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NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

30 Jun 06. A new era for defence procurement in the European Union begins on 1 July with the introduction of a regime designed to increase transparency and competition in the European Defence Equipment Market, offer armed forces and taxpayers better value for money, broaden business opportunities for defence companies and strengthen the global competitiveness of the European industry. “This is a remarkable achievement,” said Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Head of the European Defence Agency. “For the first time ever, European countries have committed to procure defence equipment from each other if the offer is the best available, instead of automatically contracting with a national supplier.” The new market framework is a voluntary, inter-governmental regime managed by the European Defence Agency that will operate on the basis of the Code of Conduct on Defence Procurement, which was approved by Defence Ministers last November. It covers defence equipment purchases which governments choose to exempt from EU public procurement rules under Article 296 of the EC Treaty and which therefore usually do not involve any cross-border competition. Helping to underpin this regime is the Code of Best Practice in the Supply Chain, approved by Ministers in May, which is intended to extend the benefits of greater competition to smaller companies who may not be able to bid for contracts directly but could act as sub-contractors. This set of principles has been developed in close consultation with industry.

29 Jun 06. Croatia To Spend €1.2bn To Modernize, Create Professional Army. Croatia is to spend some €1.2bn ($1.5bn) over the next ten years to modernize its armed forces with the aim of having fully professional army in line with NATO standards, according to a strategy document published June 29. ”Since there is a small possibility of a classical military threat coupled with the need of participating in a wide specter of military tasks, the ranks of armed forces will be filled on voluntary basis,” the document said. The defense ministry said that by the end of the decade the army should be completely professional and reduced to 18,000 soldiers plus 2,000 civilian staff. By the same time the country would spend two percent of its gross domestic product on the military, up from 1.7 percent in this year, as requested by NATO. The project envisages acquisition of modern weapons, including 73 armored vehicles and 12 fighter planes, and modernization of existing military equipment, it added. The former Yugoslav republic is hoping to join the North Atlantic military alliance by 2008. Croatia is a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Programme and in late 2002 it began reorganizing its armed forces, including trimming its army from 40,000 to 25,000 to bring it up to NATO standards. (Source: Defense News)

28 Jun 06. Rockwell Collins has delivered 20,000 U.K.-produced Miniature Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver Engine (MPE-S) circuit boards to prime systems integrator General Dynamics UK Limited as part of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Bowman program. Rockwell Collins (U.K.) Ltd. was selected in 2001 by General Dynamics UK Limited to provide embedded and vehicle-mounted military Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment for the Bowman program. The contract calls for Rockwell Collins to provide quantities in excess of 35,000 units at a value of more than $90m. The MPE-S incorporates the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) for advanced security. SAASM enhances navigation security by incorporating a next-generation Precise Positioning Service (PPS) security module. Rockwell Collins was the first in the industry to receive security approval for production deliveries of the Key Data Processor (KDP) II-based SAASM.

29 Jun 06. EDA Conduct Code Will Affect Half Of France’s Arms Purchases. Half of France’s €15bn annual defense equipment market will be thr

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