14 Jan 10. Improvised Explosive Devices (IED): ‘Dragon Runner’ Delivered
The Defence Equipment Minister announced (14 Jan 10) that Dragon Runner robots have been delivered to Afghanistan. The Dragon Runners provide troops “with a lightweight, backpackable, multi-terrain robot capable of detonating a variety of devices without putting the operator in harm’s way”. Onboard cameras relay pictures back to the operator.
Comment: On 16 Nov 09, QinetiQ announced that the Company had been awarded a £12m plus contract to supply “approaching 100” Dragon Runners, associated spares and technical services. Weighing between 10 and 20kg, depending on configuration, the robot’s basic chassis measures 20.0×23.0x7.5cm. Dragon Runner was originally developed by Automatika, a US company acquired by QinetiQ. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/03, 18 Jan 10)
21 Jan 10. FMV, the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration, has placed an additional order for Sectra’s crypto for secure tactical radio. The encryption is used by Swedish peacekeeping forces to protect radio communications from eavesdropping. The order is worth SEK 8m. (Source: ASD Network)
14 Jan 10. Aircraft Carriers: Further Contracts. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (14 Jan 10) that contracts worth £333m have been awarded to assist in the building of the two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. The latest five sub-contracts bring the total value of sub-contracts awarded to almost £1,100m. In the words of the Minister: “This news should reassure those who doubt this Government’s commitment to the programme.”.
Comment: The Minister had fun in a letter which appeared in The Guardian (15 Jan 10): a Defence procurement article which had appeared in the paper (13 Jan 10) was described as “nonsense personified”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/03, 18 Jan 10)
22 Jan 10. General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $118m contract modification by the U.S. Navy to continue concept studies, engineering and design of a Common Missile Compartment for the United Kingdom’s Successor ballistic-missile submarine and the U.S. Ohio replacement submarine. The award modifies a $76m contract announced in December 2008 for engineering, technical services, concept studies and design of a Common Missile Compartment for the next-generation ballistic missile submarines under development for the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy.
22 Jan 10. Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., was awarded a $323,945,933 contract which will provide the French airborne warning and control system mid-life upgrade. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 551 IA/PKA, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (F19628-01-D-0016/DO 0067).
20 Jan 10. Spain approves Meteor missile purchase. Spain’s fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons is to receive an air defence boost with the integration of the MBDA/EADS Meteor beyond-visual range air-to-air missile, following governmental approval for an initial order of the missiles granted in December. This first order will cover a batch of 100 missiles that will be delivered until 2016. (Source: Jane’s)
20 Jan 10. The Finnish Air Force has awarded a contract to Patria Aviation, for cockpit and avionics upgrade of 18 BAE Systems Hawk mk66 jet trainers. The €40m ($57m) contract also includes work to maintain and return the stored aircraft fleet to flight condition. Patria will use a CMC Electronics-developed avionics system to upgrade the trainers, which will be delivered between 2010 and 2013. Patria will make the software upgrade itself, to create an extensive domestic software maintenance and development competence for the entire life-span of the Hawk fleet. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
15 Jan 10. Eurofighter Typhoon: Engine Service Contract. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (15 Jan 10) that a 10-year, £865m contract has been placed with Rolls-Royce for the EJ200 Typhoon engines. The