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NEWS IN BRIEF

22 Sep 04. Team US101 has responded to the U.S. Navy’s request for an updated proposal offering executive transport variants of its American-built US101 medium-lift helicopters for the Presidential Helicopter Replacement (VXX) program. Team US101 is competing to provide the president of the United States with a state-of-the-art fleet of next- generation helicopters better known by the call sign: “Marine One.” The updated proposal contains information reflective of the ongoing risk reduction efforts the Navy has funded during the past few months. Details of the proposal cannot be disclosed because of competition-sensitive and proprietary information contained within the submission. The Navy’s VXX program award announcement is expected to occur during December.

21 Sep 04. Boeing has gone on the offensive in its ongoing legal battle with Lockheed Martin by accusing the aerospace company of seeking to “inflict reputational and competitive harm against Boeing”, by making false statements about a controversial satellite launch contract it lost in 1998. At the centre of the legal dispute are claims that Boeing misused thousands of pages of proprietary Lockheed information to win a satellite launch contract from the US Air Force. Concerns about the misuse led the Air Force to remove $1bn in contracts from Boeing and to suspend its satellite operations from bidding on new contracts until it showed it had dealt with the ethics problems. In the wake of the allegations, Lockheed launched a civil suit in June 2003, seeking unspecified damages. On August 24, in a court filing in Los Angeles, Boeing hit back with a countersuit. It accuses Lockheed of dragging in “irrelevant allegations of purported Boeing misconduct”, to widen the suit beyond the facts surrounding the two individuals directly accused in the satellite case.(Source: FT)

Sep 04. Perth-based company Turbo Jet Technologies has been asked to develop the Jandu high-speed UAV, which will have the ability to carry a payload of up to 50kg and travel at speeds much higher than existing UAVs by using micro-sized jet engine technology. The company will also be involved in developing a Bioseeker guidance system, based on the vision of insects. The system is a low-cost add-on sensor that tracks moving targets, and could be applied to UAVs and a range of weapons. Announcing the projects in Perth this morning, Senator Hill said UAVs were going to play a big part in the future of Australia’s defence. The funding announced today was the eighth round of the government’s capability and technology demonstrator program, which encourages development of advanced defence technologies. Following the announcement, Melbourne-based IATIA Ltd, in conjunction with the University of Melbourne, will develop a highly sophisticated camera, known as Quantitative Phase Imaging, that can capture three images simultaneously through a single lens and see through fog, smoke and dust storms. South Australian based BAE Systems will develop advanced systems on UAVs for improving electronic warfare and covert communications, while Victoria-based ADA will develop improved lightweight body armour and helmets designed to improved protection against bullets and shrapnel. Earlier this week, Prime Minister John Howard announced a $6m trial of two UAVs – the Global Hawk, built by Northrop Grumman, and General Atomics’ Mariner – to protect oil and gas assets in the north-west shelf off Western Australia. (Source: news.com.au)

20 Sep 04. Information Handing Services Inc announced that it has acquired USA Information Systems, Inc. The move augments the world’s largest published collection of engineering standards, military specs and parts logistics solutions from IHS, which has served worldwide engineering communities and customers for nearly 45 years.

17 Sep 04. General Dynamics (NYSE: GD – News) completed its acquisition of Newton, N.C.-based TriPoint Global Communications Inc., a privately held provider o

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