Sponsored by BATTLESPACE Jobboard
22 Sep 20. Kratos Expands Production Capacity Ready for Air Force Contract. Kratos Defense, a manufacturer of military tactical and training drones, expanded its footprint in Oklahoma City. The San Diego-based defense contractor increased the size of its operation here by 50%, and now uses over 150,000 square feet at the Will Rogers Business Park. Steve Fendley, president of Kratos’ unmanned systems division, said the expansion will be used for manufacturing and integration of the XQ-58 Valkyrie tactical aircraft and two other classified projects.
The Valkyrie is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that operates much like a fighter aircraft. It is designed to fly in tandem with a crewed fighter jet as a “loyal wingman.” Kratos pitched the aircraft for the U.S. Air Force’s $400m Skyborg program, and is competing against legacy contractors General Atomics, Boeing and Northrop Grumman to fill the first orders. Kratos first opened its Oklahoma City facility in 2018, using the wide, open space at Will Rogers Business Park to manufacture its “target” drones, which are advanced UAVs that can be programmed to mimic hostile aircraft and missiles. The company added Valkyrie production last year after announcing all of its tactical drones would be built in Oklahoma.
Some testing takes place in Oklahoma, and Kratos expressed interest in using the state-owned Clinton-Sherman Airport near Burns Flat for some of its operations. Technicians already conduct final engine tests at the production facility before packing the drones into a crate and shipping them off to customers.
Fendley said Kratos hired 50 employees this year and plans to add another 50 to 100 next year.
To compete with the larger, more well-known defense contractors for the Skyborg project, Fendley said Kratos focuses on affordability and building to cost. Providing low-cost platforms has been a cornerstone of its target drone business and has enabled Kratos to compete with tactical drones.
“It’s really what has allowed us to move so rapidly and so effectively into that area and be competitive against tier-one (prime contractors),” said Fendley. “I believe it’s a whole philosophy difference.” (Source: UAS VISION/The Oklahoman)
22 Sep 20. ALSIM, the global flight simulator manufacturer headquartered in France, has opened a brand-new production site next to its historical factory, in Le Loroux-Bottereau, Nantes. To respond to growing demand of the market, the 26-year-experienced flight simulator manufacturer, has decided to expand its production capacities. Fully equipped with modern installation and in the aeronautical style, the building allows ALSIM to produce up to 10 simulators at the same time. The production has been re-organized to get a greater reliability of manufacturing processes. This change leads to an increase of simulators’ quality and would allow ALSIM to consider the ISO certification in the near future.
In addition to the production team, the hardware engineers’ team has also been integrated to the facility to reinforce the synergies and enable an even smoother and more efficient work.
21 Sep 20. Fincantieri launches Qatar’s first offshore patrol vessel. Fincantieri has launched the Qatari Emiri Navy’s first offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Musherib at the Muggiano (La Spezia) yard. Fincantieri has launched the Qatari Emiri Navy’s first offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Musherib at the Muggiano (La Spezia) yard. The ceremony was attended by Qatari and Italian ministers, along with other dignitaries. The launch follows the steel cutting of the fourth vessel, Sumaysimah, as part of Qatari’s naval acquisition programme.
Designed to comply with the RINAMIL for Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) rules, Musherib will be able to perform a range of tasks, from surveillance to acting as a fighting vessel.
The 63m-long, 9.2m-wide vessel can achieve maximum speeds of 30k and accommodate 38 crew members.
It features a propulsion system that contains four variable pitch propellers, two to starboard and two to the left, which are in line with a diesel propulsion engine.
According to the shipbuilder, the patrol vessel will also be able to operate a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) through a crane situated at the stern.
It is scheduled to be delivered in 2022.
In June 2016, Fincantieri won a €4bn contract with the Qatari Ministry of Defence to build seven new generation surface vessels.
The contract involves the construction of four corvettes, one amphibious vessel (landing platform dock), and two OPVs.
It also includes the provision of support services in Qatar for a ten-year period after the delivery of the vessels.
All units will be constructed at the Italian shipyards of the group.
In January, Fincantieri and the Qatari Ministry of Defence, through Barzan Holding, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Doha to jointly study naval technology. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Sep 20. RAAF takes delivery of 30th F-35A Lightning II aircraft. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has taken delivery of the 30th F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has taken delivery of the 30th F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft. Prior to formal acceptance of the jet, the aircraft was put through pre-acceptance testing. This included performing checks on the production line at contractor Lockheed Martin’s Texas facility along with flight tests to make sure the aircraft meets the RAAF’s requirements.
The aircraft was accepted by F-35A Air Vehicle Lead Squadron leader Brook Porter.
