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ATK Receives a Fourth Contract Option for Continued Production of 30mm PGU Ammunition — Press Release

ATK Receives a Fourth Contract Option for Continued Production of 30mm PGU Ammunition

ATK’s Domestic and International Awards for 30mm Ammunition Exceed $29 Million in FY12

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — ATK (NYSE: ATK) was recently awarded a fourth contract option to produce 30mm PGU-15A/B cartridges for the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center (RICC), Rock Island, Ill. The order is a part of a multi-year contract originally signed in July 2007. ATK’s worldwide sales of 30mm ammunition in the current fiscal year now exceed $29 million.

ATK’s 30mm PGU-series target practice ammunition is specially designed for training applications. These cartridges, currently in use with the 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun on the U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthog close-support aircraft provide cost-effective, ballistic-matched training rounds for improved warfighter performance.

“We are proud to continue our role as the primary provider of PGU-15 ammunition in support of the U. S. Air Force’s A-10 aircraft,” said Dan Olson, Vice President and General Manager, ATK Integrated Weapon Systems. “This round plays an integral role in training A-10 aircrews to develop and maintain essential air-to-ground combat skills. ATK supports this program through the delivery of high quality products, outstanding value and great customer service.”

ATK’s Mesa, Ariz.-based Integrated Weapon Systems division will produce the rounds at its facilities in Radford, Va. and Rocket Center, W. Va. Delivery of the optioned rounds is set to begin this year.

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally, and revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company’s competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Sierra Nevada and Embraer’s Light Attack Contract Canceled by Air Force

Late yesterday the U.S. Air Force announced that it had canceled the contract signed in December with Sierra Nevada and Embraer to provide Light Attack aircraft for use by the Afghan military. The contract was in dispute by Hawker Beechcraft whose own proposal had been eliminated by the Air Force prior to source selection even taking place and no work was being done by the winners.

Hawker was in the process of suing in Federal court to get the decision to award to the winning team overturned. Earlier it had been denied a chance to protest as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled it did not file in time. During one of the first court hearings about the case the Air Force admitted that they had gone ahead and given the contract to Sierra Nevada who was going to use aircraft manufactured by Brazil’s Embraer SA. Sierra Nevada had established a plant in Jacksonville for this effort.

Not only did the Air Force cancel the existing contract they announced that they will conduct an investigation of the process used to select the winners. There was no discussion of whether there would be a new requirement and contest.

Hawker had bid a version of their T-6 trainer used by the Air Force and Navy currently while Sierra Nevada was going to use a variant of Embraer’s Tucano aircraft which is in use by several countries. The initial contract would provide systems for use by the Afghans with the potential for further sales to the U.S. or other customers.

This is the third major acquisition in the last ten years that the Air Force has struggled to award. The KC-X tanker took three tries before Boeing (BA) won it. The CSAR-X new rescue helicopter never was completed despite two tries and multiple protests. This means that the LAS contract will have to be begun again or a new requirement created.

Hawker Beechcraft has had its struggles over the recent years due to the general downturn in aviation. Facing a rougher future with the proposed cuts in the U.S. defense budget it had been reported that the company had recently engaged a law firm known for its work in bankruptcy or restructuring. The decision by the Air Force will only be good if a decision is made to have another contest which there is no guarantee that Hawker will win.

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Contract Management for Defense and Aerospace — Conference

Contract Management for Defense and Aerospace

Combat US government budget reduction by Assessing Opportunities, Risks and Challenges in Commercial and International Contracts

Event Date: 15-17 May 2012
Location: Washington, DC/VA, USA

Traditionally government and commercial contracting in the aerospace and defense industry has been a lucrative and reliable business. However, recently due to difficult economic times across the country, the US government has been cutting back on defense spending and as a result many defense and aerospace companies are forming business relationships with international customers in order to maintain or increase revenue. The economic landscape as well as recent regulations has presented new concerns for companies across the globe. This conference will address the need for adequate contract management in the governmental, commercial and international landscape. It will also introduce and provide oversight on the recent changes in the aerospace and defense industry and how it has affected contracts while highlighting best practices for managing specific contracts and avoiding DCAA audits to ensure compliance and continued growth for your business.

For more information please visit our website: Contract Management in Aerospace and Defense

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Budget Watch – March 2012

In this podcast, we look at the Pentagon’s plans to equip the U.S military for future wars.

U.S. Navy Orders 2 of Last 3 JHSV from Austal

Yesterday the U.S. Navy announced that it had executed a contract option for 2 more Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) from Australian ferry builder Austal. This brings the total number of these ships ordered to 9.

Austal is close to finishing the first and has two more in production. The contract yesterday will allow the builder to begin buying long lead items and components for the two ships.

The JHSV is a fast transport based on Austal’s ferry designs that was originally planned to be used by the Navy and Army for rapid transport of troops and supplies to needed areas. It was decided that the Navy would manage the whole program and the ships were transferred to them.

Originally it was thought that up to 23 of the ships would be procured but in their FY13 budget proposal the Obama Administration reduced the planned number to 10. This means that 9 of them are now on order with the chance that only one more will be purchased.

