Mar 07. The MoD’s Future Business Group (FBG) has selected systems engineering firm Frazer-Nash Consultancy to support its Technology Assurance (TA) role on the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) programme. Frazer-Nash is one of only five companies on the FBG’s panel eligible to carry out this type of work. (Source: MoD Defence Contracts Bulletin)
26 Mar 07. QinetiQ wins MOD radiation effects contract. Advanced electronics can be effected by cosmic radiation. QinetiQ has been awarded a £1.9m five year contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) Research Acquisition Organisation (RAO) to assess the potential vulnerabilities of high tech components within military equipment to naturally occurring radiation. The study will allow the MOD to manage the likely impact of exposure to naturally occurring radiation earlier in the design and development cycle, thereby future-proofing equipment programmes and avoiding problems that could have time and cost implications later. QinetiQ will support the MOD to define robust standards and policies for equipment and component suppliers.
12 Mar 07. HMS GRIMSBY: Repair Bill. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (12 Mar 07) that repair costs for HMS GRIMSBY, together with routine upkeep costs, would total some £3.7m. Work was progressing well and the Sandown Class minehunter was on schedule to return to operational service in February 2008.
Comment: HMS GRIMSBY struck the side of a fjord on 27 Feb 06, during EX COLD RESPONSE. Although the ship’s outer hull was not punctured, the collision caused sufficient ‘internal bleeding’ to make it unsafe to sail back to the UK. The minehunter was transported from Maloy in Norway to Rosyth by a German heavy lifting barge, Condock 1. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0713, 26 Mar 07)
14 Mar 07. Medium Lift Helicopters: Life Extension. The Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) has confirmed (14 Mar 07) that Eurocopter has been invited to tender for a Puma life-extension contract. The MoD wishes to extend the “useful lives” of the Puma from 2010 to 2022. The eventual contract has been placed in Category A (with a value of at least £400m). The DLO has also invited AgustaWestland to conduct an Assessment Phase “covering the potential for the Sea King Mk4 aircraft to meet the Interim Medium Lift requirement”.
Comment: The above measures are seen as ‘stop-gap’ solutions until much needed new platforms can be afforded. A Ministerial Answer on 27 Oct 06 indicated that 37 Sea King Mk4 and 40 Puma could be affected. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0712, 19 Mar 07)
Mar 07. VT Group has been selected by AgustaWestland as preferred bidder for the role, valued at approximately £40m, of providing maintenance support to the fleet of Sea King helicopters used by the RAF and Royal Navy for Search and Rescue (SAR) duties around the UK coast and in the Falkland Islands. The front line maintenance activities will involve over 200 current military posts being outsourced to VT Support Services at seven RAF locations in the UK and Falkland Islands, and the RN SAR detachment at HMS Gannet (Prestwick). The programme will be run over an initial period of five years, with a contract expected to be finalised in November this year ready for operations to commence in April 2008. (Source: Shephard)
26 Mar 07. Armor Holdings, Inc. announced the receipt of a new delivery order under an existing contract valued at $25.5m from the U.S. Army Research Engineering and Development Command, Aberdeen. The Company stated that the new order is for the continued production of Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI) with work to be performed in 2007 by the Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group at its facility located in Phoenix, Arizona.
23 Mar 07. TACOM Lifecycle Management Command awarded General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), a $12.5m delivery order in support of the Str