Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kineco Kaman Composites - India Dispatches First Lot of Mission Consoles to BAE Systems for P-8 Program

Goa June 30, 2015 - Kineco Kaman Composites - India (KKCI) Private Limited, a Joint Venture Company between Kineco Group of Goa and Kaman Aerospace Group USA, has made its first commercial dispatch of Composite Mission Consoles to BAE Systems, Inc. for the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.

“BAE Systems has shown immense commitment to making our partnership a successful one.”
KKCI had earlier completed First Article Inspection phase of the composite console paving the way for this serial production. This is a historic event for KKCI and marks the beginning of its long term engagement with global aerospace OEM’s like BAE Systems.
BAE Systems initiated this sourcing activity as part of its commitment to help develop aerospace and defense industrial capabilities in India. Over the last eighteen months, the company’s team has been developing KKCI’s capabilities to achieve readiness for this production. KKCI is the first supplier in India developed through P-8 industrial commitments by BAE Systems.
An industry team, led by The Boeing Company, is building the P-8. The aircraft, a derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, provides advanced anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and long-range maritime reconnaissance capabilities. Boeing has delivered 23 P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy and six of eight P-8I aircraft to the Indian Navy, through 2014.
BAE Systems supplies the Mission Computing and Display System for Boeing’s P-8 aircraft. Each P-8 aircraft has five (5) consoles which serve as the main user interface to control and interact with sensors, communications and weapon systems on the aircraft. The consoles are a complex assembly manufactured using carbon composite and glass composite panels, with a multitude of metallic inserts.
“Kineco Kaman is proud to mark this significant milestone and make the maiden dispatch of a ‘Made in India’ product for a prestigious program such as the Boeing P8 Poseidon. This now paves the way for us to commence production and delivery of the consoles, which are the platforms through which missions are operated on the Boeing P8 Poseidon. Equally, we look forward to strengthening our engagement with BAE Systems on this program and look forward to expanding our engagement on other platforms and programs in support of the ‘Make in India’ global initiative of the Prime Minister,” said Mr. Shekhar Sardessai, Chairman & Managing Director of KKCI. “BAE Systems has shown immense commitment to making our partnership a successful one.”

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kilmer, Cantwell, Murray, and Heck Reintroduce Maritime Washington National Heritage Area in the State of Washington

Washington June 18, 2015 - Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) and Denny Heck (D-WA-10) announced the reintroduction of bills that would establish a National Maritime Heritage Area in Washington state to help preserve and promote the state’s maritime history and culture for future generations to enjoy.
The “Maritime Washington National Heritage Area Act” would cover most of Western Washington’s shoreline and help promote maritime-related tourism, economic development and maritime history as told through Washington state’s museums, historic ships, fishing culture and other activities.
This would be the first National Heritage Area established in the Pacific Northwest. Congress has designated 49 National Heritage Areas nationwide to promote local economic growth and tourism, and preserve sites and landmarks with cultural and historical significance.
“This bill will honor our shared maritime traditions and support our local economy,” said Kilmer. “By creating a Maritime Heritage Area and protecting national treasures along our coast we can remind future generations of our rich history along the water and attract visitors from across the nation. I’m proud to work with my colleagues in support of the vibrancy of our coastal communities.”
“Washington state’s rich maritime history is of great importance not just to local communities, but the entire nation,” said Senator Murray. “This designation as a National Maritime Heritage Area would raise awareness of our unique maritime connected industries and culture and encourage further economic development in Washington state.”
“Not only will the establishment of a maritime heritage area encourage people to learn about this special place, but to also visit and experience its brilliance in person,” said Heck. “This designation will also preserve our region for many generations to enjoy well into the future.”
Heritage Area designations are eligible for federal grants, and can help draw contributions from state, local and private sources. Heritage Area designations also help coordinate marketing and tourism promotion, such as developing websites, putting up highway signs to advertise sites, sponsoring festivals, and publishing brochures and tour maps. Heritage Areas also can help with assisting in the operation of museums and visitor centers.
A recent economic impact study indicates National Heritage Areas contribute $12.9 billion annually to the national economy and support 148,000 jobs, according to the Park Service.
The legislation, reintroduced by Cantwell and Murray in the Senate, and by Kilmer and Heck in a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, would create a heritage area that consists of lighthouses, historic vessels, parks, and other landmarks located within one-quarter mile of the shoreline in 13 counties, including Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, San Juan, Island, King, Pierce, Thurston, Mason, Kitsap, Jefferson, Clallam, and Grays Harbor counties. It also would include 19 Native American tribes, 32 cities and 30 port districts.
Local stakeholders pushed for the designation to attract visitors from around the country to learn more about the state’s maritime legacy.
National Heritage Areas are partnerships between the National Park Service, states, and local communities through which the Park Service supports local and state efforts to preserve natural resources and promote tourism. They are operated by local boards that are established by legislation. National Heritage areas are not part of the National Park System, which are lands that are federally-owned and managed. No federal regulations are imposed, and no private land is affected or acquired.

