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05 Aug 04. Northrop Grumman Corp. was selected as the preferred bidder on a £650m contract to maintain and support Britain’s AWACS fleet, a significant win for the No. 3 U.S. defense contractor. The 21-year agreement covers the Royal Air Force’s fleet of E-3D Sentry AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft. (Source: Reuters)

02 Aug 04. General Dynamics Network Systems has been awarded a contract to enhance data networks for the Navy at 16 locations around the world. The value of this contract is $19m. Under this contract, General Dynamics is implementing technology enhancements to the server farm and information assurance systems installed under the $150m Navy Base Level Information Infrastructure (BLII) program awarded to General Dynamics in December 2001. The company is conducting site surveys, completing site preparation, providing hardware and software, performing configuration and integration of the server farm and information assurance systems, and conducting operational testing.

02 Aug 04. Raytheon Systems Limited (RSL) has just been awarded an important eight year contract with two one year options, for Specialised Engineering and IT work at the UK’s Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) at RAF Fylingdales. The contract is from Serco, who have managed the programme for some 40 years, and follows their repeat award of the prime Operation and Maintenance contract by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD). RSL’s sub-contract represents about 20% of the programme value and involves transferring some nine Serco personnel on to Raytheon strength. Additional posts will be recruited as required.

03 Aug 04. QinetiQ announced that the company had been awarded a “multi-million pound” MoD contract to operate the destroyers’ and frigates’ Land Based Test Site (LBTS) for the next five years. The LBTS Shore Integration Facility at Portsdown Technology Park, near Portsmouth, replicates ships’ operations rooms and is used for training as well as for testing new equipment. Comment: The Defence Secretary recently announced (21 Jul 04) that three Type 42 destroyers and three Type 23 frigates were to be paid off early and that the total number of escorts was to be reduced from 32 to 25 (eight destroyers and 17 frigates). The Type 23 frigates (HMS NORFOLK, MARLBOROUGH & GRAFTON) have reportedly (JDW, 4 Aug 04) been offered to Chile. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS Issue 04/31, 9 Aug 04).

06 Aug 0o4. The Station Commander at RAF Kinloss has clarified (RAF News, 6 Aug 04) the Defence Secretary’s remarks (21 Jul 04) about the requirement for maritime reconnaissance. By 1 Apr 05 the number of Nimrod aircraft will have been reduced from 21 to 16 (and not 18 as previously announced), with the number of crews being cut from 31 to 22. The programme to convert Nimrod MR2 to MRA4 standard is to continue (MR indicating ‘maritime reconnaissance’ and MRA ‘maritime reconnaissance and attack’), with the future fleet of MRA4 aircraft numbering “around 12” (and not 18). Comment: Nimrod is currently operated from RAF Kinloss by 42(R) Squadron (the Operational Conversion Unit), 120 Squadron, 201 Squadron and 206 Squadron. The most recent (April 2004) MoD estimate for the conversion of 18 aircraft is £3,500m, with the caveat that “production prices beyond the three development aircraft remain to be negotiated”. Self-evidently, a considerable amount of money (£1,000m?) will be saved by reducing the number of conversions from 18 to 12. Enhanced processing and greater automation in the MRA4 will also generate a further saving: minimum crew numbers will fall from 13 to 10 per aircraft. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS Issue 04/31, 9 Aug 04).

28 Jul 04. The Armed Forces’ Minister announced that the MoD intended to provide the Government of Sierra Leone with technical assistance funding worth £4.5m, over three years, for military trucks and communications equipment. The donations were being made in direct response to an appeal b

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