Friday, October 31, 2008

£97m maintenance contract strengthens TriStar fleet

£97m maintenance contract strengthens TriStar fleet

An Equipment and Logistics news article
30 Oct 08

The Ministry of Defence has signed a £97m, seven-year contract with Marshall Aerospace of Cambridge to provide logistic support for the RAF's fleet of TriStar aircraft.

Known as the TRIOS contract (TriStar Integrated Operational Support), it will provide maintenance and engineering and support to the RAF's core passenger fleet until 2015.

The RAF fleet of TriStar aircraft are operated by No 216 Squadron, based at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, and carry out the air transport role, notably acting as the airbridge for troops flying from the UK to Afghanistan and Iraq.

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

"This is good news for industry and good news for our airbridge support to troops in theatre. The TriStar aircraft play a vital role in air transport, and it is important that we ensure that they are well maintained and serviced, with a good supply of spares. This contract will do just that, and I am delighted that we can support British jobs at the same time."

Group Captain Adam Northcote-Wright from the ARC (Air Refuelling and Communications Fleet) Integrated Project Team in Defence Equipment and Support said:

"The signing of the TRIOS contract marks the successful conclusion of many months' hard work by the team from Defence Equipment and Support, and Marshall of Cambridge. It is an excellent achievement, which has been made possible by the efforts and focus of our team and our industrial partners. They have worked tirelessly towards an innovative and cost effective solution, and I am confident that all parties will benefit from this contract."

The TRIOS contract will improve supply chain and technical support arrangements for the TriStars at RAF Brize Norton, their main operating base. This contract will assure future aircraft availability and is expected to deliver around £10m in savings to the MOD over the life of the contract.

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AgustaWestland signs contract worth over 200 million dollars to supply AW139 helicopters to Malaysia

AgustaWestland signs contract worth over 200 million dollars to supply AW139 helicopters to Malaysia

30 October 2008 -- AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, has signed a contract worth over 200 million dollars with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for the supply of three AW139 helicopters plus options for several additional aircraft.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency will use the helicopters for search and rescue, coastal patrol and law enforcement duties. The agreement marks the entrance of the AW139 in the Malaysian government market and further confirms its success worldwide. Over 400 units have been ordered so far by more than 100 customers in over 40 countries, making the AW139 the best selling medium twin helicopter worldwide.

The AW139 is more and more setting the new standard for a number of roles including search and rescue, patrolling and fire fighting and it has been chosen by leading operators in several countries comprising Italy, UK, Spain, Estonia, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The AW139 has also achieved a remarkable success for other roles including VIP/corporate, offshore, emergency medical service, utility, military duties, law enforcement, homeland security and border patrol.

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Petraeus Assumes Leadership of U.S. Central Command

Petraeus Assumes Leadership of U.S. Central Command

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., Oct. 31, 2008 – Army Gen. David H. Petraeus assumed leadership of the U.S. military command charged with helping to build peace in a tough and war-torn part of the world today.
Petraeus took the reins of U.S. Central Command from acting commander Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey in a ceremony here.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates presided over the change of command held at the base’s Memorial Park.

“General Petraeus, you are again taking responsibility for our precious sons and daughters,” Gates said. “I have no doubt they will continue to make you and me – indeed all Americans – very proud.”

Petraeus now has responsibility for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He must deal with the threat that Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons poses to the region and world. He also must deal with an unstable government in Pakistan. U.S. Central Command reaches from Kazakhstan to Yemen and Egypt to Kyrgyzstan.

Petraeus commanded Multinational Force Iraq during the troop surge that turned the tide in Iraq’s security. Violence dropped in Iraq, and most of the country has returned to Iraqi control.

Before the change of command ceremony, Gates presented Dempsey with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and Marine Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Morin, U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, with the Defense Superior Service Medal.

The Senate has confirmed Dempsey for his fourth star and the post of commander U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va. Dempsey – who was deputy commander of CentCom – took over as acting commander upon the retirement of Navy Adm. William J. Fallon in March. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John R. Allen succeeded Dempsey today in CentCom’s No. 2 post.

“I recall my first meeting with Marty Dempsey after he took the reins of CentCom,” Gates said in his remarks. “He gave me a sheet of paper outlining the priorities for this command and asked for my guidance. After hearing what Marty had to say, I simply held up his own sheet of paper and said, ‘This is my guidance to you’ – a testament to his strategic vision and pragmatism, which he possesses in extra measure.”

Dempsey has been far more than a place-holder at U.S. Central Command, Gates said, and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed.

“Here at CentCom, Marty truly made the words ‘acting commander’ a contradiction in terms,” Mullen said during the ceremony. “For there was nothing ‘acting’ about the way Marty has exercised the full spectrum of command throughout his entire area of responsibility. Nothing ‘acting’ about the way he orchestrated two wars at a critical time in our nation’s history.”

There also was nothing “acting” about his coordination with fellow combatant commanders and his management of the transition of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa to U.S. Africa Command last month, Mullen said.

“Through it all, Marty has always placed the warfighter at the forefront – a priority that he made clear on Day One – and he has responded at every turn with a quiet confidence that earned my admiration and that of countless others under his command and throughout the region,” the secretary said.

Gates next addressed the challenges awaiting Petraeus. “At the MNF-I change of command a few weeks ago, I said that history will regard him as one of our nation’s great battle captains,” Gates said. “He is the preeminent soldier-scholar-statesman of his generation, and precisely the man we need in this command at this time.”

The troops under his command, “dealt our enemies in Iraq a tremendous blow,” Gates said. “Now he will take aim at our adversaries in Afghanistan and lead security capacity efforts throughout the Middle East, the Gulf and Central Asia.”

Mullen said that America has great expectations as Petraeus takes command here. “His watchwords – learn and adapt – have echoed from the streets of Baghdad to the halls of Washington,” the chairman said.

He said Petraeus and Dempsey have “fired the minds of generations to understand the true purpose of power as a force for good: To listen in order to understand; to treat all cultures as equals, with dignity and respect; to admit quickly when we are wrong; and to share risk with those we protect – all in order to build trust.”

Building trust among all peoples of the Middle East is the priority of the command, Mullen said. “The progress of peace, and the speed of that progress, depends upon the quality of trust Dave and this command will be able to achieve throughout the broader Middle East, and how he will build upon the lessons Marty has brought forward to this very moment,” the chairman said.

While the challenges of the region may not require the same strategies Petraeus used in Iraq, he can build on that experience as he moves forward, Mullen said. “Dave, it is now your turn, with a new, broader aperture,” the chairman said. “And we have great expectations ahead.”

Both Petraeus and Dempsey are graduates of the U.S. Military Academy’s class of 1974.

Representatives of many of the partner nations attended the ceremony and Gates had a special welcome for them. The secretary thanked them for their support in Central Command.

“The United States has had enduring interests in this part of the world for many decades under presidents of both political parties,” he said. “We will continue to have a presence there, standing strong with our friends and allies.”

Gates also praised the efforts of American troops serving in U.S. Central Command. “CentCom went on a war footing when our country was attacked and has not let up since,” he said. “For seven years, those who serve in this command have bravely stepped forward and, when necessary, unsheathed the sword on our enemies.

