’ about 200 metres from the contact.
A mine disposal vehicle or clearance divers will then be sent to investigate and neutralise the mine threat.
Each ship is fitted with a pair of electrically powered Bofors Underwater Systems Double Eagle mine disposal vehicles equipped with a searchlight, closed-circuit low light television camera and an on-board close range identification sonar.
Commands are relayed via a fibre optic link inside the vehicle’s tether, which also relays sensor images for display on the ship’s multifunction console in the operations room.
Each Double Eagle vehicle is fitted with either a disposal charge slung beneath or an explosive or mechanical cutter designed to sever the wire rope or chain holding moored mines. (Source: Defence Connect)
20 Apr 20. Russian Navy receives first Project 20183 survey and research ship for Arctic operations. The Project 20183 survey and research ship Akademik Aleksandrov was handed over to the Russian Navy during March, Russia’s state news agency TASS reported on 12 April. The multipurpose ice-class ship was built by Zvezdochka Shipyard in Severodvinsk. Its construction was ordered by the Ministry of Defence’s Main Directorate for Deep-Sea Research (GUGI), a unit directly subordinate to the General Staff. The vessel will be used in the Arctic for a range of missions, including oceanographic research, equipment testing, search and rescue, and marine transportation of special-purpose cargo. Akademik Aleksandrov was laid down on 20 December 2012 and launched on 11 May 2017. (Source: Jane’s)
18 Apr 20. USS Vermont becomes latest Virginia-class fast-attack submarine in service. The U.S. Navy commissioned USS Vermont (SSN 792), the 19th Virginia-class attack submarine, today, April 18, 2020. Although the traditional public commissioning ceremony was cancelled due to public health safety and restrictions of large public gatherings, the Navy commissioned USS Vermont administratively and transitioned the ship to normal operations. Meanwhile, the Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the ship’s sponsor, crew and commissioning committee.
“This Virginia-class fast-attack submarine will continue the proud naval legacy of the state of Vermont and the ships that have borne her name,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy James E. McPherson. “I am confident the crew of this cutting edge platform will carry on this tradition and confront the challenges of today’s complex world with the professionalism and dedication our nation depends on from warriors of the silent service.”
Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, Submarine Forces, said Vermont’s entry to service marks a new phase of American undersea warfare dominance for a global Submarine Force that is ready to deter, defend and defeat threats to our nation, allies, and rules-based international order.
“This warship carries on a proud Vermont legacy in naval warfare and unyielding determination stretching back to the birth of our nation,” Caudle said. “To her crew, congratulations on completing the arduous readiness training to enter sea trials and prepare this ship for battle. I am proud to serve with each of you! Stand ready to defend our nation wherever we are threatened – honoring your motto – FREEDOM AND UNITY. May God bless our Submarine Force, the people of Vermont, and our families! From the depths, we strike!”
The ship’s sponsor, Ms. Gloria Valdez, former deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (Ships), offered her gratitude to everyone who played a role in delivering USS Vermont to service. She said she is proud to represent the crew and the first Block IV Virginia-class submarine to enter service.
“I am very proud of the sailors and families of USS Vermont who worked so hard to bring her to life, and also feel extremely grateful to everyone who played a role preparing her to defend our nation for generations to come,” Valdez said. “I look forward to commemorating this special occasion together with the crew in the future.”
Vermont’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Charles W. Phillips III, highlighted Vermont’s accomplishments over the past several weeks getting through initial sea trials. The hard work and dedication of the entire team during the past few years was evident in the successful execution of at-sea testing. He said he is especially thankful to the crew and their families, ship sponsor Ms. Valdez, and the USS Vermont Commissioning Committee, led by Ms. Debra Martin, for all their hard work and support of the crew.
“We recognize just how important the submarine force is during this era of great power competition. As part of the nation’s maritime asymmetric advantage over our competitors, we are ready to perform whatever duty is most needed. The crew is hungry to hone our skills at-sea and become an effective fighting unit, and we will work tirelessly to justify the nation’s confidence in us. Today marks the culmination of six years of dedicated work by the men and women who constructed the nation’s newest and most capable warship. We are all honored to be part of this historic moment,” Phillips said. “We are also grateful for the families who have supported our sailors through the long process of bringing this warship to life and dedicated their time with patriotism and selfless devotion.”
