Aerospace & Defence News.

 
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Sep 10, 2007

Competition for Air Force tanker contract heating up. The Air Force will be awarding a $40 billion contract for 179 refueling tankers as early as December. The contract could be the first installment of a deal for 500 planes worth up to $100 billion. Sep 7, 2007

Reform of defense export licensing procedures may be within reach. Defense contractors have long chafed at the lengthy licensing process required to secure the right to export military hardware and technology. Changes in geopolitical realities may spur a greater openness for export, as the U.S. sees an advantage to arming allies in the global war on terror. "The administration has welcomed suggestions for change," said Jeremiah Gertler, vice president for defense and international affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association. "There is openness to reform," he told a gathering of U.S. and foreign defense and industry officials. Sep 7, 2007

Next launch of Atlas 5 delayed. The last launch of an Atlas 5 rocket, on June 15, was marred by a fuel leak that caused the rocket to deliver its payload to the wrong orbit. Equipment repairs will delay the next launch by about a week. Sep 4, 2007

US nuclear-powered submarine propeller designs have been closely guarded secrets since the days of the Cold War. The propeller design is an integral part of a submarine's ability to remain undetected during operations, ensuring that it can patrol the seas in stealth without giving its position away to surface ships. The recent find on an online mapping service has triggered a debate over whether online mapping services offered by the likes of Google and Microsoft should be allowed to snap and publish images of sensitive US military installations. Reporting the discovery, the Navy Times newspaper quoted military analyst Nathan Hughes as saying that exposing the propeller was a major blunder that had compromised "sensitive naval technology". The paper quotes a Pentagon public affairs officer as saying that the Defence Department does not have a policy - or the legal authority - to demand the removal or blurring of commerical aerial or satellite photography. Sep 4, 2007

US nuclear-powered submarine propeller designs revealed. A man looking for a new home on an online mapping service has stumbled across an aerial image of a US nuclear-powered submarine in dry dock showing a part of the vessel that wasn't meant to be seen. The image - which appears on Microsoft's Virtual Earth mapping service -...

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