Thursday, March 31, 2016

Peruvian Navy selects Rockwell Collins Talon radio

The Rockwell Collins Talon V/UHF tactical radio system (pictured here) has been selected by the Peruvian Navy to be installed on its SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters.

March 31, 2016 – The Rockwell Collins Talon V/UHF tactical radio system has been selected by the Peruvian Navy to be installed on its SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters. The Talon radio will provide secure voice and data communication capabilities to support the various missions of the SH-2G platform including surface and sub-surface maritime, blue water and littoral surveillance, and search and rescue operations. 
"The Talon radio is becoming the preferred choice for armed forces looking to enable secure air-to-ground communications in Latin America, the same way it has been used around the globe," said Alan Prowse, vice president and managing director, Americas for Rockwell Collins. "The proven performance of this radio in the maritime environment will definitely enhance mission success for the Peruvian Navy."
Rockwell Collins’ Talon radios are part of the widely successful ARC-210 family of airborne tactical V/UHF radios with an installed base of over 40,000 units fielded on over 180 airborne platforms in over 40 countries including several countries in Latin America. It is a proven, high-performance radio system specifically designed to meet the stringent requirements of airborne platforms, particularly including helicopters. It supports secure voice and data communications and is interoperable with fielded ground and shipboard tactical radios. 

First Indigenous Composites Sonar Dome Flagged off of by RakshaMantri Shri Mahohar Parrikar

March 29, 2016 - The first indigenous composites sonar dome was flagged off today by Raksha Mantri, Shri Manohar Parrikar, during DEFEXPO 2016 today. Dr. S. Christopher, Secretary Dept. of Defence (R&D) and DG DRDO, Vice Admiral P Murgesan, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Dr. S Guru Prasad, Chief Controller R&D (PC&SI) and Rear Admiral (Retd) RK Shrawat, CMD MDL were present on the occasion. 
The sonar dome has been designed by R&DE(E), a DRDO lab based in Pune and manufactured by composites manufacturing company M/s Kineco Ltd, Pilerne, Goa. Thus India joins a select group of nations which have the capability of realizing large composites structure with multi-functional requirements, complex geometry and high structural rigidity with acoustic transparency. This was possible due to the Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) process technology with built-in process monitoring capability, to ensure manufacture of a quality product, developed at R&DE(E), DRDO, Pune. In this process, manufacturing technology was successfully transferred to M/s Kineco, Goa, who have now joined a select band of companies worldwide with this capability. 
This is the first This will now pave the way for realizing more ambitious naval structures such as entire ship hulls as well as land based and aerospace applications. 

Navy Awards General Dynamics Bath Iron Works $644 Million for Construction of DDG 51 Class Destroyer

March 31, 2016 - The U.S. Navy has awarded funding for the planning and construction of DDG 124, the Fiscal Year 2016 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer under contract at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The $644.3 million contract modification fully funds this ship, which was awarded as part of a multi-year competition for DDG 51 class destroyers awarded in 2013. The total value of the five-ship contract is approximately $3.4 billion. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics.
Fred Harris, president of Bath Iron Works, said, "This funding will allow us to continue our efforts associated with planning and construction of DDG 124. The men and women of Bath Iron Works are working hard to continuously improve our processes as we contribute to the U.S. Navy's important shipbuilding programs."
There are currently four DDG 51 destroyers in production at Bath Iron Works: Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) and Carl M. Levin (DDG 120).
The Navy has named DDG 124 the Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., after a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer who received the Medal of Honor for valor during the Vietnam War. Colonel Barnum served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Reserve Affairs and as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is a multi-mission combatant that offers defense against a wide range of threats, including ballistic missiles. It operates in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups, providing a complete array of anti-submarine (ASW), anti-air (AAW) and anti-surface (SuW) capabilities.
Designed for survivability, the ships incorporate all-steel construction and have gas turbine propulsion. The combination of the ships' AEGIS combat system, the Vertical Launching System, an advanced ASW system, two embarked SH-60 helicopters, advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk anti-ship and land-attack missiles make the Arleigh Burke class destroyers the most powerful surface combatants ever put to sea.

People of Goa make Defexpo-2016 a grand success

Defexpo India 2016

March 31, 2016 - A very large crowd turned up on the concluding day of Defexpo 2016 making the event a grand success. While many visitors travelled from far reaches of Goa and adjoining districts, the largest response to the exhibition was received from the local population who visited in large family groups. Enthusiasm was also evident among organized groups from schools and colleges and visiting youth who were curious and showing keen interest in defence technology. 
Live demonstration of Sarang Aerobatic Display team of the Indain Air Force, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (being developed by Aeronautical Development Agency), Main Battle Tanks Arjun Mark I and II, Wheeled Armoured Platform and display by Scandinavian Aerobatics Team enthralled the spectators. 
The Defexpo 2016 held outside New Delhi for the first time at Naqueri Quitol, Quepem Taluka, South Goa, concluded today after four days of hectic activities. The Exhibition was the largest exhibition of its kind in the country with an underlined theme of ‘Make in India’ with 1055 (with Indian companies outnumbering foreign once) companies, over 900 delegation visits and 47 countries participating in the event. An event of this scale was made possible by the whole hearted support of people and various agencies and availability of tourist / business infrastructure, such as hotels and connectivity, in the host state of Goa. The people of Goa lived up to the reputation of being excellent hosts. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Royal Marines Battlefield Helicopters Get Their Sea Legs Aboard HMS Ocean

Royal Navy

March 29, 2016 - The new wings of the Royal Marines have been getting their sea legs ready to carry commandos into action around the globe. 
The green Merlins of 846 Naval Air Squadron joined Britain’s flagship HMS Ocean off the south coast for basic, but vital, amphibious training. 
With the veteran green Sea King now retired – the legendary helicopters conducted a farewell fly-past around the South West – the burden of flying commandos into battle falls squarely on the Merlin. 
The battlefield Merlin is bigger, faster, more powerful, has a greater range and is easier to board/disembark than the helicopter it replaces. 
But it’s also designed for operations over land (unlike the grey submarine-hunting Merlins the Navy has flown for the past 15 or so years) … and marines fight by land and sea. 
Since transferring from the RAF, the helicopters have received a mini upgrade – the Merlin iMk3 (‘i’ for interim) is better suited to supporting the green berets on amphibious operations than the ‘basic’ model thanks to a folding main rotor head, strengthened undercarriage and communications upgrades. 
“The iMk3 has a number of modifications to allow us to operate at sea, day and night, as well as the ability to conduct various other tasks such as the fast roping of troops to the deck of a ship on the move,” explained pilot Lt Cdr Alex Hampson. 
It plugs the gap until the truly ‘marinised’ version of the battlefield Merlin, the Mk4, is delivered in late 2017. With an enhanced avionics suite, automatic folding main rotor head and folding tail, it’s perfect for operations at sea. 
846’s Commanding Officer Lt Col Del Stafford said that the few days embarked on the helicopter carrier would serve the Commando Helicopter Force well: first sea time for the iMk3; first green Merlins landing on assault ship HMS Bulwark; ferrying loads between ships on the move at sea; and air and ground living and working in the confines of a warship. 
“The aircrew, engineers and aircraft have been undergoing the transition process from Sea King for several years,” said Lt Col Stafford. 
“Even though this short embarkation on HMS Ocean may seem like a relatively minor achievement, it marks an extremely important milestone for all that have been living and breathing Merlin operations for the last few years.” 
Lt Cdr Hampson added: “The efforts of so many people involved in the transition are now coming to full fruition as we see the first Merlin iMk3 on the deck of a Royal Navy warship at sea. 
“The small team of engineers and aircrew that we brought on board with us understand this perfectly and are rightly proud to be the first to do so.” 
Two squadrons of Merlins are assigned to the green berets – 845 NAS will shortly move from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire to Yeovilton – plus reconnaissance Wildcats of 847 NAS. 

