Dec 15, 2014 16:30 UTC
Latest updates[?]: Another reform announcement: more delays, cost overruns TBD.
F100 visits Sydney
Under the SEA 4000 Air Warfare Destroyer program, Australia plans to replace its retired air defense destroyers with modern ships that can provide significantly better protection from air attack, integrate with the US Navy and other coalition partners, offer long-range air warfare defense for Royal Australian Navy task groups, and help provide a coordinated air picture for fighter and surveillance aircraft. Despite their name and focus, the ships are multi-role designs, with a “sea control” mission that includes area air defense, advanced anti-submarine operations, and the ability to fight other ships.
The Royal Australian Navy took a pair of giant steps in June 2007, when it selected winning designs for its keystone naval programs: Canberra Class LHD amphibious operations vessels, and Hobart Class “air warfare destroyers.” Spain’s Navantia made an A$ 11 billion clean sweep, winning both the A$ 3 billion Canberra Class LHD and the A$ 8 billion Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer contracts. The new AWD ships were scheduled to begin entering service with the Royal Australian Navy in 2013, but that date has now slipped to 2016 or so. A 2014 ANAO report examines why – and the answers aren’t pretty.
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Dec 11, 2014 14:40 UTC
- Readers can decide for themselves what the latest GAO report on regulatory efforts over UAV integration in the US national airspace may say about the Administration’s priorities, or the state of the US economy as a whole:
“As of December 4, 2014, FAA granted seven commercial exemptions to the filmmaking industry allowing small UAS operations in the airspace. However, over 140 applications for exemptions were waiting to be reviewed for other commercial operations such as electric power line monitoring and precision agriculture. […] A 2014 MITRE study found that Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada have progressed further than the United States with regulations that support commercial UAS operations.” [Emphasis DID.]
- That said, US lawmakers expressed alarm [WaPo] about the risks posed by cheap drones used in civilian airspace at a House Transportation Aviation Subcommittee hearing yesterday (full video).
- And they have a point, as deconfliction is a serious issue. The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently disclosed [BBC] that a “serious risk of collision” had occurred last July between a small rotorcraft UAV and an Airbus 320 about to land in Heathrow.
- For reference, here’s the list [PDF] of small commercial UAV operators approved by the UK CAA.
- Flight Global: Danish army operates Puma UAV in civilian overland exercise.
- Textron received a certificate of authorization from the FAA to start Aerosonde operations at the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) test site.
- Airports in the Arabian peninsula are becoming increasingly busy since they positioned themselves as inter-continental hubs between Europe, Asia, and Africa. A significant amount of airspace in the region is reserved for military use. The UAE has been working to alleviate the pressure and better coordinate military and civilian airspace uses, something that China would be well advised to emulate. The National | Emirates 24×7 (May 2014) | NATS airspace management company.
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Dec 10, 2014 23:45 UTC
The Netherlands and Estonia signed an agreement on Dec. 9/14 for the sale of 44 CV 9035NL Mk-III tracked infantry fighting vehicles. These vehicles are used but were acquired in recent years before the Netherlands decided it no longer needed them, or more accurately, could afford them. The Dutch had announced their intent to sell these vehicles in September 2013, and Estonia had been revealed as their buyer in October 2014.
Russia was already making Estonia nervous after cyber attacks in 2007, but the Baltic states have had even more reason to worry after the events that unfolded in Ukraine through 2014. For Estonia, clearly annexations have consequences.
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