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30 Jun 20. Skydweller Aero Inc., a U.S.-Spanish aerospace company developing renewably powered aircraft for defense and commercial industries, announced the establishment of their corporate headquarters and engineering operations in Oklahoma City and testing and integration in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Skydweller plans to increase operations to 120 aerospace engineering and field technician jobs in Oklahoma by 2024.

“It has been my pleasure to work closely with the leadership team at Skydweller, and I am thrilled they have decided to locate their new headquarters in Oklahoma. Our state’s commitment to aviation and aerospace makes Oklahoma City an ideal choice for a cutting-edge company with a commitment to advancing the industry. At a time when job creation and economic growth are so vital, we are excited that Skydweller will be hiring our bright engineers and helping to enrich our state’s economy,” said Governor Kevin Stitt.

Founded in 2017, Skydweller recently closed a Series A funding round in September 2019. The company currently has offices in the Washington, D.C. area, Madrid and Valdepeñas, Spain. This rapidly growing multi-national startup will be recruiting top-tier aerospace and software engineering talent to further the development and deployment of their ultra-persistent, unmanned aircraft in both locations over the coming years. (Source: PR Newswire)

26 Jun 20. Mack Defense Headquarters Relocates to the Mack Customer Center. To better serve customers, as well as enhance its capability to support military and government contracts, Mack Defense has relocated its headquarters to the Mack Customer Center (MCC) located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The move, which was recently completed, also provides Mack Defense additional working space and access to other MCC amenities.

“The Mack Customer Center is an outstanding facility and presents our company and the Mack brand in a way we could not replicate at our previous location,” said David Hartzell, president, Mack Defense. “We have easier access to a number of unique features at the MCC, such as the test track and industrial space, while still retaining the robust security requirements that are required when working on military contracts.”

Military and government contracts often include classified information, which requires additional security measures. Mack Defense worked with the U.S. Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) and the MCC facility team to ensure the required physical and technological security requirement are in place.

In addition to meeting security needs, the new space also offers prospective customers a more complete representation of Mack Defense and its capabilities.

“When hosting current and prospective customers, the MCC facility paints a completely different picture than our previous location, demonstrating the wide range of solutions we can offer our customers,” said Hartzell.

Mack Defense’s move was timed specifically to utilize the enhanced capabilities available at the MCC to support the current active contract with the U.S. Army to provide heavy dump trucks. Mack Defense was awarded a firm-fixed-price $296m contract in May 2018 from the U.S. Army to produce up to 683 M917A3 Heavy Dump Trucks (HDT).

26 Jun 20. USAF to transfer responsibility of JB Anacostia-Bolling to US Navy. The US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the transfer of the lead responsibility of Joint Base (JB) Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, US. The transfer of JB Anacostia-Bolling from the navy to the airforce will take place in October this year. The MOA was signed by USAF Vice Chief Staff general Stephen Wilson and Naval Operations Vice Chief admiral William Lescher.

Transfer of the service at JB Anacostia-Bolling also set into effect changes at JB Andrews in Maryland.

In March, the organisational changes were approved at both bases.

All subordinate group and squadron functions were prepared by the 11th Wing on JB Anacostia-Bolling to support host-unit requirements for approximately 70 mission partners.

Host wing on JB Andrews was transferred from the 11th Wing to the 316th Wing.

With the MoA, the navy could initiate a resource transfer of more than 900 appropriated and non-appropriated fund civilian positions.

It also transferred $645m to the airforce and mission partner-support requirements.

In October 2010, the Support Facility-Anacostia and Bolling Air Force Base initially combined as a joint base under navy authority.

The 11th Wing on JB Anacostia-Bolling is scheduled to meet initial operating capability this year. It is expected to reach full operating capability by October 2022.

Wilson said: “More than half of the mission sets on JBAB fall under the airforce, so it made sense for us to assume the responsibility for prioritising installation and mission-support resourcing at the base.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)


02 Jul 20. HMS Queen Elizabeth on the cusp of operations after 70-day workout. Britain’s biggest warship today returned home to Portsmouth for the first time as a fully-trained aircraft carrier.

Future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth has cleared her penultimate hurdle for front-line duties after ten hugely-demanding weeks around the UK, preparing for her maiden deployment in the new year.

A final package of training in the autumn – working alongside NATO and US allies – will confirm her ability to act as a task group flagship, so that she can lead a potent carrier strike force on front-line operations anywhere in the world.

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth is an extraordinary ship crewed by extraordinary people from both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

“They deployed at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak and have remained at sea for over 10 weeks so that they could complete their operational training with the minimal risk of infection.

“They’ve put their duty to our country ahead of spending time with their families during the pandemic and in the process, they’ve taken us a step closer to, once again, having a carrier strike capability with the capacity to project British influence across the globe.”

In view of the size and complexity of the carrier, she received a dedicated training package, initially off the south coast, to test the ability of all 1,100 men and women on board to deal with everything they might expect to face in peace and war.

The training package reached its climax with 18 fictional fire and flood incidents raging simultaneously – with the ship expected to continue flying operations while damage control teams toiled in the carrier’s depths.

“Given the sheer size of the ship, Operational Sea Training has been a learning curve for all involved,” said Lieutenant Commander Si Bailey, one of the 46-strong team of assessors on board.

“It’s been a challenging time for HMS Queen Elizabeth, but the ship’s company and embarked personnel have been receptive to the training and advice – and have done so with a smile.”

Having passed that assessment, the carrier shifted to the North Sea to welcome F-35 Lightnings from 617 Squadron, better known as The Dambusters.

It’s the first time operational UK F-35s have worked with Queen Elizabeth and they faced a punishing schedule once aboard, completing a record number of landings on the flight deck.

The future of Carrier Strike is a truly joint effort and the Royal Navy has worked closely with the RAF throughout the development of the carrier.

617 squadron – based at RAF Marham and comprising both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel – progressed from qualifying pilots in the art of landing on and taking off from a moving warship by day and night all the way up to the first ‘four-ship package’: launching four F-35s on a combat sortie in rapid succession.

The fighters shared the flight deck with submarine hunting Merlin helicopters of 820 Naval Air Squadron from RNAS Culdrose. In all the fast jets and helicopters touch down on Queen Elizabeth 830 times in all weathers, at all times of day.

The collective training ended with a five-day test of the ship to defend against threats in the air, on the sea and beneath the waves, herself using F-35s, Merlins and frigate HMS Kent.

In the 70 days since leaving Portsmouth at the end of April, the carrier has been almost exclusively at sea and clocked up 11,500 miles – the equivalent of the distance from her home base to Auckland, New Zealand.

“The ship’s company have worked incredibly hard over the past 70 days, making every effort to surpass the high standards set by our assessors,” said Captain Angus Essenhigh, HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commanding Officer.

“They have come through with flying colours which means Her Majesty’s Ship Queen Elizabeth has taken a huge step towards sailing on her maiden deployment, flying the flag for the United Kingdom and demonstrating that we are a global naval power with global ambitions.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth will now enjoy planned maintenance in Portsmouth before task group training later in the year, which will also see the ship work with two F-35 squadrons for the first time. (Source: Royal Navy)

30 Jun 20. US Navy commences construction of fourth ESB ship. The US Navy has announced that the construction of the fourth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship has officially commenced.

The General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, California, is developing the vessel designated as ESB 6. ESB ships are designed as flexible platforms to support the logistical movements and deployment of forces for various military operations.

Program Executive Office – Ships strategic and theater sealift program manager Tim Roberts said: “This is a great navy day as we mark the start of construction on the fourth ship in a class of flexible, adaptable ships that will provide our combatant commanders with enhanced capabilities.

“The ESB platform has proven to be a valuable addition to the navy and Marine Corps battle force.”

Typically, ESBs support Aviation Mine Countermeasure and Special Operations Force missions.

Such vessels feature a flight deck and a hangar to support MH-53E equivalent helicopter landings. The ESBs include accommodations, work spaces and ordnance storage for embarked force. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

The ships are also equipped with command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) to support the embarked force with mission planning and execution. Last year, the navy commissioned all ESB ships to equip them for a broader mission set. A navy O-6 commands the ESBs with a crew comprising military personnel and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners. NASSCO has also been contracted for building the ESB 7, with an option for constructing the ESB 8. (Source: naval-technology.com)


01 Jul 20. The H160 receives EASA approval. Airbus Helicopters’ multi-role twin engine H160 has been granted its type certificate by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), marking a new chapter for the programme. The company is expecting FAA certification to follow shortly prior to first delivery to an undisclosed US customer later this year.

“The successful completion of the H160 Type Certificate is the result of several years of tremendous work and efforts accomplished jointly by the involved technical teams of the Agency and Airbus Helicopters in a remarkable fruitful cooperation spirit,” EASA Certification Director Rachel Daeschler said. “It is the result of thorough design and testing efforts, to ensure the highest safety standards are reached. The design of the H160 makes it suitable for a wide range of versatile missions. It is also one of the most environmentally friendly with respect to fuel consumption and one of the quietest helicopters of its class.

My personal appreciation and warmest congratulations are conveyed to the involved technical staff who continuously showed high commitment for constructive collaboration to overcome the challenges inherent to this type certification project,” she added.

“We are proud that the H160 has received its EASA type certificate. This achievement represents years of hard work designing, industrializing and defining the support ecosystem with our suppliers and partners and I would like to thank everyone who has dedicated their time and energy to turning this next generation helicopter into reality,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “I now look forward to the H160 entering into service and offering its innovative features that bring competitiveness alongside additional comfort and safety to customers worldwide,” he added.

Airbus Helicopters relied on three prototypes, the first serial aircraft, and two additional test means, the dynamic helicopter zero and the system helicopter zero, to develop and certify the aircraft and continues to mature the aircraft ahead of entry into service. The helicopters have flown over 1500 hours both for flight tests and demo flights so that customers can experience first-hand the innovation and added value the H160 will bring to their missions.

Designed as a multi-role helicopter able to perform a wide range of missions such as offshore transportation, emergency medical services, private and business aviation, and public services, the H160 integrates Airbus Helicopters’ latest technological innovations. These include breakthrough safety features with Helionix’s accrued pilot assistance and automated features as well as flight envelop protection. The helicopter also provides passengers with superior comfort thanks to the sound-reducing Blue Edge blades and superb external visibility that benefits both passengers and pilots.

H160 was not just designed with passengers and pilots in mind. Operators will appreciate its competiveness thanks to its increased fuel efficiency and customer-centric simplified maintenance eco-system: equipment accessibility has been facilitated by the helicopter’s optimised architecture, the maintenance plan was thoroughly verified during the Operator Zero campaigns, and it is delivered with intuitive 3D maintenance documentation.

30 Jun 20. Boeing Delivers 2,500th AH-64 Apache Helicopter. Boeing [NYSE: BA] recently delivered its 2,500th AH-64 Apache helicopter, an E-model Apache for the U.S. Army, from the company’s production line in Mesa, Arizona. The first production AH-64, an A-model Apache, rolled off the assembly line on September 30, 1983, and was delivered by Boeing heritage company McDonnell Douglas to the U.S. Army in January 1984. Today, Boeing is producing and delivering AH-64E helicopters to a growing list of customers around the world.

“The Apache has built an impressive legacy of success, and is well-positioned to bring relevant technologies and capabilities that defense forces require today and in the future,” said Kathleen Jolivette, vice president of Attack Helicopter programs and senior Mesa site executive. “Company teammates and suppliers worldwide are focused on assembling, delivering and supporting U.S. and global customers working to deter aggression and defend freedom. Apache is ready to have a key role in the future of multi-domain operations.”

Today’s E-model Apache features integrated technologies including communications and navigation capabilities to enhance situational awareness and coordination; a new, faster multi-core mission processor for advanced systems integration; and maritime capability in the Fire Control Radar for watercraft detection and identification along with a shorter engagement timeline. The helicopter’s improved drive system includes a split-torque face gear transmission, a 701D engine and composite main rotor blades that ensure the Apache succeeds as a highly stable aerial weapons-delivery platform.

Selected by, or in service today with the U.S. Army and the defense forces of 15 nations, Apache helicopters are slated to fulfill the requirements of aviators and battlefield commanders for decades to come. Planned modernization has ensured that Apaches have evolved with revolutionary technologies. Today’s helicopters feature capabilities for resiliency in multi-mission operational environments.