HMS Somerset Shadows Russian Task Group

Royal Navy
March 30, 2016 - A Royal Navy warship has shadowed a Russian Naval Task Group transiting through the English Channel and up the East Coast of the UK.
HMS Somerset, a Type 23 Frigate, along with her Merlin helicopter was used to detect and monitor the movement of the Russian warship, Vice Admiral Kulakov and her supporting ships.
HMS Somerset was on a training mission when she received the call to locate and escort the Russian Units.  As with other Royal Navy ships operating around the UK, HMS Somerset was at a high state of alert to deal with any maritime security task, including the monitoring of transits through the UK area of responsibility by non-NATO warships.
The Vice Admiral Kulakov is a Russian Udaloy class Destroyer and was returning from a  deployment to Syria.  It was accompanied by a tanker and tug, which is standard procedure for Russian ships.
Somerset intercepted the Task Group off Brest as it approached the south west of the UK last Wednesday, 23 March and escorted it through UK waters until they turned for home on 29 March, after spending the Easter weekend off the East coast of Scotland.  

Thales to upgrade French MoD’s telecom networks


March 30, 2016 - A resilient network is essential for national sovereignty, providing the Ministry of Defence with the independence it needs for critical communications and decision-making.
Under the contract to upgrade the SOCRATE network, which is a core component of the infrastructure, Thales will provide a highly resilient and scalable high-data-rate network incorporating the latest technological advances and designed to cope with the growing number and severity of cyberthreats.
The upgraded network will interconnect over 250,000 users at more than 100 strategic sites, including Hexagone-Balard, the new Ministry of Defence headquarters in Paris. The project will ensure continuity of the French military’s most important operational missions, from nuclear deterrence to joint forces command and the country’s permanent air security presence.
The contract is a further endorsement of Thales’s unique ability to design, deploy and maintain the most critical communication systems. Comprising 270 routers, 10,000 km of fibre-optic cable and more than 100 pieces of high-capacity optical equipment, the network will also incorporate the Nexium View solution from Thales. Nexium View will enable the Ministry of Defence’s IT and communications agency (DIRISI) to supervise all aspects of the network in real-time, respond faster to incidents and anticipate their impact on operations.
Thales has also been awarded the POINCARE contract, in partnership with NextiraOne, to securely interconnect the Ministry of Defence’s 1,200 sites in mainland France and overseas.
Deliveries under the SOCRATE upgrade contract will begin in 2017 and will continue until 2021. Rollout of the POINCARE network will be completed in 2018.
The Thales solutions deployed for the DESCARTES programme are designed to meet the demands from governments, international organisations and critical infrastructure operators for secure, resilient high-data-rate networks and interconnections that are fully scalable and supervised in real-time.
"This upgrade of the french MoD's telecommunication networks is a perfect illustration of Thales's expertise in technological innovation and ability to deploy a resilient network with the highest levels of performance and security," said Marc Darmon, Executive Vice-President, Secure Communication and Information Systems, Thales

Multi-million pound joint venture announced between Britain and Oman

Port of Duqm
London March 30, 2016 - Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced the intent to develop a multi-million pound joint venture between British defence company Babcock International and the Oman Drydock Company, which will secure jobs in the UK.
The agreement, supporting development at the booming Duqm Port complex, will provide vital engineering work and support to the world’s naval vessels, including the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.
Speaking on a visit to Oman today, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said, "This partnership will bring British engineering expertise to help develop Duqm as a strategic port for the Middle East on the Indian Ocean, benefiting the Royal Navy and others.
"It demonstrates how our long term commitment to the Middle East is promoting our security and prosperity."
The Duqm port project provides significant opportunity to the defence, security and prosperity agendas for both the UK and Oman. A permanent presence at Duqm would enable the UK to shape the development of the naval facility to support future carrier capability and wider British maritime needs in the area.
During his visit, the Defence Secretary reaffirmed the longstanding relationship between the UK and Oman by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement will allow the countries to continue conducting exercises and training together.
The Defence Secretary is meeting with the Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harub Al Busaidi and the Minister of the Royal Office, His Excellency General Sultan bin Mohammed Al Numani to strengthen the relationship and to review what more can be done to counter Daesh and other extremist groups.
Mr Fallon said, "Last week’s attacks in Brussels were a reminder that all of us, the Gulf and Europe, must stand together to defeat Daesh and its ideology."

Navy deploys new APKWS design for fixed-wing aircraft

An AV-8B Harrier equipped with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) during a test event at China Lake, Calif. The U.S. Navy delivered the first fixed-wing aircraft variant of APKWS in March 2016 to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 233 operating the AV-8B Harrier in theater. (U.S. Navy photo)

NAS Patuxent River March 30, 2016 - The U.S. Navy delivered the first fixed-wing aircraft variant of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) in March 2016 to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 233 operating the AV-8B Harrier in theater.   
Seven months after receiving a requirement from Marine Corps headquarters, two program offices based at Patuxent River fielded the 2.75-inch rockets equipped with Semi-Active Laser (SAL) guidance capability.
“This capability will provide commanders with a warfighting alternative to better enable weapon-to-target pairing,” said Col. Fred Schenk, AV-8B Harrier Weapon System (PMA-257) program manager.
PMA-257 and the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office (PMA-242) worked together to define a two-phase program to quickly field the weapon variant.  The first phase expedited fielding of a limited AV-8B fixed-wing APKWS employment flight envelope capability.  This included the delivery of 80 guidance kits. The second phase will expand the fixed-wing APKWS employment envelope limits to the maximum extent possible for AV-8B.
“The intent of this requirement was to quickly provide the AV-8B with a low-cost, low-collateral damage, high-precision weapon in support of combat operations,” said Navy Capt. Al Mousseau, PMA-242 program manager. “This entire effort showcases what unity of effort among all government and industry stakeholders can accomplish to expediently deliver capability."
APKWS, a product of BAE, is the only DoD fully qualified 2.75-inch rocket that uses Semi-Active Laser (SAL) guidance technology to strike targets in built-up and confined areas. The SAL is a laser seeker which allows the system to beam-ride reflected laser energy. The reflected laser energy is sourced by either airborne or ground-based laser designators providing positive target acquisition.
PMA-242 is responsible for the acquisition, development and sustainment of weapon systems, including anti-radiation missile systems; airborne rocket systems; precision guided munitions; airborne gun systems; and joint air-to-ground munitions.  PMA-257 is responsible for life cycle sustainment of the AV-8B Harrier Weapon System for the U.S. Marine Corps and its allied partners.

