Minister visits OPV construction site: Australia’s Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price viewed first-hand the strong progress of the Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) construction in Western Australia recently. Accompanied by representatives from shipbuilding companies Luerssen Australia and Civmec Construction & Engineering, Minister Price’s visit gave her the opportunity to see the world-class work being carried out on the OPV program. The project is a key part of the Australian Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan, an unprecedented investment in new infrastructure and shipbuilding activities which is creating thousands of jobs across the country. The first two OPV vessels are in an advanced build state at Osborne in South Australia. The third vessel is well progressed at Henderson, while the fourth marked a significant milestone earlier this month with the start of construction and welding of its steel.
Boeing signs deal with NIOA for Apache support: Boeing Defence Australia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NIOA to support the cannon and ammunition system for the AH-64E Apache. Australian-owned NIOA is the largest privately-owned company supplying weapons, ammunition and technical support to military, law enforcement and commercial markets. The MoU formalises the business’ collaborative arrangement and reinforces BDA’s commitment to maximising sovereign support services to the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) replacement program. “NIOA brings industry-leading, sovereign capability to our solution,” said BDA Director of Supply Chain Management Nick Gothard. “BDA has a proven track record of increasing Australian Industry Capability on all its aircraft support programs, including the F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, CH-47F Chinook and P-8A Poseidon through the contribution of highly capable industry partners like NIOA.” NIOA Chief Executive Officer, Robert Nioa said working with Boeing as the munitions partner for the Apache presents an exceptional new opportunity for NIOA. “We will be providing the next generation of ammunition to provide the optimal capability to the men and women of the Australian Defence Force,” said Nioa.
Record 112 Boeing summer interns in Australia: Boeing is building the future with a record 112 interns – 42 new and 70 returning – now halfway through the company’s 2020-2021 Summer Internship Program. Among them are two University of Queensland (UQ) scholarship recipients, a UQ Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Innovation Showcase winner and seven Queensland University of Technology science and engineering students from the Dean’s Scholars Program – a leadership program for high-achievers. University students taking part in the company’s 12-week paid program will gain invaluable, hands-on work experience across the engineering, finance and supply chain management sectors – and many more. Boeing’s internships are in high demand – more than 2500 students from universities across the country applied for the program.
Defence families welcomed to new posts: Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families will be welcomed to new posting locations across the country with a mix of in-person and virtual welcome events over the coming weeks. Hosted by Defence Community Organisation, the in-person and virtual welcome events will showcase local community and government services, and provide information about education, partner employment assistance, recreation and support services available in the local area. Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said each year ADF members take up new postings across Australia for promotions, career development or new opportunities and that these welcome events were a great opportunity for defence families to meet each other and get to know their local area. “Each of the local Defence Community Organisation offices across Australia works with local community groups and support services to support ADF families and build a strong, connected and resilient Defence community,” Chester said. “For the first time, the inclusion of a virtual welcome platform means even more ADF members and their families, wherever they live, can access the range of welcome information at their convenience and from the comfort of home. Defence Community Organisation offers a range of programs and services to help ADF members and their families manage the challenges and opportunities of military life. For more information about events and the support services available to ADF members and their families, visit the Defence Community Organisation website here or call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
Slovenia orders Leonardo’s laser designators: Leonardo has signed a contract to supply the Slovenian Defence Ministry with its Type 163 Laser Target Designator (LTD) for the Slovenian Armed Forces. The contract makes Slovenia the 23rd nation to order the Type 163 LTD, more than 700 units of which have now been sold in total by Leonardo. The global success of the product reinforces Leonardo’s market leadership in the high-energy military lasers domain, with the company’s site in Edinburgh, US, satisfying 70 percent of global demand for applications on airborne platforms and around 60 percent of the total market, including for ground-based applications. In selecting the Type 163 LTD, Slovenia joins the members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance (UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and NATO members including Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as operators of the product. The Type 163 LTD is Leonardo’s most compact high energy laser product for ground forces. It was developed in response to the market need for a lightweight and compact laser designator for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) which, while highly-portable, doesn’t sacrifice any of the power and accuracy which these soldiers rely on to call in timely and effective close air support.
Rheinmetall wins deal for for artillery ammunition and propelling charges: A NATO customer has awarded Rheinmetall an order for modern artillery ammunition. The group’s South African subsidiary, Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd., will supply several thousand conventional and extended-range artillery shells of the Assegai family (Base Bleed and V-LAP) as well as M92 Assegai tactical modular charges. Delivery commenced in December 2020 and is to be complete by May 2021. The order is worth around €25 million. Manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munition, the tactical modular charges of the Assegai Series are intended to propel artillery shells from 155mm gun systems. The charge system is fine-tuned to the customer’s specific weapon systems and artillery shells for maximum effectiveness. Their modular design simplifies logistics and makes handling in self-propelled artillery systems easier. They also offer other advantages: Assegai charges reduce barrel wear (RDM’s Barrel Wear Reducer/BWR) and produce lower muzzle flash (RDM’s Muzzle Flash Reducer/MFR); the former results in longer barrel life, the latter makes the artillery system harder for the enemy to detect.