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NEWS IN BRIEF

Sep 04. The Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) is seeking ‘expressions of interest’, by 25 Oct 04, in conducting two further FRES TDP. An Electronics Architecture TDP, for which at least two parallel contracts are expected to be awarded, is due to be completed in Autumn 2006. A Chassis Options TDP, to be conducted by one or two contractors, is to end with the delivery of driveable platforms by Spring 2006. Invitations to Tender for both TDP are expected to be issued by 31 Dec 04. The DPA continues (22 Sep 04) to give the In Service Date for the FRES Initial Operating Capability as “around the end of the decade”. Comment: FRES is to be a family of medium-weight armoured vehicles at the centre of the Future Army Structure, which introduces a Medium Force (in addition to Heavy and Light). As part of the FRES Initial Assessment Phase, a Systems House (to be selected from a short list of three) is to adjudicate on some 21 TDP with a view to eliminating as much risk from the programme as possible. The total value of all the TDP has been estimated at around £75m, while the whole FRES programme cost is “in the region” of £6,000m (MoD figure). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/37, 27 Sep 04)

29 Sep 04. BAE Systems has agreed its fifth US acquisition this year with a $88.4m (£49m) deal to buy a software engineering company, specialising in intelligence gathering. The takeover of Alphatech, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, should be completed by the end of the year but is dependent on regulatory approval. The company, which has 322 employees, specialises in image and signal processing and intelligence fusion and processing systems.The move is the latest in a string of acquisitions of high-technology defence companies in the US by BAE. (Source: FT)

22 Sep 04. Smiths Group: Preliminary Results
for the year ended 31 July 2004
Highlights
* £350m pre-tax, 45.9p EPS (continuing, before goodwill & exceptionals)
* Statutory reporting: pre-tax £300m, EPS: 38.0p (2003: £217m, 20.0p)
* At constant currency, sales up 7%, operating profit* up 2%
* After currency translation, sales up 2%, operating profit* down 3%
* Strong underlying sales and profit growth in the second half
* Operating profit converted to operating cash (after capex) at 89%Free cash-flow of 45.5p per share, equivalent to earnings
* Annual dividend increased by 4% to 27.0p
* Outlook for growth in all divisions in 2005

28 Sep 04. Snecma, the French aircraft engine manufacturer, has announced the acquisition of the Moroccan assets of Franco-Swiss company Gespac, which specialises in manufacturing electric cables. Gespac, which is located in Temara, near Rabat, has a workforce of 200. The acquisition has been carried out by Snecma’s subsidiary Labinal, which hopes that Gespac will help it meet an expected strong increase in demand from its aeronautics customers from next year. Abstracted from Les Echos

28 Sep 04. EADS Space, the space subsidiary of EADS, the European aerospace and defence group, has signed a draft agreement with Italian information technology and electronics group Vitrociset for research into projects in the aerospace sector. Under the agreement Vitrociset will joint Inmarsat, EADS and French defence electronics group Thales in the iNavSat consortium, which is competing for a concession for Galileo, the future European satellite navigation system. The agreement could also apply to telecoms and to the Vega, Soyouz and Ariane 5 rocket launchers. Abstracted from Les Echos

29 Sep 04. Foster-Miller Inc., has announced that its newest TALON UGVs are equipped with off-the-shelf chemical, gas, temperature, and radiation sensors that can be read simultaneously, remotely and in real time via one integrated hand-held display unit. Mounted on the TALON robot are: Smiths APD 2000 advanced portable chemical agent detector, Draeger Multiwarn II gas detector, Raytek Raynger MX4+ temperature sensor, Thermo FH40GL radiation detector., The company ha

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