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02 Apr 07. Finmeccanica Announces Libyan Joint Venture. Finmeccanica has signed a deal to create a defense and security electronics joint venture with the Libyan government, the firm, based here, announced April 2. The venture will aim at providing products for the Libyan and African market, combining local industrial input with technology provided by Finmeccanica. Surveillance systems, telecommunications, homeland security systems and postal automation systems are among the sectors to be developed. Finmeccanica unit AgustaWestland previously signed in January 2006 to set up with a Libyan state-controlled firm an aeronautics and security joint venture known as the Libyan Italian Advanced Technology Co. (Source: Defense News)

11 Apr 07. Striving to differentiate itself from rivals, Northrop Grumman Corp. is taking the contrarian step of forging an exclusive partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. to propose lighter, more-flexible spy satellites to the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. The project, which was code-named “Trinidad” during development and which is expected to be announced today at a space conference here, reflects Northrop’s drive to move beyond being primarily a supplier of subsystems for government space programs into the more influential and potentially more profitable role as a prime contractor. The Los Angeles company proposes to buy and modify several Israeli-built, high-resolution spy satellites, each costing less than $200m. That is a fraction of what a larger, more complex U.S. satellite would cost. Initially, the satellites would be deployed in low Earth orbit as a stand-alone system. (Source: WSJ)

04 Apr 07. Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Joint Forces Command have agreed to work together to improve how military forces conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The goal of the three-year cooperative research agreement is to identify ways to shorten the military commander’s cycle of tasking sensors to collect intelligence, analyzing the information and disseminating it to warfighters. Shortening that cycle would enhance warfighters’ situational awareness and increase the chance of mission success. Northrop Grumman will provide its extensive modeling and simulation capabilities and its Cyber Warfare Integration Network (CWIN), which can generate an operationally based, virtual battlefield environment. Running operational scenarios in the CWIN environment will allow the Joint Forces Command to better evaluate weapon systems and tactics. One of the research team’s challenges is how to integrate different types of sensor platforms (for example, radar/infrared, airborne/space-based, strategic/tactical) into existing and future ISR architectures. Another challenge is to develop processes that reduce the human workload by allowing computers to handle more of the routine activities. The research team will combine Joint Forces Command warfighters and analysts with Northrop Grumman’s experts in airborne platforms, network-centric operations and systems architecture development. Participants will conduct the work with both virtual and “human in the loop” exercises hosted in the CWIN environment. (Source: ASD Network)

02 Apr 07. Alenia and Boeing team up to replace Australia’s DHC-4 Caribou. Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica announced a teaming agreement with Boeing Australia on 21 March as part of its bid to meet the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) requirement to replace its ageing DHC-4 Caribou light transport aircraft.The Air 8000 requirement is a replacement for Air 5190, which was abandoned in July 2000 after EADS CASA’s C-295 had been selected ahead of Alenia’s C-27J. Air 5190 was terminated in anticipation of a White Paper released later in 2000 and because of operations in East Timor at the time. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

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