Bob Work joins the board at Raytheon | Airbus declares Tigers unsafe after Mali crash | BAE enters Type 26 variant for Aus frigate compAug 15, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Former US Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work has been appointed to the board of missile maker Raytheon. Work held the position under the Barack Obama’s administration from 2014, only ceding the position after his replacement Patrick Shanahan’s appointment was made official in June. Previously, after retiring from the military in 2011, Work then served as Undersecretary of the Navy until 2013, and acted as chief executive officer at the Center for New American Security think tank in Washington, DC.
- Leonardo has received over $58 million in fresh orders for its Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFoCS) for tactical vehicles from the US Army. The deal will see the service provided with dismountable tablets, processor units, and ruggedized touchscreen displays, which offer soldiers a modular series of networked computers designed for field use with ruggedized components. The touchscreen tablet can be mounted in vehicles or be detached for mobile use.
Middle East & Africa
- The Italian Navy has sent a maintenance vessel with 50 crew to Tripoli, Libya, and will soon commence work on Libyan naval vessels in line with a 2008 agreement for the training of Libyan navy forces as well as the maintenance, restoration and upgrade of operational platforms and vessels. The naval base where the vessel will be based is home to a section of the navy loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Serraj, who heads the Presidency Council. Formed in 2016, the GNA is the UN-endorsed government in Libya and the agreement with Italy seeks to develop the technical and combat capabilities of the Libyan Navy. The government is opposed politically and militarily by the House of Representatives (HOR) government and Libyan National Army (LNA), with conflicts continuing throughout the country. Jihadists loyal to the Islamic State also have a presence in the country.
- In the wake of a German Tiger helicopter crash in Mali, its manufacturer Airbus has declared all variants of the attack helicopter as unsafe. The announcement was made in a company safety bulletin issued on Aug. 11, and stated that the firm cannot propose a protective measure as it “can neither identity the part, the failure of which would lead to the accident, nor the origin of the failure (design, manufacturing, maintenance).” Since the issuing of the bulletin, Australia has grounded its Tiger fleet, with only essential flights being flown. The German Defense Ministry said that its military authorities were working closely with UN officials, the manufacturer and other countries that operate the helicopters, however, fear that the investigation into the Mali crash could take months.
- The Ukrainian government has denied claims that it sold defense equipment to North Korea, after it was reported in US media that a local firm sold rocket engines that have in turn been used in recent ballistic missile tests by the hermit kingdom. The manufacturer in question, the state-owned Yuzhmash said it had not produced military-grade ballistic missiles since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Kiev dismissed the reports as Russian propaganda, while Oleksandr Turchynov, the chairman of Ukraine’s Security and Defence Counci, said that “Ukraine has always adhered to all its international commitments, therefore, Ukrainian defense and aerospace complex did not supply weapons and military technology to North Korea.”
- Despite receiving clearance from the US State Department, Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has played down a deal to buy Harpoon anti-ship missiles, adding that the sale still needs to be finalized. Gen Prayut said that the procurement was possibly part of a previous purchase plan by its state procurement agency and will now need to be followed up by the Defense Ministry before approval. He added that he will seek more information from Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency cleared the $24.9 million sale on Aug. 10, for use on Thailand’s DW3000 Class frigate.
- BAE Systems has entered a bid to build Australia’s next fleet of anti-submarine warfare frigates. Nine vessels will be built under the contract and the company is offering a variant of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship frigate being constructed for the British Royal Navy. The frigates for the country’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate program are part of a company effort to partner with the government to develop a long-term ship building strategy.
- Iran’s parliament has agreed to allow additional funding into its missile program and the elite Revolutionary Guards in retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the United States. The increased funding comes after US Congress passed legislation that was signed by US President Donald Trump in early August to impose new sanctions on Iran over its missile program, and will amount in $260 million each going towards Iran’s ballistic missile program and the Quds Force – the external arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been deployed to battlefields in Iraq and Syria. Tehran denies its missile program violates a UN resolution which endorsed Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and calls upon the Islamic Republic not to conduct activities related to ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Tehran says it does not design such missiles.
- F-35B ski-jump launch and vertical take off: