Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DTN News: Australia's First Five Super Hornets To Arrive On Friday

DTN News: Australia's First Five Super Hornets To Arrive On Friday Source: DTN News / Flight International By Leithen Francis (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 25, 2010: Australia's defence minister has confirmed that the first flight of its air force's new Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets into their home base will be on 26 March. Canberra is acquiring 24 Super Hornets, and the first batch of five will arrive at the Royal Australian Air Force's base in Amberley, Queensland, says John Faulkner, who plans to witness the event. "Five Super Hornets have departed NAS Lemoore in California after extensive preparations, including acceptance flights and ground tests," Faulkner says. "While air-to-air refuelling is occurring, the long journey to Australia involves several stops, including Hawaii and New Zealand." The 24 Super Hornets on order "will arrive at RAAF Amberley progressively during 2010 and 2011", the minister says. The aircraft will "provide a bridging capability during the transition to the [Lockheed Martin] F-35 Joint Strike Fighter", Faulkner adds. *This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:

DTN News: RAF Jets Scrambled 20 Times In 12 Months To Intercept Russian Aircraft

DTN News: RAF Jets Scrambled 20 Times In 12 Months To Intercept Russian Aircraft
*Tornado crews scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft near British airspace on more than 20 occasions since start of 2009, air force says Source: DTN News / By Richard Norton-Taylor (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - March 25, 2010: Tornado fighters have been scrambled 20 times in the last year to intercept Russian aircraft near British airspace, the RAF has revealed. Jets intercepted two Russian Blackjack bombers – Tupolev TU-160 aircraft – near Scotland after they had been seen earlier by Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic fighters. Two RAF Tornado F3 fighters from 111 Squadron were scrambled from RAF Leuchars, in Fife, in the early hours of 10 March, the RAF said. The aircraft intercepted the Russian planes near Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The Tornados shadowed the bombers as they flew south before turning north off the Northern Ireland coast. Eventually, the Russians left UK airspace and, after four hours, the Tornado crews stood down and returned to Leuchars. Wing Commander Mark Gorringe, the commander of 111 Squadron, said: "This is not an unusual incident, and people may be surprised to know that our crews have successfully scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft on more than 20 occasions since the start of 2009. "Our pilots, navigators and indeed all the support personnel at RAF Leuchars work very hard to deliver the UK Quick Reaction Alert Force, which can be scrambled in minutes, 24 hours a day to defend the UK from unidentified aircraft entering our airspace, or aircraft in distress." There was no indication that the Russian planes intended to enter British airspace but were simply showing Russia could still deploy long-range bombers in areas of potential interest to Moscow despite the end of the cold war, defence officials said.

DTN News: Russia Conducts Navy Anti-Submarine Drills In Sea Of Japan

DTN News: Russia Conducts Navy Anti-Submarine Drills In Sea Of Japan Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti (NSI News Source Info) VLADIVOSTOK, Russia - March 25, 2010: A mixed task force from the Russian Pacific Fleet started on Wednesday a series of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) drills in the Sea of Japan, a fleet spokesman said. "Two task forces comprising missile destroyers and diesel-powered submarines are taking part in the drills in line with a regular training program," Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said. The exercises involve a number of search-and-destroy missions, simulated torpedo attacks and live-fire drills with on-board artillery and air defense systems. The Admiral Tributs and Admiral Vinogradov destroyers, which carried out patrol missions in the Gulf of Aden as part of international efforts to fight sea piracy, will take part in the drills. According to Martov, the exercises will culminate with a "battle" between the destroyers and submarines, when the surface ships attempt to thwart "a surprise attack from the deep." Russia's Pacific Fleet has a missile cruiser, five destroyers and a large number of submarines in service. Its anti-submarine warfare aircraft include Tu-142 Bear F and Il-38 May planes, and Ka-27 Helix D helicopters.