Porter said: “Working with local and international stakeholders, the team has also been integral to ferrying the majority of these aircraft to Australia from the US.
“It’s rewarding to be part of the team establishing Australia’s future air-combat capability. It’s much bigger than simply delivering an aircraft.
“It’s important to remain vigilant and stick to our ‘smart-customer’ approach. This means we are constantly asking questions to ensure we are getting value for money, as we strive to deliver Australia’s fifth-generation fighter jet capability.”
Earlier this month, Collins Aerospace’s Australian arm achieved a major milestone with the delivery of the 1,000th 360° situational awareness system for the global F‑35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.
In July, TAE Aerospace conducted routine maintenance of the RAAF’s first F‑35A engine fan module.
The maintenance of the jets highlighted the growing capability of defence companies in the country.
In June, the Australian Government provided funding to three companies to increase their involvement in the global Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 programme and continue to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, the RAAF F-35A aircraft completed 1,000 flying hours over the skies of Arizona in the US. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
21 Sep 20. Philippine Air Force receives first four of six Super Tucano aircraft. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has received the first four of six Embraer Defense & Security A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft it ordered in late 2017.
The state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA) quoted Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong as saying that the turboprop aircraft landed at Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga Province, on 19 September.
The aircraft were flown by Embraer pilots from Sao Paulo in Brazil, and made re-fuelling stops in the Canary Islands, Portugal, Malta, Egypt, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, and Vietnam before landing in the Philippines.
One of the four A-29 Super Tucano aircraft that arrived at Clark Air Base in the Philippines on 19 September. Two more A-29s are expected to arrive in the country in the coming days. (Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs)
In a separate statement issued on 20 September the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said the remaining two aircraft would arrive “in the coming week”, adding that an official arrival ceremony was being organised.
The A-29s, which will be part of the PAF’s 15th Strike Wing and will supplement Boeing (Rockwell) OV-10 Bronco ground-attack aircraft, were initially scheduled to be delivered by the end of February but this was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The aircraft are expected to be employed in a number of roles, including close air support, light attack, surveillance and reconnaissance, air-to-air interception, and counter-insurgency.
Speaking on 9 July Andolong had described the A-29s as being “a much-needed replacement for the PAF’s aged, close air support aircraft”, adding that “their mission versatility and capability to carry a variety of ordnance will be very useful in the field”. (Source: Jane’s)
21 Sep 20. First Brazilian Gripen arrives in-country. The first Saab Gripen E for Brazil arrived in-country on 20 September, having been shipped from Norrköping in Sweden. As previously reported by Janes, this first Gripen E is a flight test instrumentation (FTI) aircraft (serial number FAB4100) that has been flying in Sweden since August 2019. Now in Brazil, FAB4100 will undergo further testing at the Gripen Flight Test Center (GFTC) in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo, before being officially presented to the country at the air force’s Aviator Day event in Brasília on 23 October. The Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira: FAB) has ordered an initial batch of 28 Gripen Es and eight twin-seat Gripen Fs to be delivered through to 2024. Saab is to build 13 aircraft at its facility in Linköping, Sweden, with the remaining 23 being built in Brazil. (Source: Jane’s)
18 Sep 20. Afghanistan receives additional Super Tucanos. Afghanistan has received a further four Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop aircraft, with a delivery ceremony held at Kabul International Airport on 17 September. The delivery, announced by NATO the same day, brings to 23 the total now fielded by the Afghan Air Force (AAF), of which 18 are in-country with the remainder located at Moody Air Force Base in Virginia.
According to Janes World Air Forces, this latest batch brings the total AAF inventory up to 30, of which 10 have been retained at Moody Air Force Base in the United States for training. The US plans to move training to Afghanistan later in 2020, while NATO noted plans to transfer a further six aircraft to the AAF in February 2021.
The Super Tucano has been active in Afghanistan from early 2016, since which time it has served as the AAF’s only fixed-wing combat aircraft. The Super Tucano’s range, speed, service ceiling, and availability (coupled with its ability to dispense precision-guided munitions), enables it to operate effectively throughout Afghanistan. (Source: Jane’s)
23 Sep 20. US Army flies Chinook fitted with King Stallion engines. The US Army and Boeing have flown an NCH-47D Chinook heavy-lift helicopter fitted with the more powerful General Electric (GE) T408 engines of the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion, it was announced on 21 September.
As noted by the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center (CCDC AvMC) that is overseeing the development effort, this first flight at Fort Eustis in Virginia involved the NCH-47D fitted with the General Electric T408 engine performing a hover and pedal turn in order to assess multiple critical aircraft parameters supported by live telemetry.
