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22 Dec 09. DE&S told BATTLESPACE that the CTA Qualification programme will be conducted between 2011-12. This would put a question mark over the maturity of the system to meet the FRES Scout and WCSP requirements for 2015 given that once the canon is qualified then the turret will have to be qualified with the canon and ammunition. We repeat that the German Puma turret took 8 years to qualify.
22 Jan 10. Sources told BATTLESPACE at the SHOT Show that the MoD has a Requirement for a 30/25mm bunker busting canon. The system believed to be the Bushmaster made by ATK with the Nobles mount feed system will have the ISTEC gearing system, an Aim Point MPS3 sight (also suited for the .50 calibre machine gun) and a cupola manufactured by AML UK. The system will be fitted onto a Universal Engineering RANGER and other vehicles. The Requirement is for up to 50 systems and 9 RANGERS. Trials are due to commence this year. BATTLESPACE also understands that ATK is soon to announce further news on the qualification of its 30/40 round which puts it way ahead of the CTA Qualification programme, that has yet to start. This news puts Bushmaster into British Army Service and more orders are likely, making the debut of CTA less and less likely.
19 Mar 10. Czech Republic looks to upgrade air defence systems. The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a programme to modernise its air defence capability, aiming to replace the Army of the Czech Republic’s (ACR’s) ageing Russian-designed 2K12 Kub (SA-6) surface-to-air missile systems by 2013. The MoD has formed an integrated project team (IPT) to assess replacement alternatives. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
29 Mar 10. MBDA has agreed a long term partnering arrangement with the UK MOD for the development and supply of new Complex Weapons (CW) to the UK Armed Forces to counter current and future threats. Under the interim Portfolio Management Agreement (PMA-I), MBDA will lead the transformation of the UK’s CW capability through the management of a portfolio of projects potentially worth up to £4bn over the next 10 years. As part of this arrangement, MBDA has signed a contract, worth £330m, for the first package of projects focussed on deployment of new military capabilities into Afghanistan. Over the next 10 years, as further military capabilities are added, this portfolio approach will deliver GBP1.2bn of efficiencies for the UK MOD. The initial contract will see MBDA deliver unique weapons capabilities that are directly relevant to today’s war fighting environment; Fire Shadow Loitering Munition (LM) for the British Army and Selective Precision Effects At Range (SPEAR) Capability 2, Block 1, for Royal Air Force fast jets, with both projects now moving into their respective Demonstration and Manufacturing Phases. The contract also requires MBDA to carry out further Assessment Phase work on SPEAR Capability 3 to equip the Joint Strike Fighter and Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) to equip the Royal Navy’s Future Surface Combatant. This is in addition to the ongoing Assessment Phase on Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon/Anti-Navire Leger (FASGW/ANL), in c