UTC buys Rockwell Collins in $30 billion merger | UK Neo-Nazis members of Army | Mattis pressures Sweden over nuclear treaty
- On Monday, Aerospace supplier United Technologies Corp struck a $30 billion accord to buy avionics and interiors maker Rockwell Collins, thus making one of the world’s largest makers of civilian and defense aircraft components. Under the deal, the companies said that Rockwell Collins and UTC’s aerospace systems segment will be combined to create a new business unit named Collins Aerospace Systems. The creation of a new giant in the top echelon of aircraft parts makers comes as planemakers Boeing and Airbus are trying to capture more of the profits earned by their suppliers. Both are pushing suppliers to lower prices and are moving into the high-margin aftermarket arena for parts and services that suppliers now enjoy.
- US President Donald Trump has picked Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma to be the next head of NASA. The former US Navy E-2 pilot’s appointment is already facing opposition from Florida’s two senators—Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson—who believe the administrator should not have any political background. A big fan of the moon, Bridenstine once said that the discovery of water ice on the moon should have resulted in a permanent outpost there for rovers and machines to exploit the lunar materials and drive down the cost of space exploration.
- MBDA and the British Royal Navy have completed the first love-firing of the Sea Ceptor air defense missile system from the Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll. Utilising MBDA’s next-generation Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM), the system is being fitted to replace the Sea Wolf weapon system on the Type 23 frigates as part of their life-extension program. The Argyll will conduct further firing trials of the Sea Ceptor system before returning to frontline service.
- Four Neo-Nazis held in the UK on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism are members of the Army. The Ministry of Defence made the announcement after the men, aged between 22 and 32, were held by West Midlands Police as detectives investigated the men’s links to the British far-right group British far-right group, National Action. The men are being held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000; namely on suspicion of being members of a proscribed organisation. National Action were banned last year by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who described the organisation “a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation”.
- Swedish media has reported that the US Secretary of Defense Jame Mattis is pressurizing the Swedish government into not signing anew anti-nuclear weapons treaty. A letter from Mattis to his Swedish counterpart, Peter Hultqvist, indicated that defense industrial cooperation between the two nations could be endangered if Sweden signs onto the treaty, as is expected, effecting programs being worked on by Saab such as its partnership with Boeing on the US Air Force’s T-X trainer prototype. Stockholm’s relationship with NATO has also been put into question as its membership of the so-called Gold Card program is up for renewal in October. While not a member of NATO, its membership of the Gold Card program—along with Georgia, Finland, Australia and Jordan—gives Sweden certain privileges and guarantees reserved for member states. A Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael declined to comment on the letter itself, but said the US “does have serious concerns with the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, and strongly discourages states from signing or ratifying” as it contains provisions that “could potentially affect our ability to cooperate with parties to the treaty on issues of mutual interest. It also undermines the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime.”
- South Korea has cleared the arrival of four additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile launchers at its site in Seongju adding to two already deployed at the site. The move comes after North Korea completed an underground test of a miniature hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on a long range missile on Sunday, sparking condemnation across the world. An “artificial quake” caused by the test was 9.8 times more powerful than the tremorfrom the North’s fifth test in September 2016. Seoul has continued to conduct military drills in response to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests. Most recently, it carried a live-firing exercise involving AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER cruise missile and Hyunmoo-2A ballistic missiles in the East Sea.
- South Korea has also stated that an agreement with the US to scrap weight limits on the munitions it can purchase or develop may help it deal with ongoing North Korean missile tests, an idea US President Donald Trump agrees with “in principle”. Under current guidelines, last changed in 2012, South Korea can develop missiles up to a range of 800 km (500 miles) with a maximum payload of 500 kg (1,102 lb). Most of North Korea’s missiles are designed to carry payloads of 100-1,000 kg (220-2,205 lb).
- The Myanmar military has commenced a search and rescue operation for a lost training jet and pilot after it lost contact on Tuesday. A statement released by the military said that the plane left the southwestern town of Pathein in the morning, only to lose communication at 9:18 am, and mentioning at least one pilot by name. The incident follows a much larger crash of a Y-8 transport aircraft in June, which killed all 122 people on board.
- The Royal Navy fires Sea Ceptor:
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