“As a former Army aviator with military service dating back to October 1978 and later selected to fly the first AH-64A and later the AH-64D model Apaches, it’s a thrill today to be a part of the crews who complete flight testing on aircraft during development and prior to delivery to customers,” said Dave Guthrie, Boeing’s chief pilot for Apache programs. “I know that I’m part of this helicopter’s history and its future.”

Legacy Apache deliveries, including new-build and remanufactured helicopters, include 937 A-models through 1997, more than 1,000 AH-64Ds between 1997 and 2013, and more than 500 E-models since 2011.

30 Jun 20. India to receive six Rafale aircraft amid border tensions with China. India is set to receive six fully loaded Rafale fighter aircraft with the long-range Meteor air-to-air missiles, amid the ongoing border disputes with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. The Rafales have a strike range capacity of 150km and are expected to be delivered by July this year. Once delivered, the aircraft will enhance the air strike capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF), providing an edge over the Chinese Air Force. Undisclosed government sources told ANI: “Depending upon the situation and the ongoing training of IAF pilots in France, we may get six Rafales by July-end.

“The aircraft will be arriving with their full package and will be made operational within few days itself.”

In September 2016, India signed a contract with France for 36 Rafales for the IAF. The jets are expected to be delivered by April 2022. Originally, the airforce had scheduled the delivery of four Rafales, including three twin-seater trainer versions. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

26 Jun 20. The CH-53K KING STALLION has recently completed a two-week period of sea trials onboard the USS WASP, a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship operated by the U.S. Navy.

“I’m very pleased with how the ship tests went,” said Col. Jack Perrin, H-53 helicopters programme manager. “We were able to assess the K taking off and landing day, night, and with night vision goggles and it performed extremely well.”

According to the CH-53K integrated test team, the sea trials are a series of tests to evaluate the performance of the aircraft at sea. Tests performed during the two weeks included: launch and recovery, rotor start and shutdown, blade fold and shipboard compatibility testing

All of this was conducted in increased wind speed and varying wind directions relative to the aircraft. “The bulk of the testing was in launch and recovery,” said Perrin.

“We nailed it every time, no matter what the wind/sea conditions were. The 53K is now a “feet-wet” warrior from the sea,” he added.

Ship compatibility testing includes towing the aircraft around the deck and in the hangar, performing maintenance while aboard the ship, ensuring the aircraft fits in all the locations it needs to and evaluating chain/tie-down procedures. The CH-53K within the reprogrammed timeline, moving toward completion of developmental test, leading to initial operational test and evaluation in 2021 and first fleet deployment in 2023-2024, according to Perrin. Full-scale production of the CH-53K has begun at the Sikorsky plant in Connecticut, with 31 aircraft currently at different stages of completion.

The CH-53K was designed and built to the exacting standards of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) to replace the current fleet of CH-53E helicopters as its critical land and sea based logistics connector. The CH053K will allow the USMC and international militaries to move troops and equipment from ship to shore and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than before. The CH-53K has recently completed several inflight refuelling tests with a USMC KC-130J SUPER HERCULES tanker. It is also being pitched for various export contracts including a competition against the CH-47 CHINOOK in Germany’s Heavy Transport Helicopter programme. (Source: ESD Spotlight)

29 Jun 20. Everything you need to know about UK PM’s rebranded private aircraft. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) last week revealed the new Union Flag livery of its VIP Voyager aircraft used to transport the Prime Minister and senior officials to overseas visits. But the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport also remains an operational air-to-air refuelling and strategic transport aircraft.

Repainted for £900,000 the VIP Voyager is also available to transport the British Royal Family on overseas visits. The RAF and the Government have said that the aircraft new UK paint scheme would promote the UK and the mission of ‘global Britain’.

When not being used for transporting members of the Government the VIP ‘Vespina’ Voyager remains an active part of the UK’s air-to-air refuelling and personnel transport fleet. The RAF said the new paint scheme stemmed from refurbishment plans laid down in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

The officer in charge of the project, RAF Air Commodore Simon Edwards said: “This project was a privilege to have been involved in and I am delighted to have seen it delivered so quickly and efficiently, together with our industry partners. The aircraft’s new paint scheme will better reflect its prestige role which we are proud to undertake.”

As the aircraft is part of the RAF, funding for the project came from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) budget. In a written answer to Parliament, Defence Minister Jeremy Quinn said the RAF had ‘not raised any security implications’ in regards to the new paint scheme.

The VIP Voyager has been used for 25 ministerial trips since April 2016.

All about the Voyager

The Voyager or Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), is an Airbus-built tanker and personnel transport built on the body of the company’s commercial Airbus A330 passenger airliner.

The aircraft’s primary users include the RAF, Royal Saudi Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and the United Arab Emirates Air Force.

In the UK, the RAF operates two variants; the KC2 Voyager which is equipped with two underwing refuelling pods, and the KC3 Voyager which adds a centreline hose that can be used to refuel larger aircraft like strategic bombers.

Unlike some aerial refuelling aircraft which include extra fuel tanks, the Voyager uses its existing fuel tankers for aerial refuelling; this means that the aircraft seating capacity and cargo hold are available for personnel and equipment or in the case of the VIP Voyager, official travel.

The VIP Voyager can carry 111 tonnes of aircraft fuel.

VIP Voyager on operations

Shortly after returning to RAF Brize Norton following its repainting, the VIP Voyager aircraft took part in Exercise Crimson Ocean where it refuelled Eurofighter Typhoons and Lockheed Martin F-35s while sporting its new livery.

Commenting on the exercise and the aircraft RAF Wing Commander Alistair Scott said: “The new livery looks superb but the reality is that flying this aircraft is no different to any of the other aircraft that make up the Voyager Force.

“It is capable of conducting the same essential defence tasks, not least of which is the air-to-air refuelling role that allows us to deploy our Typhoon and Lightning aircraft to every corner of the globe. Taking part in Exercise Crimson Ocean is a great opportunity to show what Voyager can do.”

No, the flag is not the wrong way round

When the aircraft paint job was revealed some were quick to believe that the Union Flag on the aircraft’s tail was the wrong way round, however, in reality, that is not the case.

The tail flag is designed to look as though it is flying from a flagpole on the nose of the aircraft. While one side of the flag may look as though it is the wrong way round, in reality, it is how the flag would look if it was flying. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

29 Jun 20. Embraer delivered the third multi-mission medium airlift C-390 Millennium in the series to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The aircraft will be operated by First Troop Transport Group (1st GGT). Similar to the first two units delivered in 2019 and the additional 25 which will be delivered to the FAB, this third unit is prepared to perform aerial refueling missions, with the KC-390 Millennium designation.

