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31 May 11. Faun Trackway is opening its new United States office in Washington DC at the British Embassy in DC on July 26th. The Office will be managed by ex-Seabee Mike Holdcroft and supported by Specialist PR Consultants Corvis. This comes following further interest in the Faun Trackway products currently in service with 6 countries around the world. Ironically, the U.K. MoD, the first user of the system has yet to place an order for the automated Class 70 DROPS-based system which automatically lays Trackway at a rate of 50 meters in 7 minutes and retrieves at the same rate. Currently the MoD system is laid by hand!! Faun Trackway will be exhibiting products at AUSA this year, including the Helicopter landing Mat system recently ordered by the Colombian Air Force following the demonstration at the Fairford Air Tattoo last year.
24 May 11. Cyprus: Sovereign Base Areas (SBA). The Defence Secretary announced (24 May 11) that, as part of the follow-on work to the Strategic Defence and Security Review, a study of the SBA is to be undertaken. Lord Ashcroft has agreed to undertake the role of senior independent adviser and will be assisted by the Member of Parliament P J Mercer Esq OBE (a former Infantry Officer). The study is expected to be completed in 2011.
Comment: The MoD has some 2,500 personnel in the Akrotiri and Dhekelia SBA (roughly 1,600 Army, 900 RAF & 30 RN). The SBA also employ about 1,500 civilians, of whom 330 are UK-based and the remainder are locally engaged. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/21, 30 May 11)
19 May 11. Turkey nominates Dearsan, RMK Marine for future warship competition. Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (Savunma Sanayii Müstesarligi – SSM) has begun to put flesh on the bones of its sector-wide naval industrial strategy by identifying Dearsan Shipyard and RMK Marine as its designated private sector yards for the construction of complex steel warships. The decision will see the two Tuzla-based shipyards vie with each other for future orders, starting with follow-on buys of the MILGEM national corvette. (Source: Jane’s Navy International)
24 May 11. Pakistan’s navy is considering relocating its naval air base in Karachi after a brazen attack by Taliban militants cost the lives of 12 security personnel and destroyed two prized US-supplied maritime surveillance aircraft this week. Admiral Norman Bashir, the chief of naval staff, has recommended that the naval base be relocated to safer premises after years of encroachment by residential areas had compromised its security.“We are trying to relocate the naval base and other vital installations away from residential areas,” he told reporters after the 17-hour attack launched against PNS Mehran on Sunday night. The navy’s acknowledgement of the base’s vulnerability reflects the mounting security challenge in Karachi, the country’s largest city and one with a
sizeable radicalised immigrant population from Pakistan’s border regions with Afghanistan. It also reflects the military’s unease about its ability to defend installations close to civilian areas. Adm Bashir’s comments also follow Islamabad’s request to Beijing to help supply a naval port at the south-western port of Gwadar, as an alternative to Karachi. (Source: FT.com)
25 May 11. Saab AB will open new UK headquarters and draw on British engineering expertise in a new Saab Design Centre in London. With 200 employees already based throughout the UK, Saab is preparing to expand its reach into the British defence industry by opening a central London office to co-ordinate all in-country operations. The opening of the company’s new UK headquarters will