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September 29, 1997

HEADLINE NEWS

Boeing Suppliers Warn Of Protracted Delays

HEADLINE NEWS

Defense Planners Wary of Mergers

HEADLINE NEWS

Gripen Partners Press Ahead On Exports, Mid-Life Updates

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HEADLINE NEWS

Boeing Suppliers Warn Of Protracted Delays

Some suppliers are reluctant to invest in new capacity. Others, spurned during consolidation, aren't coming back

3031

HEADLINE NEWS

Defense Planners Wary of Mergers

WASHINGTON Defense specialists in the U.S. and Europe are beginning to have grave concerns about the longterm effects of defense mergers, which have created a new strata of mega-contractors. Military officials fear their remaining new projects will suffer neglect because of new layers of bureaucracy.

3031

HEADLINE NEWS

Gripen Partners Press Ahead On Exports, Mid-Life Updates

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN As the Swedish air force prepares to declare its first JAS 39 Gripen squadron operational, industry partners on the program are working to define future upgrades while pressing ahead with several export campaigns.

2427

HEADLINE NEWS

Airbus Production Doubling To 220-Plus Aircraft Per Year

PARIS Airbus Industrie’s production rate is nearly doubling as planned, without parts or labor shortage, according to European industry officials. Next year, Airbus Industrie plans to deliver “220-plus aircraft,” up from 185 in 1997 and 126 in 1996.

3435

HEADLINE NEWS

NRO Embraces Sigint Smallsats

WASHINGTON The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has begun drawing up plans for a new generation of signal intelligence satellites that will be smaller, more numerous and likely fly in low orbits. The system, known as the “Integrated Overhead Sigint Architecture 2,” is in the early stages of concept development and is not expected to come on line for at least a decade.

2829

HEADLINE NEWS

Rohr to Become Next BFGoodrich Addition

NEW YORK In a validation of the industry consolidation remaining among lower-tier aerospace suppliers, BFGoodrich Co. expects to acquire Rohr Inc. within the next 3-4 months. The transaction, which was announced last week, is valued at about $1.3 billion and includes the assumption of about $425 million of Rohr debt.

3637

HEADLINE NEWS

Internal NASA Debate Surrounds Mir Flight

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER The controversy swirling around NASA about continuing to assign astronauts to stay on Mir has spawned undercurrents of debate among its experienced personnel about the agency’s relationship with the Russians and its decision-making process.

3637

HEADLINE NEWS

Mars Atmosphere Thicker Than Expected

LOS ANGELES Mars Global Surveyor is finding the planet’s atmosphere to be about twice as dense as predicted at the upper levels, but engineers have been able to compensate with minor altitude changes for the aerobraking passes. The density difference has little effect on Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) because it can adjust during the 400 orbits of aerobraking, but it could cause problems for plans to aerocapture future probes into orbit—where there is only one chance to do much larger braking.

3435

HEADLINE NEWS

French Defense Budget Takes New Hit

PARIS French military programs will be delayed again in the wake of the government's decision to further reduce defense spending. In 1998, the French Defense Ministry’s budget will decrease 3.3% to FF238.2 billion ($39.7 billion). Military procurement spending will cut 8.7% to FF81 billion ($13.5 billion).

2223

HEADLINE NEWS

Boeing Recruits Former Douglas Workers

Seattle Boeing plans to recall and transfer to its Wichita factory at least 100 laid-off Douglas Aircraft assembly mechanics as manufacturing bottlenecks threaten its breakneck production buildup. The workers, former production line staff from Boeing’s newly acquired Douglas Products Div. in Long Beach, Calif., will temporarily be assigned to 737 parts and assembly processes.

September 221997 October 61997