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NEWS IN BRIEF

15 Apr 04. A strange story has reached BATTLESPACE. A firm involved in environmental clean-up which actually pays money TO the MoD has had its contract suspended after 9 weeks by Defence Training Estates due to risk worries. The eventual compensation payout to the contractor for loss of work is expected to be more than that offered by the firm to the MoD. If the MoD is worried by risk with companies offering to pay money to the MoD, there is little hope for those suppliers who expect to be paid by the MoD!

15 Apr 04. More evidence of the spin machine was revealed this week by a story in Saturday’s Times. The three defence chiefs, Land, sea and Air, will lose their press spokesman and all press will be handled by a central MoD office. This will almost certainly result in fewer releases and less information getting to our readers. The trend was noticed recently when tow major contractors putting on press conferences were asked to rely on the CoI to send the invites. When it became clear that the invites had been ‘lost’ only a dash to the telephone by the PR executives concerned stopped a complete no-show of press to events which had cost the contractors a great deal of money to put on.

15 Apr 04. Smiths Group, the cash-rich medical devices and aerospace group, is stepping up its acquisitions programme, purchasing a detection business for £41m ($75m) cash. The group is buying SensIR Technologies, a manufacturer of infrared- based analysers used for the identification of potentially hazardous substances. SensIR generated sales of £21m in the year to March 31 2004.

14 Apr 04. Unconfirmed reports suggest that after another accident involved with a Merlin helicopter on hover, the fleet may have been grounded. We are awaiting confirmation of the current situation.

15 Apr 04. Brazil’s state development bank said on Thursday that its financing for the clients of local airplane manufacturer Embraer (Sao Paolo:EMBR4.SA – News; NYSE:ERJ – News) should exceed 4bn reais ($1.4bn) in 2004.The news bodes well for Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica (Embraer), the world’s fourth-largest maker of commercial aircraft, after it blamed delays in the bank’s financing for hurting its bottom line last year.

16 Apr 04. Northrop Grumman Corp (NYSE:NOC – News) said on Friday it leads one of three teams set to bid for upgrade work on Britain’s Nimrod reconnaissance planes with components worth £200m ($357m). Britain’s MoD hopes to announce the project next week, a ministry spokesman said. Lockheed Martin Corp (NYSE:LMT – News) and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc (NYSE:LLL – News) were expected to lead the rival bids, an industry source told Reuters. Northrop said in a statement the ministry has asked for bids for an assessment phase on an upgrade of reconnaissance equipment on the Royal Air Force’s fleet of Nimrod R1s.The ministry plans to narrow the bidders to two next year and select a winner in 2006. (Source: Reuters)

16 Apr 04. Lockheed Martin issued a broad industry announcement today seeking proposals in connection with the Norwegian New Frigate Offset Program. Lockheed Martin is under contract to the Spanish Shipbuilder IZAR to supply the Aegis Combat System for the Frigates. The frigate program is ongoing with a well-defined scope with several offset projects directly associated with the frigates. Lockheed Martin is not seeking suppliers for the frigate program. Its interest is in identifying companies in Norway and companies abroad that either have or are considering partnerships in Norway in industries related to computers and software for communications; command and control; radio, satellite and line communications; electro-optic systems; fire control systems; missile technology; ammunition and military explosives; underwater technology and sonar systems; high-speed naval craft; and space technology.

13 Apr 04. Saab (Stockholm:SAABb.ST – News) has joined the race to secure Malaysia’s maiden order of airborne early warni

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