Lockheed Martin Begins Testing and Integration on the Royal Australian Navy’s First Aegis-equipped Hobart Class Destroyer

Lockheed Martin photo of Royal Australian Navy’s First Aegis-equipped Hobart Class Destroyer

Adelaide March 30, 2016 – Lockheed Martin’s Integrated Test Team (ITT) begins Aegis combat system integration and testing aboard the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) first Aegis-equipped Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), HOBART.
The Aegis Combat System testing will be facilitated by Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians who are responsible for testing the Aegis Combat System to ensure the equipment is properly installed and functional.
“The Lockheed Martin team has successfully brought Aegis to life,” said Rob Milligan, Lockheed Martin Australia, surface ships program lead. “Our team is dedicated to ensuring the successful delivery of HOBART’s Aegis capability to the Royal Australian Navy.”
Lockheed Martin anticipated the need for the future Australian domestic sustainment of Aegis on AWD several years prior to this event.  Lockheed Martin used internal funds to develop specialist skills in the Aegis Combat System for our Australian AWD Program workforce.  “We strengthened the AWD test team which now includes experienced Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians from both Australia and the U.S. to conduct the Aegis combat systems integration,” Milligan added.
The Hobart-class destroyers are being built under Australia’s SEA 4000 program, which will ultimately deliver three advanced multirole ships. These ships will be Australia’s first ships to be equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Weapon System including the SPY-1D(V) radar. When paired with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, Aegis is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare. The RAN has received the Lockheed Martin Aegis Baseline 8 configuration, which integrates commercial-off-the-shelf technology and open architecture into the combat system.
“This milestone is a significant step towards an increase in the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime security capabilities through the seamless integration of the Aegis combat system to defend against advanced air, surface and subsurface threats,” said Commodore Craig Bourke, CSC, RAN Program Manager Air Warfare Destroyer “With more than 100 Aegis-equipped ships deployed worldwide, Australia is joining a family of allied nations that continues to push the boundaries of innovation with adaptable and affordable capabilities that meet the warfighter’s multi-mission needs.”
Lockheed Martin is the Aegis Combat Systems Integrator and engineering agent for the U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers and cruisers, Australian Air Warfare Destroyers, as well as a range of other international customers for both new construction and modernisations.  Lockheed Martin also provides the combat system engineering, integration and test for the U.S. Navy’s future frigate and Freedom class Littoral Combat Ship programs.
With more than 40 years of significant investment by the U.S. Navy and its allies, the Aegis Combat System is used globally by five navies, across seven ship classes. Lockheed Martin is the trusted Aegis Combat Systems Integration partner to governments around the world, enabling mission ready, combat capable ships affordably and timely to the fleet.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ARM Cuauhtémo Departs for IBERO 2016 ATLANTIC

Mexican Navy

Mexico City, March 12, 2016 (Google Translation) - The ship ARM School "Cuauhtémo" (BE 01) set sail this morning from the port of Acapulco, Guerrero, to perform the Training Cruise "Ibero Atlantic 2016" with a budget of 252 naval elements to visit 18 ports in 14 countries with a mission to strengthen ties of friendship of the Mexican people with other nations and to bring a message of peace and gird Academic and cultural relations between the armed forces.
This instruction cruise ends on October 3, 2016. Note that in the various ports visited, the ship "Cuauhtémo" and his crew will participate in various nautical events, also will perform various inherent to the naval profession seamanship.
The farewell ceremony of the ship took place in the dock of the Eighth Naval Region and was chaired by Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberon Sanz, Secretary of the Navy, who was accompanied by Dr. Jose Antonio Meade, Minister of Social Development, representing the Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Mexican Armed Forces; as well as the General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, Secretary of National Defense and Antonio Héctor Astudillo Flores, Governor of the State of Guerrero, among other civil authorities, naval and military.
By using the word, Admiral Navy Secretary said: "The cruise will provide its crew instruction necessary to ensure the safety and protection of our seas, tools" decisive for the country's economic development factors "; and he stressed that "this is how the Navy personnel prepares holistically and with naval quality education to meet the challenges facing our nation in an increasingly globalized world."
In this regard, said that "currently we connect sea with over 130 countries and over 490 destinations around the world, a condition that clearly shows the potential and the responsibility we have with our seas and the maritime sector; a sector that knows Mexico Navy ensures the safety and port maritime security, and prevent pollution in Mexican marine areas and safeguard human life of those engaged in national waters ".
Thus he dismissed the crew of the ship "Cuauhtémo", wishing him success in this mission entrusted to him and that his navigation at sea and steps in distant lands speak of honor, duty, loyalty and patriotism, supreme values ??that govern and identify "a Mexican Armed Forces. "
Meanwhile, the commander of Ship Sailboat "Cuauhtémo" (BE-01) resulted from departure to the Secretary of the Navy and the High Command of the Navy of Mexico, who said "aboard this unit area of ??our institution Mexico is all represented by elements coming from the different regions that make up our native soil, forming a multicultural crew. He added that "the cruise we are about to start also makes every element of the provision in an act with global responsibility and as military marine belonging to the Ministry of the Navy of Mexico very close to our society."
On behalf of his colleagues, Cadet of the Heroic Naval Military School, Leonel Gutierrez Vergara said starting a day's work in their training; and as a young Mexican, the best decision was to choose the naval profession, pursuing his career from a naval establishment that provides more than education, as it gives a way of life, a good present and a future to serve the country; thus he said, "leave high the name of Mexico, making the duty our best presentation".
It is important to stress that within the context of National Development Plan 2013-2018 the Government of the Republic, where it provides for a "Mexico with Quality Education", the naval education system makes this cruise in order that the fourth-year cadets increase and implement the theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom, familiarizing them in a real environment with nautical terminology, strengthening the seafaring spirit through teamwork and sharing experiences with the navies of other countries, thereby obtaining extensive knowledge in navigating a sailing vessel and thereby maintaining the maritime tradition of the Navy of Mexico.
On this occasion, the winds will direct their sails and sail the seas with an itinerary that includes the ports of Acapulco, Guerrero; Balboa, Panama; Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; Havana Cuba; Baltimore and New London, USA; Halifax, Canada; London, United Kingdom; Hamburg and Bremerhaven, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Ambers, Belgium; Brest, France; Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz and Las Palmas, Spain; Santo Domingo Dominican Republic; Balboa, Panama; ending its journey in its homeport: Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico.

