Monday, January 25, 2010

Elbit Systems Signs Agreement to Purchase Balance of Azimuth Technologies' Shares

Defense News ~ HAIFA, Israel, January 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT) announced today, further to its announcement on November 12, 2008, that on January 24, 2010 a merger agreement was signed with Azimuth Technologies Ltd. ("Azimuth") under which it will acquire the balance of Azimuth's shares. In November 2008, Elbit Systems purchased 19% of Azimuth's shares. Under the newly signed agreement Elbit Systems' wholly owned subsidiary, Elbit Security Systems Ltd., will purchase the balance of Azimuth's shares from Azimuth's shareholders for a price of approximately $46.5 million (173 million shekels). In the event that prior to the merger Azimuth distributes a dividend in the amount of approximately $5.4 million (20 million shekels), the above mentioned consideration will be reduced by approximately $4.3 million (16 million shekels).
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Under the terms of the merger agreement an amount of approximately $3.2 million (12 million shekels) of the above mentioned consideration will be held by a trustee for the purpose of indemnifying Elbit in accordance with the terms of the agreement and will be distributed, in whole or in part, to the shareholders at a later date as provided in the agreement.
The closing of the transaction is subject to approval by a general meeting of Azimuth's shareholders as well as approval by the Israeli Antitrust Authority.
Azimuth is an Israeli company engaged mainly in the areas of satellite navigation systems (GPS), electro-optics and data communications, for defense, para-government and civil applications. The company's systems are designed for target acquisition, fire coordination, navigation and orientation solutions, command and control as well as optical measurement systems for high accuracy. Azimuth has a subsidiary in the U.K. engaged in similar activities.
Joseph Ackerman, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, commented: "Azimuth is a leader in its areas of activity, with excellent employees and highly advanced technological capabilities complementing those of Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Elop." Ackerman added: "The acquisition of the balance of Azimuth's shares underscores our long-term strategy of growth through mergers and acquisitions of complementary companies with high synergistic value. The acquisition will provide us with added value in the satellite navigation field, and we expect that the combination of the new capabilities alongside our existing ones will further strengthen our position as a global leader in the electro-optics field in Israel and abroad."
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:

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.
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
G.K. Investor Relations
Tel: 1-646-201-9246

US report criticizes DynCorp Iraq police spending

Defense News ~ WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The special U.S. inspector general for Iraq reconstruction has renewed criticism of spending by U.S. defense contractor DynCorp International (DCP.N) on its $2.5 billion contract to train Iraqi police, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
In a report due to be released on Monday, Stuart Bowen Jr., the special inspector general, also cited the State Department for continued failure to adequately oversee the five-year-old contract, the newspaper reported.
The report stated that as a result of this, "over $2.5 billion in U.S. funds are vulnerable to waste and fraud," the Post said. The report dealt only with funding, not with whether the training effort was succeeding or failing, the Post said.
It marked the second time in three years that the special inspector general criticized spending by DynCorp on its contract, the newspaper said. The State Department said the charge was "unfounded," the Post reported.
(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Will Dunham)

Japan PM vows US base decision by May, scandal weighs

* Base feud, funding scandal eroding PM's support
* Majority needed in mid-year poll for smooth policy-making
* Concerns linger over budget debate in parliament

