Tenzing's hopes high for Internet
Tenzing Communications has upped the ante in its race with rival Connexion by Boeing to make Internet connectivity common on airline flights, according to USA Today.
About 40 Cathay Pacific Airways jets are using Tenzing's technology. It lets passengers tap a laptop computer into an aircraft's existing satellite radio, which then links up with ground-based e-mail and mobile phone text-messaging systems every 15 minutes. Now, Tenzing is teaming with Rockwell Collins Avionics to market a new type of satellite radio that quickens the e-mail linkup while also allowing passengers to access virtual private networks and surf the Web at dial-up speed, the newspaper said.
Big C-130J award for Lockheed
Lockheed Martin believes the $4.1 billion multiyear contract award issued last month to produce 60 CC-130J "stretched" transport aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and KC-130J tankers for the U.S. Marine Corps brings stability for the program and opens the door for opportunities in other venues, company officials told Defense Daily.
"It's a definite shot in the arm for the C-130J program," Ross Reynolds, vice president of Lockheed Martin's C-130J program, told the newsletter. Jim Grant, Lockheed's director of business development for U.S. programs, also added that from a market standpoint, the multi-year award was a "very strong signal" that the U.S. government was committed to the C-130J program.
EADS faces European space crisis
The European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Company (EADS) is throwing its weight behind efforts to accelerate the restructuring of Europe's space industry in a bid to turn around mounting losses at its space division, according to industry weekly Flight International.
Hit by the collapse of the commercial satellite market and a series of technical failures culminating in the loss of the inaugural Ariane 5 in December, the unit slipped deeper into the red in 2002, prompting EADS to pledge "drastic action" to reach breakeven by 2004, Flight said.
EADS Co-chief Executive Philippe Camus, speaking in Munich, Germany, after the release of the company's 2002 results, said acquisition of full control of Astrium from minority shareholder BAE Systems in January had given it a "free hand to streamline and reorganize that division." However, closer integration of Arianespace's fragmented, multinational structure has become "more necessary than ever," he said. EADS is the largest shareholder in Arianespace behind French space agency CNES, which holds just under a third.
Another 1,700 jobs are to be eliminated at EADS' space division, in addition to the 1,600 job cuts announced last year.
France building early warning sats
France will build an experimental early warning satellite system as a prelude to an expanded missile defense system capable of protecting European territory and population—not just battlefield forces—from attacks by rogue states, reported Aviation Week & Space Technology.
Acquisition of an advanced-warning capability is considered the key to such a system, which NATO agreed to study at a summit in Prague, Czech Republic, last November.
Last month, the French government issued a call for proposals for a demonstration low-Earth-orbit early warning satellite program approved under France's revised multiyear defense spending plan. Competitors are to submit bids by midyear, and the government expects to pick the winner by the end of 2003, Aviation Week said.
The intention of the program is to provide the basis for a later operational system that would consists of at least two small geostationary Earth orbit spacecraft, plus one spare. This system, which would be open to participation by other nations, would carry narrow- and wide-band sensors capable of detecting medium-range missile vectors and serving proliferation control functions.
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