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  • General Dynamics Griffin Takes Lead To Replace M2 Bradley

    October 16, 2018 | International, Land

    General Dynamics Griffin Takes Lead To Replace M2 Bradley

    By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR. BAE System's CV90 Mark IV is the latest upgrade of a 25-year-old vehicle widely used in Europe; the Rheinmetall-Raytheon Lynx is an all-new design, although individual components have a good track record; but the General Dynamics Griffin III is in the middle, combining a new gun and new electronics with the time-tested chassis from the European ASCOD family. AUSA: General Dynamics looks like the early favorite to replace the Army's 1980s-vintage M2 Bradley troop carrier. That's my personal assessment after talking at length to officers and contractors at last week's Association of the US Army conference, where months of uncertainty finally gave way to some real clarity about both what the Army wants and what industry can offer. In brief, GD's Griffin III demonstrator seems to hit the sweet spot between innovative and proven technologies that the Army wants to start fielding a Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) as soon as 2026. Of the three vehicles on display at AUSA, BAE System's CV90 Mark IV is the latest upgrade of a 25-year-old vehicle widely used in Europe; the Rheinmetall-Raytheon Lynx is an all-new design, although individual components have a good track record; but the General Dynamics Griffin III is in the middle, combining a new gun and new electronics with the time-tested chassis from the European ASCOD family. The competitors do have a lot in common. All offer tracked vehicles with diesel engines — even BAE, which once touted its hybrid-electric drives as a key selling point. All three boast open-architecture electronics to ease future upgrades, an integrated Active Protection System to shoot down incoming anti-tank warheads, modular armor that can be layered on or stripped down depending on the mission, and a turret capable of mounting a 50 mm gun, the Army's preferred caliber. Only the Griffin actually has a 50mm installed right now, however. The others currently have 35mm cannon. It's also the only vehicle that can point its gun almost straight up, at an 85 degree angle, to hit rooftop targets in urban combat, something the Army has worried about extensively. Details like this suggest that General Dynamics has been listening more closely to the Army than its competitors. In fact, even where the Griffin III underperforms its competitors, most notably by carrying fewer infantry, it does so in areas where the Army is willing to make tradeoffs. The End of the Beginning Now, it's still early in the NGCV race. While we only saw three contenders on the floor at AUSA, it's still entirely possible a fourth player could jump in. My money's on the team of SAIC and Singapore-based STK, which is already offering a modified Singaporean army vehicle for the US Army's Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) light tank. The other MPF competitors are BAE, with an update of the Armored Gun Systemcancelled in 1996, and GD, offering a version of the Griffin. By November, the Army will award two of the three companies contracts to build prototypes. If either GD or the SAIC-ST team wins, they'll have at least a slight advantage for NGCV, since buying related vehicles for both roles will simplify training, maintenance, and supply. (BAE's AGS is totally unrelated to its CV90, so an MPF win wouldn't help it on NGCV). By contrast to MPF, the competition for NGCV is only at the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. The Army's still refining its requirements, in part based on discussions with industry at AUSA. What's the timeline? Col. James Schirmer, the program manager, said at the conference that “we are within weeks of having that requirement finalized.” Brig. Gen. Richard Ross Coffman, the Army's director of armored vehicle modernization, said a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) based on those requirements will come out no later than January. So there'll be time for the competitors to revise their NGCV designs before submitting them. Even after that, more than one company will get a contract to build prototypes for Army testing. What's the objective that drives both this pace and the technological tradeoffs the Army is willing to make? Fielding the first operational unit in 2026 — nine years earlier than the original plan — to help deter Russian aggression. Deadline 2026 “All options are on the table, but the schedule will be the schedule,” Brig. Gen. Coffman told reporters at AUSA. “We would like to field this vehicle by 2026.” “If someone could develop a clean sheet design that could meet that timeline,” he said, “it'd be great, but I don't know that's doable.” (By contrast, the potential replacement for the M1 Abrams tank is coming later, so the service is looking for radical innovation). Schirmer offered more specifics. “We have a pretty challenging test schedule... very similar to MPF, (so) we really can't afford a clean sheet design,” he said. The more mature the component technologies, the better, he said, but what's best is that those individual components have been proven as an integrated system. Specifically, Schirmer said, “for the Bradley replacement, we are going to be buying vehicles that are based on a mature architecture — powertrain, track, suspension — that's already in service somewhere in the world.” While these remarks leave the door open for the Lynx, or at least ajar, they're not particularly encouraging. By contrast, the CV90 series entered service with Sweden in 1993, with variants now serving in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Holland, Norway, and Switzerland. The Griffin III is the latest member of the ASCOD family — the Spanish Pizzaro, Austrian Ulan, and British Ajax — which debuted in Spain in 2002. While the Army wants a proven hull, however, Schirmer says there is one area where technology is advancing fast enough for it be worth taking some risk: lethality, i.e. the gun and sensors. In particular, while the Bradley has a 25mm chaingun, the Army really wants NGCV to have a 50mm cannon — firing shells about four times as big — that's now in development at the service's Ammunition Research, Development, & Engineering Center (ARDEC). That gun, the XM913, is currently integrated on just one competitor, the Griffin, although both the Lynx and CV90 turrets could accommodate it. All three vehicles, like the Bradley, also have room in the turret to mount anti-tank missiles of various types. The Griffin on the show floor also mounts a launcher for AeroVironment Shrike mini-drones, while the Lynx will have the option to launch Raytheon's Coyote: Both mini-drones can be configured either with sensors to scout or with warheads to destroy. Even on weaponry, however, the Army is willing to make compromises to speed fielding, just as it introduced the original M1 Abrams with a 105 mm gun but with room to upgrade to the desired 120mm when it was ready a few years later. For NGCV, Schirmer said, they want the vehicle to have the 50mm gun eventually but “may settle on the 30 in the near term, just to meet schedule.” Armor & Passengers Besides gun caliber, the other easily measured aspect of an armored vehicle is its weight, which is very much a two-edged sword. There's been no breakthrough in armor materials since the 1980s and none on the horizon, so the only way to get better armor is to make it thicker. So a heavier vehicle is probably better protected, but it also burns more fuel, wears out more spare parts, and has more trouble getting places: Bridges and transport aircraft in particular can only take so much weight. Full article:

