Coronavirus company news summary – AMPV faces delays – US Army research Covid-detecting dogs – Pentagon awards GSK vaccine contract

31 July 2020 (Last Updated July 31st, 2020 09:27)

31 July

Initial deliveries of multipurpose combat vehicles worth $15bn to the US Army by BAE Systems have been postponed by at least five months due to start-up troubles that were worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bloomberg reported. The first three units were supposed to be delivered in March but now have been deferred until mid-August.

The US Army and the University of Pennsylvania have signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to explore if dogs can safely detect biomarkers produced by the Covid-19 virus in humans. Researchers at the university have trained dogs to detect ovarian cancer and diabetes. Under the project, dogs will be trained to focus their attention down to only the Covid-19 immune response odour.

The Pentagon has announced the award of a contract worth $342m to UK pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline for the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to US troops. GSK was the only firm to have made a bid for the contract. Under the terms of the contract, the firm will support military locations and personnel throughout the continental US and outside the continental US. This work, which will be performed in North Carolina, comes with an estimated completion date of 28 February 2021.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, China’s People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted training for its new warplanes, including the H-6G and H-6J bombers, in the South China Sea, a defence ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying by ECNS.CN. The training, which was conducted as a routine part of the annual plan of the PLA Navy, is intended to improve the technical and tactical skills of pilots.