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NEWS IN BRIEF

04 Jun 04. DCN and Thales have decided to combine their strengths to propose to jointly lead the future French aircraft carrier programme (PA2), and have set up an integrated Prime Contract Office that will be placed under the responsibility of a jointly owned company. The new company will have a four-member board of directors, with equal representation of Thales and DCN, and will be chaired by a DCN nominee. The purpose of the Prime Contract Office is to lead the PA2 programme from conception to completion. It would also be able to assist the studies for potential cooperation with the United Kingdom’s future aircraft carrier programme, should this be desired by both governments. The shareholding of the new joint company will be DCN 65% and Thales 35%. The Times reported today, June 10th that Britain and France have made an agreement to co-operate on the building of aircraft carriers

25 May 04. The Armed Forces’ Minister said that the Armed Forces had “procured communications equipment that is compatible with that used by the emergency services” for the CCRF. “Initial capability” was already available but “full capability” was not expected until April 2006. Comment: When he announced the formation of 14 CCRF from within the Volunteer Reserves, on 31 Oct 02, the same Minister said that new communications equipment “compatible with that being introduced in the emergency services” would be provided. A secure digital radio network, O2 Airwave, is being introduced for the exclusive use of the emergency services. Under a £2,900m Government contract, 50,000 Police Officers are already using Airwave and coverage for all the Police in Great Britain is due to be complete by 31 Dec 05. Similar contracts are under negotiation for the Fire and Ambulance Services. (Source: DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/22, 7 Jun 04)

09 Jun 04. Hampson Industries, which makes aerospace parts and turbochargers for diesel engines, yesterday scrapped its dividend for the second year running because of the continuing downturn in aviation. Several contract wins and continuing restructuring could not offset weak demand from key customers such as Boeing and Airbus. But Kim Ward, chief executive, said he was confident Hampson could deliver a profit again next year. “We have been through a very drastic cost-cutting exercise to make ourselves more competitive,” he said. A first sign of this strategy paying off, Mr Ward claimed, was Hampson’s largest contract win last December against competition from low-cost economies. The company stands to make $380m (£215m) by supplying complete tail structures for a new light jet made by Eclipse Aviation, a US aircraft-maker. Mr Ward said turbo-chargers for diesel engines, Hampson’s second business, is experiencing double-digit growth because of the trend towards diesel-powered passenger cars. Pre-tax losses for 2003-04 were £1.9m against £2m profit on turnover down from £74.1m to £68.6m. Losses per share were 1.14p (earnings of 1.01p). (Source: FT)

07 Jun 04. Honeywell announced a $20m investment to boost production of Spectra® fiber to meet increased demand from the North American armor industry. Honeywell expects to make several similar-sized investments in Honeywell Performance Products over the next few years to boost Spectra® fiber production. The current investment will take place at Spectra® fiber manufacturing facilities in the Richmond, Virginia, area. Spectra® fiber, the strongest man-made fiber in commercial use today, is the high performance fiber of choice for armor manufacturers servicing the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies with SAPI (small arms protective insert) plates used in the Interceptor vest.

Jun 04. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and command and control systems company Saab Systems will use a newly signed Capability Technology Demonstrator (CTD) contract to take battlefield communications to new levels of performance. The tests will demonstrate the benefits

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