26 Oct 09. The U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) office has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $6.2m contract to move the Army’s Hunter UAS training and engineering test facilities from Cochise College Flight Line, Douglas, Ariz., to the new Rapid Integration and Acceptance Center (RIAC), Michael Army Airfield, Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah.
27 Oct 2009. Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva said Oct. 27 that a deal giving the U.S. military access to Colombian bases will be signed at the end of the week. The accord, which has led to howls of protest in several South American capitals, “will be signed when I return to Bogota at the end of the week,” Silva told journalists during a visit to Washington. “It is possible” the signing will be as early as Oct. 30, he added. Under the deal, Colombia has pledged to allow the United States, its closest ally, to use seven bases for help in fighting insurgencies and drug traffickers. (Source: Defense News)
25 Oct 09. Differences over a controversial plan to relocate a US marine air base on the Japanese island of Okinawa appear ever more likely to cloud a landmark visit to Tokyo next month by Barack Obama, the US president. (Source: FT.com)
27 Oct 09. Colfax Corporation has opened a Defense Centre of Excellence (COE) in Mumbai, India. The company announced the news today at the India International Civil & Defence Equipment & Systems (IICDES) Exhibition & Conference in New Delhi, India, where it is exhibiting pump technologies – marketed through its local Tushaco business – used by the Indian Navy and other defense customers.
Oct 09. Nuclear-powered Submarines: Decommissioning. The Defence Secretary said (19 Oct 09) that the current budget for the Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) is some £1,500m. The SDP covers the dismantling of 27 nuclear-powered submarines (19 SSN & eight SSBN) from HMS DREADNOUGHT (decommissioned in 1982) to HMS VENGEANCE (probably to be decommissioned in 2029).
Comment: The SDP was previously known as the ISOLUS (Interim Storage Of Laid UP Submarines) Project, but a Public Relations Company ‘rebranded’ the Project. The 11 SSN and four SSBN which have been decommissioned so far are stored afloat at HM Naval Base Devonport and at Rosyth Dockyard but that facility may run out in 2011 or, at best, 2020. [The ‘rebranding’ of ISOLUS as SDP is a classic example of how MoD money is wasted.] (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/40, 26 Oct 09)
21 Oct 09. Type 45 Destroyers: Fifth of Class Launched. HMS DEFENDER was named and launched by Lady Julie Massey, wife of the Second Sea Lord, at Govanon 21 Oct 09.
Comment: A Class of 12 Type 45 destroyers was originally planned, but this was reduced to eight and then to six. As at 31 Mar 08, the forecast cost of the six vessels is £6,464m. The National Audit Office published a Report on the Type 45 programme on 13 Mar 09, as HC 295. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/40, 26 Oct 09)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
29 Oct 09. BAE Systems has cut further jobs in its U.K. armored vehicles business just days before it is due to submit a bid to supply the British Army with a new scout vehicle. Total job losses amount to about 90 workers. The announcement includes adjustments to a restructuring plan outlined in April that involved 500 redundancies and the closure of several sites. The company said in a statement the latest job losses are aimed at reducing its cost base to compete for the specialist vehicle element of the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) program, and an update of the Army’s Warrior infantry fighting vehicle. The FRES and Warrior programs are of strategic importance to BAE’s Global Combat
Systems-Vehicles manufacturing capability here. The bid for the first phase of the FRES specialist vehicle requirement is scheduled to be submitted Nov. 5, followed later in the month by proposals for the Warrior sustainment program. The sites