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07 Jan 11. Defense stocks dodged a bullet this week when the Pentagon said it plans for its budget to grow modestly through 2014 before levelling off in 2015, but political and fiscal concerns in Congress could slow the sector further during that period and beyond. Defense stocks extended a relief rally into a second day after Defense Secretary
Robert Gates announced a budget containing cost-cutting and program cancellations that were not as severe as some had expected. Defense stocks were modestly higher on Friday, with the Standard & Poor’s Aerospace and Defense index up 0.5 percent in late afternoon trading. The index had closed 0.9 percent higher on Thursday. Gates said the Defense Department would cut $78bn in spending over five years to help pare the growing U.S. budget deficit. He outlined plans for U.S. defense spending to grow modestly through 2014, then level off in 2015 and 2016. (Source: Reuters)

10 Jan 11. DRS Sonar Systems, LLC, a DRS/Thales joint venture, announced that it has acquired Advanced Acoustic Concepts, Inc. (AAC), a privately held company headquartered in Hauppauge, NY. The combined company will conduct business as “Advanced Acoustic Concepts, LLC, a DRS/Thales Company.” The announcement follows completion of a review of the acquisition by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and its determination that there were no unresolved national security concerns with respect to the transaction. AAC is a technical leader in the fields of sonar systems, sonar signal processing, acoustic training systems, and open architecture system and software integration. “We are creating an entity with proven experience in the field of undersea warfare,” said Richard Danforth, president and CEO of DRS Defense Solutions. “Advanced Acoustic Concepts benefits from the innovative and proven Thales product portfolio and the world class system integration and manufacturing capabilities of DRS. AAC has deep domestic acoustic signal processing, system development and system integration expertise and a demonstrated track record of providing superior value open architecture solutions to the U.S. Navy.”“Bringing Advanced Acoustic Concepts into the joint venture will enable us to focus on emerging areas in the undersea warfare domain where the customer has identified mission-critical needs,” said Allan Cameron, President and CEO of Thales USA. “We expect Advanced Acoustic Concepts to be a formidable competitor in the U.S. undersea warfare market. Our focus will be on providing responsive customer solutions with superior technology at competitive prices and short delivery times.
”AAC President Michael Carnovale added, “Being part of the DRS/Thales venture will give AAC the ability to access new markets while offering our existing government and commercial customers additional products, services and solutions necessary to ensure success through all stages of their missions.”

12 Jan 11. “Astrium is actively preparing for the future. We have invested nearly €450m in 2010 and are ready to take on the space programmes of tomorrow,” declared Astrium CEO François Auque when presenting the EADS New Year’s wishes on the Astrium site at Les Mureaux.
Preliminary turnover stands at €5bn, representing an increase of around 4% compared to 2009 despite a difficult economic situation. Excluding an exceptional order of 35 Ariane launchers in 2009, the €6bn of orders received in 2010 represents an increase of 43%, taking the order book to €15.8bn. In 2010, Astrium racked up a series of achievements:
– Six Ariane 5 rockets were successfully launched, including three in two months!
– 10 satellites were delivered,
– Contracts for nine satellites were signed: three for telecommunications and six for Earth observation,
– Delivery of M51 missiles for the ballistic missile submarine “Le Terrible”.
Transform in 2011 to meet the challenges of the future
The launch of the ATV 2 planned on 15th February will once again il

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