HMS QE2 floats for the first time as outgoing carrier Illustrious retires

July 23, 2014 by · Comment
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British MOD Contracts £250 Million for Sea Ceptor Missile Air Defense Systems

September 10, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: BAE Systems, Syndicated Industry News 

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HARPOON MISSILE OBLITERATES TARGET IN SUCCESSFUL HIGH SEAS FIRING

May 6, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 

Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose fires a Harpoon anti-ship missile off the coast of Scotland. Photo: Crown CopyrightThe Royal Navy conducted a test firing of Harpoon anti-ship missile from HMS Montrose at the Scottish exercise areas in the Northern sea.

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HARPOON MISSILE OBLITERATES TARGET IN SUCCESSFUL HIGH SEAS FIRING

May 6, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 

Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose fires a Harpoon anti-ship missile off the coast of Scotland. Photo: Crown CopyrightThe Royal Navy conducted a test firing of Harpoon anti-ship missile from HMS Montrose at the Scottish exercise areas in the Northern sea.

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Raytheon Anschuetz to supply Integrated Bridge to Royal Navy of Oman — Press Release

Delivering integrated bridge and navigation systems for Oman’s new offshore patrol vessels

TEWKSBURY, Mass., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Anschuetz, a German based, indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), was awarded a contract to provide the company’s Integrated Bridge and Navigation Systems for four Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Navy of Oman. Proven and deployed on commercial vessels, the Integrated Bridge and Navigation Systems are scalable and adaptable to meet the needs and requirements of military applications for large and small naval platforms.

Under the contract, Raytheon Anschuetz will equip Oman’s new Al-Ofouq-class Offshore Patrol Vessels with a complete, new-generation IBNS. Included in the scope of the program is comprehensive documentation and training for instructors, operators and maintenance support personnel.

Features and Benefits of Raytheon Anschuetz’s IBNS

The standardized human machine interface and increased functionality of the multifunctional workstations of the IBNS empower crew to operate from any workplace on the bridge. A consistent system design and the use of standard hardware provide a high level of flexibility to adapt the bridge system to various mission and naval requirements. The design and components also help to reduce costs associated with engineering, logistics, spares and technical support.

Oman’s New Offshore Patrol Vessels

In 2012, the Royal Navy of Oman contracted with Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd to design and build the four patrol vessels. The keel laying for the first patrol vessel is planned for 2013 and all four vessels are planned to enter service for the Royal Navy of Oman between 2015 and 2016. The new vessels will replace the old inshore patrol boats.

The new Al-Ofouq-class vessels will undertake various tasks associated with national maritime security missions throughout the exclusive economic zone of Oman. The vessel’s length is 75 meters and will feature weapon systems, a flight deck for helicopters or drones, and a maximum speed of 25 knots.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.

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British Destroyer to Participate in U.S. Missile Defense Trials

March 7, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: MDA, missile defense, Syndicated Industry News 
Command and control center of HMS Diamond. Photo: MOD, Crown CopyrightRoyal Navy Type 45 destroyers could join future missile intercept testing conducted by the U.S. missile defense agency (MDA). The tests wille valuate the role the British Type 45 destroyers could take in ballistic missile defense networks, particularly with its and its primary Sampson radar, the main sensor supporting the Sea Viper missiles.

Submarine HMS Ambush commissioned into the Royal Navy

March 5, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 
Astute class submarine HMS Ambush is pictured during sea trials near Scotland. Ambush, second of the nuclear powered attack submarines, was named in Barrow on 16 December 2010 and launched on 5 January 2011. Photo: UK MOD Crown CopyrightThe Royal Navy's latest, most advanced attack submarine was commissioned into the Royal Navy on Friday, 1 March 2013, during a ceremony at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde.

Submarine HMS Ambush commissioned into the Royal Navy

March 5, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 
Astute class submarine HMS Ambush is pictured during sea trials near Scotland. Ambush, second of the nuclear powered attack submarines, was named in Barrow on 16 December 2010 and launched on 5 January 2011. Photo: UK MOD Crown CopyrightThe Royal Navy's latest, most advanced attack submarine was commissioned into the Royal Navy on Friday, 1 March 2013, during a ceremony at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde.

