NEWS IN BRIEF
Web page sponsored by Comtech Systems Inc.
For over 30 years, Comtech Systems has been the world leading supplier of troposcatter communications products and integrated long range high data rate communications systems for global defense and industrial markets. Comtech’s tropo modems, solid state amplifiers, four port angle diversity systems, and integrated quick link tropo systems continue to set the industry standard.
Comtech Systems integrated communications systems include troposcatter, satellite, line-of-sight microwave, VHF and UHF, and HF radios supporting data, voice and video networks for applications such as C3I systems, tactical communications, air defense, offshore oil and gas platforms and telephone networks.
18 Jun 09. Gordon Brown was forced on Thursday into an embarrassing reversal of his decision to hold the inquiry into the Iraq war in secret, conceding that some, if not all, of the hearings could now be held in open session. As senior figures in the Labour party, the military and the Whitehall establishment lined up to criticise the prime minister’s decision to hold the inquiry in secret, Downing Street conceded that it would now be up to the inquiry chairman to decide on its format. Unveiling the inquiry this week, Mr Brown told MPs that proceedings should be held in secret so that witnesses could be “as full and candid as possible”. However, Mr Brown’s spokesman said the question of whether the inquiry was secret or not “has never been an issue of great theology for us”. He said the issue of structure would now be up to Sir John Chilcot, a former mandarin who will chair the hearings. (Source: FT.com)
18 Jun 09. Manufacturers experienced another challenging month as overseas demand for UK-made goods weakened again, according to the CBI’s latest monthly survey. Of the 566 manufacturers taking part in the June Industrial Trends survey, 6% said export order books were above normal, while 58% described them as below normal. The resulting balance of -52% is the lowest since October 1998 (-55%), reversing the slight improvement that had been seen since March. However, there has been a modest improvement in total order book levels, suggesting that domestic conditions are no longer quite as weak. The pace of decline in output has also slowed. While 10% of firms reported total order books above normal, 61% said they were below normal, giving a balance of -51%. That is a slight improvement on the previous four months when the balance hovered between -56% and -58%. Manufacturers expect output to drop at a much slower pace over the coming quarter compared with earlier in the year. 17% of firms expect the volume of output to increase over the next quarter, while 34% expect it to fall. That gave a balance of -17%, which was unchanged on May’s figure, but a marked improvement on April’s balance of -32%. Firms surveyed are still planning to lower their domestic prices over the next three months (a balance of -6%), but at a much slower rate than expected only a month or two ago (balances of -13% in May and -20% in April).
15 Jun 09. FRES Update. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that there will be a Ministerial update on the FRES Programme given at the RUSI Conference prior to DVD next Wednesday.
05 Jun 09. MH-60R looks to lure Europeans away from NFH. Germany and Norway have both been briefed on the US Navy’s (USN’s) new MH-60R maritime helicopter as they examine options in light of the continuing delays affecting the shipborne NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) variant of the NH Industries NH90 helicopter. Achieving initial operational capability with the USN in December 2005, the MH-60R combines Sikorsky’s H-60 air vehicle with an integrated mission system developed by Lockheed Mar