Thursday, December 17, 2009

Russia's Rosavia delays $2.5 bln plane deal

MOSCOW, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Russia's new state-run airline Rosavia has delayed announcing results of its $2.5 billion tender to buy 65 planes as it needs time to review additional offers from sellers, its main shareholder said on Thursday.
"We have received additional offers from the tender participants and have taken a break," a spokesman for state conglomerate Russian Technologies told Reuters.
In August, Russian Technologies said Rosavia had solicited offers from Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus (EAD.PA) for the 65 narrowbody planes it plans to buy in the next few years. [ID:nLJ649955]
It was due to announce the tender results on Dec. 18. (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Maria Kiselyova, Editing by John Bowker)

China picks CFM to power future aircraft -Les Echos

PARIS, Dec 17 (Reuters) - China has chosen aircraft engine maker CFM International to power a future rival to the Airbus (EAD.PA) A320 and Boeing (BA.N) 737 jets, Les Echos newspaper reported on Thursday.
An agreement is set to be signed on Monday in Beijing during a visit by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, the paper said. CFM is a joint venture between General Electric (GE.N) and France's Safran (SAF.PA).
Under the deal, CFM would provide its LEAP-X turbofan engines, currently being developed, for the government-backed Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China's (COMAC) C919 plane, Les Echos said.
COMAC has said it will select engine suppliers for the C919 by the end of the year and has been holding talks with four main engine suppliers, including General Electric, Rolls Royce (RR.L) and United Technologies Corp's (UTX.N) Pratt & Whitney. [ID:nHKG100609]
China's C919 would have at least 150 seats and deliveries are expected to start in 2016, COMAC has said. COMAC could yet choose multiple engine suppliers for the C919, Les Echos added. CFM, which is the sole supplier for Boeing's 737 series, expects the LEAP-X could be certified by 2016. The engine will run on 16 percent less fuel and have 16 percent fewer CO2 emissions than existing CFM engines, according to CFM. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

ATK Successfully Tests Orion Launch Abort System Attitude Control Motor

Launch Abort System Designed for Unmatched Crew SafetyATK's Successful Test in Elkton, Maryland Is a Key Milestone in Development of Orion Spacecraft
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) performed a ground test of a full-scale attitude control motor (ACM) for the launch abort system (LAS) of NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle. The test was conducted at ATK's facility in Elkton, Md. on Dec. 15.
"The ACM test is a major accomplishment for the ATK, Lockheed Martin and the NASA LAS team. We demonstrated a critical technology capability that will enhance crew safety and mission success," said Bart Olson, Vice President and General Manager, ATK Tactical Propulsion and Controls. "This successful milestone brings Constellation another step closer to flight ready status and demonstrates progress toward improved flight safety for astronauts that is at the core of Constellation Program success.
Early indications are that the Demonstration Motor 1 (DM-1) test was successful and engineers are now analyzing the detailed results. This was the sixth in a series of ground tests of Orion's attitude control motor system, validating that the thruster system performs as designed.
ATK's attitude control motor provides steering for the Orion launch abort system which is designed to safely lift and steer the Orion crew module away from the Ares crew launch vehicle in the event of an emergency.
ATK's attitude control motor consists of a solid propellant gas generator, with eight proportional valves equally spaced around the circumference of the three-foot diameter motor. In combination, the valves can exert up to 7,000 pounds of steering force to the vehicle in any direction upon command from the crew module. The valves are controlled by a redundant power and control system.
ATK is under contract to Lockheed Martin, NASA's prime contractor for Orion, to develop the attitude control motor and provide motors for Orion's development test flights and human rated flights. ATK is also the prime contractor for Ares I first stage.
Video, photographs and additional information on the ACM program can be found at:
ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. News and information can be found on the Internet at
Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company's competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Media Contact:
Rod Gibbons
Phone: 410-864-3942
Investor Contact:
Jeff Huebschen
Phone: 952-351-2929

The Simon Group Hired by National Hybrid Inc. for Marketing Communications Campaign in Military and Aerospace Markets

