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07 Jul 20. Saab Starts Gripen Production in Brazil. Saab Aeronáutica Montagens (SAM), Saab’s first aerostructures plant outside of Sweden for the new Gripen E/F fighter, reaches another important milestone with the start of production. This site builds sections of Gripen, which will then be delivered to the final assembly facilities at the Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo, Brazil and to Linköping, Sweden.
In 2014, Saab signed a contract with Brazilian government for the development and production of 36 Gripen E/F aircraft. In September last year, the first Brazilian Gripen E aircraft was delivered to start the flight test programme. Now, another milestone is reached, as Gripen production starts at the SAM plant, which is located in São Bernardo do Campo, a city in the metropolitan area of São Paulo in Brazil.
The tail cone and front fuselage of the single-seat version of the Gripen fighter are the first aerostructures to enter into production at SAM. Subsequently, the aerodynamic brakes, rear fuselage, wing box and front fuselage for the two-seater version will also be manufactured at SAM.
“This is another outcome of the Transfer of Technology (ToT) of the Gripen programme. Based on theoretical and practical on-the-job training of Brazilian engineers and assemblers at Saab in Linköping, we were able to establish a highly qualified production line at SAM, following the same standards that we have in our factory in Sweden,” says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics.
Currently, SAM has more than 70 highly qualified employees, half of whom are participating or have already participated in the ToT Programme in Sweden. Part of these employees have already completed the training and returned to initiate the production in Brazil.
Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Saab)
06 Jul 20. ‘Built With Pride in Barrow’ – The Latest Piece of Dreadnought Makes a Move. The newest section of the first Dreadnought submarine to be built at BAE Systems’ yard in Barrow has been moved, as work on the first of class continues. The Dreadnought programme is one of the most complex engineering projects ever undertaken and employs more than 7,000 people across industry and MOD, with thousands more in the supply chain.
The unit was the first to make use of new material designed to improve protection for submarine sections as they are moved around the site during construction.
Four Dreadnought-Class submarines will be built in Barrow to replace the Vanguard-Class that are currently in service with the Royal Navy. HMS Dreadnought, the first of the new fleet, is scheduled to be delivered in the early 2030s. (Source: ASD Network)
09 Jul 20. Russian Navy to commission some 40 vessels in 2020. The Russian Navy is set to commission some 40 naval platforms this year, the service’s commander-in-chief, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, told military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda(Red Star) on 6 July.
All four of the navy’s fleets will receive surface combatants, while submarines will be delivered to the Northern and Pacific Fleets, according to Adm Yevmenov.
Among the warships under construction are Project 22350 frigates, Project 20380, 20385, 20386, and 21631 corvettes, Project 22800 and 22160 missile and patrol corvettes, Project 12700 mine countermeasures vessels, Project 955A ballistic missile submarines, Project 885M nuclear-powered attack submarines, and Project 636.3 and 677 diesel-electric submarines.
”The Project 22350 frigates will be further developed in the areas of onboard subsystems and armament, and these ships’ high performance will bolster the navy’s blue-water component,” he said.
The Russian Navy is capable of operating in both green and blue waters, according to the admiral. Equipping the navy with new-generation platforms and cutting-edge weapons, and increasing the intensity of combat training is expected to allow the service to maintain its blue-water capabilities.
The navy conducted intensive training during the first half of 2020: the surface component spent 5,300 days and submarines more than 1,000 days at sea, while naval aviation clocked up 13,000 flying hours. Coastal defence troops trained more than 20 missile batteries, and units conducted some 9,500 parachute jumps. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Jul 20. Royal Navy’s HMS Severn OPV crew completes OST assessment. The British Royal Navy’s offshore patrol ship (OPV), HMS Severn, has successfully concluded a three-week Operational Sea Training (OST) assessment. The successful OST completion has returned the vessel to operational readiness status. The OPV was trained and assessed to escort passing foreign warships, conduct fishing vessel inspections, and defend the UK border, joining its sister ships HMS Mersey and Tyne with these capabilities. In October 2017, the Royal Navy’s Batch 1 River-class HMS Severn was decommissioned at a ceremony in HM Naval Base Portsmouth following 14 years of service. HMS Severn’s planned service life had concluded after being commissioned into the fleet in 2003.
