Friday, March 19, 2010

Mikros Systems Corporation Announces $26 Million Contract Award for the Adaptive Diagnostic Electronic Portable Testset (ADEPT)

Mikros Home

Defense News: PRINCETON, N.J., March 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Mikros Systems Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board:MKRS.ob - News), announced that it has been awarded a $26 million Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III contract for deliveries and support of Mikros' Adaptive Diagnostic Electronic Portable Testset (ADEPT) from the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Crane, IN. The award is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a maximum value of $26 million over 5 years.

The contract covers the procurement of ADEPT systems and related engineering services required for system enhancements, logistics, and field support. Within the next 30 days, Mikros expects to receive the first delivery orders for ADEPT units and task orders for installation support services. Mikros anticipates additional deliveries and task orders in 2010 of between $2 and 3 million and believes that this contract could generate revenues of $4-5 million annually over the 5 year term of the contract.

ADEPT is a configurable, modular test set that automates and accelerates a range of preventive and corrective maintenance activities for radars and electronic systems used on Navy Ships. ADEPT is designed to improve mission readiness and performance of important shipboard electronic systems, including equipment associated with the Navy's Ballistic Missile Defense program. ADEPT also provides advanced capabilities in distance support, providing near real-time display of shipboard equipment performance parameters to subject matter experts ashore. Recent results from Navy fleet experiments and feedback from Navy personnel who have used the equipment has been very positive.

US Navy Aegis Cruisers and Destroyers will be the first ships to receive ADEPT systems. Future development of the ADEPT product line will also be accomplished under the new contract. These enhancements are expected to provide wide-ranging applicability to other Navy radars and electronic systems. "We anticipate the Navy market for ADEPT will include additional units for international Aegis ships, as well as systems for Carriers, Amphibious Ships, and the Littoral Combat Ships now being developed," stated Marc Dalby, Vice President of Business Development and Operations for Mikros. "We also envision a strong market potential for ADEPT with the United States Coast Guard, Army and Marine Corps, who all have requirements for a compact modular system to support maintenance and troubleshooting of complex electronic equipment at sea and in the field."

"We have been working very hard over the past several years to get ADEPT ready for full-scale delivery to theUS Navy," stated Tom Meaney, President of Mikros Systems. "This IDIQ award has been our primary focus over the past 24 months, represents a significant milestone for our Company, and is the direct result of the dedication and hard work of all of our employees. It is most gratifying to see these efforts rewarded with this very important contract. This award provides a strong platform for future growth of the ADEPT product line and Mikros."

About Mikros

Mikros Systems Corporation is an advanced technology company specializing in the research and development of electronic systems technology primarily for military applications. Classified by the U.S.Department of Defense as a small business, its capabilities include technology management, electronic systems engineering and integration, radar systems engineering, combat/command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems engineering, and communications engineering. Mikros' primary business is to pursue and obtain contracts from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Navy, and other governmental authorities. For more information on Mikros visit:

Important Information about Forward-Looking Statements: All statements in this news release other than statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements which contain our current expectations about our future results. Forward-looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties. We have attempted to identify any forward-looking statements by using words such as "anticipates," "believes," "could," "expects," "intends," "may," "should" and other similar expressions. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in all of our forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company's actual results, events or financial positions to differ materially from those included within the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, changes in business conditions, changes in our sales strategy and product development plans, changes in the marketplace, continued services of our executive management team, our limited marketing experience, competition between us and other companies seeking SBIR grants, competitive pricing pressures, market acceptance of our products under development, delays in the development of products, statements of assumption underlying any of the foregoing, and other factors disclosed in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and other filings with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to disclose any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.

Related Headlines

Northrop Grumman Chairman Emeritus Ronald D. Sugar Honored With Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine Workforce Laureate Award

Defense News: LOS ANGELES, March 19, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC - News) chairman emeritus Ronald D. Sugar has received the prestigious Laureate Award from Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, the aerospace industry's premier news publication.

Ronald D Sugar (thumbnail)

Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop Grumman Corporation chairman emeritus, is presented with the Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine Workforce Laureate Award by Carole Rickard Heddon of Aviation Week.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

The award was bestowed at a black-tie event March 17, 2010 at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Laureate awards recognize individuals and teams for their extraordinary accomplishments that embody the spirit of exploration, innovation and vision. Sugar was named the first Workforce Laureate, a newly created category.