“I’ve heard it said that ‘communism didn’t fall, it was pushed.’ Likewise, violent extremism will neither crumble nor fade away of its own accord,” the secretary continued. “It will be the valor, grit and fighting spirit of you – the men and women of U.S. Central Command – that will give heart to our friends while pursuing terrorists where they hide, wrecking their malevolent designs and keeping them far from our shores.”

The men and women of U.S. Central Command have sacrificed for all Americans, and “we cannot thank you enough,” Mullen said. “It doesn’t take ceremonies like this to celebrate the confidence of a grateful nation in our men and women in uniform, here in Tampa, and throughout the world, who choose lives of great sacrifice, and along with their families, bear heroic burdens, and honor us all.”

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General Dynamics NASSCO Delivers USNS Amelia Earhart

General Dynamics NASSCO Delivers USNS Amelia Earhart
October 30, 2008

SAN DIEGO – General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), today delivered USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) to the U.S. Navy. The ship is named in honor of the record-setting aviator.

“The Amelia Earhart is another high-quality, extremely capable ship delivered by the NASSCO team,” said Frederick J. Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “We have reduced the man-hours to build this sixth ship of the T-AKE class by nearly 50 percent when compared to the production time of the lead ship. This is among the most efficient shipbuilding performances in the United States for a class of complex ships.”

Construction of the USNS Amelia Earhart began in December 2006. NASSCO has incorporated international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features into T-AKE class ships, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system, to minimize operating costs during their projected 40-year service life. With a cargo capacity of more than 10,000 tons, the primary mission of T-AKE ships is to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions from shore stations to combat ships at sea.

NASSCO has delivered the first five ships of the T-AKE class and has construction contracts for five additional ships, including the Amelia Earhart. The Navy has options to build four additional T-AKE ships for a total of 14 vessels. The seventh through tenth ships of the T-AKE class are currently under construction at NASSCO and are scheduled for deliveries through the third quarter of 2010.

General Dynamics NASSCO employs more than 4,800 people and is the only major ship construction yard on the West Coast of the United States. The San Diego shipyard is also building the first three of nine product carriers for U.S. Shipping Partners L.P. For more information about NASSCO.

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Thales: Strong growth intake and higher revenues at 30 september 2008

Thales: Strong growth intake and higher revenues at 30 september 2008
31 October 2008

  • Exceptional charge of about 60 million euros on A400M programme planned in second half figures.

  • Revenues at 30 September: €8.3 billion, up 7% on a like-for-like basis and with constant exchange rates

  • Order intake at 30 September: €9.0 billion, a sharp increase of 23% on a like-for-like basis and with constant exchange rates, with several major contracts booked in Europe

  • Confirmed objective of a 6% organic1 growth in revenues in 2008

  • EBIT objective impacted by a provision of about €60m related to A400M programme.

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Minister of State for Defence Equipment & Support (Min DE&S), Quentin Davies MP, has today visited Thales UK in Glasgow

The Minister of State for Defence Equipment & Support (Min DE&S), Quentin Davies MP, has today visited Thales UK in Glasgow to see some of the special equipment developed by Thales that has recently been sent into theatre to deliver `battle-winning`capability for the UK Armed Forces.

Accompanied by Victor Chavez, Deputy CEO Thales UK and local senior managers, the Minister was given a briefing on Thales UK, its defence businesses in Glasgow, the importance of the site to Scotland and an overview of programmes undertaken at the site.

The Minister also met a range of Thales employees, including Trade Union representatives, apprentices, graduates who have recently joined the company and employees who been with the company for over 30 years.

Victor Chavez, Deputy CEO Thales UK, says: "We are delighted that Quentin Davies has been able to visit us in Glasgow so early in his tenure as Min DE&S and also as we celebrate our 120th anniversary in Glasgow. Glasgow is one of Thales's largest sites in the UK and a key part of the Thales Group globally. We are proud to have supported the Armed Forces from Glasgow since 1888 and the MoD remains our most important customer. We were excited to be able to show him some of the cutting edge technology developed here in Glasgow and the significant investment we are making in Scotland."

The Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, commented: "It is important that I visited Thales early in my tour of Scottish defence companies as it has a long and prestigious history of supply to the Armed Forces and is active in supporting current operations. I was impressed with the investment Thales is making in people, facilities and the development of its business through the Thales Scottish Technology Prize."

Some 650 of Thales UK's 9,000 work force are based at the Glasgow site. The company is an important source of high-tech, high-skill employment in the region and this year has recruited 103 people, including a high number of engineers.

- Ends -

Notes to editors
Thales in Scotland: Thales UK is this year commemorating its 120th anniversary in Scotland. First established in Scotland in 1888 when Professor Archibald Barr of the University of Glasgow and Dr William Stroud of Yorkshire College (now Leeds University) set up Barr & Stroud Ltd to make optical range-finders for the British Army, the company has gone on to become a world centre of excellence for electro-optical systems and equipment, principally for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the international export market. In 2001 it became part of the Thales Group.

In Scotland Thales is a major player in the defence industry and operates at all levels of supply to the MoD from its range of sites. The optronics business in Govan, Glasgow is our principal facility in Scotland employing 650 people across a range of high-tech skills. This site designs and manufactures world-leading electro-optic night vision systems and equipment for all three UK Armed Services.

The Glasgow site has a unique 90-year heritage of exclusive sole UK supplier of periscopes and optronic masts for Royal Navy's submarines, and has also supplied most of the UK's armoured fighting vehicles such as Challenger 2, Warrior and Scimitar vehicles with night vision equipment such as BGTI (Battle Group Thermal Imaging) systems. These vehicles are currently on active service providing our troops with, in many instances, life-saving protective capabilities. The site also manufactures reconnaissance pods, and Infra-Red Search & Track for the Eurofighter Typhoon. Some 30% of employees at the Glasgow facility are engineers and scientists. This site also has an active apprenticeship programme with disciplines including electrical and mechanical engineering.

Thales engages with schools within the Glasgow area to help fulfil its apprenticeship requirements and extends this to include site visits and student placements/work experience to help generate interest in engineering as a future career. We also provide financial support to schools within the immediate area of the site. Similarly, Scottish Universities are normally our first port of call for high-quality graduates to help satisfy our long-term engineering requirements. We have an ongoing and developing dialogue with these Universities to establish potential future partnerships, especially in the areas of engineering skills for product design and development to support our high-technology business. For example we have recently launched the Thales Scottish Technology Prize with Scottish Universities to identify further opportunities for collaborative working between Thales and universities in Scotland.

Thales also operates as a service provider at a number of MoD sites in Scotland, including simulator- and classroom-based military training services at RAF Leuchars for the Tornado F3, at Lossiemouth for the Tornado GR4 and at Kinloss for the Nimrod MR2. Contracted under a PFI arrangement, these services represent a 30-year plus investment in providing military training services and jobs for the MoD in Scotland by Thales.

