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29 Oct 07. USMC Creates Land Systems Office. The U.S. Marine Corps has created a new acquisition office, PEO Land Systems, at Quantico, Va., part of a stepped-up effort to develop and procure vehicles, weapons and other gear. She said the Navy might open more PEOs. Headquartered next to U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command (SysCom), PEO Land Systems will manage acquisition programs, including the Lightweight 155mm Towed Howitzer, Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement, Expedi-tionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC), Logistics Vehicle System Replacement, Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar System, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), and Common Aviation Command and Control System. Etter said the Navy has just completed a 90-day study ordered by Congress to explore whether the EFV should be redesigned with a V-shaped hull. Despite program delays, a Nunn-McCurdy cost breach and poor reliability in early testing, Marine Corps officials said they plan to build seven EFV prototypes by 2009. Etter said the Navy had recently opened a facility in China Lake, Calif., to test IED jammers. On Oct. 5, Etter announced her resignation as Navy acquisition czar, effective Dec. 31. (Source: Defense News)

29 Oct 07. Boeing has opened its first F-15E Mission Training Center (MTC) for the U.S. Air Force’s 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The center will provide aircrews with high-fidelity, simulator-based training without the material and personnel costs associated with training on operational aircraft. The training center provides two high-fidelity, dual-cockpit F-15E simulators with a 360-degree visual system, a robust synthetic environment as well as instructor/operator and brief/debrief stations. The simulators, enhanced with a head-tracked area-of-interest display visual system, can be operated individually or linked to provide two- or four-ship training within the MTC. They also can be linked locally with two medium-fidelity F-15E Manned Combat Stations to allow local four-ship training. After a few months of operation, the MTC will join the Air Force’s Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) training network.

22 Oct 07. Defence Estates: Improvements in Accommodation. The Junior Defence Minister said (22 Oct 07) that the MoD anticipated spending some £870m on living and other accommodation in the 2007/08 financial year, with over £5,000m being spent during the next 10 years. The condition of some 60% of Service homes in Great Britain is now of the highest standard. For single living, some 50,000 new/improved bed spaces are expected to have been completed by 2013.
Comment: Further details can be found in the Comprehensive Spending Review (Command 7227 of 9 Oct 07) at page 231 et seq. Wild speculation in the newspapers, particularly about the sale of Chelsea Barracks, should be ignored. Contracts for the sale of the Barracks were exchanged on 5 Apr 07 but the price is to remain ‘commercial-in-confidence’ until 31 Jan 08, when completion is due. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0742, 29 Oct 07)

30 Oct 07. Officials of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today officially unveiled a new state-of-the-art antenna testing facility intended to help position the company for anticipated future business opportunities involving large-scale, complex, multifunction military sensor systems in Mayland, USA. The new $13.7m antenna test complex consists of a five-story-tall, 16,000-square-foot facility specially equipped to verify the individual and collective accuracy and performance characteristics of literally thousands of T/R (transmit/receive) modules – each the equivalent of a mini-sensor – that are assembled in sections to form a completed phased array. The new antenna facility features the largest scanner of its kind in the world, a unique 60 ft. by 40 ft. near-field scanner system designed to perform full scale testing of a broad variety of medium to ul

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