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10 Aug 12. Eight European armored vehicle builders have been invited by the Danish Ministry of Defence to submit tenders for a family of armored personnel carriers to replace its fleet of aging M113s. In a tracks versus wheels competition, the Danes have named four potential suppliers from either side of the mobility argument. Only General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) has a contender in both wheels and tracks sectors. FFG Flensburger, BAE Systems Hagglunds, Rheinmentall Landsysteme and the Santa Barbara arm of GDELS are representing the tracks sector. Wheeled vehicle suppliers ARTEC, the Mowag arm of GDELS, Nexter and Patria have also been asked to submit bids. The companies emerged from a pre-qualification effort mounted by the Danes earlier this year. Denmark has a requirement for between 206 and 450 vehicles, although around 360 machines is expected to be the most likely procurement number, depending on how many of the M113s the military opts to replace. The winning vehicle could be under contract before the end of 2014, industry executives said. The Danish military is looking for six different configurations of the winning design: infantry, command and control, ambulance, mortar, engineering, and mechanical. The Danes are already operators of BAE’s CV-90, and the Swedish arm of the company is likely to focus on its new Armadillo version of the tracked machine in its upcoming bid. (Source: Defense News)

06 Aug 12. The Curiosity has landed. With pride, relief and exhilaration, NASA engineers and officials erupted in cheers and hugs early Monday morning with confirmation that the Curiosity, a car-sized, plutonium-powered robotic rover, had landed safely on the surface of Mars. . . . The success validates a $2.5bn bet that NASA took in embarking on this ambitious mission. While the spacecraft has performed flawlessly since its launching last November, that is only after NASA overcame technical problems, delayed launching by more than two years and poured in hundreds of millions of dollars as the price tag rose from $1.6bn. (Source: glstrade.com/New York Times.com)

07 Aug 12. GD UK delivers 1st vehicle Health and Usage Monitoring System to British Army in record time. Peter Luff, the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (MinDEST), has personally taken delivery of the first fully qualified vehicle Systems Information Exploitation/Health and Usage Monitoring System (SIE/HUMS) ‘box’ a mere four months after the contract was signed. Visiting General Dynamics UK’s test and evaluation facility at RAF Pershore near Throckmorton, the Minister was briefed on how the SIE/HUMS system will monitor on-board systems on the British Army’s operational training fleet of vehicles and automatically download vehicle data, simplifying the job of the Army’s fleet managers. The SIE/HUMS system will automatically monitor each vehicle returning to base from operations and identify whether it needs any repair or service. The data is uploaded wirelessly to the fleet manager’s system, eliminating the need to check over each vehicle individually. The data can then be used to order the right spare parts for the right vehicles at the right time. The system will lessen the load on the logistics system and lower maintenance costs whilst improving turnaround time across the fleet, ensuring they can be back in operations as quickly as possible. The SIE/HUMS boxes have been manufactured and tested to stringent MoD standards by General Dynamics UK, working in partnership with a South Wales small and medium enterprise (SME), Analogue and Micro Ltd., to ensure the integration into the 578 vehicles in the operational training fleet can begin as quickly as possible. The SIE/HUMS system will

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