  • CAE releases its first Business Jet Pilot Demand Outlook: 50,000 new business jet pilots required over the next 10 years

    October 16, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    CAE releases its first Business Jet Pilot Demand Outlook: 50,000 new business jet pilots required over the next 10 years

    CAE released today at the 2018 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention and exhibition its 2018 CAE Airline and Business Jet Pilot Demand Outlook. This is an update to last year's report, which provides, for the first time, a business jet pilot demand forecast. The renewed 10-year view offers fleet operators key insights on the future need for professional pilots in both business and commercial aviation, building on the markets' key drivers, variables and trends. The report demonstrates that the active business jet pilot population will reach 65,000 by 2028, which represents an increase of 18%, with a turnover rate of almost 100%. More specifically, 10,000 new business jet pilots will be required to sustain growth and 40,000 new business jet pilots will be needed to support retirement attrition across the segment over the next decade. “The CAE Airline and Business Jet Pilot Demand is a one-of-a kind report. Our 2018 update builds on last year's analysis while introducing for the first time a business jet pilot forecast and shedding light on ways the aviation industry can cope with this demand,” said Marc Parent, CAE's President and Chief Executive Officer. “Today's soaring pilot demand is a reality that we must all face. As the leading training organization in the world, we are honoured to offer our partners the training solutions they need to face this rising demand.” The 2018 CAE Airline and Business Jet Pilot Demand Outlook is available for download at

  • U.S. Navy extends sustainment and support contract with Rockwell Collins for F/A-18 avionics displays

    October 16, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    U.S. Navy extends sustainment and support contract with Rockwell Collins for F/A-18 avionics displays

