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08 Oct 12. BAE Systems received a $31.8m foreign military sale contract to produce eight M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation Systems (HERCULES) for the Iraqi Army. HERCULES is the recovery system of choice for today’s 70-ton combat vehicles, cutting in half the number of recovery vehicles and personnel required to perform recovery missions in support of modern tank forces. Key features of the M88A2 HERCULES include: improved power-assisted braking to enable the recovery vehicle to tow an M1A1 tank, increased horsepower, an improved electrical system, a modernized hydraulic system and a boom that enables the vehicle to lift an M1A1 turret. HERCULES has the lowest acquisition, operational and maintenance cost of any 70-ton capable recovery system. The M88A2 also provides unparalleled capability for recovering today’s heavy combat vehicles including the M1A1, M1A2, Leopard MBT, bridging systems and other medium to heavy weight vehicles. The upgrade work will be performed by the existing workforce at BAE Systems operations in York, Pennsylvania and Aiken, South Carolina. The York facility will fabricate the new hulls for the M88A2 configuration and the Aiken facility will manufacture some of the parts for vehicles. Work is expected to begin in late 2013 and is anticipated to be complete in mid-2014. This award brings the total value of U.S. Government contracts that BAE Systems has received for the HERCULES program to $1.4bn. To date, more than 500 HERCULES vehicles have been fielded against an overall U.S. Army requirement of 748 vehicles. A total of 75 vehicles have been fielded to the U.S. Marine Corps. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

09 Oct 12. Oldbury UK, Skan Group’s specialist defence equipment engineering, integration and mobility solutions operation, has been awarded accreditation under the UK Ministry of Defence FATS 4 (Framework Agreement for Technical Support) programme. Based on an audit of its technical expertise and capabilities, supply fulfilment experience and programme track record, the company is now officially listed within three Broad Capability Areas (BCA) covering ‘electrical and mechanical’, ’transport’ and ‘specialist installations, facilities and construction’. As part of a requirement to provide examples of its international project track record during the process, the company included UOR environmental control equipment for deployment in theatre, surveillance platforms, ground docking units, ground stations for air navigation, load handling equipment, jet wash systems, mobile barriers and specialist transporters.

09 Oct 12. Industrial team given the green light for UK MoD’s LOSA RED programme. The UK MOD has awarded the contract for their new programme providing innovative integration and experimentation in the land environment. In the Land Open Systems Architecture (LOSA) Research, Experimentation and Development (RED) programme, SELEX Galileo is providing prime leadership and management for a cross-industry delivery team, working in unison with the customer. LOSA is an open architecture for systems integration and interoperability in the land environment. It brings together the generic architectures under development for soldier, vehicle and base systems. This first phase of LOSA RED focuses on using current assets and resources to show how LOSA can save or conserve resources, whether time, money or manpower, to deliver operational benefit. The results and lessons will then be fed forward into subsequent phases. LOSA RED will be based around five ‘packages’ comprising Power & Data Interoperability, and Soldier/Vehicle/Base Integration. The set of experiments will be based upon relevant and realistic scenarios and will take place over the first three weeks of October.
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