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Newscast: October 31, 2007

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

Recent News Analysis:

  • Annapolis 2007: Roadmap into a Dangerous Dead-End
    Despite the happy faces portrayed in official photo opportunities on Condoleezza Rice's last visit, the Bush sponsored Annapolis summit is doomed to failure. Marc Otte, the European Union's (EU) Special Representative to the Middle East Process warns that failure to advance the peace process at next month's conference in Annapolis could trigger worse violence than the second intifada that followed the failed Camp David talks in 2000.
  • What is really behind Putin's unprecedented hop to Tehran? New!
    Is it only a coincidence that Israel's Prime minister Ehud Olmert rushed to Moscow two days after the Russian president meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Is it only an attempt to ease Israel's growing concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions? The Russian should be concerned, after the alleged failure of their top notch air defenses in Syria.

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October planned events:

Intelligence Analysis and Processing., 22 - 24 Oct. Washington DC USA
Border Management Summit., 22 - 25 Oct. Washington DC, USA
NATO/EU Air Systems Requirements Conference, 24-25 Oct. Riga, Latvia
Heli-Asia 2007., 24 - 25 Oct. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Energizing Indian Aerospace., 25 - 26 Oct. New delhi, India
MILCOM 2007., 28 - 31 Oct. Orlando, FL, USA

November 2007 - planned events:

DARPA Urban Grand Challenge, Nov. 3, 2007 - Victorville, CA USA
UV North America 2007, Nov. 6-7, 2007 - San Diego, CA, USA
Heli-Power 2007, Nov. 7-8, 2007 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Defense Security 2007, Nov. 7-10, 2007 - Bangkok, Thailand
Aviation Nation 2007, Nov. 7-10, 2007 - Las vegas, NV, USA
Dubai Air Show 2007, Nov. 11-15, 2007- Dubai
Light Armored Vehicles Summit, Nov. 13-15, 2007 - Arlington, VA. USA
Expomil 2007, Nov. 20-23, 2007 - Bucharest, Romania
IDGA's Helicon 07, Nov. 26-28, 2007 - Huntsville, AL, USA
I/ITSEC (Training & simulation), Nov 26-29, 2007 - Orlando, FL, USA
Central European Aerospace, Nov. 28 - Dec 1, 2007 - Budapest, Hungary

Defense Update Sponsored Events are marked in emphasized text

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Russia, Saudi Arabia Finalize a Multi-Billion Arms Deal

Saudi Arabia and Russia have finalized an agreement to supply more than 150 Russian-made Mi-35 Hind and Mi-17 Hip helicopters to Saudi Arabia. The deal, expected to be worth over $2.2 billion. Riyad favored the Russian offer over French proposals to supply 148 helicopters to the kingdom - reports the French based Defense Aerospace publication. According to the magazine, the deal signed last month in Riyad, reflects the shift of power from Saudi Arabia’s decision to retain Russia as a major arms supplier is the result of recent policy decisions made by King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, particularly his decision to take direct control of major arms purchases, which were previously largely the domain of the defense and aviation ministry headed by Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Crown Prince and deputy prime minister who is also Abdallah’s half-brother. (read the full article at Defense Aerospace)

Iran Expects to Receive 24 Chinese J-10 Fighters by 2010

Iran is buying two squadrons of J-10, China's most advanced strike fighter. The deal worth over US$1 billion will include 24 aircraft. The J-10 follows the design of the Lavi developed at Israel Aerospace Industries in the late 1980s. The development was aborted under US pressure and according to press reports the plans may have leaked to China and provided the foundation for the J-1 design. The J-10 is powered by a single AL-31FN engine, an upgraded version of the Russian Saturn AL-31F turbofan (two such engines power the Su-27 Flanker). Integration of an indigenous engine (known as WS-10A Taihang) is currently underway to equip three squadrons (36 aircraft) of J-10 aircraft destined to Pakistan. The maximum range of the J-10, when equipped with maximum internal and external fuel is 2,940 km., some 800 km beyond the reach of Iran's current MiG-29s. Theoretically, Iranian J-10s will have the range to attack targets in Israel.