“This first flight is the culmination of a five-year effort under a co-operative research and development agreement between AvMC, Boeing and GE Aviation to evaluate the feasibility and benefits of higher-power engines while assessing and reducing the technical risks of integrating advanced engines in a Chinook aircraft,” the army said.
The standard Honeywell T55 engine that currently powers the Chinook puts out 5,000shp for a combined 10,000shp per helicopter. With the GE T408 fitted, the Chinook generates a combined 15,000shp. As previously reported by Janes, swapping out the engines has involved some major structural changes to the supporting mounts given the larger size of the new powerplant. Boeing has also noted that because the T55 spins in the opposite direction to the T408, a new gearbox has needed to be fitted. (Source: Jane’s)
22 Sep 20. F-15EX engine competition offerors target production rates of 90–100 units per year. The two likely offerors for the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Boeing F-15EX Advanced Eagle fighter engine competition seek to reach annual production rates of 90–100 propulsion systems.
Shawn Warren, General Electric (GE) Aviation vice-president and general manager of large combat and mobility engines, told Janes on 17 September that the company wanted to produce its F110-GE-129 offering at a rate of 90–100 engines yearly. GE, he said, produced 10 of the engine in 2019 and will likely produce 30 of the propulsion system in 2020.
GE is forecasting, and working toward, being able to build roughly 100 units of the engine per year starting in 2024. Warren said that GE had produced propulsion systems at this rate before, and therefore it would be about re-energising the supply base to be able to return to this production pace.
Kinda Eastwood, Pratt & Whitney integrated customer solutions executive director, told Janes on 18 September that the company was offering its F100-PW-229 for the F-15EX engine competition. The company, Eastwood said, is seeking to support an annual production rate capacity of 96–120 propulsion systems per year for the competition.
Pratt & Whitney is implementing options to invigorate the supply base and invest in the production line to support this expected production rate. Eastwood said that this pace would fully support future international and Pentagon demand, including for the F-15EX. (Source: Jane’s)
22 Sep 20. Korean, European agencies agree on relocation of H155 production. South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) has signed an agreement with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to support the production in South Korea of Airbus Helicopters’ H155 (formerly EC155 B1) light utility helicopter.
MOLIT said in a press release on 18 September that the new accord facilitates Airbus’ relocation of its H155 production line from Marseille, France to a facility in Sacheon, in the south of the country. MOLIT said the relocation will take place next year, with the aim to support the development of the national aerospace industry.
Airbus Helicopters and Korea Aerospace Industries are planning to collaborate on the production in South Korea of the H155 helicopter, which forms the base design of South Korea’s Light Attack Helicopter (pictured). (Airbus Helicopters)
The ministry added, “Airbus plans to relocate its [H155] helicopter production line to Sacheon by 2021, and this business agreement contains the details of co-operation between the two sides to support smooth helicopter production in Korea.”
The Yonhap news agency in South Korea said the local production facility will be jointly run by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), which is based in Sacheon, and Airbus Helicopters. An official from MOLIT was quoted by Yonhap as saying, “Airbus and KAI will set up a joint company within this year in South Korea to manage the production and delivery of the [H155] helicopters.”
Janes has previously reported that Airbus Helicopters was planning to move its H155 assembly line to South Korea with in-country production set to run through to 2050. (Source: Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
22 Sep 20. Airbus CEO: we can’t guarantee no compulsory layoffs. European planemaker Airbus will do its best to cut costs without resorting to compulsory redundancies, but it cannot guarantee they won’t happen, CEO Guillaume Faury told French radio station RTL on Tuesday.
With air travel at a fraction of its normal level due to restrictions and travellers’ fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines have slowed deliveries of new aircraft.
Airbus has said it needs to shed 15,000 posts worldwide.
“The crisis is existential. Our life as a business is potentially at risk if we don’t take the right measures. We are taking them,” Faury said.
“The situation is so serious, and we are faced with so much uncertainty, that I think no one can guarantee there won’t be compulsory redundancies if we’re to adapt to the situation, especially if it evolves further.”
“On the other hand, what I say clearly is that we have a lot of work to do, we will do everything we can to avoid arriving at that point,” he told the radio station.
“There are lots of measures we can take between voluntary redundancies and compulsory redundancies.”
In a letter sent to staff this month, Faury warned them the planemaker may have to carry out compulsory layoffs after air travel failed to recover from the pandemic as quickly as anticipated. (Source: Reuters)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
22 Sep 20. DOD Anticipates Significant Troop Reduction in Afghanistan. Based on the current conditions in Afghanistan, the Defense Department expects there will be fewer than 5,000 U.S. military service members in that country by the end of November, said David F. Helvey, who is currently performing the duties of assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs.
