BAe and MES Merge to Form New Company
UK aerospace and ship building conglomerate British Aerospace (BAe) and defence electronics contractor Marconi Electronic Systems (MES) have merged to create BAe Systems, a world-class company that will create the financial strength, large-scale capability and global reach needed to take on the most challenging projects in the aerospace and defence sectors. With an estimated annual turnover of £12.3 B, BAe Systems employs 115,600 people in the UK, the US, Italy, France, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Germany and Saudi Arabia. In an attempt to avoid some of the pitfalls encountered by other super mergers, BAe Systems’ management structure includes two chief operating officers (COO), a group managing director - international partnerships (MD-IP) and approximately 11 managing directors for individual programmes. Of these, COO Peter Gershon will oversee customer support and the company’s Eurofighter, Hawk, Nimrod, Tornado, Harrier, US military aircraft, Future Carrier, Type 45 destroyer, Bowman, LANCER, Future Systems/Future Offensive Air System, Gripen (including South Africa) and Astute class submarine programmes. Fellow COO Mike Turner will oversee the company’s avionics, international partnership, North American, Airbus, regional aircraft and aviation services activities. Within Turner’s remit, MD-IP Mike Rouse will handle the company’s relationship with BAe Systems’ joint venture partners including Matra BAe Dynamics, Alenia Marconi Systems, Saab, STN Atlas, SIKA, Matra Marconi Space and Thomson Marconi Sonar.
Siemens Awarded Telecommunications Business Contracts
German contractor Siemens AG has been awarded new telecommunications equipment contracts in the Czech Republic, Poland and the US. In the Czech Republic, the award is a contract valued at approximately Euro 200 M by Czech telecommunications provider Cesky Mobil for the provision of a turnkey mobile radio network for use in the western half of the Czech Republic, including Prague. The proposed network includes provision of a dedicated microwave backbone, high speed data services, fibre-optic links to the existing fixed network and a mobile Internet access infrastructure. Reportedly, five of the necessary base stations already have been put into operation. In Poland, Siemens is expected to supply national provider Telekomunikacja Polska SA (Polish Telecom) with access equipment for 170,000 lines in the Katowice and Stettin regions of Poland. The contract is estimated to be valued at Euro 30 M with implementation scheduled for completion by the middle of this year. In the US, Siemens has partnered with Accelerated Networks to supply Michigan-based provider Coast to Coast Telecommunications with a complete voice and data service package. As currently scheduled, the $50 M effort envisages in excess of 50 Coast to Coast locations being equipped with Siemens TransXpress™ multiplexers and Fastlink digital loop carriers together with Accelerated Network’s AN-3200 DSL and T1 concentrators during the next 12 months. In addition, Accelerated Networks is supplying integrated access devices for installation at customer locations. So configured, the Coast to Coast network is expected to offer local and long distance telephone calls, Internet services, high speed corporate access, conference calling and virtual private networking in a single access facility.
German Army to Procure Ericsson Radar
The German Army has made an initial procurement of 10 Ericsson Microwave Systems Improved HARD 3-D radars for use in its next-generation light anti-aircraft system designated LeFlaSys. As of press time, Swedish contractor Ericsson had anticipated supplying the first of these radars this year and completing the order by 2002. The 8 to 12 GHz Improved HARD radar differs from the baseline model by way of its introduction of an alternating pulse repetition frequency mode; an improved, low sidelobe antenna; a new adaptive moving target indication filter; and increased transmitter module output (from 6 to 14 W). Baseline HARD can detect a helicopter at a range of up to 10 km, a figure that rises to 20 km when the target is a fixed-wing aircraft. Improved HARD has been under test in Germany since 1996 and the LeFlaSys order is Improved HARD’s first export sale. Alongside the described LeFlaSys application, Improved HARD is also being acquired by the Swedish Army for use in its RBS 90 all-weather air defence system.
Philips Introduces New CMOS Technique
Netherlands contractor Philips Semiconductors has introduced an enhanced 0.18 mm complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication technique that uses low dielectric constant dielectrics, an additional local interconnection metal layer and new high density memory cells. Designated the CMOS18, the technique utilises a combination of metal layers with low sheet resistivity and a hydrogen silsesquioxane-based flowable oxide as the insulating layer, a combination that may significantly reduce parasitic capacitance, thereby shortening propagation delays. The conventional metal-dielectric-metal and metal-dielectric-semiconductor structures create parasitic capacitance that must be charged and discharged every time a logic signal propagates from one part of the IC to another, thereby slowing down chip performance. In order to maximise on-chip gate densities, the CMOS18 technique makes use of an additional local interconnect layer that is added to the six metal layers normally found in a 0.18 mm CMOS device. Positioned below the normal metal layers at gate level, the new layer is made of tungsten and is capable of achieving conductor widths as low as 0.24 mm. So configured, a local-interconnect-layer-equipped device is claimed to offer up to 20 percent silicon area improvement for typical core cells. To enhance device memory and chip density, CMOS18 devices include a special high density SRAM cell. The capability will be further enhanced via a high density dual-port SRAM cell, which is currently under development by the company. A Flash memory cell option is available for use in telecommunications and smart card applications. This option is based on stacked-gate technology and is significantly smaller than 0.8 mm2 in area. The company is also migrating recently acquired VLSI technology cell libraries to the CMOS18 process in order to provide customers with the benefits of a very broad application-specific IC (ASIC) design library, advanced ASIC design tools and short development cycles.
BAe Systems Launches EWACS Anti-ballistic Missile Radar
UK contractor BAe Systems has launched a new anti-ballistic missile radar under the designation Early Warning and Control System (EWACS). The air mobile EWACS system is an outgrowth of the active array technology that has been developed for use in the MESAR 2 ballistic missile defence testbed radar and the SAMPSON multifunction radar that have been selected for installation aboard Royal Navy Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyers. EWACS is designed to provide constant surveillance of the threat horizon and is able to detect ballistic missile launches at ranges in excess of 1500 km. Any detected missile launch automatically initiates target tracking, and the radar resolves targets of less than one metre in order to facilitate target identification and warhead discrimination. The use of agile, wideband waveforms optimises the generation of accurate EWACS imagery while proven digital, adaptive beamforming provides the equipment with a high degree of immunity from hostile jamming. EWACS is configured to detect launch points, predict flight path, discriminate warheads and calculate impact points as well as provide interceptor mid-course guidance.