Queens Birthday Honours 2017 - Citations for officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Ashton, Mr Desmond Albert (Des)
For services to the New Zealand Defence Force and aviationMr Des Ashton was Deputy Secretary Acquisition with the Ministry of Defence from 2008 to 2016, during which time he had responsibility for delivering one of the largest Defence acquisition programmes in New Zealand. This encompassed 16 projects at various stages of development with a combined final contract value of NZ $3.5 billion. Projects included the upgrade of the Air Force’s C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to keep them in service, the remediation of the Navy’s seven Protector Vessels, the upgrade of the Air Force’s P3K-2 Maritime Patrol fleet, and most recently the acquisition of new maritime helicopters for the Navy. Mr Ashton was involved with negotiating bilateral arrangements with the United Kingdom, Sweden and the Republic of Korea, which have facilitated recent acquisition projects and their introduction into service. He was appointed as a member and later Chair of the Defence Industry Committee of New Zealand. He was an engineer with the Royal New Zealand Air Force from 1969 until 1993, during which time he was highly respected for his engineering skills with the Skyhawk aircraft. In the private sector he has had senior roles in companies including Safe Air Ltd, Ansett Australia and Air New Zealand’s heavy engineering divisions, and as Chief Executive of Port Marlborough Ltd.
NZDIA Member - Ashton Technologies
Congratulations Des, from the Board and Members of the NZDIA.
ViaSat-2 Successfully Launched
June 02, 2017
ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, is pleased to announce the successful launch of its ViaSat-2 satellite aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle. The Ariane 5 ECA carrying ViaSat-2 lifted off yesterday, June 1 at 4:45 pm PDT from the Guiana Space Center, located in Kourou, French Guiana. Approximately 29 minutes after liftoff, the ViaSat-2 mission was underway with the satellite separating from the launch vehicle. First signals from the satellite were acquired shortly thereafter through a ground station at Hassan, India. In the coming days, ViaSat-2 will start orbit raising with its chemical propulsion system, followed by solar array deployments, and will then switch over to its electric propulsion system to complete orbit raising over the coming months. ViaSat expects it will take several months for ViaSat-2 to reach its final orbital destination, located at 69.9° west longitude. Mark Dankberg, ViaSat's chairman and CEO commented, "Today's successful launch is a momentous event in ViaSat's history. It represents the culmination of hard work, dedication and commitment to technical excellence from across the ViaSat team. We also want to recognize our launch team partners, Boeing and Arianespace, for their support and collaboration in helping us successfully launch ViaSat-2." ViaSat-2 is a geostationary satellite that operates in Ka-band frequencies. It was designed to offer high-capacity connectivity and wide coverage, with the flexibility to move capacity to where demand requires it. ViaSat-2 is expected to significantly improve speeds, reduce costs and expand the footprint of broadband services across North America, Central America, the Caribbean, a portion of northern South America, as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. Dankberg continued, "The innovations in our ViaSat-2 spacecraft and underlying network will enable us to be one step closer to connecting the world, and delivering new higher speed fixed and mobility services that will continue to compete with traditional broadband services." "Arianespace is excited to have delivered for ViaSat! We are proud to have launched one of the world's most advanced telecommunications satellites, ViaSat-2, safely to orbit. Great things are in store for our friends at ViaSat," said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. "We are honored that ViaSat has put their trust in Boeing to build and deliver their next-generation satellite, ViaSat-2, a high-power 702 satellite with advanced capabilities that will help ViaSat connect millions around the world through high-speed broadband service," said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. ViaSat is a Member of the NZDIA. Well done.
$982m funding boost for Defence
New Zealand’s Defence Force will receive a $406 million boost in operating funding over four years and $576 million in capital as part of Budget 2017, says Defence Minister Mark Mitchell.“It is vital that the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has what it needs to meet the country’s security and defence interests. This major increase in funding for the armed services will support a range of NZDF capabilities as identified through the Defence White Paper of 2016,” Mr Mitchell says.“One of our biggest priorities is ensuring the NZDF has the right people with the right training ready when needed, and this funding will support a range of personnel initiatives.“It will also go towards a variety of new initiatives and projects in train already, including a cyber security support capability for the protection of NZDF communication networks, a new pilot training capability service, and more funding for our helicopter fleets.”The capital funding includes:
- $100 million to improve defence camps and bases throughout the country, including facility upgrades in Auckland, Manawatu and Canterbury.
- $301.7 million for the Littoral Operations Support Ship and the Frigate Communications Upgrade.
- $36.1 million to replace the underwater intelligence, surveillance systems fitted to the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s six P-3K2 Orions.
- $28.2 million for counter-explosive hazard and counter-improvised explosive device capability.
- $110 million to invest in a modern, efficient logistics system that will enable smaller fleets of military equipment to be held and to ensure that equipment is safe.