DTN News: Raytheon Company Increases Dividend 21 Percent, Its Sixth Consecutive Annual Increase ~ Announces New $2.0 Billion Share Repurchase Plan

DTN News: Raytheon Company Increases Dividend 21 Percent, Its Sixth Consecutive Annual Increase ~ Announces New $2.0 Billion Share Repurchase Plan Source: DTN News / Raytheon (NSI News Source Info) WALTHAM, Mass., - March 25, 2010: Raytheon Company's (NYSE:RTN - News) Board of Directors has voted to increase the Company's annual dividend payout rate by 21 percent from $1.24 to $1.50 per share. The Board also authorized payment of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.375 per outstanding share of common stock to be paid on April 29, 2010 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 6, 2010. Payment of quarterly dividends is subject to Board authorization. The Board of Directors also authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $2.0 billion of the Company's outstanding common stock. Share repurchases will take place from time to time at management's discretion depending on market conditions. "The Board's decision to substantially increase our dividend and to authorize additional share repurchases reflects our Company's strong financial position, our continued confidence in our future and our ongoing commitment to our shareholders," said William H. Swanson, Raytheon's Chairman and CEO. Raytheon Company, 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.

DTN News: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Says Lopsided F-35 costs "Drove Me Nuts"

DTN News: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Says Lopsided F-35 costs "Drove Me Nuts" * Gov't paid 70 pct overhead, project used 6 pct of plant * Pentagon declines to name the contractor involved * Gates not referring to a Lockheed Martin plant (Adds Gates veto threat over second engine, C-17) Source: DTN News / Reuters By Jim Wolf (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, - March 25, 2010: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he was driven "nuts" by the revelation that taxpayers were funding 70 percent of the overhead at a plant involved in the increasingly expensive F-35 fighter jet, even though the work used only 6 percent of the floor space. The lopsided overhead charge "just drove me nuts" when it was revealed at a briefing, Gates told the House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee on defense on Wednesday. "I think we can fix that," Gates added. Although Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) is the primary F-35, contractor with overall responsibility for the program, Gates was not referring to a Lockheed plant, said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary. Citing what he called proprietary concerns, Morrell declined to identify the company in question. Lockheed's chief subcontractors on the program include Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) and BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L). Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development, one built by United Technologies Corp's (UTX.N) Pratt & Whitney unit and another by a team made up of General Electric (GE.N) and Rolls-Royce Group Plc (RR.L). At an estimated $300 billion-plus, the F-35 is the Pentagon's costliest arms purchase. Gates also vowed anew to urge a presidential veto of any legislation that funds the GE-Rolls Royce alternate engine or more Boeing (BA.N) C-17 cargo aircraft. Lawmakers have kept both programs going for years despite Pentagon efforts to end them in a belt-tightening move. "I am fully aware of the political pressure to continue building C-17s and to proceed with an alternate engine for the F-35, so let me be very clear," Gates told lawmakers. "I will strongly recommend that the president veto any legislation that sustains the unnecessary continuation of these two programs." "NOT GOING WELL" Gates fired his F-35 program manager in February and withheld $615 million in Lockheed's potential award fees as part of a restructuring. He also added 13 months and $2.8 billion to the plane's development phase and slowed its transition to full production to cap the cost of potential design tweaks. Michael Sullivan, the top expert on the F-35 at Congress's nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, told lawmakers that an "awful lot of design changes" were being carried out now on the factory floor. Lockheed is "still having trouble learning how to build" the aircraft, he said. "That's not going well." Gates tied the program's problems to administration and management, not technology or capabilities. "The Joint Strike Fighter will do everything the military services need it to do, and it will become the backbone of U.S. air combat for the next generation," he said. The program is projected to cost more than $300 billion over the next two decades for 2,443 planes in three different models for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Affordability was supposed to be a hallmark of the F-35, which is also being built for eight overseas partners and other projected foreign buyers, including all those now flying the F-16, the world's most widely deployed fighter. One of those partners, Denmark, said on Wednesday it was postponing a decision on buying new fighter jets, saying it could keep flying its F-16s for two to four years longer. (Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Ted Kerr)