Austal is building the ships in their Mobile, AL yard where they also make the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). They have a contract for up to 10 of these. Interest

Photo from HerrKrueger’s flickr photostream.

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Visure Solutions Announces Test Management Extension for IRQA — Press Release

Visure Solutions Announces Test Management Extension for IRQA

Linking tests with requirements engineering provides end-to-end traceability and validation for regulatory compliance

Madrid, Spain and Bowie, MD, February 27, 2012 — Visure Solutions, the market leader in Requirements Engineering, has integrated test management into its IRQA requirements engineering solution. By including testing in the requirements matrix, Visure sets itself apart from other requirements management solutions, which stop short of proving requirement validation. With this addition to IRQA, developers of safety- and mission-critical software can automate full end-to-end requirements traceability, with fulfilled tests providing the proof points needed for regulatory certification.

Although regulations mandate that software requirements should be bidirectionally traceable to test results, most software developers use requirements tools and test suites that are disconnected from each other. In such a development environment, the results of testing must be manually traced back to the original requirements — a task often laboriously managed using Word or Excel. The dramatic increase in software complexity has made such time-consuming, error-prone manual tracking methods impossible to manage. Visure’s new Test Management Extension links specific tests with the requirements they validate. It then manages the relationships, identifying which requirements have and have not been tested and pinpointing those tests that need to be rerun due to changes in the requirements. This automates the manual process, saving time, increasing software quality, and providing the transparency required to obtain certification.

“Many of our customers feel overwhelmed by the burden of manually managing traceability,” confirmed Fernando Valera, IRQA Product Manager of Visure Solutions. “By bringing requirements and test management together, we provide a transparent, traceable loop that demonstrates through the test results how the organization has transformed the original requirements into a high-quality final solution. This ease of use provides enormous relief for engineers currently managing the validation process by hand.”

The Test Management Extension builds upon IRQA’s ability to create test plans. Development and test engineers create specific test sessions from the test plan, selecting which tests to perform for a given session. The test engineer then decides which tests will be run manually and which ones automatically. For the manual tests, the test engineer will be able to enter the results, screenshots and any required evidence directly in the tool, or import them from MS Excel or Word. For the automatic execution of the tests, the test engineer can write test scripts based upon a template, and the selected tests are automatically executed, linking to any test engine through the scripting language. On completion, the test results are automatically parsed and brought into IRQA, where the link between the results and the original requirements provides the necessary compliance transparency.

Valera added, “IRQA helps to generate robust requirements by analyzing the requirements semantics and reporting on their quality through the IRQA Quality Analyzer. By proving that the tests fulfill those requirements, developers get exactly what they need for certification.”

The Test Management Extension can interact with any test environment that supports Python scripting from the command line, such as IBM Rational Functional and Performance Tester, HP LoadRunner, Microfocus Silk family and Selenium. Legacy requirements and test results can also be imported to leverage requirements and test efforts already undertaken either manually or in other tools.

A demonstration of Visure Solutions’ Test Management Extension will be available in Hall 4, Stand 418 at Embedded World 2012 from February 28 to March 1 in Nürnberg, Germany. Almudena Díez, Senior Consultant at Visure Solutions, together with Brim Lubos, iFEST, Masaryk University Brno, will present a technical paper on “A Study of Challenges and Practices of the Requirements Engineering and Analysis Discipline within the Embedded Systems Domain,” on February 29, in Session 4, at 10:00 a.m.

About Visure

Visure Solutions, The Requirements Company, is the market leader in Requirements Engineering. Through its IRQA platform, Visure offers specialized and innovative solutions for requirements engineering that enables its customers to develop the highest-quality products, systems and services. IRQA’s quality and state-of-the-art features are endorsed by the world’s leading organizations. Visure’s team has deep and wide-ranging experience in the development and implementation of requirements solutions.

Visure Solutions is headquartered in Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain with branch offices in the United States, Germany, and Sweden. Visure has leading distributors worldwide in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, India, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States, among others. For more information, please visit www.visuresolutions.com.

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Military Airlift Asia-Pacific — Press Release

February 27, 2012 by · Comment
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, Trade Shows and Events 

Military Airlift Asia-Pacific

9th- 10th July, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore.

www.smi-online.co.uk/militaryairliftasiapac5.asp

Military Airlifting has seen steady growth in the Asia-Pacific region due to the increase in natural disasters which have happened in the last couple of years. Airlifting has been used during the Christchurch Earthquake, Queensland Floods, Tsunami 2004, and Tsunami 2011 in Japan, Earthquakes in China and most recently during the Thailand Floods in November 2011. There is a growing need for regional Air Forces to improve their current airlifting capabilities with the latest modern military airlifters. The airlifters being used by the armed forces at present are becoming aging and not up to the requirements needed to support tactical and strategic operations.

Military Airlift: Rapid Reaction and Tanker Operations Asia Pacific 2012 is the perfect opportunity to meet with the regional airlift community and discuss current requirements and evaluate recent airlifter operations. The conference and exhibition will be held on the 9th and 10th July in Singapore and is the only event where this community can meet together to discuss the regions capabilities and requirements. Running parallel next to the conference will be a vibrant exhibition that will allow vendors to showcase their solutions and technologies for airlifting.

