L-3 and Alenia announce joint venture for C-27J aircraft

NEW YORK, N.Y., 15 February 2005. L-3 Communications and Alenia Aeronautica (a Finmeccanica company), the Italian industrial leader in aeronautical productions, announced today a joint venture for production and support of the C-27J military transport aircraft.

NEW YORK, N.Y., 15 February 2005. L-3 Communications and Alenia Aeronautica (a Finmeccanica company), the Italian industrial leader in aeronautical productions, announced today a joint venture for production and support of the C-27J military transport aircraft.

Under the terms of the venture, named Global Military Aircraft Systems (GMAS), L-3 Communications' Integrated Systems subsidiary (L-3 IS) and Alenia North America Inc., a subsidiary of Alenia Aeronautica, will pursue the U.S. Army's Future Cargo Aircraft (FCA) program.

The FCA program is part of the U.S. Army's Aviation Modernization program designated to restructure and revitalize its aviation assets. Currently, the FCA program calls for the procurement of a new fleet of Cargo Fixed Wing aircraft and related logistical support.

Under the agreement, L-3 Integrated Systems and Alenia North America will jointly manage the venture. L-3 IS is a leader in aircraft modernization, systems integration, contractor logistics support, training, and simulation. Alenia is a leader in the design and manufacturing of commercial and military aircraft. GMAS represents the best team with key combined capabilities required for the U.S. Army and the warfighter.

The C-27J aircraft is based on the proven and reliable C-27A airframe sold also to the USAF as the Spartan. The C-27J, designed from the outset as a true rugged military airlifter, is highly interoperable with heavier airlifters such as the C-130s and it incorporates state-of-the-art technologies found on the C-130J (propulsion system, avionic system, cockpit layout and data presentation). The C-27J is currently under production for the Italian Air Force (12 units) and the Hellenic Air Force (12 units). The aircraft is also competing in Canada, Portugal, and Bulgaria.

Lockheed Martin, as the co-developer with Alenia of the C-27J Spartan, is firmly engaged as the major systems supplier of the aircraft's propulsion and avionics systems. Lockheed Martin is both a critical supplier and an advocate of the suitability of this highly capable aircraft for many missions and customers within the United States. Lockheed Martin and Alenia share a broad range of business activities around the world.

"We are very excited about this new joint venture, which melds together an already proven team and a proven platform that we believe best meets the needs of the market," said Frank C. Lanza, chairman and chief executive officer of L-3 Communications.

"Alenia is a top-notch aerospace firm and this venture is an excellent opportunity for L-3 Communications to work together and focus our collective energies to help the U.S. Army as they seek to modernize their aviation program. The C-27J is a true military aircraft and the only one that fulfills all U.S. Army and National Guard requirements for cargo transport, troop transport, material and paratroop air drop, tactical operations and medical evacuation."

"This agreement is a significant step in our overall strategy in broadening the reach of Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries in the international markets," said Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini, chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica. "It creates a partnership with L-3 Communications, a leading U.S. aerospace systems company. The main objective is to work with an exceptional partner to provide the best possible solution for the upcoming requirements for the U.S. Army. We feel that this partnership uniquely positions us to capitalize on opportunities in the defense sector worldwide and we are enthusiastic about commencing operations."

"L-3 Integrated Systems has a reputation for performance with the U.S. Army and a relationship with Alenia which dates back to 1989 when both parties teamed to produce the C-27A for the U.S. Air Force," said Bob Drewes, president of L-3 IS. "We look forward to this opportunity to work with a leading international aerospace company with an excellent reputation and to combine our capabilities once again to offer a superior solution to the Army that meets the needs of our troops."

"This partnership offers the best product from the most capable and proven team to address the requirements of the U.S. Army without compromise," said Giuseppe Giordo, president and CEO of Alenia North America. "This furthers our strategy of working through industrial alliances with exceptional U.S. companies to bring the best possible products and services to the North American market."

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications is a leading provider of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, secure communications systems, aircraft modernization, training and government services and is a merchant supplier of a broad array of high technology products. Its customers include the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, selected U.S. Government intelligence agencies and aerospace prime contractors.

L-3 IS is recognized internationally as a systems integration organization specializing in the modernization and maintenance of aircraft of all sizes, and the study, design, development, and integration of special mission systems for military and commercial applications. The company has modified more than 15,000 different aircraft of more than 125 types. Headquartered in Greenville, Texas, L-3 IS operates from multiple sites in Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama and Australia.
For more information, see www.L-3Com.com.

Alenia Aeronautica, headquartered in Rome, Italy is a company of the Finmeccanica Group. Alenia Aeronautica has revenues in excess of 1.2 billion Euros and a total work force of more 8,600 employees. Its main activities comprise design and production of commercial and military aircraft, design and production of aerostructures for military and civil aircraft and through Aeronavali, a wholly owned subsidiary, the overall maintenance and modification of military and civil aircraft. Alenia Aeronautica is a partner of and cooperates with the major global aerospace groups, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, EADS, Dassault, BAE Systems and Vought.

Alenia North America Inc. is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and also has offices in Seattle, Long Beach, Fort Worth and Ottawa, Canada. Alenia North America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alenia Aeronautica. Alenia North America has more than 300 employees in the United States and has been entrusted by its parent company to consolidate and further expand the industrial and commercial presence of the Alenia Group in North America. It is the company utilized for major aeronautical programs and collaborative Joint Ventures with major U.S. companies.

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