Coast Guard: pointing lasers at responders is dangerous and illegal

Panama City FL June 24, 2015 - The Coast Guard is warning the public that pointing handheld lasers at Coast Guard boat and aircrews is dangerous and illegal
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Panama City received a report Sunday evening at 6:48 p.m. of a disabled 15-foot Jon Boat with four people on board, a 50-year-old father and his three children, who had lost communications with his wife on shore. The operator of the boat was attempting to paddle four miles back in to shore towards Lake Powell.
Coast Guard Sector Mobile issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and Station Panama City launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew. Upon arrival Station Panama City launched two illumination flares and conducted a search with negative results.
While attempting to conduct the search, the response boat crew reported multiple laser strikes in the vicinity of the search area, all originating from shore, from at least two different sources.
Two members of the boat crew were struck directly in the eyes from the lasers and had to seek medical attention following the incident.
The father and three children on the Jon boat were able to paddle back to shore and made it back safely to the Ramsgate Harbor Vacation Rentals.
Pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime and a felony offense under Title 18, United States Code, Section 39A. If found guilty, offenders could be fined up to $250,000 and sentenced to five years in prison.  Pointing a laser at a vessel is also a federal crime under Title 18, United States Code, Section 2291. If found guilty, offenders could be fined and/or imprisoned for up to 20 years, with a potential for higher confinement time based upon the cargo onboard the vessel and/or whether a death results from the act.  Additionally, a person who interferes with the safe operation of a vessel so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of a person, in violation of 46 U.S.C. §2302, is liable to the U.S. Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 in the case of a recreational vessel, or $25,000 in the case of any other vessel.
Laser pointers are inexpensive to obtain and can extend over two miles in range. Pilots affected by laser strikes regularly report temporary effects in vision, including: afterimage, flash blindness and temporary loss of night vision.  In some cases, a laser strike can result in permanent damage to a person’s eye sight. If a crewmember is lased it severely compromises his ability to effectively respond and safely operate the aircraft or vessel, ultimately endangering the safety and lives of crewmembers aboard and the general public.
Anyone witnessing this crime is strongly encouraged to report it to local law enforcement.

Friday, June 26, 2015

ARM Zapoteco Open to Public in Los Angeles June 27-30

San Pedro June 22, 2015 - ARM Zapoteco, an auxiliary Navy cadet-training ship from Colima, Mexico, will sail into the Port of Los Angeles this weekend and offer free public tours next week on the LA Waterfront.
On its maiden voyage to Los Angeles, Zapoteco, with a crew of approximately 190 on board, will arrive at Berth 46, also known as the Outer Harbor, on Saturday, June 27 and be available for free public tours through Tuesday, June 30. Tour hours are:

Saturday, June 27   11 a.m.-6 p.m. (free shuttle service from Wilmington)
Sunday, June 28     10 a.m.-6 p.m. (free shuttle service from Wilmington)
Monday, June 29    10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesday, June 30    10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Tours are on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations or tickets are not required. Free parking is available at the Outer Harbor, located at 3011 Miner Street in San Pedro. Over the weekend, a free shuttle to the ship will depart from the Wilmington YMCA at 1127 N. Avalon Blvd in Wilmington. Visit lawaterfront.org for shuttle schedule information.
A floating hospital, Zapoteco serves as a disaster relief vessel and has aided earthquake victims in Haiti, Indonesia, Peru, and El Salvador. Zapoteco has been twice-honored by the Mexican Navy for “performing an act which constitutes an example worthy of imitation.”
Zapoteco was commissioned by the Mexican Navy as a Huasteco-class logistics vessel in 1986. The ship measures 254 feet in length, and weighs 1174 gross tons. The ship’s home port is in Manzanillo, Mexico.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

UANI National Advocacy Campaign to Highlight Critical Issues Remaining in Iran Nuclear Negotiations

June 23, 2015 - United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) today announced the launch of a multi-million dollar television, print, radio, digital and grassroots campaign to educate and engage the American people and legislators in a discussion of the critical issues remaining in negotiations with Iran over the future of its nuclear program.
The multi-tiered campaign will include national cable television beginning on June 23 and full page newspaper ads in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.  The campaign will continue through the time Congress casts votes on any final agreement on Iran's nuclear program reached by the P5+1 countries and Iran.
"This is a generationally important foreign policy issue and we need to give full and appropriate analysis to each and every important element of an agreement with Iran," said UANI CEO Mark Wallace, a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. who will lead the campaign.
"As negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 enter the final stretch before a June 30 deadline to reach a final agreement, there is a growing concern that U.S. negotiators could be pressured into making dangerous concessions in order to cement a deal," Wallace said. "Democrats and Republicans, U.S. allies in the Arab world, and Israel already feel that past concessions made to Iran go too far.  They are increasingly worried that recent public statements from top Iranian officials - including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei - suggest the only way to conclude a deal with Iran is at the expense of our national security interests and those of our allies."
Wallace said it is important that the American people are fully appraised of the extent to which negotiators have already conceded to Iran's position on key issues heading into what could be the final few weeks of talks aimed at reaching a deal, followed by critical up or down votes in Congress. 
For example, under the agreement to date:

  • Iran's nuclear infrastructure will remain intact;
  • Iran retains its underground and "hardened" Fordow nuclear facility;
  • Iran can engage in further research and development on advanced centrifuges that can enrich uranium much faster; and
  • Restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will end during the next 10-15 years.

No further concessions can be made on critical remaining issues, Wallace said, without doing serious damage to U.S. national security interests. Those issues include:  

  • Full access to Iranian facilities for nuclear inspectors. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must be able to interview scientists and officials, and visit military facilities as part of its investigation of Iran's previous work on nuclear weapons development.  
  • IAEA inspectors must also be able to do "challenge inspections" of any suspected nuclear facilities - including military facilities - within a timely manner.
  • The phased termination of existing international economic sanctions to match Iran's compliance with its obligations, rather than the lifting of sanctions upon the signing of a deal.  
  • The immediate re-imposition of economic sanctions should Iran be found in violation of the agreement.

"It is essential for an acceptable deal to get a satisfactory resolution of these remaining issues, even if it means negotiating past the June 30 deadline," said UANI President Gary Samore, who will serve as a technical advisor to the campaign.
The campaign will provide the American people a full and fair opportunity to learn about each and every issue surrounding negotiations with Iran and draw their own conclusions.  All of the television and newspaper ads, along with background information associated with each critical issue, will be posted to the UANI website, along with additional resources related to Iran's ballistic missile development program and human rights record.   

