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19 May 05. Japan awards Thales UK a contract for Optronic Masts. The optronics business of Thales UK, based in Glasgow, has been awarded a contract by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) for the development and manufacture of submarine Optronic Mast technology for the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. Unlike traditional periscopes, which have a direct visual path to the outside world, the Optronic Mast is non-hull penetrating, giving greater flexibility in submarine design, internal layout and combat system integration. The Optronic Mast uses an electronic link from high-resolution cameras in the sensor head to present the surface picture on console screens in the submarine’s Operations Centre. The contract is for the supply of Optronic Mast sub-systems, which includes the electro-optic Sensor Head Unit and Mast Control Unit, and a technology transfer package, including Data Packs, Tooling and Training. The sub-systems will be delivered to MELCO for integration into the full Optronic Mast system. This contract award follows the signing of a Manufacturing Licence Agreement (MLA) in May 2004 by Thales and MELCO covering the technology transfer for sub-systems of the Thales UK non-hull penetrating Optronic Mast system. Under the MLA Optronic Mast sub-systems will be manufactured and initially assembled by Thales UK in Glasgow, with assembly subsequently being undertaken by MELCO. This is the first export contract for the Optronic Mast and comes after winning the Royal Navy ASTUTE class submarine programme in the UK for which the systems for the first two submarines have been delivered.

09 May 05. In negotiations regarding a contract for the Herkules project involving the modernisation of the German armed forces’ IT network, the German defence ministry is planning to begin negotiations with German technologies group Siemens and US IT group IBM. The ministry is reported to have announced that the offer is negotiable, although it has not yet presented a written statement on the matter. (Source: Abstracted from Financial Times Deutschland)

09 May 05. L-3 Communications announced that its Integrated Systems (L-3 IS) subsidiary was selected for an 18-month contract to conduct Stage 2 architecture studies for the UK MoD’s Project Helix. The contract is valued at approximately $9m.

19 May 05. After just nine months, the future Military Message Handling System NuKomBw has been completed and passed factory acceptance tests in Friedrichshafen. Developed and integrated under contract to the IT office of the German Federal Armed Forces, NukomBw (Nutzerorientierte Kommunikation der Bundeswehr – armed forces user-oriented communication system) will ensure the ability of the armed forces to exchange formal messages with classification levels up to “top secret” and provides military installations and individual users with the very latest communications services. Now fully integrated,NuKomBw comprises over 30 server cabinets containing state-of-the-art failsafe communication servers, the majority of which, like the connected peripheral devices, have been certifiably hardened against electromagnetic radiation. The system uses special cryptology equipment approved by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to send classified information over open networks. All messages can also be electronically signed and encrypted directly at the workstation. An integrated directory service stores and distributes the continually updated address lists for the armed forces as well as counterparts in allied countries. Once the final stage of the system expansion is complete, approximately 50,000 users will be working with NuKomBw. The system is designed to work automatically and transparently with current German armed forces communication systems and future systems implemented by international partners, as well as with commercial e-mail systems.

13 May 05. EADS Defence Electronics has been awarded a contract by Airbus Milita

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