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18 Dec 06. French Shipbuilder DCN Approves Tie-Up with Thales. The board of France’s state-owned naval shipyards DCN on Dec. 18 approved a tie-up with defense electronics group Thales that will make it one of Europe’s three biggest shipbuilders, DCN said. ”This project will allow the reinforcement of the French naval industry,” DCN said in a statement, adding that it served “customers all over the world. Six members including the decisive vote of DCN chief executive Jean-Marie Poimboeuf backed the alliance, overruling six union representatives who voted against, a union source said. Government representatives on the board of the wholly state-owned group did not vote, the source added. DCN manufactures warships and submarines and supplies defense computer systems and advanced technology. It counts the French navy as its main customer, but also supplies more than 40 navies across the world. Thales, formerly known as Thomson-CSF, is a supplier of electronics to the defense and security sectors. It is quoted on the French stock exchange, but is 31.3-percent owned by the French state. The alliance, signed by the companies last week, is another significant step towards consolidation of European naval defense industries. But DCN workers have protested, seeing it as a move to privatize the company. DCN and Thales last week signed the shareholding alliance, under which Thales agreed to transfer to DCN its naval shipyard activities and major shares in joint ventures by the two companies for building warships and aircraft carriers. In return, Thales is to take a 25.0-percent stake in DCN and make a cash payment of 100-150 million euros to the French state. (Source: Defense News)

15 Dec 06. United Launch Alliance (ULA), the joint rocket venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co., launched its first rocket Thursday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., since the partnership formed Dec. 1. The rocket, a Delta II, was carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Denver-based ULA combines the Atlas rockets from Lockheed and Delta rockets from Boeing to offer less expensive and reliable launch services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense, NASA, the NRO and other organizations. ULA management, engineering, test and mission support functions are located at the Denver headquarters in Waterton Canyon. The rocket manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located in Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. (Source: The Denver Business Journal)

15 Dec 06. Cyber Defense Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that its wholly owned subsidiary, Techsphere Systems International, Inc., a designer and manufacture of airships, has structured a license agreement with Global Skyship Industries, Inc. This agreement will enable TSI to utilize FAA approved technologies developed by GSI to enhance new generation airship operations. Further, Cyber and GSI plan to move forward on joint marketing and service opportunities that will allow mutual development and global commercial growth for both airship companies. Billy Robinson, CEO of Cyber Defense, stated “This new relationship will allow two of the leading airship companies to combine their technologies and management teams to become one of the most comprehensive airship service providers in the world.” Mike Lawson, CMO of Techsphere Systems International, Inc., stated “While there are many potential applications for airships, TSI and GSI will be working side by side with world class organizations to take the airship industry to a new level of end user opportunity.”

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