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08 Jul 08. A second specialist ground control station (GCS) has been delivered to BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies (Insyte) for the HERTI (High Endurance Rapid Technology Insertion) Unmanned Air System (UAS) Programme by Marshall SV, the Cambridge based specialist vehicle and shelter manufacturer. Marshall Specialist Vehicles (MSV) delivered the 14 foot shelter on time, to cost and specification in order to meet the timetable for rapid fielding of the system. The selection of the shelter was dictated by the transport modes, including C-130 “short versions” which will be used to move the GCS and UAS from location to location.


03 Jul 08. Aircraft Carriers: Contract Signature. The MoD signed (3 Jul 08) contracts with Industry to build two aircraft carriers. The contracts, worth £3,000m, were signed on board HMS ARK ROYAL, the Fleet Flagship, with the newly-formed BVT Surface Fleet and with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. The main contracts are: £1,325m to BVT Surface Fleet; £675m to Babcock Marine; £425m to Thales UK; £300m to BAE Systems (Barrow-in-Furness) and £275m to BAE Systems Insyte. HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH is planned to enter service in 2014 and HMS PRINCE OF WALES in 2016.
Comment: On 8 Jul 98, ‘The Strategic Defence Review’ declared: “So we plan to buy two new larger aircraft carriers to project power more flexibly around the world.” It has taken 10 years to get to manufacturing contract signature for a programme that is increasingly looking like ‘folie de grandeur’.
BVT Surface Fleet (BVT) became operational on 1 Jul 08 with BAE Systems and the VT Group having equal board representation and voting rights. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0827, 07 Jul 08)

01 Jul 08. The Former FS CLEMENCEAU: Recycling Contract. The French MoD confirmed (1 Jul 08) that it had awarded the contract for the dismantling of a former aircraft carrier to Able UK. It is expected that the former FS CLEMENCEAU, now known as Q790, will arrive at Able’s TERRC (Teaside Environmental Reclamation and Recycling Centre) in the near future. Q790 will join four US vessels from the National Defense Reserve Fleet and three UK vessels awaiting recycling.
Comment: With the largest dry dock in the world, Able UK aims to make Teeside a leading centre for ship recycling. FS CLEMENCEAU was launched in 1957 and sailed over 1,000,000 nautical miles before being decommissioned in 1977. The vessel is 238 metres long, with a beam of 32 metres. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0827, 07 Jul 08)

03 Jul 08. The UK MoD has awarded BAE Systems a £275m contract for the design and supply of the mission system which will underpin the warfighting capabilities of the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers. The company will be responsible for systems engineering and integration of the mission system which caters for over 1000 operational users and will be present in 1200 compartments on the ship. The main components of the mission system are an air management and protection system (comprising of a combat management system, radars, air traffic control system, navigation and bridge systems); an information system; networks; and communications.

30 Jun 08. Royal Fleet Auxiliaries (RFA): Maintenance Contracts. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (30 Jun 08) that contracts have been placed for the long-term maintenance of the RFA fleet. Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders (NSL) of Birkenhead has been contracted for the maintenance of 11 ships, with contracts totalling over £180m. A&P Group is to maintain five ships under a £53m contract, with the work being undertaken in Falmouth and in Newcastle on Tyne.
Comment: RFA Gold Rover is to be the first to undergo work under the new programme, when she enters refit in Birkenhead with NSL. Gold Rover has recently returned to UK waters from a two-year tour around the Falklands and South Georgia. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0827

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