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NEWS IN BRIEF

28 Feb 03. Austria’s new coalition government said on Friday that a deal to buy 18 Eurofighter Typhoon jets would go ahead as planned. Austria set aside plans to purchase the jets after heavy floods across central Europe last summer sparked budget concerns. “The order for the fighter jets will go ahead as planned,” Vice-Chancellor Herbert Haupt told a news conference, adding the purchase would not have any fiscal impact until 2005. Austria plans to use the next-generation fighters to replace its aging fleet of combat aircraft.

28 Feb 03. Reed Exhibitions is pleased to announce that it has acquired the controlling interest in the established European ITEC annual event. In continuing to organise this well-respected international exhibition and conference on defence training, education and simulation, Reed will partner with the US-based NTSA – the National Training Systems Association – which will retain its minority shareholding in ITEC.

25 Feb 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) delivered the 15th E-8C Joint STARS aircraft to the 116th Air Control Wing today, five weeks ahead of schedule. This is the first airplane delivered to the Georgia Air
National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing (ACW) since the Joint STARS mission transitioned late last year to the Air National Guard under the
Air Force’s Future Total Force concept. All E-8C aircraft are based at
Robins AFB and assigned to the 116th ACW, a new “blended wing” with both active duty Air Force and Air National Guard personnel.

25 Feb 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) Integrated Systems sector delivered the seventh air vehicle of the Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance system to the U.S. Air Force Feb. 14 following the vehicle’s successful first flight. This air vehicle is the final one to be delivered under the
Global Hawk program’s advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) Phase. Northrop Grumman is scheduled to deliver the first two production vehicles later this year.

27 Feb 03. TTU Europe reported that the Brazilian Navy was negotiating with the MoD for the purchase of the Landing Platform Dock (LPD) HMS FEARLESS.
Comment: HMS FEARLESS was decommissioned on 18 Mar 02, after nearly 37 years of RN service. On 24 Jul 02, ‘Jane’s Defence Weekly’ reported that the Brazilian Navy was in “advanced negotiations” for the acquisition of HMS FEARLESS. A team of five Brazilian Naval Officers visited the ship on 18, 19 and 20 Jun 02.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 03/10, 3 Mar 03)

20 Feb 03. The Armed Forces’ Minister announced that DARA was to have a £77m repair and maintenance facility built at the RAF St Athan base. Turf has been cut (25 Feb 03) for a new hangar, which will be able to accommodate up to 48 Tornado-size aircraft. The development is being conducted in conjunction with the Welsh Development Agency, with a view to creating an ‘Aviation Centre of Excellence’ at St Athan.
Comment: DARA was formed in April 1999 by the amalgamation of the Naval Aircraft Repair Organisation and the RAF Maintenance Group Defence Agency. Employing 4,000 at four sites, DARA is said to be the largest Government-owned aerospace repair and maintenance organisation in Europe. The new facility should be available for use in the second half of 2004.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 03/10, 3 Mar 03)

27 Feb 03. The Defence Procurement Minister announced that contractual agreement had been reached for the first Defence Technology Centre (DTC).
The contract for a Data and Information Fusion Centre (DIFC) has been awarded to a consortium led by General Dynamics UK. Other members of the consortium are BT, QinetiQ, Imperial College and the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff, Cambridge, Cranfield, de Montford, Southampton and Surrey.
Comment: The advent of DTC was announced on 12 Feb 02. Two further DTC contracts are to be awarded, covering Human Factors Integration and Electromagnetic Remote Sensing. Further information about DTC is

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