SELLERSVILLE, Pa., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Simon Group Inc., an award-winning, full service business-to-business marketing communications agency specializing in high tech and industrial accounts, was recently hired by National Hybrid Inc., an API Technologies (OTC Bulletin Board: ATNY) company, to formulate and execute a new marketing communications campaign.
The Simon Group's public relations and advertising programs will focus on re-establishing both the National Hybrid brand and the company's key 1553 data bus technologies in the military and aerospace, commercial avionics and industrial markets.
The agency's aggressive public relations plan will maximize exposure of National Hybrid's name and products using various methods of print and online resources, including product and literature news releases, feature articles and The Simon Group's unique Publicity Initiatives program. This program is a proven system for identifying and taking advantage of every publicity opportunity in a broad range of print and online publications to ensure that appropriate client news is delivered continually to news sources.
In addition to the public relations strategy, The Simon Group will also re-establish the National Hybrid brand of 1553 data bus products, power controllers, high-density multichip modules and custom hybrid microcircuits through print and online advertising. Targeted frequency and reach of the ads in print publications and e-newsletters for each key market will help grow the company's brand.
"We wanted an agency that could provide us with proven, yet innovative, marketing tactics," says Arnie Markowitz, VP of Sales for API Nanotronics. "Advertising and public relations work in their intended areas, while complementing each other to form a cohesive campaign. The Simon Group's comprehensive plan will provide us with the support needed in our target markets. The agency's previous experience in these fields was integral to our selection as well."
Founded in 1986, The Simon Group Inc. specializes in high technology and industrial accounts, particularly in the electronics, instrumentation, military/aerospace, construction and test and measurement industries. Headquartered in a restored 18th century fieldstone farmhouse in Sellersville, Pa. (Bucks County), the agency has clients throughout the world. Visit
As a member of the API Technologies (OTC Bulletin Board: ATNY) family of companies, National Hybrid Inc. (NHi) builds on its more than 35 years of world-class design and manufacturing history to offer reliable, high-performance microcircuits as well as 1553 and data bus technologies that speed development and simplify troubleshooting, while providing more versatile and powerful design solutions.
For more information, please contact Beth Smith, vice president of PR, The Simon Group Inc., 1506 Old Bethlehem Pike, Sellersville, Pa. 18960. Tel: 215-453-8700; Fax: 215-453-1670; Email:; Web:

American Legion to DoD: Fix the Combat Gear

WASHINGTON--December 16, 2009,(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Legion called reports that soldiers are being sent to combat with deficient gear and lack of training “completely unacceptable.”
“The American Legion supports our troops’ missions in Iraq and Afghanistan but they must have the best equipment and training that we can possibly give them,” National Commander Clarence E. Hill said. “Representatives Ike Skelton and Solomon Ortiz should be commended for bringing these serious concerns to the attention of the Pentagon leadership.”
The two House members wrote in a Dec. 10 letter that they are “greatly troubled” by what they have been told by soldiers.
For instance, a military historian found that the M4 carbine failed at critical moments during a July 2008 firefight in Afghanistan, in which nine U.S. soldiers were killed.
“Even though these weapons routinely rank lower than other military weapons in testing, they are still being issued as the Army’s weapon of choice,” the lawmakers wrote.
“I am also concerned that troops are reportedly being taken from bootcamp and being sent to combat, with little or no additional training. Soldiers are also saying that their rucksacks are poorly designed and make it difficult to fire their weapons,” Hill said. “My question to military leadership is ‘Who has the backs of our troops?’ The American Legion would like some answers. Training and equipment should be factored in as essential costs of war, just like VA health care. We will take this issue up with the Secretary of Defense and even the president of the United States if it is not addressed quickly.”
With a current membership of 2.5-million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
A high resolution photo of National Commander Hill is available at
The American Legion
Media contacts:
Marty Callaghan,
Cell: 202-215-8644
Joe March,
Cell: 317-441-8847
John Raughter,
Cell: 317-748-1926

US House approves $636 bln military spending bill

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a $636 billion military spending bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and extends jobless aid for two months.
By a vote of 395 to 34, the House approved the bill and sent it on to the Senate, which is expected to act as soon as Friday, when current funding expires.
(Editing by Sandra Maler)