“We’ve long maintained that our force presence in Afghanistan is conditions-based,” said Helvey during testimony today before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, national security subcommittee. “This August, the president [decided] that the conditions of Afghanistan were sufficient to reduce our force presence to between 4,000 and 5,000 by the end of November 2020.”
At that force level, Helvey said, the U.S. maintains an ability to conduct the core aspects of its existing missions in Afghanistan. One of those missions is to participate in the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, which is focused on training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The U.S. also conducts a counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan that works with partners to mitigate terrorist threats there.
Right now, there are no orders to reduce the force presence any further, Helvey said, though there is planning to draw down to zero troops in Afghanistan by May 2021. But those plans can’t be implemented unless the conditions of an agreement with the Taliban are met, he said.
“As [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] said in Doha, the Taliban must uphold their counterterrorism guarantees to the United States,” Helvey said. “We also expect the Taliban to meaningfully participate in Afghan peace negotiations, and to do their part in preventing outside actors from negatively impacting the peace process.”
In late February of this year, the U.S. and the Taliban signed an agreement that includes, eventually, the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Since the signing of that agreement, the U.S. has reduced forces to 8,600. Part of that agreement also requires the Taliban to agree to no longer allow its members, or other groups, to use Afghanistan as a location from which to threaten the security of the United States or its allies.
Since the signing of that agreement on February 29, Helvey said, no U.S. military personnel have been killed in Afghanistan.
“Ultimately, what we want to be able to see in Afghanistan, is an enduring peace,” Helvey said. “In that type of environment … the terrorist organizations, terrorist groups, will not be able to operate, will not be able to plan, will not be present. That’s the focus, and we’re looking to get the Taliban to adhere to its commitments.” (Source: US DoD)
18 Sep 20. Germany to form A400M Multinational Air Transport Unit with Hungary. Germany is establishing a new multinational unit to operate the Airbus A400M transport aircraft, with Hungary committed as its first partner. The Bundeswehr announced on 17 September that the Multinational Air Transport Unit (MNAU) was being established at Wunstorf Air Base in northern Germany, home to the Luftwaffe’s A400M force. This new international unit will relocate to Lechfeld Air Base in the far south of the country with 10 of the Luftwaffe’s 53 contracted A400Ms, as well as additional A400Ms that might be provided by partner nations.
Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, inspector of the German Air Force, was quoted as saying, “The establishment of the implementation team of the Multinational Air Transport Unit is another milestone in multinational, military air transport. With the integration of the first technical officer of the Hungarian Air Force [HuAF], the cooperation with our Hungarian partners begins.”
As noted by the Bundeswehr, the genesis of the MNAU dates back to 2017, when the Federal Ministry of Defence enabled the Luftwaffe to set up a new air transport association with multinational participation. With the Luftwaffe planning to field 40 A400Ms, this new multinational unit would operate all or some of the remaining 13 contracted to Germany. (Source: Jane’s)
22 Sep 20. Rare Fellowship for Dstl Scientist. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the profession, Dstl’s Dr Bryn Hughes has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
In recognition of his outstanding and continuing contribution to the profession, Dstl’s Dr Bryn Hughes has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
It is a huge accolade with only 1600 Engineering Fellowships world-wide with Bryn’s award is among 53 announced today at the academies’ AGM.
Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The new Fellows are among the most talented and successful engineers working in the field today, leaders in areas from transport and our essential data infrastructure to lifesaving developments in medical research. We look forward to working with them and benefiting from their ideas and insight as we strive to inform public debate and provide.”
Dr Bryn Hughes is described by his peers as an outstanding engineer who has made numerous contributions to the UK’s defence and security. He has brought together various aspects of engineering to develop new sensors for use in harsh environments, worked to raise awareness of national IT security linked to critical infrastructure, and delivered a modern manufacturing capability. All of these achievements have necessitated a deep understanding of specific engineering techniques and methods, as well as wider system engineering, to deliver solutions that are technically robust and meet challenging end user requirements for secure operation.
Speaking about his award, Dr Hughes said: “I am hugely excited and humbled by this honour, especially by being put forward by my peers. This honour also acknowledges the great people that I have had the privilege of working with throughout my career and who have helped me in any achievement that I may have made.”
The Royal Academy of Engineering is a charity that harnesses the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone.
Dstl’s Chief Officer, Andy Bell said:
It is wonderful to see the expertise of our staff recognised in this way. Bryn is a highly regarded, not just here at Dstl, but around the world. It is a great achievement for Bryn and I congratulate him on behalf of all at Dstl. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
24 Sep 20. Change of British High Commissioner to Malawi: David Beer. Mr David Beer has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of Malawi.
