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20 Feb 05. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), is expanding into a new production facility in the Sabre Springs area of San Diego in response to greatly increased demand for its Predator and Predator B unmanned aircraft systems. Following a year-long remodeling effort, GA-ASI has begun moving its composite manufacturing operations – including tooling, lay-up, wing and fuselage assembly, and painting into a 160,000-square-foot advanced, leading-edge production facility located in the Sabre Springs Business Park. The new facility will increase the company’s manufacturing floor space to over 800,000-square-feet and free up production room at its Rancho Bernardo facility, where all final aircraft integration is conducted. More than half of the components for GA-ASI’s unmanned aircraft systems are manufactured on-site, a rarity within the industry.

18 Feb 05. Northrop Grumman Corporation is expanding the scope of work at its planned Jackson County, Miss., unmanned- systems center at Trent Lott International Airport to include the low-cost manufacture of subassemblies for the U.S. Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV). Originally slated to occupy 39,000 square feet and employ approximately 40 people to produce the Fire Scout UAV for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army, the company’s Integrated Systems sector facility will now occupy more than 100,000 square feet and initially provide 100 high-tech manufacturing jobs. That figure could rise to about 160 jobs within the next few years should UAV production rates increase. Construction will begin later this month and be completed in
November. Northrop Grumman will hire and train new employees starting
in September. Production start-up is planned for January 2006.

Feb 05. Saab cements commitment to Gulf defence market Sweden’s leading defence firm is cementing its commitment to the Gulf market with the opening of a regional office in Abu Dhabi. The office will be operational by mid-year. (Source: Jane’s)

16 Feb 05. Neil G. Siegel, a Northrop Grumman Corporation vice president and chief engineer, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional honors accorded to engineers The honor recognizes Siegel’s “development and implementation of the digital battlefield, an integral part of U.S. Army operations.”

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