He was honored for his actions in support of attracting young people to aerospace careers, developing young professionals, and retaining the talent needed for a healthy, vibrant aerospace industry. Aviation Week and Space Technology cited his work addressing critical workforce issues in four fundamental ways: creation of cooperative work spaces and incorporation of new technologies and tools enhancing communication and teaming to align with changing workforce demographics; capture and retention of company knowledge and expertise; preservation of professional development and learning in one of the most difficult business climates; and employee transitions.

During Sugar's tenure as Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer the company kept its retention levels among the industry's highest. Northrop Grumman also launched Operation IMPACT, an on-going program of hiring, training and supporting wounded veterans.

Under his leadership, the company initiated several programs for developing leaders; established a company women's conference and other diversity initiatives and created a corporate office of social responsibility that reports on ethics, equal employment practices, diversity and environmental stewardship. Northrop Grummanalso launched several initiatives to attract students to careers in science, technology and mathematics, including the Weightless Flights of Discovery and numerous college scholarship programs.

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.

Wall St. drops with commodities

Defense News:

Related Quotes

Chart for Aetna Inc. Common Stock
Chart for Boeing Company (The) Common Sto
Chart for Best Buy Co., Inc. Common Stock
Chart for 3M Company Common Stock
Chart for Palm, Inc.
On Friday March 19, 2010, 1:34 pm EDT

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Friday, following the Dow's eight consecutive days of gains as a rising dollar hurt oil prices and weighed on energy stocks.

Renewed worries about Greece's debt problems sent the euro to more than a two-week low against the greenback. The stronger dollar, in turn, hit the price of dollar-denominated commodities such as oil and gold because it makes them more expensive for holders of other currencies.

"Uncertainty over Greece is pushing the dollar higher, and the recent gains we've seen in the commodity space is because the dollar has been depreciating," said Joe Arsenio, president of Arsenio Capital Management in Larkspur, California.

That effect spilled over to energy stocks, with the S&P Energy Index (^GSPE - News) down 1.3 percent as U.S. crude oil futures (^CLC1 - News) lost 2.4 percent to $80.25 a barrel. Dow component Exxon Mobil (XOM - News) fell 1 percent to $66.73.

A looming congressional vote to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system will keep health-sector stocks in focus, with the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor index (^HMO - News) up 2.1 percent. In addition, Aetna Inc (AET - News) gained 2.6 percent to $34.11 after it forecast first-quarter earnings above consensus.

"That Aetna is giving that outlook ahead of the legislation is a positive sign" for the sector's strength, said David Katz, chief investment officer of Matrix Asset Advisors in New York. He added, though, that there were still uncertainties about the bill's potential impact on stocks.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, February 5, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, February 5, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI - News) dropped 55.02 points, or 0.51 percent, to 10,724.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^SPX - News) fell 6.70 points, or 0.57 percent, to 1,159.13. The NasdaqComposite Index (^IXIC - News) lost 21.35 points, or 0.89 percent, to 2,369.93.

Boeing Co (BA - News) rose 0.8 percent to $71.45 after the Dow component said it will move up production for both its 777 and 747 widebody planes, citing increased demand.

The top drag on the Dow was 3M Co (MMM - News), which fell 2 percent to $81.99, erasing gains made in Thursday's sessions, when it was one of the Dow's top gainers.

Weighing on the Nasdaq was Palm Inc (PALM - News), which tumbled 26.2 percent to $4.15 a day after it warned that quarterly revenues would be far below expectations as low demand for its smartphones left wireless carriers with excess inventory.

SunPower Corp (SPWRA - News) sank 15.1 percent to $18.72 a day after it gave a weaker-than-expected profit outlook for 2010, prompting a number of analysts to cut their price targets on the stock.

Electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY - News) climbed 1.7 percent to $41.14 after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "buy," citing prospects for a better-than-expected 2010.

Regarding Greece and its huge debt burden, the European Union's monetary affairs chief urged the bloc's leaders to agree on a standby aid package for Greece next week. But investors fear German reluctance could hinder the effort.

"The near-term market outlook is cautious because there are still so many uncertainties about Greece," Arsenio said.

Volume has been thin during the week and volatility has dropped considerably. The CBOE Volatility Index (^VIX - News) is down roughly 5 percent this week and hit its lowest mark since May 2008.

Friday marks the second day of a convergence known as quadruple witching, when four types of options and futures contracts expire, possibly triggering volatility and higher volumes.

EADS seeks 3 more months to bid for US tanker

* Pentagon says considering EADS request

* EADS says has not decided to bid

* Says terms favor smaller, less capable aircraft (Adds Pentagon, Boeing, congressional comment, changes dateline)

By Jim Wolf and Maria Sheahan

Defense News: WASHINGTON/FRANKFURT, March 19 (Reuters) - Europe's EADS (EAD.PA) is seeking three more months to prepare a bid to build a multibillion-dollar U.S. aerial-refueling fleet in the latest twist in a nearly decade-long saga, the U.S. Defense Department said on Friday.

