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31 Aug 20. Naval Group Australia has announced it will open a new $25m office in Port Adelaide as the company prepares for the move to the Attack Class submarine construction yard. The announcement came as Naval Group Australia welcomed its 250th employee as part of its rapid ramp up of staff for the multibillion-dollar SEA 1000 Attack Class submarine program.
Naval Group Australia CEO John Davis said that the new facility would be opened in the coming months, “With our workforce rapidly expanding we need an additional base as we prepare for the move to the submarine construction yard at Osborne.”
Naval Group Australia has embarked on an aggressive recruiting campaign with the workforce expected to increase to over 1,700 direct jobs in 2028 with many more indirect jobs being created through the life of the program. (Source: Defence Connect)
04 Sep 20. RAN’s next-gen replenishment ship sets sail for Australia. The Royal Australian Navy’s lead ship of the Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ships, NUSHIP Supply, has set sail from Navantia’s Ferrol shipyard for Australia. The occasion was marked by a small ceremony held in Ferrol attended by senior Navantia personnel, the Royal Australian Navy’s defence attaché in Madrid, Captain Tim Byles, and the Department of Defence’s inspection team from Teekay.
COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented a larger event from taking place. Flags from both nations were presented during the ceremony.
Navantia’s global president Susana de Sarría said, “This is a proud moment for the people of Navantia and Australia who have worked directly or indirectly in making Supply a reality over many years and continues our close relationship between our two countries.”
NUSHIP Supply will arrive in Western Australia early October and will be based at HMAS Stirling where the installation and testing of the combat and communications systems, as well as some logistics areas, will be completed by Australian industry.
“The achievement of this milestone is a great credit to the people of Navantia S.A. and everyone involved with the SEA 1654-3 program, particularly with the challenges presented by COVID-19,” de Sarría added.
Once in service, the AORs will operate in a joint manner with the wider maritime force and Australian Defence Force to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.
De Sarría said, “We acknowledge the efforts and contributions made by all our subcontractors, including Navantia Australia personnel, Teekay, Raytheon, SAAB, the Royal Australian Navy and the Department of Defence located not only in Ferrol, but also in Canberra and Sydney.”
The two Supply Class AORs will bare the storied names HMA Ships Supply (II) and Stalwart (III) once commissioned. The lead ship, Supply, was laid down on 18 November 2017 and then launched at the Navantia Shipyards in Ferrol, Spain, on 24 November 2018.
Based on the Spanish Navy’s Cantabria Class vessel, the new AORs will replace Durance Class HMAS Success and the commercial tanker-based HMAS Sirius.
The ships are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.
The following day, in accordance with shipbuilding tradition, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, positioned a coin under where the hull will be constructed for Stalwart.
In addition to replenishment, the vessels can be used to combat against environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief operations following a natural disaster. (Source: Defence Connect)
03 Sep 20. Austal USA delivers US Navy’s EPF ship. Austal USA has delivered the 12th Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship, USNS Newport (EPF 12), to the US Navy. The company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama delivered the vessel. Last month, the US Naval Sea Systems Command announced that the USNS Newport completed integrated sea trials.
Austal CEO David Singleton said: “Austal USA has now delivered 24 ships to the US Navy in just over ten years, including three in this year alone. This is a remarkable achievement and testament to the productivity and efficiency of the shipyard, which is now expanding to enable the shipbuilding and support of steel vessels.
“The ongoing, successful delivery of both the Spearhead-class EPF and Independence-class LCS shipbuilding programmes has positioned the Austal USA shipyard to pursue new aluminium and steel shipbuilding opportunities in the future.”
The EPF features a 1,800m² cargo deck, medium-lift helicopter deck and can accommodate over 300 seated embarked troops.
EPFs are developed to operate in shallow waterways and can be used for several missions, including disaster relief, support for special operations forces, command and control, and primary medical operations.
Austal USA has already started building the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13). The ship builder is also under contract to build the future USNS Cody (EPF 14), which will commence this year.
The company received a contract to deliver 19 Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), with 12 already delivered. Five ships are under construction, while construction of two more vessels is yet to commence. (Source: naval-technology.com)
03 Sep 20. Singapore’s first Invincible-class submarine commences trials as pioneer crew begins training. The first Type 218SG air-independent propulsion (AIP)-capable diesel-electric submarine (SSK) on order for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has begun its initial shallow water trials, the country’s defence ministry (MINDEF) confirmed with Janes on 3 September.