    Navy experiencing 99 percent availability rates as a result of the program demonstrates success of Public Private Partnership between Rockwell Collins and U.S. Navy Depots CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Oct. 16, 2018) – Rockwell Collins and the U.S. Navy Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) have renewed an agreement for continued support on avionics displays for the Navy's F/A-18 fleet of over 1,200 aircraft. The contract is a four-year extension of the performance-based logistics (PBL) contract which started more than 15 years ago. To date, the existing PBL agreement with Rockwell Collins has provided the Navy with over 99 percent availability rates, eliminated all backorders on parts since 2005 and performed a turnaround time of less than 48 hours for most replacement hardware. As part of the initial program, a public-private partnership was established. The partnership creates shared industry and government incentives and allows the government to perform work at two Navy depot locations. Today, more than 60 percent of the work is completed through these depot partnerships. Additionally, Rockwell Collins provides obsolescence and configuration management, engineering support and program management. These capabilities facilitate proactive management of Rockwell Collins equipment installed on the aircraft, enabling mission readiness. “The longstanding relationship we have with NAVSUP WSS and Navy repair depots has been crucial in the success of this program,” said Aaron Maue, senior director, Government Service Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “As we move forward, we'll continue to work together to optimize results and deliver the long-term value that PBLs provide.” Rockwell Collins has over 20 years of experience in PBL contracting with a 100 percent program renewal rate. The company's proven track record in PBL contracts has shown they improve reliability and readiness, and by integrating the logistics chain, significant results for performance can be achieved. About Rockwell Collins Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a leader in aviation and high-integrity solutions for commercial and military customers around the world. Every day we help pilots safely and reliably navigate to the far corners of the earth; keep warfighters aware and informed in battle; deliver millions of messages for airlines and airports; and help passengers stay connected and comfortable throughout their journey. As experts in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, cabin interiors, information management, mission communications, and simulation and training, we offer a comprehensive portfolio of products and services that can transform our customers' futures. To find out more, please visit

  • GE and ATEC Vying for U.S. Army Helicopter Engine Program

    October 16, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    GE and ATEC Vying for U.S. Army Helicopter Engine Program

    General Electric [GE] and Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC) touted the capabilities of their respective engines in the quest by the U.S. Army to find new engines for the AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk fleets under the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).ATEC...

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - October 15, 2018

    October 16, 2018 | International, Naval, Land, C4ISR

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - October 15, 2018

    ARMY Absolute Business Solutions Inc., Herndon, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0001); Data Systems Analysts Inc., Feasterville Trevose, Pennsylvania (W911QY-19-D-0002); DCS Corp., Alexandria, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0003); HII Mission Driven Innovative Solutions Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (W911QY-19-D-0004); Integrity Consulting Engineering and Security Solutions,* Purcellville, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0005); Interactive Process Technology LLC, Billerica, Massachusetts (W911QY-19-D-0006); Joint Research and Development Inc.,* Stafford, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0007); Kalman and Company Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0008); MLT Systems LLC,* Stafford, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0009); Mustang Gray LLC,* Stafford, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0010); Patricio Enterprises Inc., Stafford, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0011); and Whitney, Bradley & Brown Inc., Reston, Virginia (W911QY-19-D-0012), will share in a $249,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for providing resources in support of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. Bids were solicited via the internet with 21 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 14, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. NAVY Dyncorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $152,247,409 firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides for logistics support services and material for the organizational and depot level maintenance of approximately 118 TH-57 aircraft. Work will be performed in Milton, Florida, and is expected to be completed in November 2022. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal, with two offers received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (N61340-19-D-0905). WR Systems Ltd., Norfolk, Virginia, is awarded a $49,999,996 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, performance-based contract with provisions for cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price task orders. The contract is for the procurement of positioning, navigation and timing engineering and in-service engineering agency support services. The services required include design development, systems integration, acquisition and prototype engineering, technical documentation, and integrated logistic support in order to support the Integrated Product Team. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by October 2020. Fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,200 are obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured because this is a sole-source acquisition pursuant to the authority of 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), one source or limited sources (Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1(a)(2)(iii)(B)). Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity (N6523619D8001). The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded $24,400,000 for cost plus-incentive-fee delivery order N0001918F2046 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-16-G-0001). This order provides for Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) System enhancements to the ALQ-218 receiver system hardware and communication lines between assemblies to accommodate future planned functional growth and enhancements. Thirteen sets of WRA-7, WRA-8, WRA-9, and 18 AEA gun bay pallets will be modified and the associated technical directives will be written in support of the Navy and the government of Australia. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland (31 percent); St. Louis, Missouri (23 percent); St. Augustine, Florida (15 percent); Bethpage, New York (11 percent); Patuxent River, Maryland (10 percent); and China Lake, California (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2020. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy); and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $24,400,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This delivery order combines purchases for the Navy ($23,157,457; 95 percent); and the government of Australia ($1,242,543; 5 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $14,718,840 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Next Generation Submarine Science and Technology Research. This contract contains options, which if exercised, would increase the contract value to $39,661,906. Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut, and work is expected to be completed by Oct. 14, 2019. If options are exercised, work will continue through October 2023. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount $10,000 will be obligated at the time of award. No funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under N00014-18-S-B001 “Long Range Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology.” Proposals will be received throughout the year under the long range BAA, therefore, the number of proposals received in response to the solicitation is unknown. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00014-19-C-1002). DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY Southwind Construction Services LLC, Edmond, Oklahoma, was awarded a competitive firm-fixed-price contract for the installation of raised floor and high density cooling and power upgrade at the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma data center. The face value of this action is $9,177,535 funded by fiscal 2018 and 2019 capital funds. Performance will be at Data Center Oklahoma City, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Proposals were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunity website and three proposals were received. The period of performance is 365 days after contract award (estimated period of performance is Oct. 22, 2018 - Oct. 21, 2019). The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott AFB, Illinois, is the contracting activity (HC102819C0001). *Small Business