Sydney sees Tobruk sailing home for the last time


Sydney June 25, 2015 - HMAS Tobruk (II) sailed through Sydney Heads back to her home port at Garden Island for the last time today. The amphibious heavy lift is scheduled to decommission on Friday 31 July, after 34 years of service in the Royal Australian Navy.
Commanding Officer Tobruk Commander Leif Maxfield said the final passage was an emotional time for the ship’s company of 167.
“Today signifies that the end of the ship’s seagoing life is near,” CMDR Maxfield said.
“The people who have served on Tobruk over the years have performed admirably, responding to the call of duty, whenever tasked by Government to do so. Both current and former ship’s crews have absolutely lived up to the motto of the ship, Faithful and Strong.
“There was a reflective mood onboard the ship as we crossed the threshold of Sydney Heads for the last time, realising the extent of what the ship has achieved in the 35 years of service to her country,” he said.
Tobruk (II) was commissioned on 23 April 1981 and is the second ship to bear the name. During her service life, the ship has supported a number of humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions including the most recent, Operation PACIFIC ASSIST 2015 following Tropical Cyclone Pam which devastated Vanuatu earlier this year.
“While we will farewell Tobruk, it is also an exciting time to be in the Navy. We now look to the future with a bold new capability, having had our first of the two Landing Helicopter Dock ships, HMAS Canberra, entering into service in December 2014,” CMDR Maxfield said.
NUSHIP Adelaide, the second LHD is scheduled for commissioning later this year.

Jamaican officer finds benefit at Tradewinds 2015

Jamaican officer finds benefit at Tradewinds 2015
CARIBBEAN SEA - Aboard HMS Severn (P282) LCDR Aceion Prescott of the Jamaican Defense Forces Coast Guard, observes a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure exercise between Mexican Navy Sailors and British Royal Navy Sailors. Tradewinds is a combined, joint U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise and an opportunity for the participating partner nations to come together to enhance regional maritime security. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Dan Meaney/Released)

Jamaica Defense Forces (JDF) Coast Guard officer Lt. Cmdr. Aceion Prescott has been on every ship and participated with all partner nations during the maritime phase II of the Tradewinds 2015 exercise.
And the 35-year-old Sailor isn’t done yet. Embarked aboard British Royal Navy ship HMS Severn, he still has stops planned for San Pedro Island, Royal Canadian Navy ship HMCS Glace Bay and Belize City.
“It’s been a very successful exercise so far and I believe we will continue to learn from each other,” said the 12-year military veteran. “It’s been successful because the lessons we’ve learned will make Tradewinds 2016 even better and because the adaptability of each of the participants was impressive. It’s an important quality in an exercise and in real life.”
Prescott was part of the planning phase for this annual, multinational exercise. Since then he’s been aboard each ship in the exercise and spent several hours board small boats going from base to boat and back again, across the choppy waters of the Caribbean Sea.
“It’s a good thing I brought more than one uniform,” he said, laughing. “This way one can dry while I’m getting another one wet.”
While 14 nations are participating in the exercise, no one else has spent as much time interacting with all the partner nations forces.
It’s the relationships we’ve formed that will have the biggest benefit,” said Prescott. “Relationships are always one of the most important outcomes because it gives you an insight into the mindset of the other forces. It helps you understand their nuances making it easier to operate with them in the future.”
The countries of Jamaica and Grenada will host Tradewinds 2016.
Tradewinds is a combined, joint U.S Southern Command-sponsored exercise and an opportunity for the participating partner nations to come together to enhance regional maritime security.

F35B jet begins first ski-jump launch and weapons testing

The F35B Lightning II has successfully completed another major milestone as the fifth generation stealth fighter was launched into the skies from a ski-jump, Friday 19 June.
The land-based test — conducted by the F35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force — took place at Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Maryland, US.
The joint U.S.-U.K. test team will continue phase I of ski jump testing this summer in anticipation of eventual U.K. aircraft carrier operations.
Peter Wilson is the BAE Systems test pilot and ski jump project lead for a highly diverse cadre of technicians, engineers, administrative support staff and test pilots based at the Pax River ITF and in the UK.
He said:
Friday’s F35B ski jump was a great success for the joint ski jump team. I’m exceptionally proud of this team. Their years of planning, collaboration and training have culminated in a fantastic achievement that advances the future capabilities of the aircraft and its integration into UK operations.
For more than 30 years, the U.K. has used the ski jump approach to carrier operations as an alternative to the catapults and arresting gear used aboard U.S. aircraft carriers.
The shorter UK carriers feature an upward-sloped ramp at the bow of the ship. Curved at its leading edge, a ski-jump ramp simultaneously launches aircraft upward and forward, allowing aircraft to take off with more weight and less end-speed than required for an unassisted horizontal launch aboard U.S. aircraft carriers.
Peter added:
As expected, aircraft BF-04 performed well and I can’t wait until we’re conducting F35 ski jumps from the deck of the Queen Elizabeth carrier. Until then, the de-risking that we’re able to achieve now during phase I of our ski jump testing will equip us with valuable data we’ll use to fuel our phase II efforts.
The F35B’s design allows it to automatically position the control surfaces and nozzles for takeoff; a unique capability compared with previous STOVL aircraft. Such automation frees up pilot capacity and provides an added safety enhancement.
This test marks the second time in one week that the F35 Lightning II program made aviation history. Royal Air Force Test Pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell released two inert 500-pound dual mode Paveway IV precision-guided bombs from aircraft BF-03 over the Atlantic Test Ranges 12 June.

Navy Installs C4I Aboard Mobile Landing Platform Ships


Panama Ciy FL June 24, 2015 - Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) installed the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) suite aboard the afloat forward staging base variant of the mobile landing platform USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP 3/AFSB) following recently completed acceptance trials.
Project Engineer Richard Childress said the C4I installation efforts were successfully completed to support this first-purpose built afloat forward staging base (AFSB) on the mobile landing platform (MLP). It is the third of five total MLPs planned to augment amphibious assault ships.
"We integrated expeditionary C4I on this variant to provide the U.S. Navy with a mobile sea base with added command and control (C2) capability," said Childress.
The AFSB variant of the MLP, managed by the Strategic Sealift Program Office in Program Executive Office, Ships, is based on the design of the Alaska-class oil tanker and includes a flight deck for maritime air operations. It is slated to replace the USS Ponce (AFSB 1), the U.S. Navy's interim AFSB in the Arabian Gulf.
"The versatile MLP ships support military sea-basing and transport missions," said Brad Babinski, NSWC PCD tactical systems branch head. "Now, with robust C2 networks on the AFSB variant, the warfighter has effective decision making tools to support mine countermeasures and special operations force missions."
Babinski said NSWC PCD works hard to remain America's technical center of excellence for littoral warfare and coastal defense, and that this expertise was meticulously applied to Lewis B. Puller.
"We implemented many innovative solutions to successfully install C4I networks aboard [the] ship," he stated. "With them, the U.S. Navy has just extended its reach across the world." 

