27 May 04. NATO newcomer Bulgaria is to spend almost $1bn on military equipment over the next few years and slim down its armed forces to meet the western Alliance’s standards, government members said on Thursday. As part of 11 projects worth an estimated 1.5bn levs ($938m), the Balkan country’s government agreed to buy new combat and transport jets, following a recently failed attempt to upgrade its fleet of ageing MiG fighters.It also decided to upgrade its fleet of Soviet-made helicopters, purchase new and second-hand military ships and buy intelligence and communications equipment, Economy Minister Lidia Shuleva said. The cabinet will prepare a strategy on how to choose contractors in the next month, and it will seek offset schemes and beneficial financing to reduce strain on the impoverished country’s budget, she added. Bulgaria joined NATO at the end of March. (Source: Reuters)
03 Jun 04. JSF too big for CVF? Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the current proposed tonnage for the UK CVF, circa 55000 is too small to accommodate the JSF aircraft. “This is a prime example of split procurement with two services being responsible for procuring separate items required for the same vessel,” our source said. The weight and size of the JSF will require more weight, closer to the 60000 tonnes suggested last week (See ‘US SIGNS CARRIER DEAL WITH NORTHROP – CVF WITHIN BUDGET?’, BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.6 ISSUE 21, 27th May 2004). This will also put the price up given the correlation between tonnage, price per tonne, for the final budget.
02 Jun 04. The U.S. DoD announced today that this summer, simultaneous deployment of seven aircraft carrier strike groups (CSGs) will demonstrate the ability of the Navy to provide credible combat power across the globe by operating in five theaters with other U.S., allied, and coalition military forces. “Summer Pulse 04” will be the Navy’s first exercise of its new operational construct, the Fleet Response Plan (FRP). FRP is about new ways of operating, training, manning, and maintaining the fleet that results in increased force readiness and the ability to provide significant combat power to the President in response to a national emergency or crisis. Beginning this week and continuing through August, the Navy will exercise the full range of skills involved in simultaneously deploying and employing carrier strike groups around the world. “Summer Pulse 04” will include scheduled deployments, surge operations, joint and international exercises, and other advanced training and port visits. Under the FRP construct, the Navy can provide six CSGs in less than 30 days to support contingency operations around the globe, and two more CSGs can be ready in three months to reinforce or rotate with initially responding forces, to continue presence operations in other parts of the world, or to support military action in another crisis. “Summer Pulse 04” will exercise the logistics and shore infrastructure necessary to execute a large scale surge operation, stress the operational concepts in the Navy’s Sea Power 21 strategy, and improve Navy interoperability with numerous allies and coalition partners as well as other U.S. military forces.
27 May 04. Shares in Bombardier fell sharply on Thursday after it reported weaker than expected results, hit by an US$86m restructuring charge and unexpected adjustments to contracts at its troubled train-making division. Bombardier also said it would slow production of its 50-seat CRJ200 regional jet in the current fiscal year, amid continued uncertainty in the global airline business, resulting in about 500 job losses in the Montreal area. The company reported a first-quarter loss of US$174m, or 10 cents a share, against earnings of US$54m, or 3 cents, last time. Analysts had expected a profit of about 4 cents. (Source: FT)
27 May 04. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has formed a new relationship with Omaha-based Client/Server Software Solution