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11 Jul 07. QinetiQ and The Boeing Company today opened The Portal, a new decision-support capability at QinetiQ’s Cody Technology Park site in Farnborough, UK. The state-of-the-art center will enable customers to explore and understand implications of proposed network-enabled systems in a real time, dynamic environment using the latest in modeling, simulation, analysis and experimentation. Concept warfighting customers can test logistical requirements across a wide range of existing and future operational settings and against a variety of threats. Experiment designers can create an optimal environment hosting multiple concurrent activities to compare the effectiveness and survivability of competing systems, test future scenarios and assess potential solutions before they are delivered to the front line. Coalition warfighting interoperability issues also can be addressed by operators participating with live assets and in virtual simulations.

Jun 07. The green light for the ambitious project at BAE Systems’ airframe engineering and manufacturing site at Samlesbury came earlier this year when local borough councils gave outline planning permission for a l00,000 square metre development which will play a major part in planned changes for the air sector and will be home to ultra-modern industrial and office space for about 6,000 BAE Systems employees. The development represents outstanding news for BAE Systems and the local aerospace industry, helping produce the infrastructure, skilled employees and capability that is needed to deliver key international military air programmes to the front line. The expansion programme, fully in line with the UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) could provide jobs for up to 2,500 skilled personnel in addition to the 3,800 who are already employed there. One of the major thrusts of the DIS is the imperative for the defence sector to transform and evolve to the right size and shape to better match future defence requirements. Within the first phase of the development, Samlesbury will have a new state-of-the-art machining centre, producing high-value, complex and lightweight structures for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft when it moves into its production phase. BAE Systems, in partnership with US aerospace giants Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, has been tasked by the UK and US governments to produce the stealthy, multi-service F-35 Lightning II. BAE Systems are responsible for the design, manufacture and assembly of the aft fuselage and vertical and horizontal tails for the programme. The manufacturing and assembly of these assemblies takes place at Samlesbury.

29 Jun 07. Eurofighter Typhoon: Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Duties. 3 (Fighter) Squadron was declared operational on 29 Jun 07 and has assumed responsibility for the Southern element of QRA air defence. Typhoon aircraft are eventually to replace Tornado F3 in all QRA duties.
Comment: The main element of QRA is “to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK air space”. Two aircraft are at ‘readiness’ for QRA at any one time.
As at early June 2007, 42 Typhoon had been delivered to RAF Coningsby (from the 55 Tranche 1 and
89 Tranche 2 ordered so far).There are four Typhoon Squadrons at Coningsby: 3 (as above); 11 (building up to full strength as the lead ground attack unit); 17(R) – the Operational Evaluation Unit and 29(R) – the Operational Conversion Unit. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0727, 09 Jul 07)

Jul 07. HMS ARK ROYAL: Fleet Flagship. Navy News (July 2007) reports that the duties of Fleet Flagship have passed from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS to
HMS ARK ROYAL. The ceremony took place in the Polish port of Gdynia at the end of EX NOBLE MARINER.
Comment: HMS ARK ROYAL was rededicated in Portsmouth on 22 Mar 07, following a two-year upgrade and six months of sea trials. A local soccer team in Gdynia beat a team from ARK ROYAL by 7 goals to 3, much to the de

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