May 29, 2013 18:34 UTC
HMS Astute & Type 45
In late May 2013, Thales UK signed a 10-year, GBP 600 million Sensor Support Optimisation Project (SSOP) with the Ministry of Defence. It extends the 2003 Contractor Logistics Support deal that covered electronic warfare/ ESM and sonar system support on an array of submarines and surface ships.
SSOP coverage includes all British submarine classes (SSN Trafalgar and Astute classes, SSBN Vanguard Class), Type 45 Daring Class destroyers, Type 23 Duke Class frigates, and the Hunt and Sandown Classes of minehunting vessels. It also covers all visual systems (periscopes etc.) for all Royal Navy submarines, which had been a separate contract with Thales UK’s optronics business in Glasgow. This progression is familiar to readers who have followed British Future Contracting for Availability practices over the last several years.
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May 29, 2013 12:02 UTC
Latest updates[?]: More on collision avoidance, Block 40, civil certification, and AGS - incl. NGC statement.
What is it good for?
The Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program began in 1995, and it has taken a very long time. Its MoU was late, its contract will be both late and smaller in scope, and it won’t meet even a revised 2012 – 2014 fielding window. At long last, however, one can be assured that it will exist. This is DID’s in-depth FOCUS Article covering the AGS program, from its platforms to its program structure to its long-awaited contracts.
The original AGS plan involved an Airbus A321 counterpart to Northrop Grumman’s E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-STARS), a Boeing 707 derivative whose powerful ground-looking Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) offers American commanders combat-changing battlefield surveillance and communications. AGS would be a pooled NATO asset, adding 7 RQ-4B Global Hawk UAVs and dedicated ground stations to complement the manned planes. It has since been reduced to just 5 RQ-4 Block 40 Global Hawk UAVs and dedicated ground stations, but could expand again if countries decide to make some of their national surveillance assets part of the program.
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May 26, 2013 20:00 UTC
click for video
Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day in the USA. DID honors those who have given all of their tomorrows in American military service; we will not be publishing. Readers are reminded that in America, the Memorial Day moment of silence takes place at 3:00 pm.
It seems that lots of reminders are needed. A survey commissioned by The National WWII Museum in Washington had only 20% say they were very familiar with the day’s purpose, which is to honor those who have fallen in America’s wars. It’s the same purpose as Remembrance Day/ Armistice Day (Nov. 11th) in the British Commonwealth and elsewhere – but in America, November 11th is Veteran’s Day, honoring all who have served in the US military.
For additional resources, USAA has a full video that includes Hugh Ambrose (Band of Brothers, The Pacific, etc.), and the American National WWII Museum’s MyMemorialDay.org offers some ideas for honoring this day. One more idea might to be teach our fellow Americans. Email a good treatment of the day to people you know outside the national security field, and encourage them to forward it on.
The YouTube video above is offered as one possible option. Thanks to “Two Five Papa” for the recommendation.