CAGW Names Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) June Porker of the Month

- Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) its June Porker of the Month for his absurd attempt to submerge the cost of a submarine program.
“directly employ 34,168 active duty members and civilian jobs.”
The Navy’s Ohio-class submarines transport 70 percent of America’s nuclear arsenal. They were first built in the 1970s and are rapidly approaching retirement age. In April 2014, the Navy released specifications for 12 new subs at an estimated total cost of $58.8 billion, or $4.9 billion per sub. But in December 2014, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the total cost would exceed $90 billion; $12.4 billion for the first sub and $6.6 billion for each additional one, or an average of $7.5 billion per sub, which is 53 percent higher than the original estimate.
While the need for the new subs is not in dispute, Congress usually provides such funds through the acquisition and procurement account in the defense authorization and appropriations bills. But in 2014, Rep. Forbes sponsored a new “National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund,” which would run afoul of the standard budget process and keep the new sub program off-budget. Rep. Forbes claimed in a June 2015 Politico article that the subs require this off-budget account because their cost could overwhelm the Navy’s budget and crowd out other procurement programs. This includes Forbes’s own district, which according to his website encompasses “our nation’s most important military assets and installations,” which “directly employ 34,168 active duty members and civilian jobs.”
Faced with a similar national security need to modernize outdated equipment in 2002, another member of Congress attempted to be equally creative in keeping a major procurement program off budget. Then-Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) tried to set up a $21 billion off-budget lease to procure new Air Force refueling tankers to replace an aging fleet. After this concept was roundly criticized by groups like CAGW and members of Congress, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the tanker procurement was put back into the Air Force’s normal budget.
Apparently, Rep. Forbes has ignored the outcome of this prior attempt to undermine the budget process. He has argued that the submarine project “is a very big lift, and it has to get done.” Therein lies the trouble with budget gimmickry: “It has to get done” can be used to justify off-budget spending for virtually any program, for any purpose, on either side of the political aisle. Rep. Forbes would have Congress meander down a slippery slope to fiscal disorder, where the taxpayers’ money would be frittered away through furtive funding schemes with limited oversight and accountability.
In order to enable the Department of Defense to spend the taxpayers’ money more effectively, Sen. McCain has proposed changes in defense acquisition that would devolve procurement authority from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense to the acquisition executives of the individual services. The plan also provides incentives for containing cost overruns and institutes penalties for reckless spending on programs.
CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Rep. Forbes’s attempt to circumvent the normal process does a disservice to taxpayers and should be quashed. In order to pay for essential programs, less critical programs should be set aside and waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement should be eliminated. Budget gimmicks should never be the solution.”
For his attempt to hide $90 billion worth of submarines and undermine the budget process, CAGW names Rep. Randy Forbes its June Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

Colt Defense Announces Financing Agreement with Creditors

West Hartford June 24, 2015 - Colt Defense LLC announced today that it has entered into a consensual agreement under which Colt’s secured lenders will provide $20 million in debtor in possession credit facilities to allow for ordinary course business operations during the Chapter 11 process.
“Most importantly, today’s announcement underscores that nothing has changed in our operations as we remain sharply focused above all on delivering for our customers while also being a good commercial partner to our vendors and suppliers”
Consistent with the plan announced by the Company earlier this month, the financing provides Colt with adequate liquidity to meet all of its obligations to its customers, vendors, suppliers and employees during a court-supervised restructuring process.
“The financing we have secured today is an important step forward,” said Keith Maib, Chief Restructuring Officer of Colt Defense LLC. “It reflects shared confidence in Colt as an iconic American business among all of the Company’s key stakeholders. As we continue to prepare for and pursue a sale process in accordance with the plan we previously filed with the Court, the terms of this financing also provide us with greater flexibility to reach a final consensual agreement that aligns with our ultimate goal of swiftly and surely deleveraging the Company while maximizing continuity in Colt’s business operations.”
“Most importantly, today’s announcement underscores that nothing has changed in our operations as we remain sharply focused above all on delivering for our customers while also being a good commercial partner to our vendors and suppliers,” Maib concluded.
Perella Weinberg Partners L.P. is acting as financial advisor of the Company, Mackinac Partners LLC is acting as restructuring advisor of the Company and O’Melveny & Myers LLP is the Company's legal counsel.
For access to documents filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and other general information about these Chapter 11 cases, please visit: http://www.kccllc.net/coltdefense.

USNS Apache tows ex-Miami

After nearly 24 years of service to the U.S. Navy, ex-USS Miami began its final voyage from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Washington, June 12. Navy rescue and salvage ship USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) has the primary mission of towing the unmanned, defueled submarine.
Although ex-Miami has been decommissioned and deactivated, it remains a high-value asset that requires care, said Captain Jose Delfaus, Apache’s civil service master. “The job of Apache is to always be ready to provide professional towing and salvage services to the Navy. It’s our job, with the support of the escort ships, to get ex-Miami to her destination.”
USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) moored at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine, preparing to tow ex-SS Miami. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mate Bryan Stoots)
USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) moored at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine, preparing to tow ex-SS Miami. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mate Bryan Stoots)
U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mate Bryan Stoots
U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mate Bryan Stoots
The ex-USS Miami tow crew participates in abandon ship drills aboard Apache. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mate Bryan Stoots)
The ex-USS Miami tow crew participates in abandon ship drills aboard Apache. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mate Bryan Stoots)

Retired US Navy Vice Admiral David H. Buss Joins Cubic as Vice President and Deputy to the President

David Buss, vice president and deputy to the president of Cubic Global Defense (CGD) and retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral (Photo: Business Wire)

