Sunday, January 31, 2010

Obama to propose $3.8 trillion 2011 budget -paper

Defense News ~ WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will unveil a $3.8 trillion budget proposal on Monday for fiscal 2011, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
The White House declined to comment on the report.
The newspaper said the budget would include $25 billion for struggling states and provide funding increases for programs at the Energy Department, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the Census Bureau.
An administration official confirmed to Reuters that the budget would include a 6 percent increase in civilian research programs.
The budget would also provide more funds for military programs, including the Pentagon's Special Operations forces, the U.S. Army's Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Other programs and agencies would face cuts. Space agency NASA's mission to fly back to the moon would be scrapped, the paper said, and some public works projects by the Army Corps of Engineers would also lose funding.
The president has previously said he would propose a three-year spending freeze on some domestic programs that would save $250 billion by 2020.
Spending at the agencies facing cuts would be kept at $447 billion annually through 2013, the New York Times said, leading to a savings of $10 billion in the coming fiscal year.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, editing by Anthony Boadle)

WRAPUP 11-U.S. regrets China's response to arms sales

* Beijing suspends Sino-U.S. military exchanges
* United States says sales contribute to security
* China says U.S. arms companies could be penalized
* Weapons needed to bolster defense - Taiwan (Updates with Chinese foreign minister comment)

By Jim Wolf and Ben Blanchard
Defense News ~ WASHINGTON/BEIJING, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The United States said on Saturday it regretted China's announced cuts in bilateral contacts and its plans to punish U.S. companies involved in a $6.4 billon arms package for Taiwan.
While China said the arms sales "damaged" its national security and reunification efforts with Taiwan, the Obama administration defended the package sent to the U.S. Congress on Friday as boosting regional security.
"We regret that the Chinese government has announced that it plans to curtail military-to-military and other security-related exchanges and take action against U.S. firms that supply defensive articles to Taiwan," said P.J. Crowley, the State Department's chief spokesman.
"We believe our policy contributes to stability and security in the region," he said.
China opposes all U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, which it regards as part of its territory. For the first time, it said would impose unspecified sanctions on unnamed companies involved in arms sales to Taiwan and scale down contacts with the United States unless it canceled the new arms package.
China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the United States had "damaged China's national security and great task of reunification (with Taiwan)," the official Xinhua news agency reported early on Sunday.
Yang, traveling in Cyprus, said China and the U.S. had held many discussions about the arms sales, but the U.S. had ignored China's demand that the sales be stopped.
The United States should "truly respect China's core interests and major concerns, and immediately rescind the mistaken decision to sell arms to Taiwan, and stop selling arms to Taiwan in order to avoid damaging broader China-U.S. relations," Yang said.
Among the sales, subject to congressional review, would be Black Hawk utility helicopters built by Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (UTX.N); Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N)-built and Raytheon Co. (RTN.N)-integrated Patriot missile defenses; and Harpoon land- and sea-attack missiles built by Boeing Co. (BA.N). See factbox [ID:nN30152939]
Representatives of Sikorsky, Raytheon and Boeing either had no immediate comment or did not respond to questions left for them. A Lockheed spokesman referred a caller to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which formally announced the sales plans. An agency representative could not immediately be reached.
Boeing, the No. 1 U.S. exporter, has big commercial interests in China, the world's most populous market, including commercial aircraft sales. United Technologies also has significant sales in China, where it sells Carrier brand heating and air-conditioning, Otis elevators and escalators and other products.
The other arms makers appear to have more limited exposure to Chinese sanctions.
CHINA NAMES NO COMPANIES
The dispute deepens rifts between the world's biggest and third-biggest economies. Although they are cooperating on counter-terrorism, nuclear arms control, climate change and other major security issues, Beijing and Washington are at odds over trade as well as China's tight control of its currency, dissent in Tibet and the Internet.
Since 1949 when Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan after losing the mainland to Communist rebels, Beijing has demanded Taiwan accept unification, threatening to use force if necessary.
"The United States will shoulder responsibility for the serious repercussions if it does not immediately reverse the mistaken decision to sell weapons to Taiwan," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei told U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman in comments reported on the ministry's website (www.mfa.gov.cn).
China's Defense Ministry said military exchanges would be put on hold and Beijing postponed vice ministerial-level talks on security, arms control and non-proliferation.
"China will also impose corresponding sanctions on U.S. companies that engage in weapons sales to Taiwan," the Foreign Ministry said, without naming any companies. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Beijing has shown no sign of trying to use its huge pile of U.S. dollar assets to pressure Washington, or impose broader trade penalties -- both steps that would undercut China's own economic strength.
BROADER RISK
The feud could damage broader diplomacy between the two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Washington has sought China's backing in its nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea and in fighting climate change, and is preparing for a world summit on nuclear weapons in April.
China's official Xinhua news agency said in an English-language commentary that the arms sales "will cause seriously negative effects on China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation in important areas, and ultimately will lead to consequences that neither side wishes to see."
The sales in effect constitute the second half of a package that former President George W. Bush had approved as early as 2001. The notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean a deal has been concluded. Congress has 30 days to block such sales, though it has never done so.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou told reporters the weapons would give "Taiwan more confidence and a sense of security to go forward in developing cross-Strait relations".
Under Ma, Taiwan has sought to ease tensions with the mainland and expand economic ties. But it worries China could develop an overwhelming military advantage.
Taiwan says China has 1,000 to 1,500 short-range and mid-range missiles aimed at the island.
U.S. officials have said Taiwan, which lags China in the balance of military power, needs updated weapons to give it more sway when negotiating with Beijing.
In coming months, President Barack Obama may meet the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China calls a dangerous separatist. Beijing is sure to condemn such a meeting.
Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to visit the United States later this year. Both sides praised an Obama visit to China in November as showing deepening cooperation.
The two countries traded angry words about Internet policy after the search engine giant Google Inc. (GOOG.O) this month threatened to shut its Chinese google.cn portal and pull out of China because of censorship and hacking attacks.