In addition to that, MINDEF also confirmed that the pioneering crew of the programme’s first-of-class, which will be in service as RSS Invincible once commissioned, has commenced training in parallel to these sea trials.
Janes understands that the shallow water trials, which are part of Invincible ’s testing and acceptance phase, began on 31 August in the bight off Kiel and these are scheduled to go on until mid-September. The vessel will then progress on to deep water trials, which will be conducted in the waters off Norway, in the later part of the year.
Invincible is one of four Type 218SG boats ordered under two separate contracts signed between ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and the Singaporean government in 2013 and 2017. The boat was launched by TKMS in February 2019.
“The Invincible-class submarines are designed for operations in Singapore’s shallow and busy tropical waters. Customised to Singapore’s needs, the new submarines possess longer endurance and can carry higher payloads,” MINDEF said in a statement in June 2020.
“These boats are also equipped with significantly improved capabilities such as longer endurance, higher payloads and more capable sensors,” MINDEF added in its 3 September statement to Janes, stopping short of providing specifics of these capabilities. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Aug 20. US Navy Christened Littoral Combat Ship Savannah. The US Navy christened its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Savannah (LCS 28), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, Aug. 29, in Mobile, Alabama. Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition James Geurts delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address. Mrs. Dianne Isakson, wife of former U.S. Senator John Isakson, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Isakson will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
“Today we christened the sixth USS Savannah following an outstanding record of service named for a great American city. In so doing we move one step closer to welcoming a new ship to Naval service and transitioning the platform from a mere hull number to a ship with a name and spirit,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. “There is no doubt future sailors aboard this ship will carry on the same values of honor, courage and commitment upheld by crews from earlier vessels that bore this name.”
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom-variant and the Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
LCS 28 is the 14th Independence-variant LCS and 28th in class. It is the sixth ship named in honor of the city of Savannah. The first was a coastal galley that provided harbor defense for the port of Savannah, 1799-1802. The second USS Savannah, a frigate, served as the flagship of the Pacific Squadron and then served in the Brazil Squadrons and Home Squadrons, 1844-1862. The third USS Savannah (AS 8) was launched in 1899 as the German commercial freighter, Saxonia. Seized in Seattle, Washington, upon the outbreak of World War I, the freighter was converted to a submarine tender and supported submarine squadrons in both the Atlantic and Pacific, 1917-1926. The fourth USS Savannah (CL 42) was a Brooklyn-class light cruiser commissioned in 1938. The warship served through the entire Mediterranean campaign, receiving three battle stars for service before decommissioning in 1945. The fifth USS Savannah (AOR 4) was a Wichita-class replenishment oiler commissioned in 1970. AOR 4 earned one battle star and a Meritorious Unit Commendation for service in the Vietnam War. The oiler provided underway replenishment services in the Atlantic and Indian oceans until decommissioning in 1995. (Source: US DoD)
01 Sep 20. Boeing Delivers SOCOM’s First Next-Gen Chinook Helicopter. Boeing [NYSE: BA] is delivering new technologies and performance improvements to U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with the Block II Chinook helicopter. Boeing’s Philadelphia team recently delivered the first MH-47G Block II Chinook to SOCOM on time.
“This delivery marks a major step for the Chinook program,” said Andy Builta, vice president and H-47 program manager. “The new Chinook will give U.S. Special Operations Forces significantly more capability for extremely challenging missions and will enable them to conduct those missions on the future battlefield.”
The company is on contract for 23 more MH-47G Block II Chinooks, having signed a contract with SOCOM in July.
Boeing has more than 4,600 employees in Pennsylvania supporting Chinook, the V-22 Osprey, MH-139A Grey Wolf and a number of services and engineering efforts. Including suppliers and vendors, Boeing’s activities support an estimated 16,000 jobs in Pennsylvania.
01 Sep 20. US Air Force delays first B-21 flight. The US Air Force (USAF) is now expecting the first flight of its Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider long range strike bomber (LRSB) to take place no earlier than 2022, slightly later than the late 2021 timeframe the service previously expected.
Major General Mark Weatherington, Eighth Air Force commander, said on 31 August that the USAF could also make the aircraft’s initial operational capability (IOC) date earlier, depending if it accelerates deliveries. This does not mean the aircraft would be delivered earlier, he said, but instead would represent a steeper ramp-up. Matthew Donovan, former USAF undersecretary, said in January 2018 that the B-21’s IOC was scheduled for the mid-2020s.
