28 Jun 05. Step change required to meet RN submarine support challenges. Industry is facing growing challenges in supporting the Royal Naval submarine flotilla that require a step change, as a joint approach between industry and the MoD, in order to address the primary issues of affordability and availability. So claimed defence support specialist DML Group’s platform support group manager Mike Whalley, addressing the Warship 2005 conference in London last week. Citing the significant changes in submarine maintenance programmes (with its substantial impact on industrial resources and facilities) and the increasingly stringent regulatory requirements affecting nuclear submarines as key issues being faced, Whalley summarised the central challenges, and looked at what the future could hold. Technical, upkeep and material supply challenges were all covered, plus areas such as capability upgrade and information management, highlighting the issues while underlining on-going improvements in these areas. But given the more strategic changes needed to meet future issues of affordability, availability, sustainability and the introduction of Astute into service, the Submarine Acquisition Modernisation (SAM) team is advocating immediate change to mitigate the inevitable consequences of the current submarine enterprise structure. Whalley touched on some potential options, from a Flotilla Support Solution (FSS) as a possible step towards a wider industrial alliance, to the more radical ‘SubCo’ solution combining the resources and facilities of BAE Systems, DML (Devonport and SSMG), BNS (Faslane) and Rolls Royce. Comment: Crucial to the final shape of the Uk’s submarine support system remains the final destination of KBR. A KBR spokesman told BATTLESPACEC Editor Julian Nettlefold during DVD that there were three options for the UK arm of KBR following Brown & Root’s disastrous purchase of Kellogg and it s subsequent asbestos liabilities, they are floatation, purchase by a third party or management buy-out, this will then shape the future of DML and it shareholders, KBR being one of them. BAE is keen to consolidate its UK shipbuilding interest into a NEWCO and it may be that Barrow, Faslane and Devonport come under one umbrella with a substantial US presence given the usage of the Trident missiles. But the UK has to make its mind up about Trident replacement as the current Trident missile is about to be withdrawn from service by the US and the UK draws down form US stocks. These stocks will become obsolete soon after 2010.
30 Jun 05. In a test earlier this month, the Swedish Artillery fired four 155mm artillery shells against seven gas heated objects. Seven of eight possible submunitions hit the target. The shell also demonstrated fully accurate flight despite experiencing very strong winds conditions. This result (more than 1, 7 target hit per shell) confirms result from last Acceptance Test firing, conducted in France in December 2004. During this test, seven shells were fired against electrical heated objects. Twelve of 14 possible submunitions hit the target. The Bonus system was developed by Bofors and GIAT and is now in serial production in both Sweden and France under multi-year production contracts.
04 Jul 05. In an important milestone for EPI Europrop International GmbH (EPI), Rolls-Royce has delivered the first High-Pressure Compressor (HPC) for the TP400-D6 engine. The compressor will form the core of the largest modern turboprop engine in the world which will power the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft. The design and development of the HPC has been undertaken at Rolls-Royce facilities in Germany and the UK, with final assembly taking place at the company’s centre for compressor development at Dahlewitz, Berlin. Delivery of the compressor to EPI partner MTU Aero Engines marks the start of final assembly of the engine, which will run later this year.
Jun 05. RFID privacy concerns are global. Privacy conce