With currently more than 700 employees in the defence sector in Scotland, Thales has generated more than £650m in sales between 2000 and the end of 2006. Through direct employment or through partnership supplier arrangements with local SMEs, Thales has re-invested more than £250m of business back into the Scottish economy during this period. Thales contribution to the Scottish economy is projected to rise significantly, in relative terms, to more than £550m over the next four years alone.

About Thales and Thales UK
Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing defence, aerospace and security markets worldwide. Thales' leading-edge technology is supported by 22,000 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. To this end, the group's civil and military businesses develop in parallel and share a common base of technologies to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. The group builds its growth on its unique multi-domestic strategy based on trusted partnerships with national customers and market players, while leveraging its global expertise to support local technology and industrial development. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with 2007 revenues in excess of £8.3 bn.

Thales UK employs 9,000 staff based at more than 50 locations. In 2007 Thales UK's revenues were over £1.2 bn.

GAO: DEFENSE HEALTH CARE - Additional Efforts Needed to Ensure Compliance with Personality Disorder Separation Requirements

GAO: DEFENSE HEALTH CARE - Additional Efforts Needed to Ensure Compliance with Personality Disorder Separation Requirements

Highlights of GAO-09-31, a report to congressional addressees

At DOD, a personality disorder can render a servicemember unsuitable for service. GAO was required to report on personality disorder separations and examined (1) the extent that selected military installations complied with DOD’s separation requirements and (2) how DOD ensures compliance with these requirements. GAO reviewed a sample of 312 servicemembers’ records from four installations, representing the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, that had the highest or second highest number of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom servicemembers separated because of a personality disorder. The review is generalizable to the installations, but not to the services. GAO also reviewed 59 Navy service members’ records, but this review is not generalizable to the installation or the Navy because parts of the separation process could have been completed at multiple locations.

What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends that DOD (1) ensure that the services’ personality disorder separations comply with DOD’s requirements and (2) monitor the services’ compliance. DOD concurred with GAO’s first recommendation and partially concurred with the other. DOD stated that it will strengthen policy guidance for the services’ compliance reporting, but stated that it is the responsibility of the services to ensure compliance. However, GAO’s review indicates that reliance on the services is insufficient to ensure compliance.

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GAO: DEFENSE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE - Developing Training Standards and an Awareness of Existing Expertise Would Help DOD Assure the Availability of

GAO: DEFENSE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE - Developing Training Standards and an Awareness of Existing Expertise Would Help DOD Assure the Availability of Critical Infrastructure

Highlights of GAO-09-42, a report to congressional requesters

The Department of Defense (DOD) relies on a global network of DOD and non-DOD infrastructure so critical that its unavailability could have a debilitating effect on DOD’s ability to project, support, and sustain its forces and operations worldwide. DOD established the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP) to assure the availability of mission-critical infrastructure. GAO was asked to evaluate the extent to which DOD has (1) incorporated aspects of DCIP into its exercises in the Transportation Defense Sector and (2) developed DCIP training standards departmentwide and made installation personnel aware of existing DCIP expertise. GAO examined a nonprojectable sample of 46 critical assets representing the four military services, five combatant commands, and selected installations within five defense sectors. GAO reviewed relevant DOD DCIP guidance and documents and interviewed cognizant officials regarding DCIP exercises, training, and awareness.

What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends that DOD,
(1) develop departmentwide DCIP training standards and an implementation time frame and,
(2) develop an effective means to communicate to installation personnel the existence and availability of DCIP expertise at the combatant command and military service levels. DOD concurred with both recommendations.

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GAO: COMBATING NUCLEAR SMUGGLING: DHS’s Phase 3 Test Report on Advanced Portal Monitors Does Not Fully Disclose the Limitations of the Test Results

GAO: COMBATING NUCLEAR SMUGGLING: DHS’s Phase 3 Test Report on Advanced Portal Monitors Does Not Fully Disclose the Limitations of the Test Results

Highlights of GAO-08-979, a report to congressional committees

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are part of the U.S. defense against such threats. In 2007, Congress required that funds for new advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors could not be spent until the Secretary of DHS certified that these machines represented a significant increase in operational effectiveness over currently deployed portal monitors. 

In addition to other tests, DNDO conducted the Phase 3 tests on ASPs to identify areas in which the ASPs needed improvement. GAO was asked to assess (1) the degree to which the Phase 3 test report accurately depicts the test results and (2) the appropriateness of using the Phase 3 test results to determine whether ASPs represent a significant improvement over current radiation detection equipment. GAO also agreed to provide its observations on special tests conducted by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL).

What GAO Recommends
GAO’s recommendations include proposing that the Secretary of DHS revise the Phase 3 report to better disclose test results and limitations if it is to be used in any certification decision for ASP acquisition. DHS disagreed with two of GAO’s recommendations but agreed to take action on a third. GAO continues to believe that all of its recommendations need to be implemented.

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CNO Announces Flag Officer Assignments

CNO Announces Flag Officer Assignments
Story Number: NNS081031-06
Release Date: 10/31/2008 6:13:00 AM
From the Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced Oct. 30 the following assignments:

Rear Adm. (lower half) Nevin P. Carr Jr. is being assigned as chief of naval research/director, test and evaluation and technology requirements, N091, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Carr is currently serving as director, Navy International Programs Office, Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Charles M. Lilli is being assigned as director, Supply, Ordnance and Logistics Operations Division, N41, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Lilli is currently serving as director of logistics and engineering, J4, U.S. Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Charles E. Smith is being assigned as program executive officer, enterprise information systems, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (research, development, and acquisition), Washington, D.C. Smith is currently serving as vice commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Stephen S. Voetsch is being assigned as director, Navy International Programs Office, Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C. Voetsch is currently serving as commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Norfolk, Va.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

National Audit Office Press Notice: Allocation and management of risk in Ministry of Defence PFI projects

National Audit Office Press Notice: Allocation and management of risk in Ministry of Defence PFI projects

Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General
HC 343 2007-2008
30 October 2008
ISBN: 9780102953121

Most Ministry of Defence projects funded by PFI deals are delivered satisfactorily, on time and on budget. In six of the eight projects examined by the NAO, the Department has generally achieved value for money through effective allocation and management of risks. Failures to identify and manage risks reduced the value for money achieved from the other two projects reviewed by the NAO.

Most MOD PFI projects are now providing important support to military and civilian staff. They cover a portfolio of more than 50 projects delivering a broad range of services such as equipment, buildings, training and communications. The Department has developed commercial disciplines for scrutinising the value for money of its PFI procurements and has extended these into other projects.

While the MOD allocates and manages many of the project risks effectively, it does not always have the robust data necessary to understand the risks it is asking the private sector to bear. In at least seven projects, the decision to use PFI has been reversed. It may be that, in some of these cases, risks were not fully understood at the outset. In one case, six years elapsed before the MOD aborted a planned PFI procurement for Armoured Vehicle Training Services (AVTS), at a cost to the taxpayer of £15 million. Half of this cost relates to the purchase of Intellectual Property Rights which the Department intends to exploit. The Department estimates that the alternative solution subsequently procured will lead to savings of some £30 million over the next ten years in live ammunition.

