17 Jul 07. Development plans unveiled for UK’s UAV trials area. Plans have been revealed to develop the UK’s main unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) trials area at ParcAberporth in Wales, to better support UAV testing and exploit the area’s proximity to a military-restricted range. Foremost among these plans is development of a new Restricted Airspace Temporary (RAT) agreement for UAV operations that was set up in June with agreement between the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority and the West Wales Airport (WWA), which enables routine unmanned flights in the area. (Source: Jane’s)
23 Jul 07. NIC Instruments is expanding its operation in Folkestone, Kent with the help of Locate in Kent and the South East Grant Advisory Service (Se-gas). The company, which manufactures high-risk search and bomb disposal equipment, applied for a Selective Finance for Investment in England (SFIE) grant. The funding will enable the company to invest in new plant, operations and machinery and add another four jobs to its existing team of 11 already at the site. NIC Instruments was advised by the South East Grant Advisory Service, (Se-gas) which works to raise awareness about grant schemes available to eligible businesses and assists companies in the completion of applications. ‘Se-gas’ funding is managed by investment promotion agency Locate in Kent.
22 Jul 07. The first six Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers destined for the IAF have achieved Interim Acceptance, marking a significant milestone in the Indian Hawk programme. Three of the Hawks are currently being used to convert IAF instructor pilots to the aircraft at BAE Systems Warton, in a partnership between BAE Systems and the RAF. The training will be extended to include Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) test pilots later this month. This is part of the aircrew training package that has already seen 50 IAF pilots undergo training, delivered by BAE Systems and the RAF, using the Hawk Synthetic Training Facility and RAF Hawks based at RAF Valley.
JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
24 Jul 07. The management shake-up of LogicaCMG continued on Tuesday when the company’s board asked executive director Didier Herrmann to resign from the board. The global IT services company asked Mr Herrmann to resign because he was
“unable to accept changes in reporting lines” after last week’s appointment of
an interim chief executive, the company said. Last week, LogicaCMG announced the appointment of Jim McKenna, the company’s former chief operating officer, as interim chief executive in an attempt to reassure investors after a profit warning in May led to the resignation of Martin Read, the company’s architect and chief executive. (Source: FT.com)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
21 Jul 07. MoD: Planning Assumptions. The MoD responded (21 Jul 07) to a newspaper report which claimed “that the UK is running short of troops, in particular for emergencies”. The MoD stated that “the situation in respect of current Operations remains manageable” but “that if the current tempo of Operations continues at this pace for another 10 to 15 years, we will have to revisit our planning assumptions.”.
Comment: The MoD was, of course, referring to the front page lead in The Daily Telegraph (21 Jul 07) which purported to be based on a ‘leaked’ memorandum said to have been written by the Chief of the General Staff.
DNA has regularly commented on the disturbing shortage of Regular Army Other Ranks, where numbers have declined from 85,960 on 1 Jan 05 to 81,420 on 1 Apr 07. No amount of MoD ‘fudging’ can disguise these figures and at last CGS has spoken out.
The MoD reference to “10 to 15 years” looks like another weekend clanger for which some spin doctor should be made to pay (but nobody will be to blame!). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0729, 23 Jul 07)
17 Jul 07. Reserves: Deployment. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (17 Jul 07) that, as at 31 Mar 07, there were 854 Reservists deployed in Joint Operationa