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01 Sep 08. HMS SUPERB: Decommissioning. The Armed Forces’ Minister confirmed (1 Sep 08) that HMS SUPERB is to be decommissioned, as planned, in October 2008. Meanwhile, the boat is “conducting a series of tests and trials”.
Comment: Having struck an underwater pinnacle in the Red Sea on 26 May 08, HMS SUPERB returned to the UK on the surface. With the decommissioning of HMS SUPERB, the number of SSN in the Fleet will be reduced to eight (HMS SCEPTRE and seven Trafalgar Class). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0835, 08 Sep 08)

Sep 08. Type 42 Destroyers: End of Service. Warship World (September 2008) includes a sorry story of three of the Batch 2 Type 42 destroyers
as they languish at Portsmouth. HMS EXETER and SOUTHAMPTON have been “reduced to glorified
patrol vessels”, operating without their missile systems and with the former in a state of reduced readiness. HMS NOTTINGHAM is in a poor material state and she is alongside with a reduced crew.
Comment: In the opinion of the (well informed) people who write for ‘Warship World’, HMS EXETER and NOTTINGHAM are unlikely to go to sea again. As announced by the Armed Forces’ Minister on 15 Jul 08,
HMS EXETER and SOUTHAMPTON are due to decommission in 2009 and HMS NOTTINGHAM in 2010. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0835, 08 Sep 08)

Sep 08. Minehunters: Sandown Class Deployment. Navy News (September 2008) notes that the deployment of HMS BLYTH and RAMSEY to Bahrain has been a success. The two minehunters are due to return to the UK early in 2009, when their place will be taken by sister-ships HMS PEMBROKE and GRIMSBY.
Comment: While HMS BLYTH and RAMSEY have been in the Gulf, all eight Sandown Class ships’ companies have been rotated through Bahrain. The two Sandown Class are ‘expert’ in deep-water mine clearance and they have been joined by two Hunt Class (HMS ATHERSTONE and CHIDDINGFOLD) for shallow-water tasks. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0835, 08 Sep 08)

28 Aug 08. General Dynamics Electric Boat today delivered the New Hampshire (SSN-778), the nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, to the U.S. Navy eight months ahead of schedule. At a brief shipyard ceremony, Electric Boat President John Casey gave credit to the Navy, the shipbuilders and the supplier base for achieving the early delivery date. “This ship is a tangible reflection of the skill and craft of thousands of industry and shipyard workers. And it clearly demonstrates the nation’s commitment to a strong national defense,” he said.

05 Sep 08. Dell Inc. is trying to sell its computer factories around the world, a move to sharply overhaul a production model that was long a hallmark of the PC giant’s strategy but is no longer competitive. In recent months, according to people familiar with the matter, Dell has approached contract computer manufacturers with offers to sell the plants. One person briefed on the plan said he expects the company to sell most — and possibly all — of its factories “within the next 18 months.” Other factories could close, this person said. Dell would enter into agreements with the contract manufacturers to produce its PCs. The plan is the latest sign of changes in the global PC business, and the increasing pressure on Dell to improve its profitability. The Round Rock, Texas, company last week reported disappointing quarterly profit that helped send shares down more than 18%, and has been trying to reduce expenses since early last year. (Source: WSJ)

05 Sep 08. GKN, the UK engineering group, is poised to secure about £60m in financial support from the British government as part of a deal to acquire a large part of the Airbus manufacturing site at Filton, near Bristol. John Hutton, business secretary, who will launch the government’s new manufacturing strategy on Monday, is expected to visit Filton later in the week and could announce news of the commitment at the same time, accor

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