"We're considering that request," Bryan Whitman, a department spokesman, told reporters at the Pentagon. The current deadline is May 10.

EADS eyes new bid for Pentagon contract

An EADS tanker performs a refueling exercise with F16 and with F18 jets.

Airbus parent had pulled out earlier this month after criticizing tanker contract as anticompetitive

A contest would pit EADS, Airbus' corporate parent, against Chicago-based Boeing Co (BA.N), its archrival in the commercial airliner market.

Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) and EADS had bested Boeing in a similar race two years ago, only to have their award canceled after U.S. government auditors found the Air Force had failed to apply its own judging rules.

Los Angeles-based Northrop, which would have been the prime contractor, withdrew on March 8 from the latest contest, saying the Pentagon's final tender "clearly favors" Boeing's 767-based tanker over the Airbus A330 derivative pitched by EADS.

EADS could rejoin the race if it determines "there is a fair chance to win, after evaluating all relevant factors," the company said on Friday.

The Pentagon, battling charges of protectionism, had reiterated on Thursday that it would welcome an EADS bid and would consider a "reasonable" extension of time.

Whitman declined to define what the Pentagon had in mind as a reasonable delay. He said the Pentagon considered EADS a "qualified" offeror.

EADS' North American unit likely would become its own prime contractor rather than seek to partner again.

The company has not yet decided to bid, said Guy Hicks, an EADS spokesman in Washington.

Extending the deadline for bids is a critical first step, Hicks said in a telephone interview.

EADS North America became a prime contractor for the Pentagon after it was selected in 2006 to build UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters for the U.S. Army.

In line with Northrop, EADS has said the U.S. Air Force's terms for the tanker contract, valued at up to $50 billion, were skewed in favor of Boeing's smaller 767-based tanker and do not give enough credit for the added capability of a larger tanker based on the Airbus A330.

The Airbus model has been chosen over Boeing 767 derivatives as a tanker by Australia, Britain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the four most recent contests, according to EADS.

The Defense Department said on Thursday it invited proposals from qualified contractors and, if necessary, would consider pushing back the deadline. Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, added that this was not unusual, citing a half dozen cases where deadlines had been extended.

EADS shares closed up 1.0 percent at 14.83 euros on the Paris stock exchange on Friday. Boeing shares were up nearly 1 percent in New York, lifted by the company's statements on Friday that it will accelerate planned production increases of its 777 and 747 production. [ID:nN19126100]. (Reporting by Jim Wolf and Adam Entous in Washington, and Maria Sheahan in Frankfurt; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

Arrow shares halted; Shell/PetroChina to sweeten bid?

Defense News: (Reuters) - Australia's Arrow Energy Ltd (AOE.AX) asked for trading in its shares to be suspended on Friday, stoking speculation that Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and PetroChina (0857.HK) would sweeten their joint $3 billion offer for the coal-seam gas producer.

Arrow's trading halt will allow it to update the market on the March 8 offer from Shell and PetroChina, worth at least A$3.3 billion ($3.05 billion).

A Shell sign is seen at a petrol station in Melbourne March 8, 2010. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

A Shell sign is seen at a petrol station in Melbourne March 8, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Mick Tsikas

Analysts said an improved bid could raise the cash portion to at least A$5/share compared to the A$4.45 on offer.

"I read it as the negotiations will lead to a possible higher bid," said Tim Schroeders, portfolio manager at Pengana Global Resources Fund. He does not hold Arrow shares.

Shell and PetroChina would also be keen to push for regulatory clearance from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board, as relations between Australia and China, its main trading partner, risk being soured by the upcoming trial of Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) staff in China over alleged commercial spying.

Australia's Trade Minister Simon Crean said earlier the Rio case was a separate issue and would have no wider implications for Australia-China trade ties.

Rio Tinto later announced it signed an agreement with Chinese metals group Chinalco to jointly develop the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.

But political commentators note the Rio Tinto case could rekindle opposition among some Australia lawmakers critical of Chinese investment in Australia. Some high profile deals have fallen through, including a planned $19.5 billion tie-up between Rio and Chinalco last year.

A successful takeover of Arrow would be the first major Chinese investment in an Australian company since the $3 billion takeover of Felix Resources by Yanzhou Coal Mining Co (1171.HK) (600188.SS) that was agreed last August.