The C-390 Millennium was developed as a joint project between the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer to set new standards for efficiency and productivity in its category, while delivering the lowest life-cycle cost in the medium airlift market. The aircraft, which has also received orders from the Portuguese Government, can perform a variety of military and civilian missions, including humanitarian missions, medical evacuation, search and rescue, aerial firefighting, cargo and troop transport, aerial delivery and aerial refueling.

“Receiving the third KC-390 Millennium aircraft is a matter of great satisfaction for the Air Force Command, because it will be supporting the missions already underway by the other two aircraft. The greatest example is the aircraft’s use for the aerial transport of supplies and equipment for combating and preventing COVID-19, within the operation coordinated by the Ministry of Defense, which represents an important initiative for Brazilian society,” said the Brazilian Air Force Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez.

“We are proud to see the C-390 Millennium in service and to witness the customer’s satisfaction with the proven execution of the combination of requirements, as defined by FAB, and demonstrated by the aircraft, as developed by Embraer,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “The C-390 Millennium has been successfully used in FAB humanitarian missions to combat COVID-19, demonstrating, in practice, its operational abilities and its importance for the country.”

Since the end of March 2020, the Brazilian Air Force has used two KC-390 Millennium aircraft in missions which have transported tons of essential supplies to combat COVID-19 in Brazil. Through mid-June, the health supplies transported included an ambulance, a cell health unit, an oxygen plant, more than 130,000 pairs of surgical gloves, 17,000 N95 masks, 4,080 pairs of glasses, 14,600 units of alcohol gel and 8,800 aprons, as well as logistical and hospital supplies. Among other points highlighted by FAB in the use of the KC-390 Millennium, the aircraft has been helpful in its ability to carry massive amounts of cargo, quickly, over long distances, with high dispatch reliability. As an example, the aircraft flew 2,690 kilometers, from São Paulo to Manaus, in less than four hours.

Equipped with two International Aero Engines V2500 turbofan engines, the latest avionics, a rear ramp and an advanced cargo handling system, the C-390 Millennium is capable of carrying up to 26 metric tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h), with ability to operate in austere environments, including from unpaved or damaged runways. The aircraft can carry troops, pallets, armored wheeled vehicles and helicopters. In order to maximize the operational availability of the KC-390 Millennium fleet in the fulfillment of various missions, FAB and Embraer Services & Support signed a comprehensive five-year services and support contract.

26 Jun 20. UK rolls out VIP Voyager. The United Kingdom has rolled out an Airbus A330 Voyager tanker-transport aircraft painted in a special VIP livery for use by senior government officials and members of the royal family. Seen on its public debut, Voyager ZZ336 has been bedecked in a bespoke livery for the VIP role, although ministers and military officials insist it will not affect the aircraft’s operational role as a tanker-transport. (Crown Copyright)

The aircraft, named ‘Vespina’, made its debut appearance in its bespoke GBP900,000 (USD1.1m) paint scheme at the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group facility in Cambridgeshire on 25 June.

“The aircraft now proudly displays the Union Flag alongside Royal Air Force markings and is ready to represent the UK across the globe,” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. (Source: Jane’s)

19 Jun 20. Royal New Zealand Air Force receives King Air 350 aircraft. This concludes the delivery of all four aircraft under a ten-year contract. It comprised a King Air 350 sensor and non-sensor twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Additionally, the company provided engineering and logistics support for the aircraft and associated ground training systems. The aircraft will be used by the RNZAF’s 42 Squadron based at Ohakea in NZ.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “This is a significant defence export by a local company, demonstrating the capability of Australia’s defence industry as a global exporter.

“Supporting Australia’s defence industry remains a priority, particularly through the Covid-19 recovery phase, and there are many opportunities for Australian and NZ businesses to work together.

The project was managed and engineered by Hawker Pacific’s Special Missions design team in Sydney, Australia.

Once developed, the installation and testing were conducted at the company’s facility in Bankstown.

The aircrew training capability contract includes the lease and performance-based support of the KA350 fleet to be modified with airborne and ground systems.

Specialist systems for the aircraft were delivered by MAROPS and Rockwell Collins.

Price added: “NZ is one of Australia’s closest friends and defence partners. Trans-Tasman cooperation is strengthening our already strong bilateral relationship.

“Just recently, the Minister for Defence and I spoke with NZ Defence Minister the Hon Ron Mark about working together in the fight against Covid-19.”

Last month, the Australian Department of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology signed a strategic agreement with Gold Coast company Gilmour Space Technologies to work on space technologies. (Source: airforce-technology.com)


02 Jul 20. Boeing to pull the plug on its 747 jumbo jet: Bloomberg News. Boeing Co (BA.N) is pulling the plug on its 747 jumbo jet, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday. The 747 democratized global air travel in the 1970s but fell behind modern twin-engine passenger jets. The last 747-8 will roll out of a Seattle area factory in about two years, according to the Bloomberg report. (bloom.bg/38n5A8p) When contacted by Reuters, Boeing did not confirm the Bloomberg report. “At a build rate of 0.5 airplanes per month, the 747-8 program has more than two years of production ahead of it in order to fulfill our current customer commitments,” a Boeing spokesman told Reuters. “We will continue to make the right decisions to keep the production line healthy and meet customer needs.” (Source: Reuters)

01 Jul 20. Airbus slashes 15,000 jobs as sector reels from collapse in travel. Biggest single cut in passenger jet business as aircraft maker faces ‘gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced.’ Airbus is slashing 15,000 jobs, marking the biggest single reduction in its passenger jet business since the creation of Europe’s flagship aircraft maker 20 years ago. The cuts, forced by the collapse in air travel as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, come as Guillaume Faury, chief executive, warned that he did not expect air traffic to recover to 2019 levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025. The job cuts account for roughly 17 per cent of the group’s 90,000-strong commercial aerospace workforce and have been carefully calibrated to avoid rivalry between unions in France and Germany. Roughly 5,000 jobs will go in each country, with a further 1,700 in the UK, 900 in Spain and the rest worldwide. The reduction was expected to be complete by next summer, the group said.  “Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus chief executive. “The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic. Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader.”  Airbus really has no choice but to take these steps on staffing Rob Stallard, aerospace analyst at Vertical Research However, the cuts, just weeks after Paris unveiled a €15bn rescue package for the aerospace and aviation industries, were immediately criticised by both the French government and unions.

