17 Nov 06. Lockheed Martin UK’s Havant facility has become the first location outside the United States to become part of Lockheed Martin’s Global Vision Enterprise – an international link between the company’s development laboratories. The move will provide significant additional capabilities in the way the company works with customers and partners on programmes such as the Merlin Capability and Sustainment Programme and Integrated Merlin Operational Support. The Havant site is already acknowledged by the Ministry of Defence as a crucial resource for UK armed forces – particularly in the area of systems integration and helicopter development. Now, through a link developed in the site’s System Development and Integration Facility (S-DIF), staff can share skills, knowledge, information, best practice and tools and techniques with their colleagues in the U.S. The link will provide staff with simultaneous access to data, simulations and analytical tools and processes. It will also be crucial to developing the advanced technology solutions required by current and future programmes.
07 Nov 06. Destroyers and Submarines: In-Service Dates (ISD). The Armed Forces’ Minister confirmed (7 Nov 06) that six Type 45 destroyers and three Astute Class submarines were currently on order. “….further orders will depend on the affordability of Industry’s proposals, value for money and the wider implementation of the Maritime Industrial Strategy by Industry and the MoD.”. The planned ISD for the first Type 45, HMS DARING, is 2009. The remaining five destroyers on contract “are planned to enter service at intervals over a four-year period following the First of Class ISD”. The planned ISD for HMS ASTUTE is 2009, followed by HMS AMBUSH in 2010 and HMS ARTFUL in 2012.
Comment: HMS DARING was launched on 1 Feb 06 and the second Type 45, HMS DAUNTLESS, is to be launched on 23 Jan 07. HMS ASTUTE is due to be launched on 8 Jun 07. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0644, 20 Nov 06)
22 November 2006. The first of three Type 23 frigates has been handed over to the Chilean navy by the UK Ministry of Defence. BAE Systems was appointed to lead the £134m contract in September 2005 following a government to government agreement between Chile and the UK. As prime contractor, BAE Systems is responsible for managing all aspects of the preparation of the vessels and for the training of the Chilean crews. Physical preparation work on the first ship, now known as Almirante Cochrane, was carried out by Fleet Support Limited, a BAE Systems joint venture company.
November 22, 2006. DoD Announces Installation Realignment in the United Kingdom. With the U.S. European Command’s force structure realignment and transformation, it was determined that the housing sites are no longer required. The sites include 24 housing units at Bilton and Knaresborough, supporting RAF Menwith Hill, and 28 housing units at RAF Upwood. All of the affected housing units are currently vacant. Facilities affected by this decision will begin the process of return to the host nation.
17 Nov 06. Buyer found for car parts factory. The plant currently makes axles and brake systems. A buyer has been found for the Visteon car components factory in Swansea which was put up for sale this month, putting almost 600 jobs at risk. The engineering group GKN has confirmed it is negotiating to buy the Swansea plant, as well as others in Poland and Germany. Enterprise Minister Andrew Davies said it was “fabulous news”. He said he understood GKN wanted to make Swansea a European centre of excellence for its operations. (Source: BBC)
Nov 06. Defence Training Review (DTR) Programme: Announcement Anticipated
Parliamentary Questions were asked about the MoD’s plans for engineering training and about the future of HMS SULTAN. The Junior Defence Minister responded (8 Nov 06) that both were dependent on the outcome of the DTR Rationalisation Programme. The Minister anticipated mak