The deal, also the first major Chinese investment in Australia's booming coal-seam gas sector, could be agreed by the firms as early as Friday, the Australian Financial review said in an unsourced report.

An Arrow spokesman declined to comment.

While Arrow's shares have risen 52 percent to a record since the deal was first announced, analysts believe the current offer price is low given the potential reserves.

"We believe the offer will succeed or fail on the cash component for local investors ... and $4.45 a share appears too low," Credit Suisse analyst Andrew Williams said, adding Arrow's potential reserves support a valuation of A$5.5O a share.

Earlier this week, a source told Reuters that Arrow had opened its books to Shell and PetroChina, and would respond to the offer within days.

Shell and PetroChina have offered A$4.45 in cash for each Arrow share, plus a share in a new entity comprising its international business.

Shell and PetroChina are targeting Arrow's coal-seam gas reserves, estimated at 6,150 petajoules, the largest in Australia. Coal-seam gas is natural gas trapped in seams of coal.

(Additional reporting by James Grubel in CANBERRA, Victoria Thieberger in MELBOURNE; Editing by Balazs Koranyi and Valerie Lee)

ATK Successfully Tests Attitude Control Motor for Orion Launch Abort System: The Next Step in Creating Unmatched Crew Safety for Future Human Space Fl

Key Milestone Test Performed at ATK's Elkton, Maryland Facility

Defense News: MINNEAPOLIS, March 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK - News) announced that it successfully completed the second of two ground tests of a full-scale attitude control motor (ACM) for the launch abort system (LAS) of NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle. The second test was conducted on March 17, and evaluated environment extremes and ignition system robustness in addition to confirming the motor performance. The test was conducted at ATK's facility in Elkton, Maryland, where the first successful test was conducted onDecember 15, 2009.

Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor to NASA for Orion, leads the project team developing the nation's next-generation space flight vehicle to carry out missions to destinations throughout our solar system. Orion's launch abort system is critical to the human rating of any similarly designed spacecraft and is essential for crew safety which is fundamental to successful human space exploration in the future.

This test of the control motor validates the readiness for NASA's upcoming pad abort 1 (PA-1) flight test that will be conducted at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico. The PA-1 ACM was delivered to WSMR in February. PA-1 is the first LAS flight test for NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle.

"The success of this test, coupled with the success of the first test last December, demonstrates again that crew safety is an overriding priority in the design of the crew vehicles to be used in future human exploration missions. We are now ready for the next major milestone, a flight demonstration," said Bart Olson, interim President, ATK Mission Systems.

ATK's attitude control motor provides steering for the Orion launch abort system, which is designed to safely lift and steer the Orion crew module away from the launch vehicle in the event of an emergency. This was the seventh in a series of ground tests of Orion's attitude control motor system, validating that the thruster system performs as designed.

ATK's attitude control motor consists of a solid propellant gas generator, with eight proportional valves equally spaced around the circumference of the three-foot diameter motor. In combination, the valves can exert up to 7,000 pounds of steering force to the vehicle in any direction upon command from the crew module. The valves are controlled by a redundant power and control system.

ATK is under contract to Lockheed Martin to develop the attitude control motor and provide motors for Orion's development test flights and human-rated flights. ATK is also responsible for the main launch abort motor, successfully test-fired November 2008, and the Ares I first stage, which was successfully test-fired inSeptember 2009.

About the Orion Launch Abort System:

The Orion launch abort system (LAS) activates within milliseconds in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during initial ascent. The LAS consists of three motors: the abort motor that fires nearly 500,000 pounds of thrust to pull the crew module up and away from the launch vehicle; the attitude control motor that exerts up to 7,000 pounds of steering force to reorient the vehicle's position; and the jettison motor that separates the crew module from the launch abort system so that parachutes can be deployed for a safe landing. The jettison motor is the only motor that will be activated on all nominal missions to separate the spacecraft from the launch abort system assembly shortly after second stage activation. ATK is providing the abort and attitude control motors and Aerojet is providing the jettison motor. All three motors have been integrated into the LAS assembly by a Lockheed Martin-led team at White Sands Missile Range in preparation for the Pad Abort 1 test this spring.

Video, photographs and additional information on the ACM program can be found at:

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. News and information can be found on the Internet at

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: the challenges and assumptions related to the development of next-generation human space launch capabilities; changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; assumptions related to the continuation of the Ares/Constellation program; the company's competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Media Contact:

Investor Contact:

Vicki Cox

Jeff Huebschen

Phone: 410-864-4938

Phone: 952-351-2929