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NEWS IN BRIEF 10/12/04

10 Dec 04. Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Michael Walker said media reports could have incited Iraqi attacks. The UK’s most senior military officer has blamed media coverage on the Black Watch redeployment for attacks which claimed several soldiers’ lives. He said the media’s coverage may have prompted Iraqi insurgents to attack the soldiers. He told BBC Two’s Newsnight programme attacks were “enhanced” by reports. Five members of the 850-strong battlegroup died during attacks when they moved closer to Baghdad.
The reports meant “there could well have been a response by those who wished us ill to go and meet us with something like a bomb”, he said. Most of the attacks on the Black Watch happened during the early stages of their redeployment from Basra to near the Iraqi capital, where they relieved US forces preparing for an attack on the city of Falluja. (Source: BBC)

08 Dec 04. IBM agreed to sell its PC business to Chinese rival Lenovo Group Ltd. for $1.25bn in cash and stock. The move frees IBM from the long struggling PC business with its minimal profit margins, while vaulting Lenovo to third place in world-wide PC sales. IBM will own an 18.9% stake in Lenovo, which will open a new U.S. headquarters in New York City. (See related article.) Lenovo will be allowed to use the valued IBM brand for five years as well as other trademarks on PCs and notebook computers. The deal marks one of the biggest acquisitions ever by a Chinese company. The purchase price is a fraction of the estimated $10bn in sales that IBM’s PC business will generate this year. Lenovo will pay IBM $650m in cash and as much as $600 million in stock, representing 18.9% of Lenovo’s equity. It also will take on $500 million in balance-sheet liabilities.

09 Dec 04. Lockheed Martin has registered another success with its C-130J Tactical Airlifter by announcing this week that it had completed its formal Industrial Participation (IP) commitment to the UK government. This milestone has been achieved some three and a half years ahead of schedule and remains today the largest single company IP commitment ever undertaken between a contractor and the UK MOD. In achieving its C-130J obligation of over £1B the company also provided UK industry high technology work on other Lockheed Martin aircraft including the C-27J, P-3, F-16, and F/A-22 fighters. UK industrial involvement with the C-130J Hercules commenced in the early 1990’s and began initially with a small number of UK suppliers. Since then the programme has grown to the point where it now includes a core of more than 40 first and second tier suppliers. Participation in the programme has seen all tiers of the UK Aerospace and Defence industry provide systems and contribute innovative solutions and technologies which have enhanced the C-130J. In fact, some 150 UK companies including numerous SME’s (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) have been involved.

29 Nov 04. Boeing Australia has again failed to deliver software for a $595m radio network upgrade, prompting the Department of Defence to renegotiate a major contract. The department has moved the deadline of the project’s second phase back by another 12 months due to Boeing’s failure. It is understood that the High Frequency Modernisation project’s first and second phase is already three years behind schedule. The project cost has also increased by $10m as a result of the delay. Abstracted from: The Australian Financial Review

29 Nov 04. The US Defense Department is keen to retain Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co as military-rocket suppliers if the companies agree to cooperate on specific cost-saving conditions. The Air Force wants the balance to ensure the delivery of satellites in case one of the rival providers is unable to comply with requirements. However, government officials argue that having two providers would entail significant costs, which could surpass $5bn by 2010. Lockheed and Boeing both want to be the country’s sole contrac

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