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30 Jun 05. Thales and CNN have signed a contract with French defence procurement agency DGA making them co-prime contractors for the support of the new Dupuy de Lôme signals intelligence vessel and its electronic systems. Under the contract, Thales and CNN will provide services to the French Navy in support of the Dupuy de Lôme for five years. The aim is to ensure that the ship and its main systems are available 350 days/year. The systems concerned include the propulsion and steering systems and the electronic eavesdropping and intelligence systems.

Contrary to conventional maintenance contracts, this one introduces important innovations. First, it puts the crew and contractors in direct contact; second, it includes detailed task sharing between the two parties. This will give the contractors full control over service provision as well as the collection and analysis of customer discrepancies. It will also help them to anticipate future needs. A hot line will be set up as part of the service. This will speed up the delivery of spare parts to the nearest available port, wherever it may be, and improve remote support for payload operators.

29 Jun 05. The founding members of the Eurely and iNavSat consortia applaud the green light received from Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU) to pursue their joint approach for the Galileo Concession. Both Eurely and iNavSat can now complete the merger of their consortium and, jointly with the GJU, proceed towards the final concession contract negotiations which will formalize the Galileo Public Private Partnership by the end of this year.

27 Jun 05. The latest PC-based variant of the Submarine Command System (SMCS) supplied by BAE Systems will soon be fitted throughout the whole Royal Navy submarine fleet. Following the successful installation of SMCS NG (Next Generation) in HMS TORBAY in 2004, the Ministry of Defence has placed two further contracts with BAE Systems to extend the fit out to all eleven Vanguard, Trafalgar and Swiftsure submarines that will continue to run beyond 2008. The move to commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) technology will offer the MOD the potential of reducing costs by up to £25 million over the life of the system. In addition to the systems for Vanguard, Trafalgar and Swiftsure submarines, the contracts also include three systems for shore installations to be used for training and testing. BAE Systems through its Integrated System Technologies (Insyte) business has also supplied the related Astute Combat Management System (ACMS) for the three new Astute class submarines. The total value of the two SMCS NG contracts, placed in November 2004 and April 2005 is £24.5m. The contract which includes a five-year comprehensive support service, has been placed by the Attack Submarines Integrated Project Team (IPT) working in partnership with the Submarine Support IPT. The decision to use commercially available hardware and software whilst migrating to an open systems architecture will deliver major through-life cost savings without compromising system performance. SMCS NG software is issued as a single, ‘fits-all’ release that is configurable for the sensor and weapon fit of each submarine. This eliminates the duplication of effort that occurred previously when introducing new capability, which a separate version of software had to be produced for each class of submarine in which SMCS is fitted. A series of annual software upgrades will also deliver generic open interfaces to SMCS. This open systems approach will make it much easier to introduce new capability when it is required by the MOD.

27 Jun 05. The Board of Croma Group plc, the specialists in the design, development and production of overt and covert surveillance and defence related products, today announces a major contract win, for its R&D Design Services Ltd (“R&D”) subsidiary, based in Margate, England. The contract win is with international defence company Thales UK, of Crawley in Sussex.The contra

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