21 Aug 23. Keel Authenticated for Future USS Tang (SSN 805). Senior Navy leaders and shipbuilders gathered at General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, to attend a keel-laying ceremony for the future Virginia-class submarine USS Tang (SSN 805), Aug. 17. The keel laying ceremony signifies a major milestone in the life of a ship as the ship transitions to reality. The future USS Tang will be a Block V submarine and the 32nd Virginia Class submarine.
During his remarks, Vice Adm. William Houston, Commander, Submarine Forces addressed the industrial team stressing the importance of their work.
“I look at you, the workers, who build these magnificent submarines and I just cannot thank you enough,” said Houston. “As a submarine force commander responsible for 25,000 Submariners, you give us the best platform to operate in the world.” Houston continued by underscoring the role shipyard workers hold in the defense industry. “You are contributing to an enterprise of defense of the greatest nation in the world in support of freedom and democracy throughout the world.”
In a time-honored Navy tradition, the submarine’s sponsor, Ms. Mimi Donnelly, in collaboration with a welder etched her initials onto a steel plate that will be installed on the submarine. The bond symbolizes the enduring relationship between the sponsor, the ship, and her crew.
Donnelly has a long history of volunteer service to the Navy community. She was awarded the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award for her leadership while serving as the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation and as a Senior Advisor to the Submarine Officer Spouse Association.
“I am honored to recognize Ms. Donnelly, as well as the shipbuilders who are here today, to celebrate Tang’s keel laying as we look forward to a long life of service,” said Capt. Mike Hollenbach, Virginia-class program manager. “This is a significant milestone as the submarine begins to take shape in preparation for future delivery to the Fleet where she will enforce our freedom by deterring enemies, protecting our interests and underscoring our nation’s dominance of the seas.”
Tang is the third Navy submarine to be named for the regal blue surgeonfish, chosen in honor of the success both previous namesakes endured in battle.
The first Navy ship to bear the name Tang, SS 306, was commissioned in 1943 and is one of the most storied American submarines in history, with more than 30 enemy ships hit or sunk during battles in the Pacific theater. Tang (SS 306) received four battle stars and two Presidential Unit Citations for service during World War II, and its commanding officer received the Medal of Honor for the ship’s final heroic actions.
The second Tang, SS 563, was commissioned in 1951 and earned four battle stars for service in Vietnamese waters.
Tang will be the 32nd Virginia-class submarine. Boats in this class are the most advanced attack submarines in the world, with superior stealth, firepower and maneuverability than previous classes. They can hit shore-based targets with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and are capable of long-term, stealth surveillance of sea forces, littoral waters or ground targets. Their design also provides for special operation forces delivery and support, mine delivery and minefield mapping, and anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare. These capabilities allow the submarine force to contribute to regional stability and preservation of future peace while operating everywhere international law allows. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Naval Sea Systems Command;)
18 Aug 23. Launch of Y-3024 (frigate Vindhyagiri). Vindhyagiri, the sixth stealth frigate of Project 17A being built at GRSE, was launched today at the shipyard by the Hon’ble President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu. As Vindhyagiri descended into the waters of river Hoogly, a wave of euphoria swept across the gathering. Dignitaries, Naval personnel, Shipbuilders, and spectators were united in their heartfelt applause, in admiration of the vessel and the team behind her creation. Shri CV Ananda Bose, Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, Ms Mamata Banerjee Chief Minister of West Bengal, Shri Ajay Bhatt Raksha Rajya Mantri, Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, other senior officers from the Indian Navy and MoD, were amongst the several dignitaries who attended the launch ceremony.
M/s GRSE has established itself as a reliable partner of the Indian Navy, with a record of multiple successful conventional launches in the past. Vindhyagiri’s launch is yet another milestone in the illustrious journey of the shipyard, reflecting its commitment to deliver quality warships. Following the launch, ‘Vindhyagiri’ will join its two sister ships at the Outfitting Jetty at GRSE, to progress remaining activities and equipment trials, in the run up to their delivery and commissioning.
Project 17A Frigates are the follow-on class of the Project 17 (Shivalik Class) Frigates, with improved stealth features, advanced weapons & sensors and platform management systems. Seven Project 17A Frigates are under various stages of construction at MDL and GRSE.
The design of Advanced Stealth Frigates also showcases the prowess of the Warship Design Bureau, in designing technologically advanced warships for the Indian Navy. With the launch, the Nation’s indigenous expertise and engineering capabilities receives a major boost, reducing India’s dependence on foreign suppliers, promoting self-reliance and fostering a robust defence industrial base. Over 75% of the orders of Project 17A, have been placed on indigenous firms including MSMEs, keeping in line with the Government’s vision of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’. Economic development, employment generation, growth of MSMEs and ancillary industry in the country, are positive spin offs of the shipbuilding project.
