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NEWS IN BRIEF

17 Feb 03. BAE SYSTEMS has reached a definitive agreement with Advanced Power Technologies, Inc. , to purchase the corporation for $27m in cash.APTI, which has facilities in Virginia, Maryland and Alaska, employs more than 100 people and had 2002 revenues of approximately $26m. A private company with headquarters in Washington, D.C., APTI focuses on Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance exploitation and information processing for defense, civil and commercial uses. Its core competencies include radio frequency and optical engineering, communications and networking, signal and data exploitation and knowledge creation. Closing of the transaction is expected to occur within 45 days and is subject to completion of certain regulatory reviews and approvals.

20 Feb 03. The Czech Republic has delayed a decision on the fate of a long-delayed purchase of supersonic jet fighters until May as MPs continue to debate strategies for the country’s defence, Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik said on Thursday. The central European country and NATO member has been re-thinking plans to beef up air defences after the severe floods in August hit plans to buy new Anglo-Swedish Gripen jets, with spending shifted towards disaster relief. The floods, which caused over $2.0bn in damage, forced the government to scrap a plan to replace its fleet of Soviet-era MiG-21s with 24 Gripen multi-role jets made by Swedish firm Saab (Stockholm:SAABb.ST – News), in partnership with its British partner BAE Systems (London:BA.L – News).

17 Feb 03. Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS – News)has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract with a ceiling price of $10 million for cryptographic software development task orders in support of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). Harris will develop, test, and deliver cryptographic software products for its Sierra II cryptographic module and associated peripheral processors as part of future Cluster acquisitions of JTRS. The JTRS Joint Program Office, Arlington, Virginia, awarded the contract to Harris to develop software using Sierra II that replaces legacy external encryption hardware functionality. The new software will support JTRS legacy and newly defined waveforms. Harris will build the cryptographic software, and the National Security Agency will evaluate and certify it. The initial task orders will first focus on the waveforms to support JTRS Cluster 1. Additional task orders and waveform support will be incrementally added to existing Sierra II products through its reprogramming capabilities.

18 Feb 03. Snecma said it would only buy Fiat Avio, the aviation unit of crisis-stricken Fiat (Milan:FIA.MI – News) with an Italian partner, adding it would want control, or at least half of the group if the sale did go ahead. The aero-engine maker’s Chief Executive Jean-Paul Bechat also told a news conference on the firm’s 2002 results that he saw “reasonable value” for Fiat Avio at between €1.5 and 1.8bn euros.Snecma has already said it is interested in buying Fiat Avio, one of a list of assets Fiat could sell to raise money for its loss-making car arm.

17 Feb 03. The first French Tripartite Minehunter to be upgraded with Thales Underwater Systems (TUS) 2022 Mk3 hull-mounted and propelled variable depth sonars and new minewarfare tactical systems, has been accepted back into French Navy service by the Direction Générale d’Armament (DGA). The Eridan Class Minehunter Andromede is the first of 13 French vessels to be upgraded with these advanced wideband sonar systems, which provide greatly increased detection and classification capabilities against modern stealthy mines, in shallow and in deep water with advanced operator aids (mission planning, navigation, detection, classification, performance evaluation).

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