San Diego June 24, 2015 - Cubic Corporation today announced the appointment of retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. David Buss as vice president and deputy to the president of Cubic Global Defense (CGD). In this new role reporting to Bill Toti, president of CGD, Buss will lead the business strategy for Cubic’s live, virtual and constructive (LVC) training for combined air, land and naval forces in addition to his duties as the deputy to Toti.
“As the former ‘Air Boss’ in charge of all naval aviation policies, programs and requirements, David brings a rare blend of skills and expertise to Cubic from his distinguished military service to his extensive knowledge of the industry and combat operations”
Buss joins Cubic with more than 36 years of service in the U.S. Navy, where he recently retired in the rank of vice admiral after serving more than two years as Commander, Naval Air Forces (the Navy’s “Air Boss”). Prior to his “Air Boss” responsibilities, Buss served as the deputy commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia while simultaneously commanding Task Force 20. He also commanded Carrier Strike Group 12, USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group. He also served twice on the Chief of Naval Operations’ staff as well as serving 14 months in Baghdad, Iraq, as director, Strategy/Plans/Assessments.
“As the former ‘Air Boss’ in charge of all naval aviation policies, programs and requirements, David brings a rare blend of skills and expertise to Cubic from his distinguished military service to his extensive knowledge of the industry and combat operations,” said Bill Toti, president of Cubic Global Defense. “David’s high-level insight and advice will play an integral role in the growth strategy and vision of Cubic’s overall defense business.”
Buss graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 and was designated as a Naval Flight Officer in the venerable A-6 Intruder in 1979. Upon successful completion of various assignments in aircraft carrier-based squadron tours, he commanded Attack Squadron 34, also known as “the Blue Blasters,” from 1995 to 1996. The Blue Blasters were one of the Navy’s last A-6 squadrons. Buss also commanded USS Sacramento during the opening stages of Operation Enduring Freedom following the terrorist attacks on September 11; he then commanded USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, from 2003 to 2006.
Buss is decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with “V” for valor in combat and the Bronze Star Medal, among other prestigious awards.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

RFS Admiral Yuri Ivanov Begins Sea Trials (Video)

Newport News Shipbuilding Breaks Ground for Joint Manufacturing Assembly Facility

Joint Manufacturing Assembly Facility (JMAF) Rendering
HII image

Newport News June 22, 2015 - Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding division broke ground today for the shipyard's new Joint Manufacturing Assembly Facility (JMAF), which will support the construction of aircraft carriers and submarines.
The first phases of the facility, opening in 2017, will feature production bays to improve construction efficiencies under current contracts for the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier and Virginia-class submarine programs.
"We aren't just breaking ground on a new facility, we're breaking the mold on how we build aircraft carriers and submarines," Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin said, explaining how the JMAF will bring work indoors, providing better quality of life for shipbuilders. "The improvements will increase productivity and efficiency, all while driving down overall cost and ensuring schedule performance."
The facility will feature multiple worksites, advanced technology, automated equipment, heavyweight cranes, large transportation doors and specialty paint bays. The facility will support current and future production work on aircraft carriers and submarines.
"I'm excited about the addition of the Joint Manufacturing Assembly Facility," said Newport News Vice Mayor Robert S. Coleman. "This facility will allow us to retain significant high-paying jobs in Newport News in the future and will allow future generations to know that the greatest ships the world has ever known were built right here in Newport News."

HII Awarded $23.8 Million Modernization Contract for USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77)
HII Photo

Newport News June 22, 2015 - Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has received a $23.8 million contract from the U.S. Navy for nuclear propulsion and complex modernization work on the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) as part of its planned incremental availability.
The contract is for work to be completed between June and November at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and will include planning, procurement, fabrication, execution and testing.
"We are eager to begin maintenance and modernization work on USS George H.W. Bush and continue our support of the Navy's aircraft carrier fleet," said Chris Miner, Newport News Shipbuilding's vice president, in-service aircraft carrier programs. "We first delivered the ship in 2009 and have proudly followed her service to the Navy and country since that time. With this maintenance and modernization work, USS George H.W. Bush will continue to serve the Navy for years to come."
Named after the 41st president of the United States, USS George H.W. Bush is the 10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

Second Izuma Class Construction Update

Monday, June 22, 2015

NATO Defence expenditures data for 2014 and estimates for 2015


NATO on Monday (22 June 2015) published financial and economic data related to Allied defence expenditures. NATO has published defence spending figures for all Allies annually since 1963. Click here to read

Africa: High Commissioner Hosts Royal College of Defence Studies

Kampala, Uganda June 22, 2015 — A group of 18 students and lecturers from the world-renowned Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) are visiting Uganda from 13 to 19 June, as part of a regional study tour of Sub-Saharan Africa. The students, from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, North America and South Asia, are all senior military officers or civilian officials in the armed forces and governments of their home countries. Before arriving in Uganda, the group had visited South Africa and Kenya.
On arrival, the students were treated to a cultural evening of traditional Ugandan music and dance, before beginning their work on 14 June with a day of briefings by diplomatic staff at the High Commission. The High Commissioner hosted a reception, which enabled the group to network with Ugandan and international military, government and private sector decision-makers. During the time they spent in Kampala, the students also held separate meetings with senior representatives of the Ugandan government, the UPDF and business. They later visited Jinja, and Murchison Falls National Park, where among other themes, they examined conservation and wildlife security in the park.
The RCDS course is a flagship post-graduate-level international study programme in global strategic studies, provided by the British government. It focuses on political, diplomatic, security, social and economic issues at the highest strategic level, the level at which governments take decisions on these issues both nationally and within the international community. During the course, issues are analysed for their implications in terms of strategy and leadership. The focus of study on the main course is practical rather than theoretical.
Alumni of the RCDS course serve in armed forces and governments around the world, in positions of influence and strategic importance. Several senior officers in the UPDF (Ugandan armed forces) have graduated from the RCDS course in the past. Following a highly successful study visit to Uganda in 2013, the course organisers had been keen to return with a new group of students.
RCDS is committed to developing strategic thinkers and leaders. It seeks to inspire study in an international environment, providing perspectives and insights from around the world, stimulating thinking and stirring debate on contemporary strategic issues. Its aim is to prepare graduates who understand the strategic context, are skilled in analysis and able to work intuitively across national, cultural and ideological boundaries to develop strategy at the highest level.