This is the perfect opportunity to discuss current airlifting capabilities and operations that are happening across Asia-Pacific. The need for airlifting is becoming greater due to the increase in operations and the land mass certain countries in the region have.

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U.S Army Exploring Renewable Energy Contract

On Friday the U.S. Army released a draft RFP related to the purchase of renewable energy for facilities. The potential contract could be for up to 30 years and involve $7 billion.

The contract is not for generating capacity or for equipment related to electricity but actually just to buy power from different sources. The caveat is that it needs to be renewable generated electricity which normally implies solar, wind or geothermal rather then traditional means such as natural gas, oil or coal.

The Department of Defense is one of the biggest users of not only gasoline but also electricity to power their large number of facilities across the U.S. and the world. They have been aggressively exploring ways to reduce this demand not only through economizing but through use of other sources. This includes investments in biofuels such as algae and vegetation based. The goals are to reduce reliance on traditional fuels as well as save money.

The issuance of a draft RFP does not necessarily mean a contract will be awarded or that the final one will look like this but it will get industry thinking and figuring out how to respond. The issuance of this contract could provide some more jump start to the renewable power industry by creating massive demand. The Defense Department could also through pricing make it more financially viable.

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Boeing Awarded Large Maintenance Contract for ROK F-15

One of the reasons that the Indian, Brazil and U.A.E. new fighter contracts are being so hard fought among the various U.S. and European defense contractors is not only the size of the initial procurement but also because they offer long term requirements and revenue.

India has so far chosen the Rafale fighter from Dassault although there are reports that Eurofighter with the encouragement of the U.K. government is trying to offer a better price in the hope of winning that contract. Brazil is considering the Rafale and Boeing’s (BA) F/A-18 and the U.A.E. seemed committed to the French aircraft but at the Dubai airshow earlier this year seemed to have second thoughts.

South Korea chose to buy some F-15 fighters from Boeing (BA) last decade. This was a significant procurement for the company as the U.S. had stopped buying the aircraft concentrating on the F-22 and JSF. Now they have signed a contract for long term logistics support for the advanced fighters and strike aircraft. This is worth about $300 million and last five years.

Korea can be expected to use the aircraft for a few decades and Boeing along with its Korean partners should consistently receive contracts to support the systems. Often as the U.S. has demonstrated the long term support, modernization and modification of aircraft can easily cost more then the initial purchase price. Often this goes to the OEM so they have several years of revenue after production is complete. With overseas contracts the chances are even higher that this kind of work will be needed.

Modern combat aircraft are now having service lives measured in decades. The B-52 for example is approaching its 60th year of service. The U.S. F-15 over 30 and so on. Boeing can expect South Korea to pay a great deal of money for their support as time passes.

Photo from Bundeswehr-Fotos Wir.Dienen.Deutschland.’s flickr photostream.

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New Royal Navy Tankers to be Built in South Korea

and the value of the contract is close to $1 billion.

Interestingly the ships will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea rather then in a British yard. It is uncommon for a country like Britain to do this but price is becoming a major factor in such contracts and presumably the Daewoo bid was much lower then any competing ones. British companies will get support contracts such as those for design as well as test support.

DSME is one of the largest shipbuilders in South Korea and was recently awarded a contract for submarines to be delivered to Indonesia. It has great experience building cargo vessels, oil platforms and support ships. The RFA tankers will be similar to many commercial ships and other then unique Royal Navy communications equipment and defensive systems will have little or no military specific hardware.

The U.S. Navy has started buying Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) from Australian shipbuilder Austal but it is through their U.S. subsidiary and the ships are built in Mobile, AL. The Royal Navy could have pursued this course as well but it seems for auxiliaries the desire to make them at home is overshadowed by the need to keep costs down. This may portend more contracts like this for not only Great Britain but other Western countries as they look to spend their shrinking supply of defense dollars.

Photo from Official U.S. Navy Imagery’s flickr Photostream.

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Lockheed Martin Expands Facility for F-35 Component Manufacturing in Pinellas Park, Fla. — Press Release

Lockheed Martin Expands Facility for F-35 Component Manufacturing in Pinellas Park, Fla.

PINELLAS PARK, Fla., Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE:LMT) operation in Pinellas Park officially opened a new 57,000 square foot manufacturing facility today to produce aircraft canopy components for the F-35 Lighting II fighter.

The new facility is an annex to Lockheed Martin’s existing 197,000 square foot building that has been producing structural components for more than 10 different types of aircraft since 1997. The operation began with 80 employees and has since grown to its current workforce of 250, with additional jobs expected as the F-35 program moves toward peak production. The expanded facility can support production of up to 20 F-35 canopy units a month.

In remarks at the event, Harry Glenn, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Bill Young, chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, said, “The Lockheed Martin Pinellas facility has distinguished itself with its quality, safety and efficiency and has become a center of excellence for the manufacturing of F-35 canopies.”

Aircraft canopy components include the “windshield” of the aircraft – a clear plastic bubble – and the frame, ejection pyrotechnics and other structures that support it.

