Although French and German officials have gone on the record as strongly supporting the lifting of an E.U. arms embargo on China, a meeting yesterday with Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao and E.U. officials failed to produce an agreement. In the last few days, the 25 E.U. member nations have been disputing what sort of protocols the E.U. should obey in selling arms to China. The French have balked at a suggested requirement to divulge the nature of weapons sales, hoping instead to disclose only the revenues collected.
Canada exercised its option to engage Raytheon Canada to repair, overhaul and upgrade its 16 Phalanx Close in Weapon Systems (CIWS). The contract lasts to 2009 and will cost at least $82.5 million. The systems employ a computer-controlled 20mm gun system to protect ships from anti-ship missiles, surface craft and low-slow aircraft. The upgrades will help particularly against high velocity maneuvering anti-ship missiles.
The West Australian government brokered a deal with its South Australian equivalent in which the regions will push for shipyards in the West district to win an upcoming $2 billion dollar contract for amphibious vessels from the Royal Australian Navy. In a quid pro quo, both districts will push for the South district to win an upcoming $6 billion contract to build three air warfare destroyers. They signed a memorandum of understanding this week in hopes of boxing out the eastern parts of Australia. Western Australia will grant $5 million to LandCorp to build a fabrication shed and put aside $60 million in public infrastructure improvements that would be made upon the winning of the contract.
Infrared imaging device maker Flir Systems said it received a Defense Department contract for its 9-inch stabilized electro-optical surveillance system. The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract could bring in as much as $75 million for as many as 200 systems in the next five years. First deliveries should be made in Q1 2005. After the first delivery – costing about a third of a million dollars – additional orders will be determined by competitive trials and available funding.
The U.K.’s Ministry of Defense gave Firearms Training Systems a $6 million for additional Dismounted Close Combat Training (DCCT) simulators. The firm first started supplying the U.K. with trainers in 1992, with the DCCT systems coming into deployment in 2001. The newest contract will supply more than 35 trainers, each system training five to ten soldiers at a time. The training includes basic to advanced marksmanship and small unit tactics. These units will be located in the U.K. and Brunei.
Singapore Technologies Engineering (STE) said it won a large U.S. Army contract for about $200 million of hardened laptop computers. The computers must be designed to stand up to harsh Army environmental and handling abuse standards. The computers will be produced between 2007 and 2009, after two years of functional and environmental testing. The Army plans to use them for diagnostic and maintenance work on weapons systems, generators and vehicles. The contract will be disbursed on an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity basis over five years. STE already supplies the Army with computers, although that agreement is close to the end of its term.
Jane’s Defense reports that Iran has expanded the payload delivery capacity of its Shahab 3A medium-range ballistic missile – the one it says is the most likely among its missile designs to carry a nuclear warhead. Israeli officials say that the now larger nose section can separate after launch and appears very much like the Russian SS-9 equivalent. One official said that the missile appears the work of “seasoned missile engineers, probably Russian, rather than experimental beginners.”