Mr David Beer has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of Malawi in succession to Ms Holly Tett, who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Beer will take up his appointment during October 2020.
Full name: David Beer
Married to: Severine Flores
2018 to present
Department for International Development (DFID, now Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Country Director for Malawi
2015 to 2018
Advisor to UK Executive Directors at the IMF and World Bank
2012 to 2015
DFID, Economic Development Team Leader for Ghana
2010 to 2012
DFID, Head of Office, Burundi
2008 to 2010
DFID, Humanitarian and Recovery Programme Manager for Sudan
2004 to 2008
DFID, Various roles including; International Development Committee Inquiry lead, Iraq; Policy analyst on Occupied Palestinian Territory; EU co-ordinator Western Balkans Team; and Programme Officer, Corporate Strategy Group
2000 to 2005
Various Non-Governmental Organisation roles including: Tearfund Desk Officer for Rwanda, Burundi and Madagascar; Medair Humanitarian Programme Manager, North-East Uganda; Medair Logistics Co-ordinator, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Youth With a Mission Construction Manager, Uganda
24 Sep 20. Change of British High Commissioner to the Kingdom of Tonga. Ms Lucy Joyce OBE has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Kingdom of Tonga.
Ms Lucy Joyce OBE has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Kingdom of Tonga, as we reopen our resident High Commission in Nukuʻalofa. Ms Joyce will take up her appointment later this year.
2016 to 2019
Chisinau, Her Majesty’s Ambassador
2015 to 2016
Lusaka, Acting High Commissioner
2013 to 2015
FCO, Head, North America Department
2012 to 2013
Brasilia, Counsellor – Prosperity
2008 to 2012
FCO, Head, FCO Olympics and Paralympics Unit
2004 to 2008
Paris, Counsellor, International Policy Section
2000 to 2004
Brussels, Head of Press & Public Affairs
22 Sep 20. BG. Sean C. Bernabe, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Europe, Germany, to commanding general, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, Fort Bliss, Texas.
22 Sep 20. BG. David B. Womack, special assistant to the commanding general, U.S. Army Europe, Germany, to deputy chief of staff, operations, Multinational Corps Northeast, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Poland.
U.S. Army Reserve
22 Sep 20. MG Daniel J. Christian, deputy commander – support (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Eighth Army, Republic of Korea, to deputy chief of staff, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, Virginia.
22 Sep 20. BG. Matthew V. Baker, commander, 102d Training Division (Maneuver Support); and deputy commanding general for mobilization and training, U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 416th Theater Engineer Command, Darien, Illinois.
22 Sep 20. BG. Vincent B. Barker, director of sustainment, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Inherent Resolve, Kuwait, to deputy, inspector general, Office of The Inspector General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
22 Sep 20. BG. Miguel A. Castellanos, advisor to the commander (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, U.S. Africa Command, Germany, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 84th Training Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
22 Sep 20. BG. Miles A. Davis, assistant to the deputy commanding general – readiness (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 76th U.S. Army Reserve Operational Response Command, Salt Lake City, Utah.
22 Sep 20. BG. Matthew P. Easley, director, Artificial Intelligence Task Force, U.S. Army Futures Command, Arlington, Virginia, to chief information security officer (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
22 Sep 20. BG. Joseph A. Edwards II, deputy commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 104th Training Division (Leader Training), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to director of operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-9, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
22 Sep 20. BG. Rodney J. Fischer, deputy commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 80th Training Command, Richmond, Virginia, to deputy commander (Troop Program Unit), 104th Division Leader Training Headquarters, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
22 Sep 20. BG. Howard C. Geck, commander, (Troop Program Unit), 103d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Des Moines, Iowa, to assistant to the deputy commanding general – readiness (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
22 Sep 20. BG. Richard J. Heitkamp, deputy director, politico-military affairs (Western Hemisphere), J-5, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., to deputy director, (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Military Programs Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C.
22 Sep 20. BG. James J. Kokaska Jr., deputy commander, (Troop Program Unit), 416th Theater Engineer Command, Darien, Illinois, to commander, 102d Training Division (Maneuver Support) and deputy commanding general for mobilization and training, U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
22 Sep 20. BG Joseph A. Marsiglia, deputy commanding general, Army Reserve Medical Command, Pinellas Park, Florida, and mobilization and reserve affairs (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Office of the Surgeon General, Falls Church, Virginia, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), Medical Readiness and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.
22 Sep 20. BG Peder L. Swanson, program director, Reserve Medical, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C., to deputy commander (Troop Program Unit), 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support), Salt Lake City, Utah.