CACI Awarded $59.8 Million Task Order Contract to Provide Modeling and Analysis Support for U.S. Navy

Arlington VA June 22, 2015 - CACI International Inc announced today it has been awarded a task order contract valued at $59.8 million to provide modeling and analysis support services for the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic Business Portfolios. The four-year task order, awarded under the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity multiple-award SPAWAR Pillar Business and Force Support contract vehicle, represents continuing work for CACI in the company’s Logistics & Material Readiness market area.
“Drawing from our deep experience supporting the various legacy systems that feed and/or interface with the Maintenance Figure of Merit program, CACI is leveraging our world-class modeling and simulation capabilities to aid the Navy in most effectively applying ship maintenance resources.”
The SSC Atlantic serves naval, joint, and national warfighters by designing, acquiring, engineering, and sustaining systems, sensor connections, cyber network infrastructures, and knowledge management services to ensure the reliability and security of crucial information.
Under the terms of the award, CACI will continue supporting SSC Atlantic in developing, implementing, and training users in the Maintenance Figure of Merit (MFOM) program. MFOM offers the Navy the ability to analyze the impact of ship maintenance tasks on mission readiness, then decide how those tasks can be prioritized. CACI’s solutions provide the capability to simulate the impacts so that the Navy can choose the best course of action before investing maintenance time and money.
John Mengucci, CACI’s Chief Operating Officer and President of U.S. Operations, said, “Drawing from our deep experience supporting the various legacy systems that feed and/or interface with the Maintenance Figure of Merit program, CACI is leveraging our world-class modeling and simulation capabilities to aid the Navy in most effectively applying ship maintenance resources.”
According to CACI President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Asbury, “One of the keys to CACI’s success is the strong relationships we build with customers like the SPAWAR Command, which gives us the deep mission understanding that enables us to develop the innovative solutions they require. This award also reaffirms our position as a leader in providing solutions that present DoD decision-makers with the information they need to accomplish missions of national and international importance.”

HMS Enterprise to replace HMS Bulwark in the Mediterranean

HMS Enterprise

London June 22, 2015 - Michael Fallon has announced HMS Enterprise will replace HMS Bulwark in support of the EU mission to tackle the migration in the Med.
HMS Bulwark deployed at short notice on 5 May with the immediate mandate to save lives. During her deployment she has saved more than 3,000 lives but is now returning to the UK for planned maintenance.
The UK has been at the forefront of the Search and Rescue mission and will continue to make an important contribution.
HMS Bulwark and her crew will hand over to HMS Enterprise, a Survey Vessel Hydrographic and Oceanographic (SVHO). She is well suited to the next stage of the EU’s operation, which aims to go after the criminal gangs and smugglers. The ship will contribute to the broad maritime capabilities desired by the Italian Operational Commander and will assist in the understanding and picture building of how the operation will go on to seize and disrupt the assets of smugglers.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said, "HMS Bulwark has played a vital role in dealing with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, saving more than 3,000 lives.
"But we’ve always been clear that to tackle the migrant crisis Europe needs a comprehensive plan that tackles the problem at source. That means going after the criminal gangs, the smugglers, the owners of the boats – the people who are making money out of this trade in misery.
"As a multi role survey ship, HMS Enterprise is well placed to provide important assistance as we now move into this next stage. Meanwhile, HMS Bulwark will return to the UK for essential maintenance."
The deployment of HMS Enterprise will see the UK make an appropriate contribution to the evolving Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operation in the Mediterranean. However she will continue to respond to vessels in distress as is customary for all maritime vessels. She has the capacity to hold up to 120 people.
Enterprise will host a crew of between 60 and 70 for this mission and it is anticipated she will be on task until the Autumn. She will deploy alongside a broad range of EU member states’ assets, due to be announced following the Foreign Affairs Council today.
A UK Merlin helicopter will also remain on task and will assist in the spotting of migrant vessels.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Border Troops Use New Hovercraft to Patrol Xingkai Lake on Russian Border

Soldiers from a border defense patrol boat unit under the PLA Heilongjiang Provincial Military Command (PMC) drive a new type of hovercraft to patrol the Xingkai Lake, a boundary lake between China and Russia, on June 9, 2015. According to sources, the domestic hovercraft, equipped with advanced navigation radar, satellite positioning and video monitoring devices, is specially designed for border defense troops to patrol boundary rivers and lakes.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Navy awards Raytheon multi-year contract for AN/APY-10 radars for P-8A Poseidons


McKinney June 19, 2015 - The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon Company a multi-year contract valued at $153 million to produce 53 maritime, littoral and overland surveillance radars for its fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
The AN/APY-10 delivers accurate and actionable information in all weather, day and night, for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, and for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It offers a dedicated periscope detection mode, long-range detection and classification of maritime targets, and synthetic aperture for overland surveillance.
"The AN/APY-10 is a product of our nearly five decades of experience in developing and delivering innovative maritime and overland surveillance radars," said Jerry Powlen, vice president of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems for Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems business. "We look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to deliver this system now and into the future."
To date, Raytheon has delivered 36 of 58 AN/APY-10 radars previously ordered by the U. S. Navy and is now under contract to produce 53 additional systems for the Navy's P-8A fleet and the Royal Australian Air Force. 