  • TransDigm to Acquire Esterline Technologies in $4 Billion All Cash Transaction

    October 16, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    TransDigm to Acquire Esterline Technologies in $4 Billion All Cash Transaction

    CLEVELAND, OH and BELLEVUE, WA., October 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/GlobeNewswire -- TransDigm Group Incorporated (NYSE: TDG) and Esterline Technologies Corporation (NYSE:ESL) announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which TransDigm will purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Esterline for $122.50 per share in cash, which represents a premium of 38% to Esterline's closing price on October 9, 2018, or a total transaction value of approximately $4.0 billion including the assumption of debt. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. TransDigm expects the acquisition to be financed primarily through cash on hand and the incurrence of new term loans, and currently anticipates the acquisition to be modestly accretive to TransDigm's adjusted earnings per share within the first year of ownership. The acquisition of Esterline expands TransDigm's platform of proprietary and sole source content for the aerospace and defense industries, including significant aftermarket exposure. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Esterline is an industry leader in specialized manufacturing for these sectors with anticipated fiscal year 2018 revenue of approximately $2.0 billion. The company consists of 28 business units organized across eight platforms to deliver specialty aerospace, defense and industrial products. The company employs over 12,500 employees in more than 50 operating locations throughout the world. Esterline has attractive platform positions in both the OEM and aftermarket and has substantial content on many important commercial aircraft variants, many regional and business jet aircraft and major defense platforms. “We are pleased to have reached agreement to acquire a collection of businesses that fit well with our focused and consistent strategy,” stated W. Nicholas Howley, TransDigm's Executive Chairman. “Esterline's core aerospace and defense business consists of primarily proprietary, sole source products with significant and growing aftermarket exposure. We view this as highly complementary to our existing business. We are confident that the combination of Esterline's leading positions and our proven track record of driving performance will enable us to deliver the private equity-like returns our investors have come to expect from this investment." Kevin Stein, TransDigm's President and Chief Executive Officer stated, “We are excited to acquire Esterline's wide range of complementary products and see a path to create significant value for TransDigm shareholders, customers and stakeholders. Upon completion of the transaction, Bob Henderson, TransDigm's current Vice-Chairman, will oversee the integration and operations of Esterline. Mr. Henderson has been a key member of TransDigm's management team for close to 25 years and has overseen the integration of numerous acquisitions during this period, including our recent acquisition of Kirkhill from Esterline.” “Our combination with TransDigm delivers a compelling value for our shareholders,” said Curtis Reusser, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Esterline. “I am pleased with the outcome of our thoughtful strategic review process, and we believe it is the best result for all Esterline stakeholders. I am very proud of the commitment and focus of our employees to serving the needs of our customers, and I am confident the combined companies will be well positioned to succeed in the global market we serve.” The acquisition will be financed through a combination of existing cash on hand of approximately $2 billion and the incurrence of new term loans. TransDigm has obtained commitments for the full amount of financing required for the transaction. Immediately upon closing, the combined company will maintain the financial flexibility to meet any anticipated operating, acquisition, and other opportunities that may arise though a combination of cash on hand, undrawn revolver, and under certain circumstances, additional availability under its credit agreement. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including Esterline stockholder approval and the receipt of required regulatory approvals. The companies expect to complete the transaction in the second half of calendar 2019. Advisors Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to TransDigm. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Baker & Hostetler LLP acted as TransDigm's lead legal counsel. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to Esterline and Evercore Group L.L.C. served as advisor to Esterline's Board of Directors. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom served as legal counsel to Esterline. Conference Call TransDigm will hold a conference call to discuss this announcement beginning at 10:45 a.m. ET Wednesday, October 10. To join the call, dial (888) 558-9538 and enter the passcode 5278399. International callers should dial (760) 666-3183 and use the same passcode. A slideshow accompanying the presentation will be posted to prior to the call. A telephone replay will be available for one week by dialing (855) 859-2056 and entering the pass code 5278399. International callers should dial (404) 537-3406 and use the same passcode. About TransDigm Group TransDigm Group Incorporated, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. Major product offerings, substantially all of which are ultimately provided to end-users in the aerospace industry, include mechanical/electro-mechanical actuators and controls, ignition systems and engine technology, specialized pumps and valves, power conditioning devices, specialized AC/DC electric motors and generators, NiCad batteries and chargers, engineered latching and locking devices, rods and locking devices, engineered connectors and elastomers, cockpit security components and systems, specialized cockpit displays, aircraft audio systems, specialized lavatory components, seatbelts and safety restraints, engineered interior surfaces and related components, lighting and control technology, military personnel parachutes, high performance hoists, winches and lifting devices, and cargo loading, handling and delivery systems. About Esterline