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May 22, 2000

WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

U.K.’s Tilt Toward Europe Poses Multiple Challenges

WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

C-17 Lease Plan Buys Boeing Time

WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

Landmark China Trade Bill Gains Bipartisan Momentum

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

U.K.’s Tilt Toward Europe Poses Multiple Challenges

Britain makes major commitment to Meteor missile and A400M transport, but short-term C-l7 lease keeps U.S. option open

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

C-17 Lease Plan Buys Boeing Time

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB,OHIO The British decision to lease four Boeing C-17s will temporarily ease budget pressures on the airlifter program and perhaps reinvigorate the U.S. Air Force’s consideration of a Boeing offer to sell an additional 60 C17s over four years at $150 million each, about 25% lower than the current price.

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

Landmark China Trade Bill Gains Bipartisan Momentum

WASHINGTON This week’s crucial House vote on permanent normal trade relations with China is expected to be close, but passage appears increasingly likely. Lopsided support emerged in two preliminary votes last week on the controversial permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) legislation, which would shelve the contentious annual U.S. review of whether Chinese imports should continue to receive the same low tariff treatment accorded to most other nations’ imports.

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

European Solid Rocket Project Could Resolve Vega Dilemma

PARIS European space officials are planning a solid rocket motor project that could prepare the way for future light and medium boosters and enhanced versions of the Ariane 5 heavy-lift booster, while defusing the controversy that has raged over the proposed Vega light launcher.

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

NASA Would Use Airbag System For Its 2003 Mars Lander Option

LOS ANGELES NASA has narrowed down the 2003 Mars launch opportunity to two possible missions, including a lander that would duplicate the design of the Pathfinder spacecraft which successfully landed on the planet in 1997 using an airbag system.

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

Lack of Political Will Assailed In Constraints on Aeronautics

WASHINGTON The absence of a national commitment to aeronautics technology increasingly jeopardizes the future of U.S. civil aviation, government and industry executives cautioned lawmakers last week. At a packed hearing of the House aviation subcommittee, aerospace authorities said fresh sources of investment—additional user fees or devoting more of the aviation trust fund to research—are less the issue than America’s unwillingness to spend as liberally on air transport as it does on Social Security or national defense.

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

France, U.S. Eye Delay In Mars Sample Return

PARIS French and U.S. officials are discussing changes in the schedule and details of their proposed joint Mars Sample Return mission but remain committed to the project, French space leaders said earlier this month. In his inaugural address on May 4, Roger-Gerard Schwartzenberg, France’s new research minister responsible for space activities, expressed unqualified support for the initiative launched by his predecessor, Claude Allegre, two years ago (AW&ST June 29, 1998, p. 27).

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

EADS Pushes For Quick Start, Early IPO

HAMBURG MADRID Aerospatiale Matra, DaimlerChrysler Aerospace and Construcciones Aeronauticas have agreed on a business plan and are prepared to form the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. in early July, according to the proposed group’s top executive-designates.

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

Astrium Signs Inmarsat Deal

BREMEN, GERMANY Astrium will build three heavyweight 1-4 spacecraft for Inmarsat that will boost the international telecommunications organization’s capacity in the soaring mobile data system market. Inmarsat’s I-4s, which will be based on Matra Marconi Space’s (MMS) Eurostar 3000 platform, will have 9-kW.

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WORLD NEWS & ANALYSIS

USAF Maps Amraam Future

WASHINGTON The U.S. Air Force is expanding the capability of the AIM120 Amraam air-to-air missile, which could ensure a future for the Raytheon product even after Britain’s decision to back the competing European Meteor. USAF requirements officials at Air Combat Command only recently asked weapons developers to make changes to the missile to expand its engagement envelope.

May 152000 May 292000