They were “excessive”, said the French finance ministry. Force Ouvrière, the main Airbus union, said the number of job cuts was “unacceptable” and it would reject any attempt to impose compulsory redundancies. The job losses, 50 per cent higher than the 10,000 imposed in 2007 under a swingeing restructuring code-named Power8, highlight the scale of the challenge facing the global aerospace and aviation industries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Many analysts forecast no return to 2019 levels of demand before 2022 at the earliest, while some equally predict the aviation industry could be up to 50 per cent smaller in the near future. Rob Stallard, aerospace analyst at Vertical Research, said: “There’s still more uncertainty in aviation than is perhaps reflected in the equity market at the moment, but unfortunately Airbus really has no choice but to take these steps on staffing.” Mr Faury expressed hope that some of the planned job cuts could be mitigated by an extension of furlough schemes that would allow the group to retain crucial skills for a return to growth. France and Germany had indicated they might extend subsidies for part-time working for up to two years, he suggested. The workers on furlough would be “rotated so people stay current”, he said. “Nobody is happy with 15,000 [job cuts].

But in a sign of the continuing pressure on the industry, Air Canada said on Tuesday it was suspending service on 30 domestic regional routes and planned to close eight stations at regional airports. The curtailment of services comes after the Canadian carrier said in May that it would cut 20,000 workers, more than half its 38,000-strong workforce. The Montreal company has already reduced capacity by 85 per cent compared with the second quarter of last year. It said it expected third-quarter capacity to equal about 75 per cent of 2019’s third quarter. “Air Canada expects the industry’s recovery will take a minimum of three years,” the company said. “As a consequence, other changes to its network and schedule, as well as further service suspensions, will be considered over the coming weeks.” Meanwhile Air France is aiming to cut about 7,500 jobs as the airline struggles to cope with the economic effects of coronavirus.

The airline, which makes up half of the Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM group, will aim to cut 6,500 jobs from Air France and another 1,000 jobs from its regional airline Hop by the end of 2022. Crunch talks with unions on the cuts are due to start on Friday. The news was first reported by Agence France-Presse and confirmed by people familiar with the matter. In April, Airbus and Boeing slashed production rates as customers cancelled and deferred orders. Airbus cut output of its popular A320 single-aisle aircraft by a third and made deeper cuts of 40 per cent and more to its A350 and A330 widebody aircraft. Boeing reduced production rates by similar levels and announced it would cut about 10 per cent of its 160,000-strong global workforce. Those production cuts triggered a cascade of rationalisations at suppliers such as Rolls-Royce, General Electric and Safran. Industry executives expect further cuts to spiral down through the global supply chain in the second half as smaller suppliers face a crippling cash squeeze.  Airbus, which employs 135,000 people worldwide in aerospace and defence, said it would begin consultations with unions on the job cuts. It would not rule out compulsory redundancies but said it hoped to limit the impact by “relying on all available social measures, including voluntary departures, early retirement, and long-term partial unemployment schemes where appropriate”. (Source: FT.com)



24 Jun 20. This morning the UK Ministry of Defence launched the SERVE (Service for Experienced, Re-joiner and Volunteer Engagements) job-finder website. Visit the SERVE website to discover reserve, re-joiner and wider opportunities in the UK Armed Forces and to stay connected with defence. The website is free and easy to use. It can be used by all regular and reserve service personnel, Veterans; and anyone interested in staying connected with defence.

SERVE modernises the experience of finding opportunities in the armed forces by using technology, which will help to increase the adaptability and sustainability of the military workforce so it can adjust to the demands of defence capabilities whilst delivering greater efficiency and effectiveness.

SERVE advertises Reserve, re-joiner and wider opportunities across all three services, including joint organisations, in one place. It is available through any internet-connected device such as a mobile, desktop or tablet.

Users can explore opportunities across the full range of reserve commitment types, from full time reserve service and additional duties commitment, to short-term tasks; along with re-joiner opportunities. Searches can be refined by Service, location, branch/cap badge, rank, engagement type or length, specialism, or any combination of these. Once registered, users can set up notifications, so they receive email alerts when new, relevant, opportunities are posted.

SERVE’s information panels will cover a range of subjects from defence announcements and recruitment campaigns for trade skills, through to signposts to tools and support on other websites.

SERVE will continue to be developed and updated over time to offer users the best experience.

  • Service for Experienced, Re-joiner and Volunteer Engagements
  • (Source: Joint Forces)

01 Jul 20. Brigade Quarantines After Arriving in Germany in Support of Atlantic Resolve. About 250 soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s 101st Combat Aviation Brigade have arrived in Germany for a nine-month rotation as part of the regionally allocated forces supporting Atlantic Resolve.

When fully deployed, the brigade consists of about 2,000 personnel, 50 UH-60 and HH-60 Black Hawks; 4 CH-47 Chinooks; 25 AH-64 Apaches; and more than 1,800 wheeled vehicles and pieces of equipment. During Atlantic Resolve, the brigade will be training alongside forces from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

This will be the sixth brigade-sized rotational aviation unit to support Atlantic Resolve, which is designed to build readiness, increase interoperability and enhance the bonds between ally and partner militaries with multinational training events, officials said.

“The hard work from these soldiers really helped set the conditions for what’s going to be an incredible deployment for the Wings of Destiny,” said Army Col. Travis Habhab, the commander of the 101st CAB. “We are on our way to build readiness overseas, become a more lethal unit, increase the capability of our partners and deter enemy threats. Our soldiers have started off at a great pace. I am confident that their hard work will continue throughout the next nine months, and they’re going to make everyone in the 101st proud.”

The fact the United States Army and the entire Department of Defense has been able to continue to be world-wide deployable, to meet missions and find ways to do this really testifies to the amazing things the men and women in uniform can do.”