By Chisa Fujioka
Defense News ~ TOKYO, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Japan's leader on Monday promised not to delay beyond May a decision on the fate of a U.S. base, as a feud with Washington over the nagging issue threatens to further erode voter support already hurt by a funding scandal.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama seemed to have even less room to manoeuvre in the dispute over the Marine base in Okinawa, southern Japan, after a candidate who opposes an existing plan to relocate it won a local election on Sunday.
The vote came a day after prosecutors questioned the No.2 in his Democratic Party over the funding scandal which is clouding the outlook for the annual budget from April 1, aimed at bolstering a fragile economic recovery.
Although Japanese media said an extra budget for the current year to March 31 was likely to be enacted given the risk of public backlash over policy delays, opposition parties have called for more debate on the scandal in parliament.
Concerns over the deliberations for the 2010/11 budget could weigh on Japanese stocks .N225 in the short term, although there has been little impact so far. Additionally, it could also cloud voter support for Hatoyama ahead of a mid-year election for parliament's upper house. The Democrats need to win an outright majority in the upper house vote to reduce reliance on two small but vocal coalition partners who could add pressure for more spending and increase an already huge public debt, pushing up government bond yields.
Hatoyama brushed off concerns he could keep dithering over Tokyo's dispute with Washington over the Futenma base, which has bred voter doubts about his four month-old government's ability to manage relations with its top security ally.
"The government has promised to start from scratch and to be responsible in reaching a conclusion on this issue by the end of May," Hatoyama told reporters. "We will definitely fulfil that."
Media reports have said Hatoyama may visit the United States around May, although no official decision has been made.
A weekend poll by broadcaster TBS showed the government's approval rate at 46.4 percent, down 6.6 points from earlier this month and below the disapproval rate of 53.1 percent.
Hatoyama faces an increasingly tough decision on the airbase, which under a 2006 deal with Washington was to be relocated to the city of Nago in a less crowded part of the southern island.
Washington wants Japan to implement the plan. But Hatoyama is under pressure from his tiny coalition allies to stick to a pledge to move Futenma off the island, where many residents feel they shoulder an unfair share of U.S. forces.
Given Hatoyama's growing headaches, the 2010/11 budget, if not the extra budget as well, could become a political football, said Tsuneo Watanabe, a senior fellow at the Tokyo Foundation think tank.
The key could be the fate of the Democrats' kingpin Ichiro Ozawa, who Hatoyama has stood by despite his funding scandal because his undisputed electioneering skills are seen as important to the party winning the upper house election.
Ozawa has denied any wrongdoing in the scandal that has led to the arrests of three current and former aides on suspicion of misreporting political donations.
"The real battle will be concerning the annual budget," Watanabe said, adding that Ozawa might decide to step down from his No.2 post while keeping actual control of the campaign in exchange for smooth passage of the budget.
Watanabe also said Hatoyama might eventually have to step down over the Futenma dispute, especially if he opts for the original plan to keep Washington happy. Despite the anti-base mayoral candidate's victory, the vote was extremely close, reflecting divided local opinion.
(Additional reporting by Linda Sieg, Yoko Nishikawa; Editing by Paul Tait)

Renowned Airport Security Experts to Discuss Recent Attempted Terrorist Activity at the 2nd Annual Airport Security Summit 2010, Dubai

Defense News ~ DUBAI, UAE, January 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Airport Security Summit Middle East 2010, which will be held from 7- 10 February at the Grand Millennium Hotel in Dubai, is proud to announce the latest distinguished speaker to join the expert speaker faculty, Captain William Airman, Chief Security Officer, flydubai, UAE. Captain Airman will be addressing the current emphasis on technology as a holistic solution.
The summit, which is sponsored by Boeing Intelligence & Security Systems, G4S and Indigo Vision and with the participation of Dubai AVSEC Centre is already playing host to a plethora of renowned airport security experts from organisations from 8 different countries including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Etihad Airways, Dubai Airports, Aviation Canada, G4S, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), Sharjah Ministry of Health, Toronto Airport, British Embassy UAE, Fujairah International Airport and Gulf Air.
The last few weeks have seen a number of news stories circulating about the need to improve airport security intelligence to prevent terrorists from carrying out fatal attacks. These recent stories have dramatically increased after Heathrow Airport's bomb threat on an Emirates flight departing for Dubai on 9 January and airports around the world announcing heightened security followed an alleged attempt to bomb a plane landing in Detroit.
Hassan M. Eltaher, President at Aviation Canada and speaker at Airport Security Middle East 2010, commented "In as much as security measures and protective layers at airports provide a complicating factor for would-be hijackers or bombers, the more efficient, long-term remedy lies thousands of mile away from airports, and starts with ordinary people".
This is expected to form a large part of the discussion at the Airport Security Middle East 2010 summit. Additional topics to be addressed at the forum include: managing the intelligence threat and risk assessment process in government and private sectors; bridging the gap between airports, airlines, law enforcement and governmental authorities; examining essential preventative measures to counter the spread of the H1N1 flu virus; and evaluating new biometric security technologies and implementation methods.
For more information visit
About IQPC Middle East:
For over thirty years, IQPC has helped the world's leading corporations solve their business challenges through the sharing of practical industry solutions and global best practice. In the process, the company has built a formidable reputation for quality and value. During this time, the Middle East's most progressive companies have benefited from IQPC's unrivalled global reach, which has connected international expertise with regional and local leaders.