The F-35 is expected to be one of the largest military aircraft programs in history, including thousands of aircraft to be produced for world air forces over several decades. The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

Core competencies at the Pinellas facility include sheet metal and extrusion fabrication and structural subassembly. To date the facility has produced components for the C-130J, F-22, F-16, C-5 and P-3, in addition to the F-35. Besides supporting Lockheed Martin aircraft programs, the facility does work for several other companies.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

For additional information, visit our Web site:

http://www.lockheedmartin.com

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Oshkosh Defense to Unveil Upgraded FMTV at AUSA Winter — Press Release

Oshkosh Defense to Unveil Upgraded FMTV at AUSA Winter

Protection levels and off-road performance increased for soldiers in severe environments

OSHKOSH, Wis. (Feb. 21, 2012) — Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), is continuing its commitment to further improve protection and mobility for Warfighters on the changing battlefield with new enhancements for the U.S. Army and National Guard’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV). The result for soldiers is better underbody protection and noticeably improved vehicle performance and ride quality on rough terrain.

Named the FMTV Enhanced Protection & Mobility Demonstrator (EPMD), the prototype vehicle utilizes the Oshkosh TAK-4® independent suspension system and a custom-fitted Oshkosh Underbody Improvement Kit (UIK) for previously unrealized levels of protection and mobility. The FMTV EPMD will be unveiled at the AUSA Winter Symposium & Exposition, Feb. 23-25 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“We’re drawing on two Oshkosh Defense core competencies – survivability and off-road mobility – to give the FMTV platform improved capabilities on the battlefield against evolving threats and severe terrain,” said Mike Ivy, vice president and general manager of Army Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “Oshkosh has had great success delivering a high-quality FMTV fleet for our customer at a reduced cost. These upgrades build on that success and give soldiers a better protected, more mobile family of vehicles.”

The FMTV EPMD uses an Oshkosh-designed UIK to provide protection beyond the platform’s Long-Term Armor Strategy-compliant armor suite. Oshkosh is in the process of delivering more than 8,000 MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) UIKs, which are protecting Warfighters in Afghanistan today, as well as more than 400 UIKs for the Army’s Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) A4. Oshkosh UIKs are designed for light, medium, heavy and MRAP vehicles in the ongoing battle against increasingly dangerous IEDs and roadside bombs.

The Oshkosh TAK-4 system, used on more than 20,000 medium, heavy and MRAP vehicles, delivers several improvements to the FMTV’s current configuration, including:

Increasing the off-road profile capability from 30 percent to 70 percent
Delivering 16 inches of front wheel travel – a 120 percent improvement
Improving ride quality on severe terrain, allowing soldiers to arrive more refreshed for their missions
Increasing the maximum off-road speed by nearly 20 percent

Oshkosh to date has conducted more than 6,000 miles of independent durability testing on the FMTV EPMD’s subsystems to prove their maturity and readiness for the battlefield.

Oshkosh representatives will be available at booth #3324 in the outdoor display area at AUSA Winter to discuss the FMTV enhancements as well as other Oshkosh vehicles and technologies.

About Oshkosh Defense

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit www.oshkoshdefense.com.

About Oshkosh Corporation

Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corporation manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, visit www.oshkoshcorporation.com.

®, TM All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

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FCPA Security Case Ends In A Fiasco

Two years ago at the SHOT Show where civil, security and military small arms manufacturers display their wares the FBI ran a major sting leading to the arrest of 22 individuals for attempted bribery of a foreign official in order to gain a contract. It was one of the biggest cases in terms of numbers of persons and companies involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The FCPA is designed to prevent U.S. and foreign companies, too, from being involved in bribes or other illegal means to gain work from overseas customers. If a company does business in the U.S. or with the U.S. government it may be targeted under this act. Recently large companies have been charged under this law including the Dutch giant Siemens, BAE Systems as well as oil support company KBR.

This case involved a fake representative of an African country negotiating for equipment for a police force that would require some payments to people to make the deal go through. Different companies were involved and various people charged.

Now after two years of failing to convict anybody in the first two trails the FBI and Justice Department have given up. Rather then attempt to retry the cases they have decided to drop charges against the remaining defendants. Whether they will attempt to retry the first two trials remain to be seen.

The first ended in an acquittal and the second in a mistrial as the jury could not make a decision. This was primarily due to the fact that the prime witness for the prosecution was considered unreliable as well as details of communications between him and the FBI agents involved in the case portrayed them negatively. The jury also felt that at no time was it made clear to the defendants that the payments demanded were bribes.

The FCPA is an important tool and the U.S. has worked hard to end the practice of defense contractors paying officials in other countries for contracts. That does not mean it does not still happen and there remain cases in the U.S. of government officials taking bribes. Other nations have had a harder time but overall the defense industry is a lot less corrupt then it was thirty years ago.

These cases illustrate that the government has to be very careful how it approaches these situations and the way they prepare their case.