The Eighth Air Force is responsible for the service’s bomber force and airborne nuclear command and control (C2) assets. The air force currently has 157 bombers: 61 Rockwell B-1B Lancers, 76 Boeing B-52H Stratofortresses, and 20 Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit strategic bombers.
The USAF is planning for a major revamp of its bomber force. It will modernise its B-52H fleet with new engines, radars, and communication systems, among others. The air force wants to start retiring its B-1Bs now while it will start retiring its fleet of B-2s once the B-21 comes online. The USAF proposed in its fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget request to reduce its bomber fleet from 157 aircraft to 140 by retiring 17 B-1Bs. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Aug 20. Airbus unveils B-model Lakota helos to enter US Army fleet next year. The newest version of the UH-72B Lakota light utility helicopter will enter the U.S. Army fleet in 2021, aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced Aug. 28 at the National Guard Association of the United States virtual trade show.
Beginning with the newest orders placed in 2020, Airbus will deliver 17 UH-72Bs next year after supplying 460 UH-72As across the Army, Navy and National Guard. In September, the last UH-72A (the 463rd) will roll off the production line in Columbus, Missouri, according to the statement.
The “B” model will look distinctly different from the “A” variant. The aircraft is based off the Airbus H145 and will feature a Fenestron tail rotor, which the current A model does not have, according to Airbus. The B model will also have more powerful engine technology, “enhanced” controls and the Airbus Helionix avionics suite, the company said.
The new helicopter variant will go to the Army National Guard.
“Since we first began operations with the UH-72 Lakota some 15 years ago, this helicopter has been the workhorse of the Army and National Guard, saving lives, assisting in disaster relief, training thousands of pilots, and, more importantly, helping to protect our communities and our country,” Col. Calvin Lane, the Army’s project manager for utility helicopters, said in the statement. “Procuring the UH-72B Lakota provides tremendous value with no research and development costs for the Army.”
Since the program’s inception in 2006, the Army and National Guard have logged nearly 800,000 flight hours, serving as the initial entry rotary-wing training aircraft for the Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and has flown search and rescue, medical evacuation and disaster relief missions as well counter-drug operations at the Southwest border.
The Army chose to make the Lakota the primary training helicopter and retire its TH-67 aircraft when it restructured its entire aviation fleet in 2013. The decision met some resistance. Several companies like Bell Helicopter and AgustaWestland were hoping at the time to sell military training helicopters to several armed services, including the Army.
AgustaWestland, a Leonardo subsidiary, filed a lawsuit four years ago in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims over the Army’s plan to buy 16 of the aircraft for the training fleet. The court ruled in favor of AgustaWestland, and the Army was barred from buying the Lakotas. But the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s decision in early 2018, allowing the service to move forward in procuring Lakotas. (Source: Defense News)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
03 Sep 20. Embraer adjusts its structure in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and the cancellation of the partnership with Boeing. São José dos Campos, Brazil, September 3, 2020 – Embraer announced today a 4,5% adjustment to its global workforce, which corresponds to approximately 900 employees in Brazil. The measure stems from the impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and the cancellation of the company’s partnership with Boeing. The objective is to ensure Embraer’s sustainability and engineering capacity.
The pandemic particularly affected Embraer Commercial Aviation, which experienced a 75% reduction in aircraft deliveries during the first half of 2020 as compared to the same period last year.
The situation worsened as a result of the duplication of structures associated with the carve out of the company’s commercial aviation business in preparation for the partnership which was terminated at the initiative of Boeing, as well as the expectation that the air transport sector will not recover in the short- or medium-term.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Embraer has adopted a series of measures to preserve jobs, including collective vacations, reduced working hours, furloughs, paid leave, and three voluntary dismissal plans (VDP). The company has also reduced face-to-face work at its industrial plants with the aim of ensuring the health of employees and business continuity. Around 1,600 employees chose to participate in the VDPs in Brazil.
The company recognizes and appreciates the commitment of those professionals who are leaving the organization and counts on the commitment of all employees to overcome the current crisis and maintain the company’s competitiveness in the global market.
03 Sep 20. ‘Significant’ job cuts planned at GKN Aerospace. Employees at aerostructures and engine parts supplier GKN Aerospace are bracing for “a significant reduction in the worldwide workforce” as part of coronavirus-related cost-saving measures initiated by owner Melrose Industries.
In a half-year trading update issued on 3 September, Melrose argues that the job cuts and cost-reduction efforts are necessary “to enable an improved performance in 2021 without reliance on sales returning”.
