Defence opportunities despite possible cuts

The overwhelming message at the DVD show was that there were going to be no major new systems and that smarter use is going to have to be made of what already exists. However, a number of orders were announced for better protected military vehicles.

These included a £45m contract to the Supacat-Babcock Industry alliance for more than 140 Jackal 2a vehicles, with a new cab with integrated mine blast detection. The acquisition of a further 28 Wolfhound heavy tactical support vehicles from Integrated Survivability Technologies was also announced. Supacat was also showing its SPV400 contender for the MoD's competition of the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle Programme. There is to be an initial batch of 200 vehicles for entry into service in late 2011.

Demonstrated projects aimed at making smarter use of what is already in existence include the General Vehicles Architecture initiative between IBM, Selex Galileo and Iveco. This initiative aims to enable communication between different vehicle information systems so that a commander can at once locate all relevant friendly vehicles, what they are doing and also any contacts they have had with enemy forces and where they are.
The output of the study is Defence Standard 23-09 to be released in July 2010.

A full report on the exhibition and state of the art UK defence technology is to be published in the August 2010 edition of Eureka.

Tom Shelley

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