Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Taranis thunders forward

Taranis thunders forward

An Equipment and Logistics news article
20 Nov 07

A project which will enhance the capability of the future fast-jet fleet has moved a step closer to becoming reality as the first metal for the airframe of the Taranis unmanned combat air vehicle was cut in a ceremony at BAE Systems in Lancashire.

The future of UK air capability: Taranis will give the RAF a demonstrator that will form the basis of its plans to build the first pilotless front line fighter-bomber

Project Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, will build an unmanned fast jet demonstrator the size of a Hawk trainer - making it one of the world's largest UAVs - that will be stealthy, fast and be able to test deploy a range of munitions over a number of targets and be able to defend itself against manned and other unmanned enemy aircraft.

The event at BAE was attended by DE&S Strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Experiment) (SUAVE) team leader, Jonathan Barratt, who was joined by the Managing Director of Autonomous Systems and Future Capability for BAE Systems, Mark Kane, to start the machining process:

"This programme is not just about helping position UK industry for a future programme, and putting the UK on the map with cutting edge technology," Mr Barratt explained. "It is also about informing the basis the future RAF and potential future military capability."

A £124m contract for Taranis was announced by the MOD and BAE Systems in December 2006. The project is an important part of the Defence Industrial Strategy, and Taranis will give the RAF a demonstrator that will form the basis of its plans to build the first pilotless front line fighter-bomber. The project will also play a significant first step in sustaining key capabilities in the UK industrial supplier base, supporting the future fast-jet fleet, in particular Typhoon and the Joint Strike Fighter.

The entry to service of the Reaper reconnaissance UAV in October 2007 was a significant step in the development of military unmanned aerial vehicles

The technology risk reduction and knowledge acquired by industry from the Taranis demonstrator project will underpin an Initial Gate Balance of Investment decision in early 2011 to inform the emerging Deep and Persistent Offensive Capability (DPOC) within the future combat air force mix. Some of the current mix of manned aircraft including the Tornado and Harrier are due to retire from service in the next 20 years.

The SUAVE team will be looking at a variety of options, including manned and unmanned aircraft, to meet the DPOC capability. Working under a Team Charter, the industry team of BAE Systems, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce, Smiths Aerospace and the MOD bring together some of the finest skills in the world to implement this complex project which is one of the first of its kind.

Ground-testing of Taranis is scheduled to begin in early 2009, with the first flight trials due to take place in 2010.

This article first appeared in the November 2007 issue of Preview magazine - For Defence Equipment and Support, The Equipment Capability Customer and industry.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

An unqualified success" or Hansard uncorrected transcript of oral evidence: HC 151-i

House of Commons minutes of evidence taken before the committee of public accounts, Monday 3 November 2007 "The privatisation of QinetiQ" (Q193 exchange between Mr. Bacon MP and Mr. Trevor Woolley of the Ministry of Defence);

Mr. Bacon: "Mr Woolley, are you a chartered accountant ?"

Mr. Woolley: "I am not."

Mr. Bacon: "Are you a qualified financial person of any kind ? Do you have financial qualifications ?"

Mr. Woolley: "I do not have financial qualifications."

Mr. Bacon: "What is your job ?"

Mr. Woolley: "I am the Finance Director of the Ministry of Defence"

Friday, March 30, 2007

"Defence Equipment & Support" is new one-stop-shop to support UK Forces

"Defence Equipment & Support" is new one-stop-shop to support UK Forces

An Equipment and Logistics news article
30 Mar 07
The DPA and DLO have merged to form a new organisation, called Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), to equip and support our armed forces for operations now and in the future.

This is the latest in a series of reforms driven by the Defence Acquisition Change Programme (DACP) and supporting the Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) which aim to improve the way UK Forces are equipped, sustained and supported.

This reform will see one single organisation responsible for equipment throughout its life, from design, through delivery to disposal. By bringing these areas of responsibility together in one organisation, the Armed Forces' equipment will be better managed and with more effective maintenance, technology upgrades and costs control.

DE and S will manage a budget of £16bn, comprising some 43% of the defence budget and employ around 29,000 people across the UK and abroad.

The new organisation will be headed up by General Sir Kevin O'Donoghue, Chief of Defence Materiel. Its headquarters will be at MOD Abbeywood outside Bristol.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Lord Drayson, said:

"My primary concern is that we continue to provide our Forces with the equipment they need to do the job asked of them. The creation of this new organisation, combining the best of military and public service cultures with a hard commercial edge, shows our determination to continually improve the support we deliver to the front line.

"Both MoD and Industry are making real progress in improving acquisition performance but much remains to be done."

In a letter to General Sir Kevin O’Donoghue, Head of Defence Equipment and Support, the Permanent Under Secretary Bill Jeffrey and Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup wrote:

"On the occasion of the establishment of the Defence Equipment and Support organisation and your own appointment as Chief of Defence Materiel, we wanted to congratulate you and your staff, and to affirm our personal commitment to deliver, and to support you in delivering, the vitally important changes that the Defence Acquisition Change Programme represents.

"We have been most impressed by how staff throughout the Department, and especially in DE&S, the Front Line Commands and the Head Office, have worked over recent months to develop and implement the revised processes required by the DACP and to establish DE&S. These changes do not stop with the launch of DE&S.

"Changing the way we go about acquisition throughout the Department will require sustained effort if we are to deliver the necessary results. The Defence Management Board will remain actively engaged on this and, as you know, the Board has asked to be presented with updates on a number of the key pathfinder projects later in the year so that it can be satisfied that the way we conduct business really has changed.

"Doing so is critical to the reputation of the Ministry of Defence, to the provision of the defence capabilities we need and, most importantly, to members of the Armed Forces serving in the front line."

Monday, January 1, 2007

RAND: Is Weapon System Cost Growth Increasing? A Quantitative Assessment of Completed and Ongoing Programs

RAND: Is Weapon System Cost Growth Increasing? A Quantitative Assessment of Completed and Ongoing Programs 

By: Obaid Younossi, Mark V. Arena, Robert S. Leonard, Charles Robert Roll, Jr., Arvind Jain, Jerry M. Sollinger

In recent decades, there have been numerous attempts to rein in the cost growth of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition programs. Cost growth is the ratio of the cost estimate reported in a program’s final Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) and the cost-estimate baseline reported in a prior SAR issued at a particular milestone. Drawing on prior RAND research, new analyses of completed and ongoing weapon system programs, and data drawn from SARs, this study addresses the following questions: What is the cost growth of DoD weapon systems? What has been the trend of cost growth over the past three decades? To address the magnitude of cost growth, it examines cost growth in completed programs; to evaluate the cost growth trend over time, it provides additional analysis of a selection of ongoing programs. This sample of ongoing programs permits a look at growth trends in the more recent past. Changes in the mix of system types over time and dollar-weighted analysis were also considered because earlier studies have suggested that cost growth varies by program type and the cost of the program. The findings suggest that development cost growth over the past three decades has remained high and without any significant improvement.

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Pages: 126
ISBN/EAN: 978-0-8330-4135-7

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