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NEWS IN BRIEF

24 Nov 03. Lockheed Martin’s HIMARS system completed two Production Qualification Tests (PQTs) on November 19, successfully demonstrating performance in an operational environment. The first test was conducted at Fort Sill, OK. During the exercise a HIMARS vehicle was flown into Fort Sill’s East Range area by a C-130 aircraft. The vehicle was offloaded in less than five minutes, drove to a firing point, received a digital firing command and fired six Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) practice rockets. The joint exercise included a U.S. Army MLRS crew from Fort Sill, a command and control team from the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force crew who piloted the C-130 aircraft. During the second test, conducted at White Sands Missile Range, NM, an Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Block II missile was successfully fired from the launcher. All test objectives were achieved. To support the qualification testing, seven HIMARS launchers produced under the maturation contract have been upgraded to the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) configuration. Upgrades include adding the Low-Cost Fire Control Panel (LCFCP), the Improved Weapons Interface Unit (IWIU), a modified azimuth resolver, an upgraded Position Navigation Unit (PNU) executive processor, an upgraded Launcher Interface Unit (LIU) and a V.24 communication interface. The system is mounted on a Stewart & Stevenson chassis.

13 Nov 03. The Consortium responsible for the TP400/D6 engine which powers the A400M, the military transport aircraft, opens its office in Madrid. The Spanish Secretary of State of the Ministry of Science and Technology, His Excellency Mr. Pedro Morenés Eulate, has inaugurated the new offices of Europrop International (EPI) in the Parque Empresarial San Fernando de Henares in Madrid. The Chairman of Europrop International ?EPI? and PDG of Snecma Moteurs, Mr. Jean Paul Herteman and its Managing Director, Prof. Dr. Günter Kappler hosted the event.

25 Nov 03. Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary asked Pentagon staff to look into the dismissal of two senior Boeing executives and its impact on an air force deal to lease and buy 100 Boeing 767 aircraft as air-to-air refuelling tankers. The probe may delay the air force plan to lease 20 and buy 80 aircraft, although the deal is part of the defence spending bill that president George W Bush signed into law on Monday. But Mr Rumsfeld said at a briefing he had asked senior Pentagon staff to ask themselves whether the contract should be delayed until the Pentagon had reviewed it.

24 Nov 03. Alliant Techsystems Inc. has paid about $40m to acquire two units of closely held Allied Aerospace. The deal is an important long-term move for Alliant, which hopes to build on its conventional rocket and munitions business by expanding into the budding area of hypersonic engines. Alliant, based in Edina, Minn., said it was attracted to the Allied units partly because they already hold major federal contracts to develop such technology.

21 Nov 03. Lockheed Martin announced a reorganization of its Integrated Systems & Solutions business area to more closely align competencies and resources to address customer needs for horizontally-integrated, net-centric solutions. Defense and other national security customers are increasingly turning to these solutions that promise on-demand information and a more comprehensive information picture for faster, better informed decisions. The consolidation creates eight customer-focused lines of business and six teams of subject matter experts that will draw upon vast expertise throughout Lockheed Martin to provide customers with the system-of-systems capabilities they need to support joint and net-centric operations. The lines of business will focus knowledge and experience gained from successful development of complex systems for geospatial-intelligence; command, control and communications (C3); surveillance and reconnaissance; space-ground integration; classified inte

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