Big Enough Umbrella: US Secretary of State Clinton and NATO Secretary General Rasmussen call for cooperation between the Western alliance and Russia on a missile defense shield.
‘Intersleek’ Paint Job: BAE Systems completes GBP 17.5 million overhaul of the Type 42 Sheffield class destroyer HMS Edinburgh; the ship has been fitted with a new underwater spoiler and a coat of new “intersleek” paint that will cut fuel consumption by up to 15%.
Slimey Solution: US DoD awards a $29.5 million contract to Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Trius Therapeutics to develop antibiotics from bacteria on the ocean floor for defense against biological weapon agents.
L-3 acquires 3Di Technologies, a provider of secure satellite communications for forward-deployed US special ops forces and in-theater personnel.
US DoD explores use of mobile solar and wind generators to produce energy in combat zones.
Rheinmetall recently announced a EUR 33 million contract to modernize 65 of the German Bundeswehr’s Fuchs/Fox 6×6 wheeled armored vehicles. The Fuchs is currently the Bundeswehr’s best-protected vehicle in Afghanistan. Under this contract, 43 APC(Armored Personnel Carrier), C2 command, and MEDEVAC (MEDical EVACuation – ambulance) variants will be upgraded to the Fuchs 1A8 standard, with improved drive systems like axles, suspensions, and running gear; and better protection from IED land mines. Another 22 Fuchs vehicles will also be reconfigured under this contract for new roles such as fire fighting, bomb disposal, and mine clearing, by adding protection and specialized equipment.
The Bundeswehr already operates 21 Fuchs 1A8 vehicles, bought in a EUR 13.8 million immediate operational requirement contract. That was followed by a EUR 36.6 million 2009 contract, to retrofit another 40. This contract will bring the number of upgraded Fuchs vehicles to 126, out of Germany’s stated requirement for 134 Fuchs/Fox 1A8s. The other 8 are very specialized Fuchs Nuclear, Biological & Chemical reconnaissance vehicles, which are to be upgraded at a later date.