(Additional reporting by Ralph Jennings in Beijing; Kelvin Soh in Taipei; Paul Eckert, Adam Entous and Arshad Mohammed in Washington; editing by Andrew Roche, Paul Simao and Anthony Boadle)

Rapiscan Systems Reports Deobligation of Funds for October 2009 U.S. Government Order of Cargo and Vehicle Inspection Systems

Defense News ~ . HAWTHORNE, Calif.--January 29, 2010, (BUSINESS WIRE)--OSI Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIS), a vertically-integrated provider of specialized electronics and services, today announced that its Security division, Rapiscan Systems has received notice of a deobligation of funds for a $17.6 million order from the U.S. government for multiple cargo and vehicle inspection systems. The original order was announced in October, 2009. As is standard for U.S. government awards, the government maintains the right to terminate a contract in whole or part without implying any fault of the contractor. This is commonly referred to as termination for convenience. The order was not included in the Company's announced backlog, nor does it affect any previously-published financial results and guidance.
About Rapiscan Systems
Rapiscan Systems, a division of OSI Systems, Inc. is a leading supplier of security inspection solutions utilizing X-ray and gamma-ray imaging, and advanced threat identification techniques such as neutron and diffraction analysis. The company’s products are sold into four market segments; Baggage and Parcel Inspection, Cargo and Vehicle Inspection, Hold Baggage Screening and People Screening. The company has an installed base globally of more than 70,000 security and inspection systems. The Rapiscan Systems product line is manufactured at four locations and supported by a global support service network. The company was recognized for its market leadership with one of the United Kingdom's most prestigious distinctions The Queen's Awards for Enterprise and named by Frost & Sullivan as the 2008 North American Homeland Security Inspection and Screening Company of the Year. For more information on Rapiscan Systems, please visit http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AgQjkfPgXwZ2ElDFW8fscp_jba9_;_ylu=X3oDMTE2bnNycW8wBHBvcwMxBHNlYwNuZXdzYXJ0Ym9keQRzbGsDd3d3cmFwaXNjYW5z/SIG=16lpinobe/**http%3A//cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT%3Fid=smartlink%26url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.rapiscansystems.com%26esheet=6161450%26lan=en_US%26anchor=www.rapiscansystems.com%26index=2%26md5=a3d2e8da512cc44eb3289b22a52809b9.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include information regarding the company's expectations, goals or intentions about the future, including, the Company's contracts to provide its inspection systems. The actual results may differ materially from those described in or implied by any forward-looking statement. In particular, the timing, and delivery of the systems may not ultimately remain in line with the Company's current expectations. Other important factors are set forth in the Securities and Exchange Commission filings OSI Systems, Inc. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Contact:
OSI Systems, Inc.
Jeremy Norton
Vice President, Investor Relations
310-349-2372

Pentagon eyes $189 billion for procurement, R&D

Defense News ~ WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The Pentagon's base budget request for fiscal 2011 includes $112.9 billion for weapons procurement, 7.7 percent more than in fiscal 2010, a source familiar with the budget told Reuters.
The Pentagon's 2011 budget request also includes $76.1 billion for research and development, a decrease of 5 percent from the sum enacted in fiscal 2010, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The Obama administration is due to release its fiscal 2011 budget request, including the Pentagon budget, to Congress on Monday.
The total sum requested by the Pentagon for procurement and research, $189 billion, a number closely watched by defense companies, marks an increase of 2.2 percent from $184.9 billion, the total enacted for fiscal 2010 that ends Sept. 30.
The increase is modest, but still good news for the defense industry overall, said analyst Loren Thompson with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute.
"For years now, analysts have been predicting a decline in weapons outlays, but somehow they never go down," said Thompson, noting the forecast shift of funding out of technology into personnel accounts was happening more slowly than generally expected.
"I spent the last year telling the industry that the sky was falling and guess what? It's still there," he added.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; editing by Tim Dobbyn and Andre Grenon)

Aerospace Industry Outlook: Greater Stability in 2010

AVIATION WEEK's Aerospace 2010 Source Book provides forecasts and analyses of major airlines, contractors, programs, technologies and trends
Defense News ~ NEW YORK, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- "Stability is the best the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry can hope for in 2010," says Senior Technology Editor Graham Warwick in "Aerospace 2010," available as this week's issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology and now online at http://aviationweek.com. Significantly enhanced with new interactive features, AVIATION WEEK's 14th annual Aerospace Source Book provides a global outlook and in-depth analyses of airlines, contractors, programs, technologies, and trends, serving as an essential planning resource for A&D industry professionals worldwide.
"Aerospace 2010 is the brain-child of a cross-functional team that explored how the Aerospace Source Book could do a better job of serving our primary customers," said Anthony Velocci, Jr., editor-in-chief, Aviation Week & Space Technology. "In this integrated print and online product, the magazine provides industry analysis and forecasts, backing it up with online data that goes into greater detail, allowing Aerospace 2010 to remain relevant year-round. What used to be a voluminous desk reference in print, filled with facts and figures and updated just once a year, is now a bona fide 21st-century, databased business tool."
Sector outlooks, analyses, key developments and technologies to watch are reviewed in the print edition and expanded upon online. Aerospace 2010 supplies additional content with videos; photos; blogs; podcasts; an interactive world map of programs, contractors, and airlines; and (for subscribers) a database of system specifications for more than 4,000 types of aircraft, engines, missile systems, avionics and space vehicles, as well as details for 3,000 programs and 20,000 organizations.
"Aviation Week & Space Technology is at the forefront of the print and digital media convergence," said Mark Flinn, publisher, Aviation Week & Space Technology. "All of the features our customers have come to know and rely upon in the annual Aerospace Source Book are presented with a fresh approach that takes advantage of our integrated media resources."
For more information, visit http://aviationweek.com/aw/AeroSpaceHome.do?parameter=showHome or call +1-515-237-3682 to order a print copy or subscribe. For all media requests, contact Joe D'Andrea or Lisa Jaycox.
About AVIATION WEEK
AVIATION WEEK, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is the largest multimedia information and services provider to the global aviation, aerospace and defense industries, and includes http://AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Defense Technology International, Business & Commercial Aviation, Overhaul & Maintenance, ShowNews, Aviation Daily, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, The Weekly of Business Aviation, World Aerospace Database, Aviation Week Intelligence Network, and MRO Prospector. The group also produces major events around the world.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, Capital IQ, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Elbit Systems Ltd. Receives Notice From Nasdaq Confirming Cure Period to Replace Yael Efron on the Board of Directors