However, the UK Secretary of State announced the return of HMS Severn to the Fleet in November 2018.
Royal Navy commanding officer commander Philip Harper said: “We have regenerated Severn and successfully completed three weeks of basic operational sea training.
“This is the first time in living memory that the Royal Navy has re-commissioned a ship, and it’s been a challenge. We’ve achieved all of this during a global pandemic.”
HMS Severn will train Royal Navy navigators joining the ship for testing pilotage off the west coast of Scotland and the English Channel.
In April this year, the vessel returned to sea. Since then, it has logged around 5,000 miles with its crew from the Royal Naval Reserve. (Source: naval-technology.com)
10 Jul 20. Boeing [NYSE: BA] has completed delivery of all new AH-64E Apache and CH-47F(I) Chinook military helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The final five of the 22 Apache attack helicopters were handed over to the IAF at Air Force Station, Hindan. Earlier in March, Boeing handed over the last five of 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF.
“Customer centricity, commitment to the modernization and mission-readiness of India’s defence forces are key values to our partnership with India,” said Surendra Ahuja, managing director, Boeing Defence India. “With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defence forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs,” Ahuja added.
India is one of 17 nations to select the Apache and has the most advanced variant, the AH-64E Apache that is also flown by the U.S. and many other countries. The AH-64E Apache is designed and equipped with an open systems architecture including the latest communications, navigation, sensor and weapon systems. It has an improved Modernized Target Acquisition Designation System that provides day, night and all-weather target information, as well as night vision navigation capability. In addition to classifying air and ground targets, the Fire Control Radar has been updated to operate in the maritime environment. It is uniquely suited to meet a commander’s needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack, across myriad environments – without reconfiguration.
Twenty defence forces around the world either have Chinooks in service, or are on contract to receive them. The iconic tandem-rotor helicopter has been the world’s most reliable and efficient heavy-lift helicopter for more than 50 years, allowing customers to operate in climatic (hot), altitude (high), and crosswind conditions that typically keep other helicopters from flying. The CH-47F(I) Chinook contains a modern machined airframe, a common avionics architecture system (CAAS) cockpit, and a digital automatic flight control system (DAFCS). Those innovations and technologies will help the Indian Air Force meet evolving mission demands, maximize interoperability, and reduce lifecycle costs.
The Indian Ministry of Defence finalized its order with Boeing for the production, training and support of 22 AH-64E Apache and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook helicopters in September 2015. Earlier this year, India and the U.S. signed a contract for the acquisition of six Apaches for the Indian Army during U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to New Delhi.
Boeing’s joint venture in Hyderabad, Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) has been producing aero-structures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter for both US Army and international customers. TBAL marks a major step towards the co-development of integrated systems in aerospace and defense in India. Boeing’s suppliers in India are manufacturing critical systems and components for the Chinooks, including the crown and tailcone assembly by Tata Advanced Systems and the ramp and aft pylon by Dynamatic Technologies. Boeing today works with over 200 suppliers and partners in the country in support of “Make in India” and “Skill India.”
Boeing Defence India provides holistic lifecycle solutions for government and defence customers in the country. Boeing delivers services that ensure high availability and mission-readiness of platforms to its defence customers at competitive costs through its investments in services infrastructure and building local capabilities and partnerships. With the induction of the Apaches and Chinooks, Boeing anticipates additional opportunities in rotorcraft training and sustainment.
