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29 May 07. BMT Reliability Consultants Ltd, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has been awarded a further two-year contract to assist the Swedish Ministry of Defence (FMV) and Swedish Forces in managing the in-service performance of complex equipment. The contract builds on earlier work carried out for the Swedish military by BMT Reliability Consultants using its proprietary equipment management information system, RAMtr@ck. RAMtr@ck is a web-enabled system that harnesses the benefits of latest technology to deliver a unique service to defence procurement agencies, their customers and suppliers. The system is a user-friendly electronic data repository which enables operators and maintainers to record in real-time the reliability and availability of their equipment.

23 May 07. Small Arms Ammunition: Suppliers Selected. The Defence Contracts Bulletin (23 May 07) announced that a £5.5m contract for 7.62mm ammunition had been awarded to Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC) of Brazil and a £14.0m to £15.0m contract for 5.56mm ammunition had been awarded to RUAG Ammotec of Switzerland.
Comment: The quantity of ammunition has been withheld although the original notification of a possible purchase stated a requirement “for between 50 and 100 million rounds of small arms ammunition of 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibre” for delivery by 31 Mar 08. As has been remarked previously, it is a depressing ‘sign of the times’ that the UK has to go overseas for such a basic military commodity as small arms ammunition. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0721, 28 May 07)

25 May 07. Large Aircraft Tow Tractors (LATT): Acquisition. The MoD announced (25 May 07) that 32 LATT had been acquired, for distribution to all RAF Main Operating Bases. The LATT are made by Schopf of Stuttgart, Germany and cost about £280,000 each. Each tractor usually weighs 32 tonnes but can be ballasted up to 55 tonnes when moving fully loaded large aircraft such as the Antonov AN-124 (which are sometimes hired by the MoD).
Comment: The new LATT will soon be delivered to RAF Bases including Brize Norton, Marham and Kinloss in the UK as well as to Akrotiri, Ascension, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. The tractors will be particularly useful for the ground control of aircraft such as the TriStar and the C-17 Globemaster. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0721, 28 May 07)


24 May 07. Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded an $11,567,381 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for 70,590 engineering man-hour design agent engineering services for the MK-31 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) guided missile weapon system, and associated efforts. The MK-31 RAM Guided Missile Weapon System is a cooperative development and production program conducted jointly by the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany under a Memoranda of Understanding. Support procured under this contract is required to maintain current weapon system capability, as well as resolve issues through design, systems, software maintenance, reliability, maintainability, quality assurance and logistics engineering services. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by September 2007.Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (N00024-07-C-5443)


29 May 07. Italy To Buy Aermacchi’s M-346. The Italian Air Force is set to become the launch customer of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 jet trainer aircraft, with an order of 14, a government official here said May 28. Italy’s Ministry for Economic Development could use a law covering research-and-development investment to free funds to buy the aircraft, said Defense Undersecretary Lorenzo Forcieri. (Source: Defense News)

25 May 07. Norway Orders 4 Herc Transports. Norway plans to order four Hercules C-130J aircraft for 3.6bn kronor (444.9m euros,

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