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INI Power Introduces Trinity™ Flex-Fuel Plug-in Hybrid System for First Responder, National Defense Portable Power Needs — Press Release

February 21, 2012 by · Comment
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, logistics, Press Releases 

INI Power Introduces Trinity™ Flex-Fuel Plug-in Hybrid System for First Responder, National Defense Portable Power Needs

Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary by Unveiling New Product Line at Soldier Tech, NetZero Events

(Morrisville, N.C.) Alternative energy solutions provider INI Power Systems, Inc. recently marked its ten-year anniversary by unveiling the innovative new Trinity™ series of portable alternative energy hybrid solutions at two major events catering to the defense and emergency first responder marketplaces.

The Trinity™ system garnered a great deal of interest at Soldier Technology in Arlington, Va. and Arizona State University’s NetZero Power to the Tactical Edge workshop, with attendees searching for reliable, flexible power systems with multiple applications.

“For end-users in any type of field operations domestically or overseas, Trinity™ provides energy insurance for uninterrupted operation of portable electronic devices in off-grid and grid outage situations, such as natural disasters or battlefield operations, making them ideal for ground troops and first responders,” Larry Markoski, president of INI Power Systems, said.

Well-decorated patriot and U.S. Marine Sergeant Major (Retired) Alford McMichael agreed, stating, “The Trinity System will allow our protectors on the battle field to defend our nation by being lighter, faster, longer lasting, and more demanding on the enemy to break their will to fight.”

According to Markoski, demonstrated uses of the Trinity™ system range from intelligent battery and electric vehicle charging to powering important communication and lighting equipment to potable and hot water applications.

The Trinity™ system is comprised of flexible fuel (flex-fuel) power generation, harvesting, and storage modules intelligently linked together to provide a scalable smart-μGrid architecture from stand-alone products with multiple tactical power redundancies and fuel options built in. When the three modules are combined and hybridized into an intelligent Trinity™ System, the smart μGrid burns less fuel, minimizes CO2 emissions, and reduces dependency on limited fuel supplies while addressing important logistical, tactical, weight, and mobility issues that can help save lives in hostile environments.

“With the ability to seamlessly utilize any available fuel resource including diesel, JP-8, kerosene, gasoline, propane, rubbing and grain alcohol, and hydrogen, INI’s intelligent Flex- Fuel Generator Kit is a great standalone product in its own right,” Markoski said, adding, “When you combine this kit with our Plug-in Hybrid Renewable Kit — adding the capability to intelligently harvest and store energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind– you get the best energy insurance policy that money can buy and that one man can carry.”

INI Power Systems has its Trinity™ 1000 Flex-Fuel Plug-in Hybrid Kits in-stock and available for sales demonstrations and field trials, and is actively engaged with early adopters in municipal first-responder and military markets.

Soldier Technology is an annual gathering in Arlington, Va. of senior soldier modernization leaders making decisions about power needs for small units and squads. Arizona State University’s NetZero Power to the Tactical Edge workshop is sponsored by the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force hosting commercial, academic, U.S. Government, and other entities involved in developing tactical energy solutions to support the Department of Defense NetZero energy program.

Specifications and educational videos on the Trinity™ portable power system are available online at www.powerforwardwithini.com. For more information, contact Larry Markoski at (919) 677-7112 (x103) or [email protected]

About INI Power Systems, Inc.
INI Power Systems is a small US business in the Research Triangle of North Carolina with ten years of domain expertise in developing custom hybrid solutions for portable power needs. Our strategic first emphasis is on off-grid and emergency power markets, including flex fuel plug-in hybrid products for defense applications and government agencies. INI Power’s alternative energy technology within these new hybrid products provides a guarantee for the extended and uninterrupted use for rechargeable batteries and smart electronic devices in both austere and forward locations not available from current technologies. For more information visit www.inipower.com.

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Defense Industrials as Dividend Stocks – Seeking Alpha

Here is an exclusive post I wrote at Seeking Alpha on defense industrials as dividend stocks.

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yaSSL Offers New Open-Source Security Tools — Press Release

February 21, 2012 by · Comment
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, IT, logistics 

yaSSL Offers New Open-Source Security Tools

Kerberos, wpa_supplicant, and OpenSSH security services made lean, fast and portable

San Francisco, CA ― February 21, 2011 ― yaSSL, the open-source, embedded SSL provider, has made IT-level security tools available for the Open Source Community, ensuring that mature, advanced security tools like Kerberos, wpa_supplicant, and OpenSSH are readily available for devices. By making security services commonly used for enterprise authentication and encryption available for Android and other device platforms, yaSSL enables developers to simplify and secure device connectivity and to close the door on hackers trying to break through Internet security using the backdoor of a device, such as a router, smartphone, printer, or game console.

“Our homes and businesses depend on network-connected devices,” noted Larry Stefonic, Founder of yaSSL. “The need for secure, authenticated exchange, whether for a gaming console or an Android smartphone, has become essential. We understood the pain developers had creating their own security solution or kludging tools together that were then slow and took too much memory. We’ve reduced that stress by providing the resources needed to protect and secure both the network and the device.”

yaSSL’s commitment to the Open-Source Community has sparked a number of efforts:

Kerberos to Android―yaSSL ported Kerberos and a Java interface for the Generic Security Services API (GSSAPI) to enable development for the Android platform with the same secure, mutually authenticated and encrypted communication that’s the de facto standard used by Microsoft, Google, Apple and Linux on enterprise and desktop computers. To provide an easy entry point for Android developers interested in Kerberos, yaSSL created a sample Android NDK application that wraps the functionality of kinit, klist, kvno, kdestroy, and Java GSSAPI client into a simple GUI front-end. With these capabilities in place, developers know their applications prevent eavesdropping and replay attacks. yaSSL also embedded CyaSSL’s cryptography library CTaoCrypt in Kerberos to deliver very fast cryto implementations that are 20 times smaller and use less memory than the standard OpenSSL.