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
21 Sep 20. Four New Commanders in Chief of the Thai Military Forces Appointed. His Majesty the King has approved the annual reshuffle of the three armed forces. The key appointments for Thailand’s annual military shuffle include General Chalermpol Srisawat as the Chief of Defence Forces, General Narongpan Jitkaewtae as the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army; Admiral Chatchai Sriworakhan as the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Navy and Air Chief Marshal Airbull Suttiwan as the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force. This year will see changes for a total of 792 moves covering various positions in the three armed forces, along with Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters and the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence. The military reshuffle will take effect on 1st October 2020.
23 Sep 20. Aerodyne Partners with Al-Babtain LeBlanc on Middle East Drone Inspections. Aerodyne Group, a Malaysia-headquartered international DT3 (Drone Tech, Data Tech, and Digital Transformation) solutions provider and Al-Babtain LeBlanc, a Middle East-based system integrator and provider of telecom, security, power, and mobility infrastructure, are joining forces to collaborate on the development of drone solutions for telecommunication, defense, and security sectors.
The Teaming Agreement signed by both parties will enable them to leverage each other’s strengths in technology and market penetration for local markets in the Middle East. Aerodyne Group and Al-Babtain LeBlanc will jointly research and develop innovative drone-based solutions and systems to optimize processes and enhance the value proposition for government and corporations in the Middle East region.
It is also noteworthy that this partnership will solidify and accelerate the Middle East market expansion for Aerodyne Group, which first announced its arrival in the region in April 2020 through a strategic investment in Dubai-based FEDS Group Holdings – one of the top leaders in the global drone services industry.
Aerodyne Group’s Founder and Group CEO, Kamarul A Muhamed, says,
“Al-Babtain LeBlanc comes armed with extensive experience in telecom towers, infrastructure ventures, and system integration projects in the Middle East. By teaming with them, Aerodyne Group will be able to accelerate the implementation of drone technology, data technologies, and digital transformation solutions for clients and critical projects across the Middle East.”
Saleh Al-Bedaiwi, General Manager, Al-Babtain LeBlanc, adds, “This Teaming Agreement with Aerodyne Group, the world’s fastest-growing drone-based solutions company, is an exciting development for Al-Babtain LeBlanc. This collaboration reflects our continued commitment to technology innovation and digital transformation. By enabling the adoption of drones in our operations, this partnership with Aerodyne will transform our infrastructure inspection process, resulting in faster and more accurate data collection and accelerated turnaround for report generation.” (Source: UAS VISION)
18 Sep 20. Robert W. “Bob” Gore, chairman emeritus of the board of directors of W. L. Gore & Associates, a global material science company dedicated to improving lives through advancements in technology, passed away on September 17 at the age of 83.
Bob Gore, whose scientific discoveries spawned GORE-TEX® Outerwear and paved the way for advancements in industries as varied as performance fabrics, medical devices, space exploration and filtration, assumed the chairman emeritus role in 2018 after 57 years of service on the Gore board, 30 of those as chairman. Bob also served as president of Gore from 1976 to 2000. During his tenure as president, Gore became a billion-dollar enterprise. Marking the occasion in 1996, Bob said, “We plan to leave a legacy to society and to future generations: infants with surgically reconstructed hearts that live because of our medical products; governments of free societies that are better able to protect themselves because of defense products; communities with cleaner and healthier environments because of our filtration and sealant products; And yes, people that just have more fun in the outdoors because of our GORE-TEX® Outerwear.”
A Prolific Inventor
Bob’s commitment to research and development led to his 1969 discovery of a versatile new polymer form, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). The introduction of this groundbreaking new material opened a world of possibilities for products and further innovations. The substance provided myriad new product applications including GORE-TEX® Fabrics, the world’s first waterproof breathable outerwear and a product that through the years has become synonymous with the outdoors.
Bob’s ePTFE innovation came about at a period in the late 1960s when the big research challenge for Gore was to develop products for computing, space exploration and defense. Trends in electronics at that time made it clear that miniature integrated circuits were the wave of the future and that less cable would be needed as computers became smaller.
One night in October 1969, Bob was researching a new process for stretching extruded PTFE into pipe-thread tape when he discovered that the polymer could be “expanded.” The discovery followed a series of unsuccessful experiments in which he was attempting to stretch heated rods of PTFE by about 10 percent.
As it turned out, the right conditions for stretching PTFE were counterintuitive. Instead of slowly stretching the heated material, he applied a sudden, accelerating yank that unexpectedly caused it to expand to nearly 1000 percent. This resulted in the transformation of solid PTFE into a microporous structure that was mostly air.
