13 Apr 11. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has received an order for the assembly and delivery of 39 DINGO 2 in its most modern version, the DINGO 2 GE from the Federal Office for Defence and Procurement (BWB) in Koblenz. The vice president of the BWB, Reinhard Schütte, and KMW COO Jürgen Weber, signed a corresponding contract in Koblenz today. KMW will deliver the vehicles to the army by November 2011. Shortly after they will be at the disposal of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan.
11 Apr 11. Cassidian has been notified by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) of the confirmation of additional orders for DRAC air vehicles and systems for the French Army. The DRAC mini-UAV close-range reconnaissance system is intended to enhance the intelligence seeking and reconnaissance capabilities of front-line army units. The short-range DRAC UAV system has been developed for the French Army by Cassidian Air Systems, in partnership with SurveyCopter, as was the Tracker system from which it is derived. Each DRAC system consists of two UAVs equipped with payloads, a compact ground station and an automatic tracking antenna. It can be packed into two personal rucksacks, thus allowing entirely autonomous missions. Tracker is one of the mini-UAV systems that offer the best performance available on the market. On completion of its industrial qualification, which was achieved in 2007, the DRAC system was granted type certification in 2010 by the French airworthiness authorities, who are considered to be among the most stringent in the world. DRAC is currently the only mini UAV in France to have received such certification. The DRAC system has been in operational service since October 2010 with the French Army units deployed in Afghanistan.
11 Apr 11. The Norwegian government plans to jump-start procurement of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in order to receive the first aircraft in 2016 to commence training of pilots. The parliament has proposed an initial buy of four Lockheed Martin F-35s. Those would arrive about two years ahead of the broader introduction of the stealth fighter into the country’s air force inventory. The government puts the price tag for the deal at 4.8bn Norwegian kronor ($883m). (Source: Aviation Week)
11 Apr 11. Thales UK has signed a new contract with Lockheed Martin UK for the next five-year phase of the existing 25-year Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) programme. This new contract covers the period April 2011 to March 2016 and continues to provide an availability-based support package for the acoustic sub-system for the Merlin Mk1 and Mk2 helicopters operated by the Royal Navy. The Merlin’s acoustic sub-system comprises the Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters (FLASH) Active Dipping Sonar, combined with a sonics sub-system for sonobuoy processing. FLASH is the Royal Navy’s principal airborne sensor system for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and also equips the US Navy MH60-R ASW helicopters, French, Norwegian and Swedish NFH90s and is in service with the United Arab Emirates in the Cougar helicopter. The IMOS contract ensures the availability of depot stock levels to support the Royal Navy’s forward fleet by providing service management, supply support, technical support and equipment performance analysis. This period of support will see the replacement of the Thales sonics sub-system by a phased introduction of the Thales acoustic sub-system as part of the Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme, which introduces a new common acoustic processor incorporating the latest processing technology. Thales’s naval business facility at Brest will continue to be the main sub-contractor for the FLASH Active Dipping Sonar sub-system.
12 Apr 11. ATK has been awarded a $49.9m contract option from the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., to produce Light Weight (LW) 30mm M789 High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) ammuniti