UK Decisions on F-35 Aircraft Criticized by Parliament

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program continues to be controversial. It is the largest defense acquisition program in history and will see the manufacture and deployment of 100’s of the advanced aircraft to the U.S. military and several allies across the world. One of the original and major customers is the U.K. which will replace its Harrier jump jet fleet with Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) aircraft.

Because the F-35 must equip the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps there are different versions of the aircraft. Their is the F-35A optimized for the Air Force and use of fixed runways, the F-35B which has Vertical Take-Off-and-Landing (VTOL) capabilities and finally the carrier based F-35C. These will replace the F-16, AV-8 and F/A-18 respectively in the U.S. military.

The British utilize Harriers from ground bases as well as off of their aircraft carriers. They need to replace both missions. The Royal Navy is currently building 2 new aircraft carriers and originally the F-35B was the choice to use from these aircraft. That is also the current choice.

Unfortunately in the 2010 Defence Review the current Conservative government reviewed that decision and changed it to the F-35C carrier based version. It was related to the struggles the program has faced with schedule slips and cost increases. Now, though, that has been reversed again to the F-35B model. The estimated cost of these changes is around $160 million and further delays to receiving the aircraft.

The F-35 has faced problems with development and testing which has led to delays and slower then planned production. This has led some foriegn partners and customers to reevaluate their needs. Canada, for example, has now put their original production buy contract on hold and there are those in Holland who are questioning the whole plan due to cost growth. The U.S. continues to plug on with the program which is in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) while at the same time doing more testing.

The U.K. will continue its purchase for the carrier as options for other aircraft are very limited. It just will have to face further potential cost increases and delays associated with the program.

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GD’s Electric Boat Wins Contract to Design Next SSBN for U.S. and U.K.

One of the largest contracts to be awarded this Fiscal Year was just given to General Dynamics (GD) submarine building arm, Electric Boat. The 5 year, nearly $2 billion contract is for design and development efforts supporting a new ballistic missile submarine.

This new boat will potentially replace the current U.S. Ohio class submarines and the Royal Navy’s similar Vanguards. Electric Boat is the primary producer of submarines for the U.S. Navy. While the Vanguard replacements will be built in the United Kingdom much of the design work will be done in the U.S. due to the fact they utilize a U.S. missile.

While there has been some reductions in the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal with some of the Ohio class retired or re-designated there will ultimately still be a need for modernization of the design and new submarines. The U.S. is currently only building the Virginia class of fast attack submarines at Electric Boat and partner Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).

Even with the potential for large cuts to the defense budget if sequestration takes effect these kind of contracts will continue to be awarded. Reductions in funding will limit how much is executed each year and potentially stretch out the work over more years then currently planned.

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Northrop Grumman Outlines E-2D Progress Ahead of Early Warning Event — Press Release

LONDON, November 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

Programme leaders from the US Navy and Northrop Grumman Corporation have detailed the progress on the E-2D Hawkeye in an exclusive interview ahead of the company’s involvement in Defence IQ’s 12th Annual Airborne Early Warning event taking place in Paris from January 22 – 24. Listen to the full interview at http://www.airborneearlywarning.com.

Bart LaGrone, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems vice president for the Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control (AEW/BMC2) programmes, and the new USN programme manager for the E-2D, Captain John “Chet” Lemmon, confirmed that initial test and evaluation of the aircraft had been completed and that the current contract is for provision of 20 E-2Ds to the Navy, with other foreign sales under consideration.

“Northrop Grumman has been the lead sponsor for this AEW conference since its inception more than a decade ago,” said Lagrone.

“As the global leader in Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control Systems, we at Northrop Grumman feel this forum facilitates a free exchange and advancement of ideas by bringing together subject matter experts representing numerous communities from various countries; the attendees can be guaranteed an intense two day experience.

“I believe the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is built on an incredible legacy and I believe Defence IQ and their hosting of the AEW conference is a great way to kick off another milestone in Airborne Early Warning.”

The conference website also hosts a range of new resources for those interested in the subject, as well as the latest agenda featuring senior commanders from the Royal Navy French Navy, Brazilian Air Force, and Swedish Air Force, among others. For more information on the Airborne Early Warning agenda, you can download the full programme here.

Bookings for Airborne Early Warning can be made by visiting the site, by e-mailing [email protected], or by calling +44(0)20-7368-9300.

