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17 Sep 03. A new state-of-the-art production facility, that will be used to produce major assemblies for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been officially opened at BAE SYSTEMS Samlesbury. The facility, where aft fuselages and tails will be assembled for the JSF, was officially opened by Major General Hudson, Program Executive Officer and Program Director, JSF, the man responsible for running the program on behalf the US Department of Defense.

11 Sep 03. In July 2003, the first 45 students of the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment arrived at the BOWMAN Training Centre (BTC) at Pirbright, UK, for the first formal BOWMAN Conversion Training (CT) courses. This facility is managed by Westland Helicopters Ltd, an AgustaWestland company, who have achieved a major milestone in the conversion process of the British Armed Forces to digital communications. The new BTC at Pirbright is a purpose built facility, with integrated electronic classrooms and offices that can train up to 140 students at any one time in seven classrooms. Integral to the BOWMAN Training Solution is the BOWMAN Training Management System (BTMS), which will support the delivery of BOWMAN conversion training at a number of sites throughout the world.

15 Sep 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC – News) Integrated Systems sector, the Global Hawk prime contractor, has begun developing and producing the new RQ-4B model following a recent $30.1 million award by the Air Force for advanced procurement activities and long lead hardware. The new RQ-4B configuration provides a 50-percent increase in Global Hawk’s payload-carrying capacity while retaining its ability to meet the Air Force’s operational requirements for altitude, endurance and range. The added capacity also expands Global Hawk’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to now include signal intelligence (SIGINT) payloads. Northrop Grumman will produce three RQ-4B air vehicles at its Palmdale, Calif., manufacturing facility as part of the third lot of Global Hawk’s low-rate initial production. The air vehicles will be delivered between 2004 and 2005.

15 Sep 03. BAE SYSTEMS successfully demonstrated its Advanced Airborne Reconnaissance System,(AARS) during August flight trials at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. AARS, the latest addition to the BAE SYSTEMS reconnaissance product line, was flown on a U.S. Air Force F-16 Block 50 fighter aircraft at altitudes up to 50,000 feet. AARS was developed by BAE SYSTEMS Communication, Navigation, Identification and Reconnaissance (CNIR) business unit in Greenlawn, New York. It is a complete near-real-time reconnaissance system that includes airborne image acquisition and solid-state storage, data linking, ground exploitation, moving target indication, and intelligence dissemination capabilities.

08 Sep 03. United Defense Industries, Inc. (NYSE: UDI – News), under the Integrated Army Active Protection Science and Technology Objective (STO) at TACOM, announced the successful test of a combat vehicle defeating live threats while travelling at 20 mph. The test vehicle was equipped with an active protection system developed by the company under the multiyear survivability program at the U.S. Army’s Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).

10 Sep 03. Rolls-Royce Plc (London:RR.L – News) joined a bid by Lockheed-Martin Corp (NYSE:LMT – News) and VT Group Plc (London:VTG.L – News) to seek a British military flight training contract worth an estimated £10bn ($15.91bn). The Ministry of Defence ordered trainer jets from BAE Systems Plc (London:BA.L – News) in July as part of the Military Flying Training System and is expected to select a systems integrator in early 2006.

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