For more information on the event contact:
Michelle Petiza +971-4-364-2975

Pentagon budget seen benefiting Boeing, GD

Defense News ~ WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Departments's fiscal 2011 budget request includes funding for many ships, airplanes and other weapons programs, according to draft documents obtained by Reuters.
Following is a list of how the budget, to be released on Feb. 1, is likely to affect top U.S. defense contractors:
The budget again calls for termination of Boeing Co's (BA.N) C-17 transport plane, but the company, the Pentagon's No. 2 defense contractor, has already begun to prepare for the eventual end of that production line, mounting aggressive efforts to capture a few more orders overseas.
On the plus side, the budget seeks $2.5 billion in additional funding for the electronic attack variant of its F/A-18 fighter over the next two years, and points to at least five more orders for the base F/A-18E/F fighter beyond those initially planned in fiscal 2009 planning documents, said Virginia-based consultant Jim McAleese.
Boeing is likely to continue pressing lawmakers for even more F/A-18 orders to shore up that production line and cover an anticipated gap in carrier-based fighters until the Navy starts to receive Lockheed's F-35 carrier variant in 2015.
Boeing will also benefit from additional orders of its CH-47 Chinoook and AH-64 Apache helicopters to replace aircraft lost in battle in Afghanistan and Iraq, said McAleese.
On the downside, the company had lost revenue through the cancellation of the Army's Future Combat Systems program and President Barack Obama's plans to scale back missile defense programs.
The budget includes a solid $14.1 billion in money for shipbuilding, including several programs that will help General Dynamics (GD.N), the fourth largest U.S. defense contractor, said McAleese.
General Dynamics also appeared poised to benefit from ammunition orders and upgrades to its wheeled Stryker vehicles, which were initially developed an interim solution, but now seemed to have more "of an air of permanence," said Rob Stallard, analyst with of Macquarie Securities.
An Army list of its equipment needs for the fiscal 2011 war budget included $445 million for Stryker upgrades, according to documents obtained by Reuters this week.[ID:nN20162904]
Army officials, keen to get started on the proposed upgrades before the fiscal 2011 budget can be enacted into law,are now seeking to pull those funds forward into a supplemental fiscal 2010 war spending budget, which would give General Dynamics a boost even sooner, said one source familiar with the discussions who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle that General Dynamics is developing for the Marine Corps also survived the Pentagon budget process, despite widespread speculation about its cancellation after years of technical issues.
Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), the largest U.S. defense contractor, would be hurt by a Pentagon decision to cut 10 F-35 fighters from its expected 2011 order, but the move would likely shore up the program in the longer run, said Stallard.
Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn underscored the Pentagon's commitment to the program last week, saying the United States and its allies were sticking to plans to buy about 3,000 of the fighters overall.
Lockheed, the Pentagon's largest prime contractor, also stood to gain from the Navy's decision to truncate its DDG-1000 destroyer program, which had a Raytheon Co (RTN.N) (RTN.N) combat system, and add Lockheed's Aegis combat equipment to more DDG-51 destroyers instead, said Loren Thompson, with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute.
The Pentagon budget calls for cancellation of one smaller Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) program, a $500 million human resources program aimed at putting Pentagon medical records in one central database, and signalled a restructuring of the company's embattled polar-orbiting weather satellite.
At least one amphibious ship that would have been built by Northrop, the No. 3 defense contractor, was also removed from the 2011 budget, and a total of eight amphibious ships were dropped from the five-year budget planner, said Thompson.
Significantly, the budget also increases the time it would take to build Northrop's massively expensive aircraft carriers to five years from four, lowering the amount of yearly revenue the company will receive from that work, Thompson said.
At the same time, the Quadrennial Defense Review to be released with the budget, underscored the Pentagon's push to beef up its cyber defenses, an area in which Northrop was very strong, analysts said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Diane Craft)

