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NEWS IN BRIEF

21 Jul 04. In a Statement to Parliament (See: DELIVERING SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD: FUTURE UK CAPABILITIES BATTLESPACE FARNBOROUGH NEWS DAY 3, July 21st 2004)and with the publication of a Command Paper, the Defence Secretary announced “radical modernisation plans” for the Armed Forces. The main changes are listed at page 3. Comment: A glance at page 3 will indicate that the MoD’s short-term budgetary problems have been solved ‘at a stroke’. While the immediate reductions are obvious, replacement equipments have yet to be ordered and are many years from their in-service dates (CVF for the RN, FRES for the Army, FOAS for the RAF and so forth). Manning difficulties in the RN/RM and in the Army have been resolved by the simple expedient of reducing the trained requirements to attainable numbers. The RAF has four years to reduce by some 8,000; much of which can be achieved by natural wastage. As RAF support functions continue to be ‘outsourced’ there will be civilian employment opportunities for those already technically qualified by the Service.

When reading page 3, those who have bought ‘UK Armed Forces 2004’ will find the Annexes of value for reference (particularly Annex K for the RN and Annex S for the Infantry). The outpourings of the national media were of little value in understanding the MoD’s plans: they were highly speculative before 21 Jul 04 and wildly inaccurate after that date. Defence correspondents were not assisted by the MoD’s presentational methods nor by the chaos of the Press conference which followed the Defence Secretary’s Statement. However, many so-called Defence correspondents have little knowledge of their subject. The booby prize goes to ‘The Business’ (18 Jul 04), whose correspondent described the MARS project to replace RFA vessels as a “maritime aircraft programme”. ‘Delivering Security in a Changing World – Future Capabilities’ is available from TSO and from The Parliamentary Bookshop (Tel: 020-7219 3890), as Command 6269, for £7:00.
The summary at page 3 contains a great deal of information: any subscriber requiring clarification or further explanation is most welcome to contact DR&A.
(Source: DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/29, 26 Jul 04).

27 Jul 04. Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE:COL – News), on Tuesday reported a slightly lower fiscal third-quarter profit, though earnings rose when taking a year-ago expense into account. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company posted earnings of $76m, or 42 cents per share, (2003: $77m, or 43 cents), which included $12m related to the favorable tax ruling gain. Excluding a 7-cent-per-share gain related to a tax ruling, quarterly results were higher. Rockwell posted earnings of 42 cents per share, compared with 36 cents in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by Reuters Research had forecast earnings per share of 39 cents. Third-quarter sales were $744m, up 20 percent from last year. Rockwell raised its outlook for fiscal 2004 revenues to $2.9bn, from its earlier forecast of $2.8bn to $2.85bn. Due to the higher level of expected sales, the company upped its fiscal year 2004 earnings-per-share outlook by 5 cents to the range of $1.60 to $1.65. Analysts surveyed by Reuters Research had forecast 2004 earnings of $1.61, on revenues of $2.86bn, on average. (Reuters) Comment: Buy on a weakness would be the name of the game for Rockwell. The company’s share price has soared since its JTRS Cluster 1 win and with the company being part of the winning GD Cluster 5 team and also the MIDS JTRS Multi-function Link 16 solution with BAE its Datalink Solutions partner and Viasat are also engaged in a n on-competitive, sole source contract to supply the for the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain at 50 units per moth, the company is well placed to win substantial rewards in the NCW field.

14 Jul 04. MEADS International, a trans-Atlantic venture led by Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT – News), on Wednesday said it is ready to start designing and developing a missile syst

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