21 May 21, 2007. L-3 Communications announced the opening of its Australia Corporate Operations office. Located in Canberra, Australia Capitol Territory, this office will play a key role in supporting L-3’s strategic development and business plans for Australia and Southeast Asia. It will also provide strategic support to identify, target and pursue international business opportunities and provide vital interface with foreign procurement officials and industrial partners. (Source: ASD Network)
22 May 07. BAE Systems PLC could close its Royal Ordnance munitions factories if it does not win its ammunition contract renegotiation with the Ministry of Defence, the Times reported, citing sources. According to the paper, the MoD is starting to sound out European suppliers as an alternative supply for British troops. Sources at Royal Ordnance told the paper that BAE, which bought the Royal Ordnance factories in 1987, is demanding a new longer and more lucrative contract to cover the investment needed to modernise its factories. The MoD is concerned that it will be paying more for British bullets, explosives and artillery shells than it would do if it bought them on the open market. The MoD, which spent £280m on munitions last year, is trying to determine whether national security would be threatened by not having a domestic bullet-making capability. (Source: The Times/Thomson Financial)
May 07. The King’s Troop: On the Move. The lease on the St John’s Wood Barracks expires in 2012 although negotiations are taking place to secure a two-year extension. A future home for The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) is being sought.
Comment: Cavalry Barracks at Hounslow is being considered for The King’s Troop although a lot of restoration work would be required. Alternatively, The Troop may join other elements of the Royal Artillery in the Tidworth/Larkhill area. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0720, 21 May 07)
20 May 07. A technology park developed by the Assembly Government, remains largely unoccupied more than 18 months after it was launched, claim the Welsh Conservatives. Lisa Francis, the AM for Mid and West Wales, described the state of the £34m ParcAberporth as “shocking”. Since its launch in September 2005, the Assembly Government has hailed the development, next to a former RAF base, as a major centre of excellence for the aerospace industry. In addition to the original building costs, it has pledged an extra £3m of funding to support the investment until 2009. However, Ms Francis said that on a visit to the park she found that all three of the high-specification buildings were unoccupied and the grounds of the technology centre were “obviously uncared for”.(Source: Shephard)
JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
20 May 07. Employees of The Boeing Company represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 837 voted today to approve the company’s contract offer. This competitive package of pay and benefits provides approximately $24,000 in additional compensation over the life of the three- year contract, improvements in retirement benefits and a comprehensive, affordable health-care program. IAMAW District 837 represents more than 2,500 employees of Integrated Defense Systems, a unit of The Boeing Company, in St. Louis.
21 May 07. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will designate on May 22 the Woomera Test Facility in Australia as a Historic Aerospace Site. The site is the largest land-based range in the world and provides instrumented aerospace test and evaluation range support services to the Australian Defence Force and the broader defense community. Woomera is an Australian icon that is synonymous with the testing of long-range missiles and rockets during the Cold War. It is also known for the launch and tracking of spacecraft in the early days of the Space Age. Notable achievements encompass pioneering advances in missile testing