November's top stories: <a href=Rolls-Royce LiftSystem contract, BAE to close yard” height=”344″ src=”” width=”430″ />

Rolls-Royce to provide additional LiftSystem for USMC’s F-35B JSF

Rolls-Royce has received a contract from Pratt & Whitney to develop and support LiftSystems for the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter programme.

Under the $215m sixth production lot contract, Rolls-Royce will provide six LiftSystems to provide the Lockheed Martin-built F-35B aircraft with the capability to conduct short take-offs and vertical landings (STOVL).

Rolls-Royce will also provide sustainment, programme management, engineering and field support as part of the contract.

Egypt takes delivery of first fast missile craft

Egypt has taken delivery of the first of four Ambassador III class fast missile crafts (FMC) from the US.

Launched in October 2011, the S Ezzat vessel was transferred to the Egyptian Navy at a ceremony in Pensacola, Florida, Defense News reports.

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Claimed to be suitable for protecting the Suez Canal region, the S Ezzat vessels would be used for maritime security, combating the problems of illegal immigration and smuggling specifically.

Indian Navy commissions first Dhruv ALH squadron

The Indian Navy has commissioned the first squadron of Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL)-built Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) during a ceremony held at Kochi, India.

The first Dhruv ALH squadron will be named Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 322 and would function under administrative control of Southern Naval Command flag officer commanding-in-chief vice admiral Satish Soni.

The Dhruv (Pole Star) multirole and multimission helicopter has been designed for army, air force, navy, coastguard and civil operations, by day and night, for both utility and attack roles.

Spanish Navy deploys Skeldar V-200 unmanned aerial vehicle

The Spanish Navy has successfully deployed the Saab-built Skeldar V-200 Maritime unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aboard the Buques de Acción Marítima (BAM)-class patrol vessel Meteoro (P-41).

Skeldar will provide surveillance capabilities for the Spanish Navy during the EU Atalanta operation off the Gulf of Aden.

Earlier this year, Saab received a contract to provide services for the Skeldar V-200 system aboard a Spanish Navy offshore patrol vessel in operation Atalanta.

BAE to close Portsmouth shipbuilding by 2015

BAE Systems has announced its plan to shutdown Portsmouth shipyard in the UK as part of the government’s naval restructuring programme.

The historic shipyard will be closed by the end of 2015.

This move will affect almost 1,800 jobs, including 940 jobs in Portsmouth. A further 835 jobs, mostly in Glasgow, but also in Rosyth, near Dunfermline and Filton, near Bristol, will be axed.

Australian Navy’s NUSHIP Canberra completes harbour acceptance trial

The Royal Australian Navy’s first Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship, NUSHIP Canberra (LHD 02) has successfully completed its vehicle load trial in Australia.

During the trial, conducted by the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) on schedule, the Army vehicles have driven onto the NUSHIP Canberra ship and manoeuvred within the vehicle decks of the ship.

The Australian Army had provided several vehicles including a tank, armoured personnel carrier and light vehicles for use on the LHDs.

Construction on Russian Navy’s fifth Borey-Class submarine to begin

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to begin construction of a fifth Borey-class nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine in late 2014.

RIA Novosti cited Russian Navy commander-in-chief admiral Viktor Chirkov saying construction of another Borey will start within a year during a conference on prospects of military shipbuilding until 2050

The Russian Navy commissioned its first Borey-class submarine, Yury Dolgoruky, in January.

Royal Navy of Oman receives second Khareef-Class corvette

The Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) has received the second Khareef-class corvette, Al Rahmani, from BAE Systems, during a ceremony held at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, UK.

In January 2007, the RNO awarded £400m contract to the company to design and construct three Khareef-class corvettes.

The contract also includes the training of RNO crew as well as initial logistics support for the vessels.

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