Farnborough Air Show lives up to reputation

July 11, 2012 at 2:14 PM
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FARNBOROUGH, England, July 11 (UPI) -- The Farnborough Air Show's reputation as a premier event for bringing together the world's aerospace giants and customers is anything but exaggerated.

The show in England, which began Monday, has resulted in a tidal wave of announcements of equipment and service deals, as well as partnering by international firms to jointly produce and market systems.

ITT Exelis, EADS North America and Cassidian, the defense and security division of EADS, for example announced a partnership to provide enhanced electronic warfare solutions.

One of their first joint projects is expected to be a missile approach warning solution for the U.S. Air National Guard.

"This agreement will help our companies, each with complementary electronic warfare systems grow in new markets," said Rich Sorelle, acting president of the Exelis Electronic Systems division. "Cassidian will bring its distinctive products to the U.S. with partners that understand the American defense market, and Exelis will benefit from Cassidian's knowledge of European defense platforms, as well as its marketing reach in Europe, Asia and Africa."

"Cassidian capitalizes on a long-standing experience in sophisticated electronic warfare systems," added Elmar Compans, head of Cassidian Sensors & Electronic Warfare. "As proven by our track record in this area, our skills, combined with the complementary expertise that Exelis brings, will result in optimal, cost-efficient protection solutions for our customers."

Embraer of Brazil and Boeing of the United States had their own announcement – a deal to enhance collaboration to add capabilities to Embraer's A-29 Super Tucano through new weapons integration developments.

The A-29 Super Tucano is a single-engine, turboprop aircraft for both training and close air support combat missions. About nine countries in addition to Brazil are either flying the aircraft or have them on order.

Embraer said the new weapons integration capacity through the agreement "enhances the solution" presented to the U.S. Air Force Light Air Support program for acquisition of the plane.

"This new capability will take advantage of the versatility of the Super Tucano and will benefit our campaign in the United States," said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president of Embraer Defesa & Seguranca. "With more than eight years in service and more than 160 aircraft delivered, the Super Tucano is a proven platform."

Dennis Muilenburg, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the "agreement enables integration of Boeing products on a highly affordable turboprop aircraft that offers unique close air support capabilities to customers worldwide."

"Boeing direct attack weapons are combat-proven and in inventory with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and 27 international military customers."

Embraer and Boeing in April signed a broader cooperation agreement for stronger relations for cooperation in ways that enhance aircraft efficiency and safety, and for research and technology, including in the area of sustainable aviation bio-fuels. The two companies also collaborate on Embraer's KC-390 program.

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