OpenSSH for embedded RTOSs—Used for secure remote access, OpenSSH encrypts passwords, sessions, and data for common UNIX and desktop environments, but is far too big and slow for the typical device. By using CyaSSL to do the heavy cryptography for OpenSSH, yaSSL introduces OpenSSH secure access tools that are smaller, faster and more portable. With very fast stream ciphers (e.g., RABBIT and HC-128) and public key support (e.g., NTRU), CyaSSL enables secure remote access for any CyaSSL-supported RTOS environments, including embedded Linux, iOS, QNX, VxWorks, and others. With an already integrated OpenSSH/CyaSSL solution, developers gain secure file copy and remote access to embedded devices without writing their own or kludging different solutions together, greatly decreasing time to market. CyaSSL’s crypto libraries are simply implemented via a build option.

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) for devices—wpa_supplicant, a WPA and WPA2 client for 802.11i, offers a secure, out-of-the-box wireless LAN for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, and Windows. wpa_supplicant’s small code size and clean design make it ideal for secure key negotiations that control the wireless connection of embedded devices. Integration with CyaSSL takes support a step further by securing the Internet connection and adding very fast cipher suites, such as TLS_RSA_WITH_128_CBC_SHA and TLS_NTRU_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA that are not part of the default installation. With support for embedded Linux, iOS, Android, QNX, VxWorks, and other RTOSs, CyaSSL significantly reduces both development time and cost and eliminates the need for developers to write, purchase, or patch their own solution.

“Lean, fast, and portable embedded application security is critical in this environment of ever-growing connectivity,” said Stefonic. “By bringing such widely adopted standards as Kerberos, OpenSSH, and wpa_supplicant to developers, yaSSL gives developers the resources they need to easily integrate their applications with the larger enterprise infrastructure and market. We appreciate being able to give back to the Open Source Community in this way and look forward to the development opportunities this added security will bring.”
About yaSSL
Founded in 2004, yaSSL offers open-source, embedded security solutions that are fast, small, portable and standards-compliant, including: CyaSSL, the C-language SSL library for embedded and RTOS environments; yaSSL, the embedded C++ SSL library; and yaSSL embedded web server, a fast, embeddable, secure web server. Dual-licensed, yaSSL caters to the security applications in industrial automation, smart energy, surveillance, medical, military, and telecommunications markets as well as the open-source community. yaSSL is headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, and employs a worldwide distributor network. For more information about yaSSL solutions, please visit the company’s Web site at www.yassl.com, call +1 206 369 4800, or e-mail [email protected]

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Despite Drawdown U.S. Awards Iraq Support Contract to Versar

The U.S. military may have left Iraq but that still leaves U.S. State Department and other agencies still working there. These will continue to require specialized support and utilize some contractors to do this. In this vein the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Versar, Inc. a contract to continue to provide personal services and support in Iraq.

The contract is for two years and will have a value of of almost $9 million if all options are exercised.

Versar, Inc. is a Virginia based corporation that provides a variety of different services and management to its customers. These include engineering & constructions, telecommunications support, hazardous material disposal, facility support and so on. The U.S. and other countries require these kind of services in Iraq, Afghanistan as well as other areas they operate.

Versar is publicly traded and for the last quarter reported results of $33 million in revenue and a net income of $824,000.00. The share price recently closed at just under $3.00.

The U.S. will continue to need all sorts of support contractors as they transition both Iraq and Afghanistan from direct military action to supporting those country’s governments. While the market will not be as large as it has been over the last decade there will still be a significant amount of work especially for contractors like Versar which can provide a variety of specialized services.

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ATK Selected to Develop Alternative Warhead for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System — Press Release

ATK Selected to Develop Alternative Warhead for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System

New GMLRS Warhead Meets U.S. Army Performance Requirements, Improves User Safety, and Eliminates Risk of Unexploded Ordnance

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — ATK (NYSE: ATK) announced that it has been selected by the U.S. Army to develop an alternative warhead for the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). ATK was one of three companies competing to proceed into the Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Demonstration (EMDD) phase of the program. ATK will be a subcontractor to GMLRS prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

The GMLRS alternative warhead eliminates the use of submunitions, but performs as a drop-in replacement for the currently-fielded Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) warhead.

“This new warhead offers the advantage of uncompromised performance without leaving unexploded submunitions on the battlefield,” said Dave Wise, Vice President and General Manager of ATK Defense Components. “We look forward to further development and integration of our improved warhead solution for GMLRS. We are also excited to demonstrate that we can adapt our lethality-enhanced ordnance design for other missile, mortar, artillery and air-dropped weapon applications.”

