Boeing and Ball Aerospace to Design, Market Satellite-Based Laser Communications

Boeing [NYSE:BA] officials today announced a teaming agreement with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. to develop laser communications technologies that will improve the efficiency of satellite communications by a factor of ten or more.

The team combines the strengths of Boeing, a leader in communications systems for commercial and government markets, and Ball Aerospace, a leader in remote sensing, acquisition, and pointing and tracking. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing and Ball Aerospace will jointly market laser communications technology as merchant suppliers to the U.S. government and its suppliers.

"As the need continues to grow for the rapid transmission of increasingly larger amounts of information, satellite-based laser communications is vital," said Dr. Roger Roberts, senior vice president of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems (S&IS), Boeing's center for intelligence programs. "Our customers are moving to a network-centric environment, where platforms and systems become nodes on a super network. Near-immediate access to information on this network is critical, and laser communication technologies are capable of addressing that need."

"Ball Aerospace's joint effort with Boeing in laser communications combines the unique strengths of both companies to offer the lowest risk and best value solution to the many emerging applications requiring high bandwidth communications," said Mike Cerneck, vice president and general manager of Ball Aerospace's Defense Operations.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. provides remote sensing systems and solutions to the aerospace and defense markets. It is a subsidiary of Ball Corporation (NYSE BLL), which in addition to owning Ball Aerospace, is one of the leading suppliers of metal and plastic packaging to the beverage and food industries. Ball Aerospace had sales in 2002 of $491 million.

S&IS is a leader in large-scale systems integration, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or ISR, systems, communication systems, network systems, and protection and security systems. ISR systems provide critical information that support the integrated battlespace, a networked communications system that supports battlefield decision-making by collecting, assimilating, visualizing, and distributing real-time data to those who make life-and-death decisions to protect the peace and defend a nation.

Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems is a unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in satellite launch services.

For further information:
Diana Ball
562-797-5863 office 562-243-8269 cellular
Madonna Walsh
Boeing News Bureau
314-234-1362 office 314-705-0717 cellular
Jennifer Meyer
Ball Media Contact