Defense News ~ HAIFA, Israel, January 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Elbit Systems Ltd. (the "Company") (Nasdaq: ESLT) announced today that Nasdaq confirmed that the Company will have the cure period provided under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5605(b)(1)(A) to replace Yael Efron as an independent director. In prior press releases, the Company announced that Mrs. Efron resigned from the Board of Directors and that the Company will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders to elect Dr. Yehoshua Gleitman, who will qualify as an independent director under Nasdaq rules. The Extraordinary General Meeting will be held March 4, 2010 which is within the Nasdaq cure period. The confirmation from Nasdaq was expected and was in response to the Company's notice to Nasdaq that the Company would be temporarily out of compliance with Nasdaq Rule 5605(b)(1) requiring that independent directors constitute a majority of the Company's Board. As required by Nasdaq rules, until the Company notifies Nasdaq of the election of Dr. Gleitman as a director, an indicator noting this temporary non-compliance will be displayed with quotation information related to the Company's securities.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080408/300441 )
About Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of defense-related programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance ("C4ISR"), unmanned aircraft systems ("UAS"), advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, airborne warning systems, ELINT systems, data links and military communications systems and radios. The Company also focuses on the upgrading of existing military platforms and developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial aviation applications.
For additional information, please visit us at: http://www.elbitsystems.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) regarding Elbit Systems Ltd. and/or its subsidiaries (collectively the Company), to the extent such statements do not relate to historical or current fact. Forward Looking Statements are based on management's expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results, performance and trends may differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, without limitation:scope and length of customer contracts; governmental regulations and approvals; changes in governmental budgeting priorities; general market, political and economic conditions in the countries in which the Company operates or sells, including Israel and the United States among others;differences in anticipated and actual program performance, including the ability to perform under long-term fixed-price contracts; and the outcome of legal and/or regulatory proceedings. The factors listed above are not all-inclusive, and further information is contained in Elbit Systems Ltd.'s latest annual report on Form 20-F, which is on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. The Company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements.
Contacts:
Company Contact:
Joseph Gaspar, Executive VP & CFO
Dalia Rosen, Head of Corporate Communications
Elbit Systems Ltd
Tel: +972-4-8316663
Fax: +972-4-8316944
IR Contact:
Ehud Helft / Kenny Green
CCG Investor Relations
+1-646-201-9246

Saturday, January 30, 2010

NATO troops clash with Afghan allies

Asif Andalib SALAR, Afghanistan Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:39
Defense News ~ SALAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - NATO troops clashed with their Afghan allies in a so-called "friendly fire" incident on Saturday, calling in air strikes that killed four Afghan soldiers and stoked anger among villagers.
The clashes took place hours after an apparently disgruntled interpreter shot dead two U.S. soldiers at a nearby base. The incidents, although not apparently linked, highlighted the fraught relationship between Western forces and their Afghan hosts.
NATO and Afghan officials tried to head off tension by announcing a joint investigation into how their troops ended up battling each other in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul.
"Four army soldiers were killed and six wounded when a foreign forces air strike hit their post," said Shahedullah Shahed, spokesman for Wardak's governor. "We don't know why it happened, but it is deeply regrettable."
He said the strike had targeted an Afghan Army outpost that had been newly established. Foreign forces and Afghan troops were both separately conducting overnight operations when they started shooting at each other, he said.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said its troops had come under fire and called in air strikes, without realizing they were engaging Afghan security forces.
"Initial post-operational reports indicate the small arms fire originated from an Afghan National Army (ANA) combat outpost and the subsequent air support called in by the joint force likely killed at least four ANA soldiers," a statement said.
"We work extremely hard to coordinate and synchronize our operations," said Canadian Brigadier-General Eric Tremblay, the force's main spokesman. "This is a regrettable incident and our thoughts go out to the families of those killed and wounded."
Hours earlier, an interpreter opened fire at a base in the same province, shooting dead two U.S. soldiers before he was killed, two U.S. military officials said, under condition they not be named because details had yet to be officially released.
"Initial indications are this was a case of a disgruntled employee" rather than an insurgent attack, one of the U.S. officials said. An Afghan provincial official confirmed the account, saying the interpreter had argued with troops over pay.
In a separate incident in nearby Ghazni province, ISAF said on Saturday its troops had shot dead two Afghan civilians and wounded a third when they failed to heed warnings to stop the vehicle in which they were traveling. Similar shootings have led to demonstrations against Western troops in recent weeks.
COURT MARTIAL
"Friendly fire" incidents between Afghan and foreign forces and killing of Afghan civilians are among the biggest sources of tension between the Afghan government and the Western troops fighting to protect it.
"As you can see, they dropped bombs on the outpost. It was the Americans of course. Who else can bomb us?" an angry village elder told Reuters television in the town of Salar, gesturing toward the sky above the site of the "friendly fire" incident.
The NATO-led force, which is about two-thirds American, did not identify the nationality of the troops involved.
The Afghan Defense Ministry called for a court martial for any troops found responsible for the clash.
"The soldiers involved in the horrific incident must be dealt with according to martial law, without any hesitation, so that they receive punishment for their action," the ministry said.
Western forces are also concerned about increasing numbers of attacks from the Afghans they work with.
In November, an Afghan policeman killed five British soldiers at a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan. In December, an Afghan soldier killed a U.S. service member and wounded two Italian soldiers when he opened fire at an army base in the west.
Later that month, a Jordanian double agent wearing a suicide vest killed five CIA staff, two CIA contractors and a Jordanian intelligence officer, the deadliest attack on the CIA in decades.
The United Nations says ISAF has managed to reduce the number of civilians killed since its commander, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, issued guidelines last year to curb such deaths.
(Additional reporting by Sher Ahmad in GHAZNI and Hamid Shalizi and Peter Graff in KABUL; writing by Peter Graff; editing by Janet Lawrence)
(For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see:
here)

