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25 Mar 11. Lockheed Martin today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its Huntsville Integrated Test (HIT) Center in Huntsville, Ala. The Lockheed Martin HIT Center will enable cost-effective and realistic testing of full-scale missile defense systems in a laboratory environment.

27 Mar 11. India’s national auditor has slammed the country’s army for turning large tracts of state military property into illegal privately run golf courses and leisure centres without paying rent to the government, costing the exchequer millions of dollars in lost revenue. The damning audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), which has
already exposed $39bn of irregularities in the telecoms sector, adds to the pressure on the Congress party-led government of prime minister Manmohan Singh. (Source: FT.com)

28 Mar 11. With policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic slashing public spending and searching for ways to reduce military budgets, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has just begun construction of a splendiferous new $1.38bn headquarters on a 100-acre site in Brussels. Designed by Chicago architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, renowned for luxurious commercial buildings including the tallest in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the futuristic new NATO offices will feature eight sweeping wings covering 2.7 million square feet. Glass-walled elevators overlooking cavernous atriums showering natural light. Ecologically correct grass growing on the roof. Seventeen conference rooms. A range of amenities from cafeterias, restaurants, and banks, to shopping, sport, and leisure facilities. Pentagon staffers, eat your hearts out. (Source: American Spectator/Len Zuga)

28 Mar 11. More Defence Jobs for South Australia. The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, today announced that he has sped up negotiations with pastoral leaseholders to allow the $59m expansion of Cultana Training Facility to occur. Expanding the facility will bring more defence jobs to South Australia. The Department of Defence will shortly commence negotiations with pastoral leaseholders affected by the Cultana Expansion Project in South Australia. Senator Feeney met with pastoralists in February 2011. The pastoralists expressed concern about delays in negotiation processes. “Following my meeting with the South Australian pastoralists, I investigated ways to speed up the negotiation process. I made sure that direct negotiations between the Department of Defence and the pastoral leaseholders could begin as soon as possible,” Senator Feeney said. “I want to make sure that the ADF have the best training facilities available and more defence jobs come to South Australia. These jobs will be vital to areas such as Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie, as well as Adelaide.” Negotiations between Defence and the pastoral leaseholders can now proceed while Defence continues to address a range of other legal obligations. The Department of Defence will be contacting the pastoralists and their representatives in the coming weeks to discuss the acquisition process, including the basis for valuations.

MARITIME

28 Mar 11. The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, taken out of service this year as part of government budget cuts, is being put up for sale online by the Ministry of Defence. The Royal Navy carrier, which was decommissioned in Portsmouth earlier this month, is being sold on www.edisposals.com, a website run by the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support arm. The MoD said on Monday night that individuals and organisations interested in purchasing the navy’s former flagship, which was launched by the Queen in 1981, have to subm

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