Army Lt. Col. Benjamin Ingram, brigade surgeon, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, 7th Army Training Command

Prior to arriving in Europe, the brigade conducted a rigorous train-up, including individual and crew skill tasks, gunnery qualification and multiple training exercises at the National Training Center and the Joint Readiness Training Center while simultaneously combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Coronavirus threw things off a little bit, but we were able to adapt and overcome,” said Army Maj. Jay Berger, the executive officer for 101 CAB. “[We] were practicing social distancing … and proper sanitation while we were conducting our train-up to come here. We had to get a little more creative with some of our key training events, but overall we maintained our readiness and timeline to deploy.”

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the brigade will spend two weeks at Camp Kasserine in Grafenwoehr, Germany, isolated in small groups, before moving to forward locations alongside allies and partners.

“With COVID being both present in the United States and Germany, we wanted to make sure, for our host nation partners, that we do not bring any infections into the area,” said Army Lt. Col. Benjamin Ingram,the brigade surgeon for 41st Field Artillery Brigade, 7th Army Training Command. “Right now [Germany] is decreasing in the number of COVID cases, so we are testing 100 percent of the 101st soldiers, or any other soldier coming into our area of operations for summer training, for COVID-19 followed by a two-week quarantined period to make sure we do not have any false negative tests.”

The soldiers were transported by contracted buses from Albrecht Duerer Airport Nurnberg to Camp Kasserine to decrease any chances of cross-contamination. Upon arrival, combat medics assigned to 41st Field Artillery Brigade immediately briefed the incoming soldiers on the camp’s procedures, provided medical sheets for them to keep track of their symptoms over a 14-day period and conducted COVID-19 testing.

The 7th Army Training Command structured the camp into four separate areas made up of tents and amenities such as laundry, showers and hot chow for each location. Each soldier is given 72 square feet of personal space as well as access to physical fitness resources available on a scheduled basis. The soldiers are separated into the small groups according to the date of their arrival, so if a group tests positive for the virus, it would not affect the remaining soldiers.

“The first and foremost important thing is [ensuring] force health protection,” Ingram said. “If we find out that someone is a carrier of COVID-19, we can identify them early, and anyone else they may have affected, and put them in isolation to help protect the larger force, which ensures we are combat deployment ready.”

Despite being isolated for two weeks, the 101st CAB is eager to conduct multinational training in Europe for the next nine months. The unit will have plenty of opportunities to hone their skills during the rotation.

”Everyone’s excited to be here for this rotation,” Berger said. ”We are excited to link in with our partners and host nations here and to increase our interoperability amongst our NATO allies. The 101st Airborne Division has history over here in Europe… [I’m ready] to train and focus on readiness for us and our host nations partners and interoperability to make us all stronger.”

During the two weeks spent in isolation, the aviation brigade plans to conduct lower-level, individual training such as Sergeant Time’s Training.

“[Training] didn’t stop back in Fort Campbell, and it won’t stop now,” Berger said. “We are still mission-focused.”

Although the world paused for a moment due to the outbreak of COVID-19, U.S. Army Europe’s efforts to increase interoperability and strengthen the NATO alliance and partnership between the U.S. and host nations did not.

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented world problem which has been difficult for every nation in the world to tackle,” Ingram said. ”The fact the United States Army and the entire Department of Defense has been able to continue to be world-wide deployable, to meet missions and find ways to do this really testifies to the amazing things the men and women in uniform can do.”

The deployment of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe. Through bilateral, joint and multinational training, Atlantic Resolve builds readiness, increases interoperability and enhances the bond between ally and partner militaries. (Source: US DoD)

30 Jun 20. Congress moves to block Trump’s Germany troop withdrawal plans. Congress is readying proposals to rebuke President Donald Trump’s plans to pull about 10,000 U.S. troops from Germany amid dissatisfaction with the administration’s rationale for the move and concerns it will weaken NATO.

As Trump confirmed rumored plans to draw down American military personnel levels in Germany in the coming months, a bipartisan group of senators led by Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney proposed an amendment to the Senate’s version of the annual defense policy bill that would freeze troop numbers in Germany.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., said separately Tuesday that the plan seemed strategically unsound and that Congress should block the administration until it makes its case. Legislative action is likely in the House on Wednesday when Smith’s panel marks up the HASC version of the bill.

“It is possible that there is a scenario where repositioning troops out of Germany is in our national security interests. The president has not made that case to date, the [Department of Defense] has not made that case to date, and the president is doing it in a very haphazard manner,” Smith told reporters.

“We need to know what they’re talking about, and it’s appropriate for the moment to say: ‘Yeah, hold up until we know where you’re going and what you’re doing on this.’ We don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Trump said during an Oval Office meeting last week with Polish leader Andrzej Duda that the U.S. plans to move some troops from Germany to Poland, and that some troops “will be coming home.” He repeated accusations that Germany has been “delinquent in their payments” to the NATO security alliance.

Though Trump did not disclose the troop numbers involved, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said in a Wall Street Journal essay this month that the U.S. will reduce its permanently stationed force in Germany from 34,500 troops to 25,000.

“The Cold War practice of garrisoning large numbers of troops with their families on massive bases in places like Germany is now, in part, obsolete,” he wrote.

The Pentagon has said it is working options with U.S. European Command to meet Trump’s directive. Based on the U.S. agreement with Poland, the U.S. will add a division headquarters, a combat training center, an unmanned aircraft squadron and structure to support an Army brigade that could rotate in and out of the country.

An amendment in the House Armed Serviced Committee to counter that move is likely, according to the top Republican on the panel, Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas. He’s among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who have expressed concern and deep skepticism about the drawdown plans, which would “benefit the Russians,” “disillusion our allies” and create a logistical headache for the DoD, he said.

“It’s totally unrealistic that you would take thousands of people out of Europe by Sept. 30. Where would you put them? Where’s the housing?” Thornberry told reporters separately on Monday. “Part of the reason I was so concerned about this is I think this idea or this plan ― such as it is ― came from a couple of people in the White House with input really from DoD.”

“There has to be some tie to strategy and our national interest, not issues of personality and so forth,” he said. “I think we will do something [at the HASC markup], and hopefully cooler heads are prevailing.”

The Romney amendment would prevent funds from being used to reduce the number of troops serving in Germany below 34,500 until the defense secretary verifies for Congress the move would not harm NATO, U.S. military operations or military families. There would also have to be assurances the administration consulted allies and that relocating troops would not result in significant costs.

