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01 Oct 12. The British Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) will join forces with the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car Project in a bid to smash the current land speed record, the MoD announced. Bloodhound is the ground-breaking UK project which aims to design and build a car capable of 1,000 mph, eclipsing the current British land speed record of 763 mph set by the Thrust SuperSonic Car in 1997. The announcement follows the signing of a concordat between the MoD and the Bloodhound Project by Defence Minister Philip Dunne and Bloodhound Director Richard Noble, which outlines their commitment to work together to achieve common goals. This includes promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the UK and raising the profile of science and technology in Defence. Bloodhound incorporates many advanced technologies with direct relevance to the Armed Forces, ranging from materials and structures through to control systems and data management. The revolutionary technology being built into Bloodhound today paves the way for the equipment that will be protecting our Armed Forces tomorrow. A team of five REME Engineers will assist in the construction and maintenance of the car over the next two years and will be vital to the success of the project both in the UK and during the record attempts in South Africa in 2013 and 2014. The REME Engineers will work alongside Royal Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Andy Green, who will drive the new car, powered by a Typhoon jet engine and a hybrid rocket, during the record attempts. He holds the current land speed record as the driver of Thrust SuperSonic Car.
03 Oct 12. Bloodhound successfully tests rocket. A landmark moment in British engineering was watched by 120,000 people globally on Wednesday when the rocket system designed to propel the world’s first 1,000mph car was tested for the first time and exceeded expectations. Two great columns of black smoke rose from the hardened air shelter in Newquay Cornwall airport containing the Bloodhound rocket engine and produced enough noise to break some of the CCTV cameras recording the test, which was streamed live online. (Source: FT.com)
03 Oct 12. The Royal Navy’s fleet of amphibious all-terrain vehicles – Vikings – are to be regenerated under a new £37m contract with BAE Systems, the MoD announced. Used extensively by the Royal Marines, the 99 Viking vehicles, which can be launched straight from the back of a ship and propelled through water before landing for a beach assault, are in line for a major overhaul by BAE Systems. They were deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 for their versatility across tough terrains before they were later replaced by Warthog. Viking will now be fitted with new mine blast protection bodywork and brought back to their original amphibious standard, having been adapted for the rigours of land operations.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne said, “The £37 million mid-life upgrade to the Viking fleet of amphibious vehicles will keep these highly capable vehicles in service with the Royal Marines into the 2030s.
“With a balanced defence budget, for the first time in a generation, we are able to deliver with confidence the equipment our Armed Forces require.”
Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Ed Davis said, “We are delighted that the contract for the regeneration of our Viking amphibious vehicles has been announced. “Viking is an essential asset for the Royal Marines in conducting short notice crisis response operations around the world and any modifications which enhances operational effectiveness and makes life that bit safer for our personnel is always welcomed.”
Of the 99 Viking vehicles, 19 are set to be fitted with top-mounted guns and nine more will allow the fir