04 Mar 09. GKN Aerospace teams with SLCR to develop automated laser repair for composite structures – potential 60% cost reduction. At a ceremony at JEC Composites today, GKN Aerospace and German laser technology specialist SCLR Lasertechnik GmbH (SLCR) will sign an agreement to develop new automated laser technology that will provide improved, lower cost and swifter repair of composite structures. Phil Grainger, Senior Technical Director and Chief Technologist at GKN Aerospace comments: “As composite materials increasingly dominate the airframe, their effective and swift repair becomes ever more critical. We believe this laser technology offers an important route to solving significant cost issues surrounding efficient high quality repair. This new agreement with SLCR aims to deliver first generation equipment in just two years.” The two companies are working on an automated laser process that will replace the time consuming manual grinding of the composite surface currently required to prepare for bonding new materials to form the repair.
19 Mar 09. The British government says it is going to push ahead with a plan to change the way it supports Royal Navy surface warships by creating an alliance involving dockyard companies Babcock and BVT Surface Fleet. The two sides have been exploring the creation of an alliance and other options to restructure the industry since 2006. Now, though, the government has announced it has signed a non-legally binding accord with the warship support yards to fully implement an alliance by 2011. The Surface Ship Support Program is part of a wider restructuring ofBritain’s naval shipbuilding sector initiated by the government as part of its 2005 Defence Industrial Strategy. In the last couple of years, that has seen BAE Systems and the VT Group merge their surface warship building yards in England and Scotland to form BVT, while Babcock has acquired the DML nuclear submarine update and surface warship facility at Devonport in southwest England to add to its existing operations at Rosyth and Faslane in Scotland. With the Royal Navy’s surface fleet shrinking in numbers, the yards have fiercely competed for surface warship maintenance work. In some cases, they even had to take part in MoD-organized reverse electronic auctions, requiring the yards to cut their prices via a computer. (Source: Defense News)
24 Mar 09. Thales UK’s naval business has today announced that it has signed a submarine Performance Partnering Arrangement (PPA) with BAE Systems. This arrangement provides a commitment between the companies to cooperate on future submarine programmes. The aim of both parties is that the PPA will significantly contribute to providing an affordable and sustainable common combat system across the UK’s submarine flotilla. Under the PPA, Thales will be the preferred contractor for submarine sonar work in support of BAE Systems’ submarine build and combat system design work. This will include providing sonar functional integration services for BAE Systems. Thales will also continue to be a key contributor to the combat system Design Evolution Team managed by BAE Systems on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence. This commitment requires Thales to achieve a certain level of performance based on time, cost, quality and other factors. It is anticipated that continuing high-performance by Thales Underwater Systems business in the UK will lead to further new business success in the future.
19 Mar 09. Raytheon Company has signed an agreement with EADS Secure Networks North America to pursue the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System contract. EADS Secure Networks North America joins the Raytheon-led team, which includes Etherstack and Powerwave Technologies. The team will propose an integrated wireless voice and data communications system that enables more than 34,000 Los Angeles first responders to communicate more effectively during daily operations, a natu