During live-fire testing by the U.S. Army, ATK’s alternative warhead – featuring ATK’s Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) design – demonstrated that it meets performance and mission requirements, lowers technical risk, and matches current weapon flight characteristics without modifications to the existing GMLRS delivery system. In addition, the design improves user safety by lessening the risk of chain-reaction explosions should the warhead be struck by bullets or fragments, or encounter other hazardous events.

ATK will refine the design to enhance manufacturability, ensuring a low risk transition to low rate initial production. Warhead production work will be performed at ATK’s Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) facility in Rocket Center, W.Va. ABL is a U.S. Navy-owned, ATK-operated facility specializing in advanced manufacturing technologies for a variety of programs supporting current and future U.S. industrial base needs in conventional munitions assemblies, advanced electronic fuzing and integration, solid rocket motor propulsion, and advanced material structures. ATK’s Plymouth, Minn. facility will provide key engineering and program support.

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally, and revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.
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Israel Chooses Italian Jet for New Trainer

Update – The Israeli Government stated that one of the main reasons they chose the M346 over South Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle was that it provided better compatibility with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that Israel is buying. The T-50 was supposedly not in line with “international standards”. This gives hope to Alenia Aermacchi that other countries buying the F-35 might consider the M346.

The hard fought battle between Italy and South Korea over the new Israeli trainer came to a close yesterday with Israel choosing the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet training aircraft. The contract could have a value of a $1 billion in the end. South Korea had offered their T-50 Golden Eagle indigenous developed jet.

Both countries had been going back and forth with Israel trying to develop offset deals that would be the most attractive to the Middle Eastern state. In the end Italy’s was more valuable to Israel although now they face South Korean anger and the potential for some lost businesses.

It has been reported that beyond the offset issue the Israeli evaluators had favored the Finmeccania product over the Korean aircraft.

Offsets have always been a struggle with defense contracting with some countries demanding a great deal like Canada and this Israeli deal while others have had to cut back as India has done to attract more bids from large Western countries. In the case of Israel and Italy, and even South Korea, there should be no shortages of systems that the countries would like to buy.

Israel makes radars, tankers, UAV’s, missile systems as well as ground combat vehicles and other weapons that all could be considered by Italy. South Korea was hoping to buy tankers and other aircraft from Israel but now these deals may not happen or even be considered.

Photo from Ronnie McDonald’s flickr photostream

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BAE Systems Holds on for Good 2011

BAE Systems (BAE:LSE) the large British defense contractor reported its earnings for 2011. It like many of the U.S. defense contractors was able to report a fairly decent profit on falling revenues. Like Lockheed Martin (LMT) and others the company had focused on reducing costs in a time of reduced orders from the American and British defense establishment.

Sales fell 14 percent to only $30 billion but net profit actually increased to $1.95 billion up $298 million primarily due to the elimination of so many positions in the last year. For 2012 the company is confident that it will increase earnings especially if the Saudi Typhoon fighter deal negotiations is completed.

The company has been adjusting to the changing defense market by focusing less on big hardware sales of aircraft and vehicles and increasing its exposure in intelligence and cyber security. This area now accounts for about 7 percent of the company’s business line.

BAE Systems also has a large American component that will be affected by the U.S. defense plans. They may see work on their core vehicle programs slowed or cut back as the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan ends and the U.S. plans to invest less in new systems. They are competing for the new Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) contract and this may see major reductions in planned spending over the next five years. They do, though, make the M2 Bradley the GCV will replace so more money might be spent on that.

BAE Systems and the other large defense contractors will soon be facing a situation similar to the Nineties with U.S. defense spending. At that time the U.K. giant had little exposure to the U.S. but now it is a major contractor. The company is also going through a similar situation in the U.K. but that started last year. Expect little movement in its stock despite recent favorable financials.

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Oshkosh (OSK) and the FY13 Defense Budget — Seeking Alpha

This is an exclusive post I made for Seeking Alpha about cuts to the FMTV program in the FY13 budget and its effect on Oshkosh’s bottom line.

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U.S. Marine Corps to Receive More Than 200 Oshkosh LVSRs — Press Release

U.S. Marine Corps to Receive More Than 200 Oshkosh LVSRs

OSHKOSH, Wis. (Feb. 15, 2012) — Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), will deliver more than 140 Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) cargo trucks and nearly 70 LVSR tractors for the U.S. Marine Corps following an order from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command. The LVSR was first fielded in Afghanistan in 2009 and has quickly proven itself as the Marines’ new heavy-payload platform, delivering improvements in mobility, protection and performance.

“Our ongoing commitment to internal innovation at Oshkosh allows us to design, upgrade and sustain highly advanced vehicles like the LVSR and ensure military fleets remain in sync with evolving challenges in theater,” said John Bryant, vice president and general manager of Joint and Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “The LVSR’s advanced design allows it to accept protection upgrades and perform missions that are above and beyond what the original vehicle requirements called for.”

The LVSR cargo variant is used in even the most challenging terrain to transport a wide range of supplies and materials, including ammunition, fuel containers, bridging equipment, flatracks and ISO containers. The LVSR tractor variant is designed to haul combat vehicles, semi-trailers and other equipment. It has a fifth-wheel vertical-loading capacity of 25.3 tons and a recovery winch with a 30-ton capacity.