There is scope for improving procurement times. Overall, the PFI projects surveyed by the NAO took an average of 37 months to procure compared with the PFI average across government of 34 months. And larger PFI projects with a capital value over £50 million took the MOD an average of 45 months to procure. This longer procurement time reflects the complexity and special requirements of the Department’s projects compared with repeat projects such as hospitals or schools but there is also some scope for the Department to improve the speed at which it closes larger deals. It is seeking to do so through improvements to the oversight of its capital procurements.

The NAO also highlight the risk that contractors may incorrectly report performance which would otherwise lead to payment deductions. Staff of BT inflated the number of calls handled in the Defence Fixed Telecommunications System. The MoD subsequently recovered £1.3 million from BT.

Tim Burr, head of the National Audit Office, said today:

“Most of the private finance projects in its portfolio of more than 50 have been delivered successfully by the Ministry of Defence. But the Department needs to be more alert to the risks that can emerge once the project is up and running, such as inaccurate performance reporting. It could also reduce procurement times by speeding up its decision-making, and by collecting better information at the outset on current and prospective use of the service and the condition of assets.”

Notes for Editors:
The Ministry of Defence is one of the biggest users of PFI in central government, spending over a £1 billion a year on PFI projects. These span buildings, training, equipment and communications

Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website. Hard copies can be obtained from The Stationery Office.

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Tim Burr, is the head of the National Audit Office which employs some 850 staff. He and the NAO are totally independent of Government. He certifies the accounts of all Government departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies; and he has statutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and other bodies have used their resources.

Press Notice 45/08

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General Dynamics Receives $10 Million For Submarine Support Work

General Dynamics Receives $10 Million For Submarine Support Work

GROTON, Conn. – The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $10.2 million modification to an existing contract for submarine modernization and related work at the submarine base in Groton. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD).

Initially awarded in October 2006, the five-year contract has a potential value of $201.8 million if all options are exercised and funded.

Under the terms of the contract modification, Electric Boat will continue to perform non-nuclear submarine modernization and repair services at the Naval Submarine Support Facility at the submarine base. Tasks include intermediate overhaul, repair and modernization activities in support of submarines, the Shippingport floating dry-dock and support and service craft. About 270 Electric Boat employees are assigned to the work.

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Thales selected by Royal Norwegian Navy for the delivery of a Mine Counter Measure Software Package

Thales selected by Royal Norwegian Navy for the delivery of a Mine Counter Measure Software Package
30 October 2008

After signing a contract for the replacement of the hull-mounted sonar of the Oksoy and Alta-class Mine Counter Measure vessels on 30th March 2007, Thales is now selected by the Royal Norwegian Navy for the delivery of the MCM C2 Software package.

Thales, as Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace's partner for this contract, will deliver a solution allowing the Norwegian Navy to efficiently plan and execute mine countermeasure missions.

"I am glad that the Norwegian Navy be provided with the most advanced capability to perform mine-countermeasure operations" says Guy Baruchel, director Underwater Systems within Thales's Naval division. "This contract is the result of a 20-year cooperation between Thales, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and the Norwegian Authorities".

The TSM2061 Mk III Command & Control software package is derived from the successful TSM 2061 Mk III family. It implements the most advanced algorithms necessary to counter modern mine threats efficiently. The TSM2061 Mk III family is already sea proven and in service on the French Navy's modernised CMTs (Chasseur de Mine Tripartites) and will soon be delivered in Asia as part of an upgrade programme of Mine Countermeasure Vessels.

This new contract will significantly enlarge the TSM2061 Mk III community of users and further consolidates the position of Thales's underwater systems as a world leader in the MCM systems domain.

U.S. Navy, Raytheon Achieve Program Milestone on New Joint Standoff Weapon Variant

U.S. Navy, Raytheon Achieve Program Milestone on New Joint Standoff Weapon Variant

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 30, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The U.S. Navy and Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) completed a critical design review of the Joint Standoff Weapon C-1, achieving a major program milestone.

JSOW C-1 adds moving maritime target capability and a two-way data link to the combat-proven JSOW family.

"JSOW C-1 is needed because it brings critical capabilities [to the warfighter]," said Commander Andrew "Chunder" Kessler, JSOW deputy program manager for JSOW in the Navy's Precision Strike Weapons program office. "It will represent the world's first network-enabled weapon when it is delivered to the warfighter in 2010."

Completion of the CDR means Raytheon has moved one step closer to delivering the JSOW C-1 to the U.S. Navy.

"With the CDR under our belt, Raytheon remains on track to begin captive carry testing of the JSOW C-1 from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft next year," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Air Warfare Systems' product line.

The U.S. Navy and Raytheon are currently negotiating the first production lot of JSOW C-1 missiles. The contract award is expected in December.

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Northrop Grumman Reaches Labor Contract Agreement With United Steelworkers Local 8888

Northrop Grumman Reaches Labor Contract Agreement With United Steelworkers Local 8888

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Oct. 30, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announced today that its Shipbuilding sector's United Steelworkers members voted to accept a new 52-month labor contract. The current contract expired at midnight October 26. The new contract takes effect from October 27, 2008 through March 10, 2013.

"We are pleased that the union members voted yes for the contract and we look forward to moving ahead, together, to build ships for the world's greatest Navy," said Bill Ermatinger, vice president, human resources and administration for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "We believe the contract is a very fair and competitive one with a strong economic package and significant benefit enhancements. Most importantly, we believe it is a contract worthy of our great shipbuilders at Newport News," he added.

Highlights of the contract include:

* Contract Length: The new contract spans 52 months and will be effective from October 27, 2008 through March 10, 2013. It is split into four 13-month periods.

* Wages: A 16.4 percent increase over the life of the contract for more than half of the workforce. This averages to a 3.75 percent increase per year for each employee. On day one, employees in pay grade 13 through 17 will receive four percent increases. All others will receive 3.75 percent increases. The next two 13-month increments will have 3.75 percent increases. There will be a four percent increase for the final 13 months of the contract.

* Shift Differential: Increased from 75 cents to $1.25, effective immediately (for employees working on second and third shifts).

* Pension: Increased from $1,100 per month to $1,250 starting February 1, 2009. It will then increase to $1,350 per month beginning January 1, 2011. Additionally, a $20 per year supplement will be given to employees for each year of credited service after 30 years. For example, an employee with 35 years of credited service on February 1, who qualifies for the $1,250 per month pension, will receive $1,350 per month. The current pension multiplier will increase from $40 per year of service to $45 over the life of the contract for future years of service.

* Medical Benefits: Maintained current premium cost sharing for current and future years with only a 3.2 percent premium increase, beginning in July. Premium increases are between 72 cents per week for single coverage to $2.26 per week for family coverage.

* Paid Sick or Personal Leave: Employees who miss six hours or less during a calendar quarter will earn six hours of sick or personal time. Employees can earn a maximum of three days per year and bank a maximum of six days.

* Employee Recognition Program: Supervisors will now have the ability to nominate their employees for monetary awards to recognize outstanding performance, process improvements, quality improvements and cost saving ideas.