USS Vermont is the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the “Green Mountain State.” The first Vermont was one of nine 74-gun warships authorized by Congress in 1816. The second Vermont, Battleship No. 20, was commissioned in 1907 and first deployed in December of that same year as part of the “Great White Fleet.” She was decommissioned June 30, 1920.
Vermont is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare.
The submarine is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. The ship’s construction began in May 2014, and it will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century. It is the first the first of 10 Virginia-class Block IV submarines. Block IV submarines incorporate design changes focused on reduced total ownership cost. By making smaller-scale design changes, the Navy will increase the length of time between maintenance stops and increase the number of deployments. (Source: US Navy)
17 Apr 20. Indonesia debuts upgraded F-16 in new livery scheme. Key Points:
- Indonesia has rolled-out its first F-16 upgraded under the Falcon STAR programme
- The aircraft features improved avionics and weapon systems
The Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU) has introduced a new Pewter grey livery scheme for its F-16 A/B airframes that have undergone the Falcon STAR (Structural Augmentation Roadmap) and enhanced mid-life upgrade (EMLU) programme. The new livery, which has been applied to the aircraft with serial number TS-1610, was rolled out on 9 April as part of the TNI-AU’s 74th anniversary celebrations. It previously sported a Tosca green livery scheme. The airframe was showcased in a ‘combat air patrol’ configuration and this included AIM-9X dan AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missiles. However, a military source confirmed with Jane’s on 20 April that the missiles are captive air training missile (CATM) versions of these weapons.
The airframe was also seen with the Sniper electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) advanced targeting pod (ATP) manufactured by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (LMMFC). This equipment is yet to be operationalised pending the delivery of the airframe’s Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance tail kit, the same military source confirmed.
TS-1610 is the first TNI-AU F-16 aircraft to undergo the Falcon STAR and EMLU programme. As part of the upgrades, the airframe was structurally reinforced, and received improved avionics and weapon systems, including interrogator antennae for an identification, friend or foe (IFF) system. (Source: Jane’s)
17 Apr 20. US Army takes delivery of 500th Boeing AH-64E Apache Helicopter. Boeing has delivered its 500th AH-64E Apache Guardian Helicopter to the US Army and defence forces around the world. The company’s Echo model helicopter provides improved performance. It has a joint digital interoperability and creates situational awareness. Additionally, the upgraded helicopter has an increased survivability with reduced operational and support costs.
Boeing said in a statement: “Production, flight test and deliveries of the AH-64E Apache helicopter continue at the Boeing site in Mesa, Arizona.”
First delivered in 2011, the Apache helicopter has been deployed for combat operations and is used to maintain peacekeeping. The multi-role combat helicopter has undergone planned modernisation to ensure its readiness to fulfil its operational requirements worldwide.
The US Army Apache fleet has accumulated more than 4.5 million flight hours. Boeing has delivered more than 2,400 Apaches to customers globally. In November last year, the US Government approved Morocco’s request to purchase 36 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in a deal valued $4.25bn. The contract was drafted under the potential foreign military sale (FMS). Under the FMS, the US approved the sale of the helicopter and its associated equipment to the Government of Morocco.
In May last year, the US State Department approved the sale of 24 Boeing AH-64E helicopters and associated equipment to the Government of Qatar.
Approved under the FMS, the helicopters have been procured to help the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) improve the security of the region.
Other militaries using the Apache helicopter for their defence include India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and the UK. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Apr 20. Embraer Defense & Security and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced the first of 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack, combat and reconnaissance aircraft for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) successfully completed its inaugural flight at the production facility in Jacksonville, Florida. The full fleet of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft for the NAF are currently in production by SNC and Embraer at the Jacksonville facility with delivery to the NAF expected on schedule in 2021. The NAF A-29 aircraft will now begin mission modification and final testing in Centennial, Colorado. Following final testing, before delivery, NAF pilots will train in the aircraft.
