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NEWS IN BRIEF

27 Mar 03. French defense ministry Michelle Alliot-Marie Thursday said more European countries may join the A400M military transport aircraft project soon. “Several other European countries may join the A400M venture, now that it is off the ground,” Alliot-Marie said, speaking at a defense conference here. She declined to give details on what countries may be interested in joining the A400M project.

24 Mar 03. Lockheed Martin’s Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) has received approval from the U.S. Army to enter Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP). The GMLRS program finished a 48-month System Development and Demonstration phase in December 2002 after successfully completing Production Qualification Flight Testing. GMLRS will offer transformational soldiers extremely accurate fire support for engaging and defeating cannon and rocket artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers. The U.S. Army is planning to produce more than 100,000 GMLRS rockets.
26 Mar 03. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has revised its outlook on defense group Thales S.A. (Thales) to negative from stable, reflecting the group’s structurally weak cash flow generation as well as its debt measures, which, when adjusted for unfunded pension liabilities, are somewhat weak for the current ratings. At the same time, the ‘A-‘ long-term and ‘A-2’ short-term corporate credit ratings on the group were affirmed.

27 Mar 03. Saab Aerospace in Link√∂ping will be given a new organization from 14 July 2003. There will be two new business units: Saab Aerosystems and Saab Aerostructures. In addition, a support organization, Saab Support, will be formed. All units will report directly to Saab’s group management. Saab Aerosystems will have its business focus on the defence market, with its own long-term systems responsibility for independently developed aircraft such as the Gripen, shared systems responsibility for new advanced air combat systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles,(UAVs), and subsystem responsibility for other aircraft equipment, such as tactical mission system for helicopters. General Manager of Saab Aerosystems will be Lennart Sindahl, who will also be Site Manager in Link√∂ping with responsibility towards authorities, organisations and industry in the region. Deputy manager will be Johan Lehander.

27 Mar 03. The U.S. Navy has completed the Operational Assessment series of test flights of Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC – News) Increased Capability (ICAP) III electronic attack weapon system for the EA-6B Prowler tactical jamming aircraft. The assessment, scheduled for two months, was completed in a month.

24 Mar 03. Raytheon Company’s Commercial Infrared (RCI) has announced H1 NIGHTDRIVER, an infrared night vision system, will be available exclusively on HUMMER H1s. The new partnership allows for distribution and sales of the NIGHTDRIVER product as a “Genuine HUMMER(r) Accessory” through HUMMER dealerships across the country. RCI is the leader in the development and production of uncooled thermal imaging systems, services and solutions.

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