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Lockheed Martin Delivers 500th Arrowhead® System To U.S. Army

Lockheed Martin Delivers 500th Arrowhead® System To U.S. Army

Orlando, FL, October 30th, 2008 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] marked the delivery of the 500th Arrowhead system to the U.S. Army at a celebration held at its Ocala and Orlando, FL, facilities. Arrowhead is the U.S. Army’s Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

Known as the “eyes of the Apache,” the Arrowhead system provides Apache pilots the most advanced long-range, electro-optical precision engagement and pilotage capabilities to ensure flight safety in day, night and adverse-weather missions.

“The delivery of the 500th Arrowhead system marks a significant milestone,” said LTC John Vannoy, product manager for Apache sensors. “It demonstrates the teamwork and total commitment to success from the Arrowhead Team and Program. Our Soldiers deserve nothing less.”

“We are proud to develop and integrate a system that helps Apache pilots complete their missions safely,” said Bob Gunning, vice president of Apache Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This 500th delivery milestone signifies the strong dedication we and our Army partners have to outfitting our Warfighters with the most advanced capabilities available.”

Arrowhead uses forward-looking infrared sensors to provide pilots with enhanced image resolution, allowing Apache aviators significant standoff range and unrivaled targeting capabilities. Arrowhead improves performance and reliability over legacy systems by more than 150 percent, reduces maintenance actions by nearly 60 percent, and will save the Army nearly $1 billion in operation and support costs over its 20-year system life.

Electronics assembly of the Arrowhead system is performed at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s Ocala facility, while final assembly is performed in Orlando. Both sites were recognized in 2007 by IndustryWeek as two of the top 10 ‘Best Plants in the Country’. The plants were chosen for their efficient and strategic manufacturing processes as well as their dedication to continuous improvement through lean thinking.

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Army Commanders Conference 2008 Commenced

Army Commanders Conference 2008 Commenced

October 30 2008 -- Commanders’ Conference in the Armed Forces is a biennial activity, with the first set of conferences being held normally in April and the second set in Oct-Nov every year. This is the second set of conferences in the year 2008, which is commenced from today and will conclude on 04 Nov 08.

Besides one day, ie, 01 Nov, being earmarked for the combined Commanders’ Conference, the other four days have been earmarked for the Army Commanders’ Conference. The Army commanders Conference be chaired by General Deepak Kapoor, the Chief of Army Staff.

The four-day event is meant to be an intense intellectual exercise in deliberating upon various issues at the military strategic and operational levels, During the conference, the Army Chief with the Army commanders, will take stock of the national security environment with the view to appropriately aligning own efforts and initiative, where required.

The conference would also review progress on decisions taken during the previous Army Commanders’ Conference. In addition, other important issues which are expected to be deliberated upon are :-

• Scope of exploiting tunneling technology for developing hardened shelters for storage of critical equipment and other war-fighting assets.

• Audit and effective management of Defence Land.

• Measures for maximizing responsiveness of the Military Engineering Service (MES).

• Optimising of Human Resource Capital to enhance specialist Service needs and capabilities.

• Improvements in content and conduct of Basic and Advanced military training of PBOR recruits to meet the challenges of emerging battlefield environment.

• Modalities for optimizing implementation of the Part 2 of AV Singh Committee report.

The Conference will also provide an opportunity for interaction of the Army Commanders and the Principal Staff Officers with the key officials of the Ministry of Defence.

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IAF Commanders’ Conference begins

IAF Commanders’ Conference begins


October 30 2008 -- The Indian Air Force Commanders’ Conference began today at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan), New Delh. The Conference commenced with the inaugural address of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Fali H Major.

Addressing the Commanders, the Chief of the Air Staff put forward his vision of the shape of the IAF, in the years to come, and chartered out the future course of action. In view of the enhanced capabilities being acquired through the induction of new assets, he said that the IAF’s operational plans would now become much more effective. He emphasized the need to develop state-of-the-art maintenance practices and facilities. He also stressed on the fact that air warriors were the most important force-multiplier and must be treated with utmost concern and empathy.

During the present Commanders’ Conference the Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of IAF Commands would carry out a data based review. Lessons learnt during Exercise ‘Red Flag’ and Exercise ‘Desert Eagle’, implementation of AVSC Phase II and future road map for Garud force would also be taken up for discussion.

The Conference is attended by the top brass of the Indian Air Force comprising Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of IAF Commands and Principle Staff Officers of Air Headquarters. During the Commanders’ Conference, operational challenges before the IAF are discussed. Apart from this flight safety, maintenance, administrative and logistical issues which impinge on the operational effectiveness of Air Force are also taken up for discussions.

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29 Oct 2008 | Ref. 271/2008

ARLINGTON, Virginia – BAE Systems, through its Ground Systems line of business, and teammate Navistar Defense, LLC have been awarded a $40.5 million to participate in a 27-month technology demonstration phase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program.

JLTV is the U.S. multi-service initiative for fielding a family of future light tactical vehicles. The BAE Systems-Navistar team was one of three teams selected for the technology demonstration program.

“We have matured our concept through a full year of engineering, prototyping and testing, and incorporated real operational lessons from MRAP. As a result, we believe we have an agile yet highly protected vehicle that is very close to being fielded in the war fight,” said Raj Rajagopal, president of Land & Armaments, Ground Systems. “From the human engineered crew compartment to the advanced ballistic hull, every part of our JLTV prototype was built with the soldier and marine in mind, providing unmatched survivability and mission effectiveness.”

During the demonstration phase, the BAE Systems-Navistar team will submit seven prototype vehicles and four trailers for evaluation and testing by the Army.

The BAE Systems-Navistar JLTV proposal is named the Valanx. Valanx is a family of v-hulled, blast-resistant vehicles that optimize what's referred to as the "iron triangle" – payload, protection and performance – to meet all requirements of the JLTV program. There are several variations of the Valanx designed to meet scouting, general mobility, infantry carrying, ambulatory and other needs for combat troops.

Vehicle models for the various Valanx variations will be designed and fabricated during 2009 and tested in 2010, leading to the selection of two teams for a JLTV system development and demonstration (SDD, Milestone B) in 2011.

"We believe the Valanx provides the foundation for a family of vehicles that will offer unmatched strength, protection and support for the Warfighter for decades to come," said Kevin Thomas, director, product creation for Navistar Defense, an affiliate of Navistar International Corporation. "Our team is eager to move forward and continue our partnership with the Joint Services as they determine the best tactical vehicle solution for our men and women in uniform.”

The Valanx design incorporates lessons learned from the U.S. Department of Defense's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program and features the latest in lightweight, advanced armor and a v-shaped hull design to provide unmatched crew protection. The vehicle will out-perform existing tactical systems by providing exportable power that exceeds JLTV requirements and existing MRAP capabilities. Its modular design maximizes commonality across JLTV variants and enables the seamless integration of future technologies.

The team unveiled its first Valanx prototype in February 2008.

The BAE Systems Ground Systems-Navistar team builds off the two company’s current leadership in armored and tactical vehicle development and support, which includes the team working together for the benefit of the joint U.S. customer on programs like MRAP. Combined, the BAE Systems Ground Systems-Navistar team maximizes JLTV program value through proven capabilities, lean manufacturing and extensive worldwide logistics support.

