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NEWS IN BRIEF

20 Aug 02. Boeing Co. has nearly finished modifying a 747-400 freighter to carry the world’s first airborne laser, with the aircraft scheduled to leave Kansas later this year to be equipped with the futuristic weapon

Costs for the prototype are now projected at $1.7bn by the time the
aircraft is finished and testing completed in 2005, said Col. Ellen Pawlikowski, program director for the Airborne Laser Defense program, which is based at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M.

In 1996, the Air Force awarded a $1.1bn contract to Boeing, TRW and
Lockheed Martin to begin work on a prototype that would detect, track and destroy ballistic missiles.

15 Aug 02. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN – News) was awarded a one-year, $1.34m contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to participate in the initial phase of a program to develop and enhance spectrum utilization techniques for wireless communications.

The program is important to the Department of Defense because it will increase the ability to communicate adaptively in what is increasingly becoming a crowded and spectrum-limited environment.

24 Aug 02. The Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA – News) and the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) today announced the successful
completion of more than two weeks of demonstrations of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) system, setting the stage for performing commercial surveys for the world’s oil and gas industry.

Operations were conducted aboard the survey ship USS Pathfinder (T-AGS 60) in the Gulf of Mexico. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), testing demonstrated safe and efficient AUV launch, recovery and deck handling equipment and methodologies, which optimize the effectiveness of military and commercial ocean survey operations.

20 Aug 02. German submarine builder HDW said on Tuesday it was nearing a cooperation deal with U.S. arms maker Northrop Grumman Corp (NYSE:NOC – News) jointly to market and build its stealth ships and submarines.

The deal could hand Northrop, the biggest U.S. shipbuilder, the technology it needs to meet a U.S. pledge to sell eight conventional submarines to Taiwan, but such sales are currently outlawed in Germany and would need government approval.

“We have a contract which is ready to sign,” said Juergen Rohweder, a spokesman for HDW, Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG, in the northern German port of Kiel. “This is an agreement regarding cooperation between HDW and Northrop on marketing HDW products, for example fuel cell submarines and the stealth corvette,” he said.

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