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget requests $773.1 million in advance procurement (AP)funding and $1,091.1 million in research and development funding for the Ohio replacement program (ORP), a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy’s current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs.
The Navy has identified the Ohio replacement program, also known as the SSBN(X) program, as the Navy’s top priority program. The Navy wants to procure the first Ohio replacement boat in FY2021, and the $773.1 million in AP funding requested for FY2017 represents the initial procurement funding for that boat.
A March 2015 GAO report assessing selected major DOD weapon acquisition programs states that the estimated total acquisition cost of the Ohio replacement program is about $95.8 billion in constant FY2015 dollars, including about $11.8 billion in research and development costs and about $84.0 billion in procurement costs.
The Navy as of February 2015 estimated the procurement cost of the lead boat in the program at $14.5 billion in then-year dollars, including $5.7 billion in detailed design and nonrecurring engineering (DD/NRE) costs for the entire class, and $8.8 billion in construction costs for the ship itself. (It is a traditional budgeting practice for Navy shipbuilding programs to attach the DD/NRE costs for a new class of ships to the procurement cost of the lead ship in the class.)
In constant FY2010 dollars, these figures become $10.4 billion, including $4.2 billion in DD/NRE costs and $6.2 billion in construction costs for the ship itself.
The Navy in January 2015 estimated the average procurement cost of boats 2 through 12 in the Ohio replacement program at about $5.2 billion each in FY2010 dollars, and is working to reduce that figure to a target of $4.9 billion each in FY2010 dollars. Even with this cost-reduction effort, observers are concerned about the impact the Ohio replacement program will have on the Navy’s ability to procure other types of ships at desired rates in the 2020s and early 2030s.
Potential issues for Congress for the Ohio replacement program include the following:
-- whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s FY2017 funding request for the program;
-- whether to authorize and appropriate FY2017 advance procurement (AP) funding for the program in the Navy’s shipbuilding account or the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund (NSBDF);
-- whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s proposed strategy for building Ohio replacement boats at the country’s two submarine-construction shipyards;
-- the likelihood that the Navy will be able to reduce the estimated average procurement cost of boats 2 through 12 in the program to the target figure of $4.9 billion each in FY2010 dollars;
-- the accuracy of the Navy’s estimate of the procurement cost of each SSBN(X); and
-- the prospective affordability of the Ohio replacement program and its potential impact on funding available for other Navy shipbuilding programs.
This report focuses on the Ohio replacement program as a Navy shipbuilding program. CRS Report RL33640, U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues, by Amy F. Woolf, discusses the SSBN(X) as an element of future U.S. strategic nuclear forces in the context of strategic nuclear arms control agreements.

Click here for the full report (45 PDF pages) hosted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists.

Judicial Watch: State Department Documents Show that NSA Rebuffed Hillary Clinton's Attempts to Obtain a Secure Blackberry

Washington March 16, 2016 - Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained State Department documents revealing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly sought to obtain "Blackberry-like communications," but was rebuffed by the National Security Agency due to security and cost concerns. The National Security Agency's Information Assurance Directorate response was "shut up and color." The emails show that Clinton demanded Blackberry devices that could be used by her and her staff in her office's Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).
The documents were obtained in response to a court order in an April 28, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00646), filed after the Department of State failed to comply with a March 10, 2015, FOIA request seeking following:
"Any and all records of requests by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or her staff to the State Department Office Security Technology seeking approval for the use of an iPad or iPhone for official government business;" and
"Any and all communications within or between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Executive Secretariat, and the Office of the Secretary and the Office of Security Technology concerning, regarding, or related to the use of unauthorized electronic devices for official government business."
In an email dated February 13, 2009, Senior Coordinator for Security Infrastructure, Bureau of Diplomatic Security Donald R. Reid reveals that the request to obtain secure Blackberry technology for Clinton was denied. When Clinton aides sought to compel the NSA's cooperation by asking about the security arrangements for President Obama's Blackberry, the exchange apparently became heated. According to Reid:
"[W]e began examining options for S [Secretary Clinton] with respect to secure "Blackberry-like" communications … the current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State and is very expensive…each time we asked the question "What was the solution for POTUS?" we were politely told to shut up and color ... NSA opened the door for us to establish requirements and they would try to help…"
"While our noses are out of joint for how this was handled, the issue will be what kind of support will NSA be offering to meet S demands (basically, wireless comm in Mahogany Row) …"
In a subsequent email from Reid dated February 18, 2009, Clinton's penchant for Blackberry technology is described as an issue of "personal comfort" growing out of her becoming "hooked" on her Blackberry during the 2008 presidential campaign:
"Here's the results of our meeting yesterday… as I had been speculating, the issue here is one of personal comfort ... S [Secretary Clinton] does not use a personal computer so our view of someone wedded to their email (why doesn't she use her desktop when in SCIF?) doesn't fit this scenario … during the campaign she was urged to keep in contact with thousands via a BB ... once she got the hang of it she was hooked … now everyday [sic], she feels hamstrung because she has to lock her BB up … she does go out several times a day to an office they have crafted for her outside the SCIF and plays email catch up … Cheryl Mills and others who are dedicated BB addicts are frustrated because they too are not near their desktop very often during the working day…"
The February 17, 2009 meeting details showed that Hillary Clinton was personally pushing for:
"Meeting: Ms. Mills described the requirement as chiefly driven by Secretary Clinton, who does not use standard computer equipment but relies exclusively on her Blackberry for e-mailing and remaining in contact on her schedule, etc. Ideally, all members of her suite would be allowed to use Blackberries for communication in the SCIF; [Redacted] was not the primary driver, but if possible would be a plus."
Apparently, Blackberry security waivers were issued during the tenure of former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, according to an email from an unidentified, redacted source dated February 17, 2009. But because the high volume of these waivers became an issue, they were phased out over time. The unnamed source wrote:
"Ms. Mills has witnessed the use of Blackberries in other sensitive (but perhaps not SCI fed spaces); she asked some excellent questions about what might be possible and prudent. She also asked about precedent; former Secretary Rice had received waivers for her staff; however, use expanded to an unmanageable number of users from a security perspective, so those waivers were phased out and Blackberry use was not allowed in her suite ..."
Yesterday, Judicial Watch filed a plan in federal court for "narrowly tailored discovery" into Clinton's email. Reid is among the proposed witnesses.
"These documents show that Hillary Clinton knew her Blackberry wasn't secure. Then why did she use it to access classified information on her illicit email server?" said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The FBI and prosecutors ought to be very interested in these new materials."

Kelvin Hughes SharpEye™ for RN and RFA

Kelvin Hughes

March 21, 2016 - Kelvin Hughes is delighted to announce that its SharpEye™ radars are to be fitted to more than 60 Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships, submarines and shore facilities.
Working in association with Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems UK who have signed a £44 million contract with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Kelvin Hughes will be supplying SharpEye™ systems for the RN’s Type 23 frigates, Hunt and Sandown class Mine Counter Measure Vessels, RFA support vessels and fast patrol boats as well as the Astute, Trafalgar and Vanguard class submarines.

