COM DEV Begins Production on $39 Million Contract for NASA's Successor to the Hubble

    New Ottawa Facility to Lead Work on James Webb Space Telescope Project

    OTTAWA, June 4 /CNW/ - COM DEV International Ltd. (TSX: CDV), Canada's
largest manufacturer of space hardware subsystems, today announced that it has
begun the production phase of its work on the James Webb Space Telescope
(JWST). COM DEV is supplying a Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) designed to keep the
telescope pointed with a precision of greater than one millionth of one
degree. To put this in perspective, one millionth of a degree of pointing
precision is equivalent to being able to point to an accuracy of the thickness
of a strand of hair viewed from 3 km away. Such accuracy is essential for
JWST's instruments to make their scientific measurements. The FGS will also
include a Tunable Filter Imaging camera to provide narrow-band scientific
imaging capability.
    COM DEV's Space Science division has been working on the design and
engineering phases of the project since 1998, and was awarded a
CDN $39 million contract on April 30 by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to
proceed with the fabrication, build and test of the flight unit. The contract
represents the first production mandate for COM DEV's new facility in Ottawa,
with a portion of the work also being completed in the Company's Cambridge,
Ontario facility.
    "Being entrusted with such a crucial role on a high profile international
program like the JWST represents a very powerful endorsement of COM DEV's
space optics and electronics capabilities," said Mike Pley, President of COM
DEV. "This project will establish COM DEV's Ottawa location as a trusted
engineering, assembly and test facility with the capacity to take on the
design and build of future complex electro-optical space instruments. We are
very pleased to solidify our presence in a community that offers an
exceptional pool of highly skilled technical talent capable of supporting our
continued growth."
    The JWST - an international collaboration between NASA, the European
Space Agency (ESA), and the CSA - will be the largest space telescope ever
built. Its mission will be to examine every phase of cosmic history: from the
first luminous glows after the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies, stars,
and planets to the evolution of our own solar system. With a mirror more than
5.5 times as large as the Hubble's and an orbital position 1.5 million km from
Earth, the JWST will be able to observe radiation too faint for any previous
technology to detect. It is scheduled for launch in 2013.
    "Participation in JWST was identified as one of the top priorities for
the Canadian astronomy community over five years ago," said John Hutchings,
FGS Principal Investigator from the Canadian National Research Council's
Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria. "As a partner in the mission,
Canadian astronomers not only anticipate using the observatory to continue
their cutting edge research, but they are also currently engaged in the long
process of designing and refining the observatory's capabilities."
    "When pushing the limits of technology in space science programs like the
James Webb Space Telescope it has become essential from both a financial and
technological point of view to enlist the support and expertise of our
international partners," said Scott Lambros, JWST Instrumentation Manager at
NASA. "The Canadian contribution to the JWST is absolutely vital to the
success of this mission, and we have every confidence in our Canadian

    About COM DEV

    COM DEV International Ltd. ( is a leading global
designer and manufacturer of space hardware subsystems. With facilities in
Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, COM DEV manufactures
advanced products and subsystems that are sold to major satellite prime
contractors for use in communications, space science, remote sensing and
military satellites.

    COM DEV and COM DEV Space are registered trademarks of COM DEV
International Ltd. This news release may contain certain forward-looking
statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ
materially from results indicated in any forward-looking statements. The
Company cautions that, among other things, in view of the rapid changes in
communications markets and technologies, and other risks including the cost
and market acceptance of the Company's new products, the level of individual
customer procurements and competitive product offerings and pricing, and
general economic circumstances, the Company's business prospects may be
materially different from forward-looking statements made by the Company.

For further information:

For further information: Gary Calhoun, Chief Financial Officer, Tel:
(519) 622-2300 ext. 2826, Fax: (519) 622-2158,; Jeff
Codispodi, The Equicom Group, Tel: (416) 815-0700 ext. 261, Fax: (416)

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