October's top stories: BAE / EADS merger shelved

As the BAE / EADS merger was shelved, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney revealed his plans for extravagant defence budgets. Army-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from October 2012.


EADS chairman joins mounting criticism of potential BAE merger

Ian King

Prior to political differences preventing any such deal, the potential merger between BAE and EADS was subject to lofty criticism.

EADS chairman Aranud Lagardere demanded better terms for controlling shareholders, adding his belief that company management should complete an "indispensable re-examination of the project to combine EADS and BAE, to better take into account the interest of all the French controlling shareholders of EADS".

Lagardere's views were shared by German company Daimler, which owns a 22.5% stake in EADS, with further concerns emanating from politicians across Europe.

The takeover, which promised to create the world's largest aerospace company, was eventually shelved following disagreements between the British, French and German governments surrounding state ownership stakes.

Romney pledges deficit-defying defence spending

Mitt Romney

With the US presidential election looming, Republican candidate Mitt Romney pledged to increase US defence spending during a televised debate with current incumbent Barack Obama.

Romney made clear his intention to maintain the country's financial commitment to its military, with his own defence proposal increasing military spending by $2.2tn by 2022.

US Department of Defense spending for 2013 would increase by 17% over 2012 levels, higher than the DoD has even requested.

Romney has made defence a major factor of his election campaign, attacking Obama's intentions to curb spending despite Congressional Republican's backing a bipartisan deal to cut US DoD budgets in an attempt to resolve the US deficit.

US approves range extension of South Korea's ballistic missiles

In an attempt to deter provocation from North Korea, the US Government signed a bilateral agreement with South Korea, enabling a range extension of the latter's ballistic missiles.

Under the new deal, Seoul's missile range will extend to 800km from the previous limit of 300km; however, payload weight will remain unchanged at 500kg.

"The most important objective for our government in revising the missile guideline is to contain North Korea's armed provocation," said South Korean senior presidential official Chun Yung-woo.

The agreement will also see the nation allowed to manufacture unmanned aerial vehicles with an unlimited payload weight should the vehicle's range remain within 300km.

Aerospace and Defence firms pledge collaboration to resolve global challenges

Lockheed Martin

Aerospace and defence companies, including Finmeccanica, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Saab, announced a collaborative effort to address a number of long-term global energy and environmental issues.

The companies will meet at the forthcoming E3DS conference in London, with issues set to be discussed including sustainable infrastructures, clean energy, environment, climate, transport, logistics, humanitarian and disaster relief, as well as other architectural and structural challenges.

With a combined workforce of more than 340,000, the companies expect their technical experience to suit a cross-sector approach to tackle problems similar to the boundary-crossing efforts of the Apollo Moon landings in the 1960s and 1970s.

US Marine Corps awards videogame training contract

Virtual Battlespace 2

The US Marine Corp's Virtual Battlespace 2 videogame-based military training tool will be further developed by its developer Bohemia Interactive Simulations under a new, $10.3m contract.

As part of the deal, Bohemia will upgrade the call-for-fire and close air support capability of VBS2 to comply with USMC needs, while the simulation will also emulate a wider range of USMC devices.

Further upgrades will be made to the terrain capabilities, support for physics-based destructible buildings, improved visual appearance of 2D terrain maps and improved editing capabilities in the terrain tools.

Bohemia Interactive Simulations CEO Peter Morrison said: "This award highlights the mutual commitment between the USMC and BISim to game-based learning, by enhancing the capabilities of VBS2 and maintaining it as the premier military game for training."


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