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NEWS IN BRIEF 20 JAN 05

18 Jan 05. The United States has imposed penalties against eight Chinese companies for helping Iran’s ballistic missile efforts, according to a published report. The Federal Register early this month listed eight firms affected,
but it kept secret the nature of the technology exported, the New York Times reported. The nature of penalties was not announced, the report said. The two largest Chinese companies listed were China Great Wall Industry Corp. and China North Industry Corp., known as Norinco, the report said. Both are closely associated with the Chinese military and have been repeatedly penalize for more than a decade, it said. A third company mention on the list, China Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation, or Catic, is one of the country’s largest producers of military aircraft and was accused of diverting to military use sophisticated machine tools bought from McDonnell Douglas, which was acquired by Boeing (BA: news, chart, profile), the report said.

20 Jan 05. Titan Corp. tentatively agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay less than $30m to resolve a yearlong overseas-bribery investigation, people familiar with the situation say. That probe scuttled Lockheed Martin Corp.’s proposed $1.6bn acquisition of Titan in June and rocked investor confidence in the San Diego company. Under the current deal to end investigations by the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, Titan will admit that payments by its overseas consultants violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, these people say. Titan has set aside $28.5 million to cover possible fines and penalties to settle the case, and the people briefed on the agreement said the total would be “less than $30m.” Though it is expected to be one of the biggest penalties ever imposed under the antibribery law, a settlement would clear the way for Titan to find another merger partner. The settlement could be announced by the end of the month, but the details are still subject to change. Titan has been eager to resolve this matter. But unlike in June, when a draft agreement fell apart after a dispute between the State Department and the Justice Department over certain wording, there is no deadline for achieving a settlement. It isn’t clear whether current or former Titan employees will be charged under the latest agreement. Justice Department policy is to pursue individuals in every case in which a company pleads guilty.The Justice Department, the SEC and Titan declined to comment. The company has said it is cooperating with government authorities. A defense contractor or one of its units that pleads guilty to making illegal foreign payments and certain other felonies is subject to being barred from competing for new government contracts. The Pentagon can waive that punishment, and is slated to do so for Titan when the plea agreement is announced, the people familiar with the agreement say. (Source: WSJ)

19 Jan 05. NATO will conduct its annual crisis management exercise (CMX 2005) from 26 January to 1February 2005. CMX 2005 is sponsored by NATO’s Secretary General and is jointly run by the International Staff and the International Military Staff and the two NATO Strategic Commands, Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation. In addition to the 26 NATO nations, nine Partner nations have been involved in the planning and execution of this NATO CMX as Troop Contributing Nations. This has provided them with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with crisis management procedures and will strengthen cooperation between NATO and its Partners in the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led Partnership for Peace (PfP) operations. The exercise is designed to practice crisis management procedures, including civil-military cooperation, in order to maintain and improve the Alliance’s ability to manage crises. The scenario for this exercise is fictitious. It will depict a UN-mandated and NATO-led crisis response operation deplo

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