Newscast: June 8, 2007

Events / Calendar / News / Analysis / Defense Markets / Jobs


  • Possible joint Russian US anti-missile Defense in Azerbaijan?
    President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia put forth a counter-offer today to President Bush’s proposed missile defense plan, suggesting that instead of building radar defenses in the Czech Republic, the United States should use an existing system in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. With the dispute flaring in recent days into Cold War-style rhetoric and threats from Moscow, Putin's proposal to put the system in Azerbaijan came as a surprise .
  • Is a War between Syria and Israel Inevitable?
    There is a consensus within the Israeli defense establishment and intelligence community that very soon the government will have to make a decision on Syria. Years of passive foot dragging seem to come to an end and a political decision cannot be postponed for long. There are only two major options: Will Israel enter into highly controversial talks with Bashar Assad's regime, or will a military confrontation become almost inevitable?.

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Upcoming Events (June 2007):


Ceradyne Introduces the Armored Bull

Ceradyne, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRDN) is introducing an armored vehicle called BULL, designed to complement the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle currently produced for the US Marine Corps and Army. The BULL is based on a commercial chassis and uses an armor suite providing superior protection from all types of IEDs.

British MOD Awards GMLRS Contracts

The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded Lockheed Martin three contracts for the delivery of Guided MLRS systems. The contracts are part of an incremental, multi-year acquisition program worth more than £250 million. The current contracts include rockets, upgrade kits, spares and support, including 12 MLRS M270B1 launcher upgrades and Guided Unitary rockets. The first new launchers have been delivered and training and testing of the new system and rockets is under way in the U.K. and U.S., respectively. Similar units have been in operation with the U.S. Army since 2002.

More ScanEagle Hours to Support Australian Troops in Afghanistan

Boeing Australia Limited has been awarded a AUD$20 million contract to support Australian units deployed in Afghanistan, with surveillance and reconnaissance services, provided by the company's ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for a period of six months. According to a Boeing Australia announcement, the level of ScanEagle services to be provided will be at a significantly higher operational tempo those currently being provided for the Army's Overwatch Battle Group in Iraq, where a similar service was launched in November 2006.

FInland's F/A-18s to be Equipped with Aim-9X All-Aspect Sidewinders

Finland is planning to equip its F/A-18 aircraft with Raytheon's AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles. The 100 missiles acquisition will cost about $56 million.

Hermes-450 UAVs to Fill ISTAR Gap Untill the Watchkeeper Arrival

UAV Tactical Systems Ltd. (U-TacS), a UK based joint venture between Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT) and Thales UK, has been awarded a contract worth approximately $110 million by Thales UK deliver a Hermes 450 UAV unit to provide an urgent intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) support for the UK Armed Forces. The program will commence immediately and will take place over the next few years. The contract includes training of the UK MoD staff in use and maintenance of the system, and the provision of contractor logistic support (CLS) and program management services. Hermes 450 will be used supplemented by the Watchkeeper UAV system, as it becomes operational around 2010. Spain recently selected another Israeli UAV, the Searcher, to support its forces in their planned deployment to Afghanistan.

ITL Optronics Receives IDF Follow-on Order for Night Vision Devices

8 million ITL Optronics received another order from the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) for the supply night vision devices for the ground forces. Since the War in Lebanon, last year ITL received orders for night vision equipment worth about $20 million. As part of the new orders ITL will supply Mini NSEAS monocular goggles and laser pointers for target marking. Last week ITL reported on another $2 million order for the supply of binocular driver's nigh vision systems for a NATO country.

Russia Declares Iskander M test a Success

Monitoring data show that last week's tests of the Russia's new Iskander-M (SS-26 Stone) missile were successful. According to, Sergei Ivanov, former defense minister, and current first deputy to the Russian prime minister, monitoring data, including photographic evidence, determined that the deviation of the missile from the target point was one meter. The missile was reported to be able to carry multiple warheads. Russia also tested a version of the Topol-M (SS-25) Missile equipped with ten RS-24 Multiple Independent Reentry warheads (MIRV). The tests were emphasized in response to heightening tension due to continued U.S. plans to deploy missile shield elements in Europe, and the opening of a missile defense interceptor bases on the Baltic coast in Poland and establishment of an ABM radar station in the Czech Republic.

NATO Establishes Core Geographic Services

An industry team led by Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEN) and ESRI will develop the Core Geographic Services project that will provide the baseline for the all the alliance's geospatial systems currently under development. This core will establish a common ground establishing the Geographic Information System (GIS) standards for effective and timely cooperation and collaboration.

SDB-II Completes Successful First Flight

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] successfully completed the first flight of the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) weapon. The team won one of two U.S. Air Force contracts for the competitive risk reduction phase of the SDB II program in April 2006. The Air Force is expected to award a sole source contract for the SDB II system design and development phase by late 2009.


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