BAE Systems Delivers On Uk Defence Industrial Strategy Commitments
15 Dec 2006 - London, United Kingdom. - BAE Systems continues to deliver on its commitments outlined in the UK Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) published a year ago today, its Chief Operating Officer (designate) Ian King told a London conference today.
Speaking at the CityForum ‘Defence Industrial Strategy – One Year On’ event in response to a keynote speech from UK Defence Procurement Minister Lord Drayson, Ian King said: “We are seeing real transformation within our Land Systems business which is delivering capability to the operational theatres.
“In the Air sector, we saw the signature eight days ago of the Taranis Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator contract. Continued incremental development and through-life support of Typhoon and Nimrod manned aircraft, along with the Taranis UCAV, means we can see a package of activity that can sustain Air sector skills and capability in UK industry into the future.
“The Naval sector, while challenging, is showing signs of progress such as the joint venture announcement yesterday by BAE Systems and VT Group, although there remain significant challenges to be overcome before we see the same degree of integration between design, manufacture, support and upgrade activities that we have pioneered within the Air sector.”
The principles set out in the DIS are leading to a transformation in the way the UK MoD and industry are working together in partnership to deliver effective equipment and support to the front line. Examples include:
BAE Systems has delivered the 22 “confidence-building measures” agreed with the UK Ministry of Defence under the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Partnering Agreement signed at the same time as the publication of the DIS.
These include a major upgrade for the FV430 Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV). Working with ABRO, vehicles with new power trains are being delivered above the contracted rate of 20 per month. These “battlefield taxis” have a 20-fold increase in reliability and BAE Systems is contracting for their availability in battlefield conditions.
In addition, a proportion of the FV430 fleet now has upgraded armour, air-conditioning and new protection for the commanders’ position. Some of these modifications have been designed and delivered in a matter of weeks.
A large number of other urgent operational requirements have been delivered in 2006 on Challenger, Warrior, CV(R) and other AFVs.
As part of the transformation of its Land Systems business, BAE Systems has invested in a new systems integration facility in Leicester. There, British Army vehicle crews are working alongside BAE Systems engineers to design vehicle modifications in virtual reality, which cuts design time and cost. The facility is also being used for concept and design work on the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) programme.
Under the Harrier Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme (JUMP) at RAF Cottesmore, a combined MoD/industry team is integrating maintenance with the upgrade to Harrier GR9/A standard. Every milestone in the five-year evolution of JUMP has been met or exceeded and the programme will deliver savings of £44 million over three years.
Upgrade time has now been reduced from 52 to 35 weeks, and 11 much-needed aircraft are being released to the front line. The Harrier GR9 was formally accepted into service by the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Chris Moran, at the end of September.
Similar improvements are being introduced on Tornado, Nimrod MR2, VC10 aircraft and, working with Northrop Grumman, on the Sentry E3-D early warning aircraft. A contract for combined maintenance and upgrade on Typhoon announced in November builds on the proven principles of these programmes.
BAE Systems yesterday began laying the foundations for a new training facility at the Maritime Warfare School, HMS Collingwood in Fareham, near Portsmouth. The facility is part of the £100 million investment in Phase I of the Maritime Composite Training System (MCTS) and will be used to carry out warfare operator training for crews of almost all major Royal Navy surface ships, including the new Type 45 ships.
Working together, BAE Systems and the MoD have turned round the troubled Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) programme by examining and overhauling relationships in addition to the contract. The third vessel, RFA Lyme Bay which was transferred from Swan Hunter to Govan in July, is on schedule to be delivered in August 2007 and the earlier vessels are winning praise from their crews.
BAE Systems has invested over £100 million in creating and integrating supply chain and asset management software solutions for through-life support programmes. This investment is contributing to giving front line commands better asset availability at lower cost whilst reducing risk for the MoD and industry.
About BAE SYSTEMS
BAE Systems is the premier transatlantic defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 88,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems’ sales exceeded 12 billion pounds (US22 billion dollars) in 2005, excluding the Group’s former interest in Airbus.
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