06 Jul 20. Russia to stand up second MiG-31 squadron on Kamchatka. Russia is to deploy an additional MiG-31 squadron on the Kamchatka peninsula, the Izvestia newspaper reported on 3 July. After modernisation, the interceptors will join the Russian Pacific Fleet’s 317th Composite Aviation Regiment at Yelizovo airfield.
The regiment currently operates a squadron of 12 MiG-31B and MiG-31BS variants, two squadrons of Ka-27 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters, a squadron of Il-38 ASW aircraft, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, small transport aircraft, and other helicopters.
Formation of the second interceptor squadron probably began in 2019. The commander of Russian forces on the peninsula, Rear Admiral Alexander Yuldashev, indicated two modernised MiG-31BM fighters arrived in February 2019, with two more due for delivery before the end of the year, the Interfax news agency reported in June 2019.
United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) subsidiary RSK MiG has been upgrading 110 MiG-31s to the MiG-31BM standard since 2011 under two Ministry of Defence contracts worth RUB46bn (USD644m). The final 50 MiG-31BMs were to be completed by the end of 2018, the official RIA Novosti news agency reported in February 2015. However, former deputy defence minister and procurement chief Yury Borisov has claimed as many as 130 are being modernised. (Source: Jane’s)
06 Jul 20. H145 officially takes on domestic SAR role for German Army. The German Army (Heer) has officially begun using the first of its recently received Airbus Helicopters H145 rotorcraft in the domestic search-and-rescue (SAR) role. The service announced on 6 July that the H145 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), the first of which was received in December 2019, is now performing the SAR role for which it was acquired to take over from the Bell UH-1D ‘Huey’.
“The new one is officially on duty today,” the Heer tweeted, adding, “Not just a technical quantum leap for the search-and-rescue teams of the Bundeswehr [but] also as an armaments project exemplary for the co-operation between Airbus Helicopters, the Heer, and the BAAINBw [procurement office].”
The Heer ordered seven H145 LUH helicopters in late 2018, with deliveries now set to run through to early 2021. In the SAR role the helicopters are equipped with high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, and rescue winches and load hooks that can be used for fire-extinguishing buckets (Source: Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
08 Jul 20. BIW begins temporary layoff process for surveyors and inspectors. Bath Iron Works (BIW) has announced the start of a temporarily layoff process for surveyors and trades inspectors. The company said the process is being carried out in line with the Local S7 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Workers were informed about the layoffs in a letter from BIW president Dirk Lesko.
The move comes at a time when the shipyard’s largest union is on strike.
BIW president Dirk Lesko said: “If the number of volunteers does not address the overstaffing in these functions, we will follow the contract and move to involuntary layoffs by seniority.
“While these layoffs are temporary in nature, their impact on employees and their families is real and immediate.
“At a time when we are behind schedule, it is frustrating to be sending our employees home. However, the disruption of the strike leaves no other option.” Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
The company noted that more than 2,000 employees have been hired since 2018. It still requires at least 1,000 more to be hired this year.
BIW also said that General Dynamic and the US Navy are investing in its facilities and supply chain.
BIW is currently under contract to build 11 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers for the US Navy.
Lesko added: “We must continue to work diligently to gain back schedule so that we can keep our people at work. I know many of you are working hard to do just that and I appreciate your efforts.
“It also sends a welcome message to our navy customers that we take seriously our commitment to deliver their ships to them.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
03 Jul 20. Boeing Co’s (BA.N) communications chief Niel Golightly abruptly resigned on Thursday, following an employee’s complaint over an article the former U.S. military pilot wrote 33 years ago arguing women should not serve in combat. His exit leaves Boeing trying to fill the crucial role for the fourth time in less than three years, just as it is battling to shore up its brand after the prolonged safety grounding of its Boeing 737 MAX jetliner.
The job has become the industry’s biggest hot seat as Boeing fends off criticism for its handling of the 737 MAX crisis.