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Joint Strike Fighter Update – Training and FMS

As the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin (LMT) continue to negotiate the latest production buy for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) the program continues its path towards completing development, testing and begin fielding. With the recent, unexpected change in leadership for Lockheed one of the issues that has come up is the focus on the JSF program. On Tuesday the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OSD(AT&L)), Mr. Frank Kendall, made clear that the company needs to concentrate on continued delivery of the aircraft and not worry about its short term business goals.

The program overall continues to make progress in different areas including completion of the Operational Utility Evaluation of pilot training Thursday. This means that the data collected through the process of teaching 4 pilots over the last six weeks will be reviewed by the Air Force Training Command (AFTC) eventually leading to approval of the program allowing formal training to begin.

In related matters a group of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy maintainers continue their training at Eglin AFB now supported by 2 British owned aircraft. The U.K. is one of the major overseas partners in the F-35 program and will also begin instructor pilot training this month.

In other Foreign Military Sales (FMS) related F-35 news both Japan and Denmark agreed to have companies there begin making components for the aircraft. As part of the overall program many of the other nations buying the fighter will contribute components from their domestic suppliers. In Japan up to 40% of their version of the aircraft will be produced domestically. Northrop Grumman (NOC), who produces fuselage and other assemblies for Lockheed, signed an agreement with a Danish composite manufacturer to provide items like doors, panels and skin assemblies. This is a follow on agreement to one signed in 2007.

The F-35 remains the most expensive acquisition program in history and a key part of U.S. modernization plans. Despite its struggles with schedule, testing and cost it continues to see investment in it by the U.S. and its partners. While there may be near term haggling about the price it is expected that the next production batch will be on order by the end of the year. As more aircraft are delivered training will continue to increase in amount and complexity.

Photo from MultiplyLeadership’s flickr photostream.

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New Royal Navy Tankers to be Built in South Korea

and the value of the contract is close to $1 billion.

Interestingly the ships will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea rather then in a British yard. It is uncommon for a country like Britain to do this but price is becoming a major factor in such contracts and presumably the Daewoo bid was much lower then any competing ones. British companies will get support contracts such as those for design as well as test support.

DSME is one of the largest shipbuilders in South Korea and was recently awarded a contract for submarines to be delivered to Indonesia. It has great experience building cargo vessels, oil platforms and support ships. The RFA tankers will be similar to many commercial ships and other then unique Royal Navy communications equipment and defensive systems will have little or no military specific hardware.

The U.S. Navy has started buying Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) from Australian shipbuilder Austal but it is through their U.S. subsidiary and the ships are built in Mobile, AL. The Royal Navy could have pursued this course as well but it seems for auxiliaries the desire to make them at home is overshadowed by the need to keep costs down. This may portend more contracts like this for not only Great Britain but other Western countries as they look to spend their shrinking supply of defense dollars.

Photo from Official U.S. Navy Imagery’s flickr Photostream.

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U.K. Orders Thales’ New Air Launched Attack Missile

As the United States military moves out with its Hellfire replacement in the form of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) which is just about to enter into the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase the United Kingdom ordered from European defense contractor Thales (TCFP:PA) a new missile to arm some of their helicopters. Thale’s new Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) received a production contract for 1000 missiles.

The contract provides for the final testing and qualification of the missile and then integration on at least the Lynx helicopter platform. The contract is the culmination of a three year development effort for the company. Similar to the JAGM the LMM has the ability to use multiple modes for its guidance including laser beam-riding or semi-active laser where the missile homes in on reflected energy. The missile also offers different warhead options like the current version of the Hellfire which has seen heavy use by the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The contract with the U.K. will see two years of development and qualification leading to delivery of the first missile in 2013. The version that will be used by the Royal Navy on their helicopters at least initially will be the beam riding version.

The LMM as it’s name indicates is small having a weight of under thirty pounds and a maximum range of 8,000 meters. The Hellfire and JAGM are much bigger and have a longer range but it is expected that the LMM will be cheaper to procure. The LMM is a natural evolution of Thales’ work with air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles as it tries to enter a new market for air launched, attack missiles.

Advances in guidance technology over the last fifteen to twenty years have led to smaller, more accurate systems that allow the use of lighter weigh warheads allowing aircraft to carry more weapons.

Photo from johan weiland’s flickr photostream.

