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‘Aviation Week’ to launch defense technology title

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In September, Aviation Week & Space Technology will launch a new magazine called Defense Technology International. The magazine will move the McGraw-Hill Cos.’ publication more squarely into coverage of broad defense and diversify the coverage beyond commercial and military aviation.

In the process, Aviation Week will compete more directly with defense industry publications such as Jane’s Information Group’s Jane’s Defence Weekly and Army Times Publishing Co.’s Defense News.

Defense Technology International will debut on Sept. 12 with a circulation of 38,000. The magazine will be published again on Nov. 21 and move to a six-times-a-year frequency in 2006.

For existing subscribers, the magazine will be bound into their issue of Aviation Week. For new subscribers, it will be mailed, polybagged with Aviation Week. The majority of those receiving Defense Technology International are not current Aviation Week subscribers, according to Greg Hamilton, publisher-strategic media at the Aviation Week Group. He also said that 35% of readers come from outside the U.S.

"Since Desert Storm and leading up to Afghanistan and Iraq, the way wars are fought and carried is dramatically different," said Hamilton, pointing out that Desert Storm, fought in 1991, was primarily an air campaign but that the current war in Iraq is being fought on the ground against an insurgency. In the interim, advanced technologies, such as global positioning systems, have become commonplace for supporting troops on the ground.

Aviation Week said it believes that these communication and computer technologies—and how they are linking naval, ground and air forces in an unprecedented way—have not been covered completely for decision-makers. The new technologies—and how they are being applied in action—is "the sweet spot," according to Hamilton, who added, it is one of the few areas of growth in defense spending. Defense budgets overall are expected to be flat, but governments are investing in technology to make their military more nimble.

Because it also covers commercial aviation, Aviation Week has seen a decline in advertising pages since 9/11. Pages dropped by double digits in 2002 and 2003, although they bounced back with a 12.0% gain in 2004 over 2003, according to IMS: The Auditor. Between January and May 2005, Aviation Week’s ad pages are up 4.6% over the same period last year.

Jane’s Defence Weekly experienced a similar trajectory in ad pages, losing in 2002 and 2003, but making a slight gain of 3.4% in 2004. Year to date, Jane’s Defence Weekly’s ad pages have declined 19.6%.

Defense News was flat in terms of ad pages in 2002 and up 4.4% in 2003. It changed the way it counted pages in 2004 to include its international edition, so there is no meaningful comparison available for that year. So far in 2005, its ad pages are down 24.4%.

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