FACTBOX-Five political risks to watch in Japan

By Linda Sieg
Defense News ~ TOKYO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Japan's ballooning public debt is stoking market concern as the government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama struggles to give the economy the stimulus it needs without compromising the need for fiscal prudence.
Standard and Poor's cut its outlook for Japan's sovereign credit rating to negative this week, and with some foreign hedge funds betting that the country's debt burden will cause more problems in years to come, spreads on sovereign credit default swaps JPGV5YUSAC=R widened to 90 basis points -- the most in 10 months -- before falling back a bit. Following is a summary of key political risks to watch:
* FISCAL DILEMMA
The government is trapped between the need to prevent the economy from slipping back into recession and Japan's huge public debt, already nearing 200 percent of GDP. [ID:nTOE60P0BH] Sliding tax revenues mean government income now covers less than half of spending. Efforts to cut budget waste to find funds for new programmes have so far fallen short of target despite the Democrats' pledge to boost growth without issuing much more debt.
The appointment of Naoto Kan as finance minister this month raised doubts about government resolve to hold down spending given his concern about deflation and the recovery, but Kan has also said fiscal discipline is needed. [ID:nTKF6818]
Standard Poor's on Tuesday cut its outlook on Japan's AA long-term sovereign debt rating to negative, saying the policy bind could lead to a downgrade unless measures were taken to stem fiscal and deflationary pressure. [ID:nTOE60P09M]
The sovereign credit default swap spread widened on the news, but the impact on JGBs <0#jpbmk=> was limited because the vast majority are held by domestic investors. By making JGBs less attractive to foreigners, the downgrade will be a long-term drag on JGB prices, however, analysts said.
What to watch:
-- The government aims to release a mid-term fiscal reform plan by May or June and to unveil a growth strategy in June.
-- Data showing a risk of persistent deflation could prompt calls for extra stimulus ahead of the upper house poll, although the government would be sensitive to any rises in bond yields.
-- A political funding scandal embroiling Democratic Party Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa could also tempt the government to spend more to woo voters turned off by the affair.
* PRESSURE ON CENTRAL BANK?
The Bank of Japan said this week deflation would be milder than previously forecast but left the door open to further easing to support a fragile economic recovery. December data showed the biggest drop in consumer prices on record. [ID:nTOE60S02A]
Kan, a vocal BOJ critic, said this week the BOJ could do more to fight deflation. The central bank could face extra pressure if the economy falters ahead of the mid-year upper house poll.
The government criticised the BOJ for being too rosy on the economy when the bank upgraded its assessment in November. The BOJ later caved in to pressure and last month adopted a new fund supply operation at which it offers 10 trillion yen ($111 billion) in three-months loans to banks at 0.1 percent. It then declared that it wouldn't tolerate deflation. [ID:nTOE60K02X]
The BOJ is independent by law but is required to work closely with the government to align policy. Tension over strategy raise the risks for markets, making policy harder to forecast.
What to watch:
-- Persistent deflation could pressure the BOJ to buy more government bonds or expand the new fund supply operation. Increased JGB purchases would push up bond prices and so bring down long-term interest rates.
-- Government rhetoric on the role of the central bank will give clues on how much influence the Democrats will seek to have.
* YEN INTERVENTION
Finance Minister Kan's early comments have led some analysts to argue the government will be less tolerant of a rising yen, although others say intervention is highly unlikely for now.
Kan jolted markets in his first news briefing as finance chief, saying he hoped the yen would weaken further and that many Japanese firms were in favour of dollar/yen around 95 yen JPY=. He later toned down those comments, saying currency levels should be determined by markets, but many market participants still see Kan as favouring a weaker yen in contrast with his predecessor. [ID:nN08122177]
What to watch:
-- Attention will be on comments by government officials regarding possible currency intervention. Picking a level that would trigger intervention is tricky. Intervening could also be difficult at a time when the Group of Seven is encouraging flexibility in foreign exchange rates, particularly in China.
-- Another way of countering a surge in yen strength could be for the Bank of Japan to take more easing steps as it did in December after the yen hit a 14-year high on the dollar. Possible steps could be increasing the amount of a new fixed-rate funding operation or extending its maturity; or increasing JGB issuance.
* FUNDING SCANDALS
The funding scandal ensnaring Ozawa is threatening the Democratic Party's chances of a mid-year election win that would clear the way for smoother policymaking. [ID:nTOE60L015]
Ozawa is credited by many with engineering the Democrats' big election win last August and his skills are thought vital to winning the mid-year poll, passing laws and deciding policies.
The Democrats need to win an outright majority in the upper house election to reduce the clout of two small parties whose cooperation is currently needed to enact legislation smoothly. A ruling bloc loss would create a parliamentary deadlock.
Hatoyama is beset by criticism over his own funding scandal, though fewer voters think he should resign, in contrast to the majority who want Ozawa to step down. [ID:nTOE60J03B]
What to watch:
-- Further falls in voter support for the Democrats could pressure Ozawa to resign; Hatoyama could also face calls to quit.
-- The scandal could delay passage of a $1 trillion budget for the year from April 1, though opposition parties risk a public backlash if they stall amid the weak economy.
* U.S. BASE DISPUTE
Hatoyama is in an increasingly tight spot over a dispute with Washington over a plan to relocate a U.S. Marine base to a less crowded part of Okinawa after an anti-base candidate's win in a local mayoral election on Jan. 24. [ID:nTOE60F00X]
The dispute, which Hatoyama has vowed to settle by the end of May, has frayed ties with ally Washington and fanned doubts among voters about Hatoyama's leadership skills. [ID:nN10128368] Some analysts say he may have to quit if he fails to resolve the row.
What to watch:
-- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell is expected to raise the issue when he visits next week.
-- Attention will be on comments by Hatoyama and other cabinet ministers in the run-up to May, when the prime minister may travel to Washington to meet U.S. President Barack Obama. (Additional reporting by Charlotte Cooper; Editing by Andrew Marshall)

Friday, January 29, 2010

All sides seeking quick deal on A400M: Germany

Defense News ~ BERLIN (Reuters) January 29, 2010 - All parties involved in talks on the future of the Airbus A400M military transporter are trying to reach a deal as soon as possible, a spokesman for Germany's defense ministry said on Friday.
Discussions between officials from the seven countries whose governments have ordered the plane and Airbus parents EADS (Paris:EAD.PA - News) were due to continue in Berlin next week, most likely on February 4, another defense ministry spokesman said.
On Thursday, the ministry had said the meeting on Europe's biggest defense project would take place on February 2, but the spokesman said there had been a change in the plans.
Airbus had set buyer nations an end-of-January deadline for a deal on the A400M, but an extension to this has been requested, the ministry said.
Engine problems and delays have pushed plans for a home-grown European troop and armored vehicle transporter 11.2 billion euros over budget, casting a shadow over 10,000 jobs.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Dan Lalor)

Raytheon-Boeing Team Completes First Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Captive Flight Test

Defense News ~ TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) completed a series of captive flight tests for the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile competition. The tests prove the system is ready for guided test shots.
"The Raytheon-Boeing JAGM is a mature, capable system. We have proved the technical readiness of this superior warfighting solution," said Bob Francois, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems product line. "JAGM meets the warfighter's needs and is affordable across the acquisition spectrum including development, operations and support costs."
JAGM will replace three legacy missiles currently in the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps inventory. The Raytheon-Boeing team's JAGM features a Boeing body, a Boeing warhead and a Raytheon tri-mode seeker. The tri-mode seeker leverages technology used on the Raytheon GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II and improved Precision Attack Missile. The tri-mode seeker enables JAGM to attack a variety of fixed and moving targets regardless of weather conditions.
"Boeing is renowned for its proficiency in integrating weapons on platforms like the Super Hornet and AH-64D Apache Longbow," said Carl Avila, Boeing's director of Advanced Weapons and Missile Systems. "When combined with Raytheon's expertise in developing seekers for guided weapons, our JAGM solution is the low-risk solution for operations on rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft and operations at very cold temperatures."
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
www.raytheon.com

Contact:
Raytheon Missile Systems
Mike Nachshen

520.794.4088 – office
520.269.5697 – mobile
Michael_nachshen@raytheon.com
Boeing Advanced Systems
Chris Haddox
314.234.6447 office
314.707.8891 mobile
chris.d.haddox@boeing.com