“This is an exciting milestone in the production of these A-29s for the Nigerian Air Force. The Jacksonville production line is active, and Embraer and SNC look forward to seeing these aircraft continue to roll off the line in the coming months,” says Jackson Schneider, president & CEO, Embraer Defense & Security.
“The aircraft met or exceeded all the requirements and we are very pleased with the successful flight,” stated Ed Topps, vice president of Tactical Aircraft Systems and programs for SNC’s IAS business area. “SNC and our partner, Embraer, are certain the Nigerian Air Force will be pleased with these aircraft.”
The combat-proven A-29 Super Tucano is the gold standard of light attack combat and reconnaissance aircraft around the world and is designed and built for the mission in Nigeria. The A-29 Super Tucano is the most reliable and cost-effective solution for basic and advanced flight and combat training, close air support operations, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), armed over-watch, counterinsurgency and irregular warfare scenarios. The aircraft has already been selected by 15 air forces around the world to deliver cost-effective close air support and reconnaissance capabilities.
In December 2018, SNC and Embraer Defense & Security were awarded the contract to deliver 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force. The contract for the NAF includes ground training devices, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment, alternate mission equipment, contiguous U.S. interim contractor support, outside of continental U.S. (OCONUS) contractor logistic support and field service representatives for OCONUS support.
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
22 Apr 20. Essye Miller to retire as DOD top deputy CIO. The Defense Department’s principal deputy CIO, Essye Miller, is retiring in June after a nearly four-decade-long career. John Sherman, the intelligence community’s CIO, will take on the role after her departure, DOD announced April 20. Miller previously served as DOD’s acting CIO in 2017, helping bridge a gap in Senate-confirmed leadership before current CIO, Dana Deasy was appointed in May 2018. Miller was also previously DOD’s deputy CIO for cybersecurity, overseeing several initiatives including cyber hygiene protocols, migration to the Joint Regional Security Stacks and increasing DOD’s cyber workforce. Before then, Miller, who received a Fed100 award in 2017, was the Army’s deputy CIO for cybersecurity. Deasy called Miller “a trusted advisor” and “inspiration” who will be missed in a statement. Her retirement is effective June 30 at which point Sherman will take over as principal deputy CIO after almost three years as the intelligence community’s top tech executive. As the IC’s CIO, Sherman pushed IT system modernization and presided over a major overhaul to how agencies shared and used data, while also creating new leadership — an increasingly important asset in the intelligence and defense communities. And like Miller, Sherman had a leadership role with multi-billion dollar cloud procurements and migrations. (Source: Defense Systems)
23 Apr 20. Meggitt cuts 1,800 jobs to save cash as coronavirus hits demand. British engineering company Meggitt (MGGT.L) said it planned to shed about 1,800 jobs as part of a cost cutting plan to cope with a contraction in the world’s air travel market due to the coronavirus pandemic. Meggitt, which makes parts used in planes, said on Thursday that it was too early to provide guidance for this year given the coronavirus crisis, and its focus was on cutting costs.
It said it would reduce its cash expenditure by 400m to 450m pounds ($494m – $556m) in 2020 through the job cuts, plus 20% salary reductions for executives and from lowering capital expenditure and inventory.
The company said that it would cut jobs equivalent to 15% of its global workforce of 12,000 people, but a spokesman said there was no clarity on where those jobs would be lost. Meggitt has facilities in the UK, the U.S., China and elsewhere.
“This action will ensure that our internal capacity across our civil aerospace business reflects the reduction in demand,” said the company, which makes wheels and brakes.
In response to coronavirus, planemakers like Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N) have suspended or cut production after demand for air travel collapsed and most airlines found themselves unable to take delivery of aircraft. Meggitt said, however, that its defence business, which supplies components to military jets, has grown strongly so far this year and it expects that trend to continue throughout 2020. (Source: Reuters)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
20 Apr 20. New Zealand delays international force rotations. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will postpone routine personnel rotations as a result of the travel restrictions introduced globally to tackle COVID-19. Whilst rotations will not take place, the NZFD reiterated that it is not withdrawing any of its forces from existing missions.
