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Wind River Cuts Deals in Aerospace and Defense

Wind River is taking its technology to the sky, literally, thanks to a pair of deals announced today in the aerospace and defense sectors. The announcements come one day after the company acquired the ScopeTools Business Unit from its partner Real-Time Innovations (RTI).

Galileo Avionica developed a new helicopter map generation and control system using Wind Rivers' General Purpose Platform. According to Wind River, a prototype of the new system was developed and delivered in three months.

Northrop Grumman is going to be using Wind River's Platform for Safety Critical as part of the defense contractors' efforts in the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) program. The X-47B portion of J-UCAS will have a Wind River device software foundation for its embedded vehicle management and mission computers. J-UCAS is a joint U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) program. The first test flights are scheduled for 2007.

According to John Fanelli, vice president of product planning and Management at Wind River, aerospace and defense is a core focus for Wind River and historically, was one of the earliest markets in which Wind River did business.

"Currently, A&D is Wind River's second largest business unit and is growing. It now represents 25 percent of Wind River's revenue," Fanelli told internetnews.com.

"Contractors in the A&D industry are faced with Department of Defense [DoD] budget cuts and mandates for open architectures that enable interoperability, thereby reducing maintenance and support costs. Wind River's open standards-based development and run-time products meet the ongoing needs of A&D customers."

Fanelli said that Wind River's Platform for Safety Critical is currently used by a number of global contractors. Some of the projects that are using the platform include the 7E7 Common Boeing C-130 AMP, EADS/CASA refueling boom and EADS/Eurocopter flight navigation system.

Wind River yesterday announced the acquisition of the ScopeTools suite from its partner RTI. ScopeTools, which includes StethoScope, TraceScope, ProfileScope, MemScope and CoverageScope, already provides code coverage, system visualization and dynamic debugging capabilities for the Wind River Workbench product line.

"What this affords us is the future and the ability to develop this product and drive it forward in a way that benefits developers in the device software space," John Bruggeman, chief marketing officer for Wind River, told internetnews.com.

"We've worked with RTI for a really long time we have joint customer experience the products are well integrated they work together," Bruggeman said. "These deals make a lot of sense to us, rather than these grand announcements that make a lot of noise in the market and then the benefit never really happens."

Bruggeman said the value of the deal was $10 million in cash and stock and closes immediately.

A study late last year reported that Microsoft was the leader in the embedded space, a result which Wind River disputes. According to research firm Venture Development Corporation (VDC), Microsoft was the leading vendor of embedded operating systems for 2003. VDC placed Microsoft ahead of Wind River, Palm and Symbian.

"It really depends on how you look at the embedded market and how you define it in order to determine who really has market share leadership," Bruggeman said. "The key place that Microsoft has leadership is in the handheld space, and we don't really play in that space. So if you're counting up units, far and away handhelds will make the difference.

"If you count revenue and dollar spend we're vastly ahead in that direction," he continued. "We continue to extend our leadership where people are spending their dollars."