Northrop Grumman Maritime Laser Clears Design Hurdles

Defense News ~ REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Jan. 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Maritime Laser Demonstration (MLD) system being developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC - News) has passed two milestone reviews by the Office of Naval Research, which point to the real potential of the MLD weapon system design.
Representatives from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office conducted a critical design review and critical safety review of the MLD at the Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.
“These reviews indicate that our MLD design should meet the Navy's objectives in future demonstrations," said Steve Hixson, vice president of Advanced Concepts – Space and Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “Next we will finalize detailed test plans and move into land-based, live fire tests.”
Northrop Grumman will conduct an at-sea demonstration of this revolutionary capability, according to Dan Wildt, vice president, Directed Energy Systems. “We will prove that the pinpoint accuracy and response capability of our MLD system can protect Navy ships and personnel by keeping threats at a safe distance. We will accomplish this while leveraging technologies with proven scalability that may ultimately enable addressing additional threats of interest to the Navy.”
The company received a contract from the Office of Naval Research in July 2009 to demonstrate an innovative laser weapon system by the end of 2010 suitable for operating in a marine environment and able to defeat small boat threats, and ultimately could be applicable to other self-defense missions. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity MLD contract has a ceiling value of up to $98 million and an expected overall completion date of June 2014.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Contact:
Bob Bishop

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
310.812.5227
Cell: 310.251.0261
bob.j.bishop@ngc.com

Homeland Security Capital Corporation Announces Winner of the TWEET4NUCSEC Campaign to Combat Threat of Loose Nuclear Materials

“Keep the resolution incentive” Twitter contest winner awarded $2000 for spreading awareness
Defense News ~ ARLINGTON, Va.--January 29, 2010, (BUSINESS WIRE)--Homeland Security Capital Corporation ("HOMS") (OTCBB:HOMS - News), an international provider of specialized technology-based radiological, nuclear, environmental, disaster relief, and security solutions to government and commercial customers, announced today the winner of the Twitter New Year’s resolution campaign TWEET4NUCSEC. The online competition raised awareness about the threat of loose nuclear weapons and materials and encouraged efforts to address this threat.
The winner, Amy (twitter.com/abitnerdy), was awarded a $2000 gift card from American Express. The 23-year-old student and freelance fashion designer from Los Angeles plans to give half the money to her parents because she “owes them so much,” and spend the other half on school. Amy also commented, “I am happy to win a unique contest such as this, where the goal was to make the world a safer place.”
The twitter campaign that lasted from January 4 to January 18, asked people to join Chairman and CEO of HOMS, and former Congressman, C. Thomas McMillen’s resolution to increase awareness and the need for action of the threat of loose nuclear weapons by retweeting his resolution to friends, followers and family members and asking them to do the same.
McMillen wrote in his blog: “With the exception of the long-term effects of global warming, no other single threat has more capacity to harm us and perhaps even destroy our world than the threat of loose nuclear material. Around the world today there are large amounts of nuclear and radioactive materials that are inadequately secured—or are not secured at all. These materials, which are often called ‘loose nukes,’ are vulnerable and could too easily fall into the hands of people who want to do us harm—terrorists, organized crime syndicates and hostile nations.”
HOMS’ TWEET4NUCSEC Twitter campaign and contest was a success in increasing awareness about the current threat of loose nuclear materials and increasing exposure on HOMS. There were over 1,500 retweets, putting it into the top 99 percent of all retweets, according to retweetrank.com. The retweets are a meaningful metric for tracking the interest, that the issue of loose nuclear materials has sparked, and hopefully signifies strong interest making our world more secure from the dangers of these nuclear materials.
The campaign was created and implemented by Book Hill Partners, www.bookhillpartners.com.
HOMS’ Twitter campaign is among the first effort by any corporation to use the power of Twitter to address a critical public policy issue. “Lots of companies are using Twitter to advertise their products and services. This is among the first efforts by a company to harness that power for the public good, and perhaps the first ever to focus on a vital national security issue,” McMillen added.
About Homeland Security Capital Corporation
Homeland Security Capital Corporation is a company engaged in the strategic acquisition, development, and consolidation of homeland security-related businesses, within the fragmented homeland security industry. The company is focused on creating long-term value by taking controlling interest and developing its subsidiary companies through superior operations and management. Former Maryland Congressman C. Thomas McMillen, who served three consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 4th Congressional District of Maryland, heads the company.
Homeland Security Capital Corporation’s portfolio of companies include:
Safety and Ecology Corporation (SEC) is a rapidly growing environmental services company in the U.S., providing services nationally, in Europe and the Caribbean. The Company specializes in the removal and remediation of hazardous nuclear materials for the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, and other federal agencies. SEC also provides advanced environmental services for private industry across the country and internationally. Since its founding in 1991, SEC has grown approximately 30 percent per year, and has emerged as a technology innovator with more than 450 personnel worldwide and with annual revenues of more than U.S. $70 million. For more information on SEC, visit www.sec-tn.com.
Polimatrix, Inc., a system integrator and total solutions provider delivering advanced radiation and nuclear protection and detection services. The company has been operating since September 2006 as a joint venture between Homeland Security Capital Corporation and Polimaster, Inc. For more information about Polimatrix, visit www.polimatrix.com.
Nexus Technologies Group, a mid-Atlantic security integrator for the corporate and governmental security markets that specializes in non-proprietary integrated security solutions including access control, alarm, video, communication, perimeter protection, and bomb and metal detection security systems. Utilizing cutting-edge technologies, Nexus provides innovative, engineered, and scalable solutions to effectively protect people, property, and assets.

For more information about Nexus, visit www.nexusna.com.
For more information about Homeland Security Capital Corporation, or to be added to our e-mail distribution list, please visit www.hscapcorp.com.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/hscapcorp
Forward-Looking Statement
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address future activities, performance, events or developments, are forward-looking statements. Although Homeland Security Capital Corporation believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.

Contact:
Homeland Security Capital Corporation
Anne Smith, 865-342-7668

Thursday, January 28, 2010

China plans $5.9 bln industrial zone for aviation

Defense News ~ BEIJING, Jan 28 (Reuters) - An ambitious 40 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) industrial zone for aircraft parts is being planned in South China to produce up to a quarter of the supply for big Chinese planes, a provincial official said on Thursday.
Jiangxi province has begun seeking investors, including foreign firms, for the 25 square-kilometre zone with an eye toward breaking ground in two years, Yao Mugen, director of the provincial Development and Reform Commission, told Reuters.
The province will draw on talent from an aviation research institute and two universities plus interest among three local aircraft manufacturers, Yao said.
Output could equal 25 percent of all parts made in China for large Chinese aircraft, he said.
"Jiangxi is now designing a big national aircraft production base drawing on the province's infrastructure and advantages to develop the aviation parts industry," Yao said in an interview.
The 40 billion yuan would cover the zone's infrastructure and equipment for manufacturers, he said.
The province is talking to aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing about an investment in the zone, Yao said. Boeing (BA.N) already makes 747-8 commercial airliner parts in Jiangxi, the company's China spokesman Wang Yukui said.
China, like other countries, is keenly interested in aviation in part because of the large impact airplane exports can have on a nation's balance of trade. [ID:nHKG104281]
Beijing has declared its goal to manufacture large passenger jets with more than 150 seats and freighters capable of handling more than 100 tonnes of cargo, with the explicit aim of taking on Boeing and Airbus (EAD.PA).
(Reporting by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Sectra: Defense Departments in Europe Choose Tiger