SharpEye TransceiverSharpEye Naval Radar

Five shore facilities will also benefit from SharpEye™ technology, including HMS Collingwood in Hampshire, HMS Raleigh in Cornwall, and the Land Based Test Site at Portsdown Technology Park in Hampshire. The contract with Lockheed Martin also includes options for the introduction of navigation radar systems for future Royal Navy platforms such as the Queen Elizabeth carriers, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship and Successor submarines.

Kelvin Hughes

SharpEye™ is available in both I (X) and E/F (S) frequency bands. These share a high degree of component commonality due to their similar modular design and system architecture. Kelvin Hughes’ ability to offer variants of SharpEye™ across both frequency bands to a similar design offers MOD the opportunity to realise significant savings in training, documentation and through life support.
The SharpEye™ solid-state radar transceiver transmits a low power, patented pulse sequence incorporating pulse compression that enables superior range discrimination across all range scales. This means that multiple operators can have access to an optimum picture at both long and short ranges simultaneously.
Doppler processing of radar returns provides coherent information concerning a target’s velocity and improves the probability of detection of small objects with a low RCS (Radar Cross Section). Through a series of electronic filters, SharpEye™ is able to distinguish between targets of interest and clutter whilst customisable waveforms can be configured for specific threats and to enhance the detection of specific targets of interest such as UAVs and helicopters.
The radar’s low power output also reduces the probability of detection by enemy ESM equipment.
Rohan Dearlove, Kelvin Hughes’ UK Maritime Sales Director, commented:
“This is excellent news for us and we’re looking forward to working with Lockheed Martin to equip the RN and RFA fleets with our world beating SharpEye™ radar. The provision of SharpEye™ under this contract supports the MOD’s desire for technological convergence, with similar radars being already in service with the Fleet and selected for MOD programmes such as the Tide class tankers and the new OPVs".
Dearlove added:
“We are confident that MOD will decide to exercise options within the NRP contract which facilitate the roll out of SharpEye™ across additional platforms. This would extend the operational benefits associated with technological convergence to the newer vessels types such as Type 45, the two new carriers and future Type 26 and general purposes frigates”.
Kelvin Hughes’ Chief Executive, Russell Gould, added:
“SharpEye™ systems are currently being deployed by 27 of the world’s navies and this major new project is a further vote of confidence in the superior performance and reliability of Kelvin Hughes SharpEye™ technology.” 

Lighthouse keepers on Truong Sa archipelago

March 20, 2016 - Lighthouses on Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago guide ships at night and confirm Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty.
To keep the lighthouses lit, lighthouse workers have to work all day and night in an extreme environment. 
Truong Sa archipelago hosts nine lighthouses, three of which are located on Da Lat (Ladd Reef), Da Tay (West Reef), and Tien Nu islands.
Situated to the south of Truong Sa archipelago and built in 1994, Da Lat Reef’s lighthouse is 42 meters high and operated by four workers of the East Sea and Islands Maritime Safety Company.
Most of the station’s area is used for operating the lighthouse while a small space in the corridor is reserved for growing vegetables and raising chickens.

 Located on Da Lat island, the Da Lat lighthouse was built in 1994 at a height of 42m.

Vu Duy Tien, one of the four workers at the station, said there are four working shifts a night. When one person is on duty, the others will do other works like technical check and cleaning of the lighting system. 
Tien said, “The island weather is very severe and the work is very hard. Of course, we lack many things but we love our job and the national sea and islands.”
Tien who has worked on Truong Sa archipelago for 20 years said the living conditions there have improved significantly. Every two months, supply boat Hai Dang 5 carries equipment and essentials for the staff.

The lighthouse on Truong Sa Lon Island is 25m high so ships, about 18 nautical miles away, can see the light. The lighthouse lamp is regularly maintained. (Photo: VNP)

Due to the harsh working conditions, lighthouse workers must have good health and professional skills. Whenever they fulfill their terms in one station, they will take a new mission in another.
Trinh Van Nguyen, head of Da Lat Lighthouse, said he had been working in all nine lighthouses on Truong Sa.
“My colleagues and I have safeguarded the lighthouses for 20 years. We have much experience in handling breakdowns. I can take vegetable farming as a very simple example. When the wind is so harsh or the waves hit the lighthouse, we will relocate the vegetable boxes further into the island. But we never think of leaving the posts,” Nguyen shared.

The Da Tay Lighthouse is on Da Tay reef, built in June 1994, with a height of 20m.

Staff members of Da Tay Lighthouse take responsibility of guiding vessels to identify their co-ordinates to get exact directions.
Tran Van Khanh, head of Da Tay Lighthouse, said with three members, they change a shift every two hours. The station has been equipped with a new maritime signal system.
He noted, "The work at the lighthouse is nonstop. The light must be kept turned on all the time. When there is a system breakdown, we only have minutes to fix it. If there are interruptions in maritime signals, it might be very dangerous for passing ships, losing direction or hitting hidden rocks or coral reefs."
After 20 years, Bui Van Son, Nam Yet Lighthouse’s chief, remains determined to work on Truong Sa archipelago. This is the second time he has worked in Nam Yet.
“I began to watch over the lighthouse in An Bang Island in 1995. At that time life was very difficult. Now we have electricity making the living condition better. We also have a TV and cold storage to keep food. More importantly, we have been provided with telephone helping us to communicate with our families. The mainland and island have become much closer to each other,” Son explained.

The Evolution of Navy Cryptology

By Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, Commander, Fleet Cyber Command, U.S. 10th Fleet

