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NEWS IN BRIEF

19 May 03. The U.S. Navy has moved one step closer to operational capability for its RQ-8A Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the on-time delivery of the second production unit by its maker, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC). The company’s Integrated Systems sector delivered the air vehicle April 14 to the Navy’s Webster Field UAV test facility, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

15 May 03. AgustaWestland has reached agreement with Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company, of Fort Worth, Texas to form a Joint Venture company to manufacture the US101 helicopter in America. The Joint Venture company will act as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin which, as prime contractor and systems integrator, will have overall responsibility for the program and delivery of the US101 helicopter to the customer.

20 May 03. Innovative Concepts, Inc. was selected by Thales Communications, Inc. of Clarksburg, MD to embed SCA 2.2 compliant IDM Technology(TM) into the MBITR AN/PRC-148 hand held radio. This version of the MBITR will be Thales’ first JTRS offering.

14 May 03. Spanish shipbuilder IZAR will bring its mission development expertise to the Sea Blade, Littoral Combat Ship solution under development by the Lockheed Martin-led team. LCS is a key element of the Navy’s Sea Power 21 strategic vision. It is a ship that will provide the ability to approach and control the shallow waters surrounding an enemy’s shores — one of the greatest challenges facing the Navy. The Navy considers LCS its most transformational effort and number-one budget priority. IZAR will provide core support in the area of mission development planning, ship design support, and materials studies. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the team, with naval architect Gibbs & Cox and ship builders Bollinger Shipyards and Marinette Marine sharing significant roles as principal team members.

15 May 03. Lockheed Martin Corp. agreed to acquire Orincon Corp. International, a private defense and information technology company, for an undisclosed amount.
Lockheed said the acquisition will increase its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance offerings. The transaction, subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of the second quarter. A Lockheed spokesperson wasn’t immediately available to comment on the acquisition’s impact on earnings. San Diego-based Orincon employs 250 people nationwide.

16 May 03. Defense contractors Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT – News) and Raytheon Co. (NYSE:RTN – News) said on Friday they have formed a joint venture to design and build missiles for the U.S. Army, in an effort to cut costs and time. The joint venture, called NetFires LLC, is expected to reel in contracts totalling as much as $2bn over the next decade to develop loitering attack missiles, precision attack missiles and a container launch system.

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