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10 Jul 03. The Investment Appraisal Board is expected to meet next week to decide on the future procurements of the Hawk aircraft for the RAF Trainer Requirement and possibly the FRES programme (See PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS).

Lord Bach informed the Committee that he expected to announce developments on FRES before the recess, however we understand that this may not be the case.

Questioned by the Committee (See below) GENERAL ROB FULTON, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Equipment Capability) explained the complexities of the FRES requirement, drawing parallels with the US FCS and the Swedish SEP programmes.

He would not be drawn as to whether the programme would be sole sourced to AlvisVickers. BATTLESPACE understands that there could be three possible solutions for FRES, sole source to AlvisVickers under the ‘Programme of National Importance’ banner, a full competition involving international players or BAE acting as LSI with AlvisVickers as the vehicle builder.

AlvisVickers has responded to the challenge by continuing work on the project in the UK through its new facility headed by Bill Jamieson in Leeds and its SEP work in Leeds. The company has developed a capability in systems integration through its work on the BOWMAN Platform BISA (See BATTLESPACE C4ISTAR TECHNOLOGIES July Volume 6 Issue 3 July 2003 ISSN 1478-3347). On 17 June 2003
Alvis Vickers signed an agreement with international office and business park developer Akeler Developments Limited for a 30,000 sq ft new development at Leeds Valley Park. Alvis Vickers has customised the building to meet its requirements and is the first company to sign an agreement on this site.

Trevor Harrison, Managing Director of Alvis Vickers says, “Alvis Vickers is committed to Leeds. The new site represents a new era for the business, specialising in electronic systems technology. Alvis Vickers in Leeds has moved on from the former production site to a highly sophisticated, state of the art engineering facility. The move to Leeds Valley Park reflects this new important focus of the business.”

On Monday Alvis said that GKN plc, has an interest in 31,882,534 ordinary shares of 25 pence each in the Company. As a result of the exercise of a significant number of employee share options under the Company’s SAYE scheme, GKN’s interest has been reduced to 28.99%.

In last week’s issue we stated that Richard Wigley had left the project, this is incorrect, he is still on the FRES project working in the Abbey Wood Programme Office, we apologise for the error.

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