The LVSR is produced in three variants – cargo, wrecker and tractor – and is used in tandem with the medium-payload, Oshkosh-built Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR). The LVSR is equipped with the Oshkosh Command Zone™ embedded diagnostics system to provide real-time performance feedback on major vehicle systems, including the engine, transmission and brakes. The vehicle also uses the company’s patented TAK-4® independent suspension system for off-road mobility in severe landscapes.

The order is valued at more than $94 million and work is expected to be completed in September 2013. Oshkosh to date has received orders for more than 2,000 LVSRs.

About Oshkosh Defense

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit www.oshkoshdefense.com.

About Oshkosh Corporation

Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corporation manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, visit www.oshkoshcorporation.com.

®, TM All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

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Lockheed Martin (LMT) Protests Award of Navy Contract to Northrop Grumman (NOC)

At the beginning of the month the U.S. Navy awarded the first in a series of contracts to begin installing consistent networks on ships. The initial value of this contract is for $36 million and would be for installations on 3 ships.

The Consolidated Afloat Networks Enterprise Services (CANES) program is to undergo testing this year and have a Milestone C Low Rate Initial Production Decision to support completion of the first install by the end of the year.

Northrop Grumman (NOC) beat out Lockheed Martin (LMT) for the production contract. Both had been awarded development contracts a few years ago. If all options on the contract are exercised it could be worth over $600 million and be installed on 54 ships. Next year after more testing there will be a Full Rate Production Decision leading to the award of a much larger contract.

Yesterday though Lockheed formally protested the award citing a belief in flaws with the Navy’s evaluation of the two proposals. The protest will be reviewed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) who have one hundred days to come to a decision. Normally the protested contract is placed on hold while the GAO conducts its review. If Lockheed disagrees with the result then they may appeal to the Federal courts.

Protests have been rising consistently over the last two decades as the Pentagon issues fewer contracts and company’s fight harder for market share. They are disruptive but Federal law allows almost any decision to be protested although the GAO often denies them. The biggest factor for now is that it delays the start of work by Northrop and disrupts the program’s schedule.

Unfortunately for the Services and the Defense Department many cases are decided in favor of the company protesting which continues to highlight the need for the process as some selection decisions have proved flawed for many reasons. The KC-X tanker contract originally awarded to Northrop was successfully protested by Boeing (BA) who won the contract upon a new competition was ordered.

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FY13 Defense Budget Hits Aircraft Procurement

The Obama Administration submitted its FY13 budget to the Congress today and as expected the defense budget took some hits. Trying to keep spending flat compared to the 2012 budget the Administration has proposed some cuts to investment, personnel programs and benefits. Chief among these were cuts to the most expensive program in the budget: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) as well as some other aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) programs.

Even though the F-35 saw production reduced from only 31 to 29 this saved an estimated $1.6 billion. Over the next five year budget plan 179 less F-35 would be purchased then planned. Lockheed Martin (LMT) is the prime contractor on the advanced aircraft.

The V-22 which has gone into use with the U.S.M.C. and Air Force as a transport and search-and-resuce aircraft saw its planned production cut to 21 from 27. This should save about $500 million. The V-22 made by Boeing (BA) and Bell Helicopter, part of Textron (TXT), was on the downslope of the current multi-year production contract with the second in negotiation. This possibly could see reduced quantities.

All of this adds up to reduced revenues for Lockheed, Boeing and Textron although Congress does not need to accept the proposed cuts. It is expected though that a great deal of them will make it through the budget cycle as the need to reduce the deficit and government spending as a whole will require some reductions in defense spending.

Photo from Secretary of Defense’s flickr photostream.

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Raytheon Delivers First International Maritime Surveillance Radar to Boeing — Press Release

Raytheon Delivers First International Maritime Surveillance Radar to Boeing

Delivery marks addition of new technology with air-to-air surveillance mode

SINGAPORE, Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has delivered the first international version of its APY-10 surveillance radar to Boeing. The radar will be installed on the P-8I aircraft Boeing is building for the Indian navy.

“Our APY-10 radar will provide the Indian navy with proven, low-risk technology built on generations of successful Raytheon maritime radar systems,” said Tim Carey, vice president for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business. “Adaptable and configurable, the APY-10 radar is a premier example of Raytheon’s ability to meet key customer requirements.”

The APY-10 radar delivers accurate and actionable information in all weather, day and night, for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, and for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

To meet unique requirements for the Indian navy, Raytheon has added an air-to-air mode, which provides the detection and tracking of airborne targets, allowing customers to detect threats in the air as well as at sea. In addition, an interleaved weather and surface search capability has been added to provide the cockpit with up-to-date weather avoidance information while performing surveillance missions.

With reduced weight and power consumption, the APY-10 radar has improved the average mean time between failure by six times over earlier generation radars. In addition to the new capabilities, the design can accommodate significant future growth. Raytheon is under contract to produce eight APY-10 radars for the Indian navy.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2011 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 90 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 71,000 people worldwide. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter at @raytheon.

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