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Saudi Arabian Airlines takes delivery of first Airbus A320

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First step in fleet modernization

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), Saudi Arabia’s national airline, has taken the delivery of its first Airbus A320 becoming the newest operator of the aircraft. The aircraft was acquired under a long term lease agreement with ALAFCO.

The A320 will be deployed on routes in the region, to Europe and to the Indian subcontinent, from Saudia’s hub in Riyadh. Depending on configuration, the A320-200s, will seat between 120 and 132 passengers in two-classes. The aircraft are powered by CFM56 engines.

“The Airbus A320 is the right aircraft for our ambitious fleet modernization plan. The aircraft combines operational efficiency as well as cabin comfort for our customers, and will enable Saudia to meet the rising passenger demands and expectations”, said His Excellency Engineer Khalid Al Molhem, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Saudia’s A320 is the first to be equipped with high bandwidth in-flight entertainment system making it an option on all Airbus aircraft for the first time. This means that passengers can access to high speed interactive services such as full audio and video on demand.

“ALAFCO is proud to provide the first of 13 A320 aircraft entering into Saudia service on operating lease. ALAFCO has taken delivery of 10 A320-200 from Airbus so far in 2009,” said Ahmad Alzabin, ALAFCO Chairman and CEO.

“Saudi Arabian Airlines becoming an operator of the A320 through its leased aircraft from ALAFCO underpins the A320 as the aircraft of choice not only with valued operators but also with leading lessors looking for attractive investment assets with strong residual values.” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.”

Saudia, placed an order directly with Airbus for 22 A320 aircraft at the Dubai International Airshow in November 2007. Significantly, the agreement marked the first time in over two decades that the airline had placed an order with Airbus. Previously, Saudi Arabian Airlines were the launch customer for the Airbus A300-600, which was delivered in 1984.

The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share a unique cockpit and operational commonality across the range. Around 6,400 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and more than 3,900 delivered to some 300 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the world wide standard wide-body system.

Boeing Wideband Networking Waveform, Apache Demonstrate Future Force Interoperability

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ST. LOUIS, Oct. 2, 2009 — Two Boeing [NYSE: BA] programs, the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) and the AH-64 Apache, participated in a successful integrated capabilities event this summer at the U.S. Army’s C4ISR On-The-Move (OTM) Event 09 at Fort Dix, N.J. For the first time during this large-scale exercise, Boeing flew a WNW-equipped Apache helicopter and demonstrated the Army’s concept for networking the Future Force by transmitting data, voice and video communications between air and ground forces.

During the technology demonstration, Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Surrogate Radios operating WNW Version 3.1a were installed on an AH-64 Apache, an airship, several High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, and at a Tactical Operations Center. The WNW served as a key component of an interoperable network of airborne, mobile and stationary nodes, across which it seamlessly transmitted data.

Boeing-developed network management software monitored the WNW network and was interoperable with the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Network Operations Manager system.

Information distributed over the WNW included streaming video, situational awareness, spot reports about simulated enemy forces, imagery, and free text (similar to instant messaging).

“Boeing’s long commitment to developing network-centric systems for the warfighter was on full display during this year’s OTM event,” said Mike Bernabe, director of Boeing Advanced Network and Space Systems. “This exercise demonstrated the network capability of the Wideband Networking Waveform, as well as the critical role that the net-enabled Apache Block III will play in the Army’s Future Force network as the world’s premier fully networked attack helicopter.”

The event took place from June through September at C4ISR OTM Event 09, which was conducted by the Product Manager, C4ISR On-The-Move of the Communications and Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center under the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command.

The Army awarded Boeing the first Apache Block III contract in June 2005. In accordance with contractual milestones, Boeing plans to deliver the first production AH-64D Apache Block III in October 2011.

Boeing develops the WNW under contract to the Joint Program Executive Office JTRS Network Enterprise Domain. WNW is nearing completion and formal testing will begin later this year.

Boeing Modernised High Frequency Communications System Enters Service With Australian Defence Force

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BRISBANE, Queensland, Oct. 1, 2009 — Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], today announced the successful introduction into service of its Modernised High Frequency Communication System (MHFCS) for Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations. Boeing Defence Australia received official confirmation of the milestone from the Defence Materiel Organisation on Sept. 24. Final contract acceptance by the Commonwealth of Australia is expected in 2010.

“Boeing’s MHFCS team has built and delivered the most advanced high frequency system in the world,” said Nan Bouchard, vice president and general manager of Boeing C3 Networks. “This is an outstanding achievement and a true indication of Boeing’s commitment to developing advanced technology solutions globally for our customers.”

The MHFCS provides the ADF with a world-leading communication system to securely transmit voice and data services such as e-mail, facsimiles and Web browsing for remote stations where traditional telephone services are limited or unavailable. It is considered the world’s most advanced strategic HF communications network because of its automation levels, range and clarity, traffic volume and connection speed.

“With international markets already showing interest in the system, MHFCS has the capacity to change HF communications globally,” said Steve Parker, vice president and general manager of Boeing Network and Space Systems — Australia. “It can provide nations with the highest level of global connectivity while, for the first time, maintaining their national sovereignty and information security.”

MHFCS was delivered in two phases: the core system and the final system. The core system, delivered in 2004, replaced three of the ADF’s aging HF communications systems with a single integrated system consisting of four HF radio stations and two purpose-built control centers — one primary center and one backup. The recently delivered final system provides greater levels of automation, performance and capability for ADF users, including two generic mobile upgrade systems — one land-and-sea component and one air platforms component. Work has now commenced to complete the major remaining work scope by upgrading the backup control center (from which operations had been conducted since 2004) to the same configuration as the operational main control center.

