14 Mar 06. QinetiQ led team wins £7.5m Sensor Systems for Close Combat research Programme. New sensor systems will enable UK Forces to better detect, recognise, identify and engage the enemy in close combat. The MOD has just awarded a three-year, £7.5m research programme for the next generation of sensor systems that will enable troops committed to close combat to better detect, recognise, identify and engage the enemy in close combat before they know what is happening. The Sensor Systems for Close Combat (SS4CC) programme is being led by QinetiQ as the prime contractor teamed with SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems Ltd and BAE SYSTEMS’ Advance Technology Centre. Expertise will also be sought from UK academia and smaller companies where appropriate.
28 Feb 06. Anti-Structures Munition (ASM): Further Delays. The Armed Forces’ Minister said: “ASM is planned to enter service by the end of 2010.” Comment: Announcing the award of a £40m ASM demonstration and manufacture contract to Dynamit Nobel Defence on 6 Feb 06, Ministers said that the system was “planned to be in service by the end of 2009”. No explanation was offered for the additional 12 months delay. The need for a ‘bunker-buster’ was recognised in 2000, with the expectation that such a weapon (then known as the Infantry Anti-Structures Weapon) would be in service in 2005. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0611, 13 Mar 06)
15 Mar 06. £1m MoD contract boosts Link Microtek’s manufacturing business. Link Microtek, the specialist manufacturer and supplier of RF and microwave subsystems and components, has won a contract worth in excess of £1m from the UK Ministry of Defence for the supply of microwave horn antennas and adapters. The contract is the largest that Link Microtek has ever received for in-house manufactured products, and it comes at a time when the company’s manufacturing business is already experiencing considerable growth due to buoyant sales in the commercial communications sector.
15 Mar 06. Raytheon Company has been awarded a $346m contract increment to supply the U.S. and United Kingdom navies with the Block IV (Tactical) Tomahawk cruise missile. This is the third installment on a multi-year contract whose value could reach $1.6bn. The fiscal year 2006 production contract calls for production of 473 missiles, 65 of which are the submarine torpedo tube-launched variant for the U.K. Manufacturing work will be done at Raytheon’s Missile Systems businesses in Tucson, Ariz., and Camden, Ark., and is expected to be completed in 2009. Raytheon began delivering Block IV missiles to the U.S. Navy in mid-2004. Block IV Tomahawk is the next generation of the Tomahawk family of cruise missiles, incorporating innovative technologies to provide new, flexible
operational capability while dramatically reducing acquisition, operations
and lifecycle support costs.
06 Mar 06. C-17A Globemaster III Aircraft: Additional Purchase? The Defence Procurement Minister was asked () by one of his predecessors, Baroness Symons, whether the Government was considering the purchase of more C-17 aircraft. The Minister replied: “We are looking at the possibility of purchasing a fifth C-17 aircraft, but we have not yet made a decision.”. Comment: A Written Answer had earlier (1 Sep 04) stated: “At the conclusion of the current lease arrangement, we intend to buy the current fleet of four aircraft. We intend to purchase a further aircraft bringing our C-17 fleet up to five aircraft.” Other official references confirm the MoD’s intention to purchase the four leased C-17 at the end of the initial seven-year lease period (on 17 Jan 08) and to buy a fifth aircraft in the 2010/11 financial year. It is disingenuous of the Minister to state that a decision has not yet been made (even if he has changed earlier arrangements).
13 Mar 06. ITT Industries, Inc. has received a $407m order from the Army’s Communications Electronics Comman