NEWS IN BRIEF
15 Jul 08. Major global defence industry ethics summit held at Farnborough Air Show. The SBAC announced a major drive to promote the ethical business practices of the defence industry at the Farnborough. This comes as representatives of the industry from Europe and the US met at the Farnborough Air Show to discuss their ethical codes and to begin work on harmonising them into a global industry standard for ethical business practices in the defence industry. The debate on defence industry ethics and business practices in the UK has been transformed in recent years with the sector now providing examples for other industries in Britain to follow. In particular the roll-out across Europe of the AeroSpace and Defence Industries of Europe (ASD) Common Industry Standards on ethical behaviour and other developments, such as the Woolf committee report for BAE Systems, demonstrate the proactive nature of the defence industry in ensuring that their business practices are of the highest standard. In the UK member companies of the SBAC and members of the Defence Manufacturers’ Association are carrying out the necessary internal processes that will lead to their signing up to the standards. Some have already done so. Companies’ business practices often equal or surpass those set out in the ASD standards and more firms are expected to sign up in the near future once they have completed their formal internal processes.
18 Jul 08. Senior Pentagon officials have asked Congress to green-light shifting nearly $1.3bn in the 2008 budget to buy more intelligence-gathering systems and send them to deployed troops. The money would come mostly from Army procurement coffers, breaking with the past practice of raiding Air Force and Navy accounts
to fund some war costs. The transfer answers a call made over the past few months by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The financial details are spelled out in a 17-page July 11 reprogramming request signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. “These funds are being made available for ISR based on the view of the secretary of defense that the ISR effort is a higher priority, and need to be address[ed] at this time,” the document said. The Pentagon has shifted previously appropriated funds from annual service budgets to cover emerging war costs numerous times during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. But this request marks the first time senior Defense Department leaders have primarily drawn from Army procurement accounts to pay large war-related bills. The largest portion of the money, $930m, would be taken from tactical wheeled vehicle and electronics programs accounts, according to a copy of the request obtained by Defense News. One analyst said the proposed move is not entirely bad news for the ground service, because almost $700m of that amount would be shifted within its own procurement accounts. (Source: Defense News)
10 Jul 08. Building on an established Avionics business developed whilst under Thales ownership, Racal Acoustics is now directly managing the Sales and Marketing arrangements for its avionics products. Racal has a reputation and an established track record for providing high performance, quality avionics communications equipment. This new arrangement will enable Racal to tailor its sales and support service to provide more flexible, customer focussed solutions to its extensive customer list both military and civil, fixed and rotary wing.
Roger King, Racal Acoustics’ Head of Avionics, said, “Our customers now have the option of contacting us directly for sales and support, this will enable us to focus more clearly on the customer requirement and will allow us to offer a more immediate and more efficient response.” Feedback from a leading customer has indicated that “It is good to have Racal offering a support alternative, providing a level of service from an established company, in which we have confidence. Having used the products for many years, Racal has d