Mar 07. Small Arms Ammunition: Invitations to Tender. Four companies have been invited to tender for the supply of 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition: Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos, Brazil; Fiocchi Munizioni, Italy; FN Herstal, Belgium and RUAG Ammotec, Switzerland. The requirement is for a total of between 50 and 100 million rounds for delivery by 31 Mar 08. Similar quantities may be required by 31 Mar 09 and 31 Mar 10. Tenders are due to be returned by 4 Apr 07.
Comment: It is a depressing ‘sign of the times’ that the UK now has to go abroad for such a basic military requirement as small arms ammunition. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0714, 02 Apr 07)
02 Apr 07. Saab wins a major international Battalion Combat Training Centre contract. The Royal Netherlands Army has awarded Saab Training Systems, Huskvarna Sweden, the contract for the first Mobile Battalion Combat Training Centre, with deliveries beginning in 2007. The value of the contract to Saab is 350 MSEK. The Mobile Battalion system is a self sustained fully mobile Combat Training Centre (CTC). The CTC is a complete training centre comprising communication infrastructure, exercise control centre, simulators, maintenance and support, for training up to battalion level within the Brigade frame.
02 Apr 07. MoD awards HMS Gloucester overhaul contract to Rosyth. The Type 42 destroyer HMS Gloucester is to undergo improvements and essential maintenance under a contract agreed with Babcock Support Services Limited (BSSL) at Rosyth.
The contract, managed by MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation and worth in the region of £6M, will see HMS Gloucester berth at Rosyth dockyard later this month until December 2007.
BATTLESPACE Comment: Well timed for the Scottish Elections!
29 Mar 07. Thales Underwater Systems is developing its research into mine warfare in support of efforts by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) to prepare technological and algorithmic building blocks for the naval mine countermeasures systems of the future. In the area of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), the SACM* autonomous minehunting system, and the VAMA** autonomous anti-mine vehicle study conducted with Norway, aim to validate the concept of deploying uncrewed vehicles for mine countermeasures operations and improve operational control of such systems. The two demonstration programmes have been an opportunity to define a long-term partnership between Thales Underwater Systems and the underwater robotics specialist ECA. In addition, Thales Underwater Systems is pursuing work to improve mine detection and
classification algorithms and technologies, particularly the use of new piezoelectric materials. Thales Underwater Systems will draw on its most recent developments, particularly in the area of synthetic aperture sonars, to conduct this research. (Source: ASD Network)
30 Mar 07. AgustaWestland and the UK MoD have signed an agreement to modify six EH101 Merlin helicopters the MoD are buying from Denmark, to provide additional helicopter support for the UK armed forces. The agreement also includes the purchase of six new build EH101 Merlin helicopters that will be delivered by the MoD to the Royal Danish Air Force to replace the original aircraft.
30 Mar 07. The MoD will convert eight existing Chinook Mark 3 helicopters to make them available for deployment in two years.
30 Mar 07. Eurofighter Typhoon: Conversion to Multi-role. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (30 Mar 07) that a contract had been signed to convert the Typhoon into a multi-role aircraft. The Future Capability Programme is to integrate laser designation technology and precision munitions with interoperability upgrades. The additional cost to the four Typhoon partner nations is “about” £830m, of which the UK’s share is £325m.
Comment: As the MoD acknowledges, development of a ground attack role enables Typhoon to meet “the operational challenges fac