25 Aug 2005. International Technology Alliance (ITA): Invitations to Tender (ITT). The Research Acquisition Organisation at the Defence Academy has issued ITT for the running of an ITA with the US. Five companies were pre-qualified to bid as consortium leaders: BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies; EDS Defence; IBM Inc; Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Europe and Raytheon Systems. The winning consortium will be required “to have a balanced trans-Atlantic membership with a strong emphasis on collaboration among the members”. Comment: It is intended that the ITA will draw on the MoD’s experience with Defence Technology Centres and the US Army Research Laboratory’s Collaborative Technology Alliances Programme. Four areas of emerging technologies have been identified for initial investigation by the ITA. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/34, 29 Aug 05)
31 Aug 05. The first of three Engineering Builds of JETTS, the British Army’s Joint Effects Tactical Targeting System, was delivered by Prime Contractor Raytheon Systems Limited (RSL) on schedule to the JETTS Integration and Test
facility at Warminster. Users and Subject Matter Experts will test this build in the JETTS Battle Lab over the next few months. Feedback will be incorporated into the further two builds that go to make up the final deliverable for the Assessment Phase.
31 Aug 05. The third Nimrod MRA4 development aircraft, PA03, has successfully completed its first flight. It took off from BAE Systems’ Woodford site, near Manchester at 1645hrs on Monday, 29 August, and landed at the Company’s Warton base, near Preston after a 75 minute sortie. PA03, the first development aircraft to test the whole of the mission system, joins the two other flight trials aircraft in a busy schedule that continues into 2007.
31 Aug 05. Qinetiq is expected to announce the acquisition of a Belgian satellite-maker on as it embarks on a plan to quadruple the size of its European space business. The company wants to create a second-tier rival to Europe’s two biggest space companies, Alcatel Alenia and EADS Astrium. Andrew Rogoyski, managing director of Qinetiq’s space division, said his unit hoped to consolidate many of the smaller European space companies following the purchase of a 90 per cent stake in Belgium’s Verhaert Design and Development. Qinetiq employs about 200 people in its space division while Verhaert has 70 staff but Mr Rogoyski said he wanted a workforce of up to 1,000 following the consolidation. Qinetiq makes about £20m in yearly sales from its space business but Mr Rogoyski said this could rise to £100m if the consolidation plan was successful. The price being paid for Verhaert was not disclosed but sales last year were about €10m (£6.83m) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation were €1.1m. Qinetiq and its new Belgian partner specialise in the creation of micro-satellites, used by national governments and the ESA. They can be used for defence purposes, border control, academic research or for environmental monitoring. (Source: FT.com)
Comment: Space and UK Ltd has never been a good combination and the majority of projects, Skynet 5 being one exception, usually fail for lack of investment and government backing. The Beagle Explorer was sad evidence of this with the Open University clearly embarking on an underfunded project using parachutes previously used in balloon missions. This move may put off investors in QinetiQ where previous space investments by UK companies have created not found black holes.
25 Aug 2005. UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS): Bids Submitted
The Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) reportedly received bids for MFTS from all three competing consortia, by the 23 Aug 05 deadline. The consortia are: Ascent (a Lockheed Martin and VT Group joint venture); Sterling (Thales, with Boeing as a key supplier) and Vector (Kellogg Brown & Root with EG&G/Lear Siegler & Bombardier). Announcement of