18 Dec 08. ESRI (UK) has confirmed that Thales UK‘s air operations facility in Wells has joined the ESRI (UK) UK Partners & Alliances Programme. Air operations is part of the Air Systems Division, one of five divisions of Thales UK. As a solution partner, Thales will build and deliver application solutions within which ESRI GIS software technology is included, adding advanced digital mapping, geospatial visualisation and analysis capabilities. One example of this is the integration of ESRI’s Geographic Information System (GIS) software into its mission management solution, MPlanit, which is already delivering new levels of geospatial capability to mission planners and debriefers within the RAF and Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). MPlanit provides mission planning and debriefing system capability to be used across most military sectors, including, Air Power, Tanker and Transport, Reconnaissance and Maritime Patrol and Naval Helicopter Airborne Surveillance and Area Control (ASaC) operations. MPlanit has been designed as a flexible platform that will accommodate a wide range of management applications including third party applications already in use, advanced situational awareness and data mining services, many of which will contain a geospatial component. Thales’ new solution partner status will provide the business with the widest access to the latest ESRI GIS technology, software development tools, training and support to fully exploit these capabilities.
05 Dec 08. Bell blames offsets as it quits Indian helo contest. Bell Helicopter of the United States has blamed India’s “restrictive and narrow” offset policy for its decision to withdraw from the country’s USD600 million reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) dispatched a request for proposals (RfP) to Textron subsidiary Bell – along with five other overseas manufacturers – for 197 RSHs on 24 July. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)