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26 Oct 05. The Ministry of Defence has dropped its 2012 target date for the launch of the first of two multi-billion pound aircraft carriers, raising questions about the UK’s capability to maintain an overseas air power over the next 10 years. Lord Drayson, the defence procurement minister, yesterday told MPs on the defence committee that he would not set a date for the launch until final contracts had been signed for the shipbuilding work. The 60,000-tonne carriers will be the biggest warships built in Britain, with an estimated cost of at least £3.5bn. The final investment decision – known as “main gate” – for the carriers was scheduled originally for December 2003 but has been pushed back repeatedly by the MoD’s attempts to restructure its agreements. (Source: James Boxell/FT)

20 Oct 05. The German army is planning to privatise its logistics activities in a bid to drive forward cost-cutting. Base logistics as well as the
complete transportation of ammunition and weapons in Germany are being considered for privatisation. DHL, the logistics and express subsidiary of German postal services provider Deutsche Post, is thought to be the only serious candidate for the contract, thanks to long-term cooperation between Deutsche Post and the army. A first tender, for a contract worth 800m euros, is set to be awarded in the second half of 2006, according to Gebb, the company charged by the federal government with modernising the German army. Gebb believes that privatisation will enable the army to improve logistics performance and also significantly reduce costs. The army spends a total of 3bn euros on logistics each year and Gebb believes that more than 250m euros can be saved through the first tender alone. DHL has confirmed that it has been asked by the army to develop ideas for its logistics activities. (Source: Original article by Axel Granzow/Abstracted from Handelsblatt/FT.com)

24 Oct 05. Firms Vie for Spain’s Manpads Purchase. Industry and political pressure is mounting as Spain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) prepares to select a new man-portable anti-tank missile for its infantry from three options — one American, one European and another Israeli, government officials and industrialists say. Industry executives involved in the competition, valued at €260m ($311m), say they expect a decision by year’s end on the purchase of 2,600 missile systems. A team of Lockheed Martin and Raytheon is proposing the Javelin missile system. European missile house MBDA has offered the Milan Extended Range, while the Haifa, Israel-based Rafael Armament Development Authority has teamed with General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas and Tecnobit, both in Madrid, to sell its Spike missile. (Source: Defnse News/MARTIN AGÜERA, MUNICH)

24 Oct 05. Norway Defense Budget Unlikely To Change. Norway’s $4.7 billion 2006 defense budget, prepared by outbound Minister of Defense Kristin Krohn Devold, pays particular attention to the nation’s Coast Guard and the quality of life for personnel, and is unlikely to be changed by the new Labor Party-led government. The spending plan, which represents a 1 percent increase over this year’s budget, was approved and voted into the government’s final 2006 budget of $91.4 billion. (Source: GERARD O’DWYER, HELSINKI/Defense News)

25 Oct 05. At 0845 hours on Wednesday, 26 October at NATO Headquarters, the NATO Secretary General received from the Transatlantic Industrial Partnership for Surveillance (TIPS) the report from the Alliance Ground Surveillance Risk Reduction Study. The Risk Reduction Study addresses a number of key issues raised by nations and is an important step on the road to the Design and Development phase of this almost 4 B€ armaments programme the largest in NATO’s history. The Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will be presented a copy of the report by Mr Gianpiero Lorandi, Vice President of Galileo Avionica , on behalf of the members of the TIPS consortia, and in the presence of

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