11 Feb 09. A shake-up in Asia’s memory-chip industry is long overdue. The deal on the table now surely isn’t it. Japan’s Elpida Memory is working on a plan to tie up with three smaller Taiwanese rivals. On Wednesday, Elpida said its president is in Taiwan for talks on the plan. The logic behind a combination is simple: DRAM prices have crashed, losses are mounting, and the companies are desperate for cash. Only a hard-knocks approach can address the core problem: A glut of the memory chips used in cellphones and computers. Plants have to close and weaker players need to exit the market. A joint Japanese-Taiwanese company will be able to tap bailout funds from both governments. And the proposed combination between Elpida, Powerchip Semiconductor, Rexchip Electronics, and ProMOS Technologies would vie with Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor for second place in market share by revenue, according to iSuppli. Samsung Electronics will still dominate with 30% of the market. But political roadblocks might spoil a smart deal, meaning that four money-losing businesses will be combined into one money-losing business — with equally grim prospects. (Source: WSJ)
08 Feb 09. Northrop Grumman Corporation has selected Bangalore-based Bharat Electronics Limited and Dynamatic Technologies Limited to manufacture components of the F-16 APG-68(V)9 fire control radar as part of a broader initiative to engage Indian industry as strategic business partners. As part of a comprehensive co-production programme, Northrop Grumman engineers will work side-by-side with engineering teams from Bharat Electronics Limited and Dynamatic Technologies Limited to provide training and support to ensure a smooth transition to production. The engineering teams will collaborate on all aspects of the manufacturing process, beginning with a formal Production Readiness Review (PRR), and concluding with First Article Inspection (FAI) and First Article Test (FAT) milestones. Initial radar component deliveries are expected in the second quarter of 2009.
09 Feb 09. Saab said Feb. 9 it had tied up with India’s Tata group to develop a new variant of its Gripen fighter jet as it pitches for a $12bn deal from New Delhi. Saab executive Kjell Moller said the tie-up with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was not only aimed at jointly developing the Gripen but also at getting a chance at the biggest fighter jet deal in the world in years. (Source: Defense News)
04 Feb 09. General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited, in partnership with Rockwell Collins and QinetiQ, has won a competition for a £3m contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to develop the Joint Data Network Combat Identification Server Technical Demonstrator. The Combat Identification Server (CIDS) requirement will contribute to improving tactical situational awareness (SA) for UK forces involved in the delivery and control of indirect and direct fires to land operations; it will also assist in improving SA for forces working together on other joint fires operations. The CIDS will provide military commanders and pilots with rapid and timely access to accurate near real-time force tracking and location information, improving mission effectiveness through increased accuracy and tempo of operations and assisting in reducing incidences of fratricide. The CIDS will correlate blue-force tracking information from 15 different network sources including Link-16, Bowman and UK asset tracking systems as well as coalition network sources, and then, on receipt of requests, make it available to joint fires assets and Close Air Support (CAS)/Close Combat Air (CCA) aircraft. CIDS will use Link-16, Variable Message Format (VMF) and AFAPD networks, and eventually other tactical networks to redistribute blue-force tracking information. The Technical Demonstrator Programme’s (TDP) capabilities will be tested against realistic CAS and Forward Air Controller (FAC) engagement scenarios. The programme will be managed