Americas

Alabama Shipyard won a $17.9 million deal for a 76-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry-docking of USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11). The T-AKE 11 is a Lewis and Clark Class Dry Cargo Ship. The ship delivers ammunition, provisions, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to US Navy and other navy ships at sea, allowing them to remain underway and combat ready for extended periods of time. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $19,278,302. Work will take place in Mobile, Alabama, and is expected to be completed by March 20, 2021.

The Wake Island Airfield, regarded as among the most isolated installations in the US military, is undergoing an $87 million upgrade, the Air Force said. The infrastructure modernizations include improvements to the deteriorating runway, new lighting, and grounding and pavement markings to support mission readiness and global air mobility, the Air Force Civil Engineering Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, announced. California-based contractor AECOM won the contract for the improvements in 2019, and is expected to complete the project in early 2021. “The remote location of the Wake atoll required extensive logistics planning to ship construction equipment, material, parts and supplies which we successfully accomplished in November 2019,” Capt. David Leonard, AFCEC project manager, said in a press release.

Middle East & Africa

A decade-long UN arms embargo on Iran that barred it from purchasing foreign weapons like tanks and fighter jets expired on October 18, despite objections from the United States, which insists the ban remains in place. While Iran says it plans no “buying spree,” it can now in theory purchase weapons to upgrade military armaments dating back to before its 1979 Islamic Revolution and sell its own locally produced gear abroad. In practice, however, Iran’s economy remains crippled by broad-reaching US sanctions, and other nations may avoid arms deals with Tehran for fear of American financial retaliation. The Trump administration has warned that any sales of weapons to Iran or exports from Iran will be penalized.

Europe

British defense firm BAE Systems unveiled a next-generation cyber-threat detection and mitigation solution for military platforms. The Fox Shield cyber resilience system was developed to provide military platforms with better detection capabilities, attack warning, and mitigation. “Cyber protection was not necessarily a mission-critical capability when some of these platforms were first developed. That’s why we designed the Fox Shield cyber resilience system to be easily integrated into new and legacy platforms,” said Michael Weber, technical manager for FAST Labs’ Cyber Technology group at BAE Systems. According to the company, Fox Shield is the result of a multi-year effort from BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development team. It was developed with ongoing internal investment and builds upon baseline technology that has proven effective on other platforms as previously announced.

Asia-Pacific

Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in a virtual presser that his service will only make the call to buy more AW-159 naval helicopters when the plan to acquire two additional corvettes are finalized. The two corvettes with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities are scheduled for the procurement of Horizon 2 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

The Myanmar Navy publicly displayed its lone submarine at its ongoing Fleet Exercise 2020, dubbed Bandoola, which kicked off on October 15. The highlight of the exercise, which featured at least 12 naval vessels, was the Project 877 EKM submarine UMS Minye Theinkhathu, which was formerly the Indian submarine INS Sindhuvir. As imagery of the submarine was released by the Tatmadaw, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made an official announcement regarding the submarine transfer.

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