“My article was a 29-year-old Cold War navy pilot’s misguided contribution to a debate that was live at the time,” Golightly said in a statement included in Boeing’s announcement. (Source: Reuters)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
06 Jul 20. USMC Units Deactivate in Aggressive Plan to Reshape the Corps. At least four Marine Corps units have cased their colors in recent weeks as part of an aggressive plan to reshape the force to take on future threats. Two combat logistics regiments — one on the East Coast and one on the West — were the latest units to deactivate last week as the Marine Corps pushes forward with a years-long reorganization plan. Combat Logistics Regiment 25, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and CLR-15, out of Camp Pendleton, California, were both deactivated in July 1 ceremonies.
The units’ closures followed the June 22 deactivation of the Pendleton-based Bridge Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, and the May shuttering of CLR-35 in Japan.
The three combat logistics regiments were all stood up after the 2001 terror attacks in the U.S. The 7th ESB bridge company dated back to Vietnam.
“The commandant’s plan is all about being a more mobile, lethal force. For us, that means small teams to get the job done,” Col. Denise Mull, CLR-25’s commanding officer, said at that unit’s deactivation ceremony. “We’re excited to see who can step up to fill the role that this regiment filled.”
The supply and maintenance battalions that fell under the three combat logistics regiments will still exist, but now will be stand-alone units assigned to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marine logistics groups.
Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger announced in March his sweeping plan to modernize the Corps for future fights. The plan calls for shedding about 16,000 Marines from the ranks by 2030.
The Marine Corps will no longer operate tanks or bridging companies as part of the plan, which also calls for fewer law enforcement personnel, infantry Marines and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. The service recently released instructions for the more than 1,300 Marines whose jobs will be affected by the changes. They’ve been directed to consider moving into other fields within the Marine Corps or even joining other military branches.
Cost savings from those changes will be used to pay for equipment for long-range precision fires and other technology the Marine Corps will need to face off against more sophisticated adversaries, such as Russia or China.
“We’re not saying that a tank or bridging company isn’t of value,” Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, the head of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, said during a recent interview. “… It’s just that for the future fight, [those military occupational specialties] are of less value than the things that we need most.”
The personnel and equipment affected by the deactivations are being distributed across the Marine logistics groups, according to service news releases. Col. Joon Um, CLR-35’s commanding officer, said of his unit’s deactivation that the move allowed for greater independence and agility so Marine leaders can respond more rapidly to changing conditions.
“This deactivation was absolutely necessary as the Marine Corps grows in a new direction to face different challenges,” Um said. (Source: Military.com)
06 Jul 20. Headquarters Australian Joint Ops Command to swell under spending increase. The government plans to invest more than $31m in the first tranche of a two-tier project that will see infrastructure added to Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) in Bungendore, near Canberra. Once finished, the upgrades will support the doubling of the facility’s original capacity.
Works on the project are expected to commence in August and will include the delivery of security accreditation works, a 1.9 megawatt solar farm, a car park upgrade, and site preparation works ahead of the next tranche of work that is expected to commence in 2022.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said that HQJOC and its supporting infrastructure must expand to accommodate a significant increase in personnel needed to plan and conduct operations on a daily basis.
“We have seen the vital role HQJOC played in the Australian government’s response to the Black Summer bushfires and COVID-19,” said Minister Reynolds. “This investment will improve the facility’s capacity to support the Australian Defence Force’s response to domestic and international crises.
“When the expansion is complete, HQJOC will house up to 1,400 personnel, doubling its capacity from when it was originally built in 2008, to cater for increasingly complex multi-domain operations including cyber and space.”
The 2020 Defence Strategic Update and the 2020 Force Structure Plan announced by the Prime Minister and Minister Reynolds will strengthen the ADF’s capabilities to respond to an increasingly challenging strategic environment.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, spoke to the jobs created by the move, adding that the investment will help maximise local industry involvement in Defence projects.