During the event, the Hon’ble President of India conveyed her profound satisfaction and heartfelt appreciation for the remarkable achievements of the Warship Design Bureau and other Naval Teams, for fulfilling the nation’s aspiration of self-reliance in warship building. She also lauded GRSE for its unwavering commitment and steadfast support to warship production. The shipyard effort has significantly enabled the Indian Navy to successfully execute its ship induction plan and emerge as a formidable force in the Indian Ocean Region. Emphasising the significance of the newly christened ‘Vindhyagiri,’ she hoped that as Vindhyagiri touches the waters of the mighty Hooghly for the first time, it draws strength from the very mountains it is named after, sailing with unwavering determination, upholding the values we hold dear. May this warship serve as a powerful testament of our resolve and commitment to national security, and our vision of a prosperous and secure future.
(Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Indian Ministry of Defence)
21 Aug 23. Poland receives first FA-50s into service. Poland has received into service the first of 48 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft. The induction of the first two aircraft was announced by the Polish Minister of National Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, at Mińsk Mazowiecki on 21 August. Błaszczak was speaking ahead of the Radom Air Show 2023, where the jets will be formally presented to the Polish Air Force. According to Błaszczak, 10 more aircraft will be delivered before the end of 2023. These initial 12 jets were originally intended for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF), but are being diverted to Poland in line with the country’s urgent requirement. The remaining 36 aircraft will be built specifically for Poland, and designated FA-50PL (Poland). It is unclear if the FA-50GF airframes will retain their ‘gap filler’ designation once in service, or if they will revert to the FA-50PL national designation instead. (Source: Janes)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
22 Aug 23. HMS Swiftsure drydocked in Rosyth for recycling. The former Royal Navy submarine will be first nuclear-powered boat recycled in the UK, in a test case for 26 other decommissioned vessels housed in naval bases.
The UK’s planned dismantling of decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines formerly in service with the Royal Navy got underway in July as the former HMS Swiftsure was dry-docked at Babcock’s shipyard in Rosyth to begin preparations for final dismantling.
According to the UK’s Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA), detailing the development in a post on social media, HMS Swiftsure will be the first nuclear powered submarine to be fully dismantled at the end of 2026, and done so in a way that has “not been attempted by any other nation”.
Around 90% of components, including steel, can be reused for recycling in the process, which will all be undertaken at the Rosyth site. Commissioned into service in 1972, HMS Swiftsure was the lead boat in the Swiftsure-class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) and operated until its decommissioning in 1992.
The Ministry of Defence’s Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) is managed by the SDA and responsible for dismantling 27 nuclear submarines; 22 of which are decommissioned and have left service, while five currently continue to be operated by the Royal Navy.
Following two public consultations, the UK MoD selected a three-stage approach to dismantling, having also engaged with Nato partners, likely to gather information on processes and recycling practices.
In Nato, the US and France are the only two other operators of nuclear-powered submarines, although countries such as Italy, Sweden, Germany, and Norway, among others, utilise conventionally powered diesel-electric submarines.
Royal Navy submarine recapitalisation
The outcome of the work being undertaken to dismantle HMS Swiftsure will in turn provide a better understanding in how to expand the process to HMNB Devonport, where the majority of the Royal Navy’s decommissioned submarines are housed. In total, seven of the submarines intended to be recycled in Rosyth, with the remaining 20 in Devonport.
According to a 2019 investigation by the UK’s National Audit Office into submarine defuelling and dismantling, the MoD had spent an estimated £500mn since 1980 on storing and maintaining its retired nuclear submarines.
The UK currently has five of the latest Astute-class SSNs in service or commissioned (Astute, Ambush, Artful, Audacious, and Anson), along with a single remaining Trafalgar-class SSN, HMS Triumph. A further two boats are under construction (Agamemnon and Agincourt), with each boat costing between £1.3-1.6bn and expected to service for at least 25 years with the Royal Navy.
In addition, the RN operates four Vanguard-class SSBNs (Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant, Vengeance), which will be replaced by the incoming Dreadnought-class submarines, with the first-in-class currently in manufacture at the BAE Systems yard in Barrow-in-Furness, UK.
The UK has also begun the process to replace the Astute class with the planned AUKUS SSN being developed for use by the Royal Navy and Australia. The class is effectively an evolution of the UK’s SSNR (Submersible Ship Nuclear Replacement) concept originally intended as the Astute-class replacement.
The AUKUS SSN is likely to feature the under-development Pressurised Water Reactor 3 (PWR3) that will be installed on the Dreadnought-class SSBNs and feature a vertical launch system from which to fire embarked surface and land attack munitions.
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
UK and EUROPE APPOINTMENTS
22 Aug 23. Ms Anne Macro has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in succession to Mr Keith Scott who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Ms Macro will take up her appointment in September 2023.
22 Aug 23. Babcock inspiring tomorrow’s innovators with EngineeringUK. As part of our commitment to inspire and attract the next generation of future talent into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, we have partnered with EngineeringUK, a leading organisation that focuses on engaging young people with engineering and technology.
This exciting new partnership will focus on all aspects of Early Careers – from STEM activities in primary schools, all the way through to secondary schools, colleges and into apprenticeships and graduate roles.
Babcock CEO, David Lockwood, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with EngineeringUK. Increasing our outreach STEM programmes in a strategic and targeted way will enable us to attract and build a workforce that has the capability to deal with the ever-evolving complex challenges our customers face.