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BAE Systems Bounces Back but Faces Uncertain Future

BAE Systems (BAE:LSE) is the largest United Kingdom defense contractor. Not only does it provide the bulk of equipment and support for that country’s armed forces it also has penetrated the U.S. market over the last decade as well as participating in many joint European defense projects. The company has had a rough few years revenue and profit wise recently but was able to turn a profit for 2011.

The company in 2009 reported a loss driven by two major issues. First they were forced to pay a fine related to bribery and corruption on a major Saudi contract. Second their U.S. subsidiary lost a contract to build trucks for the U.S. military causing the company to take a large charge. This led to a loss of about $100 million.

In 2010 the company reported a profit of just over one billion pounds ($1.62 billion) showing a respectable turnaround. In an indication of the world’s defense spending the British company earned just over half of its revenue from work for the United States’ military or over eleven billion pounds ($17.8 billion).

The corporation though faces an uncertain future in the near term. The U.S. is planning on little or no growth in its defense budget and Britain is planning quite steep cuts to its. The U.K. has already announced cancellation or restructuring of several major programs including the Harrier and Nimrod aircraft, reduced training and reductions in the size of the Royal Navy. BAE predicts that in 2011 “land and armaments sales” will be down over $2 billion.

The company does have some future bright spots being a major contributor to the international production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. As this begins to ramp up in quantities and deliveries over the next decade it should provide a decent amount of revenue for BAE. The program is the largest in history and the cornerstone of future U.S. defense spending.

Like many other defense contractors BAE hopes to make up potential domestic and traditional market declines by expanding into Asia and the Middle East as India and the Gulf States continue their investment in modern, updated weaponry. Right now though India especially has yet to award its big contracts such as a new fighter or replacement helicopter program but are expected too in the next two years.

BAE is just one symptom of a changing market as the U.S. and U.K. face up to budget realities and begins the process of winding down their commitment to Afghanistan.

Photo from Shandchem’s flickr photos

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Editorial: Comment on the Guardian article, "Carriers without Harriers: budget cuts leave MoD with jump jet-shaped hole"

October 19, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Editorial, Syndicated Industry News 
Editorial: Comment on the Guardian newspaper article, "Carriers without Harriers: budget cuts leave MoD with jump jet-shaped hole"
October 19th, 2010

The construction costs of a 3billion GBP aircraft carrier over 50 years = 60 million GBP per annum = approx. 1GBP per head of population.

Are we not at risk of getting this out of proportion HMG ? Is this more about 'squaring away' the Scottish Labour class by wounding a programme who final integration is due to occur in the past Prime Minister's constituency. Clearly the new Administration is not playing politics with defence...

Suggestions for employment of the CVF;

1. Launch helicopters to protect British Nationals abroad - does anyone remember the rescue of Brits in Lebanon the other year ? The vessel is three times bigger...

2. Disaster relief in the Commonwealth - imagine the capability to support an isolated community post hurricane / tsunami and so forth.

3. Pursue limited conflicts in support of British interests - Sierra Leone involved an auxiliary tanker as the sole ship on station - what difference the CVF could make...

4. Providing a deck for use by other coalition partners in support of operations in the national interest - far from home base partners will appreciate any 'flat-top' space for running missions from. At sea, invulnerable (except in all-out war with a substantial submarine equipped opponent).

5. A re-run of the Falkland islands campaign no-one would question the utility...

Additionally, what if the Government is being shrewd in its calculations - if the economy picks up will the second vessel still be sold or retained ? The CVA-01 programme was cancelled in the mid-1960s eliminating aircraft carriers - only for the RN to keep the programme going in the shape of the 'through-deck cruiser' which only now is being decommissioned.

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Editorial: Comment on the Guardian article, "Carriers without Harriers: budget cuts leave MoD with jump jet-shaped hole"

October 19, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Editorial, Syndicated Industry News 
Editorial: Comment on the Guardian newspaper article, "Carriers without Harriers: budget cuts leave MoD with jump jet-shaped hole"
October 19th, 2010

The construction costs of a 3billion GBP aircraft carrier over 50 years = 60 million GBP per annum = approx. 1GBP per head of population.

Are we not at risk of getting this out of proportion HMG ? Is this more about 'squaring away' the Scottish Labour class by wounding a programme who final integration is due to occur in the past Prime Minister's constituency. Clearly the new Administration is not playing politics with defence...