DTN News: Bombardier CSeries Aircraft Program Reaches Another Milestone

DTN News: Bombardier CSeries Aircraft Program Reaches Another Milestone Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, ONT. Canada - March 25, 2010: Construction of the facility that will build the fuselage for the all-new Bombardier CSeries mainline commercial jetliner has begun. The event - another milestone in Bombardier's progress toward a 2013 entry-into-service for the CSeries aircraft - was marked with a foundation stone-laying ceremony today at the site in Shenyang, China. The 21,000 m2 (226,042 ft2) facility will be operated by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), a subsidiary of the state-owned aviation industrial entity, China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC). SAC is a key supplier in the Bombardier CSeries aircraft program. Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. took part in the ceremony at the Shenyang National Aviation and High Technology Industrial Base in Dongling District. "This ceremony marks a new milestone in the strategic cooperation between Shenyang, AVIC, China and Bombardier," said Mr. Beaudoin. "Bombardier believes in the China aviation industry and is encouraged to see the further development of the Shenyang National Aviation and High Technology Industrial Base as a center of design and manufacturing excellence." SAC delivered the first test article in the CSeries aircraft program - a fuselage test barrel - to Bombardier's Saint-Laurent, Quebec site on August 19, 2009. The test barrel is being used to demonstrate manufacturing and engineering structural concepts before the CSeries aircraft's final design phase begins later this year. It has already been subjected to 40,000 simulated flight cycles of testing. The Shenyang facility joins two other new CSeries aircraft installations that are already under construction. In September 2009, Bombardier celebrated the groundbreaking of the first CSeries aircraft building in Quebec, Canada. Located in Mirabel, 45 minutes north of Montreal, the Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA) will test aircraft systems for reliability and functionality one year before the first prototype aircraft flies. In November 2009, construction got under way on the company's new state-of-the-art aircraft wing manufacturing and assembly facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Since launching the CSeries family of aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2008, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 90 CSeries aircraft which includes an order from Republic Airways for 40 CS300 aircraft, another from Deutsche Lufthansa AG for 30 CS100 aircraft, and one from Lease Corporation International Group for 17 CS300 and three CS100 aircraft. The program has also booked options for an additional 90 CSeries aircraft. The CSeries aircraft which are optimized for the longer range, single-aisle 100- to 149-seat market will deliver the lowest operating costs in their class, exceptional operational flexibility, widebody comfort and an unmatched environmental scorecard. About Bombardier A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, were $19.7 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at Bombardier, CS100, CS300 and CSeries are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

DTN News: Boeing Launches Commercial Security Products At International Security Conference

DTN News: Boeing Launches Commercial Security Products At International Security Conference Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) LAS VEGAS, - March 25, 2010: Boeing [NYSE: BA] is debuting two new versions of its Visual Security Operations Console (VSOC) security management product this week at the International Security Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas. VSOC Responder and VSOC Smart Building will join VSOC Sentinel and VSOC Virtual Shield -- proven tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products -- to address the unique requirements of facilities management and emergency operations centers. VSOC Sentinel - Airport Screen The new products build on the sensor-networking capabilities of VSOC Sentinel to display 3-D models and real-time incident information on one computer screen, allowing for greater situational awareness. “VSOC Sentinel and VSOC Virtual Shield have had great success protecting critical infrastructure around the world, so these additional capabilities will only enhance the abilities of first responders and facility managers,” said Michael Gannon, VSOC program manager for Boeing. All products are featured on the new VSOC Web site (, which is also being unveiled this week. The site features interactive product experiences and serves as a centralized destination for customers and product distributors. 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.