Esterline Corporation is a leading worldwide supplier to the aerospace and defense industry specializing in three core business segments: Advanced Materials; Avionics & Controls; and Sensors & Systems. Operations within the Advanced Materials segment focus on technologies including high-temperature-resistant materials and components used for a wide range of military and commercial aerospace purposes, and combustible ordinance and electronic warfare countermeasure products. Operations within the Avionics & Controls segment focus on technology interface systems for commercial and military aircraft and similar devices for land- and sea-based military vehicles, integrated cockpit systems, display technologies for avionics, training and simulation markets, secure communications systems, specialized medical equipment, and other high-end industrial applications. The Sensors & Systems segment includes operations that produce high-precision temperature and pressure sensors, specialized harsh-environment connectors, electrical power distribution equipment, and other related systems principally for aerospace and defense customers. Forward-Looking Statements Statements in this press release which are not historic facts are forward-looking statements under the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to expectations of Esterline's future performance, profitability, growth and earnings; expectations of TransDigm's earnings per share and the financial impact of the proposed transaction; the financing of the proposed transaction; and the timing of the proposed transaction. All statements other than statements of historical fact that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements, including, in particular, statements about our plans, objectives, strategies and prospects regarding, among other things, the acquired business. We have identified some of these forward-looking statements with words like "believe," "may," "will," "should," "expect," "intend," "plan," predict," "anticipate," "estimate" or "continue" and other words and terms of similar meaning. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties which could affect TransDigm's actual results and could cause its actual results or the benefits of the proposed transaction to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of TransDigm. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, closing conditions to the proposed transaction may not be achieved, the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the Merger Agreement, the effect of the announcement or pendency of the proposed transaction on the TransDigm's and Esterline's business relationships, operating results and business generally, risks related to diverting management's attention from ongoing business operations, the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted related to the Merger Agreement or the proposed transaction, unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the proposed transaction, Esterline's actual financial results for the year ended September 28, 2018 may differ from expected results, TransDigm may have difficulty obtaining required approvals, TransDigm may have difficulty implementing its strategic value drivers, and TransDigm may be impacted by the effects of general economic and industry conditions. Except as required by law, TransDigm undertakes no obligation to revise or update the forward-looking information contained in this press release. Additional Information and Where to Find It This communication is being made in respect of the proposed transaction involving Transdigm and Esterline. In connection with the proposed transaction, Esterline intends to file relevant materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including a preliminary proxy statement on Schedule 14A. Promptly after filing its definitive proxy statement with the SEC, Esterline will mail the definitive proxy statement and a proxy card to each stockholder of Esterline entitled to vote at the stockholder meeting relating to the proposed transaction. This communication is not a substitute for the proxy statement or any other document that Esterline may file with the SEC or send to its stockholders in connection with the proposed transaction. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, STOCKHOLDERS OF ESTERLINE ARE URGED TO READ THESE MATERIALS (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION THAT ESTERLINE WILL FILE WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ESTERLINE AND THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. The definitive proxy statement, the preliminary proxy statement and other relevant materials in connection with the proposed transaction (when they become available), and any other documents filed by Esterline with the SEC, may be obtained free of charge at the SEC's website ( or at Esterline's website ( or by contacting Esterline's Investor Relations at 500 108th Avenue NE, Suite 1500, Bellevue, Washington 98004, or by calling (425) 453-9400. Participants in the Solicitation Esterline and TransDigm and their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from Esterline's stockholders with respect to the proposed transaction. Information about Esterline's directors and executive officers and their ownership of Esterline's common stock is set forth in its proxy statement for its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders which was filed with the SEC on December 27, 2017, and its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 29, 2017, which was filed with the SEC on November 21, 2017, and the Amendment No. 1 on Form 10-K/A, which was filed with the SEC on March 30, 2018. Information about TransDigm's directors and executive officers is set forth in its proxy statement for its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K. These documents may be obtained for free at the SEC's website at Additional information regarding the potential participants, and their direct or indirect interests in the proposed transaction, by security holdings or otherwise, will be set forth in the proxy statement and other materials to be filed with SEC in connection with the proposed transaction. Contact: TransDigm Esterline Liza Sabol John Hobbs Director of Investor Relations Sr. Director, Investor Relations (216) 706-2945 (425) 453-9400;PressCenter/EntryId/6232/TransDigm-to-Acquire-Esterline-Technologies-in-4-Billion-All-Cash-Transaction.aspx

