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16 Aug 04. General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) has initiated discussions with the UK Ministry of Defence to make changes to the Bowman programme plan. The revised Plan will focus on ensuring that core Bowman capabilities, including secure voice and data, messaging, and situational awareness, are robust and reliable and that the first Army units undergoing Bowman Conversion are trained and ready for operational deployment and available for the Operational Field Trials in December 2004, as originally planned. Some additional capabilities, not originally included within the scope of the 2001 Contract Baseline, but identified as being critical during recent Bowman Field Trials, will also be added. Delivery of some other functionality, not assessed as being critical for operational deployment in early 2005, will now occur in the April-June 2005 timeline. In parallel, measures are being taken to stabilize the Vehicle Conversion Programme. Some vehicles are being re-scheduled to provide a robust conversion activity that will match the Armed Forces’ operational commitments. Details of this revised Bowman Programme Plan are being finalized between GDUK Ltd and the MoD.

16 Aug 04. Lockheed Martin announced that a broad base of companies will assist it in the development of Aerial Common Sensor (ACS), the U.S. Army’s next generation manned airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system. The program’s six-year $879 million system development and demonstration (SD&D) phase will produce more than 800 new, high-quality jobs in the United States. As the prime systems integrator, Lockheed Martin will lead the ACS team from its Integrated Systems & Solutions facility, adding approximately 300 high technology positions to its Denver, Colo., workforce. Aircraft assembly, during the low-rate and initial production phases, will create 150-200 jobs at the new Embraer facility slated to open in Jacksonville Fla., in 2005; aircraft systems integration work will add approximately 100 new positions at L-3 Communications’ facility in Greenville, Texas. Additional Lockheed Martin key ACS subcontractors and their roles include:

* Argon Engineering (Va.) – Signals intelligence subsystem provider
* BAE Systems (N.Y.) – Hyper spectral imagery
* General Dynamics (Fla.) – Modeling and simulation
* Harris (Fla.) – Mission communications; imagery intelligence exploitation
* Raytheon (Va.) – Distributed common ground system (DCGS) 10.2 support
In addition to these subcontractors, many areas of the country will benefit economically from the ACS program, as its supply sources include more than 150 providers in 27 states. Also, a significant portion of the team’s supplier base – more than 30 percent – is comprised of small businesses. “These small businesses form the foundation of a strong, growing economy. It is through these businesses that continual technical innovation thrives,” added Colburn.

10 Aug 04. Hewlett-Packard yesterday moved to strengthen its position in the global IT services market by agreeing to acquire Synstar, the UK managed services group, for $300m. HP’s offer of 100p per share represented a 28 per cent premium to Friday’s closing price of 78¼p. Synstar shares jumped 27 per cent to 99½p following the announcement. Synstar has over the past three years restructured itself to focus on managed services and business continuity – the managing of companies’ IT infrastructure and providing disaster recoverycentres. The move marks HP’s latest effort to step up its presence in the global IT service market, where it competes with larger rivals such as IBM and Electronic Data Systems. In February, HP acquired Thyssen Krupp’s IT Services subsidiary Triaton for €340m ($417m). HP has suggested it would seek to expand in Europe by focusing on niche areas rather than large acquisitions. (Source: FT)

06 Aug 04. Underlying profit at Senior fell slightly in the first half of 2004

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