DTN News: Boeing Supports Future Cybersecurity Experts In Collegiate Competition

DTN News: Boeing Supports Future Cybersecurity Experts In Collegiate Competition Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ARLINGTON, Va.,- March 24, 2010: Boeing [NYSE: BA] is sponsoring the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition on March 26-28 at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif. The competition tests students’ abilities to defend a network in a corporate scenario while accomplishing routine business tasks. "We are proud to support the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition as it focuses on the skills necessary to protect networks and information from cyber threats," said Barbara Fast, Boeing vice president of Cyber and Information Solutions. "Industry must help develop and employ the next generation of cybersecurity experts in order to ensure the availability and trustworthiness of our customers’ networks and information." The competition focuses on the operational aspects of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. Students from two- and four-year colleges and universities will face a "red team" of hackers trying to disrupt and compromise their networks. Several Boeing employees -- Cal Poly Pomona and competition alumni -- will be on site during the competition in various support roles. Some have served as advisors to student teams and others will participate as red team members. "Our continuing involvement in these skill-building competitions reflects Boeing’s commitment to investing in national and economic security," said Fast. Boeing also sponsored and provided personnel support to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions earlier this month. 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.

DTN News: ‘Flawless’ Vertical Landing By F-35 Signals Possible Tipping Point

DTN News: ‘Flawless’ Vertical Landing By F-35 Signals Possible Tipping Point Source: DTN News / Flight International By Stephen Trimble (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 24, 2010: Lockheed Martin still has much to prove, but two days of flight tests on 17-18 March did more than offer a short burst of relief for the F-35programme's supporters.

Both the timing and visual effect of the hover and vertical landing tests offer the opportunity for Lockheed to achieve a critical tipping point in the programme.

In a single 13min sortie, BAE Systems test pilot Graham Tomlinson provided a vivid glimpse of the F-35's most impressive features, which Lockheed rushed to post onYouTube within an hour of the event. Moreover, achieving both hover and vertical landing milestone events within a two-day window - with only the availability of a redundant search and rescue helicopter delaying the vertical landing event by 2h - lends hope that Lockheed can begin closing a gaping lag in the flight-test schedule.

Only about 3% of more than 1,200 flight tests planned in fiscal year 2010 had been completed through February, while the vertical landing itself had been delayed from mid-2009.

As always, programme officials spoke confidently of making real progress. Speaking after the historic flight, Tomlinson said the same flight recorded a total of 40 test points. Lockheed plans call for averaging 10 test points per each sortie over the nine-year span of the flight-test phase on all three aircraft variants.

"It's certainly not a smooth sequence yet, but we're making some giant steps with some of the sorties we're experiencing at the moment," Tomlinson says.

Perhaps humbled by a series of recent setbacks, Tom Burbage, Lockheed F-35 vice-president, struck a cautious tone. F-35 programme officials predicted at last year's Paris air show that the programme would achieve 1,600 sorties in 2011, meaning each of the 12 flight test aircraft would fly 12 times a month. But Burbage stopped short of predicting such success after the vertical landing event.

Instead, he cited the programme's arguably next biggest milestone event. Lockheed is scheduled to fly two conventional take-off and landing F-35As to Eglin AFB, Florida, in mid-year to stand-up the first training unit.

By that time, Burbage says, "we'll be able to get a really good lock on whether we can achieve these kind of legacy-type [sortie] rates, and we think we will".

For the moment, however, the programme can celebrate a key breakthrough. Even some of the programme officials acknowledged the F-35B's flawless landing surprised them.

"I'm still rather speechless about it," says Tomlinson, lead test pilot for the short take-off and vertical landing variant. "We constantly expected we'd get issues and we saw nothing."