Suggestions for employment of the CVF;

1. Launch helicopters to protect British Nationals abroad - does anyone remember the rescue of Brits in Lebanon the other year ? The vessel is three times bigger...

2. Disaster relief in the Commonwealth - imagine the capability to support an isolated community post hurricane / tsunami and so forth.

3. Pursue limited conflicts in support of British interests - Sierra Leone involved an auxiliary tanker as the sole ship on station - what difference the CVF could make...

4. Providing a deck for use by other coalition partners in support of operations in the national interest - far from home base partners will appreciate any 'flat-top' space for running missions from. At sea, invulnerable (except in all-out war with a substantial submarine equipped opponent).

5. A re-run of the Falkland islands campaign no-one would question the utility...

Additionally, what if the Government is being shrewd in its calculations - if the economy picks up will the second vessel still be sold or retained ? The CVA-01 programme was cancelled in the mid-1960s eliminating aircraft carriers - only for the RN to keep the programme going in the shape of the 'through-deck cruiser' which only now is being decommissioned.

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Editorial: Comment on Robert Preston blog ‘What a Carrier-on!’

October 19, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Editorial, Syndicated Industry News 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2010/10/what_a_carrier_on.html

Editorial: Comment on Robert Preston blog 'What a Carrier-on!'
October 19th, 2010

Economically the project, albeit at a high price, enables the UK warship building industry to carry on. As the Royal Navy shrinks and politicians prevaricate over a new generation of frigates to succeed the venerable Type-22 and Type-23 vessels so the need to keep skilled people from choosing alternate employment, say in McDonald's crucial.

Militarily, Peston misses the point. Did Peston realise how blogs and the internet would challenge print media ? probably not. The military establishment has many scenarios it plans for - though more often or not predicting the timing of a scenario being realised or the exact location is impossible.

What is constant is geography - the Earth is 70% water and the remaining 30% is split up into societies - some of whom may be less friendly to UK interests on occasion. The ability to have a flat surface from which to conduct operations in support of strategic needs is essential. Also essential, though more problematic is what to fly off the decks of these vessels. Unmanned vehicles may largely surpass Joint Strike Fighter far quicker than many imagine.

Politically, the JSF could be too expensive unless substantial economic recovery occurs. 'Marinising JSF' as the former Chairman of its UK manufacturer BAE Systems suggests, could be too bitter a pill to swallow after the expensive and drawn out EFA procurement. As far as the contracts go for the carriers, Eurofighter provided the model - a cast iron contract to lock in whimsical politicians - which can backfire when the background environment changes.

Plus ca change.

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Termination of the UK Defence Training Review (DTR) Programme

October 19, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: QinetiQ, Syndicated Industry News 
Termination of the Defence Training Review
October 19, 2010

The termination of the Defence Training Rationalisation (DTR) project and the Metrix Consortium's appointment as preferred bidder has been announced by Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox today, 19 October 2010.

The DTR project intended to combine the technical and engineering training for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force on a single site at St Athan in South Wales.

In a written ministerial statement to Parliament today, Dr Fox said:

"The Metrix Consortium was appointed as preferred bidder in January 2007 subject to it developing an affordable and value for money contract proposal.

"Given the significance of this project and the opportunity to provide a world-class training facility, the Ministry of Defence has worked tirelessly to deliver this project.

"However, it is now clear that Metrix cannot deliver an affordable, commercially-robust proposal within the prescribed period and it has therefore been necessary to terminate the DTR procurement and Metrix's appointment as preferred bidder.

"Technical training, collocated on as few sites as possible, remains in our view the best solution for our Armed Forces. Equally, St Athan was previously chosen as the best location on which to collocate that training for good reasons, and we still hope to base our future defence training solution there.

"We will however now carry out some work before finalising the best way ahead; including to confirm both our training and estates requirement, and the best way to structure the solution that will meet them.

"To ensure momentum is not lost, work on the alternative options will begin as soon as possible and we hope to be able to announce our future plans in the spring."

Training will continue to be delivered at current training locations as it would have done under the original PFI (Private Finance Initiative) proposal. These sites are: Arborfield, Blandford, Bordon, Cosford, Cranwell, Digby, Fareham (Collingwood), Gosport (Sultan) and St Athan.

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UK SDSR Defence Review outcomes – arithmetic – 8% or 18% ?