Eighty-one years ago today, the first unified organization coordinating Navy Cryptology, the Communications Security Group, was established. From Station HYPO, OP-20-G and the On the Roof Gang, to the present day, our community has continued to evolve to meet and defeat the threats we face
The transition of the Information Dominance Corps to the Information Warfare Community in concert with the CNO’s Design for Maritime Superiority has given us another opportunity to formalize our evolution, and to deliberately examine our community identity. A great deal of our heritage can be traced to the Naval Security Group, and our collective identification as Navy cryptologists.
To that end, and based on thoughtful input from the affected members of our community, the name of some of our officer designators (181X, 681X, 781X) will be changing to cryptologic warfare officer. This choice honors our cryptologic heritage, reflects what we do, recognizes the military effects we deliver in the converged domain and more closely ties our officer corps with our enlisted and civilian force counterparts. Cryptologic warfare officers, together with cyber warfare engineers, cyber warrant officers, cryptologic technicians (interpretive, maintenance, networks, collection and technical) and civilians, engaged in cryptologic missions are a unified community—unified through understanding, unified in action and unified by name.
We are Navy cryptologists.
Whether we are executing mission under joint commanders, fleet commanders, Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA), or the Commander, United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM); and whether significant portions of our missions are organized under Communications Security Group, Naval Security Group, Naval Network Warfare Command or today’s Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet, we have our own enduring identity, culture and ethos.
We are the Navy cryptologic community.
On behalf of maritime and joint commanders, we execute cryptologic warfare, which encompasses signals intelligence (SIGINT), cyberspace operations and electronic warfare (EW) operations in order to deliver effects through sea, air, land, space and cyber domains at all levels of war.
As a symbol of what we do, I would also like to share with you our new Navy cryptologic community seal. While not a representative of a Navy organization or command in the traditional sense, this seal represents our own rich heritage, who we are and where we are going. It represents us. The Naval officer crest and our cryptologic technician insignia, with its lightning bolt and quill, represent and respect our long history. These symbols have stood from the earliest days of our community to the present day.
The binary background overlaid on the globe represents our part in the larger information warfare community, whose seal shares the same symbolism, as well as our core expertise in cyber, along with our global reach.
The skeleton key reminds us that we are relied upon to unlock and solve puzzles, and in many cases find missing pieces to paint a complete picture of our Nation’s adversaries. The key is engraved with the date symbolic of our collective establishment as a naval profession: March 11, 1935.
The chain binds us all together — officer, enlisted, and civilian — and binds our core missions — SIGINT, Cyber, and EW — to us, and us to them. The three stars also symbolize these three core missions. Through the converged domain, we enable and deliver effects to the commander and fellow warfighters. Our Community Vision, an update to our 2012 Foundational Principles, is also under construction and I will share it with you as soon as it is complete.
Please join me in embracing this next evolution of our community, which has stood on the shoulders of giants, both seen and unseen. Today, you who serve in the Navy cryptologic community will be those giants upon whom future generations of Navy cryptologists stand.

DARPA has Awarded IQ-Analog Corporation a $4.5M Contract to Develop and Validate a New Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) Architecture

San Diego March 21, 2016 - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded IQ-Analog Corporation a $4.5M contract to develop and validate a new analog to digital converter (ADC) architecture. The revolutionary new architecture uses a new patented innovation known as “Traveling Pulse Wave Quantization” to increase the effective data rate of the conversion process with less than half the power of existing approaches. A future prototype will operate at sample rates over 60-GHz and will be able to capture the entire electromagnetic spectrum up to 30-GHz. This full spectrum conversion capability promises to dramatically enhance modern radar systems and thereby augment our military prowess in electronic warfare. The ADC will be fabricated in GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 14nm FinFET CMOS process.

Saab at FIDAE 2016

Defence and security company Saab is proud to attend FIDAE from March 29th to April 3rd 2016. At the show Saab will demonstrate how its advanced technology and innovative thinking are keeping people and society in Latin America safe.
A centerpiece at the show will of course be the Gripen E fighter in a full-scale model located on the outdoor area. Gripen is a true multi-role fighter aircraft that has the operational range, payload and built-in net centric warfare capabilities to meet all roles as defined. The opportunities on the world market have been solidified and expanded, following the orders from Sweden and Brazil.
This year FIDAE is the major exhibition for the aerospace and defence industry in Latin America and an event of great strategic importance for Saab. The region is a dynamic market where Saab sees great opportunities across all of its domains.
“Throughout Latin America Saab is known as a reliable partner and a source of strategic defence and security technology which are helping to safeguard people and society. We stand proudly alongside all of our existing customers and see great potential to do new business. Our cost-efficient, flexible and smart solutions enhance capabilities and solve real problems and threats across the region. There is no other company that can match our portfolio of proven, high-quality products” says Fredrik Gustafson, head of marketing and sales, Saab’s market area Latin America.
Saab is enjoying a sustained period of expansion. There are few, if any, other defence, security and aerospace suppliers that can deliver the range of effective and efficient products found in the Saab portfolio.
Saab will host the following media event at FIDAE 2016:
Tuesday March 29th, 4pm, chalet A6 – The future of airborne surveillance
Saab’s Erieye is already the most successful airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system in the world, with operators in eight different countries. New developments in radar and sensor technology, C4I architecture and platform performance are taking these capabilities to an entirely new level. Join Saab for a briefing on the future of swing-role and multi-mission airborne surveillance.
Saab products and capabilities on show at FIDAE 2016 include:
Gripen, multi-role fighter
Airborne early warning and control
Air traffic management
Training and simulation
Ground-based air defence
Naval portfolio
Giraffe surface radars
Ground combat weapons
FIDAE 2016 will be held at Arturo Merino Benitez Airport, Santiago, Chile from March 29th to April 3rd 2016.

VADM Lou Crenshaw USN (Ret'd), CDFM Joins The SPECTRUM Group

Vice Admiral Lewis W. Crenshaw, Jr.
US Navy

Alexandria VA March 18, 2016 - The SPECTRUM Group (TSG) is pleased to announce that Navy Vice Admiral Lewis W. Crenshaw (Ret'd) has joined its firm. Admiral Crenshaw’s background as one of the Navy’s foremost leaders in finance and operations as well as his extensive experience in the private sector brings to TSG’s client base a wealth of knowledge and insight.
“We are delighted to have the unique blend of public and private business experience that Lou brings to our clients. As the former DCNO for Resources for the Navy, he also brings a wealth of knowledge in DoD programming and budgeting that will give our clients unique insights into Defense Department opportunities,” said TSG’s Chairman, The Honorable Anthony Principi.
Admiral Crenshaw brings to TSG a unique blend of public and private sector expertise having lead profitable businesses in the private sector and operationally outstanding organizations in the Navy. His expertise in federal financial management and in the DoD Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process adds a new dimension to TSG capabilities.
Prior to joining TSG, Admiral Crenshaw was a partner in the global tax, audit and advisory firm of Grant Thornton LLP. Admiral Crenshaw was the national principal for the Aerospace and Defense Industry. He also led the Defense and Intelligence practice in the firm's Global Public Sector, located in Alexandria, Virginia.
During his 32 year naval career he commanded at all levels, from squadron to carrier battle group. Additionally, he was the Commander of Navy Region, Europe, responsible for all Naval Bases in Europe.

ST Kinetics' TERREX 2 Progresses into US Marine Corps' Amphibious Combat Vehicle Program

Singapore March 17, 2016 – Following the US Government Accountability Office (GAO)'s decision to deny the protest of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle Phase 1, Increment 1 (ACV 1.1) program, ST Kinetics, together with its teammate, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), now moves into the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase of the ACV 1.1. During the EMD phase, SAIC and ST Kinetics will provide the US Marine Corps with 13 TERREX 2 prototypes that will be tested next year.
The prime contract, awarded by the US Marine Corps to SAIC is worth US$121.5 million.   This decision to award came after SAIC received the 100-day "stop work" order from the US Marine Corps as the GAO looked into the protest made by one of the competitors, as allowed for in the US tender process.
“The selection of the TERREX 2 is a testament to the proven strengths of the TERREX family as a lethal and highly survivable 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicle platform,” said Ravinder Singh, President of ST Kinetics.  “What we have now achieved in TERREX 2 is a testimony to the maturity of our defence engineering expertise, allowing us to compete against established global defence companies.”
TERREX 2 is an 8x8 wheeled armoured ACV with improved mobility that can transport a combat load of up to 11 embarked Marines, and three crew members, through hostile territory.  On land, TERREX 2’s independent suspension system improves ground mobility and ride quality for the US Marines.  In water, TERREX 2’s hydraulically driven propulsion systems with full independent thrust control authority allows safe operation at Sea-State 3 and through six-foot plunging surf.
ST Kinetics is the land systems arm of ST Engineering.  This development is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.