  • TRU and FlightSafety International Announce a Joint Venture to Offer a Combined Training Solution on Textron Aviation Platforms

    October 16, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    TRU and FlightSafety International Announce a Joint Venture to Offer a Combined Training Solution on Textron Aviation Platforms

    Goose Creek, S.C. —October 15, 2018— TRU Simulation + Training, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, and FlightSafety International have entered into a letter of intent to form a joint venture to provide the industry-leading training solution for Textron Aviation‘s broad product line of business and general aviation aircraft. TRU and FlightSafety will combine their assets and capabilities, including their simulators, courseware, and world-class teams, to support their global customers' training needs. “The combination of our training capabilities will enable us to provide best-in-class pilot and maintenance training programs to our customers around the world,” said David Davenport, Co-CEO and President, Commercial, FlightSafety International. “For more than 40 years FlightSafety has served Textron Aviation customers, and this venture will allow us to offer more flexible training options leveraging the capabilities of both organizations. We also want to recognize Bruce Whitman's significant contributions. He was instrumental in the initial planning and actively participated in the development of this important agreement. As always, Bruce's focus was to ensure that the joint venture would benefit our customers and enhance the training they receive.” “The new joint venture will enhance our ability to service our growing customer base,” said Gunnar Kleveland, president of TRU Simulation + Training Inc. “With Textron Aviation continuing to expand its product portfolio with aircraft such as the Latitude, Longitude, Hemisphere, Denali and SkyCourier, it is critical we provide the full scope of training services our customers require. This joint venture will allow us to better address that demand.” TRU will serve as the exclusive supplier of new Textron Aviation simulators to the joint venture. TRU will also continue its other operations, including the design and manufacture of training simulators and provide training solutions for the global aviation industry and military customers. The transaction is expected to close in the next several months, subject to finalizing definitive documentation and regulatory approval.

