Friday, July 1, 2016

Danish Minister of Defence has released a plan for ramp-up of Arctic capabilities

June 27, 2016 - Today, Denmark’s Minister of Defense presented the Arctic Report that outlines the Danish plans for increased presence and capabilities in the area above and around Greenland.
After thorough research, the Arctic Report was released with a clear message: Denmark needs to enhance the presence and capabilities of the Danish Defence in and around Greenland. Among other things, the report points to the need for increased situational awareness. Increasing the use of satellite capabilities and deploying one of the Danish frigates to the Greenlandic seas are some of the specific measures the report recommends.
Terma President & CEO Jens Maal√łe welcomes the Danish Arctic initiatives: “I am very pleased to see the Danish Ministry of Defence act upon the changes we see in the Arctic, and the future challenges it poses to the security, safety, and livelihood in the region. As a nation, we need to be prepared, and the measures presented in the report are a very good start in ensuring that the Kingdom of Denmark continues to be safe and prosperous”.
Terma’s Command & Control System, C-Flex, is installed on all Danish Defense naval units. As the report points to the need for increased interoperability among the units – at sea as well as in the air – the system will inevitably play a role in the Danish plans for increased situational awareness in the Arctic. In addition, the Danish Defence’ Arctic OPVs also carry Terma’s SCANTER 4100 radar system developed for sublime helicopter control, SAR missions, and threat detection. Read more about our SCANTER naval radars here

Navy's Final Satellite in MUOS Constellation Launches Successfully

United Launch Alliance photo

June 24, 2016 - The Navy's fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite launched at 10:30 a.m. EDT, June 24, from Space Launch Complex 41 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in the 551 launch vehicle configuration.
MUOS-5 is an on-orbit spare and the final satellite in the five-satellite MUOS constellation. The satellite is successfully responding to commands from a Navy and Lockheed Martin team operating MUOS-5 from the Naval Satellite Operations Center, Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, California.
"As we celebrate the successful launch of MUOS 5 -- it's similar to commissioning a ship, as our MUOS team begins to bring the satellite to life -- it's an appropriate time to reflect on the work it took to get here," said Rear Adm. Christian Becker, Program Executive Officer Space Systems. "From the thousands of members of our industry team who built this amazing capability, to our Air Force partners who delivered us safely to orbit, to our Army shipmates who are part of the team delivering end-to-end communications to the joint warfighter: Thank you! We are looking forward to the continued successful shakedown of the system and full delivery into operations."
MUOS is an Internet Protocol-based system designed to provide improved communications capabilities to users around the world, regardless of where they are in relation to a satellite, and will provide greater than 10 times the bandwidth capacity compared with the current ultra-high frequency (UHF) constellation.
"The MUOS Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) system provides significantly increased capacity and coverage, superior voice quality and Internet-like capabilities, enabling warfighters the flexibility to better communicate what they need to, when they need to," said Capt. Joe Kan, program manager for the Navy Communications Satellite Program Office (PMW 146).
The MUOS-5 satellite is now in transit toward its geosynchronous orbit location, where it will then deploy its solar arrays and antennas.
"MUOS-5 will be transitioning over the next nine days to reach its test slot 22,000 miles above the earth in a geosynchronous orbit," said Cmdr. Jason Pratt, principal assistant program manager of MUOS. "Once it has reached its location and deployed its arrays and antennas, on-orbit testing of the satellite will begin."
MUOS is a system consisting of five satellites, four ground stations across the globe, a network management system and an integrated WCDMA waveform. The first four MUOS satellites are already operational via their legacy payloads, providing UHF satellite communications (SATCOM) for the DoD and mitigating potential gaps in UHF communications capabilities. The system's WCDMA capability, currently in its test and evaluation stage, employs advanced third-generation cellular technology adapted for military SATCOM.
"Looking forward, we are continuing to focus efforts on transitioning to the WCDMA capability of MUOS," said Jarratt Mowery, director of end-to-end system integration. "The system first demonstrated WCDMA voice and data calls via the Army's Manpack radios in 2013, and we've since conducted testing and training with each of the various service branches. We're excited to keep working with end-users to ultimately provide warfighters the ability to talk, text and share data around the world using the MUOS WCDMA system."

