Thursday, July 21, 2016

World’s Largest Flying Water Bomber Coming to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

The gigantic Martin Mars aircraft, the world’s largest flying water bomber and the last of its kind, will make its first trip to Wisconsin to participate at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016.

Martin Mars Air Show Schedule: July 25, July 27, July 29, July 30 evening

During the event, the massive airplane will be parked near the EAA Seaplane Base on Lake Winnebago, just a few miles east of the main fly-in grounds. It will also fly several demonstrations throughout the week during the daily afternoon air shows.
The Martin Mars is the largest flying boat ever flown operationally, with a height of 38 feet, a length of 120 feet, and a wingspan of 200 feet (approximately the wingspan of a Boeing 747). Only six of the massive aircraft were built, with Coulson Flying Tankers of Port Alberni, British Columbia, owning the two remaining examples since 2007 and using them as water bombers on forest fires throughout the western United States, Canada, and Mexico.
“There aren’t many airplanes that have never been to Oshkosh, but this is one of them, so this is both literally and figuratively a huge addition to this year’s lineup,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs who coordinate features and attractions at AirVenture. “Among flying boats, only the legendary Spruce Goose is bigger, but the Martin Mars is the largest ever to be operational on a regular basis.”
The Martin Mars was originally built as a long-range U.S. Navy troop and freight transport to fly between the continental U.S. and Hawaii, and first flew in 1942. The conversion to water bombers gave the aircraft the ability to carry as much as 7,200 gallons of water, enough to cover 4 acres of land in a single pass. When picking up water, the Mars can ingest more than a ton of water per second as it skims across a waterway.
“This is the last flying Mars in the world and the largest warbird ever built,” said Wayne Coulson, chief executive officer of Coulson Flying Tankers. “There isn’t a better aviator’s venue than EAA AirVenture, so it’s an honor to be part of this world-class event. We’re very excited to bring the Hawaii Mars to Oshkosh as we look for new opportunities and host potential clients, as well as showcase this magnificent airplane’s capabilities.”

As the Martin Mars is a true flying boat, it cannot land at Wittman Regional Airport and will instead land on Lake Winnebago. The exact arrival and air show demonstration dates will be announced as they are finalized.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Upcoming US Navy Ship Retirements

FY 2017 Buffalo SSN 715 Scrapping

FY 2017 Dallas SSN 700 Scrapping

FY 2017 Grapple T-ARS 53 Reserve

FY 2017 Navajo T-ATF 169 Reserve

FY 2017 Safeguard T-ARS 50 Reserve

FY 2017 San Francisco SSN 711 MTS Charleston

FY 2018 Jacksonville SSN 699 Scrapping

FY 2018 Ponce AFSB(I) 15 Scrapping

FY 2019 Bremerton SSN 698 Scrapping

FY 2019 Catawba T-ATF 168 Undecided

FY 2019 Champion MCM 4 Scrapping

FY 2019 Pittsburgh SSN 720 Scrapping

FY 2020 Bunker Hill CG 52 Reserve

FY 2020 Helena SSN 725 Scrapping

FY 2020 Louisville SSN 724 Scrapping

FY 2020 Mobile Bay CG 53 Reserve

FY 2020 Olympia SSN 717 Scrapping

FY 2020 Scout MCM 8 Scrapping

FY 2021 Ardent MCM 12 Scrapping

FY 2021 Devastator MCM 6 Scrapping

FY 2021  John Lenthall T-AO 189 Scrapping

FY 2021 Oklahoma City SSN 723 Scrapping

FY 2021 Providence SSN 719 Scrapping

FY 2021 San Juan SSN 751 Scrapping

FY 2021 Sentry MCM 3 Scrapping

FY 2021 Sioux T-ATF 171 Scrapping

State Acceptance Commission signed the Act receiving rescue tug "SB-121"

