Hughes Network Systems Inc. of Germantown and McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. of Kirkland, Wash., formed a limited partnership to build and operate a digital in-flight telephone and data transmission service for use aboard commercial aircraft nationwide.

The service, which requires FCC approval, will operate under the name Clairtel. It allows passengers on planes to receive and place telephone calls or receive and send facsimile copies and computer data transmissions from the air.

Alaskan Airlines and Northwest Airlines Inc. have agreed to begin carrying the service, and negotiations are underway with several other major carriers, the company said.

Orkand Corp., the Silver Spring-based information systems and management consulting firm, was awarded a $10 million contract by the Agency for International Development to provide technical automation support services.

Under the terms of the five-year contract, Orkand will provide services for AID's local and overseas offices, including information collection analysis, information systems design, programming and implementation and program testing.

Franklin Bancorporation of Washington, the parent holding company of Franklin National Bank, and Metropolitan Bancshares Inc. of Washington, the parent holding company of Metropolitan Bank, terminated merger discussion after the companies signed in August a nonbinding letter of intent to merge.

Ogden/ERC Government Systems of Fairfax, a subsidiary of Ogden Corp. of New York, was awarded a contract by the state of Texas to supply an automated information system for the state's Special Supplemental Food program for Women, Infants and Children. The 14-month contract is valued at about $650,000.

Potomac Electric Power Co. of Washington entered a preliminary agreement with Patowmack Power Partners Inc., a subsidiary of Long Lake Energy Corp. of New York, to purchase under contract electricity produced by a 315-megawatt, gas fired generating facility Patowmack plans to build in Loudoun County.

Blueridge Technologies Inc. of Flint Hill, Va., was awarded a contract to install an Optix Document Imaging System for the Magnet Systems Division of the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory of Dallas. Terms were not disclosed.

Clement International Corp. of Fairfax, a subsidiary of American Capital and Research Corp., was awarded a 10-month contract by Prince William County to perform a human health risk assessment for a proposed waste-to-energy facility in Manassas. The contract is valued at more than $80,000.

American Management Systems Inc. of Arlington and Digital Equipment Corp. of Maynard, Mass., entered into an agreement under which the two companies will jointly market AMS's federal financial systems accounting software for Digitals Vax family of computers.

The Software Productivity Consortium of Herndon and Atherton Technology Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., entered an agreement for the two firms to exchange technology on advanced developments in object-based software engineering environments.

Versar Inc. of Springfield announced the availability of a product emissions testing chamber at its Germantown-based subsidiary Geomet Technologies Inc.

Scan C2C Inc. of Washington added its Japan Technology database to Dialog.

The German American Business Council opened in Washington to strengthen business and economic ties and foster trade relations between the United States and Germany.

The Institute of Certified Bankers was opened in Washington by the American Bankers Association to provide specialized banker certification programs.

The Association Executive Resources Group opened in Washington.

Development Services at Dulles was formed in Sterling, Va., by 12 firms to provide consulting services to the development industry.

Success Unlimited Inc., a public relations and marketing firm, opened in Capital Heights.

Announcements of news and developments affecting Washington area companies should be sent to Regional Report, Business News Department, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.