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NEWS IN BRIEF

11 Mar 03. Northrop Grumman Corp. on Tuesday began the first phase of its debt reduction plan, with one of its units initiating offers to buy back $2.85bn in debt securities. The defense giant’s Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Corp. unit — formerly TRW Inc. — will use proceeds from its recent sale of TRW Automotive to pay for the purchase of securities tendered in response to the offers, which expire on Monday.

11 Mar 03. Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems nearly doubled fourth-quarter net profit due to further increases in sales. Elbit, which makes electronics for defence programmes, said its net profit was $13.1m, or 33 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter, (2001: $7.7m, 19 cents a diluted share). Revenues in the period rose to $238.3m, (2001: $224.8m).

13 Mar 03. Fairs & Exhibitions, organisers of the Dubai 2003 international aerospace exhibition, says space sales for the show, which will be held in December this year, have now reached 60% of their expanded target. “Given that we increased our space sales target by 25% on the last show, this means we have already achieved 75% of the space contracted for the whole of Dubai 2001,” explained Clive Richardson, Chief Executive, Fairs & Exhibitions. Space sales in February reached their highest monthly average to date, according to Fairs & Exhibitions.

11 Mar 03. Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ: ALOG – News) has entered into an agreement with Sanders Design International of Wilton, New Hampshire, for the development, manufacture and deployment of an aircraft infrared countermeasures (IRCM) system for the protecction of commercial airliners against shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles.

14 Mar 03. Finmeccanica SpA will hold an extraordinary board meeting today, a spokesperson for the company said. The spokesman declined to comment on media speculation the Italian defense company was planning to make a joint bid with Avio, the avionics unit of carmaker Fiat SpA. A joint Finmeccanica-Snecma bid could derail rival plans by the U.S.-based Carlyle Group LP , which wanted to buy Fiat Avio to combine it with DaimlerChrysler AG’s MTU subsidiary, the paper said.

Feb 03. Radstone Technology announces PMCGA4, the latest in Radstone’s family of rugged ‘COTS’ PMC graphics products. PMCGA4 offers a major advance in graphics processing performance, providing a technology insertion opportunity for current PMCGAx users. The board maintains compatibility with a functional envelope first defined by Radstone in 1997. The board has been designed around the latest graphics technology, the P10 Visual Processing Unit from 3Dlabs. Delivering unrivalled performance in the rugged COTS market, PMCGA4 also includes a wide variety of input and output video formats to meet the demands of defence and aerospace systems designers.

12 Mar 03. SMART Technologies Inc. announced DViT(TM) (Digital Vision Touch) technology, a breakthrough technology platform for touch-sensitive displays. DViT technology uses proprietary digital cameras and sophisticated software to determine the contact of a finger, stylus, pointer or other object on a display. Cameras, situated in each corner of the display, communicate position information back to a digital signal processor that determines the exact point of contact. No special pens or tools are required to interact with the display, nor are special materials required on the touch screen, making the image crystal clear.

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