RAdm. Jim Gilmour, Commander of Joint Forces New Zealand, said: ‘Usually, we would be rotating personnel on missions after six or 12 months, depending on the nature of the deployment.’
He continued: ‘because of border closures, travel restrictions and other measures imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 we are compelled to postpone several planned rotations.’
The government announced on 20 April that the country will move out of Alert Level 4 lockdown on 27 April at 23:59. The country will then remain at Level 3 lockdown for 14 days until the cabinet decides whether to lift the lockdown on 11 May. (Source: Shephard)
23 Apr 20. BG (select) Jennifer M. Short, executive assistant to the commander, Pacific Air Forces, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to chief of staff, Pacific Air Forces, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
23 Apr 20. Aero Precision announced that it has entered into an agreement with Metro Aerospace, a Dallas company with the exclusive license to supply Lockheed Martin’s Microvanes drag-reduction technology. Strategically surface-mounted on the aft body of rear cargo airframes, Microvanes reshape tail section airflow, reducing the significant amount of drag created on aircrafts like the C-130, C-17, L-100, and KC-135.
“Aero Precision will extend awareness and adoption of Microvanes worldwide,” said Tricia D’Cruz, Managing Director of Metro Aerospace. “Currently in use by fleets across five continents, Microvanes have been proven to reduce fuel consumption, carbon emissions, and engine wear through lower turbine inlet temperatures. As a result, fleets that use them have successfully extended time on mission and increased both range and payload capability, while also reducing refueling, allowing them to get on target faster.”
The Lockheed Martin Service Bulletin 82J-53-042 cites Microvanes’ ability to reduce base drag and provide for a significant increase in fuel efficiency. Aero Precision will procure Microvanes ahead of demand and aim to reach customers around the globe to offer this performance-based enhancement that also pays for itself through the savings it creates.
“Technology innovations are crucial to generating efficiencies in aircraft operating performance,” added Scott Butler, Aero Precision Holdings LP, Vice President of Business Development. “With Microvanes from Metro Aerospace, C-130 aircrew and aircraft will not only save time but also witness reduced cost of operations and extend the life of their aircraft.”
21 Apr 20. Jörg Grotendorst named new Member of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall AG Responsible for the high-tech group’s Automotive unit. Jörg Grotendorst, 50, has been appointed a Member of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall AG. Grotendorst, who currently heads the E-Mobility division of ZF Friedrichshafen, will in future have special responsibility on the Executive Board for the high-tech group’s Automotive unit. In his new role at Rheinmetall, he succeeds end of this year Horst Binnig, who retired at the end of 2019.
In the words of Ulrich Grillo, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Rheinmetall AG, and Armin Papperger, Chairman of the Executive Board, “In Jörg Grotendorst we have gained a strong and talented leader with longstanding experience in the automotive industry and outstanding technical expertise. We are convinced that with him at our side, we can press ahead with the innovative renewal of our product portfolio, tightly oriented to the needs of our customers.”
After graduating in Electrical Engineering, Regulation and Control Technology, Jörg Grotendorst embarked on a career that first included stops at DaimlerChrysler and Ford, where he was responsible for developing electronic applications for chassis. After moving to Continental AG, he headed (among other things) the auto parts supplier’s Hybrid & Electric Vehicle business unit before taking charge of strategy and development in the Powertrain division. Following a stop at Siemens where he served as CEO of the Inside eCar business unit, in 2015 he moved on to ZF Friedrichshafen AG, where he headed the company’s newly founded Electromobility unit, with some 10,000 employees at over twenty locations worldwide, three of them in China.
21 Apr 20. Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced key organization and leadership changes aimed at driving greater cross-company integration and continuous improvement; aligning enterprise services to current business conditions while increasing value; streamlining senior leadership roles and responsibilities; and preparing now for the post-pandemic industry footprint. The changes are effective May 1.
A newly formed group — Enterprise Operations, Finance & Strategy — will consolidate several important areas, bringing together teams responsible for manufacturing, supply chain and operations, finance, enterprise performance, strategy, enterprise services and administration. Led by Greg Smith, executive vice president, Enterprise Operations, and chief financial officer, this new global organization will embed operational excellence and consistent lean principles across Boeing and its supply chain, and restore production and supply chain health as Boeing and the broader aerospace industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Corporate Audit will join Smith’s new group and continue to report directly to the Boeing Board of Directors Audit Committee as it does today, providing independent, objective assurance and advisory services to improve company operations.
