03 Jul 15. Solar-powered plane lands in Hawaii, pilot sets nonstop record. A Swiss man attempting to circumnavigate the globe with an aircraft powered only by the sun’s energy landed in Hawaii on Friday, after a record-breaking five-day nonstop solo flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. The Solar Impulse 2 is the first aircraft to fly day and night without any fuel. Pilot Andre Borschberg’s 120-hour voyage shattered the 76-hour record for nonstop flight by late American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006 on the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer. Borschberg, who took off from Nagoya, Japan, on Monday on the seventh leg of the journey, landed at 5:55 a.m.(1155 EDT) on Friday in Kalaeloa after five days and nights. The aircraft, piloted alternatively by Swiss explorers Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, set off on its 22,000-mile (35,000-km) journey around the world from Abu Dhabi on March 9. The next leg would be from Honolulu to Phoenix, Arizona, and then Borschberg and Piccard will fly together across the Atlantic on a return path to Abu Dhabi. Borschberg navigates alone in an unheated and unpressurized cockpit, sleeping in bursts of 20 minutes while on autopilot. Addressing the pilot on a live online broadcast from the Solar Impulse Mission Control Center in Monaco, an ecstatic Peter Frei, head of the project’s conceptual design and aerodynamics, congratulated the team on 12 years of work culminating in what he called a historic moment.
“Andre, what you did is unbelievable,” Frei said. “I can’t even imagine what it takes to be five days up there, with so little sleep and such a complex and crippled aircraft.”
Studies, design and construction took 12 years and a first version of the plane rolled out in 2009 and broke records for heights and distances traveled by a manned solar plane.
The plane was created in order to encourage governments to replace pollutants with clean technology.
“Our airplane has not been built to carry passengers but to convey a message,” says Piccard.
02 Jul 15. Australian senate report slams ‘politicised’ nature of Future Submarine programme.
Japan’s involvement in the acquisition process to determine the designer and constructor of Australia’s Future Submarine is based on political imperatives rather than merit and the current approach should be scrapped, an Australian parliamentary inquiry has found.
In a majority finding in a report on naval shipbuilding handed down by the Senate Economics References Committee on 30 June, the committee said that the competitive evaluation process selected by government fell short of a “truly rigorous procurement”.
“Evidence given during budget estimates in June confirmed that the competitive evaluation process was not designed to deliver three competitive contract options; would not produce accurate costs and build schedules; nor would the resulting designs be of a ‘mature’ nature,” the report said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 15. Singapore selects VL Mica for new Littoral Mission Vessels. The Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN’s) new Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) will be equipped with MBDA’s Vertical Launch (VL) Mica air-defence system, the service has confirmed. The missiles will be deployed via a 12-cell vertical launching system (VLS) located on the forward section of the vessel, said Lieutenant Colonel Chew Chun-Chau who heads the RSN’s LMV project office. He was speaking to IHS Jane’s on the sidelines of a media briefing to mark the launch of first-of-class LMV Independence. “The Mica system will be the platform’s defence against a wide range of airborne threats, including hostile aircraft and missiles,” said Lt Col Chew. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 15. Singapore launches first Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel. Key Points:
* Singapore launches LMV Independence, the first replacement for Fearless-class patrol vessels
* The ship will prove out new concepts for the RSN, including an integrated bridge and combat centre
Singapore has l