Romney’s co-sponsors include Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Chris Coons, D-Del.; Tim Kaine, D-Va.; and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

Though the Senate began debate on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act this week, it’s unclear whether the amendment will receive Senate floor consideration. It’s one of hundreds that have been offered.

Meanwhile, the co-sponsors are cautioning the move would weaken NATO and conflict with U.S. national security interests.

“The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany would be a gift to Russia, and that’s the last thing we should be doing,” Romney said in a statement. “We cannot abandon our commitment to our allies, and instead must strengthen our alliances in order to reign in the world’s bad actors and promote the values of freedom and democracy around the world.”

“The administration’s withdrawal plans would inflict lasting damage to our transatlantic relations and harms our national security,” Shaheen said in a statement. “I’m proud to support this bipartisan amendment and hope that the Senate takes this opportunity to send a resounding message to the administration and our allies alike that the United States stands firmly with our allies.” (Source: Defense News)

30 Jun 20. Statement by Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs on U.S. Troop Levels in Germany. The Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff briefed the President yesterday on plans to redeploy 9,500 troops from Germany. The proposal that was approved not only meets the President’s directive, it will also enhance Russian deterrence, strengthen NATO, reassure Allies, improve U.S. strategic flexibility and U.S. European Command’s operational flexibility, and take care of our service members and their families. Pentagon leaders look forward to briefing this plan to the congressional defense committees in the coming weeks, followed by consultations with NATO allies on the way forward. We will be providing timely updates to potentially affected personnel, their families and communities as planning progresses. (Source: US DoD)

25 Jun 20. Unmanned Aerial Systems: USAF Should Take Additional Steps to Improve Aircrew Staffing and Support. The USAF does not have enough pilots and sensor operators to meet its staffing targets for its unmanned aircraft—also called remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). It also does not track its overall progress in accessing and retaining enough RPA personnel needed to implement its combat-to-dwell policy, which is intended to balance RPA units’ time spent in combat with non-combat activities.

Officials stated that to fully implement combat-to-dwell the Air Force needs to access and retain more RPA personnel because since fiscal year 2016 it has had fewer RPA personnel than authorized (see figure for RPA sensor operator example).

The Air Force has provided financial incentives to address retention of RPA personnel, but it does not yet have enough historical data to help predict RPA pilot retention trends going forward given the newness of the career field. Officials additionally expressed specific concerns about sensor operator retention particularly due to the possibility of lucrative private-sector jobs.

Further, the Air Force does not have a comprehensive metric (or set of metrics) to know whether its accession and retention efforts are on track to generate the additional RPA personnel needed to implement its combat-to-dwell policy by 2024. Without a metric (or set of metrics), it is unclear whether any adjustments are needed to meet its implementation timeframes.

The Air Force has not fully identified the number of RPA pilot and sensor operator instructor positions needed at its formal training unit and since 2016 has experienced instructor staffing shortages.

Specifically, the number of instructor positions required is understated because they are based on a 2009 program of instruction with 49 training days while the current program of instruction is 83 training days. Moreover, since fiscal year 2016, the formal training unit has had fewer assigned instructors than authorized positions even though those numbers of instructor positions are underestimates of actual needs.

To help address the effect of the instructor gap, officials temporarily reduced the length of training. Without updated information to inform the number of required instructors, the Air Force does not know the correct number of instructor positions necessary to train RPA aircrews to be ready to complete their mission.

Why GAO Did This Study

High demand and constant combat operations have created challenges for Air Force RPA pilots and sensor operators who conduct missions across the world. In January 2017, the Air Force approved a combat-to-dwell policy to better balance RPA units’ time in combat with non-combat activities. It plans to fully implement the policy in 2024.

Senate Report 115-262 included a provision that GAO review ongoing challenges in the Air Force RPA community. This report assesses, among other things, the extent to which the Air Force (1) met overall RPA pilot and sensor operator staffing targets and tracked its progress in implementing its combat-to-dwell policy and (2) identified and met instructor staffing levels at its RPA formal training unit.

GAO analyzed selected Air Force accession, retention, and instructor staffing data; held non-generalizable focus groups at three RPA military bases; and interviewed officials at various levels of the RPA enterprise.

What GAO Recommends

GAO recommends that the Air Force establish a comprehensive metric (or set of metrics) to track the progress of its efforts to access and retain enough RPA personnel needed to implement its combat-to-dwell policy, and update the number of required RPA instructor positions. The Air Force partially concurred with the first recommendation and concurred with the second one. GAO continues to believe the first recommendation is valid, as discussed in the report. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Government Accountability Office (GAO))


30 Jun 20. Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, has named Joel Montalbano as manager of the International Space Station Program.K The appointment was effective June 29 following the June 26 retirement of Kirk Shireman, who held the position since 2015. Montalbano had served as deputy program manager for NASA’s space station program since 2012, a role in which he shared responsibility with the program manager for day-to-day management, working across organizations and with NASA centers, other government agencies, and partners to ensure seamless and efficient space station integration. He led integration and definition of projects to use the unique microgravity laboratory in space to lay the groundwork for future explorers, such as the Artemis program astronauts who will include the first woman and next man to land on the Moon in 2024.  (Source: PR Newswire)



01 Jul 20. Israel Aerospace Industries CEO says he’s stepping down. Israel Aerospace Industries CEO Nimrod Sheffer announced July 1 that he is stepping down after two years in the position. Sheffer replaced Joseph Weiss as CEO in June 2018 and will leave after training a successor, the company said. His predecessor was CEO for six years and left at retirement age. Sheffer came to IAI as vice president of strategic planning after retiring from 36 years of military service in 2018. A former combat pilot, he was head of the Israel Defense Forces’ Planning Directorate.

“During his term as IAI CEO Sheffer has introduced a series of reforms and transformations and has drafted a growth strategy and a business plan which yielded excellent business results for IAI in the past six quarters,” the company said in a statement.

In his announcement, Sheffer thanked IAI employees and executives for their trust and cooperation.

Sheffer championed IAI’s multimission radar made by its subsidiary Elta Systems, which he called “the best radar of its kind in the world” in an interview with Defense News in August.

He also emphasized the potential of the North American market. Elta makes the ELM-2084 radar, known for its use with Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, two of which the U.S. Army has acquired. Elta has also teamed with American company Lockheed Martin for radar demonstrations.