Consultations with staff and unions are already under way, it says, with the process due to play out in the second-half.
While its defence aerospace business remained robust, the civil operation – which includes the manufacture of wing structures for the Airbus A350 in the UK – has been hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
Half-year sales at GKN Aerospace fell 18% year on year, to £1.57bn ($2bn); sales are expected to drop 25-30% for the full year, says Melrose. Aerospace revenues in 2019 stood at £3.85bn.
“While operating margins remained in line with targets until mid-March 2020, [the] civil airframe and engines [unit] experienced a sharp decline for the rest of the period prompted by Covid-19 travel restrictions.”
Melrose anticipates the current trend persisting in the second half for the civil business, but says this is “expected to be partially offset by a comparatively strong defence sector”; military work represents about one-third of the aerospace business, it notes.
“Whilst the next 12-18 months in particular are likely to be challenging, there is much that can be done to improve this world leading business further,” it says.
Melrose wrote down the value of assets by £173m during the six months to end-June, with the majority, £133m, coming from the aerospace business.
That contributed to a non-adjusted operating loss of £225m in the aerospace unit. On an adjusted basis, the division recorded a £54m operating profit. Melrose – which bills itself as a business turnaround specialist – acquired GKN in 2018. (Source: Flightglobal)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
31 Aug 20. US plans further troop reductions in Iraq by November. The United States plans to reduce its military force in Iraq from the current 5,200 to about 3,500 by November, U.S. officials said Friday. The cut would be in line with President Donald Trump’s repeated call to bring troops home and his reelection campaign pledge to end what he calls “endless wars.”
The plan to shrink the U.S. force in Iraq was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Officials who confirmed the plan spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a matter not yet publicly announced.
American troops are in Iraq to train and advise Iraqi security forces battling the Islamic State group, but the relationship has been rocky at times in large part because of periodic attacks by Iran-backed militia groups that are not fully controlled by the Iraqi government. U.S. troops, after invading Iraq and toppling President Saddam Hussein in 2003, had withdrawn from the country only to begin returning in 2014 after IS militants swept across the Syrian border and took control of large swaths of Iraqi territory.
Trump met last week at the White House with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
“We look forward to the day when we don’t have to be there,” Trump said then. “We were there and now we’re getting out. We’ll be leaving shortly and the relationship is very good. We’re making very big oil deals. Our oil companies are making massive deals. … We’re going to be leaving and hopefully we’re going to be leaving a country that can defend itself.”
Last month, the top U.S. general for the Middle East said he believed the U.S. will keep a smaller but enduring presence in the country. Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, said he believes the Iraqis welcome U.S. and coalition troops, especially in the ongoing fight to keep IS fighters from taking hold of the country again.
OIR wants to double the size of some proxy forces in Syria and train a 2,200-man local “oilfield guard force” in the northeastern part of the country. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said as recently as this month that the administration intends to get U.S. forces in Iraq to the lowest possible level as quickly as possible, but he has not cited specific numbers.
Pompeo said after meeting last week with Iraq’s foreign minister that Washington was committed to helping Iraq regain and maintain security. Armed groups are not under the full control of the Iraqi prime minister, Pompeo said, adding that those groups should be replaced by local police as soon as possible and that the U.S. would help.
Tensions spiked between the U.S. and Iraq in January after a U.S. drone strike near the Baghdad airport killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Angry Iraqi lawmakers, spurred on by Shiite political factions, passed a nonbinding resolution to oust all U.S.-led coalition forces from the country.
In response to the Soleimani killing, Iran on Jan. 8 launched a ballistic missile attack on al-Asad air base in Iraq, which resulted in traumatic brain injuries to more than 100 American troops. Two months later, U.S. fighter jets struck five sites in retaliation, targeting Iranian-backed Shiite militia members believed responsible for the January rocket attack. (Source: Military Times)
31 Aug 20. Department of Defense named Dr. Victoria Coleman as the director of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dr. Coleman’s career spans over 30 years in academia, the private sector, and government, including previous service as the founding Chair of DARPA’s Microsystems Exploratory Council and membership on the Defense Science Board. She has led cutting edge research and development across the technology sector, to include service as the Chief Executive Officer of Atlas AI; Senior Vice President at Technicolor; Chief Technology Officer of Connected Home Business; Vice President, Engineering at Yahoo!; Vice President, Software Engineering at Hewlett-Packard Palm Global Business Unit; and Director for Security Initiatives at Intel. Her efforts have included work in artificial intelligence, microelectronics, and extensive work in the design and development of mobile devices and other consumer electronics products. Dr. Coleman has an extensive academic background leading research at the University of California Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and the University of London. She completed her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Salford and earned her doctorate in computer science from the University of Manchester. (Source: US DoD)
28 Aug 20. Rear Adm. Collin P. Green will be assigned as chief of staff, U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida. Green is currently serving as commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, San Diego, California.
