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NEWS IN BRIEF

Oct 04. It is widely anticipated that contracts for the second tranche of Typhoon aircraft will be signed in November 2004. 148 Tranche 1 aircraft (44 for Germany; 29 for Italy; 20 for Spain and 55 for the UK) are in production. The expected number of Tranche 2 aircraft is 236 (68 for Germany; 46 for Italy; 33 for Spain and 89 for the UK). On 10 Dec 03 the Armed Forces’ Minister stated that the cost of Tranche 2 to the UK was “expected to be of the order of £5,000m”. Comment: The above facts are reiterated in order to clarify any confusion caused by an ill-researched Market Report by The Independent (5 Oct 04), which quoted Cazenove. The newspaper and/or the stockbroker also had difficulty in differentiating between frigates and destroyers. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/39, 11 Oct 04)

09 Oct 04. Thailand signalled its intention to purchase up to 20 Swedish-built Gripen fighter aircraft yesterday and said negotiations on the details of the deal could start. The Thai Air Force said it had picked JAS 39 Gripen fighters to replace its F-5 fleet. The UK’s BAE Systems has a 35 per cent stake in Saab, which builds the aircraft, and markets the aircraft through a 50-50 joint venture with the Swedish company. A spokesman for the consortium said no agreement had been signed. Nicholas George, Stockholm

29 Sep 04. Recently released Defence statistics show that the estimated value of UK Defence equipment exports delivered by the UK during 2003 was £4,248m (£4,120m in 2002).Contracts signed for new orders in 2003 amounted to £4,882m (£5,041m in 2002); £3,526m (£3,553m) being accounted for by the air sector. Comment: The delivery figure is made up of £992m ‘identified deliveries’ (as released by the FCO on 7 Jun 04) and £3,256m ‘additional aerospace equipment’ (as collated by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC)). DESO surveys Defence contractors in order to produce figures for new orders. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/39, 11 Oct 04)

11 Oct 04. The Durban High Court (South Africa) decided today during the Schabir Shaik trial to withdraw all charges against Thint (Pty) Limited, a South African subsidiary of Thales International, and to cease all prosecution against the Group and its management. Thint (Pty) Limited has been discharged by order of the Judge. The Thales Group has always formally denied the charges. During this case, Thales has always cooperated with the South African justice and remained confident in the outcome of these proceedings.

11 Oct 04. Boeing Co. CEO Harry Stonecipher said Monday he remains confident the company will ultimately get an air-tanker contract from the government despite the formal demise in Congress last week of the previously approved $23 billion deal. The previous contract was undercut by ethical concerns about the role of former Pentagon procurement official Darleen Druyun. Druyun was sentenced Oct. 1 to nine months in prison for lining up a job with Boeing while she was overseeing the contract review. The defense legislation passed by Congress eliminates any possibility of Boeing leasing converted 767s to the Air Force as refueling tankers, a plan that drew criticism for its high government costs. But the government still might decide to buy Boeing tankers, and that option remains under review in the Defense Department.

07 Oct 04. Northrop Grumman Corporation conducted the first flight of the first RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle slated for the Navy’s Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration (GHMD). The air vehicle, dubbed N-1, flew from the company’s Palmdale, Calif., production facility to the Birk Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. A joint U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and contractor team will begin preliminary testing of the air vehicle in preparation for its delivery to the Navy in 2005. N-1 is the first of two Global Hawks Northrop Grumman is producing for the GHMD program. The second air vehicle is scheduled to make its ma

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