The team also includes Arvin Meritor to manufacture the lightweight independent suspension and drivetrain solutions for the Valanx. The company is a leading designer and manufacturer of automotive advanced mobility systems and is the largest axle supplier to the U.S. military.

BAE Systems' centrally funded research and technology program provided a range of technologies which can be used to deliver autonomous or semi-autonomous capabilities for the JLTV offering. These can be deployed in individual unmanned assets or integrated onto manned vehicles to reduce crew workload, enhance survivability and create greater situational awareness.

BAE Systems will also provide and integrate the power management, C4ISR, situational awareness, and diagnostics/prognostics capabilities to support the team's warfighter-centric design concept.

The BAE Systems-Navistar team draws on top talent from across the country. Sites participating in the development include: York, Pennsylvania; Ontario, San Diego and Santa Clara, California; Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights and Troy, Michigan; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Johnson City, New York; Austin, Texas; Nashua, Hew Hampshire; Reston, Virginia; Melrose Park and Warrenville, Illinois; Fort Wayne, Indiana; West Point, Mississippi; Huntsville, Alabama; and Laurinberg and York, South Carolina.

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Boeing Team Awarded AESA Radar Modernization Contract for US Air Force F-15E

Boeing Team Awarded AESA Radar Modernization Contract for US Air Force F-15E

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 30, 2008 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a $238 million System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract by the U.S. Air Force to modernize the radar system on F-15E fighter aircraft.
"The Radar Modernization Program (RMP) will ensure that the F-15E continues its multirole supremacy for decades," said Mark Bass, Boeing F-15 Program vice president. "The supportability improvements and tactical flexibility inherent in the RMP take the F-15E capability to a higher level."

The RMP will incorporate an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) antenna with more-supportable radar electronics. The AESA replaces the APG-70 radar currently integrated on the F-15E, improving radar reliability, maintainability and performance while reducing support costs. When integrated into the F-15E weapons system, the AESA radar will improve detection and tracking of enemy targets, including small targets.

During the SDD phase, Boeing team member Raytheon will produce developmental and flight-test units and support Boeing's integration of the AESA into the F-15E. The integration activity will take place at Boeing facilities in St. Louis prior to the developmental and initial operational test and evaluation flight programs. Initial operational capability is expected in fiscal year 2014 with 12 operational aircraft.

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SECNAV Names New Zumwalt-Class Destroyer USS Michael Monsoor

SECNAV Names New Zumwalt-Class Destroyer USS Michael Monsoor
Story Number: NNS081030-08
Release Date: 10/30/2008 9:49:00 AM

From the Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter announced Oct. 29 at a Navy SEAL Warrior Fund Benefit Gala at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, the name of the newest Zumwalt-class Destroyer will be USS Michael Monsoor.

Designated as DDG 1001, the name honors Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Ramadi, Iraq, Sept. 29, 2006.

Winter discussed the qualities, values and dedication to duty that Navy SEALs exemplify, including the extraordinary acts of Michael Monsoor.

"Tonight I would like to single out one of those heroes from the community of Navy SEALs," Winter said. "Those who served with Michael Monsoor will remember him always as a consummate professional who faced terrorist enemies with aplomb and stoicism."

"The full extent of Michael's courage, gallantry and selfless heroism were revealed on the 29th of September, in Ramadi. When his team was surprised by an enemy grenade, Michael could have escaped and saved himself," Winter said. "But he chose a different path, a path of honor that embodies the way of a Navy SEAL. For having chosen that path, Petty Officer Michael Monsoor joined the ranks of those who have earned our nation's highest distinction, the Medal of Honor."

Winter concluded that Michael Monsoor's heroism and self sacrifice for his teammates and his nation epitomize the Navy's core values and will forever provide prideful admiration for our Sailors.

"Michael Monsoor's name will now be linked with one of our nation's most visible examples of military power, a U.S. Navy warship," Winter said. "His legacy will inspire the hearts of future Sailors who serve on the ship that bears his name."

The USS Michael Monsoor will be a multi-mission surface combatant tailored for advanced land attack and littoral dominance. The ship's mission is to provide credible, independent forward presence and deterrence and to operate as an integral part of naval, joint or combined maritime forces.

The USS Michael Monsoor will be the second Zumwalt-class destroyer. The ship will be 600 feet in length, have a beam of 80.7 feet and displace approximately 15,000 tons. Michael Monsoor will have a crew size of 148 officers and Sailors; it will make speed in excess of 30 knots.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Financial crash and leading Defense Manufacturers

The challenge to the world's financial system with a crisis in liquidity seemed to potentially leave the leading defence industrial players largely unaffected. In late 2007 investment banks analysts were forecasting defense as being one of only three sectors to post positive growth in 2008.

The recent late summer and early autumn slump in the markets has pierced the shield of apparent invulnerability of leading defense stocks. Below is a summary of what has transpired:

Company 52 week share price Mkt. Cap P/E
Boeing (BA) $39.99 - $98.71 $36.5bn 9.8x
General Dynamics (GD) $51.90 - $95.13 $23.1bn 9.7x
Lockheed Martin (LMT) $72.40 - $120.30 $31.5bn 10.2x
Northrop Grumman (NOC) $37.23 - $85.21 $14.7bn 9.0x
Raytheon (RTN) $41.81 - $67.49 $19.7bn 10.8x

In terms of share price variation, the top 5 US contractors have experienced an average fall of nearly 50% in the past 52 weeks. Of the top 5 Boeing, experiencing difficulties with the Air Tanker contract for the USAF as well as labor difficulties with the unions has suffered the steepest fall. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have weathered the battering storm of share prices best.

Company 52 week share Mkt. Cap. P/E
BAE Systems (Lon:BA) £2.94 - £5.19 £11.1bn 10.2x
Babcock (Lon:BAB) £3.06 - £6.50 £-- --.-
QinetiQ (Lon:QQ) £1.56 - £2.35 £1.04bn 21.9x
VT Group (Lon:VTG) £4.32 - £7.24 £-- --.-

Whilst some in the Defense establishment who feel less well disposed to the idea of profitability of defense contractors, the current pinch in the credit markets, coupled with falls in valuation will make it harder to secure finance for investment in their businesses, product development and so forth. Furthermore weakness in the industry will reinforce pressure to merge or acquire smaller competitors - with less choice for the end customer and less competition.

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Northrop Grumman Delivers Its 25th Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer Truxtun (DDG 103) to U.S. Navy Ahead of Schedule

Northrop Grumman Delivers Its 25th Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer Truxtun (DDG 103) to U.S. Navy Ahead of Schedule

PASCAGOULA, Miss., Oct. 29, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) delivered its 25th Aegis guided missile destroyer to the U.S. Navy here last week. Truxtun (DDG 103), built by the company's Shipbuilding sector, recently completed U.S. Navy acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico -- the final milestone prior to ship delivery.

Northrop Grumman delivered its 25th Aegis guided missile destroyer to the U.S. Navy. Truxtun (DDG 103), built by the company's Shipbuilding sector, recently completed U.S. Navy acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico - the final milestone prior to ship delivery.