Defense News: STOCKHOLM--January 28, 2010, (BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulatory News:
Sectra (STO:SECTB) has signed contracts with two European defense departments concerning Tiger XS for encrypted telephony. The total order value is SEK 10 million.
Tiger XS is a personal voice encryptor that protects telephone calls from eavesdropping over telephone lines, GSM, 3G, ISDN and IP networks as well as via satellite systems. Tiger is certified by the EU, NATO and several national security bodies, making it the most secure product in the market for encrypted telephony.
“European defense departments are demanding user-friendly crypto products that can be used for communicating securely and which thus protect nation’s security. Tiger XS satisfies these requirements and protects telephone calls over many different communication networks from eavesdropping, regardless of the Tiger user’s geographical location in the world,” says Michael Bertilsson, President of Sectra Communications.
Sectra Tiger is currently used by government authorities and defense departments in more than half of all EU member states in order to protect telephone calls from eavesdropping. At the request of the customers concerned and for security policy reasons, no detailed information about the customer or the contracts is being disclosed in this case.
About Sectra's secure communication systems
Sectra develops and sells products for secure voice and data communications. The customers are primarily government authorities and defense departments in Europe with strict demands on communications security. Sectra has strong core expertise in encryption and is one of the world's leading companies in the design and development of secure communications systems. Sectra Tiger is used by customers in more than half of all EU member states.
About the Sectra Group
Sectra successfully develops and sells cutting-edge products in the expansive niche segments of medical systems and secure communication systems. The company was founded in 1978 and has its roots in the Linköping University in Sweden. Today, Sectra has offices in twelve countries and operates through partners worldwide. Sales in the 2008/2009 fiscal year totaled SEK 863 million. The Sectra share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm AB exchange. For more information, visit http://www.sectra.com
This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com

Contact:
Sectra Communications AB
Dr. Michael Bertilsson, President
Tel: +46 (0)708-23 52 25
or
Sectra AB
Dr. Jan-Olof Brüer, CEO and President
Tel: +46 (0)13-23 52 09

Boeing Delivers Record Number of Apache Longbow Crew Trainers in 2009

Defense News ~ ST. LOUIS, Jan. 28, 2010 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] delivered a record five Apache Longbow Crew Trainers (LCTs) in 2009 -- more than in any previous year -- and all five have been declared "ready for training."
The U.S. Army accepted two LCT deliveries at Fort Hood, Texas; one in Illesheim, Germany; and one at Fort Drum, N.Y. The Egyptian Air Force accepted the delivery of its first LCT in November, allowing aircrews to train from their home base.
Boeing has delivered a total of 29 LCTs to date.
"The Apache LCT we delivered to Fort Drum in December is the first device to include the new display-system upgrade," said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president of Training Systems and Services. "It incorporates a new out-the-window display using projectors, screens and mirrors to dramatically improve the scene that is presented to the aircrew."
The Fort Drum LCT reflects the Apache Extended Block II configuration, ensuring concurrency with the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter. This LCT simulates the aircraft's fully integrated avionics and weapons, as well as a state-of-the-art modem that transmits real-time, secure, digitized battlefield information to air and ground forces.
Boeing is on contract to deliver three additional LCTs to the Army throughout the next two years. One will include a new Department of Defense-directed threat server and another is part of a National Guard modernization program. The third may be used as a development platform for future LCTs.
The Apache LCT is a full-mission, high-fidelity flight simulator that provides training for individuals, crews and maintenance test pilots. Deployed worldwide and used for in-theater training in Iraq and Afghanistan, the LCT supports battalions by allowing pilots ample opportunity to meet their training needs and rehearse missions. The LCTs also may be networked with additional trainers for collective training capability. The AH-64D Apache Longbow combat helicopter is produced by Boeing in Mesa, Ariz.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

Contact:
Alison Sheridan

Boeing Training Systems & Services
Office: 314-232-8187
Mobile: 314-614-4823
alison.sheridan@boeing.com

Boeing B-52 With CONECT Upgrade Accomplishes 1st Test Flight

Defense News ~ EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Jan. 28, 2010 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that a B-52H upgraded with new communication technology successfully accomplished its first test flight at Edwards Air Force Base on Jan. 17. The Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) upgrade allows B-52H crews to receive and send real-time digital information during their missions.
The more than three-hour flight around the Edwards area included an initial system build-up test, interphone test and communication test. The test process included power-on of each system in flight to determine that there were no adverse effects on flight-essential systems.
"Completion of the first test flight brings us one step closer to giving command centers and troops on the ground the ability to communicate with the B-52 through the military's digital information network," said Jim Kroening, Boeing B-52 Development Programs manager. "Augmenting current voice-based communication gives B-52 crews greater situational awareness and significantly enhanced mission capabilities."
Prior to the first test flight, a robust testing approach was used, starting with unit and system testing in the laboratory, progressing to system ground test and then flight test.
Boeing and the U.S. Air Force have accomplished more than 220 ground test points out of about 500. Ground and flight test will continue through February. The aircraft will then rotate through its planned depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and resume ground and flight test in January 2011 at Edwards.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

Contact:
Jennifer Hogan

Boeing Maintenance, Modifications and Upgrades
Mobile: 405-818-7859
jennifer.c.hogan@boeing.com

Virgin Blue eyes new planes; may buy Embraer jets

* Says may replacing older planes with newer aircraft
* Leases on 30-50 aircraft expiring in next few years
* Currently operates Embraer E-170 and E-190 aircraft

By Harry Suhartono
Defense News ~ SINGAPORE, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Australian budget carrier Virgin Blue (VBA.AX) said on Thursday it may replace some of its existing planes with new aircraft and was in talks with several suppliers including Brazil's Embraer (EMBR3.SA).
"We are in the market for planes," Virgin Blue's CEO Brett Godfrey told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore.
"We've got a whole bunch of airplanes coming out of lease over the next 2-3 years and we are looking to take some more, including from Embraer," he said.
Virgin Blue's present fleet of 68 aircraft is made up of Boeing 737s and Embraer E-190s and E-170s, according to the firm's website. Godfrey said the leases on 30-50 of these aircraft will end in the next few years.
Embraer, which makes private jets and smaller commercial aircraft, has been trying to win more business from Asia's budget and regional carriers, many of which use single-aisle jets from Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus, a unit of EADS (EAD.PA).
Virgin Blue, whose main shareholder is Britain's Virgin Group, also operates New Zealand-based Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, which it launched with the government of Samoa.
(Reporting by Harry Suhartono; Editing by Kevin Lim)