“This first tranche of works extends out to mid-2022 and will provide a valuable opportunity for small businesses in Bungendore and Queanbeyan. The project will support construction jobs and ensure economic benefits flow to a region that has seen its share of recent challenges,” said Minister Price.
“Up to 130 workers will be employed during the peak of construction. This construction work will align with the Morrison government’s COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.
“Defence will leverage existing contract arrangements to expedite these works and ensure local industry content is maximised.” (Source: Defence Connect)
06 Jul 20. Mark Garnier announced as new Chair of CAEC. The Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) met today and selected Mark Garnier as their chair. Mark Garnier said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the chair of the Committees on Arms Export Controls. There have been a number of important developments since CAEC last met in the previous Parliament, including a continuing Court case of arms exports to Saudi Arabia, the merger of two of the four Government departments which together consider export licences, and Brexit – important for all sorts of reasons at the moment but also from an arms control perspective given the current link between EU and UK licence assessment rules. We have much work to do to address all of these important matters in our next meetings, and to make that scrutiny effective we will invite members from the International Development Committee to take part.”
Reflecting the Government’s decision to merge the Department for International Development into the Foreign Office, the first CAEC meeting comprised members of the three committees – Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Trade – that would continue long-term to scrutinise the Government departments involved in arms export control.
Nevertheless, CAEC agreed to invite members of the International Development Committee to take part in its public sessions for as long as the IDC continues, to ensure that the international development components of the arms export control system is fully reflected in CAEC’s work. CAEC decided to hold a number of initial public sessions to examine developments and issues across the arms export control agenda.
06 Jul 20. Thomas Harker, the current U.S. Navy comptroller, has been named the acting comptroller for the Pentagon. Harker was “designated the authority” of the undersecretary of defense (comptroller) role on June 26, according to a department spokesman, following the official resignation of acting Comptroller Elaine McCusker. Harker will also continue to serve as the Navy comptroller, as job he has held since being sworn into office in January 2018. A 20-year veteran of the Coast Guard, Harker previously worked in financial management roles in the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The comptroller is the top financial expert for the Defense Department, helping to oversee the creation of the department’s budget and to manage the annual audit of the Pentagon. Harker becomes the third person to fill the job during the Trump administration, although only David Norquist was actually confirmed by the Senate. (Source: Defense News)
06 Jul 20. USMC Col. David Nathanson for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Nathanson is currently serving as the assistant chief of staff, G-4, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.
06 Jul 20. USN Capt. Trent R. Demoss for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Demoss is currently serving as vice commander, Fleet Readiness Center, Patuxent River, Maryland.
06 Jul 20. USAF LG Glen D. VanHerck for appointment to the rank of general, with assignment as commander, U.S. Northern Command; and commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. VanHerck is currently serving as director, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
06 Jul 20. USAF LG Richard M. Clark for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Clark is currently serving as deputy chief of staff, strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
06 Jul 20. USAF MG Tony D. Bauernfeind for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as vice commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Bauernfeind is currently serving as chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
06 Jul 20. USAF MG Jeffrey A. Kruse for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as the director’s advisor for military affairs, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, McLean, Virginia. Kruse is currently serving as director for defense intelligence (warfighter support), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
08 Jul 20. Vertex Aerospace has been selected to lead the installation portion for a KC-130J aerial transport and refueling aircraft contract in partnership with BAE Systems Inc. The team was selected as the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Aircraft Prototype System Division (APSD) KC-130J Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) contract awardee. BAE is the prime contractor for the program and selected Vertex’s Aircraft Integration & Sustainment (AIS) division to lead the installation portion of the contract at its Crestview, Florida location. The AIS Crestview site is co-located with the Bob Sikes Airport, which boasts a fully instrumental 8,000-foot runway providing easy access for all sized aircraft. The facility houses multiple high bay hangars for both fixed and rotary wing aircraft modification and is complemented by over 500,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing, production, and assembly buildings servicing major OEMs.
