09 Jun 12. Next Generation Estate Contracts (NGEC) Programme: Bidders’ Visits. Bidders for the largest-ever UK military training estate contract have begun a nationwide tour of training areas and facilities under the NGEC Programme. The three bidders are: Babcock Support Services; Kellogg Brown & Root with Balfour Beatty Workplace and Landmarc Support Services.
The National Training Estate prime contract will be worth between £450m and £950m over a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 years. The contract is to provide services ranging from managing air weapons ranges to providing laundry services or clearing snow and ice. From 2014 the contract will bring UK training sites currently managed through various arrangements under a single prime contractor.
Comment: Key sites to be covered by the programme include Catterick, Dartmoor, Otterburn, Salisbury Plain and Sennybridge. The initial notification of the contract, published on 2 Feb 12, indicated four shortlisted bidders but the consortium led by Serco no longer features.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/23, 11 June 12)
07 Jun 12. Rolls-Royce has opened its first Customer Delivery Center (CDC) for defense engines in the United States, initially focusing on deliveries for the Lockheed Martin C-130J military transport aircraft. Through more than $1m investment in production advancements including
automated inspection, dry-ice blast cleaning and electronic tool control, the CDC will enhance deliveries of AE 2100 engines, as Lockheed Martin continues to grow its C-130J business in the US and globally. The aircraft is powered by four Rolls-Royce AE 2100 engines. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
08 Jun 12. The refurbished aircraft carrier Vikramaditya reportedly began its long-delayed sea trials June 8, leaving its Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia and heading for the White Sea. The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported the ship, with a mixed Russian-Indian crew, was underway after a series of delays and postponements. Once planned for delivery to India in 2008, the carrier, formerly the Russian Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov, overcame its latest delay after the shipbuilders said in mid-May they were aiming for a May 25 trials date. According to the Sevmash website, an inclining experiment to measure the ship’s stability was carried out shortly before the sea trials. If no further delays are encountered, the ship is expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy in December. (Source: Defense News)
05 Jun 12. Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched the U.S. Navy’s next amphibious assault ship, America (LHA 6), from the company’s floating drydock. The ship, weighing more than 29,000 tons in its current state, became one of the largest objects moved across land when it was translated to the drydock two weeks ago. Following additional planning and preparation, the launch process occurred utilizing the drydock’s ballast system on Monday afternoon, and the ship floated free. Ingalls received a $2.38bn contract to build the next ship in the class, Tripoli (LHA 7), last week. LHA 6 and LHA 7 are the first two ships in the new America class of amphibious assault ships. The ships are 844 feet long and 106 feet wide and will displace 44,971 long tons. The gas turbine propulsion system will drive the ships in excess of 20 knots. They will accommodate 1,059 crew (65 officers) and 1,687 troops. They will be capable of carrying a Marine Expeditionary Unit, including Marine helicopters, MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft. Carrying a complement of F-35s allows the ships to serve the role of a small aircraft carrier, as demonstrated by LHD-class ship operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Source: Yahoo!/GLOBE NEWSWIRE)
06 Jun 12. The Lockheed Martin-led industry team delivered the nation’s third Littoral Combat Ship, Fort Worth (LCS 3), to the U.S. Navy two months ahead