Continued advancement in the technology and application of ePTFE enabled Gore to deliver groundbreaking solutions to a wide array of industries. Today, ePTFE is at the heart of products found everywhere from the depths of space to the inner workings of the human body. Along the way, Bob would be awarded nine patents for his work with fluoropolymers. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his technical achievements and in 2006 was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Through his long career, he received many additional honors, including the Society of Plastics Engineers John W. Hyatt Award for benefits to society through the use of plastics and the Perkin Medal for innovation in applied chemistry resulting in commercial development from the Society of Chemical Industry (American Section). Bob also was an active member of the American Chemical Society and the 2019 Carothers Award recipient (Delaware Section).
Born on April 15, 1937, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Bob was the oldest of five children of Wilbert L. (Bill) and Genevieve W. (Vieve) Gore, founders of W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore). Bill joined the DuPont workforce after World War II and ultimately was transferred to DuPont’s Experimental Station in Delaware.
While still in transition, Bill and Vieve purchased land in Newark, Delaware, and started building a house with help from Bob and the rest of the Gore family. Bob led a rather ordinary teenage life, playing trombone, participating in athletics, and serving in student government.
Bob earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Like his father, Bob was a born entrepreneur. As a sophomore in college, he solved an early technical challenge that helped kick start his parents’ company which was founded in 1958 in the basement of their Delaware home.
With a focus on exploring the untapped potential of the fluoropolymer PTFE, Gore served the wire and cable industry during its early years. In 1969, the company’s cable technology landed on the moon as part of the historic Apollo 11 mission.
A Mentor to Others
In 1976, Bob succeeded his father as president and CEO of Gore. Under his leadership, the company’s technological achievements flourished. “Bob Gore appreciated that innovation can arise from many different places if entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged and fostered,” said current Gore CEO Jason Field. “Innovation as activity, doing things with your hands, experimenting, testing and observing, was instilled in our Enterprise consistently and productively throughout Bob’s tenure as both president and chairman.”
Bob also instilled focus and discipline into the innovation process, allowing the company to remain competitive in an increasingly complex, global business environment. His unequivocal promise that “our products will do what we say they will do” transformed Gore into a world-class product leadership enterprise.
“Gore Associates ranging from engineers to marketers considered Bob a leader, a mentor and a contributor to their personal success and the success of the Enterprise,” Field said. “I am sure I speak for all Associates when I say I grew as a leader through Bob’s guidance. His passion for the quality and performance of our products and his incisive questions and insights shaped not only the culture of our technology efforts but the values at the core of who we are.”
Bob also strongly believed in nurturing the growth of future scientists and engineers in his community. He served as a trustee of the University of Delaware Research Foundation and a member of the school’s board of trustees.
In 1998, Bob and his mother, Vieve Gore, donated funds for the construction of a state-of-the-art classroom building on the University’s green, which was christened Gore Hall in honor of his family. In 2013, Bob and his wife, Jane, contributed to the development of the University’s state-of-the-art science and engineering research laboratories, named in their honor. Bob also has contributed significantly to the University of Minnesota and other institutions.
Bob’s nephew, current Gore board chair Bret Snyder, commented on his uncle’s legacy. “Bob’s innovative spirit shaped our Enterprise from the very beginning, paving the way for W. L. Gore & Associates to improve lives and industries. We will continue to build on his legacy with a commitment toward breaking new ground and developing solutions that make the world a better place.”
Bob is survived by his wife Jane and a large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as four siblings (Susan Gore, Ginger Giovale, David Gore, Betty Snyder) and extended family.
Memorial plans are yet to be announced. (Source: PR Newswire)
22 Sep 20. Heason Technology welcomes Jon Howard as Elmo Motion UK’s new managing director. Heason Technology welcomes the recent appointment of Jon Howard as the new managing director for the UK subsidiary of Elmo Motion Control. As a longstanding UK distribution partner, and fully equipped with its own design and applications engineering teams, Heason works closely with Elmo – combining servo drives and advanced network motion controllers from the global motion systems designer and manufacturer’s comprehensive range as part of its own motion systems integration service. In fact, Jon Howard is no stranger to Heason – or indeed to Elmo Motion – as many customers will remember his heading Heason Technology over several years up to late 2018. Jon’s extensive knowledge of the way that Heason operates and his previous technical and commercial experience with Elmo products will stand both companies in good stead going forward together.
