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NEWS IN BRIEF

20 May 03. BAE SYSTEMS C4ISR’s Management In Domain-based Secure Systems (MIDASS) computer security management firewall has been certified by the UK government’s national technical authority for Information assurance, the Communications Electronic Security Group (CESG). MIDASS offers new levels of protection against vulnerabilities in standard internet components, such as the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). It features byte level inspection to ensure that packets being processed are correctly structured, and compares operational data against a defined rule set to determine whether a command or response is permitted. MIDASS is multi-homed and controls a system without direct flow of packets between networks or direct communication between nodes. This enables MIDASS to manage networks featuring different security levels and to control access rights from a single installation.

26 May 03. China rejected U.S. accusations that a major defense conglomerate provided help to Iran’s missile program and said it opposes the spread of weapons of mass destruction, The Wall Street Journal reported. The statement Friday by China’s Foreign Ministry was in response to the Bush administration’s decision to impose a two-year ban on imports from China North Industries Corp., or Norinco. A senior U.S. official has said the U.S. has evidence Norinco sold missile technology to the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, or Shig, Iran’s government agency in charge of developing and producing ballistic missiles. The U.S. believes the sale, which occurred last year, would make “a material contribution” to Iran’s development of medium- or long-range ballistic missiles, the official said.

27 May 03. BAE Systems has signed a strategic partnership with eSpatial to develop and supply four-dimensional secure imagery solutions based on eSpatial’s commercial off-the-shelf technologies. eSpatial’s iSMARTv product suite provides open standards infrastructure for spatial applications delivered on COTS database technologies. It meets the Network Enabled Capability needs of the defence community and removes the limitations imposed by traditional desktop approaches. Under the partnership, BAE SYSTEMS C4ISR will develop and deliver next-generation solutions to support NEC based on eSpatial,s iSMART technologies. They will provide commanders with a complete and constantly updated picture of their battlespace environment.

28 May 03. Boeing Co.’s Chief Executive Officer Philip Condit said that the U.S. aircraft maker is trying to survive the current severe industry downturn by expanding its defense business. Its commercial-airplane business is “the worst since airplanes existed,” hit hard by the fallout from the dot-com bust, the September 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S.-led war in Iraq and now SARS, Condit said. The Chicago-based aerospace manufacturer projects 280 commercial airplane deliveries in 2003, and 275 to 300 deliveries in 2004. That compares with 381 deliveries in 2002 and 527 in 2001.

27 May 03. The state plans to issue 20% to 30% of wholly owned Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, but not before the middle of next year. The state isn’t interested in selling to a private investor because this could create problems with foreign defense contractors with whom the government does business, the official said. The issue would be a first step toward privatizing the company, a plan IAI’s powerful union opposes.

28 May 03. Cobham Plc is buying U.S. Northrop Grumman Corp’s Litton Life Support business for $73m. Iowa-based Life Support, which designs and manufactures air separation systems for military and commercial aircraft, made $9.8m pre-tax profit in 2002 on sales of $43.7m, Cobham said in a statement.

21 May 03. The Copernio Corporation has signed a strategic sales, marketing and products agreement with the ground-breaking software systems provider Inovar Partnerships. Both Copernio’s and Inovar’s market positi

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