Another Top Gun at Orbital

Dulles-based rocket maker Orbital Sciences Inc. added some more heft to its board last week when it named Ronald T. Kadish, former chief of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, to its board of directors.

The Missile Defense Agency is one of Orbital's top customers.

"With the significant role that Orbital is playing in the development of the country's missile defense systems, General Kadish's strategic insight, gained from years of experience in these and other Department of Defense acquisition programs, should serve the company well as we chart a path of growth in national defense and intelligence markets," Orbital chairman and chief executive David W. Thompson said in a news release.

Kadish headed the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, which was renamed the Missile Defense Agency, from 1999 to 2004. The retired Air Force lieutenant general remains a vice president and partner of McLean-based consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

His appointment follows Orbital's announcement on May 25 that it had named former Air Force secretary James G. Roche to its board.

On May 26, federal agents raided the company's facilities in Dulles and Chandler, Ariz., as part of an investigation Orbital said was focusing on "contracting procedures" related to "certain U.S. government launch vehicle programs." Federal officials have declined comment, and Orbital has said it has done nothing wrong.

One aerospace and defense analyst, Troy J. Lahr of Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., has rated Orbital's stock a "buy."

"Missile defense interceptor spending should increase significantly through 2011, and we expect Orbital Sciences to benefit from spending in this area," Lahr wrote in a June 22 research note. "In our opinion, Orbital Sciences remains an attractive investment opportunity."

Is This Like Extreme Wrestling?

The news release was headlined in bold type: "Adelphia Announces Extreme Internet Speeds Coming to Leesburg, Va."

The cable television company said that, beginning this month, Leesburg customers will be able to receive some of the fastest residential broadband speeds in the United States.

Adelphia said current subscribers to the company's "Premier High Speed Internet" service will be upgraded at no charge to "Extreme High Speed Internet."

Sounds like Premier won't be so premier any more.

"To better understand the impact of such speed, consider that Extreme High Speed will allow a customer to download 100 songs (roughly 5 MB each) in approximately 4 minutes," Adelphia said in its news release. "Traditional DSL service would require 22 minutes to complete the same download."

Adelphia plans to mail its high-speed Internet subscribers in Leesburg details of what, if anything, they will need to do to get the upgraded service.

Virginia 1, North Carolina 0

EIT Inc., a privately owned, Sterling-based electronics firm, plans to build a manufacturing facility in south-central Virginia.

EIT, founded in 1977 by Loudoun Del. Joe T. May, said it will spend $12 million on the project in Danville. The company recently expanded its 60,000-square-foot facility in Sterling.

May said EIT chose Danville over a site in North Carolina partly because of its "pro-business local government" and "central location" close to the company's major customers.

EIT has more than 230 employees, according to the company's Web site.


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