The MUOS constellation and associated network will extend narrowband communications availability well past 2025.

Chinese National Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Smuggling High Tech U.S. Military Hardware to China

June 29, 2016 - Kan Chen, 26, of Ningbo, China, in Zhejiang Province, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations; attempting to violate the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations; and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III of the District of Delaware, Acting Special Agent in Charge Gregory C. Nevano of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Philadelphia and Special Agent in Charge Nasir Khan of the U.S. Department of Commerce-Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement Washington Field Office made the announcement.
On June 16, 2015, Chen was arrested by HSI agents on the Northern Mariana Island of Saipan following an eight-month long investigation into his illegal conduct and has remained in custody.  He pleaded guilty to the offenses listed above on March 2, 2016.
“The United States will simply never know the true harm of Chen’s conduct because the end users of the rifle scopes and other technology are unknown,” said U.S. Attorney Oberly.  “No matter their nationality, those individuals who seek to profit by illegally exporting sensitive U.S. military technology will be prosecuted.  It is important that we take all necessary steps to prevent our military technology and equipment from being exported and possibly used against our service members and our allies overseas.”
“These sophisticated technologies are highly sought after by our adversaries,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Nevano.  “They were developed to give the United States and its allies a distinct military advantage, which is why HSI will continue to aggressively target the individuals who might illegally procure and sell these items.”
“Today's sentencing is the result of exceptional investigative work by the Office of Export Enforcement and our law enforcement partners to disrupt an illicit network and prevent sensitive technology from falling into the wrong hands,” said Special Agent in Charge Khan.
According to court documents, from July 2013 through his arrest in June 2015, Chen caused or attempted to cause the illegal export of over 180 export-controlled items, valued at over $275,000, from the United States to China.  Over 40 of those items – purchased for more than $190,000 – were sophisticated night vision and thermal imaging scopes, which are designated by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations as U.S. Munitions List defense articles and can be mounted on automatic and semi-automatic rifles and used for military purposes at night.
Given the sensitivity surrounding these military-grade items, Chen devised a scheme to smuggle these items through Delaware and outside the United States.  He purchased the devices via the internet and telephone and had them mailed to several reshipping services in New Castle, Delaware, which provide an American shipping address for customers located in China, accept packages for their customers and then re-ship them to China.  In order to further conceal his illegal activity, Chen arranged for the re-shippers to send the devices to several intermediary individuals, who in turn forwarded the devices to Chen in China.  Chen then sent the devices to his customers.  During the course of this conduct, Chen made numerous false statements in order to knowingly and willfully evade the export control laws of the United States, including by undervaluing the shipments, unlawfully avoiding the filing of export information with the U.S. government, indicating that he was a natural-born U.S. citizen and providing the address of the reshipping service as his own.
During the sentencing hearing, the government noted the lethality of these items when combined with weapons designed for use on a battlefield.  For example, the ATN ThOR 640-5x, 640x480-Inch Thermal Weapon Scope, 100 mm, which Chen purchased for $8,428.39, is described by the manufacturer as “an ideal product for force protection, border patrol officers, police SWAT and special operations forces providing them the tools they need to be successful in all field operations both day and night.  Uncooled thermal imaging cuts through dust, smoke, fog, haze, and other battlefield obscurants.”  These rifle scopes, therefore, are weapons of war, and Chen’s smuggling and subsequent sale of these military-grade items outside of the United States directly undermines our nation’s national security interests.
As the government further noted, Chen’s conduct was particularly harmful because he sold this military technology indiscriminately.  Thus, it could have ended up in any number of nefarious hands – including agents of foreign governments, bad actors and brokers.  Once these rifle scopes were exported to China and distributed by Chen to his customers, the military technology contained inside these items could have been reversed engineered or used anywhere in the world for a variety of purposes by oppressive regimes, terrorists, or others to threaten the United States or its allies’ military advantage or to commit human rights abuses.