28 Aug 20. Rear Adm. John F. Wade will be assigned as director of operations, J3, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii. Wade is currently serving as director, maritime operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia.
28 Aug 20. Rear Adm. Fred I. Pyle will be assigned as director, maritime operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia. Pyle is currently serving as commander, Navy Warfare Development Command, Norfolk, Virginia.
01 Sep. 20. USAF Chief Master Sgt. Daniel C. Simpson, currently assigned as the command chief master sergeant for Eighteenth Air Force (Air Mobility Command), Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, has been selected to assume responsibility from Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Vincent C. Santiago as the command senior enlisted leader for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arlington, Virginia.
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
03 Sep 20. The Government of Canada announced that it has appointed Lisa Campbell as President of the Canadian Space Agency. Ms. Campbell replaces Sylvain Laporte, who has been President of the agency since 2015. Ms. Campbell’s career has largely been in service to Canadians. She comes to the post from a position as Associate Deputy Minister, Veterans Affairs Canada. Previously, she was Assistant Deputy Minister, Defence and Marine Procurement, leading the organization procuring Canada’s military and marine equipment. She has led large, multi-disciplinary teams across government, involving some of the most complex files, and has a strong track record of engaging with diverse stakeholder communities. Ms. Campbell also worked at Canada’s competition authority as Senior Deputy Commissioner, reviewing mergers and business conduct. This appointment was made following an open, transparent and merit-based selection process. (Source: PR Newswire)
01 Sep. 20. Lorenzo Mariani appointed Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development and Managing Director MBDA Italia. Starting from 1st September 2020, Lorenzo Mariani has become Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development of MBDA and Managing Director of MBDA Italia. Reporting directly to Eric Béranger, the group’s Chief Executive Officer, he also becomes a member of MBDA’s Executive Committee. Mr Mariani succeeds Pasquale Di Bartolomeo following his appointment as Leonardo’s Chief Commercial Officer.
As Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development, Mr Mariani will guide an integrated multi-national team responsible for generating the order intake to sustain the long term performance of the company. This includes all activities related to the whole product life cycle, and for understanding precisely what customers require and developing the most compelling solutions to meet these requirements.
As Managing Director of MBDA Italia, Mr Mariani will be the senior representative of the company in Italy. He will lead MBDA’s relationship with both the Italian customer and the Italian industrial community. Whilst as the person responsible for the company’s operations in the country, he will also ensure its business continuity, competitiveness and coherence from a national perspective.
Mr Mariani joins MBDA from Leonardo where he held several key positions. He had previously been Managing Director of the Land & Naval Defence Electronics Division. From 2017 was Chief Commercial Officer, and additionally from May 2018 he was Chief Executive Officer of Leonardo International, and held both posts until his departure to join MBDA.
As a member of the MBDA board whilst at Leonardo, Mr Mariani knows the company very well. Moreover, earlier in his career, he worked in MBDA’s Strategy directorate as the head of product strategy from 2002 to 2005.
Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said: “I am pleased to welcome Lorenzo Mariani to the MBDA group Executive Committee. Thanks to his career in the commercial field, I am confident Lorenzo will provide a decisive contribution to the company’s future success. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Pasquale Di Bartolomeo for having played a key role in the development of MBDA as a market leader.”
03 Sep 20. Onboard Systems International, LLC, a leading provider of innovative helicopter cargo hook equipment, today announced that Cory VanBuskirk has joined Onboard as President. In addition, Jason Lemmon will be stepping down as President to transition to his new role as Senior Advisor in the coming weeks. He will also remain on the Board of Directors for Onboard Systems. (Source: PR Newswire)
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
24 Aug 20. ViaLite’s RF over fiber distributor in the UAE, Symbolise, has recently expanded its global reach. The company, which provides communication and broadcast solutions, has hired a business manager and opened a new office, thereby increasing its global footprint to provide ViaLite products and support into two further countries. Symbolise has delivered ViaLite RF over fiber to the Middle East over the last three and a half years and will now also be covering the Netherlands and Belgium. (Source: Satnews)
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