Pella Shipyard

Google Translation

July 16, 2016 - State tests tugboat "SB-121" successfully completed. The vessel is delivered to the place of deployment - Lomonosov. In the near future the tug will be transferred to the State and the Customer entered into the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Federation.
The tug is designed to do the following:
·         perform rescue operations and objectives of the search and rescue support;
·         participation in rescue operations, the provision of assistance to ships in distress, search, rescue, evacuation and accommodation of people, providing them with medical care;
·         fulfillment marine towage of vessels, floating objects and structures in the ice and water;
·         extinguishing fires on floating and onshore, extinguish the burning fuel on the water;
·         logistics performance underwater engineering works;
·         warping of vessels in distress.
The main technical parameters:
Length overall     48 m
Breadth     13.9 m
Draft 5,7 m
Speed        14 knots
Thrust        55 tons
Displacement      1685 t

Power        2h2666 kW

NATO leaders bolster collective deterrence and defence

July 8, 2016 - NATO’s 28 leaders took decisions to bolster the Alliance’s deterrence and defence at the first working session of the Warsaw Summit on Friday (8 July 2016). The leaders decided to send more forces to the eastern part of the Alliance, declared a milestone for Ballistic Missile Defence, and decided to recognise cyberspace as an operational domain. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the result, saying “the decisions we have taken today will help keep our nations safe in a more dangerous world.”
The leaders agreed to enhance NATO’s military presence in the east, with four battalions in Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on a rotational basis – to be in place starting next year. The Secretary General welcomed that Canada will lead the battalion for Latvia, Germany will lead in Lithuania, the United Kingdom will lead in Estonia, and the United States will lead in Poland. He also commended other Allies for announcing contributions to these battalions, and thanked the host nations for their support. Allies further agreed to develop a tailored forward presence in the south-eastern part of the Alliance.
Leaders also decided to declare Initial Operational Capability of NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence. “This means that the US ships based in Spain, the radar in Turkey, and the interceptor site in Romania are now able to work together under NATO command and NATO control,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
Leaders pledged to strengthen their own cyber defences, and recognised cyberspace as a new operational domain. “This means better protecting our networks and our missions and operations, with more focus on cyber training and planning,” the Secretary General said.
Leaders also reviewed and reconfirmed the importance of spending more and spending better on defence. The Secretary General welcomed that 2015 was the first year in many with a small increase in defence spending, and that estimates for 2016 show a further increase of 3%, or US $8 billion.  “We still have a long way to go, but I believe that we have turned a corner,” he said.
The Secretary General stressed that “NATO poses no threat to any country,” and continues to seek constructive dialogue with Russia. Calling the NATO-Russia Council “an important tool to manage our relationship,” Mr Stoltenberg recalled that a new meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will be held at ambassadorial level in Brussels on 13 July.
NATO leaders will further discuss current security challenges this evening, joined by their counterparts from Finland and Sweden, and the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.

HMS Mersey to extend Royal Navy presence in Aegean

HMS Mersey. Crown Copyright.
July 9, 2016 - Michael Fallon has authorised the deployment of HMS Mersey to the Aegean.
The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has authorised the deployment of HMS Mersey to the Aegean in support of NATO activity to counter migration.
This is a significant extension of the UK contribution reflecting our continuing commitment to tackle illegal people trafficking and migration in the Aegean Sea. The announcement comes as the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirms the international effort is working with numbers crossing being reduced by around 90% - from several thousand per day to tens.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said, "British ships have been at the forefront of the progress made in the Aegean – helping to disrupt people trafficking routes and save lives.
"We must now continue to focus on stopping this trade in human misery for good."
The announcement that HMS Mersey would join the NATO activity until the end of July was made by the Prime Minister while in Warsaw for the NATO Summit.
HMS Mersey, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, will provide the taskforce with enhanced ability to work closer to the shore line and greater agility – the specific capabilities the operation’s commander has asked for.
NATO ships are working closely with Greek and Turkish coastguards, alerting them to sightings of migrant vessels crossing the Aegean and enabling them to turn them back or prevent them attempting the dangerous crossing in the first place. Our RFA ships deployed so far have proved highly effective at facilitating the coastguard in their important work.
NATO ships are working closely with Greek and Turkish coastguards, alerting them to sightings of migrant vessels crossing the Aegean, so they can intercept the migrant boats and disrupt the smugglers’ business model. Our RFA ships deployed so far have proved highly effective at deterring those attempting this dangerous crossing in the first place and facilitating the coastguard in their important work.
HMS Mersey will deploy to the Aegean from the Caribbean where she has been on counter narcotic operations. In April she played a key role alongside the Canadian Navy and US coastguard in a £12 million drugs bust where 304kg of drugs were seized.
The Defence Secretary recently visited RFA Cardigan Bay to see the Royal Navy’s impact on countering illegal people trafficking and migration in the Aegean Sea.