  • Air2030: A la rencontre de SAAB et du Gripen E

    October 15, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Air2030: A la rencontre de SAAB et du Gripen E

    Alexis Pfefferlé Lancement des rencontres BtoB Jeudi 11 octobre 2018, Lausanne. Première journée incontournable pour l'industrie suisse de la défense. A l'initiative du Groupe romand pour le matériel de Défense et de Sécurité (GRPM) , de Swissmem, l'association faîtière des PME et des grandes entreprises de l'industrie suisse des machines, des équipements électriques et des métaux (industrie MEM) et du Bureau des affaires compensatoires à Berne, se tenait la première journée BtoB (Business to Business) dans le cadre de l'appel d'offre du programme Air2030. Pour rappel, le programme Air2030 est en substance le projet d'acquisition par l'armée suisse de nouveaux jets de combat et d'un nouveau système de défense sol-air de longue portée sous la forme d'un arrêté de planification pour un coût maximal de 8 milliards de francs. Au contraire de la votation de 2014 sur le Gripen, le peuple ne se prononcera cette fois pas sur le modèle d'avion mais uniquement sur l'enveloppe budgétaire souhaitée par le Département de Guy Parmelin. Suite à l'appel d'offre lancée par Armasuisse en juillet 2017 pour la partie avions de combats, cinq constructeurs sont entrés dans la course. Saab et son Gripen E, Dassault et son Rafale, Boeing et son FA 18 Super Hornet, Lookheed Martin et son F-35A et Airbus avec l'Eurofighter. Particularité de cet appel d'offre, l'achat de nouveaux avions de combat devra faire l'objet d'une compensation industrielle à 100%, à savoir que le pays vendeur devra compenser l'achat de la Suisse par des achats d'un montant équivalent auprès de l'industrie suisse. Dans le jargon, on appelle cela les affaires compensatoires ou l'offset industriel. C'est ainsi que dans le cadre de l'acquisition des nouveaux avions de combat, les cinq constructeurs sont appelés à rencontrer les sociétés suisses avec lesquelles ils pourront potentiellement conclure des contrats. L'enjeu est de taille, ces affaires compensatoires représentent près de CHF 8mia pour l'industrie suisse (dont 30% espérés en Romandie) et des possibilités très intéressantes de partenariats à long terme. Par le biais de ce blog, j'ai décidé de partager avec vous quelques détails de ces journées incontournables pour l'industrie suisse de la défense. SAAB en première ligne Retour donc à Lausanne le 11 octobre, à 0800 comme disent les militaires. L'ambiance est sobre, voire médicale, bien loin de l'image d'Épinal de la foire aux canons avec hôtesses slaves en pantalon treillis et kalachnikov. Les femmes, j'en compte 2 sur 200, sont en tailleur et ça parle beaucoup suisse-allemand, quand bien même la même réunion s'est tenue la veille à Berne. Après une introduction par le Président du Groupe romand pour le matériel de Défense et de Sécurité, c'est au Président du Switzerland Business Unit de SAAB d'entrer en scène. Le discours est rodé, court, impactant. Le Gripen E, version monoplace, est un avion de dernière génération, économique et facile à manœuvrer et à manutentionner. Il peut notamment être ravitaillé en essence et munitions en 10 minutes par une équipe réduite et décoller sur une piste de 800 mètres. Pour une présentation en Suisse, l'exemple est parfait. On en vient ensuite directement à la question des affaires compensatoires. On est là pour faire des affaires, ce n'est pas aujourd'hui que l'on vend l'avion. Sur ce point, le discours est stratégique avec deux concepts martelés tout au long de la présentation, implantation à long terme et partenariats plutôt qu'achats. Et SAAB soutient le discours par du concret, 25% des sociétés suisses présentes dans la salle sont déjà des fournisseurs de SAAB, et ce malgré l'échec de 2014, et un autre 20% est en cours de négociation. De plus, SAAB possède des participations dans au moins quatre sociétés suisses actives dans l'industrie de défense et comme SAAB produit, en plus de ses avions, des voitures, des tanks, des bateaux et même des sous-marins, le potentiel de collaboration est énorme. Sur l'aspect partenariat, les promesses sont alléchantes. Les sociétés suisses qui participeront au développement du Gripen E, si celui-ci était retenu, verront leurs technologies et produits intégrés au programme Gripen E et donc vendus aux autres pays intéressés par l'avion. Avec 60 avions en commande pour la Suède, 36 pour le Brésil et trois appels d'offres en cours en au Royaume-Uni, en Finlande et en Bulgarie, le “contrat suisse” pourrait faire des petits. Fin de la présentation, nous sortons boire un café ou un jus de pommes. Je vois s'activer les représentants des sociétés suisses qui, dans quelques minutes, débuteront leur BtoB avec l'avionneur. Quinze minutes par société en tête à tête pour conclure, dans une sorte de speed-dating technique en col blanc. GRIPEN E, points forts et points faibles Pour conclure sur le Gripen E, j'ai retenu quelques points forts/faibles au terme de cette première présentation. Points forts Forte implantation suisse de SAAB, tant en matière industrielle qu'en terme de lobbyisme ; Fort potentiel de partenariats en matière industrielle, militaire et civile ; Investissements historiques en Suisse et accroissement souhaité sur le long terme ; Transparence accrue dans les pays du Nord, notamment en matière de défense. Points faibles Faible poids de la Suède au sein de l'Europe dans une perspective géopolitique ; Marché de la défense à l'export plus petit et plus faible que d'autres concurrents, notamment dans la perspective d'affaires compensatoires dans d'autres domaines que l'aviation. Et si le Souverain disait non ? Avant de quitter les lieux, voyant toutes ces personnes peaufiner leur speech et les organisateurs régler les derniers détails, me vient à l'esprit cette réflexion : Et si tout ça n'aboutissait à rien ? En effet, ces rencontres BtoB, fruits de plusieurs mois de travail acharné des organisateurs et des industriels présents précèdent l'analyse des offres par l'armée et plus encore, le probable référendum. Au bout du compte, il se pourrait bien que tout ce temps et cet argent investis ne servent à rien en cas de nouvel échec devant le peuple. Ce qui m'amène à la réflexion suivante, pourquoi diable le Département fédéral de la défense et des sports n'a-t-il pas pressé pour que l'on vote avant l'appel d'offre ? Venir en 2020 devant le peuple avec l'argument que tout est déjà réglé et qu'il ne manque que la signature du souverain, c'est prendre un énorme risque. Espérons qu'il soit calculé. ABE Bon baiser de Suisse.

