350 million pounds in design work for Successor Submarine (Vanguard Replacement): announcement expected in this week.
UPDATE: announcement delivered. 328 million pounds for BAE in design work, 4 million to Rolls Royce for initial work on integration of the PWR3 nuclear reactor into the new submarine and 15 million to Babcock for initial work on solutions for in-service support.
The expenditure is part of the 3 billion pounds budgeted in 2010 for early SSBN design activities and long-lead orders. The 3 billions will be progressively committed to the program by year 2016, when the Successor Submarine program will meet its Main Gate decision point. By then, the design is expected to be at least 70% mature, and long lead orders will have been placed for the first 3 vessels, for a value of 380 million pounds for the first down to six for the third.
Expenditure on the fourth submarine will only happen (eventually) post 2016, when the decision is taken, at Main Gate, about the fleet consistency. The committment to retain Continuous At Sea Deterrence (CASD) is a strong factor in favor of a 4-boats fleet. While CASD is in theory possible with 3 vessels, there is no marging at all for problems that, occasionally, do pop up.
8th RAF C17 handed over by Boeing: wow, that was fast! 200 million pounds well expended.
Voyager troubles: in order to meet delivery targets, at least one more of the RAF's Voyagers will be converted in Spain and not in the UK. Work ongoing to solve the fuel leak problem with Tornado in-flight refuelling.
NATO signs AGS contract: 1.7 billion dollars for the 5 Global Hawk Block 40 drones, to be based in Sigonella. Everyone in NATO expected to contribute to support costs, but France and UK want to offer Heron drones and Sentinel R1 airplanes respectively instead of cash. That would save the Sentinel from retirement in 2015, so it is double welcome if confirmed.
A new Squadron to stand up on RAF Leuchars with Typhoon jets: I Squadron RAF to return officially on 15 September this year as Typhoon squadron, after having been a Joint Force Harrier GR9 squadron until 2011.
Once I Sqn was expected to be a JCA/F35 squadron, among with IV squadron and possibly 800 and 801 Naval Air Service squadrons. Plan has changed in recent times, however, and IV Squadron identity went to the Hawk T2 training squadron already.
Who gets the F35?
And has something changed regarding Typhoons transferring to Lossiemouth, with Leuchars to become an Army Base?
We might not know until near year's end, when a new, updated Basing plan for the forces is expected.
Big export win in Saudi Arabia: officers and pilots of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia will train british style, using 22 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers, 55 Pilatus PC-21 and 25 yet-to-be-chosen primary training aircrafts, procured in a 1.6 billion pounds deal with BAE systems.