This case was investigated by HSI and U.S. Department of Commerce-Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie M. McCall and Elizabeth L. Van Pelt of the District of Delaware and the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

Legacy services closure dates reminder

Legacy services closure dates reminder

This is a reminder to partners that end of life date (30 December 2016) is now approaching for the following legacy services
  • Inmarsat B (Land and Maritime)
  • Aero Mini-M
  • Government Land GAN and Land Mini-M
  • Maritime Mini-M
Partners were reminded not to activate new customers for the above services on 30 September 2014.

What is 'EOL'?

'End of Life - EOL' is the time when the terminals associated with the retired services are deactivated on the network and the services are no longer available to customers.

Why is Inmarsat ending legacy services?

We are ending these services since they have been replaced by newer ones offering higher speeds, cost effective and flexible tariffs, and superior quality, accessed through smaller and lighter terminals.

When will these services 'EOL'?

EOL dates for the retired services are scheduled for:

Service nameDate of EOL
Land and Maritime Inmarsat B30 December 2016
Government Land GAN30 December 2016
Government Land Mini-M30 December 2016
Maritime Mini-M30 December 2016
Aero Mini-M30 December 2016

What should partners offer to customers?

Any remaining customers should be offered an upgrade to the following services:

Service nameRecommended Replacement Service
Land Inmarsat BGSPS services
Maritime Inmarsat BFleetBroadband
Government Land GANFor any recommendation on Government replacement services please contact your Inmarsat account manager
Government Land Mini-M
Maritime Mini-MFleet One
Aero Mini-MSwiftBroadBand

What happens to the service fees & charges?

Partners should also be aware that normal fees & charges continue to apply while any terminal is active on the network and the respective service is in use.

Who should partners contact for further information?

For further information, or to discuss migration plans for your customers, please contact your Account Manager.

Raytheon completes milestone for next-generation GPS controls

June 27, 2016 - Raytheon has achieved another test milestone in its development of the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System, or GPS OCX. This new system offers significant improvements to the GPS on which the U.S. military and millions of civilians rely, including enhanced availability, accuracy and security.
OCX's development is delivered in "blocks," with Block 0 comprising the Launch and Checkout System to take GPS III satellites into early orbit. Block 1 builds on Block 0 to deliver the full OCX capability, which allows the Air Force to transition from its current GPS ground controls to the modernized and secure GPS OCX. Block 2 delivers concurrently with Block 1 and includes GPS Navigation Warfare enhancements.
Raytheon recently completed its "Run for Record" test of the OCX Black Wide Area Network, or B-WAN, which provides network connectivity to unclassified external interfaces for GPS OCX. The component-level testing included mission capability and cyber controls, and was completed with a 100 percent requirements pass rate. The B-WAN will be deployed as part of OCX Block 1 and Block 0, with the first use of B-WAN in 2017, with the delivery of the Block 0 Launch and Checkout System.
"This latest milestone shows that OCX will function securely with external interfaces to GPS, demonstrating the maturity of this critical development program," said Bill Sullivan, GPS OCX vice president and program manager for Raytheon.
The U.S. Air Force-led GPS Modernization Program will yield new positioning, navigation and timing capabilities for both the U.S. military and civilian users across the globe. GPS OCX is being developed by Raytheon under contract to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, which is replacing the current GPS operational control system.

GPS OCX provides a number of significant modernized capabilities for GPS users, including robust cybersecurity and deployment of jam-resistant, operational military code, or M-code. The OCX Launch and Checkout System provides an early delivery of much of the overall OCX capability, and will support the GPS III satellite launches.

