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30 Jan 14. US and European bidders still interested in winning Turkey’s air defense contract now have until April 30 to submit their proposals, following a three-month extension instituted by Turkey. The bidders originally had until the end of this month to submit bids for Turkey’s first air and missile defense system, for which it initially selected a
Chinese manufacturer. The bidders comprise a partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, makers of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system, and the European group Eurosam, maker of the Aster 30 missile. In September, Turkey said it selected China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. (CPMIEC) to build the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system. CPMIEC’s bid was priced at $3.44bn, according to Muray
Bayar, Turkey’s top procurement official. Turkey has been in contract negotiations with CPMIEC but, under increasing pressure from its NATO allies, it also has urged rival US and European bidders to improve their offers. “The extension is an indication that we encourage improved rival offers,” said one senior procurement official. “We are in talks with the Chinese manufacturer, but that does not mean we have finalized a deal.”
Meanwhile, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who accompanied French President François Hollande during his state visit to Turkey on Jan. 27, met with Bayar to discuss the competition. Turkey said in September that Eurosam’s offer ranked second while the US solution came third. The fourth bidder, the Russian maker of the S-300/400, was eliminated from the contest. (Source: Defense News)

30 Jan 14. Britain and France to sign space accord. Britain and France will sign their first entente spatiale at Friday’s Anglo-French summit. The UK Space Agency and its larger French counterpart, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), will collaborate on a broad range of activities including earth observation, telecommunications satellites and space technology. The first two projects, in which UKSA will invest £15m, involve key instruments for the next generation of European weather satellites and for a mission to map water resources worldwide. Although France and Britain work together through the European Space Agency, there has been little bilateral collaboration – partly because UKSA had insufficient funds. A budget increase from the coalition government, from about £250m to £350m a year, has enabled the union. David Willetts, science minister, is a space enthusiast who has convinced the chancellor and prime minister that Britain should close the funding gap with other leading industrialised countries. CNES received €2.1bn from the French government in 2013. Both initial projects in the Anglo-French collaboration involve instruments on satellites. The UK will contribute to the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer that France is building for Eumetsat, the European weather satellite organisation. This provides a profile of temperature and humidity in the atmosphere. The first generation Iasi instruments on European weather satellites are credited with contributing more than any other advance in technology to recent improvements in the quality of forecasts. The second project will see the UK join CNES in an existing collaboration with Nasa, the US space agency, to build a satellite called Surface Water and Ocean Topography. Swot will be launched in 2020 to map accurately for the first time all the water in the world – with a special emphasis on precious supplies of fresh water in rivers and lakes. (Source: FT.com)

30 Jan 14. Red Arrows pilot killed by ‘useless’ seat mechanism. A British coroner on Wednesday described the safety mechanism of an ejection seat that threw a pilot from the Red Arrows aerobatics display team to his d

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