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Feb 06. Defence Committee: Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) Inquiry. The Defence Committee is to continue its DIS Inquiry through oral evidence sessions on 7 and 28 Feb 06. On 7 Feb 06 the Committee will hear evidence from industrialists at 10.30hrs and from academics at 11.45hrs. On 28 Feb 06 the Committee will hear evidence from industrialists at 10.30hrs and from MoD officials (including the Defence Procurement Minister) at 11.30hrs. Both evidence sessions are provisionally booked to take place in the Wilson Room in Portcullis House, but the venue should be confirmed. Comment: Defence Committee information is available, by telephone, from Sheryl Dinsdale (020-7219 5745). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0606, 06 Feb 06)

06 Feb 06. A £40m contract to deliver the Anti-Structures Munition, a new shoulder-launched weapon which will allow the British infantry to more precisely and safely defeat hardened structures such as buildings or bunkers, without recourse to artillery or air support, has been awarded to Dynamit Nobel Defence, Minister for Defence Procurement Lord Drayson announced. It does not replace a weapon system currently in service, but adds a potent new capability to the Infantry’s arsenal, which has already been enhanced through programmes to provide night sights, under slung grenade launchers and the state of the art SA80A2 assault rifle.

09 Feb 06. Expect news from the MoD in March that the FRES decision has been delayed until 2020. In its place will be a significant upgrade programmes we reported last week. Procurement supreme Lord Drayson attempted to salvage the Project given his commitments but the Army was given little choices, FRES later and Upgrades now. (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.8 ISSUE, 02 February 2006, IS FRES SLIPPING AGAIN?)

17 Jan 06. Patria claims information was leaked in Czech vehicle contest. Patria has protested to the Czech Ministry of Defence, claiming that information was leaked in relation to a CZK25.3 billion international tender to supply the Czech Republic with 234 wheeled armoured vehicles. * The protest comes after Patria called for an investigation in December, saying it had “firm evidence of misconduct” in Portugal’s EUR344.3m procurement of wheeled armoured vehicles. (Source: Jane’s Defence Industry)

07 Feb 06. Europe’s most powerful production truck. Volvo says its new FH16, with its 660hp 16-litre D16E engine is Europe’s most powerful production truck and will make its world debut on the firm’s stand, 5118 at this year’s CV Show at the NEC in April. The new truck has a newly-developed engine brake giving 15% braking power and Volvo’s I-Shift automated gearshift system. Volvo says its new truck is designed to handle weights of 60-tonnes and more. (Source: Transport News Brief)

06 Feb 06. Cranfield University addresses the world-wide shortage of avionics engineers. Once again Cranfield University is responding to the needs of the ‘real’ world by launching a unique, industry-initiated option of its renowned Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc programme. This course, Avionic Systems Design, has been specifically designed to give students a thorough understanding of avionic systems design, analysis, development, and test & airframe integration. It also hopes to begin to address the global market shortage of avionics engineers.
Designed to attract practising electronics, electrical and aerospace engineers and students, the programme takes advantage of Cranfield’s long-established practice of interdisciplinary teaching and demanding application, and consists of a taught component, a group design project, and an individual research project.

02 Feb 06. French and part-French defence technology companies are currently hoping for contracts from India, where the government is taking steps to modernise its armed forces. Around 20 French and part-French companies in the sector, including defence electronics group Thales, naval shipbuilder DCN and European aeros

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