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30 Nov 07. General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited has assembled a world-class team to bid to integrate the next generation of Armoured Fighting Vehicles for the British Army. The General Dynamics UK-led team, which submitted the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire to the Ministry of Defence on 30 November, brings together expertise from across the defence, information technology (IT) and automotive industries in a best-of-class alliance for British jobs, knowledge and capability. The team harnesses the significant experience of one of the world’s leading Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) providers and the successful deliverer of the British Army’s flagship Bowman system. In addition, the cutting-edge expertise of automotive industry and motorsport leader Ricardo, and IT giant CSC Computer Sciences Limited, will complement the UK defence capabilities of ABRO, AgustaWestland, Thales UK, Millbrook Proving Ground Ltd and Marshall Specialist Vehicles Ltd.

28 Nov 07. The UK company that built the test satellite for Europe’s Galileo network is joining forces with a German firm to bid together to build more satellites. SSTL believes the link-up will drive down costs and speed up production by boosting competition among suppliers. Europe’s proposed rival to the US Global Positioning System (GPS) has been delayed by rows over funding. (Source: BBC)

Dec 07. BAE Systems has signed an agreement to work with Indian IT outsourcer Wipro on commercial aerospace projects. The deal will see the firms jointly establish a technical development centre in India to work on projects covering a range of aerospace systems for the aerospace firm’s technology division, BAE Systems Platform Solutions. The partnership follows the signing of a provisional partnership agreement between the two firms back in June. Initially the contract is with BAE Systems Electronics and Integrated Solutions, but the deal could extends to other BAE Systems business units in the future. Wipro has engineering expertise relevant to BAE that includes avionics, systems design, satellite navigation, embedded computing systems, communication systems, and mechanical engineering.

30 Nov 07. DCNS, Finmeccanica and Thales today announced their intention to merge their underwater weapon system activities. This cooperation will strengthen the European defence industry, creating a leading world player in this domain. To this end, at the Franco-Italian summit in Nice, the three partners have signed the Heads of Agreement (HoA), setting forth the creation of three joint-ventures:
* the “Torpedo Program JV”, which will be in charge of the torpedo system engineering, design and development, marketing & sales and program management activities. It will be owned at 51% by Finmeccanica and 49% by DCNS. This JV will act as the overall Design Authority and Customer Interface for torpedoes (both heavy and light weight) and torpedo defence systems;
* the “Torpedo Manufacturing JV”, which will be responsible for torpedo manufacturing and support activities, as well as energy module engineering, test and manufacturing. It will be owned at 51% by DCNS and 49% by Finmeccanica.
* the “Sonar JV” which will include the acoustic head design, development, manufacturing and support activities, as well as the sonar business dedicated to the Italian customer. It will be owned at 51% Thales and 49% by Finmeccanica.
These new organizations will create value for the benefit of all stakeholders, improving production efficiency, management integration, quality of products and services offered to final customers and increasing returns to shareholders. Furthermore, the project could bring significant synergies by further exploiting the roles and activities of the respective national centers of excellence, while ensuring primary priorities of maintaining employment stability and growth prospects. The Joint Ventures’ industrial sites would be maintained in the current locations. DCNS – thro

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