Review of the MOD’s formations, vessels and aircraft national statistics publication

The MOD currently publishes the Formations, vessels and aircraft national statistics publication on an annual basis.
This publication contains statistics on:
  • vessels in the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary
  • militarily-useful British registered vessels
  • formations in the British Army, Army Reserves, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Auxiliary Air Force and selected joint units
  • forward available Fleet sizes by type of aircraft in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, RAF and Joint Helicopter Command
Following an internal review of equipment statistics, which looked at the content of this publication as well as requests for information received by the department, the MOD is now seeking feedback from users via this public consultation.
The aim of this consultation is to identify whether the definitions and terminology, and coverage of the publication still meets users’ needs and if not, how ‘Formations, vessels and aircraft’ can be improved to better meet these needs.
Please see the consultation document for more information about the review, and specific questions the MOD would like feedback on.

Ways to respond:

If you have any comments on the proposed changes, please complete the online consultation form:
If you have difficulties completing the online version, or would prefer to email/post your responses, please use the following contact details:
Defence Statistics (WDS)
Ministry of Defence
Floor 3 Zone K
Main Building
Horse Guards Avenue
When sending your comments please include contact details (your name and either email address, postal address or telephone number) so that we can obtain clarification if required.

Sparton Corporation and Ultra Electronics USSI Joint Venture (ERAPSCO) Awarded $53.7 Million for U.S. Navy Sonobuoy Contract

Columbia City IN March 29, 2016 - Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (ULE) and Sparton Corporation announce the award of subcontracts valued at $53.7 million to their ERAPSCO joint venture, for the manufacture of sonobuoys for the United States Navy. The award is a GFY16 ERAPSCO Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract release for sonobuoy requirements under ERAPSCO’s five year contract. ERAPSCO will provide production subcontracts in the amount of $26.1 million and $27.6 million to Ultra Electronics USSI and Sparton De Leon Springs, LLC respectively. Production will take place at Ultra Electronics USSI’s Columbia City, IN facility and Sparton’s De Leon Springs, FL facility and is expected to be completed by September 2017.
“I am pleased that we have secured this important contract that will continue to provide critical sensor capabilities to the US Navy. This contract is a reflection of the increased focus on anti-submarine warfare and the US Navy’s commitment to providing key technology for this important mission”
“I am pleased that we have secured this important contract that will continue to provide critical sensor capabilities to the US Navy. This contract is a reflection of the increased focus on anti-submarine warfare and the US Navy’s commitment to providing key technology for this important mission,” stated Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive of Ultra Electronics.
Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Sparton Corporation, Joseph Hartnett, elaborated by stating, “We are grateful for the confidence the US Navy has demonstrated in Sparton by awarding this contract. We remain committed to delivering high performance product solutions to enable their success in undersea warfare missions today and in the future.”

Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Hack into U.S. Defense Contractors’ Systems to Steal Sensitive Military Information

March 23, 2016 - A Chinese national pleaded guilty today to participating in a years-long conspiracy to hack into the computer networks of major U.S. defense contractors, steal sensitive military and export-controlled data and send the stolen data to China.
Su Bin, also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, 50, a citizen and resident of the People’s Republic of China, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder of the Central District of California.
The guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California, Assistant Director Jim Trainor of the FBI’s Cyber Division and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.
A criminal complaint filed in 2014 and subsequent indictments filed in Los Angeles charged Su, a China-based businessman in the aviation and aerospace fields, for his role in the criminal conspiracy to steal military technical data, including data relating to the C-17 strategic transport aircraft and certain fighter jets produced for the U.S. military.  Su was initially arrested in Canada in July 2014 on a warrant issued in relation to this case.  Su ultimately waived extradition and consented to be conveyed to the United States in February 2016.
“Su Bin admitted to playing an important role in a conspiracy, originating in China, to illegally access sensitive military data, including data relating to military aircraft that are indispensable in keeping our military personnel safe,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “This plea sends a strong message that stealing from the United States and our companies has a significant cost; we can and will find these criminals and bring them to justice.  The National Security Division remains sharply focused on disrupting cyber threats to the national security, and we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of those who seek to undermine our security.”
“Protecting our national security is the highest priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and cybercrime represents one of the most serious threats to our national security,” said U.S. Attorney Decker.  “The innovative and tireless work of the prosecutors and investigators in this case is a testament to our collective commitment to protecting our nation’s security from all threats. Today’s guilty plea and conviction demonstrate that these criminals can be held accountable no matter where they are located in the world and that we are deeply committed to protecting our sensitive data in order to keep our nation safe.”
“Cyber security is a top priority not only for the FBI but the entire U.S. government,” said Assistant Director Trainor.  “Our greatest strength is when we harness our capabilities to work together, and today’s guilty plea demonstrates this.  Our adversaries’ capabilities are constantly evolving, and we will remain vigilant in combating the cyber threat.”
“This investigation demonstrates the FBI’s resolve in holding foreign cyber actors accountable regardless of where they reside,” said Assistant Director in Charge Bowdich.  “Cybercrime investigators in Los Angeles are among the finest and their efforts toward preserving America's national security in this case should be commended.”
In the plea agreement filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, Su admitted to conspiring with two persons in China from October 2008 to March 2014 to gain unauthorized access to protected computer networks in the United States, including computers belonging to the Boeing Company in Orange County, California, to obtain sensitive military information and to export that information illegally from the United States to China.
As part of the conspiracy, Su would e-mail the co-conspirators with guidance regarding what persons, companies and technologies to target during their computer intrusions.  One of Su’s co-conspirators would then gain access to information residing on computers of U.S. companies and email Su directory file listings and folders showing the data that the co-conspirator had been able to access.  Su then directed his co-conspirator as to which files and folders his co-conspirator should steal.  Once the co-conspirator stole the data, including by using techniques to avoid detection when hacking the victim computers, Su translated the contents of certain stolen data from English into Chinese.  In addition, Su and his co-conspirators each wrote, revised and emailed reports about the information and technology they had acquired by their hacking activities, including its value, to the final beneficiaries of their hacking activities.
Su’s plea agreement makes clear that the information he and his co-conspirators intentionally stole included data listed on the U.S. Munitions List contained in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.  Su also admitted that he engaged in the crime for the purpose of financial gain and specifically sought to profit from selling the data the he and his co-conspirators illegally acquired.
Su faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greatest.  Judge Snyder is scheduled to sentence Su on July 13, 2016.
The case is being investigated by the FBI Los Angeles Field Office’s Cyber Division with assistance from the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Lewis of the Central District of California and Trial Attorney Casey Arrowood and Senior Trial Attorney Robert E. Wallace of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, with support from Lisa Roberts of the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

