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NEWS IN BRIEF

5 Aug 02. Austrians opposed to the purchase of 24 Eurofighters have forced a parliamentary debate on the issue, but it seemed unlikely they would succeed in killing off the $1.8bn deal.

Nearly 625,000 people signed a petition demanding that parliament block government plans to buy the jets, officials said on Monday.

The result of the week-long signature drive represented over 10 percent of the electorate in the country of about eight million people, well over the 100,000 signatures needed by law to prompt a debate in parliament, the Interior Ministry said.

But political analysts said the petition, a kind of non-binding referendum that requires parliament to discuss the issue but not to take action, was unlikely to halt the largest military purchase in Austria’s post-war history.

“We demand an immediate halt to the deal. This is our tax money that is being thrown out the window,” said Rudolf Fusi, a 24-year-old activist who single-handedly launched the petition.

5 Aug 02. Smiths Aerospace has received a contract from Northrop Grumman to provide a new main generator system for the Global Hawk, the United States Air Force newest unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program.

The system will be manufactured at the Smiths Aerospace facility in Ohio. Under this contract, the generator system will more than double existing electrical power on the Global Hawk. Deliveries will begin in June 2003 for aircraft integration, test and flight demonstration. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2004. The U.S. Air Force forecasts a need for 50 Global Hawk’s through 2015. There is also significant interest from international customers, the U.S. military and for homeland defense.

2 Aug 02. GE Indusstrial Systems, a division of General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE – News), on Friday said it would buy a subsidiary of defense contractor TRW Inc. (NYSE:TRW – News) that specializes in pressure-sensing technology.

The GE division, which provides industrial equipment, systems and services, did not disclose the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter.

The TRW unit, NovaSensor, develops technologies for microstructure design and production for the automotive, medical and consumer industries. It will become part of the GE Measurement & Sensing Technologies business.

1 Aug 02. Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD): Contract Award
The Defence Procurement Minister announced that Ultra Electronics had been awarded a £60m contract for the production of 16 SSTD systems. 65 warships and auxiliaries are to be fitted to receive the SSTD system, a process taking three to four weeks, and the 16 systems rotated between those deploying on operations. SSTD has a projected in-service date of 2004, with deliveries continuing until 2007.The new system replaces the present Sonar 182.

Comment: The SSTD programme started in the mid-1980s (Project Talisman) and became a UK/US collaborative venture (1987), before reverting to a national programme (1997). France considered joining the programme in 1987 but eventually (1996) decided to consider a common anti-torpedo defence system with five other NATO nations.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS Issue 02/31, 5 Aug 02)

5 Aug 02. Boeing (NYSE:BA – News) and Raytheon (NYSE:RTN – News) will build a $900m Radar station on a floating platform off the coast of Alaska that will be a critical cog in the Bush administration’s efforts to build a missile defense shield for the United States.

The X-band radar installation will be linked to as many as 10 ground-based interceptors in Alaska, one of three “emergency capabilities” that could be ready by 2004, the paper reported, citing defense officials.

1 Aug 02. DRS Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: DRS – News) announced that it has received new orders from the U.S. Government to provide TEMPEST computer network servers, workstations and peripheral equipment for domestic and international field deployment. DRS Technol

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