Judicial Watch Statement in Response to Federal Court Reopening Lawsuit Seeking Information on Top Clinton Aide Huma Abedin


Washington June 19, 2015 - Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding today's decision by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to reopen a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that sought records about Huma Abedin, the former deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Hillary Clinton's massive email cover-up is unraveling. We welcome Judge Sullivan's decision to reopen this lawsuit. Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration concealed records and lied to obstruct federal courts and Judicial Watch from finding out about the secret emails.
The court battle to get to the truth about Huma Abedin's "special government employee" (SGE) privileges at State is underway. The reopening of this case brings Judicial Watch one step closer to forcing the State Department to ensure that the government records in Hillary Clinton's "secret" email system are properly preserved, protected and recovered as federal law requires. Ms. Abedin is part of the Clinton cash raising operation and was even involved in the Benghazi scandal, so this lawsuit could not be more timely.
This is the second Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit that has been reopened because of Hillary Clinton's hidden email records. Judicial Watch is aware of no prior instances of Freedom of Information lawsuits being reopened by federal courts.
Judge Sullivan ruled that the "changed circumstances" of the discovery that Hillary Clinton and members of her State Department staff used secret email accounts to conduct government business warranted "reopening" the lawsuit.
In asking Judge Sullivan to reopen the lawsuit, Judicial Watch cited a federal court rule (Rule 60(b)(3)) that allows a party to reopen a case due to "fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party:"
The State Department had an obligation under the Federal Records Act to properly preserve, maintain, and make available for retrieval records of its official functions. In fact, it is the obligation of the head of every federal agency to do so. Secretary Clinton plainly violated her own legal obligations. Doing so was misconduct.
The State Department originally agreed with Judicial Watch's request but later changed its mind and asked the court to reopen the lawsuit because of "newly discovered evidence." In today's ruling, Judge Sullivan simply reopened the case, rather than "spilling ink" on whether Hillary Clinton and the State Department committed fraud, misrepresentation or misconduct.
Huma Abedin left the State Department in February 2013, and in May 2013, Politico reported that, since June 2012, she had been double-dipping, working as a consultant to outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. Abedin's outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant to Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 SGE compensation.
Teneo describes its activities as providing "the leaders of the world's most respected companies, nonprofit institutions and governments with a full suite of advisory solutions." [Emphasis added] Outside of the U.S., it maintains offices in Dubai, London, Dublin, Hong Kong, Brussels, Washington, and Beijing. Teneo was also the subject of various investigative reports, including by the New York Times, which raise questions about its relationship with the Clinton Foundation.
In February 2014, the State Department assured Judicial Watch that it had searched the Office of the Executive Secretary, which would have included the offices of the Secretary of State and top staff. Relying upon the State Department's misrepresentation that the agency conducted a reasonable search, Judicial Watch agreed to dismiss its lawsuit on March 14, 2014.

F-35 No-Show at a Premier European Airshow—Again


Aircraft manufacturers and press from across the globe are gathered at Le Bourget Airport for the 51st Paris Air Show. One noticeable absence among the aircraft on display is the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Despite being touted as the world’s premier fifth-generation combat aircraft, the Department of Defense did not include it at this year’s event. (That doesn’t mean there won’t be an American military presence in Paris this summer, though: eleven other American military aircraft will make an appearance, including the F-15E, AH-64, and the A-10 Warthog.)
Even though the F-35 is not quite ready for prime time, the fact that it was a no-show did not prevent the manufacturers from singing its praises.
Pratt & Whitney (P&W) president Paul Adams, referring to events in Iraq and Syria, said he expects an increase in demand for the F-35. “Frankly, I think one of the motivating factors is we live in a dangerous world, and the more dangerous the world that we live in, the more opportunities there are for sales.”
Other reporting from the air show rehashed statements of the past several months that the F-35’s engine problems have been solved and that nothing will be lost from the delay in the delivery of an operational cannon for the Marine Corps variant.
Mark Buongiorno, vice president for P&W’s F135 engine program, spoke to reporters regarding the notorious engine fire during takeoff on one of the planes. The fire temporarily grounded the fleet and kept the plane from its much-hyped international debut at the Farnborough Airshow last year. The fire occurred last June at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, when a caused the third stage rotor to disintegrate and start a fire, irreparably damaging the plane’s entire aft end. The investigation report estimated damages in excess of $50 million. The fire damaged the airframe beyond repair, prompting officials to scrap it for spare parts.
“Immediately after that, we had validated root cause and then we’ve already incorporated the fix into production. We’re in the process of retrofitting the entire fleet,”said Buongiorno. The costs of changes and retrofits to existing and current production aircraft to address the problem are not yet known, and the true effectiveness of the engine modifications has yet to be verified by independent testing by the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.  Pratt & Whitney claims the permanent solution to the engine problem should be implemented by 2016, a year after the Marine Corps is scheduled to declare its variant, the F-35B, combat ready.
First responders climbing into an F-35 to rescue an injured pilot
Other F-35 news to emerge from Paris this week regards a major aspect of its close air support (CAS) capabilities.
The Marine Corps is on the cusp of declaring its variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B, combat ready—including for use in close air support (CAS), a core reason for Marine Corps aviation—despite deferring capabilities and having yet to prove key safety and combat requirements. These include not having an operational cannon or the F-35B’s primary close support munition, the upgraded variation of the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB II). The F-35B is designed for vertical/short take-off and landing (V/STOL), and because of the engine configuration required for V/STOL capabilities, the SBD II will not fit into the plane’s weapons bay. It also necessitates an externally mounted cannon pod. This cannon pod has yet to be tested on the plane, a feat that will be difficult to accomplish as the current version of the plane’s software isn’t capable of firing it.
A large caliber cannon has long been recognized as one of the most important characteristics of a CAS platform. In spite of this knowledge, the Marine Corps seems willing to accept an aircraft that will not have a working cannon until sometime in 2019 or later when the necessary software is fully tested and approved for operational use.
Even after the software and the cannon pod are tested and become fully functional, the F-35B will likely be of limited utility in a CAS role.  The gun pod has an extremely limited supply of ammunition—good only for one, possibly two, target passes. Moreover, all variants of the F-35 share an inherent susceptibility to ground fire, low sortie rate, and high maintenance burdens. All of these flaws are hardly in keeping with proven CAS platforms. Congress seems to agree, as demonstrated by the House and Senate armed services and appropriations committees’ rejection of Air Force efforts to abandon the current go-to CAS platform, the A-10.
Despite manufacturers’ and program managers’ claims, these problems indicate the Marine Corps’ declaration of combat readiness later this year will be an almost entirely cosmetic combat readiness, perhaps the type that would have been on display at Le Bourget, if only the F-35 had made it to the show this time.
By: Dan Grazier
Jack Shanahan Fellow, POGO
Photo of Dan GrazierDan Grazier is the Jack Shanahan Fellow at the Project On Government Oversight

