23 Sep 08. South Korea and Norway signed an agreement Sept. 22 on exchange of defense technology and cooperation in the defense industry, Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense said. The pact, signed by South Korean Vice Defense Minister Kim Jong-cheon and his Norwegian counterpart, Espen Barth Eide, is expected to help promote cooperation between the two militaries through exchanges of defense goods and related technologies, a ministry official said. Barth Eide arrived here Sept. 21 for a four-day visit. “The pact will allow the two countries to exchange detailed information on their weapon systems … which can lead to substantive arms deals in the future,” the official said. Sources said Norway has showed interest in South Korea’s T-50 supersonic trainer jet, co-developed by U.S. company Lockheed Martin, and other weapon systems for a possible purchase. (Source: Defense News)
19 Sep 08. Thales Communications, Inc., announces its participation on the winning team selected by the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) to provide the tactical communications and networking solutions for the JTRS Airborne, Maritime, and Fixed Site (AMF) program. Under this initial System Development and Demonstration contract, the AMF JTRS team, led by the prime contractor Lockheed Martin, will provide seamless, networked voice, data, and video communications to warfighters. AMF JTRS provides software-defined radios that will be integrated onto air, maritime, and fixed site platforms for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Army Aviation, enabling maritime and airborne forces to communicate seamlessly and with greater efficiency. Thales has been supporting the Lockheed Martin team in the areas of systems design support and high-frequency (HF) systems design. The Thales HF system solution for AMF JTRS leverages Thales’ Series 5000 product line for high-power, fixed station applications and the ruggedness of the Thales Series 8000 to cope with the demanding environment of the maritime domain. Thales’ HF solution offers an integrated system capability that provides dramatic reductions in space and weight over legacy HF systems. Maximizing the use of commercial off-the-shelf component technology and open standards, the Thales HF solution for AMF is modular and scalable, easily accommodating individual and varied platform configuration requirements.
23 Sep 08. GHL Acquisition Corp. and Iridium Holdings LLC, a leading provider of voice and data mobile satellite services, today jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which they plan to combine. The proceeds of the transaction will enable Iridium to be debt free and well positioned to develop its next generation satellite constellation, “Iridium NEXT.” GHL Acquisition is the special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Greenhill & Co., Inc., which raised approximately $400 million of gross proceeds earlier this year, and is approximately 17.5% owned by Greenhill & Co.The transaction, unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of GHL Acquisition and Iridium as well as Iridium’s major shareholders, values Iridium at approximately $591 million enterprise value[i]. Following completion of the transaction, the combined enterprise will be renamed “Iridium Communications Inc.” and will apply for listing on the NASDAQ. Existing owners of Iridium will maintain a significant stake in the combined company. Iridium, currently with more than 305,000 subscribers, is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data communications solutions with complete coverage of the entire Earth including oceans, airways and Polar Regions. Iridium has demonstrated an impressive history of growth since its re-launch in 2001, increasing subscribers and revenue at 32 percent and 31 percent annual rates, respectively, from 2002 through 2007. The company’s growth continues at a rapid pace with revenue, Operational EBITDA[ii] and net