December 2005/January 2006 
Volume 04, Issue 8 
Industry Wrap

C-17 buy gets support

C-17Capitol Hill and an influential U.S. Department of Defense advisory panel last month voiced concerns over recommendations to not extend purchases of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military airlift aircraft.

According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a study by the Office of Program Analysis & Evaluation, which advises the U.S. secretary of defense, said the current order for 180 C-17s is sufficient for the U.S. military's needs. Delivery of the 180th C-17 is set for April 2008.


A November to remember

November 2005 was one of the busiest months in recent Commercial Airplanes history.

The business unit last month launched the 747-8 program with firm orders from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines. The 747-8 will use the technologies of the 787 Dreamliner to significantly boost the passenger and freighter capabilities of the 747 through greater fuel efficiency, improved operating economics, and reduced noise and emissions, among other benefits.



NASA eyes bigger space role for private sector

NASA's top official wants the private sector to play a greater role in plans to send astronauts to the moon and Mars.

"The exploration of the solar system cannot be what we want it to be as an enterprise borne solely by the American taxpayer, or even by the taxpayers of the other nations that will join with us," said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin at the American Astronautical Society's annual meeting, which took place last month in League City, Texas. "If we are to make the expansion and development of the space frontier an integral part of what humans do, then these activities must assume an economic dimension as well."


Finmeccanica aims for bigger share of U.K., U.S. defense markets

Finmeccanica, the Italian aerospace and defense firm, is eyeing a greater share of business in the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to the British newspaper The Guardian, Finmeccanica hopes to triple its U.S. business to 5.2 billion Euros (about $6.1 billion) by 2007. The company plans to use proceeds generated from divesting non-core businesses to buy an American defense electronics firm, the article said. On its home continent, Finmeccanica sees itself as being active in the consolidation of the European defense industry, the story said.

"We are one of the few Italian global companies and intend to become even more global," said a Finmeccanica executive in the Guardian report.

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