“We have proudly supported our warfighters for over 65 years, and we’re honored to continue that service through this collaborative partnership,” said Ed Boyington, Vertex Aerospace President and CEO. “This win is a testament to the trust the aerospace industry places in Vertex for our reputation of providing high-quality, cost-effective services.”
With a 50 percent veteran workforce, Vertex understands the challenges faced by the defense sector. The mid-level aerospace company has developed a strategic contract management approach offering responsiveness and agility to ever-changing requirements.
“We have perfected the balance of cost, schedule, performance, and supportability and are able to offer our customers best-value services for mission success,” said Don Davis, Senior Vice President of Vertex’s AIS division. “We look forward to working with BAE and NAWCAD to deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions for our warfighters.”
During the five-year contract, a total of 19 KC-130J aircraft will undergo modification and installation of the LAIRCM system. The LAIRCM advanced missile warning system will stop missile threats, significantly enhancing the KC-130J aircraft’s overall capabilities. (Source: PR Newswire)
03 Jul 20. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Group 42 (G42), a leading technology company based in Abu Dhabi, announced today the signing of two distinct Memoranda of Understanding to explore collaborations in the research and development of effective solutions to combat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
Executives from each company took part in a signing ceremony held via video conference between the UAE and Israel. During the event, they discussed ways of leveraging their respective expertise to develop cutting-edge solutions and medical initiatives that could not only benefit the population of the two countries, but humanity as a whole.
Mr. Peng Xiao, CEO of Group 42, said: “At G42, we embrace international cooperation as a way to create better and more effective technologies for the public good. The UAE has led by example in the global collaborative effort to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic, and our company is privileged to follow the lead and share resources and expertise with Rafael and IAI for such a significant cause.”
BG (ret.) Ariel Karo, Rafael EVP for Marketing and Business Development: “This is a historic collaboration that was born out of a global crisis. As a technological leader, particularly in the field of AI, we are proud to offer our range of capabilities and knowhow to help in the fight against the COVID-19.”
This joint initiative brings together some of the region’s most active players in the response to COVID-19, and aims to combine their respective knowledge, personnel, technology, and resources to conceptualize, develop, and optimize breakthrough solutions that will help the world safeguard public health and defeat Covid-19.
G42 has been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 since its outbreak. Thanks to its expertise in AI-driven genomics, the company has recently announced a new partnership with UK’s Oxford Nanopore Technologies for the joint development of an end-to-end detection solution to screen in mass and on demand, in an effort to support the re-opening of global economies. In the UAE, G42 is also operating the world’s first phase III clinical trial of a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine, under the supervision of the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.
With a legacy of over 72 years, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is a national center of research and development through its wide range of cutting-edge technologies. During the global COVID-19 pandemic, Rafael had swiftly developed a range of solutions to help society function in this current state. Some of these systems include robotic systems for hospitals, thermic sensors to remotely-detect body temperature, a unique “splitter” for ventilators to use on two patients simultaneously, a medical data streaming app, big-data and AI technologies, and more.
03 Jul 20. Bryanston Pupil ‘Highly Commended’ For Viasat Engineering Essay Prize. Congratulations to A3 pupil Zander D for receiving ‘highly commended’ status for his essay entitled ‘Will Robots Replace Humans? in the 2020 Viasat Engineering Essay Prize.
Now in its seventh year, the competition encourages participants to submit an essay to be judged by a panel of representatives from Eton, Bryanston, Viasat (key sponsors) and Battlespace Technologies. The winners were due to be announced at a presentation event at Eton College but due to the current restrictions, a virtual prizegiving took place last week instead.
Julian Nettlefold of Battlespace commented: “I founded the Essay Prize in 2012 in agreement with Tony Little, sponsored by GKN, our family firm. Engineering was not on the curriculum in 1967-72 and it took me until 1980 to find my niche in the industry, where I have been since then. Since 2012 there have been excellent and interesting essays and it has certainly ignited a renewed interest in engineering. The new sponsorship by Viasat takes us into the space engineering realm which is the new frontier.”