Thursday, June 18, 2015

NHI Congratulates the French Navy for Its Achievements with the NH90 NFH


Paris Air Show June 17, 2015 - NHI celebrated today the operational achievements of the French Navy with the NH90 NFH “Caiman” Marine.
This event took place today in the NHI Pavilion in presence of vice-admiral de Tarlé vice-chief of the French Navy, and Rear Admiral Thouvenin commanding the French Fleet Air Arm in presence of the NHI [Board].
“The French Navy is the first end user to master the full range of military capabilities of the NH90 NFH” declared Vincent Dubrule President of NHIndustries.
The French Navy currently uses all the capacities of the complex weapon system that is the NH90 NFH in operation, a weapon system embodying an acoustic suite, a sonar, an ESM sensor, a Chaff and Flare system, an Electro Optic suite, a multimode naval radar, as well as a new generation MU90 Torpedo.
The Caiman Marine successfully participated to the protection of the French Carrier Battle Group during its deployment overseas for several months in the beginning of 2015.
“The NH90 program is today a success with more than 240 helicopters delivered to 13 countries and more than 80 000 flight hours performed, but this success is based on the end users who contribute every day with their return on experience to make the NH90 the best helicopter in its class” added Vittorio Della Bella Managing Director of NHIndustries.
The NH90 is the optimal choice for modern operations thanks to its large full composite airframe, its excellent power to weight ratio; and its wide range of rôle equipment. It features a redundant Fly-by-Wire flight control system for reduced Pilot’s workload and enhanced flight characteristics.
The NH90 is proposed in two main variants, one dedicated to naval operations, the NH90 NFH (Nato Frigate Helicopter) and a Tactical Transport Variant for land based operations. As of today, around 245 helicopters have been delivered in Naval and Tactical transport variants. They are in service in Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Oman, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by AgustaWestland (32%), Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), and Fokker (5.5%).

Canadian, Mexican navies, Belize coast guard divers train together

Canadian, Mexican navies, Belize coast guard divers train together
SAN PEDRO, Belize - Leading Seaman Drew Griffith, (L) Royal Canadian navy, and Ensign Charles Francisco of the Belize coast guard resurface after completing a circular search dive together during the maritime, phase II of the Tradewinds 2015 exercise. Tradewinds is a combined, joint U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise and an opportunity for the participating partner nations to come together to enhance regional maritime security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Dan Meaney/Released)

San Pedro, Belize June 17, 2015 - The Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit, Atlantic is working with partner countries here during the maritime, phase II of Tradewinds 2015 exercise.
“We worked with 14 countries in phase I,” said Canadian Leading Seaman Josh Oldford. “Now, during phase II, we’re training with divers from the Mexican Navy and the Belize Coast Guard. It’s been a great experience.”
The training includes days in the classroom with topics like dive physiology, first aid dive signals and search techniques. After the classroom portion is complete the divers head to sea.
“Circular searches are just one of the many search procedures we are doing together,” said Ensign Charles Francisco of the Belize coast guard. “The training is helpful but I think the longest lasting impact of this year’s Tradewinds is the friendships we’ve all made – those are what will last.”
Tradewinds is a combined, joint U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise and an opportunity for the participating partner nations to come together to enhance regional maritime security. The exercise is scheduled to continue through June 24.

Cathelco ICCP systems for Egyptian Gowind Class Corvettes


June 16, 2015 - Cathelco are providing hull corrosion protection systems for four corvettes which are being supplied to the Egyptian Navy by DCNS, the leading French defence contractors.
The first of the Gowind 2500 corvettes will be built at DCNS Lorient, but the three others will be constructed in Alexandria with training and technical support provided by DCNS as part of a ‘technology transfer’ initiative.
With a length of 102 metres and a displacement of 2,600 tonnes, the Gowind corvettes represent the very latest in technological advances. The multi-mission combat vessels are equipped with air defence, land strike and ship to ship missiles, enabling them to carry out a range of missions from protection of sovereignty to combating terrorism and illegal trafficking.
The Cathelco impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) systems will safeguard the underwater surfaces of the vessels against corrosion throughout their operational life.
Each vessel will be installed with 100 amp forward and aft ICCP systems. These will consist of an arrangement of reference electrodes and anodes (mounted port and starboard) wired to a thyristor control panel. The reference electrodes measure the electrical potential at the hull/seawater interface and send a signal to the control panel which automatically raises or lowers the output to the anodes. In this way, the hull receives the optimum level of corrosion protection at all times.
In addition, the corvettes will each be fitted with shaft earthing systems. This is important because even on ships installed with ICCP systems, the turning shafts are electrically insulated from the hull by the lubricating oil firm on the bearings. This can result in damage to bearings and cavitation problems at the tips of propellers.  The purpose of the shaft earthing system is to provide a ‘safe’ return path for corrosion currents, avoiding the risk of damage.
On each vessel, the ICCP system controllers have the ability to communicate with each other using RS485 data links. This enables all of the functions of the system to be monitored from the aft ICCP control panel using a touch screen monitor.
“The advantage of this feature is that comprehensive data about the performance of the forward and aft ICCP systems is accessible from one location making it more readily available for detailed analysis”, said Stephen Ellis, Cathelco’s project development manager.
This is the latest in a series of projects where Cathelco have worked closely with DCNS to provide technically advanced systems which meet the most rigorous military standards.
These go back to 2006, when Cathelco started the design and supply of ICCP equipment for 10 frigates in the FREMM European multi-mission programme which are being built by the DCNS yard in Lorient. This on-going project is now on the tenth vessel, one of which is in service with the Moroccan Navy and another ordered by the Egyptian Navy.
The FREMM warships were also installed with Cathelco pipework anti-fouling systems to eliminate bio-fouling in seawater cooling lines.