Egypt, Israel to Buy New TOW Missiles

Raytheon is expected to receive two major orders for TOW IIA missiles. According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, both Egypt and Israel are interested in acquiring the missiles. Israel is planning to introduce 2,000 of the latest radio frequency TOW IIA (also known as TOW-ER), replacing earlier wire-guided versions of the BGM-71 missile. The Egyptians are also planning to buy 2,000 TOW IIA missiles, to replenish aging stocks. The value of the Egyptian package is estimated at US $99 million. The value of the Israeli package is unknown, as it was reported as part of a much larger $1.3 billion package, including 100 Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile Plus (GEM+) surface to air missiles, some 1,700 Hellfire missiles of various types (Longbow, blast-fragmentation and HEAT), and different types of medium and heavy ammunition.


Sensors Unlimited Wins DARPA's Micro FLIR Program

Sensors Unlimited Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goodrich Corp., Princeton, N.J., was awarded on October 25, 2007, a $1,256,000 increment of a $5,724,055 cost plus fixed fee contract to develop extremely small, lightweight shortwave infrared imaging sensors on a chip under DARPA's "Micro-Sensors for Imaging (MISI)" program. The new sensors could be used in various military and aerospace applications including helmet-mounted and micro vehicle applications.

L-3 Awarded Contract for UK Project LISTENER

British MOD has launched the Assessment Phase of Project LISTENER, a program aimed at integrating various sensor to provide actionable intelligence against selected targets. LISTENER will be interoperability with British ISTAR assets and other Coalition information and intelligence systems. Under this assessment phase, the British MoD awarded L3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) a £1 million contract for the 10 months engineering effort which will focus on risk reduction and solution definition.

Boeing Orders More Helmet Displays from VSI

Vision Systems International, LLC (VSI), a joint venture between Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT) and Rockwell Collins, recently added over $60 million in new contracts for some 300 units of its flagship product the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS). The recent award represents the eighth production contract since 1996. Since 2000, Boeing has contracted for more than 2,500 systems. VSI is the JHMCS subcontractor for Boeing, acting as the prime contractor for the joint services program.

Upgraded US Navy Hawkeyes Could Enhance Egypt's AEW Fleet

Egypt Egypt is interested in acquiring two E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning Command & Control Aircraft (AEW&C2) from US Navy surplus. The total value of the transaction, funding refurbishment and upgrading of existing platforms by Northrop Grumman, could be about $75 million. Egypt currently operates six E-2C aircraft, which are being upgraded to Hawkeye 2000 configuration. It is anticipated that the new Hawkeyes will be delivered with such configuration as well.

Congress requested adding $45.9 billion to sustain the Global War on Terror

President Bush sent today to the US Congress an update of funding requirements for 2008 to continue funding the Global War on Terror and address other urgent national security needs. The request includes an amendment of $45.9 billion, added to the pending request for $150.4 billion, totaling $196.5 billion of which $189 billion are destined to fund the Department of Defense war effort. Force protection and MRAP vehicle sustainment, reset programs and force protection are among the major spending items.

Singapore Exercises an Option to Buy for Additional Strike eagles

Singapore is buying four additional F-15SG strike fighter aircraft, in addition to the dozen already contracted for. The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced today that the Singapore Ministry of Defence has exercised an option to purchase eight F-15SGs and has ordered four additional aircraft. The Boeing F-15SG is a derivative of the U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle. Next month (November 2007) the aircraft will begin undergoing integration and flight testing at the Boeing facilities in St. Louis and in Palmdale, California. The new aircraft will be first to deploy Raytheon's new APG-63(V)3 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars.

USMC Releases New Orders for 2,288 MRAPs

The US Marine Corps announced yesterday the release of new orders worth $1.2 billion, for a total of 2,288 new Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles destined for delivery by the end of April 2008.

Lockheed Martin Expands AFV Offering Through Teaming with Patria

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Patria announced today a teaming agreement to offer the US Marine Corps Patria's Advanced Modular Vehicle (AMV) to compete for the Corp's next generation armored troop carrier known as Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC). The service is expected to release a request for proposals during the second quarter of 2008. Lockheed has expanded its military vehicle offering with the recent introduction of a company funded, production ready JLTV technology demonstrator, as well as prime movers and command vehicles for the USMC, and a rocket carrier and an improved Warrior combat fighting vehicle, both considered for future British army programs.

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