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Defense News: Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT), The Boeing Company (BA), General Dynamics Corporation (GD)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT)Australia to back F-35 buy in new defence blueprint (Reuters)
Australia’s government is expected to affirm plans to buy up to 100 Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) F-35 fighter jets, according to a defense blueprint to be released on Friday, easing concerns hanging over the future of the controversial stealth fighter. The Australian plan, as outlined by defense sources and analysts, will also call for the purchase of a dozen The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) EA-18G electronic attack planes, modified versions of Boeing’s Super Hornets, purchased as a stopgap for the F-35. It reinforces positive steps for the F-35, coming on the heels of a decision by Norway to buy six F-35s a year earlier than planned, and the Dutch parliament’s decision not to reassess F-35 rivals to replace aging F-16s.

Lockheed Martin Celebrates 50 Years in Huntsville (WHNT)
Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) today commemorated 50 years of operations in Huntsville, Ala., with a celebration attended by approximately 1,000 people, including Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) employees and retirees, government and military personnel, industry partners and community members. John Holly, vice president of Missile Defense Systems and deputy for Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) Space Systems Company, led the ceremony. Government and community officials participating in the ceremony included U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong.

Boeing Loses $1.76 Billion 747 Order After Cutting Output (1) (BusinessWeek)
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) lost an order of five 747-8 jumbo jets with a value of $1.76 billion less than a month after cutting production of the plane because of flagging demand. Boeing reached an agreement with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd. to cancel the order, said Jim Proulx, a spokesman for the Chicago-based planemaker. DAE still has an order for five 777 freighters, Proulx said. He declined to comment on the prospects of that order. …The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) booked writedowns of $1.35 billion in 2009 and $685 million in 2008 related to costs for the plane’s development and production, according to filings (BA).

Boeing says taking next step toward launching 777X jet (ET)
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) said it is taking the “next step” toward launching its long-awaited 777X wide-body jet by discussing price, schedule and other details with potential customers. The move follows a board meeting on Monday and means the commercial airplane division can begin taking orders from airlines for the new fuel-efficient jet, which could include folding wing tips to increase wingspan while fitting at the same airport gates. “We are taking the next step when it comes to engaging customers on the 777X,” spokesman Doug Alder told reporters. The company has “begun to discuss additional technical, pricing and schedule details with customers”.

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