MTI Receives Trident Support Contract


March 16, 2016 - The United States Navy has granted Metal Technology (MTI) a contract to develop and demonstrate advanced aerospace additive manufacturing techniques for low-cost manufacturing of refractory metal components for U.S.Navy missile propulsion systems used on the Trident D5 missile system.
The Trident D5 missile system is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and deployed with the U.S. Navy. The missile system was first deployed in March 1990 on U.S. Ohio class submarines with 24 missiles each and is a key element of the U.S. strategic nuclear triad.
Advanced Aerospace Additive Manufacturing | US Navy Contracts with MTI
While the Trident D5 is expected to remain in service until 2042, the current manufacturing techniques for refractory metal components of the propulsion system are very complex and labor intensive. As part of the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contract, MTI will be working with the Navy to reduce cost and complexity using advanced additive manufacturing sometimes called 3D printing to fabricate refractory metal parts with significant reductions in complexity, cost and lead-time compared to traditional manufacturing methods.  MTI is recognized as a leader in aerospace additive manufacturing.
“Phase one of this project is to develop processes and demonstrate the fabrication of simplified, subscale articles using C103 Niobium alloy and provide approaches for fabrication of additional refractory metals/alloys including Molybdenum and Tantalum. We are excited to be part of this very important project and look forward to leveraging our experience working with these materials for over forty years combined with our experience with additive manufacturing to develop some truly innovative solutions.” said Gary Cosmer, Chief Executive Officer for Metal Technology (MTI).
“Key performance requirements for the additively manufactured refractory articles include surviving exposure to greater than 3,200 degree Fahrenheit gaseous environment for 10 minutes at 550 psi, and achieving mechanical properties that meet or exceed the properties derived from traditional processing methods.” said Jason Stitzel, Director Of Engineering for MTI.

NOAA solves disappearance mystery of USS Conestoga

The officers and crew of USS Conestoga, in San Diego, California in 1921. Lost for 95 years, the tug was discovered in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco. Credit: Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 71503
March 23, 2016 - Today, NOAA and the U.S. Navy announced the discovery of the USS Conestoga (AT 54) in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco, 95 years after the Navy seagoing fleet tugboat disappeared with 56 officers and sailors aboard. The discovery solves one of the top maritime mysteries in U.S. Navy history.
"After nearly a century of ambiguity and a profound sense of loss, the Conestoga's disappearance no longer is a mystery," said Manson Brown, assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and deputy NOAA administrator. "We hope that this discovery brings the families of its lost crew some measure of closure and we look forward to working with the Navy to protect this historic shipwreck and honor the crew who paid the ultimate price for their service to the country."
On March 25, 1921, Conestoga departed the Golden Gate en route to Tutuila, American Samoa via Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. When Conestoga failed to reach Hawaii by its anticipated arrival date the Navy mounted a massive air and sea search around the Hawaiian Islands, the tug's destination. Nearly two months later, on May 17, a merchant vessel found a battered lifeboat with the letter "C" on its bow off the Mexican coast leading to a search there.
For months, the ship's mysterious disappearance gripped newspapers across the country. Unable to locate the ship or wreckage, the Navy declared Conestoga and its crew lost on June 30, 1921. This was the last U.S. Navy ship to be lost without a trace in peacetime.
In 2009, the NOAA Office of Coast Survey, as part of a hydrographic survey near the Farallon Islands off San Francisco, documented a probable, uncharted shipwreck. In September 2014, NOAA launched a two year investigation codirected by Delgado and Robert Schwemmer, West Coast regional maritime heritage coordinator for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, to document historic shipwrecks in the Greater Farallones sanctuary and nearby Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In October 2015, NOAA confirmed the identification and location of Conestoga during a mission that included an archaeologist from the Naval History and Heritage Command, as well as several senior Navy officers.

USS Conestoga at San Diego, California, January 1921. Credit: Naval Historical Center Photograph NH 71299
"Thanks to modern science and to cooperation between agencies, the fate of Conestoga is no longer a mystery," said Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Dennis V. McGinn. "In remembering the loss of the Conestoga, we pay tribute to her crew and their families, and remember that, even in peacetime, the sea is an unforgiving environment."
Originally built to tow coal barges for the railroad, the Navy purchased Conestoga in 1917 for World War I service. The tug operated on the Atlantic coast and off the Azores, performing convoy and other duties before being assigned to harbor service in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1919. Ordered to duty in American Samoa, Conestoga steamed from Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California at 3:25 p.m. on March 25, 1921, headed for Pearl Harbor. After leaving the Golden Gate, the tug, possibly towing a barge, was never heard from again.
Weather logs indicate that around the time of Conestoga's departure, the wind in the Golden Gate area increased from 23 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour, and the seas were rough with high waves. A garbled radio transmission from Conestoga relayed later by another ship stated the tug was "battling a storm and that the barge she was towing had been torn adrift by heavy seas."
Based on the location and orientation of the wreck in 189-foot-deep water, three miles off Southeast Farallon Island, NOAA, and its technical and subject matter experts, believe Conestoga sank as officers and crew attempted to reach a protected cove on the island.
"This would have been a desperate act, as the approach is difficult and the area was the setting for five shipwrecks between 1858 and 1907," according to NOAA's report on the Conestoga discovery. "However, as Conestoga was in trouble and filling with water, it seemingly was the only choice to make." To see sonar images, historical photos and other materials, visit
Video, from cameras mounted on remotely operated vehicles used to explore the wreck site, shows the wreck lying on the seabed and largely intact. The wood deck and other upper features of the tug, however, have collapsed into the hull due to corrosion and age. Extensive marine growth, primarily white plume anemones, drapes the hull's exterior while various species of marine life. Wolf eels, ling cod and rockfish also inhabit the site.
During the remote dives, NOAA confirmed a number of features consistent with the description and plans of Conestoga published in 1904 including the size of the wreck; the fourbladed, 12foot 3inch diameter propeller; the steam engine and boilers; the number and location of portholes, mooring bitts, and ventilator locations; a large steam towing winch with twisted wire on the drum; two porcelain marine heads; and a single, 3-inch, 50-caliber gun that was mounted on the main deck in front of the pilot house.
No human remains were observed during the dives but Conestoga is protected by the Sunken Military Craft Act of 2004, which prohibits unauthorized disturbance of sunken military vessels or planes owned by the U.S. government, as well as foreign sunken military craft that lie within U.S. waters.
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 170,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters. Through active research, management, and public engagement, national marine sanctuaries sustain healthy environments that are the foundation for thriving communities and stable economies.