October 18, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Editorial, Syndicated Industry News 
UK SDSR Defence Review outcomes - a matter of arithmetic ?
Monday 18th October, 2010

There is much being trailed as to the release today by Prime Minister David Cameron as to the outcome of the review of resources devoted to the Ministry of Defence. Traditionally the Conservative Party are keen to be seen as strong and safe on defence and foreign policy. In an environment where substantial cuts are being made across government showing a grip on the issues, especially for a new administration is key.

Which probably explains why the Departmental minister has been sidelined by No.10 which has taken strong control (through the Cabinet Office) of the defence review process. press sources are already trailing the following adjustments to UK force structure;

* Retirement of the VSTOL Harrier (known as the AV-8B by the US) jump jet (CityAM)
* Retirement of HMS Ark Royal (Aircraft carrier and flagship of the Royal Navy) (BBC)
* Reductions to the strength of the British Army of the order of two brigades (7,000 troops) (CityAM)

The consensus which appears to have been trailed to the UK media and which seems uncontested by the Opposition is that cuts to the budget will amount to some 7-8% versus some 20% in other Government Departments (excluding health).

Given that insiders acknowledge off-the-record that the MOD budget has been running some 10% beyond its resource level this would imply a 10.0 + 8.0% = 18.0% reduction.

Hence the need for the PM to lead this announcement. What this means for UK 'Grand Strategy' remains to be seen as the National Security Strategy (NSS) seems to be headlining on the threat to UK global interests from cyber attack.

Headquarters Land Forces moves to Andover

July 13, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 
Headquarters Land Forces moves to Andover
July 13, 2010

The move of Headquarters Land Forces into Marlborough Lines, Andover, reached a milestone yesterday when the Commander-in-Chief Land Forces, General Sir Peter Wall, moved from Wilton to the new site.

The move of the headquarters is called Project Hyperion and is due to be completed by the end of July 2010.

The Hyperion programme emerged as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review of 2004 which directed that the various high-level headquarters of each of the three Armed Services be rationalised to drive out unnecessary costs and deliver leaner, more effective HQs.

The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force equivalent programmes delivered a while ago in Portsmouth and High Wycombe respectively.

In the Army's case, the intent was to integrate the Commander-in-Chief Land and Adjutant General's Top Level Budgets into a single unified headquarters and make better use of the estate by collocating personnel on a single site.

After careful analysis of a variety of site options, Andover was chosen as the best location for the new HQ, the site Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) happened to be vacating under its own collocation programme.

With effect from 1 April 2010, the site has been renamed Marlborough Lines, after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and the two principal office buildings after two of his famous victories in the War of the Spanish Succession - Blenheim and Ramillies.

The buildings have been refurbished to provide a modern 'open plan' working environment and the aim is that this, together with new ways of working, will facilitate an improvement in operational effectiveness by helping the HQ make swifter and better decisions, speak with a single authoritative voice, and be more responsive to changing circumstances.

Brigadier Richard Cary, Hyperion Team Leader, said:

"We still have some work to do to build new single living accommodation for both officers and soldiers, but the priority has been to move the headquarters whilst ensuring business continuity generally, and support to operations in particular.

"There is never a good time to move, of course, and with the staff in the midst of the SDSR [Strategic Defence and Security Review] to boot we decided to go for it, intending to complete it before the summer leave season.

"So far, so good, and we are nearing the end of the move. While there have inevitably been a number of minor problems, it has gone as well as can be expected and most people seem very pleased with their new working environment.

"They are also enjoying the gymnasium and fitness suite that we have made out of the old DE&S Technical Building. I am very grateful to all those who have made the move go so smoothly."

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US Navy variant of the Joint Strike Fighter flies though may be too late for the Royal Navy

June 7, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Editorial, Syndicated Industry News 
Lockheed Martin today reported the first flight of the naval variant of the JSF (F-35 Lightning II) for the US Navy today.

One can only imagine the Fleet Air Arm of the UK looking on, heavily committed to acquiring the F-35 to fly from the deck of one of the two new aircraft carriers under construction. The RN have played their cards in a manner reminiscent of the 'Through Deck Cruiser' as a means to avoid the loss of naval aviation capability in the 1970s surrendering one deck, though in truth how much cheaper will the second vessel really be, and can the UK in a Falklands type emergency deploy the F-35 on the second deck ?