Liberty Global to Sell J:COM Interest for $4.0 Billion in Cash

Defense News ~ ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Jan 25, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Liberty Global, Inc. (“Liberty Global,” “LGI,” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: LBTYA) (NASDAQ: LBTYB) (NASDAQ: LBTYK) today announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its subsidiaries that directly or indirectly hold its 37.8% ownership interest in Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (“J:COM”), a leading broadband provider of communications services in Japan, to KDDI Corporation, the second largest wireless operator in Japan.
Liberty Global is selling for cash its subsidiaries that directly or indirectly hold its interest in J:COM, including those subsidiaries which collectively own its interest in LGI / Sumisho Super Media LP (“Super Media”). Additionally, Liberty Global will retain the right to receive the anticipated final 2009 dividend of ¥490 per share attributable to its interest in J:COM that is expected to be approved at the March 2010 J:COM shareholders meeting. Including both the agreed upon purchase price and the anticipated dividend, Liberty Global expects to realize gross proceeds of approximately ¥363 billion ($4.0 billion as of January 22, 2010).
This would imply a transaction value on LGI’s attributable 2.6 million J:COM shares of approximately ¥140,000 per J:COM share, representing an approximate 65% premium to J:COM’s closing share price on January 22, 2010. The transaction represents an enterprise multiple of approximately 8.3 times J:COM’s September 30, 2009 last twelve months consolidated operating cash flow, as customarily defined by Liberty Global. In terms of net proceeds, LGI will repay the ¥75 billion ($833 million as of January 22, 2010) LGJ Holdings credit facility and will incur certain costs and taxes. Prior to closing, Sumitomo Corporation’s (“Sumitomo”) interest in Super Media will be redeemed for the J:COM shares attributable to it and LGI will acquire the minority interests in one of the subsidiaries to be sold. Closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions and is expected to occur on or around February 10, 2010, subject to extension.
Mike Fries, President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Global, said, “Our investment in J:COM and our partnership with Sumitomo over the last 15 years have both been extremely successful and gratifying. The J:COM management team and, in particular Liberty Global executives Miranda Curtis and Graham Hollis, have created a world class operation and substantial value for our shareholders. While we pride ourselves on being long-term operators, we have also demonstrated a disciplined and opportunistic approach to rebalancing our business interests globally. Exiting the Japanese market at a substantial premium allows us to redirect our capital into more strategic consolidation opportunities in our core markets as well as our ongoing stock buyback initiatives.”
Liberty Global is being advised by JPMorgan in connection with this transaction.
About Liberty Global
Liberty Global is the leading international cable operator offering advanced video, voice and broadband internet services to connect its customers to the world of entertainment, communications and information. As of September 30, 2009, Liberty Global operated state-of-the-art networks that served approximately 17 million customers across 14 countries principally located in Europe, Japan, Chile, and Australia. Liberty Global’s operations also include significant programming businesses such as Chellomedia in Europe.
Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include our ability to consummate the transaction in accordance with the disclosed terms, changes in exchange rates and other factors that may impact the U.S. dollar value of the proceeds to be received, and our expectation regarding J:COM’s 2009 final dividend as well as other factors detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including our most recently filed Forms 10-K and 10-Q. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Liberty Global, Inc.

