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NEWS IN BRIEF

07 Jul 04. The United States and Australia today signed a framework memorandum of understanding outlining future Australian participation on cooperative missile defense activities. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld signed for the United States and Sen. Robert Hill, Minister for Defence, signed for Australia.
The agreement will provide a foundation to facilitate opportunities for joint U.S.-Australian missile defense system development, testing and the potential for future operations; allow information exchange aimed at establishing new joint efforts; and include Australia as a participating country in the U.S. missile defense program. The 25-year agreement will also include more specific arrangements as both nations agree on various projects and activities, as well as the potential for industry-to-industry cooperative ventures for technology development. Areas of near-term cooperative efforts will include development and testing of advanced radar technology capable of providing improved early detection of ballistic missiles after launch, and also potential options for providing a missile defense capability for a new Australian destroyer.

05 Jul 04. Cobham plc has joined the Thales UK WATCHKEEPER team bidding for the MoD’s £800m WATCHKEEPER tactical Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) programme. WATCHKEEPER is an essential programme that will provide the UK armed forces with a network-enabled Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability. Cobham is the existing supplier of UAVs and launchers to the British Army’s Phoenix programme and brings this experience to the Thales team. Cobham’s role, as a strategic supplier, will be to support the Thales UK team in the competitive sourcing of major sub-assemblies and components for a number of elements of the programme. Cobham has extensive expertise and capabilities in airframe composites, sensor and communication antenna radome structures, airborne and ground communications and data link antennas, and microwave sub-assemblies.

12 Jul 04. Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE: CW; CW.B) announced the acquisition of Groth Equipment Corporation of Louisiana (“Groquip”) for approximately $4.6m in cash and stock. Groquip will operate as a business unit of the Flow Control segment (“CWFC”) of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. With sales of approximately $10m in 2003, Groquip is a market leader in the hydrocarbon and chemical processing industries. Groquip provides products and services for various pressure-related processes that ensure safe operation and regulatory compliance. Groquip is a manufacturer’s sales representative for rupture discs, conservation vents, fire and gas detectors and pressure relief valves. They also provide field and in-shop service and repairs for pressure relief valves and a variety of specialty valves.

0 Jul 04. Radstone Technology has agreed to acquire Octec Limited, a privately held UK company that designs and markets rugged, real time, image processing and video tracking equipment to defense and aerospace customers. Based in Bracknell in the United Kingdom, Octec are market leaders in the design and manufacture of rugged, real-time video tracking and image processing subsystems. The company’s wide range of COTS image processors and video trackers are integrated into electro-optical systems that operate in the full range of defense and aerospace environments including air-to-ground, ground-to-ground and naval applications. Computer controlled video target acquisition and tracking is also one of the key technologies enabling the shift by the military to “network-centric” warfare – and the increasing use of UAVs that require intelligent and powerful video trackers to provide scene and target detection and tracking.

12 Jul 04. The U.S. Army fleet of Northrop Grumman developed RQ-5 Hunter UAVs reflects the expanding role that UAVs are playing in U.S. and allied combat operations. The first Hunter UAV flight occurred in 1990.

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