21 Feb 03. Mike Turner, Chief Executive of BAE SYSTEMS announced yesterday that the company had been awarded a £1m contract to establish a UK designed architecture for Network Centric warfare systems. He stressed that although the bulk of the equipment used for the systems would be either US or Israeli (as in the case of Watchkeeper), the UK needed its own architecture for its Network Centric Warfare assets.
In a previous issue, we discussed the concerns expressed by General Dynamics, lead contractor for BOWMAN and digitization, to this wish by BAE to become the lead in Network Centric warfare systems without any industry competition. Quite rightly GD has established a ‘state-of the-art facility’ for Digitization in the UK which it sees as a major possible contributor to Digitization Stage 3, Network Centric Warfare and FRES.
BAE is now on the Northrop Watchkeeper team but in a minor role to General Dynamics so watch out for fireworks over this announcement.
BAE will shortly be announcing its facility for Network Centric Warfare, but it has some way to go to establish a centralised C4ISTAR capability. PR supremo Hugh Colver told BATTLESPACE yesterday that the company’s C4ISTAR activities were ‘spread over the company.’ This was remarked in our feature, ‘NORTHROP GRUMMAN AND THALES DOWNSELECTED FOR WATCHKEEPER BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.5 ISSUE 6
February 7th 2003.’
In addition the EUROSYSTEMS deal between BAE and Finmeccanica may take some vital C4ISTAR assets from BAE to EUROSYSTEMS. AMS is already a major supplier of C4ISTAR capability to BAE and with the establishment of EUROSYSTEMS, perhaps it may have created a subsidiary as a major competitor!