14 Oct 13. France has awarded Nexter Systems a nine-year contract to support its CAESAR artillery system. Nexter Systems has been awarded a contract by the French Integrated Through-life Support Structure for Land Equipment to provide logistics support services for the French Army’s CAESAR (CAmion Equipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie) truck-mounted 155 mm self-propelled howitzers of the French Army. The contract is worth EUR97.8m (USD132.7m) and will run for nine years, a Nexter Systems spokesperson told IHS Jane’s on 15 October. The French Army has 77 CAESAR systems, first purchased in December 2004, with deliveries beginning July 2008. It has been deployed with French troops to Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Mali. The French procurement agency, the DGA, planned to procure additional 64 systems in 2017, although this acquisition is not part of France’s recent military programming law for 2014-19.(Source: Jane’s)
14 Oct 13. Serco has secured a one-year extension to its existing contract with the UK MoD to provide training and support to the British Army prior to deployment on operations around the world. The original two-year contract, known as Contemporary Operating Environment Force (COEFOR), started in April 2012 and was due to end in December 2013. This option for a third year, awarded by the British Army’s Headquarters, will see Serco continue to deliver the service to the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force until December 2014. Under the COEFOR contract, Serco provides critical pre-deployment training to prepare UK military forces for deployed operations primarily in Afghanistan, but also worldwide. This includes equipping troops with essential language, culture and operational environment skills, as well as creating realistic training conditions. Serco delivers the programme in partnership with a number of small and medium sized enterprises to supply some of the specialised training services such as cultural and language skills, demonstration personnel and CASSIM
11 Oct 13. Thales UK confirmed that it has signed a contract with the MoD for a further 200 STARStreak short-range surface-to-air missiles, a key component of the UK’s Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) capability. The multi-million pound contract was announced by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. David Cameron MP, in a speech to the Northern Ireland Investment Conference in Belfast.
13 Oct 13. Austria is purchasing the Cassidian Tracker mini-UAV. The Cassidian Tracker mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has won the Austrian MoD’s UAV competition, the MoD confirmed to IHS Jane’s on 14 October. The system will be the Austrian military’s first UAV. Although the Austrian MoD has reserved EUR18m (USD25.1m) for the acquisition of a UAV system, it will currently only purchase six Tracker systems for EUR3m. Each system comprises three aircraft. Tracker was offered for the requirement by Austrian telecoms provider Kapsh Group, which is not noted for its involvement in the defence sector, with the French designed Tracker beating 10 other offerings. The first Trackers will be delivered within 2013, while Kapsh will also provide crew-training at the Allentsteig firing range. As a result of not utilising the majority of the available budget for the buy, IHS Jane’s understands that the remaining EUR15m allocation may later be spent on acquiring a larger UAV system. Tracker has been in use with French forces since 2010, where it has previously been deployed to Austria as part of Exercise ‘European Advance 2010.’ The twin-engined, twin-boom-tail mine-UAV is equipped with an Elbit Systems ELOP imaging system and can be hand- or catapult-launched. It has a wingspan of 3.6m, weighs 8.5kg and has a 90min/6.5 mile mission radius. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Oct 13. Romanian Air Force to acquire 12 used F-16 aircraft from Portugal. The Romanian Air Force has signed an agreement with the Portuguese Government for the acquisition of 12 second-hand Lo