14 May 12. The UK MoD is to sustain its commitment to the nuclear deterrent by continuing to invest £1bn a year on facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). The AWE is central to the development and maintenance of the UK’s nuclear capability, Trident. Scientists at the Berkshire site are involved from the initial concept and design of the warheads, through manufacture and support to their decommissioning and disposal. The MoD has now reached an agreement with AWE Management Limited (AWEML) – the joint venture contracted to manage and operate the site in 2000 – for a further priced period of work under its existing 25-year contract. This agreement, which will see the MoD invest £1bn a year over the next five years, provides important further investment in skills and facilities at the company’s site in Aldermaston and Burghfield, Berkshire, where more than 4,500 staff are based. Around 40 per cent of this money will be invested in essential capital projects, including production and research facilities. The remainder will be spent on operating and maintaining the AWE.
DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS Comment: Formed in 1998, AWEML is a joint venture between Jacobs Engineering Group, Lockheed Martin and Serco to manage AWE on behalf of the MoD. The above programme of investment ensures the maintenance of the present nuclear warhead and retains the capability to design and manufacture a replacement, should that be necessary.
16 May 12. The US Air Force (USAF) has released the guidelines that will determine candidate bases for the new KC-46A tanker formal training unit (FTU) and the first two main operating bases (MOB). Following an extensive internal review, the FTU and first main operating base (MOB 1) will be selected for access by active duty units while an Air National Guard unit will use the second main operating base (MOB 2). Approved by USAF secretary, Michael Donley, and Air Force chief of staff,
General Norton Schwartz, the MOBs will be selected on factors that include mission, capacity, environmental and cost. All sites will be evaluated by the Air Force against the approved criteria and the information will be used to identify candidate bases for the KC-46A. The Air Force will announce KC-46A preferred and reasonable alternatives based on Air Mobility Comamand’s surveys of the prospective sites, and will begin the environmental impact analysis process (EIAP) for the FTU and MOB 1 in December 2012 and MOB 2 in the spring of 2013. As part of the KC-135 replacement programme, Boeing is under a contract to deliver 18 KC-46 refuelling aircraft by 2017 to the USAF, which will continue until 2028, with the initial flight of the first aircraft is scheduled to take place in late 2014. The aircraft delivery to the FTU and MOB 1 will begin in 2016 and MOB 2 in 2018. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)
16 May 12. Huntsville, Alabama is now home to one of America’s fastest growing private companies, and the top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nev., announced at a reception for Huntsville business and community leaders at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, that the company has opened an office at 1525 Perimeter Parkway, in Huntsville. Three of SNC’s key business areas will be located in the new office, including:
Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM), Integrated Mission Systems (IMS) and Space Systems (SS). Huntsville is an epi-center for key SNC customers including NASA, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM), the Missile Defense Agency and the Space and Missile Defense Command, and other related corporate partners. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
14 May 12. The RAF has Selected CeraTech’s durable, high thermal resistant Firerok cement for the Bell Boeing-built V-22 Osprey’s concrete hardstand and apron construction project at RAF Mildenhall, in Suffolk, England. Firerok comp