General Dynamics Awarded $322 Million Contract by U.S. Army

FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), was selected as the prime contractor and awarded a $322 million contract by the U.S. Army for the initial outfitting and transition support of the newly renovated Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and the newly constructed Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia.
General Dynamics will lead a team of companies that will provide the following services:
*Support hospital transition planning and all preparations to move and activate operations in the new facilities.
*Plan, provision, and install a wide array of medical and non-medical equipment, information technology equipment and furniture.
*Relocate all current equipment that will move to the new facilities.
The 365-bed Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is being moved to the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. The new 1.2 million square foot Fort Belvoir Community Hospital will have 120 beds. Both facilities will fulfill world-class standards for hospital facilities, operations and services.
"General Dynamics understands that simultaneously moving and constructing two hospitals in a 50-mile radius during the same timeframe is an enormously challenging endeavor that has not been attempted before in military medicine," said Zannie Smith, senior vice president of General Dynamics Information Technology's Army Solutions Division. "We are excited to partner in this opportunity to make a dramatic impact on the health care received by America's warriors and the beneficiaries of the military health system."
As a trusted systems integrator for more than 50 years, General Dynamics Information Technology provides information technology (IT), systems engineering, professional services and simulation and training to customers in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, health, federal civilian government and commercial sectors. With approximately 16,000 professionals worldwide, the company manages large-scale, mission-critical IT programs delivering IT services and enterprise solutions. More information about General Dynamics Information Technology is available at
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,300 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at

Lockheed Martin Achieves Critical Global Ballistic Missile Defense Milestones in 2009

