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19 Apr 05. BATTLESPACE understands that W.S. Atkins will be announcing the down-select for the FREWS TDPs. We understand that the platform TDPs will be General Dynamics (UK) and BAE SYSTEMS and the Electronic Architecture will be Lockheed Martin teamed with AMS and QinetiQ and Thales & BAE SYSTEMS. The Insys and BAE teams appear to have been selected for the electric armour requirement.

20 Apr 05. UK manufacturers have urged politicians to make defence industrial policy a top priority. A manufacturing manifesto, launched by five leading industry associations, stresses the strategic importance of the defence industry and highlights its essential role in the health of the manufacturing sector. Dr. Sally Howes, Director General of SBAC said, ‘‘the defence industry is essential to the long-term health of UK manufacturing. Its intense focus on research and technology makes it one of the most innovative sectors of the economy. To gain greater strategic and commercial advantage requires Government to commit to a more active and open discussion with industry on future capability requirements.’’ The manufacturing associations are calling on Government to: Develop and implement an active industrial strategy that identifies the aspects of defence industrial capability that Government wants to develop in the UK; Develop better capability planning by working more closely with industry at an early stage to enable more effective investment in research and technology; Deliver greater market access by opening up trading opportunities in the US through negotiating terms to ease technology transfer.
The manifesto, published together with five other major trade bodies across the manufacturing spectrum promotes a positive agenda on skills, investment and science & innovation which SBAC believes are fundamental to the future of a high value UK economy.
The top ten key priorities for the next Government are to:
1. Maintain a stable economic environment, promoting manufacturing competitiveness.
2. Support manufacturing investment by ensuring a competitive UK tax regime and by introducing a capital investment tax credit.
3. Improve the UK’s innovation performance by promoting greater investment in R&D, improving business and academic links and instigating more intelligent government procurement.
4. Drive forward a coherent energy strategy which addresses climate change whilst maintaining business competitiveness.
5. Provide strong and effective business support at regional, national and international level.
6. Reduce the regulatory burden and put better regulation at the heart of policy development in the UK and Europe.
7. Increase the supply of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills and ensure young people have quality access to all career options.
8. Deliver a sustainable solution on pensions and avoid measures that add burdens to occupational pension schemes.
9. Develop an occupational health and safety strategy that is focused on rehabilitation, based on sound science and rewards performance.
10. Take forward a pro-business agenda in Europe.

17 Apr 05. The European Union is moving towards introducing legally binding rules on weapons exports in a step intended to defuse criticism of plans to lift its arms embargo on China. At a weekend EU meeting in Luxembourg, Michel Barnier, France’s foreign minister, said he could agree to proposals to give legal force to the EU’s code of conduct on arms sales. France, one of Europe’s biggest arms exporters, has been reluctant to make the export code legally binding. But pressure has increased recently, as the US has stepped up its campaign against the lifting of the Chinese embargo. Washington believes the demise of the embargo could threaten Taiwan. Many Congressmen have threatened retaliation against the EU if the ban is lifted.

19 Apr 05. Bombardier Aerospace announced the entry into service of the first completed Bombardier Global 5000 business jet. The air

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