Investor Relations
Christopher Noyes, +1.303.220.6693
Molly Bruce, +1.303.220.4202
K.C. Dolan, +1.303.220.6686
Corporate Communications
Hanne Wolf, +1.303.220.6678
Bert Holtkamp, +31.20.778.9800

Raydiance Partners with NASA Ames to Develop Advanced Microfluidics Technology for Space Applications

NASA’s Small Spacecraft Division to Employ Raydiance Smart Light Ultrafast Laser in Building Next-Generation Devices
Defense News ~ PETALUMA, Calif.- January 25, 2010 (EON: Enhanced Online News)--Raydiance Corporation, developer of the world’s first commercial-grade ultrafast laser, today announced it has partnered with the Small Spacecraft Division in the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., to develop advanced microfluidics devices for space-based biological experiments.
“We’re very excited about the additional capabilities the Raydiance system gives us to fabricate complex, multilevel microfluidic devices”
Under the terms of a cooperative agreement funded by the Advanced Capabilities Division in NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to support a Seed Fund project within NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program, NASA Ames' experts in fluidic design will employ Raydiance’s Smart LightTM ultrafast laser platform to fabricate next-generation microfluidics devices and components. These will be deployed on free-flying nanosatellites, the International Space Station, and future lunar and planetary research laboratories. Results from this work will advance capabilities for molecular and cellular diagnostics, enable rapid drug discovery and screening, and expand the understanding of the effects of the space environment on biological systems.
“This partnership brings together the powerful and versatile Smart Light ultrafast technology with the world-class microfluidics expertise of the NASA Ames' small spacecraft group,” said Barry Schuler, Chairman and CEO of Raydiance. “The capability to athermally ablate very precise features in transparent polymers and glasses, in addition to ceramics, will enable NASA Ames to rapidly fabricate complex and integrated components on a single microfluidics card. This collaborative work will have large implications for both the research and commercial worlds.”
The work at NASA Ames is led by Dr. Antonio J. Ricco, chief technologist at the Small Satellite Division and John Hines, chief technologist in the Engineering Directorate. Tim Booth, Vice President of Project Management, is coordinating the Raydiance efforts for the project.
“We’re very excited about the additional capabilities the Raydiance system gives us to fabricate complex, multilevel microfluidic devices,” Dr. Ricco said. “We anticipate these devices will be more reliable, let us add new functionality, and be more biocompatible than some other approaches we’ve examined. We should be able to quickly execute design changes as needed to accommodate a wide range of biological and chemical space studies with this new platform.”
About Raydiance, Inc.
Raydiance is a next-generation laser company that has integrated fiber optic, computing and software technologies to create the world’s only broadly accessible, commercial-grade ultrafast laser. Ultrafast lasers create pulses of light with extremely high peak power capable of ablating virtually any material with high precision and no heat. The company is focused on providing transformative, reliable and cost-effective solutions for the medical device, energy, biosciences, consumer electronics and defense technology markets. Its management team, with more than 100 years of experience in computer and laser technologies, is led by Barry Schuler, former Chairman and CEO of AOL.
About NASA Ames Research Center
NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., enables exploration through selected development, innovative technologies, and interdisciplinary scientific discovery. NASA Ames provides leadership in astrobiology; robotic lunar exploration; technologies for NASA's next generation space vehicles including the Orion crew exploration vehicle, Ares crew launch and heavy lift vehicles; the search for extra-solar Earth-like planets; supercomputing; intelligent/adaptive systems; advanced thermal protection; and airborne astronomy. NASA Ames develops tools for a safer, more efficient national airspace and unique partnerships benefiting NASA's mission.

Adam C. Tanous, 208-450-9060
Director of Marketing
NASA Ames Research Center,
Moffett Field, Calif.
Rachel Prucey, 650-604-0643
Public Affairs Specialist