“As a leading defence business, we are already working on some of the biggest industrial, digital and environmental challenges in the world and the assets and programmes we manage can often span decades, so it is crucial we start engaging at an early age.
“Collaborating in this way will ensure we don’t just secure the future talent that our business needs but that we have the best people, with the best skills working in an inclusive, diverse and engaging culture.”
Dr Hilary Leevers, CEO of EngineeringUK, added “We’re thrilled to welcome Babcock to our community of Corporate Members. Our Members play a fundamental part in inspiring the next generation and helping to deliver impactful engineering focused STEM engagement activities and opportunities at a national and strategic level. We look forward to working with them to enable more young people from all backgrounds to be informed, inspired and progress into engineering and technology.”
Our current STEM programme is supported by over 550 trained STEM Ambassadors, and this new partnership will be a great addition. As well as actively working across EngineeringUK’s partnership forum, we will also be contributing to Early Career’s research papers on STEM engagement and apprenticeship and graduate programmes.
21 Aug 23. BAE Systems, Inc. (LSE: BA) has named Reggie Robinson to become the senior vice president for Government Relations, effective immediately. In this role, Reggie will assume responsibility of all government relations activities for the company, overseeing BAE Systems, Inc.’s relationships with members of Congress, the White House, the Department of Defense and other executive branch organizations, as well as state government leaders. (Source: PR Newswire)
21 Aug 23. CACI International Inc (NYSE: CACI) announced today that it has appointed Stanton “Stan” D. Sloane, to its Board of Directors, effective immediately. Sloane will serve as an independent director on the Board. Sloane began his career in 1984 with General Electric Aerospace, which subsequently merged to become a business of Martin Marietta, then Lockheed Martin, in the 1990s. He held a variety of executive roles including engineering, program management, and business development. In 2004, he was promoted to Executive Vice President, Integrated Systems and Solutions, one of the major divisions of Lockheed Martin. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
21 Aug 23. High Point completes Liteye, Black Sage integration, announces new leadership team. utonomous defence solutions company High Point Aerotechnologies has announced a new leadership team and expanded CUAS/CUxS solutions and software products. The company’s new leadership includes CUAS and technology leaders and former US government national security executives from the DoD and DARPA. The team comprises Al White, Chief Executive Officer; Ann Wood, President; Creighton Bowsher, Chief Financial Officer; Jeff Maas, Chief Technology Officer; Evan Hunt, Chief Revenue Officer; Davey Gibian, Chief Strategy Officer; and Joe Francescon, Chief of Washington Operations. The announcement follows the full integration of Liteye Systems and Black Sage Technologies. The acquisitions of Liteye and Black Sage, previously announced in late 2022 and early 2023, offered complementary capabilities to support High Point’s mission and to provide differentiated software development capabilities. High Point provides counter unmanned systems (CUxS / CUAS) solution development across air, land, and maritime domains. The company offers integrated, interoperable solutions to provide fixed, mobile, and distributed CUAS capabilities for civilian, military, and critical infrastructure clients. For more information visit:: www.highpointaerotech.com
21 Aug 23. The Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, the world’s preeminent trusted technology accelerator, continues to expand its senior leadership team with the appointment of global edtech executive Lee Rubenstein as its Chief Training and Education Officer. In this pivotal role, Rubenstein will spearhead the Institute’s strategic efforts to train U.S. and allied diplomats, business executives and policymakers in the realm of Tech Diplomacy. By integrating expertise in critical technologies, Silicon Valley strategies and foreign policy, the Institute aims to ensure that technology advances freedom. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
23 Aug 23. NUBURU, Inc. (“NUBURU” or the “Company”) (NYSE American: BURU), a leading innovator in high-power and high-brightness industrial blue laser technology, today announced the appointment of former National Security Advisor John Bolton to its board of directors, effective August 22, 2023. In his new position, Bolton will provide valuable strategic insight to NUBURU to support the Company’s efforts to expand its presence in the defense, energy, and aerospace markets as well as provide guidance on the impact of international relations and regulations on NUBURU’s business and customer base. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
21 Aug 23. QuantumShield, a pioneering cryptography and cybersecurity company, announced today that Brigadier General Patrick Huston, U.S. Army (retired) was elected to the Company’s Board of Directors. General Huston is a technology lawyer focused on artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and privacy. He is a member of the FBI’s Scientific Working Group on AI, the American Bar Association’s AI Task Force, and the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Cybersecurity Board. He is also a certified director in the National Association of Corporate Directors, and co-chairs the NACD’s AI Cohort. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
21 Aug 23. SkyWater Technology (NASDAQ: SKYT), the trusted technology realization partner, today announced the appointment of General (U.S. Army retired) Edward M. Daly to its board of directors, effective October 1, 2023. After honorably serving the Nation for 36 years, General Daly retired in May 2023. In his last assignment, he served as the 20th Commanding General of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, as one of only 16 4-star Generals in the United States Army. In this role, he led one of the Army’s largest commands with 190,000 military and Department of the Army civilians and contractors, providing logistics, sustainment/materiel readiness and installation support, that not only impacted the U.S. Army and Department of Defense, but also all 50 states and more than 150 countries. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)