"In delivering Truxtun to the U.S. Navy, our company continues its success in the design, construction and testing of Aegis destroyers," said Brian Cuccias, vice president of surface combatants for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "Our shipbuilders worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone and by doing so, we were able to deliver the ship 10 weeks ahead of schedule. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with our U.S. Navy customer on the Gulf Coast in building future destroyers."

U.S Navy Cmdr. Timothy Weber, a native of Decatur, Georgia, and 1990 graduate of Vanderbilt University, is the ship's first commanding officer and will lead a crew of 276 officers and sailors. The 510-foot, 9,200-ton Truxtun has an overall beam of 66.5 feet and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas-turbine propulsion plants will power the ship to speeds above 30 knots.

"The Northrop Grumman-Navy team should be very proud of reaching this historic milestone in the young life of this great warship," said Cmdr. Weber. "So many people have had a hand in the building of Truxtun with so much dedication and commitment. I am certain Commodore Thomas Truxtun would be impressed, himself a former ship builder. It is an honor to be the first Captain of USS Truxtun. I am proud of my crew, and the public can also be proud of these great men and women - 280 strong - who will take Truxtun to sea early next year. I am in awe of the shipbuilding process and those who bring it all together to deliver a world-class United States Ship, Truxtun (DDG 103)."

Six previous ships, including five destroyers, have been named in honor of Commodore Thomas Truxtun, the ship's namesake who served as a privateer in the American Revolution and was appointed by President George Washington as Captain of USS Constellation, the first U.S. Naval war ship.

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New armoured vehicles for Afghanistan

New armoured vehicles for Afghanistan

An Equipment and Logistics news article
29 Oct 08

Defence Secretary John Hutton has announced a package worth £700 million today, which will pay for some 700 new armoured vehicles to further improve the safety and protection of troops on operations in Afghanistan.

The Protected Mobility Package announced by Mr Hutton today, Wednesday 29 October 2008, includes provision of £350 million for 400 brand new armoured support trucks which will be used to accompany patrols and carry essential supplies such as water and ammunition. The three distinct categories of Tactical Support Vehicles (TSV) are:

Wolfhound: TSV (Heavy). Heavy armoured support trucks - supporting and re-supplying Mastiffs in the highest threat areas. These vehicles will have the highest levels of mine blast protection;

Husky: TSV (Medium). Medium armoured support trucks - carrying out the support roles in lower threat areas and where heavy vehicles, like Mastiff, cannot be used;

Coyote: TSV (Light). Light armoured support vehicles - supporting Jackals across the harsh terrain of Afghanistan.

Other vehicles which will be paid for out of the £700 million include:

Over 100 brand new cross-country vehicles called Warthog which, with greater protection levels, will replace Vikings in Afghanistan, and over 100 more Jackals, the extremely agile all-terrain vehicles which include high-levels of off-road mobility and firepower.

£96 million from the package will also be used to develop a specialist route clearance system known as Talisman, which will provide a new high-tech way of dealing with the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) threat. Among the Talisman vehicles to be developed will be the Buffalo mine-protected vehicle and the Engineer Excavator.

Announcing the new vehicles, Defence Secretary John Hutton said:

"Getting the right vehicles and equipment to our Armed Forces has always been an absolute priority. Today's multi-million pound package shows that we are responding to new and changing threats on the ground and will provide our serving personnel with the highest levels of protection and mobility that technology will allow.

"I have seen first-hand the difference our Mastiff and Jackals are already making to our troops in Afghanistan; the arrival of 700 new vehicles will improve even further their ability to move cross-country and provide vital support with the utmost protection to our existing vehicle fleets."

In addition, new vehicles, and upgrades and modifications were also announced today. 30 base Cougar vehicles will be purchased, a mixture of 4x4s and 6x6s, which will be modified to boost our training fleets for Mastiff and Ridgback.

The new Panther vehicle has been modified and upgraded to prepare for its arrival in Afghanistan and a new variant of the Snatch has been developed, known as the Snatch-Vixen, which, especially designed for Afghanistan, has been given extra power and payload which enhances the mobility and protection of the vehicle.

Today's announcement builds on previous measures that are already making a difference in Iraq and Afghanistan including the introduction of the hugely successful Mastiff with its superior levels of protection and the Jackal with its impressive firepower and speed, allowing troops to get off the tracks and roads and strike hard at the enemy from all directions.

Mastiff's smaller brother Ridgback, due to arrive on operations early in the new year, will also add to these measures, delivering protection levels close to that of the Mastiff in a package that gives better access to urban areas.

£500 million of the funding for the Protected Mobility Package has been allocated from the Treasury Reserve while Defence will fund a part of the package in acknowledgement of the longer term benefit to core defence capability these vehicles offer beyond our current commitments.

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Raytheon's Deep Siren Solution Addresses Gap in Submarine Communications

Raytheon's Deep Siren Solution Addresses Gap in Submarine Communications

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Oct. 29, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Navy has successfully conducted the first large-scale test of Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Deep Siren tactical paging system.

Deep Siren enables operational commanders anywhere in the world to contact a submerged submarine, regardless of its speed or depth. This capability solves one of the most significant shortfalls in submarine communications.

Raytheon's Deep Siren system employs acoustic, expendable buoys that, when contacted through the Global Information Grid, enable long-range communications.

"Deep Siren is a critical technology for the Navy's first generation of undersea FORCEnet communications efforts," said Jerry Powlen, vice president, Network Centric Systems' Integrated Communications Systems. "Employing this technology enables the submarine fleet to be connected to the network while actively participating in military operations."

In April 2008, the Navy began a comprehensive test of the Deep Siren tactical paging system for the Navy's Communications at Speed and Depth program. Initial testing demonstrated successful results when the Deep Siren buoy was deployed over the side of a surface vessel.

In June, a Navy submarine deployed 12 Deep Siren communications gateway buoys at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center deep water range in the Bahamas. The buoys successfully reached the surface establishing direct connectivity between the commander of the Submarine Force test team in Norfolk, Va., and the submarine.

In August, the Operational Test and Evaluation Force conducted the final test event, a military utility assessment, when a Navy submarine successfully deployed Deep Siren buoys. With successful test results, Raytheon is ready to move forward to production.

Raytheon is partnering with Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems and RRK Technologies Ltd. to deliver this initial capability. The Raytheon team expects this technology will easily transition and be deployed from ships and aircraft, in addition to submarines.

Note to Editors:
Raytheon's Deep Siren solution includes a satellite communications command station, an acoustic receiver decoding station on board a submarine, and a communications gateway buoy that floats on the ocean surface and converts received SATCOM messages to underwater acoustic transmissions.

For all test events, the SUBFOR test team, Norfolk, Va., established communications via the Deep Siren command station with the deployed buoys via the Iridium satellite network, delivering several hundred acoustic messages to the submarine with performance that exceeded requirements.

Submarines routinely initiate communications or adhere to previously established communication schedules to make contact with commanders. This process introduces operational time delays and severely limits a submarine's ability to fully participate across the spectrum of naval missions.

Official tests results from the outcome of the August Military Utility Assessment are expected in December.