SpaceX and Spacecom Sign Contract for Falcon 9 Geosynchronous Transfer Mission

Defense News ~ HAWTHORNE, Calif.--January 27, 2010, (BUSINESS WIRE)--Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Space Communication Ltd. (Spacecom) of Ramat-Gan Israel, operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, have signed an agreement for launch of a communication satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 as early as December 2012. Falcon 9 will insert the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), adding to Spacecom’s existing satellite fleet. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) is also involved in the transaction.
Spacecom provides broadcasting and communications services to DBS and DTH operators, as well as a wide range of broadcasters, ISPs, telecommunications operators, government organizations and network integrators with Internet, voice, data and digital TV services. This latest deal supports company plans to launch at least four additional satellites in the coming years to multiple orbital positions.
“As a highly competitive solution for in-orbit delivery, Falcon 9 supports us as we transition into a leading global satellite services provider,” said David Pollack, president and CEO of Spacecom. “With a larger fleet providing more service options and capacity, we can continue to provide the highest quality satellite communications services and exceed customer expectations.”
“SpaceX is proud to be Spacecom’s launch services provider and we look forward to helping ensure the successful delivery of their satellite,” said Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX. “In closing this deal, SpaceX now has twenty three Falcon 9 flights on contract representing a variety of commercial and government customers, for both LEO and GTO missions."
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is a medium-to-heavy lift, two-stage launch vehicle capable of lifting approximately 11 tons to low Earth orbit (LEO) and in excess of 4.5 tons to GTO. Designed to the highest levels of reliability and performance, Falcon 9, along with SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, was selected by NASA to resupply the International Space Station starting in 2010.
About SpaceX
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles and spacecraft intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten. With the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 vehicles, SpaceX offers highly reliable/cost-efficient launch capabilities for spacecraft insertion into any orbital altitude and inclination. Starting in 2010, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will provide Earth-to-LEO transport of pressurized and unpressurized cargo, including resupply to the International Space Station.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The SpaceX team now numbers nearly 900, with corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, California. For more information, please visit the company's web site at www.spacex.com.
About Spacecom
Space-Communication Ltd. (Spacecom) is the operator of the AMOS satellites, which provide high-quality broadcast and communication services to Europe, the Middle East, and the Atlantic bridge to the United States. The AMOS satellite constellation, consisting of AMOS-2 and AMOS-3, co-located at the prime orbital position of 4°W, serves Direct-To-Home and other Television platforms in Europe and the Middle East, as well as provides a secure and stable transmission to government agencies. The extensive signal strength and prime location makes the AMOS platform particularly suitable for DBS and DTH operators, as well as a wide range of broadcasters, ISPs, telecommunications operators, and network integrators with Internet, voice, data and digital TV services.
The AMOS-5i satellite, the latest addition to the AMOS fleet, started service January 2010. With a position at 17°E, a new orbital position, Spacecom’s coverage is expanding to Africa. AMOS-5i provides powerful C-Band and Ku-Band coverage over Africa and is serving as an interim satellite until the AMOS-5 satellite’s scheduled launch in mid-2011. Once operational, the AMOS-5 satellite will replace the AMOS-5i in its orbital position, expanding both coverage areas and capacity, to deliver high-power C-Band and Ku-Band capacity to the entire African continent. AMOS-5 and AMOS-5i complement Spacecom’s existing satellite fleet consisting of AMOS-2 and AMOS-3, and together with AMOS-4, slated for launch in 2012 to serve Asia, establish Spacecom as a true global satellite operator.
Spacecom is traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (SCC). Its major shareholders are Eurocom, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), General Satellite Services Co. (GSSC) and Mer Services Group.
For more information please see http://www.amos-spacecom.com.
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Contact:
SpaceXEmily Shanklin

Director, Marketing and Communications
310-363-6733
media@SpaceX.com

Tetra Tech Awarded Design-Build Contract with the U.S. Navy

Defense News ~ PASADENA, Calif.--January 27, 2010, (BUSINESS WIRE)--Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTEK - News) announced today that it is one of five firms awarded a $750 million contract to provide design-build services for large construction projects for the U.S. Navy. The majority of the work will be performed in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The period of performance for this firm fixed-price contract is one base year with four one-year options, and the five awardees will share the total contract value.
“This is a new contract vehicle that will expand our range of services to the U.S. Navy, one of our largest clients,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech’s Chairman and CEO.
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington anticipates that this contract will be used for construction projects ranging in size from approximately $10 million to $30 million per task order.
About Tetra Tech (www.tetratech.com)
Tetra Tech is a leading provider of consulting, engineering, program management, construction, and technical services addressing the resource management and infrastructure markets. The Company supports government and commercial clients by providing innovative solutions focused on water, the environment, and energy. With approximately 10,000 employees worldwide, Tetra Tech’s capabilities span the entire project life cycle.

Any statements made in this release that are not based on historical fact are forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements made in this release represent management’s best judgment as to what may occur in the future. However, Tetra Tech’s actual outcome and results are not guaranteed and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions ("Future Factors"), and may differ materially from what is expressed. For a description of Future Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, see the discussion under the section "Risk Factors" included in the Company’s Form 10-K and 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Contact:
Tetra Tech, Inc.
Jorge Casado, Investor Relations
Talia Starkey, Media & Public Relations
626-470-2844

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Germany says A400M nations agree to continue talks

Defense News ~ BERLIN, Jan 27 (Reuters) - European nations involved in the A400M military transporter plane project have agreed to continue talks on Europe's costliest defence project, a German Defence Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
The A400M has been plagued by cost overruns that could affect thousands of jobs.
The spokesman said that the countries wanted to find a solution as soon as possible. Talks between the plane's manufacturer, Airbus, and officials from seven purchasing NATO nations adjourned on Tuesday evening without any result.
(Writing by Paul Carrel)

CPI Aero Announces Release of C-5 TOP Order Valued at $1.6 Million

Defense News ~ EDGEWOOD, N.Y.--January 27, 2010, (BUSINESS WIRE)--CPI Aerostructures, Inc. (“CPI Aero®”) (NYSE AMEX: CVU) today announced that the U.S. Air Force has released a new order under CPI Aero’s C-5 TOP contract for a variety of spoilers valued at approximately $1.6 million. Orders under this program, including this $1.6 million order, have totaled $32.4 million since the inception of the contract.
About CPI Aero
CPI Aero is engaged in the contract production of structural aircraft parts for leading prime defense contractors, the U.S. Air Force and other branches of the armed forces. In conjunction with its assembly operations, CPI Aero provides engineering, technical and program management services. Among the key programs that CPI Aero supplies are the A-10 Thunderbolt attack jet, the UH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter, the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, the MH-60S mine countermeasure helicopter, the Gulfstream G650, C-5A Galaxy cargo jet, the T-38 Talon jet trainer, and the E-3 Sentry AWACS jet. CPI Aero is included in the Russell Microcap® Index.

