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NEWS IN BRIEF 05 Apr 05

05 Apr 05. The New Zealand government has reportedly decided to renew its helicopter fleet with the NH90, which is produced by Eurocopter, a subsidiary of European aerospace and defence group EADS. The number of helicopters involved is not known, but the New Zealand defence ministry has a budget for the project of 310m-420m euros. (Source: Abstracted from Le Monde)

05 Apr 05. Boeing announced the completion of the final Radar System Improvement Program, or RSIP, kit installation on the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of 32 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. Production and delivery of the RSIP kits began in 1998 and the retrofit was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The contract was issued by Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.

01 Apr 05. BAE Systems and the Sultan of Brunei are locked in a commercial dispute over three warships BAE built for the small, hydrocarbon-rich sultanate.
The three offshore patrol vessels, estimated to be worth up to $1bn (£530m), have been finished and are waiting delivery to the Royal Brunei armed forces but are still in dock at Scotstoun on the Clyde. The first of the 95-metre ships was launched as long ago as January 2001. The dispute is in binding arbitration, BAE said yesterday. Both sides are bound not to comment until the proceedings have come to a conclusion (Source: FT)

05 Apr 05. 911EP, Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against four companies over the use of its light emitting diode (LED) technology in emergency lighting products such as the light bars used on police vehicles. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, Texas. The lawsuit alleges that four companies — Whelen Engineering Company, Inc., Federal Signal Corporation, Code 3, Inc. and Tomar Electronics, Inc. -have infringed 911EP’s patents for emergency and warning LED light products by making, using, selling and offering to sell LED lighting products covered by one or more of 911EP’s patents. 911EP was the first company in the industry to invent emergency lighting products based upon LEDs and received a series of patents for its developments. LEDs use much less power and last many times longer than conventional incandescent, halogen or strobe lights. This technology can be readily microprocessor-controlled to produce any of a series of lighting patterns. Since 911EP introduced the first LED emergency
lighting products in the mid 1990s, LED lighting products have grown to
where they now constitute a majority of the new products introduced in the emergency and warning light markets.

29 Mar 05. The network-centric Army’s armored force of the future had a rocky debut in Iraq, according to a report leaked late last month. The Army’s battle command systems installed in the service’s new Stryker infantry carrier vehicles need significant performance improvements to meet warfighters’ needs, according to an Army report that draws from lessons learned during the Iraq war. Army analysts at the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) cited speed, interoperability, overheating and maintenance problems with the Army Battle Command System (ABCS) installed in vehicles used by the service’s first Stryker Brigade Combat Team. They also reported utility and operation issues with the unit’s digital radios and drones. The service’s digital combat systems took 10 years to develop and cost $20bn. CALL analysts recommended that Army officials enhance the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) system, another digital system installed on the Stryker, which gives soldiers access to warfighting information and lets them communicate through instant messages via computer terminals in their vehicles.

02 Apr 05. US Army Validates ‘ITT MeshNet’. The 1st of the 71st Cavalry Squadron from 10th Mountain Division, Ft. Drum, New York has recently validated a new wireless video concept which could speed tactical decisions in the batt

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