In any event as ever the real enemy remains the Treasury. The Prime Minister today started laying the ground for the June 22nd 2010 toughest spending budget since the Second World War. The aircraft carrier program served many interests aside from the Royal Navy - Scottish political constituencies, the shipyards, the Unions to name a few - none of which are in hock to the Conservative Party. In addition the new MoD Ministerial team is very much Army leaning in character.

Tough times ahead...

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General Dynamics Receives $6 Million Navy Award for Common Missile Compartment Work

General Dynamics Receives $6 Million Navy Award for Common Missile Compartment Work
May 6, 2010 12:04 PM

GROTON, Conn., --The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $6.4 million contract modification to design special tooling for the Common Missile Compartment under development for the United Kingdom's Successor ballistic-missile submarine and the U.S. Ohio replacement submarine. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

The award modifies a $76 million contract announced in December 2008 for engineering, technical services, concept studies and design of a Common Missile Compartment for the next-generation ballistic missile submarines being developed for the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy.

If all options are exercised and funded the overall contract would have a value of more than $638 million.

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Raytheon Opens New Office in Portsmouth, England, Focused on Training

April 19, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Raytheon, Syndicated Industry News 
Raytheon Opens New Office in Portsmouth, England, Focused on Training
April 19, 2010

PORTSMOUTH, England, -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has opened a new office in Portsmouth, England, that will focus on delivering training to United Kingdom customers.

"We have a number of training activities under way in the United Kingdom, and this site will enable us to work more collaboratively with our customers and demonstrate how our low-risk capabilities provide the best value," said David Appel, Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC director of U.K. military training programs.

Raytheon is currently competing for the U.K. Royal Navy Fleet Outsourced Activities Project. As part of the competitive dialogue now under way, Raytheon is focusing on low-risk, cost-effective training solutions that remain flexible to future challenges. As a member of the Metrix Consortium, Raytheon has also begun providing early training transformation solutions for the U.K. Ministry of Defence for the Defence Training Review Rationalisation Program.

The Portsmouth facility will enable Raytheon to leverage worldwide training experience and adapt the company's proven solutions to the United Kingdom. Training activities performed at the site span multiple programs and functions, including delivery, design, development and management support. The Raytheon personnel based at the site will have management responsibility for more than 100 training professionals in the country.

Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world.

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Bow sections of Royal Navy’s new carrier are ready

April 6, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 
Bow sections of Royal Navy's new carrier are ready
April 6, 2010

The bow sections of one of the UK's two new aircraft carriers have been completed and are on their way to Rosyth, where the ships will be assembled.

The bow sections for the Queen Elizabeth carrier are travelling by barge from Babcock's Appledore shipyard in Devon to Rosyth in Scotland. The barge journey is expected to take six days.

The two sections will make up the bow of the ship, and together weigh about 400 tonnes.

The larger of the two sections, called the bulbous bow, is similar in size and shape to a conventional submarine, yet only a tenth of the full length of the ship.

It is designed to increase speed, fuel efficiency and stability, sitting just below the waterline to help the ship cut cleanly through the water, reducing drag.

The second section sits above, making up decks seven to five below the aircraft hangar.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, said:

"The progress we are making with the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers is not only good news for the Royal Navy it is good news for defence and the UK defence industry.

"This national project will sustain thousands of jobs in shipyards and in the wider supply chain.

"The carriers will be a cornerstone of future defence policy and a key asset for our Armed Forces as a whole, providing four acres of sovereign territory which can be deployed to support operations anywhere in the world."

Chief of Material Fleet Vice Admiral Andrew Mathews said:

"Seeing these sections, which are only a small part of the ship, makes the overall scale of the carriers clear.

"The transportation of the bow sections to Rosyth will be a key step in the construction of these hugely important ships.

"The two Aircraft Carriers of QE Class will provide the UK with a large, deployable airfield capable of projecting airpower globally, including fast jets, helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, to support Joint Operations for up to 50 years.

"It was important from the start of the project to achieve maximum efficiency using new construction techniques. For example, the ‘block integration' method has allowed us to build the ship in many locations simultaneously, reducing the time it takes to construct. It has the added advantage of spreading the economic benefits widely across the country."

Work now continues on the forward section of the ship, from the keel up to the flight deck.

Shipyards throughout the UK, including Glasgow, Rosyth, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Devon and Birkenhead are contributing to the project.

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