Mexican Navy selects Rockwell Collins to deliver Transportable Blackhawk Operations Simulator

Rockwell Collins

July 8, 2016 - Rockwell Collins will deliver one Transportable Blackhawk Operations Simulator (T-BOS) and associated services to the Mexican Navy in Veracruz, Mexico, making this delivery the seventeenth T-BOS delivered to domestic and international customers for the UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter.
“This T-BOS system, to be delivered into Latin America, is a very cost effective solution to help train their Blackhawk pilots,” said Alan Prowse, vice president and managing director, Americas for Rockwell Collins. “We believe this transportable solution is applicable to several operators in Latin America as part of their training and mission readiness needs.”
The T-BOS is a high fidelity Blackhawk simulator that trains the Mexican Navy’s UH-60M Blackhawk aviators in all skill sets needed to complete their missions safely in the new UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters. The T-BOS simulator’s cockpit has the identical form, fit and function as the cockpit in the actual UH-60M aircraft. It flies with the actual aircraft avionics software and flight dynamics data.
“The flight characteristics of the UH-60M T-BOS are identical to those of the UH-60M helicopter, and the visual solution provides highly detailed realism resulting in a flight experience as close to actual flight as can be achieved in simulation,” said LeAnn Ridgeway, vice president and general manager of Simulation and Training Solutions.
This specific T-BOS is the third of its kind with enhanced offerings that include an improved glass front projection display to provide visual portrayal of the landscape with high resolution collimated, depth perception, and the latest generation Rockwell Collins image generator with a highly detailed geo-specific database of the areas around Veracruz and Mexico City. In addition, the T-BOS incorporates ProSim™ projectors which not only provide crisp visual images but also superb visual solutions for night vision goggles training.
Rockwell Collins will deliver the UH-60M T-BOS solution for the Mexican Navy under a foreign military sales program. The T-BOS simulator will be manufactured in Sterling, Virginia, with follow on service and support activities executed in Mexico. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in June 2017.

Philippine Coast Guard to host bilateral exercise with Japan Coast Guard

Philippine Coast Guard
July 11, 2016 - The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) vessel Tsugaru (PLH 02) arrived at South Harbor, Manila today, July 11 to conduct the 6th Joint Maritime Law Enforcement (MARLEN) Exercise together with the Philippine Coast Guard.
The joint exercise about combating piracy and armed robbery at sea will be conducted on July 13 at vicinity waters off Manila Bay with the delegates of PCG Maritime Security and Law Enforcement Command together with other government law enforcement agencies and representatives from Australia and USA as observers.
PHL02 Tsugaru will participate in the activity with their assets which include a helicopter (Helicopter Bell 412) and rigid hull inflatable boat for board, search and seizure procedure. Likewise, the PCG will also deploy its floating and air assets to take part in the joint exercise.
The event aims to further enhance the capabilities of PCG and JCG to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea, to acquire knowledge and skills in conducting airlift rescue operations, and to established friendship and mutual understanding between JCG and PCG and other Law Enforcement Agencies.