ST Marine celebrates the Interim Delivery for the fourth patrol vessel RNOV Khassab

A series of four patrol vessels designed and built by ST Marine for the Royal Navy of Oman, namely RNOV Al-Seeb, RNOV Shinas, RNOV Sadh and RNOV Khassab

June 24, 2016 -  Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd (ST Marine), the marine arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering), today held the Interim Acceptance ceremony for the Patrol Vessel (PV) RNOV Khassab. This is the final, in a series of four vessels, designed and built for the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO). The Guest-of-Honor was the Consul General for the Oman Consulate for the Republic of Singapore, Zakariya Hamed Hilal Al Saadi.
The contract for the design and build of the four Al-Ofouq class of PVs was awarded by the Ministry of Defence of the Sultanate of Oman in April 2012. It was the largest defence export contract in ST Engineering’s history. These four vessels will replace the Sultanate’s current four Seeb class PVs commissioned in the early 1980s.
The Al-Ofouq vessel is designed and built based on ST Marine’s proprietary 75m Fearless-class patrol vessel. Measuring 75m in length, breadth at 12.5m and displaces approximately 1,250 tonnes, the vessels can accommodate 60 crew and is equipped with a flight deck to support the operation of a medium lift-helicopter. Armed with modern weapons and sensors and equipped with a state of art combat management system, the PVs are most suited for a variety of maritime missions.
The Al-Ofouq vessels are named after various cities along the Oman coastal area. Al-Seeb is a coastal fishing city, located several kilometers northwest of Muscat, in the northeastern Oman; Shinas is a coastal town in northern Oman, Sadh is located in Salalah; and Khassab is a coastal city located in Musandam Governorate and overlooking the Strait of Hormuz.
The following are the key milestones achieved in the Al-Ofouq program:
Plate Cut Keel Lay Launching Interim Acceptance / Interim Delivery
RNOV Al-Seeb 17 Jan 2013 28 Mar 2013 29 Jan 2014 31 Mar 2015
RNOV Shinas 25 Jun 2013 05 Sep 2013 17 Jun 2014 10 Sep 2015
RNOV Sadh 25 Sep 2013 06 Jan 2014 17 Sep 2014 07 Jan 2016
RNOV Khassab 21 Feb 2014 20 May 2014 05 Feb 2015 24 Jun 2016
The first PV, RNOV Al Seeb has been successfully delivered.  The second, RNOV Shinas has completed her live firing trials in Oman last November 2015. The third, RNOV Sadh had arrived in Oman on 17 March 2016, had completed her live firing trials in April 2016. Both are currently preparing for hot-weather trials by 2Q2016.
“We thank this blessed day for receiving the Royal Navy of Oman vessel, RNOV Khassab, the fourth and last of project Al-Ofouq which stipulated to equip the RNO with four inshore patrol vessels, equipped with state-of-the-art systems, which enable these ships to perform their national duty efficiently and effectively.
This class of vessels came as a new addition and essential of RNO fleet, as part of RNO’s development under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Supreme Commander of the Sultan’s Armed Forces. Also, we hope that this project will be the milestone to extend the joint military cooperation with the friendly Republic of Singapore. I ask the Almighty Allah to grant success to the ship’s crew in the service of our beloved country.” ~ Rear Admiral (RADM) Abdullah bin Khamis bin Abdullah al-Raisi, Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman
“Today is both a nostalgic and happy day. It marks the end of the local project phase and while we will continue to serve the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) as they prepare and fully operationalize these fine vessels, we also commence to bid a fond farewell to the RNO project team that had been with us for the past four years. Over this period, we have forged enduring friendship and bonds that will always be fondly remembered by all at ST Marine that we are able to deliver the project successfully and timely is due in a large part to the fine efforts of this RNO project team. ST Marine will always treasure this friendship we have with the RNO and continue to remain ever, Your Trusted Partner.” ~ NG Sing Chan, President, ST Marine

Amec Foster Wheeler to provide safety and technical advice for UK nuclear submarines

June 29, 2016 - Amec Foster Wheeler announces today the award of a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to supply independent nuclear propulsion safety and technical advice for the Royal Navy’s submarine flotilla.
The contract, which was awarded after a competitive tender, is expected to be worth around £75m over five years. The work will be delivered by a specialist team at Amec Foster Wheeler.
Clive White, President of Amec Foster Wheeler's Clean Energy Europe business, said, "This contract consolidates Amec Foster Wheeler's position as the largest provider of independent safety assurance in the UK nuclear sector."