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) missile defense systems achieved several key milestones in 2009, including five successful intercepts and numerous other major accomplishments, further solidifying Lockheed Martin as a world leader in air and missile defense.
With 20 successful Aegis BMD intercepts, six successful Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) intercepts and 26 successful Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile intercepts since the inception of those programs, Lockheed Martin continues to build on its unmatched legacy as the pioneer of hit-to-kill technologies.
"Lockheed Martin is proud to continue to lead ballistic missile defense efforts for the United States and allied nations," said John Holly, vice president of Lockheed Martin's newly established Missile Defense Systems operating unit, based in Huntsville, AL. "The depth and breadth of our experience in missile defense systems allows us to meet ever-evolving threats in support of global security."
Lockheed Martin operational systems and next-generation capabilities address each phase of missile defense – boost, ascent, midcourse and terminal – in support of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) layered Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and international allies' requirements.
2009 Missile Defense Milestones – Weapon Systems
- In July, the Aegis BMD system destroyed a ballistic missile target in an at-sea firing under operationally realistic conditions – marking the continued successful engineering development of the next-generational upgrade in Aegis BMD capability.
The USS Bunker Hill completed its operational trial of its full combat system, which includes Aegis Open Architecture, in August. This milestone is part of the development path to merge Aegis Open Architecture and Aegis BMD in 2012, when the Aegis Modernization program begins for the Navy's 62 Aegis-equipped destroyers.
JS Myoko, Japan's third destroyer equipped with the Aegis BMD system, successfully intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile target above the atmosphere during an October test event. Also that month, the MDA awarded a $1 billion follow-on contract providing for the integration of Aegis BMD into the Aegis Modernization program and a contract vehicle for the next five years to continue evolving BMD capability. Additionally, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie – using the latest Aegis BMD baseline version 4.0.1 and new Aegis BSP signal processor – proved successful during a series of long-range tracking, surveillance and engagement exercises against a variety of ballistic missile targets in October.
- In July, the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) successfully completed Critical Design Reviews (CDRs) for all major components, clearing the way for production of radars, launchers, tactical operation centers and reloaders needed for system tests. The program is on track to complete its final system-level CDR event in August 2010, with initial flight tests planned for 2012.
The program announced that it had received approval to use a European cryptographic device to implement Identification Friend or Foe in October. The selected subsystem makes both of the MEADS radars more robust than other current U.S. systems and provides the highest level of fratricide prevention available to protect coalition pilots. MEADS is designed to permit full interoperability between the U.S. and allied armies, and it is the only medium-range air defense system to provide full 360-degree coverage.
PAC-3 Missile:
- Lockheed Martin broke ground on an expansion of its state-of-the-art PAC-3 Missile production complex in Camden, AR, in May. This new facility will allow for continued production expansion and modest hiring of new employees over the next several years.
In September, Airmen of the Japanese Self Defense Force and Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the second Japanese PAC-3 Missile flight test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The flight test demonstrated the Patriot Configuration-3 upgrades to the Japanese Patriot ground system, and the addition of the PAC-3 Missile Segment to detect, track, engage and destroy a tactical ballistic missile target in a realistic battlefield environment.
On December 11, Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the PAC-3 Missile PC-08 Flight Test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. Preliminary test data indicates mission objectives were successfully achieved. The test demonstrated system capability using Post Deployment Build-6.5 (PDB-6.5) software to search, detect, track, engage and kill an aerodynamic Tactical Ballistic Missile (TBM) using a ripple method of fire engagement.
- In March, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency conducted their sixth successful intercept in six attempts of the THAAD weapon system at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, HI. This flight test demonstrated the system's ability to detect, track and intercept a separating target inside the Earth's atmosphere. This was the first salvo mission, with two THAAD interceptors launched against a single separating target, which is a tactical option for the system. Data indicates the first interceptor successfully destroyed the target while the second interceptor destroyed a large piece of debris from the initial intercept.
This year, Lockheed Martin employees celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first THAAD successful intercept and the 25th anniversary of the first hit-to-kill intercept of a ballistic missile target outside of the Earth's atmosphere.
In October, the U.S. Army and the MDA activated the second THAAD Battery at Fort Bliss, TX, signifying the continued integration of THAAD into the U.S. Army's Air and Missile Defense force structure. Unit training on the second THAAD Battery is underway with equipment hardware deliveries slated to occur within a year.
2009 Missile Defense Milestones – Next-Generation Capabilities and Supporting Systems
- Command, Control, Battle Management & Communications (C2BMC) continues to support real-world operations 24/7 around the world in 17 time zones, supporting the Missile Defense Agency's strategic and regional objectives.
Logistics and Sustainment:
- In November, Global Aerospace Logistics, LLC (GAL), Lockheed Martin and Raytheon announced the signing of a Joint Collaborative Agreement that will establish world-class logistics and sustainment services for the United Arab Emirates' air and missile defense systems. Under the agreement, GAL will work with Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to develop a logistics and sustainment capability to meet the immediate and future needs of the UAE's air and missile defense strategy.
Targets and Countermeasures:
- Through 2009, Lockheed Martin's Targets and Countermeasures Program has achieved 33 successful target missions out of 34 since 1996. Lockheed Martin's unmatched 97 percent reliability rate has included unitary and separating targets, spanning land, sea and air launches. In 2009, Lockheed Martin shipped the next-generation Launch Vehicle-2 target to a test range in preparation for an upcoming test.
Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS):
- In November, the Lockheed Martin-led team developing the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) program for the U.S. Air Force successfully completed thermal vacuum testing of the first geosynchronous (GEO-1) satellite, one of the most significant program milestones that validates spacecraft performance in a simulated space environment. The first SBIRS GEO spacecraft is planned for delivery to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in late 2010, where it will then undergo final processing and preparation for launch aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle.
Lockheed Martin plays a critical role in the nation's layered air and missile defense system. In addition to operational defenses, Lockheed Martin provides the backbone systems that integrate the sensors, command and control, and weapon system elements of the ballistic missile defense system. The corporation also is focused on next-generation capabilities and provides targets and other methods to test system elements.
Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, including the first operational hit-to-kill missile defense system. It also has considerable experience in missile design and production, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, and radar and signal processing. The company makes significant contributions to all major U.S. missile defense systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
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HDT Develops Robotic Arm Technology for DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 Program