The above statements include forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, which are described from time to time in CPI Aero’s SEC reports, including CPI Aero’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, and Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2009, June 30, 2009 and September 30, 2009.
CPI Aero® is a registered trademark of CPI Aerostructures, Inc.
Contact:
CPI Aero
Vincent Palazzolo, 631-586-5200
Chief Financial Officer
or
Investor Relations Counsel
The Equity Group Inc.
Lena Cati, 212-836-9611
Linda Latman, 212-836-9609

First U.K. Service Pilot Flies the Lockheed Martin F-35

Defense News ~ PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A Royal Air Force officer on Tuesday became the first active-duty service pilot from the United Kingdom to take to the skies in a Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
RAF Squadron Leader Steve Long piloted BF-2, the second short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B, over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., logging the aircraft's 18th mission. Long departed at 9:55 a.m. EST and flew the aircraft to 20,000 feet, before landing 1.3 hours later. Both the RAF and the Royal Navy plan to operate the F-35B.
"Flying the F-35 was exactly like the simulators that I've been flying for over 18 months now, which gives you a lot of confidence in all the modeling and simulation work that has been done in all the other areas of the flight envelope," Long said, adding that it was a "privilege" to fly the F-35. "What this aircraft really gives the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy is a quantum leap in airborne capability because of the sensor suite it carries. An F-35 pilot will have an unprecedented level of situational awareness about what's going on in the airspace around him or her, and also on the battlefield or ocean below. Not only that, but the F-35 will plug into coalition battlefield networks and be able to pass that picture on to all other players in the network."
With the capability to operate from a variety of ships or austere runways, the F-35B can deploy closer to shore or near front lines, shrinking distance and time to the target, increasing sortie rates and greatly reducing the need for support assets. The Lightning II's sensor suite is the most powerful and comprehensive of any fighter in history, and will combine with an unprecedented networking capability to give unparalleled situational awareness.
U.K. Joint Combat Aircraft Project Team Leader, Air Commodore Graham Farnell, has stated that the U.K. has been closely involved in JSF since its inception. "It is therefore an honour to witness an RAF pilot flying BF-2 during this important phase of the F-35B flight test, and further demonstrates the closeness and mutual trust between our respective nations and their armed forces," Farnell said. "Squadron Leader Long has been preparing for this opportunity since his arrival in the U.S. well over a year ago, and this occasion is a testament not only to the work undertaken in the Integrated Test Force, to which the U.K. provides considerable expertise, but also to the wider JSF community in both government and industry.
"We look forward to the JSF flight test program meeting its targets in 2010, with today being one of many such occasions in the next year of JSF. The U.K. is now preparing pilots and maintainers for initial training at Eglin so that we can begin operating our aircraft in 2011 alongside our colleagues from the United States Marine Corps," he said.
Squadron Leader Long is the third active-duty service member to fly the F-35. (The jet also has been flown by U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps pilots.) Long has more than 2,200 hours of flight time and currently flies the F-18A-D with the U.S. Marines. He joined the RAF in 1995, and his operational experience has included more than 100 sorties over Kosovo and Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq, including three months of embarked time aboard H.M.S. Illustrious, and seven months on the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard.
The U.K. has invested $2 billion in the F-35's development – the largest contribution among the program's eight partner nations. The Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) program announced in December that the United Kingdom received financial approval to purchase its third F-35B operational test aircraft, reinforcing the U.K.'s continued commitment to the JSF program's upcoming Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) phase.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
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.
For additional information, visit our website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com

Presagis solutions delivered on four Boeing F-15C Eagle Simulators

Presagis provided technical services and COTS image generation tools for high-fidelity training scenarios
Defense News ~ MONTREAL--January 27, 2010, (BUSINESS WIRE)--Presagis™, a leading provider of commercial-off-the shelf (COTS) modeling, simulation and embedded display graphics software, today announced that Lyra along with other Presagis tools were delivered as part of a Boeing-developed solution for the United States Air Force F-15C Eagle tactical fighter training program. In November 2009, Boeing fielded the four F-15C Visual Systems Trainers.
Presagis Lyra and Lyra Sensors COTS Visual Runtime software were integrated into the training system to provide realistic out-the-window, infrared sensor, and night vision goggle views for the fighter jet scenarios. The Presagis Technical Services team also supported the development of the simulator’s Visual Database.
Depicting visual cues — exactly the way a pilot would see it if they were looking at the landscape through night vision goggles or from the cockpit — is critical to a positive training experience and success in the actual aircraft. With Presagis tools, Boeing can efficiently create the immersive and high-fidelity scenarios the Air Force needs to train their personnel.
Presagis Lyra, a multichannel visualization system delivering 60-hertz image generation out-of-the box, provides out-the-window scenes with complex weather and environmental special effects. Lyra Sensors provides simulated views from the aircraft’s infrared sensors as well as accurately replicating the pilot’s night vision goggles system. The solution operates on multiple hardware and operating system platforms, and utilizes two host simulation interfaces, CIGI and FlightICD, to maximize compatibility with existing simulators.
“Presagis is proud to work with the Boeing team to deliver a customized image generation solution for simulations reflecting the latest military innovations,” said Nick Giannias, Vice President, Research & Technology and Product Management, Presagis. “Our Lyra and Lyra Sensors solutions helped to create complex scenarios that include lava fields, light point halos, and sensor signatures, resulting in a premium training environment for U.S. Air Force pilots.”
Both Lyra and Lyra Sensors incorporate a broad range of functionality for a diverse range of interactive 3D visual applications, allowing for maximum flexibility in simulation development. To ensure rapid implementation, Lyra and Lyra Sensors include a sample database to validate installation and system performance, as well as utility tools such as a CIGI packet logger to record and play back scenarios.
The F-15C Eagle is a single-seat, all-weather tactical fighter designed for air-to-air combat. The aircraft’s pulse-Doppler radar system can detect and track aircraft and small high-speed targets at distances beyond visual range down to close range, and at altitudes down to treetop level.
About Presagis
Presagis is a global leader providing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) modeling, simulation and embedded display solutions to the aerospace and defense markets and is the only developer to deliver a unified COTS software portfolio based on open-standards. Presagis combines cutting-edge technology with innovative services to help customers streamline workflow, reduce project risks, create detailed models and complex simulations, in addition to developing DO-178B certifiable applications. The company services more than 1,000 active customers worldwide, including many of the world's most respected organizations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, BAE Systems and CAE. For more information, visit www.presagis.com.
© 2010 Presagis Canada Inc. and/or Presagis USA Inc. All rights reserved.Presagis means Presagis Canada Inc., Presagis USA Inc. and/or Presagis Europe SA. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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