Bryanston’s Head of Science Nick Welford commented: “What an experience it was for our pupils to submit essays to the competition! We are so proud of Zander for his excellent achievement and would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Mike Kearney for giving up his time to join this year’s panel of judges.”
Eton College’s Dan Townley commented: “Congratulations to all those who entered, not just the winners. The works we received were all of an excellent standard; the work was more of an undergraduate student standard than of sixth formers. The world is in need of more, well qualified, engineers – I hope all those involved have learnt more about what the field of engineering may offer for the future.”
07 Jul 20. Thales appoints Bernard Barrera as Land Defence Advisor.
- General Bernard Barrera will join Thales as the Group’s Land Defence Advisor, with effect from 1 November 2020.
- He takes over from General Alain Bouquin, who will step down from his role with Thales on 31 December 2020.
General Bernard Barrera is a graduate of the Saint-Cyr military academy (Général de Monsabert cohort, 1985). He passed the École de Guerre staff college in 1998 and is a former member of the IHEDN institute for higher national defence studies (61st session, 2008). In his career with the infantry forces, he served as a commander in France and on overseas deployments, most notably in Mali, where he led ground operations for Operation Serval in 2013. He also served as an adviser to the French Prime Minister (2009–11) and at the Ministry of Defence’s information and communications department (DICoD).
Having drafted the fundamental principles of collaborative combat and guidance for the French cooperative fighting system (BOA) at France’s Land Forces General Staff (2000–04), he led the implementation of those principles under the Scorpion transformation programme as Deputy Chief of Plans and Programmes in 2015. Also at the General Staff, he set out “Action Terrestre Future”, a forward-looking vision of land forces operations to 2030, organised the ramp-up of airland equipment procurement and coordinated the modernisation of the General Staff in the areas of cybersecurity, digital technology and innovation.
Bernard Barrera was promoted to Deputy Chief of the Land Forces General Staff in December 2017 with responsibilities spanning Army policy, operational processes and capability development. He was appointed Army Inspector General in early 2020.
As Land Defence Advisor, he will provide key support for Thales on issues in land defence. Crucially, he will also help to better understand military requirements and advise the Group on equipment and system roadmaps, with a particular emphasis on future land combat in a European and joint forces context.
06 Jul 20. Thales appoints Yannick Assouad as Executive Vice President, Avionics. Yannick Assouad is a graduate of the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (1982) and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago (1985). She joined Thomson-CSF’s Radars & Countermeasures business as an engineer in 1986, and later served as head of the thermal analysis department, then head of its thermal and mechanical engineering department. From 1998, she was Technical Director and then Chief Executive Officer of SECAN (Société d’Études et de Constructions Aéronavales), the French subsidiary of Honeywell specialising in air conditioning systems for aircraft. She was appointed Chairman of SECAN in 2000 and oversaw the aerospace company’s recovery after the 2001 crisis.
09 Jul 20. IndraSoft is excited to announce the addition of Mr. Greg Jaksec as our new DISA Account Director. In this newly created position, Greg Jaksec will provide Program Management, Operations and Growth leadership to support IndraSoft’s contracts and opportunities at DISA. Mr. Greg Jaksec is a retired Army Colonel who served in the Infantry and Signal Corps, and brings substantial C4ISR experience to IndraSoft. He has held several executive level positions at DISA, most notably as the former Commander, DISA Command Center (DCC), Fort Meade and Global Network Operations and Security Center (GNOSC) Chief of Network Operations at Scott Air Force Base. Greg has extensive experience leading network and cybersecurity operations centers to include service management and mission assurance programs. Additionally, Greg has significant recent experience in building a successful business portfolio, managing programs and helping to capture and grow services for a federal contractor. (Source: PR Newswire)
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