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Empire Challenge Validates Technologies to Support Military Networking

Empire Challenge Validates Technologies to Support Military Networking

Northrop Grumman Showcases Battle Management Command and Control, Multi-Platform Networking and Unmanned Aircraft Sensor Management

BETHPAGE, N.Y., Oct. 29, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) played a major role in a recent joint military demonstration testing increased interoperability between U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and coalition reconnaissance aircraft. As a part of this event, manned reconnaissance aircraft in-flight tested the capability to dynamically task and receive data from unmanned aircraft sensors.

Northrop Grumman technologies that can enhance data exchange between intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services were showcased at Empire Challenge 2008, an annual demonstration of how U.S. and coalition forces can work together to collect, analyze and share information. In addition to being focused primarily on collaborative ISR, the event also included battle management command and control (BMC2) in support of ISR operations.

The four-week demonstration, sponsored by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, included participation from U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), other U.S. government agencies, and the UK, Canada, and Australia, concluded Aug. 1, 2008, at Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, Calif.

Northrop Grumman, as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with USJFCOM also contributed its modeling, simulation and analysis expertise to the exercise by providing virtual unmanned aerial systems (UAS) aircraft and sensor capabilities as part of the experimentation architecture.

"The ability to share information among U.S. and coalition command-and-control aircraft can significantly enhance warfighters' situational awareness and increase their chance of success," said Tom Vice, Northrop Grumman Integrated System sector's' Eastern Region sector vice president. "In addition to providing networking enhancements, we successfully demonstrated how manned command-and-control aircraft can remotely task sensors on unmanned aircraft to include full motion video for target maintenance and identification. Lessons learned from Empire Challenge will be used to make recommendations to the warfighter on potential methods to improve situational awareness and to reduce 'sensor to shooter' timelines."

Northrop Grumman also provided advanced communications technology that significantly enhanced the quality of full-motion video information used in the exercise. Northrop Grumman offers this capability to its customers under a strategic alliance agreement with Digital Fountain Inc., whose patented DF Raptor(tm) forward error correction technology protects large files and streaming data from data loss.

Under auspices of the CRADA, USJFCOM and Northrop Grumman will use data from Empire Challenge to refine ISR concepts of operation and tactics, techniques, and procedures. Follow-on research and concept demonstration efforts are planned with connectivity to government laboratories and the Northrop Grumman's Cyber Warfare Integration Network (CWIN), which can generate operationally-based, virtual battlefield environments.

Airborne Elements
Northrop Grumman aircraft flying during the exercise included the U.S. Navy E-2C Hawkeye, U.S. Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) and U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system.

The U.S. Navy's E-2C Hawkeye test bed aircraft, X-Hawk, successfully demonstrated joint Navy, Air Force and Army interoperability linking between airborne and ground ISR nodes via an Internet Protocol-based architecture. A key success for the X-Hawk was the sharing of tactical information with other ISR platforms using jointly developed web services. The X-Hawk completed multiple threads using digital, machine-to-machine communications at the tactical edge of the network to accomplish tasking to strike and ISR assets.

"We were able to provide an improved operational tactical picture by exchanging air and ground tracks and C2 information between the Northrop Grumman E-2C and E-8C aircraft, other ISR aircraft and the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC)," said Mike Mos, director, Advanced Concepts. "Additionally we automated routine services via 'machine-to-machine' communications, which reduced operator workload and achieved our objective to enhance warfighter collaboration via the use of open standards."

One of the primary objectives of Empire Challenge for the Joint STARS was to demonstrate interoperability with the United Kingdom's Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) program. The Royal Air Force participated with a Sentinel R1 aircraft and a tactical ground station (TGS).

"In all cases the Joint STARS/ASTOR Interoperability Program (JAIP) successfully demonstrated connectivity and data exchange between the Joint STARS aircraft and the U.S. and UK ground stations via a variety of communications links," said Mos. "JAIP demonstrated that when a Joint STARS or ASTOR is airborne both U.S. and UK ground stations can task either aircraft and receive relevant ISR information."

Northrop Grumman also successfully demonstrated prototype BMC2 capabilities in both an airborne environment and the China Lake CAOC.

"Our Air Force Electronic Systems Center customer used Empire Challenge to demonstrate BMC2 to warfighters performing command-and-control functions in the Combined Air Operations Center, showing that Joint STARS is an airborne platform well suited for incremental upgrades because of its open systems architecture," said Mos. "This year during Empire Challenge, we used research and development funding to bring our customer's BMC2 weapon/target pairing, net-centric airborne web services, tracks and imagery to the airborne warfighter.

"More importantly, we were able to do dynamic sensor tasking with a variety of UAS aircraft. We were able to successfully request and integrate electro-optical/infrared imagery from an airborne RQ-4 Global Hawk and ground moving target indicator imagery from a virtual Block 40 Global Hawk equipped with a Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program sensor. We also tapped full motion video from a virtual MQ-8 Fire Scout."

Virtual Elements
One of the key accomplishments of Empire Challenge included demonstrating mature technology for manned command and control aircraft, like the E-8 and E-2, to task unmanned ISR aircraft. The majority of Northrop Grumman unmanned aircraft participated virtually through the company's CWIN, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk, MQ-8B Fire Scout and MQ-5B Hunter.

"We have been developing technical solutions using standards compliant message formats to establish interoperability between manned and unmanned aircraft," said Chris Frangos, director of Advanced Concepts and Integrated Solutions and Northrop Grumman / USJFCOM CRADA program manager. "Being able to dynamically task ISR aircraft enhances the value of intelligence products for our warfighters.

"We've matured our virtual modeling and simulation enterprise to enable standards-compliant interaction with live aircraft. The result is that we successfully tested the manned/unmanned operational concepts enabling live manned aircraft to task virtual UASs."

The virtual models are supported by high fidelity terrain data bases and receive inputs from instrumented range vehicles that populate the simulation. ISR information received from live aircraft is synchronized, fused, and coordinated with ISR data developed by the virtual UASs. The Northrop Grumman CWIN was used to mature the concepts ultimately tested in the live Empire Challenge 2008 demonstration.

"A CWIN experiment held earlier this year let us rehearse the mission scenarios that were run during the live demonstration," said Frangos.

"The government has embraced the role virtual simulation offers to live experimentation," continued Frangos. "Virtual simulation provides a consistent and repeatable testing environment. The effectiveness of virtual simulation was demonstrated during Empire Challenge when our air and ground BMC2 elements interfaced with a live Scan Eagle UAS system using the same messages, concept of operations and tactics, techniques and procedures as employed with the virtual UAS systems."

Looking Forward
Frangos is already looking to Empire Challenge 2009. "We're planning to expand the constellation management and dynamic UAV control technologies that were successfully showcased this year," he said. "The validation experiment for EC09 is defining options to include additional live unmanned aircraft. The use of virtual modeling and simulation is expanding to support concept of operations definition, rehearsal, and training to reduce risk during live demonstrations. Virtual elements provide the analytical underpinnings to quantify the performance of the live experiment and associated operational concepts and technology solutions.

"Demonstrating interoperability across additional platforms validates the use of open standards in communication and data that enhance the effectiveness of current day intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations," concluded Frangos.

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