In a government-to-government deal, Israel sold the ELM-2084 radar to the Czech Republic in December 2019. IAI also signed several large deals in India in 2018 under Sheffer’s tenure, selling its Barak 8 and long-range surface-to-air missile systems.

IAI is Israel’s largest aerospace and defense company, one of three major defense firms in the country. After a record year in 2017 of $5.5bn in revenue, IAI’s revenue dropped to $3.6bn in 2018, but rose to $4.1bn in 2019.

Most recently, the company has focused on new contracts for special mission aircraft, testing of a long-range attack ballistic missile, and new innovations in UAV and counter-UAV technology.

Sheffer opened a new innovation center in Tel Aviv in December 2019 aimed at cultivating Israel’s startups, part of a strategy to encourage entrepreneurship, he said at the time.

Israel’s defense industry is under strain from the coronavirus pandemic and reports indicate IAI is laying off 900 employees from its aviation group. The company suffered financial losses in 2018 due to what Sheffer said were nonrecurring events, according to statements in Israel’s Globes media. (Source: Defense News)


01 Jul 20. Defence contractor Babcock has a new boss. David Lockwood, previously chief executive of aerospace supplier Cobham, will join Babcock next month and take over as CEO in September. Cobham was taken private by private equity last year. (Source: FT.com)

02 Jul 20. INNO appoints Camilla von Baer as Managing Director Marketing & Sales. Top ICT industry expert to complement Managing Director Peter Zerwes and drive international growth and expansion of the customer base. As of July 1st, 2020 Camilla von Baer will take over the newly created position of Managing Director Marketing and Sales at INNO, the Software and Big Data Specialist. In this capacity, she will work with the founder, Dipl.-Ing. Peter Zerwes, on further expanding the national and international business. The appointment of Camilla von Baer is intended to significantly strengthen the marketing and sales team and drive the company’s successful growth strategy. With its leading software SCOPE, INNO helps public authorities, offices, security agencies and organisations to analyse, evaluate and process large amounts of data in compliance with data protection regulations. Founded in 2000, the company has been a member of the PLATH Group, based in Hamburg, since 2007.

30 Jun 20. Odgers Berndtson announce that John Hambley has joined the firm as a Principal in the firm’s Aerospace, Defense & National Security sector. John has more than 10 years of experience in executive search and consulting roles. He was previously with Korn Ferry as a Principal in Its Aerospace & Defense Practice as well as a Principal with RSR Partners in their Industrial and Innovation Practice. (Source: PR Newswire)

01 Jul 20. WFEL Appoints New ex-Military Director. The Board of WFEL Ltd., a world leader in the supply of rapidly deployable military bridging systems and a key partner in the UK MoD’s Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme, is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Winney to the position of Director of Business Development. This new Director role has been formed in order to address the large number of enquiries for WFEL’s portfolio of world-class bridging products, which have already been supplied to more than 40 armed forces across the world. Tom served as an Infantry Officer in the British Army, with postings to Afghanistan, Kosovo and Northern Ireland.  In his new position, Tom will oversee all Business Development activity for WFEL’s range of products including the Dry Support Bridge (DSB) and Medium Girder Bridge (MGB).  He has experience of military bridging, vehicles, ammunitions and service support with both the UK MoD and military organisations throughout the world.  Prior to joining WFEL, Tom previously held senior Project Management and Business Development roles within BAE Systems and RBSL.


29 Jun 20. Parsons Corporation (NYSE: PSN) announced today the appointments of Gen. Darren W. McDew, U.S. Air Force (ret.), and David C. Wajsgras to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately. Their appointments follow Letitia Long’s addition to the Board in April, and continue Parsons’ commitment to a strong and independent board of directors with diverse and valuable backgrounds that align with the company’s strategic priorities. “We are fortunate to have such qualified, distinguished and honorable individuals as Gen. McDew and David Wajsgras join the Parsons team,” said Chuck Harrington, Parsons Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “They dedicated their careers to delivering a better, safer world and their experience will be invaluable to expanding our core markets, broadening our software and hardware technology, and growing our transactional revenues.”Gen. McDew served with distinction in the United States military for 36 years. Throughout his career, he had the opportunity to lead at all echelons; culminating as the Commander, United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM). As a unified combatant command comprised of all the armed services, he served as the senior uniformed officer responsible for global air, land, and sea transportation, and patient movement for the Department of Defense. Gen McDew was commissioned as an Air Force officer in 1982. His journey began as a pilot and continued through multiple operational leadership roles and unique assignments at the White House (Military Aide to the President), the Pentagon (Strategic Plans and Policy for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs), and on Capitol Hill (Chief, Air Force Senate Liaison). (Source: PR Newswire)

01 Jul 20. Universities Space Research Association (USRA) announced the appointment of Dennis Feerick as Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development, effective July 6, 2020.  In this role, he will provide executive oversight to USRA’s strategic planning, program development and charitable fundraising efforts. Dennis Feerick brings over 25 years of aerospace experience to USRA and has worked with NASA since 1997.  He joins USRA from SAIC, where he directed capture management and business development for NASA and the Department of Transportation.  In that role, he led captures at seven separate NASA centers and across all NASA mission directorates, resulting in over $1.5bn of contract awards. (Source: PR Newswire)


01 Jul 20. The inaugural CEO of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), Dr Andreas Schwer, has been appointed Chairman of the Melbourne-based industrial-scale additive manufacturing company Titomic (ASX:TTT) www.titomic.com. Beginning immediately, Dr Schwer, who boasts a 25-year career in the global defence, manufacturing, and aerospace industries will bring a wealth of experience to Titomic. The news comes just days after Titomic announced the appointments of  Mr Dag W.R. Stromme, a former Managing Director of Morgan Stanley; and Mr Humphrey Nolan, an experienced leader in the global industrial and distribution industries. As the first CEO at SAMI, which was established in 2017, Dr Schwer led this greenfield operation to become a multi-billion-dollar company in 2020 before recently stepping down. Prior to his role at SAMI, Dr Schwer was Chairman and President of Rheinmetall International – Rheinmetall AG. Dr Schwer also held roles including CEO of Combat Systems & Executive Board Member of Rheinmetall Defence overseeing the units of Combat Platforms, Weapons & Munitions, Protection Systems, and Propulsion Systems. Dr Schwer also holds 12 years’ experience at Airbus in executive roles across the Defence & Space and Helicopter divisions. (Source: PR Newswire)


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