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Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations and exhibitions.
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28 Oct 10. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the U.K. Warrior WCSP Programme has been shelved due to lack of cash. This comes after the start of deliveries of the latest UOR for 50 upgraded Warriors under a UOR which will meet short and medium term Requirements. This will come as a blow to Lockheed Martin which had expected orders for the turret and CTAI for the gun. The bulk of the CTA orders were in the WCSP Programme and not Scout which will put the price of the weapon and ammunition way over the original budget given the small run of the Scout vehicle.
17 Oct 10. Tactical Support Vehicles (TSV): Deployment. The Defence Secretary announced (17 Oct 10) that the largest TSV, Wolfhound, is now operational in Afghanistan. Wolfhound completes the TSV ‘family’, which also includes Husky and Coyote. Wolfhound is fitted with a 7.62 general purpose machine gun and an array of electronic equipment.
Comment: Some 125 Wolfhound have been ordered from Integrated Survival Technologies (IST) for £160m, with delivery to Afghanistan due to be completed by Autumn 2011. 350 Husky have been ordered from Navistar Defence for almost £220m. 70 Coyote, the lightest TSV, have been ordered from Supacat for £65m.
22 Oct 10. The U.S. Army plans to release new rules soon for a more affordable ground combat vehicle after abruptly canceling the multibillion dollar competition in late August, a top Army general said on Friday.
“We’re trying to get it out as fast as we can,” said Lieutenant General Michael Vane, who heads the Army Capabilities Integration Center.
The Army announced on Aug. 25 that it would issue a new request for proposals (RFP) within 60 days, but it may miss that target date. Vane declined to forecast exactly when the new competition terms would be released, but he did not believe the bidders wasted their time with earlier proposals. A draft capability development document released earlier this month had not changed significantly, Vane said in a telephone interview.
“Where we are eventually headed is in many ways very similar,” he said.
The prime contractors bidding for the program are Science Applications
International Corp [SAICI.UL], Britain’s BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L) and General Dynamics Corp (GD.N). Their subcontractors include many of the largest U.S. defense contractors, such as Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Boeing Co (BA.N) and Raytheon Co (RTN.N).
Linda Hudson, chief executive of the U.S. unit of BAE Systems, said last week she was frustrated with the Army’s handling of the competition, noting that dozens of BAE employees had spent months preparing a proposal at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. Vane said the work done by BAE and other companies would still be relevant for the new competition.
He declined to give any specific details on the new request, but said the Army was narrowing the options it was looking for, while still trying to give industry leeway to offers solutions within that range. He said the work being done on the program would make the new infantry vehicle more affordable, allow it to move into testing faster and should provide much better insight into costs. The new approach coul