*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:

DTN News: South Korea Develops Corner Shot ~ Daewoo DP-51 / K5 pistol (Republic of Korea / South Korea)

DTN News: South Korea Develops Corner Shot ~ Daewoo DP-51 / K5 pistol (Republic of Korea / South Korea) Source: DTN News / Int'l Media By JUNG SUNG-KI Published: 23 Mar 2010 Defense News (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - March 24, 2010: South Korea's arms development agency showcased a new weapon March 23 that can shoot around a corner. . The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) began development of the Corner Shot in September 2008 with the investment of about 350 million won ($307,000), the agency said in a news release. The 9mm semi-automatic K-5 pistol is mounted in the front end of the South Korean version of Corner Shot, which is modeled after an Israeli weapon, it said. The gun bends horizontally at a midgun 60-degree hinge, and a digital camera and a flashlight are attached to the barrel in the bayonet position, the release said. On the butt side of the hinge are the trigger, camera screen, and controls for the camera and light, it said. "The Corner Shot has proved its performances in field operations and our special forces are using the weapon," an ADD spokesman said. "We've developed our own version meeting homegrown requirements." Israel developed the Corner Shot in the early 2000s for SWAT teams and special forces in situations involving terrorists and hostages. The weapon allows its operator to both see and attack an armed target, without exposing the operator to counterattack.

DTN News: Technology News March 24, 2010 ~ Google To Phase Out China Search Partnerships

DTN News: Technology News March 24, 2010 ~ Google To Phase Out China Search Partnerships Source: DTN News / Reuters Emma Graham-Harrison and Doug Young (NSI News Source Info) BEIJING/HONG KONG - March 24, 2010: Two day after shutting its Chinese portal over censorship, Google Inc said it plans to phase out deals to provide filtered search services to other online or mobile firms in China. It has already been shunned by at least one of those partner firms and was attacked by a state newspaper after pulling the plug on its mainland Chinese language portal It now reroutes searches to an unfiltered Hong Kong site. The Google dispute, which involves cyber attacks as well as Internet censorship, is one of many thorny trade, financial, political and security issues that are roiling U.S.-China ties this year. On Wednesday, Google's search services remained erratic across Beijing, frustrating users unsure about the future of its other services -- from maps to music -- over two months after its bombshell announcement it may quit China. While Google is the world's top search engine, it held only an estimated 30 percent share of China's search market in 2009, compared with home-grown rival Baidu Inc's 60 percent. Activists who gathered at Google's Beijing headquarters to show support appeared to be Google's only vocal allies in China. Google said it is not providing direct access to censored searches, but will fulfill existing contracts with other firms. "We have over a dozen syndication deals with partners in China. We obviously have contractual obligations to them, which we want to honor," a Singapore--based Google spokeswoman said. "Over time, we will not be syndicating censored search to partners in China. But we will of course fulfill our existing contractual obligations," she added. Google has already been taken off the popular portal, owned by Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong billionaire who is one of the richest men in the world and has good ties to Beijing, according to Bloomberg. Many of Google's often well-educated, professional fan-base in China, who use the company's software for both work and play, said they were already suffering some fallout on Wednesday with erratic service. Several of Google's international search sites were failing to open, and when they could be accessed some users found that all searches, including for non-sensitive terms like "hello," were returning blank pages or error messages. Businesses, university students and people in private homes reported intermittent problems on the main site, the site and " is not currently being blocked, although it seems that some sensitive terms are. However, if you search for a sensitive term and trigger a government blockage, that may affect subsequent searches ... for a short period," Google said. ACTIVISTS SUPPORT Around 100 people, including human rights lawyers and other activists, gathered at Google's Beijing base late on Tuesday -- the day when news of the pullout reached China -- to pay tribute. After arguments with police, they approached the company's door to leave messages including "Google forever" and "Long live freedom!" at the company's door, said Teng Biao, a prominent activist who visited the building after a rights' meeting. "It will bring some inconvenience, but we really support this move by Google. They put freedom of expression ahead of business, and we hope that it will encourage more people to pay attention to human rights situation in China," Teng told Reuters by phone. But Google's move has angered the government, and on Wednesday an official Communist Party newspaper accused it of colluding with U.S. spies, in China's latest blast at the company. "Google is not a virgin when it comes to values. Its cooperation and collusion with the U.S. intelligence and security agencies is well-known," a front page commentary in the overseas edition of the People's Daily said. "All this makes one wonder. Thinking about the United States' big efforts in recent years to engage in Internet war, perhaps this could be an exploratory pre-dawn battle," the paper said. (Additional reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