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of nearly 2,000 employees at 13 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, BDA supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.

Boeing: Early-Infantry Brigade Combat Team Capabilities Complete Key Test

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ST. LOUIS, Oct. 1, 2009 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that Early-Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) capabilities, including unmanned ground and air vehicles, sensors, precision launch systems and network integration kits, completed a Limited User Test on Sept. 12 at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The Limited User Test was a three-week, soldier-driven independent review of the maturity, readiness, and functionality of E-IBCT capabilities that was developed and overseen by the Army Test and Evaluation Command. Results will be compiled in an assessment report later this year as part of the process leading to limited-rate initial production.

These capabilities are planned to be fielded to seven Infantry Brigade Combat Teams beginning in 2011. Boeing, along with its teammate Science Applications International Corp. [NYSE: SAI], is the prime contractor for the development and fielding of the E-IBCT effort, which is also known as Increment 1. Additional increments are planned by the Army as part of the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization strategy.

“The completion of the Limited User Test is another important milestone in fielding enhanced capabilities to our soldiers as soon as possible,” said Gregg Martin, Boeing vice president and program manager. “We look forward to working with our Army customer in moving toward a production decision later this year.”

These E-IBCT capabilities, developed out of the Future Combat Systems program and now transitioned to support the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization effort, will provide soldiers with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as increased survivability and lethality. Initial capabilities include:

  • Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle: a robotic system capable of reconnaissance missions in dangerous or difficult situations such as entering buildings, caves and tunnels
  • Class I Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV): a small, soldier-operated UAV that can hover for reconnaissance and surveillance while providing target acquisition
  • Unattended Ground Sensors: multi-mode surveillance sensors for target detection, location and classification, with an imaging capability for identification
  • Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System: an unmanned missile system capable of extended range targeting and precision attack
  • Network Integration Kit: an integrated computer system that hosts the latest communications and radio systems and battle command software, providing the initial network connectivity needed to transfer sensor and communication data.

SAIC is a FORTUNE 500® scientific, engineering and technology applications company that uses its deep domain knowledge to solve problems of vital importance to the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health. The company’s approximately 45,000 employees serve customers in the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, other U.S. Government civil agencies and selected commercial markets. SAIC had annual revenues of $10.1 billion for its fiscal year that ended January 31, 2009. For more information, visit www.saic.com. SAIC: From Science to Solutions®

Boeing to Emphasize Innovative, Adaptable Solutions at AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2009 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] will showcase a wide array of ground, aviation, support and technology solutions for the U.S. Army at next week’s Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting & Exposition. Army modernization initiatives, unmanned systems, rotorcraft platforms, network-centric technologies and logistic support programs will be highlighted at the company’s exhibit and in presentations offered by company leaders. The event will take place Oct. 5-7 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

“Senior U.S. Army leaders and government officials will attend the convention to discuss strategies for supporting soldiers, managing changing budget priorities, and ensuring force readiness and transformation,” said Leo Brooks, Boeing vice president, National Security & Space Group. “Boeing will be there to listen to its Army customer and demonstrate the capabilities and technologies that can effectively and affordably meet warfighter needs, today and in the future.

“We are more than a systems provider — we are fully committed to keeping the promises we have made to our military men and women at home and deployed around the globe,” Brooks added.

Some of the solutions that Boeing will highlight at its exhibit and in its media briefings are Army Brigade Modernization; the AH-64D Apache, CH-47 Chinook and AH-6 helicopters; tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance solutions; the A160 and ScanEagle unmanned aerial systems; Wideband Global SATCOM; Joint Tactical Radio System – Ground Mobile Radio; the Joint Recovery and Distribution System, Army Integrated Logistics solutions and Integrated Training Solutions for Army programs.

Boeing’s online press kit at http://www.boeing.com/ids/AUSA2009/ will be available beginning on Monday, Oct. 5, and will be updated throughout the show with briefing presentations and schedule changes, if any. The site also contains program backgrounders, executive biographies and a link to high-resolution photos.

All briefings will be held in the 9th Street Mezzanine Room. All times listed below are Eastern Daylight Time.

Monday, Oct. 5
1330 – 1430: AH-64D Apache
Apache Programs Vice President Al Winn, joined by U.S. Army Col. Shane Openshaw, discusses the recent progress of AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter tests in anticipation of future production.

1430 – 1530: CH-47 Chinook
Chinook Programs Vice President Jack Dougherty provides an update on the Chinook program’s status, including recent contracts.
Tuesday, Oct. 6
0930 – 1030: Joint Tactical Radio System – Ground Mobile Radio
JTRS GMR Program Director Ralph Moslener provides an update on program status as development nears completion.

1030 – 1115: Army Sustainment
Global Services & Support program leaders and Army Col. Joe Dunaway, commander of the Corpus Christi Army Depot, discuss Boeing’s role and performance in several key support programs for the U.S. Army and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.

1115 – 1200: Joint Recovery and Distribution System
JRaDS Program Manager Andy Garcia and Ground Forces Support Systems Director Dan Afflick present information and contract status on both variants of the versatile JRaDS ground vehicle. JRaDS will provide the U.S. Marines with Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) recovery capability, while the U.S. Army will use the system to improve logistics in forward operating areas.
Wednesday, Oct. 7
0830 – 0930: AH-6 Helicopter
Apache Programs Vice President Al Winn and Army Rotorcraft Business Development Director Mike Burke provide an update on the new AH-6 rotorcraft program, including the status of validation testing and new technologies.

1000 – 1100: Wideband Global SATCOM
Assistant Director of Satellite Communications and Cyber Security for Government Operations Bill Reiner discusses how the Boeing-built Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system is delivering increased communications capabilities to U.S. warfighters around the world.