30 Apr 14. More than a hundred jobs in South Wales are being sustained by a £364m investment in military communications. The MoD has awarded two five year contracts to General Dynamics UK to provide design, engineering and logistic support for the Bowman radio system that is used by personnel across the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. The work will sustain the jobs of 140 highly skilled engineers at GDUK’s site in Blackwood near Newport in South Wales with further roles being secured in the company’s wider supply chain. Bowman radios allow personnel on land, at sea and in the air to communicate on operations around the world. The radios use an encrypted frequency to share intelligence and increase situational awareness and have seen extensive service in Afghanistan by troops on patrol, on Royal Navy ships during relief efforts in the Philippines, and by the Royal Air Force when providing air support to land operations.
30 Apr 14. The British Army is a step closer to receiving a new multi-million pound air defence missile system, thanks to an investment by the MoD. MBDA UK has been awarded a £36m contract to explore the capability that a Land version of the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) could offer the UK Armed Forces. The company is already developing a similar system, known as Sea Ceptor that will be used by the Royal Navy. This assessment phase contract for the Land version will sustain more than 90 highly skilled jobs at MBDA’s sites in Stevenage and Bristol. FLAADS is a ground based missile system that can travel at 1,000 meters per second and is able to simultaneously defend UK territories against a number of threats including jets or cruise missiles travelling at supersonic speeds.
29 Apr 14. Greek coastguard orders six coastal patrol craft. The Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) signed a contract on April 23 with Croatia’s Montmontaza Greben Shipyard for the delivery of six POB-24 coastal patrol craft, at a cost of EUR13.3m (USD18.36m). The glass reinforced plastic (GRP) POB-24 is 24.6m long, and is equipped with two diesel engines that enable each craft to have a maximum speed of 30kt and a range of 400 n miles. The crew of seven can be augmented by 25 additional personnel for brief periods. 75% of the funding for the contract was provided by the European Union’s (EU’s) External Borders Fund, with the balance drawn from Greece’s Ministry of Merchant Marine and the Aegean. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Apr 14. More than 600 engineering jobs will be secured across the country by a £125m MoD contract to maintain, repair and upgrade the RAF’s Tornado fast jets. The MoD said its contract with BAE Systems would also deliver savings of up to £90m for the taxpayer compared to the original agreement, after the two organisations identified more efficient ways of working. The contract will involve work at Marham, RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, RAF Leeming in Yorkshire and at BAE System sites in Warton and Samlesbury. (Source: Open Source Information Report/EDP)
01 May 14. General Dynamics C4 Systems received a $59m contract from the U.S. Army for new Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 vehicles and related network products to support Army soldier training. The new equipment, which includes Soldier Network Extension (SNE) and Point-of-Presence (PoP) vehicles, will have updated software that simplifies network operations. When delivered to the Army’s LandWarNet School in Fort Gordon, Ga., the vehicles and products will be folded into the Army’s new system-of-systems training curriculum. Feedback from soldiers returning from Afghanistan and comments following Network Integration Evaluations helped the General Dynamics and Army team improve the WIN-T Increment 2 network operations software. For example, a previous 10-step, 12-minute power-up protocol is now only two-steps and takes less than half the time. In making Increment 2 easier for