DTN News: WTO Tells EU To Stop Illegal Airbus Subsidies

DTN News: WTO Tells EU To Stop Illegal Airbus Subsidies
* WTO calls on Europe to end aircraft subsidies * Airbus says ruling rejects most U.S. claims * Civil aviation market worth $3 trillion over next 20 yrs * WTO to rule on EU countersuit on aid to Boeing by end June (Updates with Boeing, U.S. lawmakers comment) Source: DTN News / Reuters By Jonathan Lynn and Tim Hepher (NSI News Source Info) GENEVA/PARIS, - March 24, 2010: A World Trade Organization panel called on Tuesday on the European Union to end illegal subsidies to Airbus (EAD.PA), ratcheting up the stakes in the multi-trillion-dollar large aircraft market. The call came in a confidential 1,000-page ruling by the WTO panel in one of two cases in the trade dispute involving arch-rivals Boeing (BA.N) and EADS subsidiary Airbus. The European Union said Tuesday's ruling was only part of the puzzle and it was premature for one side to claim victory. "A fuller picture will only emerge with the release of the interim report in the EU case against subsidies to Boeing which we expect to be issued in the coming months," EU trade spokesman John Clancy said in a statement. The ruling, covering EU support for Airbus challenged by the United States, said some of the financial aid at issue amounted to prohibited export subsidies and should be stopped within 90 days, several sources familiar with the ruling told Reuters. This included part of the European funding for Airbus's flagship 525-seat A380, the world's largest airliner. Other support that caused injury to U.S. planemakers should also cease, the panel ruled, but set no deadline. Airbus acknowledged the WTO had found some subsidies and said it might appeal against this ruling, but asserted the panel had rejected 70 percent of U.S. claims. Boeing hailed the decision, which it called a "powerful, landmark judgement and good news for aerospace workers across America who for decades have had to compete against a heavily subsidized Airbus." The ruling does not mean the end of the dispute, which dates back decades. The WTO is due to rule by late June in the countersuit brought by the EU against U.S. support for Boeing. Both sides could drag out the litigation into next year and beyond with appeals and new disputes over compliance. "As in all other trade conflicts, resolution will finally only be found in trans-Atlantic negotiations," Airbus said in a statement. MIXED VERDICT Boeing insists the two cases are separate and hopes the ruling will stop the EU from subsiding Airbus's new A350 plane. But Airbus said the ruling would not affect funding for the A350 -- strictly correct as the panel decided the new airliner was out of its terms of reference, which only covered aid up to 2006. Washington will likely argue a precedent was set, however. "Certainly reasoning and conclusions in the final report could be expected to be relevant to the WTO-consistency of launch aid for the A350," said Carol Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office in response to Airbus' statement. In such complex cases the conclusions rarely go one way, and the panel did find that some support for Airbus, such as loans from the European Investment Bank or debt forgiveness by Germany, did not amount to subsidies, the source said. But it did say that many other forms of support -- in some cases at least -- did amount to illegal subsidies. These included infrastructure spending, equity ownership, equity infusions, and some research and development spending, sources familar with the case said. "The panel has now confirmed what we have always said: reimbursable loans are a legal instrument and they have not caused one single job loss to the U.S. aerospace industry," Airbus spokeswoman Maggie Bergsma said. "Airbus has brought competition, ensuring healthy choice for our customer airlines," she said in a statement. Representative Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas Republican whose district is home to Boeing military production, said U.S. trade officials told him on Tuesday the appeals process in the case would be completed by the end of 2010. Then, the United States could seek the right to retaliate if European governments do not end the subsidies, he said. "This issue isn't going away for Europe and Airbus," Tiahrt said, adding U.S. trade officials said the ruling meant "launch aid in its current form will not be acceptable." Representative Norm Dicks, a Washington-state Democrat, said the United States should take the new report's "findings very seriously and demand tangible remedies especially, in light of (Airbus parent company EADS') interest in increasing U.S. business and competing for Defense Department contracts." The report will not be published for several weeks or months as it awaits translation into French and Spanish, but a confidential copy of the document was handed to the U.S. and EU trade missions in Geneva. While both parties are bound to secrecy until publication, more details are likely to trickle out as the two sides seek to influence the debate over government subsidies for aircraft. Subsidy rules lie at the heart of the battle for dominance of the market for civilian aircraft which aerospace firms estimate will be worth $3 trillion over the next 20 years. The United States argues that Airbus got a total of $205 billion in unfairly priced loans and other benefits from France, Germany, Spain and Britain over two decades -- making the case by far the biggest international trade dispute. Final resolution of the two cases will define the rules of the civil aviation market, where Airbus and Boeing have together nearly $1 trillion of aircraft on their order books, for years to come. (Additional reporting by Bate Felix in Brussels and Doug Palmer in Washington; editing by Janet Lawrence and Cynthia Osterman)