Jenette Ramos, senior vice president of Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Operations, will bring 34 years of Boeing experience, leadership and operational skills to a special assignment in support of Smith and Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun.
The company also is combining its legal and core compliance programs, including global trade controls, ethics and business conduct, into a single organization led by Brett Gerry, chief legal officer and executive vice president of Global Compliance. This approach will enhance Boeing’s already strong compliance and internal governance program through focused accountability for, and a more integrated approach to, Boeing compliance responsibilities. It also will help the company proactively address new legal and compliance obligations arising from an increasingly complex global regulatory environment.
To accelerate this important work and to build on the existing strength of its compliance and ethics program, Boeing soon will name a chief compliance officer who will be responsible for leading the company’s compliance, ethics and trade control activities. This person will report to Gerry, with a direct reporting line to Calhoun and the board’s Audit Committee on compliance and ethics issues.
Finally, Boeing Government Operations, led by Executive Vice President Tim Keating, will assume responsibility for the company’s Global Spectrum Management activities, which ensure the safe, efficient and compliant use of radio frequency spectrum in Boeing products and operations.
13 Apr 20. Newly Named Executives at Comtech Telecommunications.
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (NASDAQ: CMTL) (“Comtech”) has promoted Mark Toppenberg and Jeff Harig, each to Co-President of Comtech’s Tempe, Arizona-based subsidiary, Comtech EF Data Corp., plus the promotion of Mark Schmeichel to President of the firm’s Santa Clara, California-based subsidiary, Comtech Xicom Technology, Inc. and the appointment of Michael Plourde as Comtech’s Vice President Global Engineering and Programs.
These changes are intended to strengthen the leadership and drive long-term revenue growth of Comtech’s satellite Earth station solution product lines.
Jeff Harig has been with Comtech EF Data Corp. since 1994 and most recently was Senior Vice President of Government Systems since 2015. Mr. Harig holds a MSEE degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a BSEE from Michigan Technological University.
Mark Toppenberg has been with Comtech EF Data Corp. since 1997 and most recently, in 2015, was Senior Vice President of Global Sales. Mr. Toppenberg holds a BSBA degree from Northern Arizona University and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.
Mark Schmeichel has been with Comtech Xicom Technology, Inc. since 2014 and held the title of Senior Vice President and General Manager. Mr. Schmeichel holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Illinois University.
Michael Plourde has 30 years of experience in the satellite ground station systems industry. Most recently, Mr. Plourde was a member of Globecomm Systems’ executive leadership team, responsible for the global engineering and operations functions of that company. Mr. Plourde holds a BSEE from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts.
In connection with these changes, the Company is also announcing that John Branscum, Senior Vice President of Comtech, will be leaving the Company effectively April 8, 2020. The Company wishes John well and thanks him for his contributions over the years. (Source: Satnews)
20 Apr 20. Letitia Long, who served as director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency from 2010-2014, has joined the board of Parsons Corporation. Long, who was elected to the board by shareholders Tuesday, becomes the 10th board member for the company, which specializes in defense and intelligence requirements, including cybersecurity and space. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
23 Apr 20. Aeronautics Group, a leading provider of integrated solutions based on unmanned systems platforms, payloads and communications for defense, HLS and civil applications ‒ announces today the appointment of Mr. Matan Perry (Perez) to be its new VP Marketing and Business Development.
Perry has been with Aeronautics since 2006, his last position being Marketing & Business Development Director for mainly APAC and Europe. During his years in Aeronautics Matan has been engaged with strategic planning, leading the penetration of new market-places, appointment of local representatives and negotiation with both industry and government customers worldwide. He has also been closely involved in the company’s main projects and has been responsible for the build-up of clients’ first UAV squadrons in their own territory.
As a Lieutenant Col. (Reserve) Matan brought with him to Aeronautics his 20 years operational and commanding experience and his acquaintance with a variety of UAV platform types.
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