Alabama Shipyard LLC won a $19.7 million contract for a 76-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul/dry docking on USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1). USNS Lewis and Clark is an American dry cargo ship, the lead ship of her namesake class.The contract to build her was awarded to National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of San Diego, California, on 18 October 2001 and her keel was laid down on April 22, 2004. Work will take place in Mobile, Alabama. Estimated completion date will be by May 24, 2021.
The US Army is using 3D printing technology to produce N95 respirators, the chief of the Defense Department’s medical technology office said on January 25. Air Force Maj. Gen. Daniel Williams, of the US Army Medical Materiel Development Activity’s Warfighter Expeditionary Medicine and Treatment Project Management Office, said his primary task involves assisting Defense Department commercial partners in producing respirators that comply with military needs. While the companies have experience in 3D modeling of products, many have “never manufactured medical devices,” Williams said.
Middle East & Africa
US Marines from the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command worked alongside US Airmen from the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing during a recent Tactical Air Forward Arming and Refueling Point (TACAIR FARP) exercise at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During the exercise, a Marine KC-130J Hercules refueled an Air Force F-16 in a simulated austere location.
Greece has signed the contract to buy 18 Rafale fighters. Theodoros Lagios, General Director of Armament and Investments of the Greek Ministry of Defense, and Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation signed the paperwork on January 25. Dassault says deliveries of aircraft will be begin in the summer of 2021 and will be spread over two years.
Australia’s government has announced that it will spend $1 billion to give the Royal Australian Navy long-range anti-ship missiles, extended range surface-to-air missiles, advanced light weight torpedoes, and maritime land strike capabilities. Defense Minister Linda Reynolds’ press release says this will help the nation enhance its maritime security. The anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles will have range greater than 370km while the maritime land strike missiles has a range of more than 1,500km. Australia will start investing in the development of the Standard Missile 2 Block IIIC and the Standard Missile 6 Block 1 missiles and continue its long-term investment and key contribution to the Evolved SEASPARROW Block 2 missile program.
According to the BBC, fifteen Chinese aircraft entered Taiwanese airspace over the weekend in a show of force regarded as a test of President Joe Biden’s foreign policy resolve. While over 380 Chinese military flights into the island’s air defense identification zone were recorded in 2020, Saturday’s incursion involved eight Chinese bombers, four fighter planes and an anti-submarine aircraft. Sunday’s operation included 12 fighter planes, two anti-submarine planes and a reconnaissance plane.
Watch: USNS Robert E Peary