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26 Nov 08. Lockheed Martin has attained full function capability in all the systems integration laboratories that support the VH-71 presidential helicopter program, after completing the Master Systems Bench (MSB) located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD. The NAS Patuxent River MSB, part of the Systems Integration Laboratory, contains all of the aircraft avionic systems installed in a full-scale VH-71A cockpit and rear cabin, with out-the-window visual displays and aircraft simulation allowing full mission scenarios to be “flown” while on the ground. This enables the flight test pilots and engineers to conduct valuable training, perform system analysis and debug problems on the ground. “Having a fully capable laboratory at the Navy’s Presidential Helicopter Support Facility is a huge plus in optimizing flight test time,” said Jeff Bantle, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the VH-71 program. “Ground testing provides a big cost and time savings for the program, because it reserves air time and fuel for airworthiness tests and certifications.”

21 Nov 08. Chemring Group PLC’s Australian subsidiary, Chemring Australia Pty Ltd, based in Victoria, Australia, has been awarded a long-term contract for the supply of countermeasures and pyrotechnics to the Commonwealth of Australia. The contract is worth A$160m (£68m) over an initial ten year period. As part of the arrangement, Chemring Australia will invest A$18m(£7.6m) in the establishment of a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility near Melbourne, as well as creating a research and development centre for the design of future products. Construction of the new facility will commence shortly and is expected to be completed in 2010. Forty new jobs will be created initially at Chemring Australia as a result of this investment.

24 Nov 08. With India becoming a manufacturing major, European defence consortium EADS today said it was keen to develop relations with large suppliers to create a base for exporting defence and civil aviation equipment. (Source: Google)

25 Nov 08. The U.S. Navy and shipbuilder Northrop Grumman have settled on new goals for when the next big-deck amphib will be delivered and join the fleet, six months after the ship was delayed because of shoddy interior work.
Planners had originally scheduled the amphibious assault ship Makin Island, under construction in Pascagoula, Miss., to be delivered Nov. 14. But in April the company announced shipwide wiring problems that would require extensive rework, delay its progress and cost as much as $360 million. Northrop Grumman agreed to bear that charge, rather than pass it on to taxpayers. (Source: Defense News)

26 Nov 08. Anticipating a growing market in southeastern Europe for defense and homeland security products, Swedish defense manufacturer Saab opened an office here Nov. 19. “Zagreb is a good platform for an office,” said Ulf Rudebark, Saab’s Croatia director. First on Saab’s list of priorities is lobbying the Croatian government to purchase its Gripen fighter aircraft, although Rudebark said he expects regional sales in areas such as airport, seaport and border security. (Source: Defense News)

14 Nov 08. HMS SUTHERLAND: Updated Air Defence. HMS SUTHERLAND left Rosyth (14 Nov 08) on completion of a £35m year-long refit. The Type 23 frigate is the first vessel to be fitted with the Seawolf Mid Life Update (SWMLU) system and is also one of eight frigates being equipped with Sonar 2087. Other features of the ship’s refit include an upgraded Mark 8 gun and a new paint system for the hull.
Comment: SWMLU is a £300m programme covering the installation of improved missile defence systemson Type 22 and Type 23 frigates until 2017. Sonar upgrade is part of a £166m programme run by Thales UK; Type 2087 being an active low-frequency towed sonar. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0846, 24 Nov 08)

17 Nov 08. Cammell Laird: Return of a F

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