24 Sep 20. WesCom Defence, the world-renowned specialist in pyrotechnic products for signalling, illumination, and training and simulation for the defence industry, announces the appointment of Ross Wilkinson as its new Chief Executive Officer. Ross joined the firm on 1 August 2020 and is responsible for the group growth strategy and management of the business – both across the defence business and marine division under WesCom Signal and Rescue. He will be implementing a number of strategic projects aimed at improving the brand’s service levels and value proposition to its customers, further enhancing its position as a leading critical safety supplier. Bringing over 20 years of industry expertise to the brand, Ross previously held senior management positions, most recently at Survitec Group as Vice President for Northern Europe and previously as General Manager for Marine at Orolia Group.
17 Sep 20. Astranis’ New Key Advisor was NASA Administrator, and Critical Design Review OK for Alaska Satellite. There’s a new senior advisor at the microsatellite developer Astranis who is a former NASA Administrator. Dan Goldin will be joining as a senior advisor to the company and chairing its new Technical Advisory Board. Astranis is building small, low-cost telecommunications satellites to connect the four billion people who currently do not have access to the internet. Each spacecraft operates from GEO with a next-generation design of only 350 kg, utilizing a proprietary software-defined radio payload. Additionally, the company is announcing the completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) for their first commercial program, which is a satellite for Pacific Dataport Inc. in Alaska. The CDR was completed under the supervision of Goldin with the participation of some of the space industry’s most experienced technical minds. (Source: Satnews)
23 Sep 20. Jeffery “Scott” Baum has joined Elbit Systems of America as Vice President of Strategy and Growth, bringing extensive experience in the defense industry and a deep understanding of the company’s customers. His primary responsibility will be to lead multi-year strategic planning to expand Elbit Systems of America’s capabilities to deliver innovative solutions to its defense and commercial customers. Most recently, Mr. Baum served as the Principal Director at the Office of Industrial Policy for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment. There, he led multiple initiatives to ensure robust, secure and innovative capabilities for both current and future warfighting requirements. He also led a strategic initiative to invest in and expand manufacturing capacity and capability in the United States. In addition to his civilian experience, Mr. Baum is currently serving our nation as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves where he has had operational experience in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, China, and Tanzania.
Mr. Baum earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Texas and holds two master’s degrees, one in Business Administration from Texas Christian University and the other in Strategy and National Resourcing from the National Defense University.
15 Sep 20. Momentus Space Names New Company President. Momentus has gained significant traction since its founding in 2017, attracting dozens of customers ranging from private commercial space companies to the likes of Lockheed Martin and NASA, and penning important industry partnerships, most notably with SpaceX. Dr. Kennedy’s significant experience within the industry will help accelerate Momentus’ goal of becoming the leading transportation and infrastructure services company of the new space economy.
Dr. Kennedy most recently served as the inaugural Director of the Space Development Agency (SDA), a U.S. Department of Defense agency responsible for developing threat-driven space architectures to sustain the U.S.’s technological advantage in space. Prior to that, he led the Tactical Technology Office (TTO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Before joining DARPA, Dr. Kennedy served as the senior policy advisor for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), advising the President of the United States on space and aviation policy. Dr. Kennedy retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force after 23 years of service, filling multiple senior roles related to spacecraft technology demonstration and satellite system production. (Source: Satnews)
19 Sep 20. Rocket Lab’s new board member headed the CIA’s venture capital firm and is a proponent of deploying high-powered laser weapons in space.
Michael D. Griffin, who was until recently an Under-Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, was welcomed onto the board of the aerospace and small satellite company in August. The 70-year-old aerospace engineer and physicist has had a colourful, glittering and at times controversial career in the space industry. In the 1980s he held a senior role in then-president Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defence Initiative ballistic missile defence programme, and later headed NASA. (Source: Google/https://www.stuff.co.nz/)
22 Sep 20. SEAKR® Engineering, Inc. (SEAKR) today announced Ray Anderson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board, retired as CEO, effective September 21, 2020. Anderson will remain chairman of the company’s board of directors. Scott Anderson, currently Co-Founder and President, and Eric Anderson, currently Chief Operating Officer and President, will together assume Anderson’s responsibilities as of September 21, 2020.
BATTLESPACE Publications has launched a jobs board that incorporates a multi award winning talent attraction and recruitment management system that goes well beyond any traditional jobs board management system.
This powerful platform utilises the latest parsing, AI and machine learning software which sits behind a simple and easy to use jobs board and intuitive dashboard that delivers real tangible results.
The System not only allows you to post on to the Battlespace Jobs board but also provides access to over 5000 other jobs board platforms, many of which are free.
The candidate management system automatically grades applications and there are numerous best of breed screening and filtering tools including online interviewing technology.
Companies can register and post jobs immediately free of charge by visiting www.battle-technology.com and selecting the Jobs board option. If you need any help using the job board please contact our partner Customer support team on freephone 0800 634 1818.
You have a free 3 Month Trial Period on Application.