Allows prosthetic arm patients to grasp their future

SOLON, Ohio, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- HDT Engineered Technologies (HDT), a leader in the development of next generation technologies and a principal subcontractor for the mechanical development of the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL), led development of new anthropromorphic arm technology that will give patients improved, dexterous control of a prosthetic arm and hand, including a sense of touch.
As part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 (RP2009) project, the MPL overcomes the limitations of conventional mechanical prostheses, which are not capable of tactile feeling, have a limited range of motion and are difficult to control.
HDT is a member of a team led by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), developing a sophisticated mechanical prosthesis to mimic the sensory-motor capabilities of a natural hand and arm. Now moving into Phase 3 development, the RP2009 technology will provide patients greater functionality and more intuitive, thought-controlled movement of the artificial limb.
"HDT Engineered Technologies is proud to be a part of the DARPA and JHU/APL team," said Dr. Tom Van Doren, Vice President of Robotic Systems at HDT Engineered Technologies. "Our mission is to promote human welfare through the advancement of robotic systems, and our technological innovations supporting this project are a step forward in meeting that mission."
In conjunction with partners including Kinea Design, Cielo Solutions, and Van Doren Designs, HDT developed key components of the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL). Those components allow the fingers and opposing thumb to conform to irregularly shaped objects and have tactile (haptic) fingertip sensors enabling patients to sense temperature, textures, pressure and friction. The limb components are modular and allow the fingers and hand to attach to the highly dexterous arm without additional wiring. The new prosthetic arm technology utilizes up to 20 motorized joints, mimicking human arm movements with greater range of motion than current state-of-the-art prosthetic arms.
National Geographic Magazine features the MPL technology on the cover of their January 2010 issue.
About HDT Engineered Technologies:
Headquartered in Solon, Ohio, HDT Engineered Technologies is a proven leader in design, development and production of integrated, deployable solutions for government, commercial and military customers. For more information, visit

French minister confirms A400M financing deadline

PARIS, Dec 16 (Reuters) - French Defence Minister Herve Morin confirmed a possible deadline of end-January to reach a financing deal for Airbus' (EAD.PA) A400M military transporter, which has faced cost problems. "What remains are the financial negotiations, which are naturally difficult," Morin told French paper La Tribune in an interview published on Thursday.
"We are going to give ourselves until the end of January and the moratorium will be extended till then," he added.

Boeing gets $704.4 mln US army helicopter contract

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) has received a $704.4 million U.S. Army contract to build 21 new and 14 remanufactured Ch-47F Chinook helicopters, the Defense Department said on Wednesday.
The work, the third year of a multiyear contract, is estimated to wrap up on Sept. 30, 2013, the Pentagon's daily contract digest said. (Reporting by Jim Wolf; editing by Andre Grenon)

UPDATE 1-U.S. senate panel "deeply concerned" by F-35 costs

By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee said it was "deeply concerned" about growing costs and apparent delays in Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N) F-35 fighter program, the Pentagon's costliest acquisition.
Discussion with top Pentagon officials took place on Wednesday behind closed doors of "strategy to keep costs down and to have development brought back to its planned schedule," the panel's chairman, Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, and its top Republican, John McCain, said in a joint statement.
"We, along with other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, are deeply concerned about the growing costs and apparent delays in the F-35 program," the statement said.
"Today's briefing is one step in continuing close oversight of the program, which is not only the largest acquisition program under way, but probably the most complicated and challenging."
The F-35 is being built in three different versions for the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. Eight international partners have co-financed the jet, designed to switch quickly between air-to-ground and air-to-air missions while still flying.
The panel was to have been briefed by William Lynn, the deputy defense secretary, and Ashton Carter, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer among others. The hearing was originally scheduled to have been public, but was taken behind closed doors because it involved Lockheed's proprietary information, a committee aide said.
The United States currently plans to buy a total of 2,443 F-35 aircraft, the Pentagon's costliest acquisition at a projected $300 billion over the next two decades.
The radar-evading aircraft is in early production.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told the Reuters summit on Monday he expected a shake-up in the program, including "adjustments in schedule."
"And there will be pushing and pulling of fighters across different years" through 2014, the scheduled end of the development phase, as a result of recent program reviews, he added. (Reporting by Jim Wolf; editing by Andre Grenon)