DTN News: Romania Defence Body Backs F-16 Fighter Jet Purchase Plan

DTN News: Romania Defence Body Backs F-16 Fighter Jet Purchase Plan Source: DTN News / Reuters (NSI News Source Info) BUCHAREST, Romania - March 24, 2010: Romania's Supreme Defence Council on Tuesday approved the acquisition of 24 second-hand F-16 Fighter Jet produced by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) to modernise its air force. "Taking into account that Romania does not have the needed financial resources to buy new ... planes, the Council okayed a defence ministry proposal to acquire 24 F-16 Fighter Jet used planes," the council said in a statement. It said the plan would be subject to parliament's approval. Romania is a U.S. ally and some analysts had said the F-16 Fighter Jet was a likely choice. The economic crisis complicated the NATO member's effort to seal a planned multi-billion euro fighter purchase, a deal aimed at replacing its elderly Soviet-era MiGs. Five aircraft were in the running, and the cost of the deal has been estimated at over 4 billion euros. Romania's choices also included the F-18 from Boeing Co (BA.N), the Rafale from France's Dassault (AVMD.PA), the Gripen from Sweden's SAAB (SAABb.ST) and the Eurofighter from EADS (EAD.PA). (Reporting by Radu Marinas; editing by Tim Pearce)

DTN News: Elbit Systems To Supply A Customer In Asia With Electronic Warfare Systems Valued At $147 Million

DTN News: Elbit Systems To Supply A Customer In Asia With Electronic Warfare Systems Valued At $147 Million Source: DTN News / Elbit Systems (NSI News Source Info) HAIFA, Israel, - March 24, 2010: Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT - News) announced today that its subsidiary, Elisra Electronic Systems Ltd. (Elisra), was awarded contracts to supply airborne and ground electronic warfare (EW) systems, for a customer in Asia, at an aggregate value of approximately $147 million. The systems will be delivered over the next three years. (Logo: ) Elisra CEO Itzhak Gat noted that the selection of Elisra's systems attests to the company's technological leadership and to the maturity of its systems. These contract awards strengthen Elisra's position as a recognized world leader in the Electronic Warfare market. Elisra, 70% owned by Elbit Systems Ltd., and 30% by Elta Systems Ltd. (an IAI subsidiary). About Elbit Systems: Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of 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, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial aviation applications and providing a range of support services. For additional information, visit: 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, VP & Head of Corporate Communications
Elbit Systems Ltd
Tel: +972-4-8316663
Fax: +972-4-8316944
IR Contact:
Ehud Helft / Kenny Green
CCG Investor Relations
Tel: +1-646-201-9246