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15 Oct 12. Bell Helicopter commenced construction for its new global headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and Mayor Betsy Price joined John Garrison, President and CEO of Bell Helicopter, to commemorate the occasion at a groundbreaking ceremony at Bell Helicopter’s headquarters in Fort Worth. The leaders made remarks highlighting Bell Helicopter’s march of progress in its military and commercial programs, its global expansion and responsiveness, its commitment to Fort Worth, as well as the company’s desire to help revitalize Northeast Tarrant County. Bell Helicopter plans to invest $230m in new and upgraded facilities as part of a comprehensive revitalization effort. Bell Helicopter is revitalizing its facilities to provide its more than 6,000 North Texas-based employees with a better, safer, more comfortable work environment, and to attract and retain the talented workforce needed to grow its business in Texas.

17 Oct 12. A new state of the art production line for the F-35 fifth generation fighter jet has been switched on at BAE Systems’ Samlesbury site. The new production line, known as the Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) has been installed in the latest phase of the new F-35 fifth generation stealthy fighter jet manufacturing facility at Samlesbury, which opened in March this year. Since the start of the programme through to 2016, BAE Systems will have invested over £150m in F-35 buildings, infrastructure and specialist plant and machinery at its Samlesbury site. The new IAL will use an automated overhead monorail system to ‘pulse’ sections of the rear fuselage of all three types of F-35 aircraft (Conventional, STOVL and Carrier variant) around an assembly line, building them as they go and allowing more units to be produced more efficiently than before – helping the team to ramp up production from the current level of one per week up to the required level of one per day by 2016. A similar IAL is planned for production in 2013 to support the horizontal and vertical tail assembly builds.

19 Oct 12. ITT Exelis officially opened its full-service mine defense production facility in Panama City, Fla. Naval forces depend on mine defense systems to clear sea mines from strategic waterways, which carry 90 percent of international trade. Systems produced by Exelis are heavily used by the U.S. Navy and allied forces to find and clear multiple types of sea mines during mine-clearing operations. Exelis advanced minesweepers defeat mines and enable U.S. and allied navies to keep shipping lanes open. The Exelis multiple-influence sweep systems are towed at high speeds through deep-ocean and littoral waters by helicopters, minesweeping ships or are remotely operated during mine-clearance operations. The Exelis mine defense business relocated from Amityville, N.Y. to Panama City, Fla. in 2005 with only a few employees. Since then, the business has grown to nearly 100 employees who develop and integrate minesweeping systems for the U.S. Navy and allied naval forces, such as the United Kingdom, South Korea and Japan. The new facility provides Exelis with 105,000 square feet for its business operations. (Source: ASD Network)

MARITIME

15 Oct 12. The hull section of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier. The construction of the “largest and most powerful warship” ever built for the Royal Navy took another step yesterday as its 11,000-tonne hull section was prepared for delivery to Rosyth. The aft section of HMS Queen Elizabeth was moved out of a hall at BAE Systems’ Govan Shipyard in Glasgow before it is loaded on to a barge tomorrow for a 600-mile journey to the Fife dockyard next month. A team of 40 people moved the section across specially reinforced tarmac at the yard in less than three hours using 450 remote-controlled transporters. The 80-metre-long and 40-metre-wide section, which houses

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