BAE Systems Holds North Eastern Soldier Modernisation Supplier Conference
(Source: BAE Systems; issued Feb. 21, 2003)
BAE Systems is holding a supplier conference in the North East of England focused on its bid to create a 'best of breed' partnership for the UK Ministry of Defence's Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) program.

The conference, being held at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough on Friday 21 February, will include a comprehensive update on the FIST requirement and BAE Systems' proposals for the Assessment Phase. This will be followed by discussions of the processes via which industry can either partner with BAE Systems for the supply of major FIST sub-systems or bid to be a supplier of specialist equipments, complementing BAE Systems in-house domain expertise.

BAE Systems is in competition for this £800 million program with the French company, Thales.

BAE Systems C4ISR Managing Director, Phill Blundell, commented "This further supplier conference reflects BAE Systems' continuing commitment to collaboration. We offer highly regarded systems integration and prime contract management capability for FIST in a full partnership with industry, the Ministry of Defence's procurement authorities and the military end-user community."

Through previous supplier conferences, the BAE Systems-led FIST team has already created a truly open and value-adding relationship with an extensive supplier base of advanced technologies. A guiding focus has been the five NATO domains of lethality, C4I, mobility, survivability and sustainability. The company's system engineering processes deliver a collaborative approach in partnership with the user military community, the Defence Procurement Agency and their specialist advisers. The team would build upon the 1999 FIST Technology Demonstration trials, to which BAE Systems contributed significantly.

The initial procurement phase of the FIST program is estimated to cost about £500 million, with a through-life support value of up to £1.5 billion in the years up to 2020. An initial operating capability is to be delivered by 2009. The Ministry of Defence has plans to continue the development of the FIST system through major incremental steps in 2012 and 2015. This strategy could ensure the UK's position as one of the leading suppliers of soldier systems and technology for the future.

BAE Systems employs nearly 100,000 people including Joint Ventures, and has annual sales of around £13 billion. The company offers a global capability in air, sea, land and space with a world-class prime contracting ability supported by a range of key skills. BAE Systems designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, guided weapon systems and a range of other defense products.

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