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08 Jul 03. VT Merlin Communications, part of VT Group plc, has signed a major £3220m contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the Defence High
Frequency Communications Service (DHFCS), which will see VT Merlin deliver beyond line of sight high frequency (HF) communication services to the three armed services and other authorised users.

As part of the 15 year contract VT Merlin will take over the operation, maintenance and support of current HF defence communications facilities in the UK and overseas from 1 July 2003. In addition to assuming responsibility for the continued operation of this essential communications service, VT Merlin will enhance capability, quality and reliability through the rollout of new technology, which will be introduced progressively by 2008. The enhancement to the HF infrastructure is being provided by Rockwell Collins (UK) Limited, VT Merlin’s principal subcontractor on the project.

This new service will enhance the quality and effectiveness of strategic communications, generating savings for the MoD of about £50million, over the existing systems, and will lead to the redeployment of more than 25 military personnel to other, higher priority duties, as well as create about 80 jobs at six sites in the UK.

The contract is procured under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) fully reflecting the MoD’s SMART acquisition principles.

Ian Wakeling, Strategic Terrestrial Radio Systems IPT Team Leader, said:
“DHFCS will rationalise, update and upgrade the MoD’s HF radio system capability, and will achieve both a step change in performance and cost savings in what is an excellent example of SMART acquisition delivering benefits to the Armed Forces and the taxpayer.

Doug Umbers, VT Merlin’s Managing Director commented: “This is a major contract win for VT Merlin and supports the proogress made by VT Merlin unde VT Group ownership. We are extremely pleased for all our stakeholders and that we are able to build on our strong partnership with the MoD through this highly innovative procurement.”


By Adam Baddeley except where stated
1. Feature on the Personal Role Radio
2. Feature Area Communications, Comment from BAE Systems, GDC4S, Lockheed Martin and Marconi and John Turton IPTL Falcon and Col. Tom Cole PM WIN-T
3. Watchkeeper Interview with Northrop Grumman and Thales and contribution from DEC CC&II on Future requirements and JUEP
4. Armchair Warrior
As DII coalesces, challenges, such as homeworking, emerge to task the four bidders. Gwyn Winfield reports.
5. Hypres – New radio system development
6. Software Radio Part II
9. Combat ID
10. NBC Feature, Gwynn Whitfield discusses new developments in NBC Technology
11. New Battery Technology from AEA

The BATTLESPACE Team will be present during the whole of DSEI, please contact us for any editorial or advertisement requirements. The issue will close on August 20th. Please contact us with your requirements


09 Jul 03. A senior Pentagon aide is recommending that the government block a Singapore technology company’s bid to take over troubled American telecommunications concern Global Crossing Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter. Pentagon review is part of a broad multiagency approval process used when foreign companies express interest in domestic technology and telecom companies. People familiar with the matter said a top aide to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz wrote the memo opposing the transfer based on national-security concerns. Global Crossing also runs a significant part of the UK Government telecom network which it inherited on the purchase of Racal Telecom.

09 Jul 03. In its latest attempt to procure new fighter jets for the country, the Czech

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