  • New lunar rover concept contracts awarded to MDA and Canadensys Aerospace Corporation

    October 15, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    New lunar rover concept contracts awarded to MDA and Canadensys Aerospace Corporation

    Strengthening Canada's leadership in AI-driven robotics to support jobs NEWS PROVIDED BY Canadian Space Agency New lunar rover concept contracts awarded to MDA and Canadensys Aerospace Corporation LONGUEUIL, QC, Oct. 15, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is positioning Canada's space community to maintain its global leadership in space robotics. Accordingly, the CSA announced today that it is investing $1.6 million in two concepts for lunar rovers that would use artificial intelligence to make their own decisions. Canadian businesses MDA, a Maxar company, and Canadensys Aerospace Corporation have each been awarded a contract worth $800 000 to develop an innovative concept for the CSA. The CSA made the announcement at the start of a three-day event to promote Canadian space capabilities to major space companies, including Blue Origin, Airbus Defense and Space and Moon Express. As part of ongoing discussions with the international space community to prepare options for Canada's participation in the next chapter of space exploration, the CSA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Moon Express, a US-based company. This agreement will enable Canadian firms and researchers to offer Moon Express their expertise and capabilities. The CSA will also explore the potential of using the company's lunar lander service for the delivery of future Canadian payloads. These activities will foster the growth and innovation of Canadian businesses in our modern economy and increase opportunities for them to export their technologies and services. Quick facts The contracts awarded to MDA and Canadensys Aerospace will support 61 well-paying jobs and position Canada to play an important role in future missions to the Moon with international partners. A lunar rover would be crucial for scientific research: it would collect lunar samples for return to Earth and test technology required for a future pressurized rover able to transport astronauts on the Moon's surface. The ability to make decisions using artificial intelligence represents a new chapter in planetary rover technology: the rover would be able to assess its immediate environment, analyze risks, and autonomously plan its trajectory to meet objectives. Rovers with autonomous decision-making abilities will be able to accomplish a greater number of science objectives more efficiently. 44 organizations are attending the CSA's Industry Days from October 15-17, during which time over 70 business-to-business meetings will take place. Quote "Canada's space sector not only inspires Canadians to reach for the stars, it has for a long time been at the forefront of Canadian science, technology and innovation. With these investments, our government is supporting a key sector of our economy that creates good jobs and will continue to propel Canada's innovation economy to new heights." The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Website: Email: Follow us on Social Media SOURCE Canadian Space Agency For further information: Canadian Space Agency, Media Relations Office, Telephone: 450-926-4370 Related Links

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